Sustainability in urban areas

Sustainability issues and management

Sustainability means meeting the needs of people today in a way that it doesnt damage the environment or use uo resourses, so people can cater for them selves in the future.

1) large dense populations  which have a lot of waste and pollution.

2) Schemes set up dont have longevity  and work bt for the short term

Managing sustainability

  • Less waste and changing how we re-use waste and this can reduce the mount of resources we use.
  • 2010, 452kg of waste per person. Most goes to landfill (which is unsustainable).
  • Recycling is increasing, 2004 33% of waste was recovered, compared to 45% in 2008.
  • EU have set targets to reduce 50% of household waste by 2020.
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When rubbish is burried and is a cheap short term solution, however is not sustinable.

Release CO2  and Methane greenhouse gasses 36% of all methane emmisions in UK come from Landfill.

+There are new technologies to cpture the gasses produced and use as biofuel e.g. landfill in Mumbai closed to use methane produced for electricity and reduce CO2 emissions 

-Landfill can pollute ground water however lining can be put down to prevent this 

-Wastes raw materials that could be used in recycling 

In developing countries famalies live next to landfill sites:

1. Landfill can produce an income from scavenging 

2. However can be dangerous as disease can be caused 

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38% of household waste in the UK is biodegradable 

+Composting in gardens reduces costs to local authority 

+Composting could be used to create biogas (for electricity) and fertiliser 

+Sustainable as it decreases landfill and biogas is renewable 

-Has to be managed properly to proceed (e.g. removing damaging/polluting material)

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Recycling is where waste materials are made into new products and materials e.g. plastic bottles into fleece jumpers 

+Uses less energy than creating products from scratch (20x more energy to manufacture fresh aluminium)

+Reduces the demand for raw materials and therfore reduce environmental impacts such as deforestation 

+Reduces amount going to landfill 

+Quicker and cheaper 

-Relies on individuals to sort through recycling properly 

-Initial investment required to set up recyling plants 

-A lot of materials to be recycled go abroad and therfore produces emissions 

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Energy recovery

When waste cannot be recycled or reused so is burnt to generate heat and electricity 

+Reduces uses of fossil fuels 

-Not fully sustainable as produces emissions and pollutants 

Only 15% of Sheffield waste goes to landfill with majority going to energy recovery facility (ERF) without which 21,000 tonnes of CO2 would be produced a year 

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Reduce and reuse

Reducing things like packaging on products can help reduce amount going for landfill 

Reuse of plastic bottles e.g. water bottles 

Easier for individuals to do it than on a large scale however can be done as with Germany where bottles costs are refunded when returned to the place they are purchased 

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Sustainability in transport

Higher population leads to more traffic in urban areas due to increased car usage 

  • More people commute to work 
  • More vehicles delivering products to more shops and businesses 
  • Driving isnt sustainable as it causes air pollution, affects quality of life and damages the environment as a result. 
  • Increased public trasport means less emissions per passenger 
  • Reliable, cheap and easy to use 
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Making transport sustainable

The main aim of all 3 systems is to reduce congestion, pollution and number of cars 

Road schemes

Bus lanes- Bypass traffic jams as lanes widened to create express lanes, they are reliable and efficient 

However bus lanes created without widening roads can worsen problems 

Cycle lanes- Make it safer for cyclists (Cycle towns have helped increase the number of people cycling)

High occupancy vehicle lanes- Allow for cars carrying more people to access speedier lanes 

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Sustainability in transport ext

Traffic management- Bypasses can be built e.g. Newbury, park and ride schemes (cheaper than normal parking) 

However park and ride schemes do not reduce numbers of cars in areas around city centers 

Bypass and park and ride schemes are built on rural areas that can cause environmental damage and conflict 

Intergrated transport systems- Coordiating different types of public transport e.g. train and bus services 

Makes journey times shorter and public transport system more attractive to use as easily accessible 

Buy one ticket for use on various modes of transport makes people more likely to use the service 

Low carbon vehicles- Including hydrogen, hybrid and electric 

+Less emissions, renewable, improves air quality 

-Expensive to buy, difficult to refuel and energy used to create cars uses fossil fuels 

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Freiburg- germany

Germany are aiming to increase environmental sustainability and between 2000 and 2008 more than 40% of germans walked, cycled or used public transport.

They make it more appealing to use public transport by giving weekly, mothly and anual offers. Along with this they have high taxes on fuel.

1970s onwards, Freiburg:

  • Intergrated transport
  • Unified ticket system
  • Light rail systems (like trams ) run alongside roads
  • Busses have priority at traffic lights
  • Whole city is pedestrianised 
  • 'Home zones'- lowered speed limits gives priority to pedestrians and cylists
  • Cyclists are allowed to use one way streets both ways (making it quicker to cycle than use the car).

1982-2007 car journeys fell from 38% to 32% and 68% of journeys are on foot, bike or public T.

Co2 emissions have fallen13% in 13years, little financial input from state, passenger fares fund 90% of it.

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