Building the Ecological City book cover

Building the Ecological City

If the modern city is a monument to anything, it is a monument to man's inefficiency. Our cities are plagued by problems of congestion, waste, and pollution that deplete natural resources, damage the environment and reduce the quality of life of citizens.

The irony is, as this fascinating new study shows, that it doesn't have to be like this.

Building the ecological city describes the problems we face and puts forward solutions to the question - how can we build cities that provide an acceptable standard of living for their inhabitants without depleting the ecosystems and bio-geochemical cycles on which they depend?

The book suggests and examines the concept of urban metabolism in which the city is characterized as a set of interlinked systems of physical flows linking air, land and water. A series of chapters looks at the production and management of waste, energy use and air emissions, water supply and management, urban land use and air quality issues. Within the broader context of climate change, the book then considers a range of practical strategies for restoring the health of urban ecosystems from the restoration of 'brownfield' land to productive use through to improving air quality and making better use of water resources

Building the ecological city is a major contribution to better urban management and planning for both citizens and the environment and is an invaluable sourcebook for urban and national planners, architects and environmental agencies.

Urban and national planners, architects and environmental agencies

Hardbound, 256 Pages

Published: February 2002

Imprint: Woodhead Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-85573-531-6


  • Part 1 Introduction: Cities for the new millennium. Part 2 Metabolism: How urban ecosystems work: It isn’t waste until you waste it; Energy and emissions to the air; Cities and the hydrological cycle. Part 3 Pathology: What’s gone wrong? Urban land: asset or liability? The air we breathe and the climate we are changing; The water we use and abuse. Part 4 Health: Restoring urban ecosystem health: Restoring urban land to productive use; Clearing the air; Water - our most precious resource. Part 5 Conclusions; International issues; Do we have the means to build the ecological city? Appendices.


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