A sustainable city, or eco-city is a city designed with consideration of environmental impact, inhabited by people dedicated to minimization of required inputs of energy, water and food, and waste output of heat, air pollution - CO2, methane, and water pollution. Richard Register first coined the term "ecocity" in his 1987 book, Ecocity Berkeley: building cities for a healthy future. Other leading figures who envisioned the sustainable city are architect Paul F Downton, who later founded the company Ecopolis Pty Ltd, and authors Timothy Beatley and Steffen Lehmann, who have written extensively on the subject. The field of industrial ecology is sometimes used in planning these cities.
A sustainable city can feed itself with minimal reliance on the surrounding countryside, and power itself with renewable sources of energy. The crux of this is to create the smallest possible ecological footprint, and to produce the lowest quantity of pollution possible, to efficiently use land; compost used materials, recycle it or convert waste-to-energy, and thus the city's overall contribution to climate change will be minimal, if such practices are adhered to.
It is estimated that around 50% of the world’s population now lives in cities and urban areas. These large communities provide both challenges and opportunities for environmentally conscious developers. In order to make them more sustainable, building design and practice, as well as perception and lifestyle must adopt sustainability thinking.
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