Tag Archives: human settlements

Inclusive Green Affordable Housing for All

Affordable Housing (AH) is deemed affordable depending on family’s income and particular country’s housing status. AH can address all three dimensions of sustainability and it can influence 13 goals set in Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) out of 17 goals directly and indirectly (United Nations, 2014). SDGs are designed as action-oriented goal in 2012 to realize 8 Millennium Development Goals set in the year back in 2000. It is envisaged that AH would result in financial and social inclusion of Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and Low Income Group (LIG). AH can offer them an opportunity to prosper economically and to enjoy basic urban services (Sen, 1998). It will address the Goal 11 of SDGs i.e. Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

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Reframing Social Housing as an Infrastructure of Production and Consumption

In the classical triangular model of sustainability, the 3-Es (Economic development, Environmental protection, and social Equity), are given equal weight (Campbell 1996). However, in climate change research related to the built environment—the sector of the economy that contributes most to GHG emissions—social equity is rarely considered (Oden 2010). In the context of the built environment, equity is typically understood to mean the provision of housing for the poor by government, and is generally perceived as a social issue separate from the more technical problems of designing low-entropy buildings. In technical terms, equity is generally placed outside the system boundaries of sustainable building technology (Odum 1994 [1983]), creating a large gap between the science and social policy of climate change in the built environment.

Being thus marginalized by building science, housing the poor is viewed by society as an unfortunate, yet necessary, public entitlement required to keep the poor from becoming
further burdens (either through unemployment, ill-health or political unrest) to the more affluent citizens who pay taxes (Mueller 2013). Research demonstrates this to be a shortsighted and ideological way to understand the opportunities inherent in social equity generally, and social housing in particular (Benner et al 2013).

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El derecho a la vivienda es universal y se encuentra plasmado en la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos de 1948, en su artículo 25.1: "Toda persona tiene derecho a un nivel de vida adecuado que le asegure, así como a su familia, la salud y el bienestar, y en especial la alimentación, el vestido, la vivienda, la asistencia médica y los servicios sociales necesarios; tiene asimismo derecho a los seguros en caso de desempleo, enfermedad, invalidez, viudez, vejez u otros casos de pérdida de sus medios de subsistencia por circunstancias independientes de su voluntad". En 2000, en la Cumbre del Milenio de Naciones Unidas se asumió el alcanzar los 8 objetivos del milenio, uno de ellos es la Meta 11 (7.D) que remite hacia la concepción de una vivienda digna: Se espera que en 2020 se hayan mejorado las condiciones de vida de al menos 100 millones de habitantes de asentamientos precarios.


浅谈大丰可持续发展实验区建设工作保障机制 (Dafeng Sustainable Development Experimental Zone: safeguard mechanism)

This brief is submitted in the Chinese language. The full brief could be accessed through the below link. Your comments could be in either English or Chinese.

摘 要
国家可持续发展实验区各项工作系统的有效运行, 必须发挥好政府的导向作用,建立完善的组织管理体制与工作机制; 健全的监督与评估机制;不断优化示范区建设环境;加强区域之间合作;增强公众参与意识,明确了政府、职能部门、企 业、社会各个方面的责任、权力和义务,努力使全社会都重视实验区建设、支持实验区建设、参与实验区建设。此外还需从 基础抓起,培养青少年的环保理念。同时要有良好的可持续发展思想政治工作队伍作保障,并建立必要的经费投入机制.,积 极拓宽资金投入渠道.


Passive housing

Worldwide, buildings consume around 40% of the total primary energy. In the EU, up to 36% of the total CO2 emissions comes from buildings alone and in the Unites States, residential and commercial buildings consume up to 70% of the electricity and 39% of the total primary energy available. Residential and commercial buildings are thus significant consumers of energy and are one of the major producers of GHGs globally. Along with the growing concerns regarding the level of greenhouse gases and the exhaustive use of finite energy resources, initiatives for clean and energy-efficient innovations for buildings are of major urgency for reaching world-wide targets set for sustainable energy use and increasing the quality of life. One of the solutions which can increase the energy efficiency of any country is buildings with a low energy demand, such as passive houses.

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Towards eco-efficient and enjoyable lighting

Light pollution is a novel environmental issue widely affecting ecosystems, human cultures, societies, and health and well-being of individuals. Rapidly increasing use of new lighting technologies – in particular Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) – may either increase or reduce disturbing and ecologically harmful outdoor night-time light pollution. Public attention and policy measures aimed to reduce light pollution helps to avoid energy wastage and to create efficiently illuminated and enjoyable outdoor spaces.

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