Concepts of ‘sustainability’ and ‘sustainable development’ are increasingly relevant today as there is a global consensus that the Earth’s resources are finite & exhaustive, and need to be managed such that future generations are not compromised.
The concept of urban sustainability visualizes a city capable of running on renewable energy sources produced within the city and depends minimally on external sources of energy. A sustainable city should also have minimal ecological footprint, negligible pollution and an efficient waste management system. The whole idea is primarily based on efficient and sustainable use of resources.
However, many issues emerge in this context as ‘efficient and sustainable’ use have multiple meanings for different actors. The School of Human Ecology, AUD has been studying these issues, and has intiated the Urban Sustainability programme to engage with them. Its main focus would be on spreading awareness about sustainable cities and fostering these values in urban societies via volunteering and citizen science project. It will feed into and acquire assistance from other programmes to realize its objectives.
- To increase public awareness about sustainable cities and nature in urban context
- To understand present use and role of urban systems in society
- To serve as a consultancy and advisory centre for projects related to urban ecology and sustainability
- To foster conservation values to school and college students and sensitize them about nature in the city
- To include local stakeholders’ perception and ideas about nature for long-term sustainability of cities
Community outreach and education programmes would be executed through initiatives like nature walks and plantation drives. Movies, presentations and skits would be developed to sensitize urban society about sustainability. The programme would establish connections with local schools and colleges through volunteerships, short-term internships, field visits and educational tours. The programme will also coordinate media through presence in print, broadcast and social media through blogs, interviews, exhibitions, etc.