A thrivable city means a city which is not only sustainable, but which has:
- A minimal negative environmental impact, or even a positive impact.
- A high quality of life, peaceful, lush and pleasant, with an active community.
How do we achieve this, a sustainable city with a wonderful quality of life?
- Transit-oriented development with an efficient, comfortable public transport system.
- Cycle and walking paths.
- Walkable neighborhoods - every house within about five minutes walk of a local center and transport node.
- Congestion charges - putting a price on driving in the city center and other congested locations, but only when attractive alternatives exist.
- Ban burning of rubbish within the city, whether by individuals or councils, whether in piles or high-technology rubbish incinerators.
- Restrict the types of vehicle fuel sold within the city, as many deaths are caused by respiratory illnesses exacerbated by pollution. Biodiesel is much better for air quality than regular diesel, Biogas, LPG and LNG are better still, but nothing is as good as electric vehicles (hopefully charged using renewable energy).
- Grid pattern narrow streets, to encourage low speeds but short distances for car travel.
- Chicanes and similar traffic calming devices rather than speed bumps. (Slow down cars, rather than punishing them.
- High density housing at transport nodes, surrounded by medium density, all in a mixed-use pattern. This minimizes travel distance and time, reducing energy use, increasing the number of trips for social reasons, and thus increasing social capital.
- Encourage the creation of additional small units, to increase the supply of affordable housing.
- Public open space, including playgrounds, interspersed through the city.
- A near-natural water cycle, with rainwater harvesting, and groundwater recharge through gardens, swales, rain gardens and permeable pavements to mimic the natural ability of undeveloped land to absorb rain and runoff.
- Local food production, through community gardens and a community support program to help residents with low-maintenance food gardens (see lazy gardening).
- Restrictions on the types of packaging that can be used, e.g. only compostable wrapping for food products, to enable better processing of waste.
- Trees shade the streets and greenery covers the buildings, keeping temperatures low. (This assumes a city where heat is a problem. Deciduous trees let sun through, great for regions with distinct seasons. But what's the best thing for cold climates?
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- Building layout regulations such as building alignment/setback are made not on the basis of older US-centric suburban aesthetics, but mainly on the basis of practicality and efficient use of space. (Note that the most in-demand residential areas often follow this pattern of houses built close to the sidewalk.)
Notes[edit | edit source]
- An Australian study claims more die from this than from car accidents.[verification needed]