Eco-friendly infrastructure needs to be factored in

RIBA highlights the imperative to develop more environmentally friendly technologies in particular in new developments where the opportunities are also greater. These involve more complex planning processes and new instruments. They cite the example of instituting combined heat and power facilities.

Introducing eco-friendly infrastrucutre into new communities often requires people to adapt to new ways of living, such as using their car less for travelling short distances. There are various examples of new ecological settlements that have been created with the involvment of residents from the very beginning and of ways in which eco-friendly infrastructure can promote healthier lifestyles.

Environmentally friendly housing

Amersfoort, Netherlands

Amersfoort, a prosperous historic town near Utrecht with a population of around 135,000, has developed three new settlements on its outskirts to provide over 20,000 new homes.

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The VINEX Housing Programme

In 1990/1 the Dutch government issued its "VINEX" report on spatial planning, which proposed the building of 455,000 new houses between 1996 to 2005.

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Vauben, Germany

Widespread community involvement in the planning and development of the Vauban district has helped it to become a sustainable and flourishing neighbourhood.

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Milton Keyes, Sustainable Construction Policy

In 2005 Milton Keynes Council adopted the Sustainable Construction Policy within its Local Strategic Partnership. It stated that all new developments should limit the levels of CO2 emissions by using natural heat and light, building in clusters and using better insulation.

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Eco-city Augustenborg, Sweden

In 1998 the City of Malmö in Sweden decided to take an ecological approach to a large scale renovation of the Augustenborg neighbourhood, which was facing social and economic problems as well as physical degradation of buildings.

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