Len Brown embraces Eco City
It is good to see that Len Brown has decided to embrace the concept of “Eco City”. Future West supports his election and hopes that Waitakere City’s “eco city” concept can be applied to the Auckland super city if and when he becomes Super Mayor.
The Eco City concept is based on the Agenda 21 document formulated at the Earth Summit conference held in Rio de Janeiro during 1992. It involves taking a holistic approach to sustainable development, and in particular recognises the inter-relationships between people, the environment, and the economy.
It encourages a cautious and long-term view on future development and present activity and encourages community-led initiatives in the areas of economic and social development, environmental protection, and community involvement in decision making.
It is structured around 7 key focus areas:
- community empowerment,
- urban consolidation,
- involving local people in the protection of their environment,
- promoting a holistic view of health and safety,
- reducing the need to travel and encouraging public transport, cycling and walking,
- encouraging resource use which results in using less energy, generating energy from renewable resources, using resources more wisely and producing less waste, and
- facilitating economic development by targeting and attracting economic activity while working with the existing business base to encourage more sustainable practices.
As can be appreciated there are a wealth of approaches that are anticipated by these focus areas and it is important that these are at the forefront of thinking when local decisions are being made.
As well as the environmental benefits there are very sound practical reasons why these concepts are important. Reducing traffic makes towns more enjoyable to live in as well as reducing our dependance on overseas oil supplies. Enhancing community activity has a strong beneficial social consequence as people’s lives are enriched. Reducing the need to travel through encouraging local businesses increases the amount of free time that people have. And the wiser use of resources has a direct beneficial financial effect as we reduce our material needs.
The concepts are complex. But they are ideas that will improve people’s way of life.
It is great that Len agrees with this. He deserves our support for doing so.