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Life Sciences - Ecology | Sustainable Urban Environments - An Ecosystem Approach

Sustainable Urban Environments

An Ecosystem Approach

van Bueren, E.M., van Bohemen, H., Itard, L., Visscher, H. (Eds.)

2012, XIX, 429 p. 138 illus., 45 illus. in color.

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  • Multidisciplinary ecosystem approach
  • Integration of social, engineering and planning issues
  • Powerful team of researchers
  • Breadth and scale of issues addressed
  • Introduces students (and policymakers/practitioners) to most pressing sustainability challenges in the built environment

The urban environment – buildings, cities and infrastructure – represents one of the most important contributors to climate change, while at the same time holding the key to a more sustainable way of living. The transformation from traditional to sustainable systems requires interdisciplinary knowledge of the re-design, construction, operation and maintenance of the built environment.

Sustainable Urban Environments: An Ecosystem Approach presents fundamental knowledge of the built environment. Approaching the topic from an ecosystems perspective, it shows the reader how to combine diverse practical elements into sustainable solutions for future buildings and cities. You’ll learn to connect problems and solutions at different spatial scales, from urban ecology to material, water and energy use, from urban transport to livability and health. The authors introduce and explore a variety of governance tools that support the transformation process, and show how they can help overcome institutional barriers. The book concludes with an account of promising perspectives for achieving a sustainable built environment in industrialized countries.

Offering a unique overview and understanding of the most pressing challenges in the built environment, Sustainable Urban Environments helps the reader grasp opportunities for integration of knowledge and technologies in the design, construction and management of the built environment. Students and practitioners who are eager to look beyond their own fields of interest will appreciate this book because of its depth and breadth of coverage.

Content Level » Graduate

Keywords » Ecosystem approach - Governance tools - Integrated design - Sustainability - Urban environment

Related subjects » Ecology - Energy Technology - Geography - Pollution and Remediation

Table of contents 

List of Abbreviations.- List of figures, tables and boxes.- 1. Introduction. 1.1 The built environment: problem and solution. 1.2 Analysing the urban environment: an ecosystem approach. 1.3 Analytical focus is on ecological processes. 1.4 Setting the boundaries in this book; Ellen van Bueren.- 2. (Eco)system thinking: ecological principles for buildings, roads, industrial and urban areas. 2.1 Introduction. 2.2 General characteristics of (eco)system thinking. 2.3 The development of system theory and ecosystem theory. 2.4 Important concepts and characteristics of ecosystems. 2.4.1 Ecosystem structure and processes. 2.4.2 Disturbances and resilience. 2.4.3 Important correlations. 2.4.4 Principles of ecosystems. 2.5 Classification of ecosystems on different levels of scale (from global to local level) 2.6 Examples of urban-ecosystem approaches. 2.7 Understanding urban areas as ecosystems. 2.7.1 Industrial ecology and industrial areas as ecosystems. 2.7.2 Ecologically responsible agriculture. 2.7.3 An ecosystem approach to transport. 2.8 Improving urban systems: ecological engineering. 2.8.1 Ecological alternatives of waste-water treatment. 2.8.2 Green roofs and green façades in an urban setting. 2.8.3 Accumulation of carbon in urban areas. 2.9 The earth as a living system. 2.10 Discussion; Hein van Bohemen.- 3. Urban ecology, scale and identity. 3.1 Introduction. 3.1.1 Dutch reference as a starting point. 3.2 Ecologies. 3.3 Urban ecology including the human species and its artefacts. 3.4 Scale and size: technically, scientifically, administratively. 3.5 Identity: difference from the rest, continuity in itself. 3.6 Conclusion; Taeke M. De Jong.- 4. Water flows and urban planning. 4.1 Introduction. 4.2 Flow issues: cycles and cascades. 4.2.1 The urban water cycle. . 4.2.2 Rain water: from down the drain to first retain. 4.2.3 Ground water: from pumping to careful use and recharge. 4.2.4 River waters: from taming the stream to space for the river. 4.2.5 Drinking water: from shortage and wastage to sufficient and efficient. 4.2.6 Waste water and pollution: from problems to prevention. 4.2.7 The ecodevice model. 4.3 Urban Spaces and the Water Cycle. 4.3.1 Flows and areas. 4.3.2 Guiding models. 4.3.3 Water in the urban landscape. 4.4 Water Planning and Innovation: the role of actors. 4.4.1 Change, strategic and operational plans. 4.4.2 Innovation and new technologies. 4.4.3 bottom-up or top-down. 4.5 Conclusions; Sybrand Tjallingii.- 5. Energy in the built environment. 5.1 Introduction. 5.1.1 Energy in ecosystem theory. 5.1.2 Energy use by humans. 5.1.3 Is energy consumption an environmental problem? 5.2 The energy chain: from demand to supply. 5.2.1 The energy chain in buildings and the built environment. 5.2.2 The energy chain and the three step strategy. 5.3 Demand side: Thermal energy demand. 5.3.1 Introduction. 5.3.2 The building and its environment: local climate. 5.3.3 Energy flow by transmission. 5.3.4 Energy flow through ventilation en infiltration. 5.3.5 Energy gains through solar radiation. 5.3.6 Energy flow due to internal heat gains. 5.3.7 Thermal energy balance for space heating and cooling. 5.3.8 Other thermal energy demand: warm tap water and cooking. 5.4 Demand side: Electrical energy demand of buildings. 5.5 Energy distribution: between supply and demand. 5.5.1 Thermal energy distribution. 5.5.2 Electrical energy distribution. 5.5.3 Match between demand and supply: exergy approach. 5.6 Supply side: Energy conversion systems and primary energy use. 5.6.1 Introduction. 5.6.2 Power plants. 5.6.3 Renewable sources for electricity production. 5.6.4 Combined Heat and Power (CHP). 5.6.6 Heating: electrical heating. 5.6.7 Heating: boilers and stoves. 5.6.8 Heating and cooling: cooling machines and heat pumps. 5.6.9 Heating and cooling: heat and cold storage in ground. 5.6.10 Cooling: evaporative cooling. 5.6.11 Minimizing the primary energy use. 5.6.12 Environmental impacts of energy use.- 5.7 Operational and financial considerations; Laure Itard.- 6. Material City: Towards sustainable use of resources. 6.1 Introduction. 6.2 Energy and materials. 6.3 Concepts. 6.4 Strategies. 6.5 Challenges. 6.6 The value of assessment tools. 6.6.1 Development of assessment tools in the Netherlands and other countries. 6.6.2 BREEAM: Dutch version of the British system. 6.6.3 GPR-Gebouw: communicating about sustainability. 6.6.4 GreenCalc: measuring sustainability. 6.6.5 DuboCalc: measurable environmental performance in the civil engineering sector. 6.6.6 Conclusion. 6.7 Selecting materials; Loriane Icibaci, Michiel Haas.- 7. Air quality and human health. 7.1 Introduction. 7.2 Air pollutants. 7.2.1 Sources of outdoor air pollutants. 7.2.2 Sources of indoor air pollutants. 7.2.3 Exposure. 7.3 Other indoor environmental aspects. 7.3.1 Thermal comfort. 7.3.2 Noise. 7.3.3 Lighting. 7.4 Health effects. 7.5 Practical guidelines. 7.5.1 Chemical and biological pollutants. Design phase. Construction phase. Use phase. 7.5.2 Thermal comfort, noise and lighting. 7.6 Conclusions; Arjen Meijer.- 8. Liveability. 8.1. Introduction. 8.2 Methodology. 8.3 Forms of liveability. 8.4 The neighbourhood as an ecosystem. 8.5 Sustainable liveability. 8.6 Sustainable liveable neighbourhoods. 8.7 The Ecological liveability; control over social environment. 8.8 Reflection and conclusions; Machiel van Dorst.- 9. Urban transport and sustainability. 9.1 Introduction. 9.2 A conceptual model for the impacts of the transport system on the environment, accessibility and safety. 9.3 Problems and challenges for designing sustainable urban transport systems. 9.3.1 Environmental problems. 9.3.2 Safety and congestion. 9.3.3 Health effects of walking and cycling. 9.3.4 The challenge: find a right balance. 9.4 Policy measures and design. 9.4.1 A general overview of policy measures. 9.4.2 Urban design. 9.5 Models. 9.6 Conclusions; Bert van Wee.- 10. Sustainable Urban Form. 10.1 Introduction. 10.2 Typologies of urban form. 10.3 The policy relevance of urban form. 10.4 The Concept of the Compact City. 10.5 Urban form and environmental performance. 10.5.1 Sustainable travel and transport. 10.5.2 Efficient use of land and energy. 10.5.3 The environmental quality of cities. 10.6 An assessment of urban form. 10.7 Concluding remarks; Jody Milder.- 11. Environmental strategies and tools for integrated design. 11.1 Introduction. 11.2 Environmental strategies. 11.2.1 The Ecodevice model. 11.2.2 The three steps strategy. 11.2.3 Cradle to cradle (C2C). 11.3 Quantitative assessment methods. 11.3.1 Indicators based on the Three Steps Strategy. 11.3.2 Mass flow analysis. 11.3.3 Environmental footprint. 11.3.4 Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). 11.4 Qualitative assessment methods. 11.4.1 BREEAM. 11.4.2 LEED. 11.4.3 SB TOOL. 11.4.4 CASBEE. 11.4.5 Comparison of a few tools. 11.5 Design methods for integrated design; Laure Itard.- 12. Climate Integrated Design and Closing Cycles. 12.1 Introduction. 12.2 Relevant references of a sustainable and interconnected energy and sanitation facility. 12.3 Integrated concepts: combined infrastructural, spatial and ecological functions. 12.3.1 Biovaerk, Kolding (Denmark). 12.3.2 Urban agriculture and regenerative systems (Natural Technology) to sustain the urban metabolism: the Zonneterp project, the Netherlands. 12.3.3 EVA Lanxmeer, Culemborg, the Netherlands. 12.3.4 Other recent reference projects. 12.4 Curitiba: integrating social and technical solutions. 12.5 Challenges for realizing a sustainable urban metabolism; Arjan van Timmeren.- 13. Governance tools. 13.1 Introduction. 13.2 Government and Governance. 13.3 Levels of Governance. 13.3.1 International. 13.3.2 Supranational. 13.3.3 National/Federal. 13.3.4 Subnational. 13.4 Governance tools. 13.4.1 Regulations. 13.4.2 Economic Instruments. 13.4.3 Voluntary Agreements. 13.5 Information and Communication Tools. 13.6 Governance Tools and Sustainable Built Environments. 13.6.1 Operation of governance tools. 13.6.2 Complexity and dynamics of built and natural environments. 13.7 Conclusions; Lorraine Murphy et al.- 14. Managing change. 14.1 Introduction. 14.2 Challenges in the urban environment. 14.3 Theoretical understanding of managing change. 14.4 The diffusion of environmental innovations. 14.4.1 Factors contributing to successful diffusion. 14.4.2 A case of successful diffusion: the GWL-site, Amsterdam. 14.4.3 The role of change agents. 14.4.4 A model of the diffusion of environmental innovation in housing. 14.5 Improving collaboration. 14.5.1 Introduction. 14.5.2 Forms and benefits of collaboration. 14.5.3 Methods and tools to support collaborative decision-making. 14.6 Which actors can make the change? 14.7 End-user participation. 14.8 Business opportunities: sustainability pays. 14.9 Conclusions; Anke van Hal, Ellen van Bueren.- 15. Conclusions and solutions. 15.1 Introduction. 15.2 Improving the metabolism of urban areas. 15.3 Making areas and places more sustainable. 15.4 Promising solutions; Thorsten Schuetze et al.- Index.-

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