Sustainable Urban Water Environment

Sustainable Urban Water Environment

Climate, Pollution and Adaptation

Ashantha Goonetilleke, Tan Yigitcanlar, Godwin A. Ayoko and Prasanna Egodawatta

This multi-disciplinary book provides practical solutions for safeguarding the sustainability of the urban water environment. Firstly, the importance of the urban water environment is highlighted and the major problems urban water bodies face and strategies to safeguard the water environment are explored. Secondly, the diversity of pollutants entering the water environment through stormwater runoff are discussed and modelling approaches for factoring in climate change and future urban and transport scenarios are proposed. Thirdly, by linking the concepts of sustainable urban ecosystems and sustainable urban and transport development, capabilities of two urban sustainability assessment models are demonstrated.

Chapter 9: Achieving urban sustainability and implications for the urban water environment

Ashantha Goonetilleke, Tan Yigitcanlar, Godwin A. Ayoko and Prasanna Egodawatta

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, climate change, environmental economics, water, urban and regional studies, urban studies


The concept of urban sustainability has been pushed to the forefront of policy-making and politics as the world wakes up to the impacts of climate change and the effects of modern urban lifestyles. Climate change has emerged to be one of the greatest challenges faced by our planet today, threatening both built and natural systems with long-term consequences, which may be irreversible. Therefore, in order to be sustainable, there are drastic measures that need to be undertaken. Current single purpose and planning approaches that are open-looped are not sustainable. They can be too resource-intensive, consume too much energy and support the consumption of natural resources at a rate that will exhaust their supply. Consequently, it is vital that modern society, policy-makers, developers, engineers and planners become pioneers in introducing and incorporating sustainable features into urban and transport system development (Yigitcanlar, 2010a, 2010b). As discussed in the previous chapters, urban water environments along with other urban ecosystems are under constant threat due to the impacts of rapid urbanisation, excessive agricultural and industrial activities, and polluting transport systems using fossil fuels, along with the changing climate. In order to achieve a sustainable urban water environment, it is crucial to establish a sustainable urban form and transport system.

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