What is an Eco-City?
Did you know that cities can be considered ecosystems in themselves? Like natural ecosystems, urban ecosystems (AKA cities) require energy for growth (typically fossil fuels) and consist of different interacting species. Just like any other organism, humans in urban ecosystems require nature to survive.
Unlike natural ecosystems in which waste is recycled back into the system (for example, dead organisms decomposing and providing nutrients for plants), urban ecosystems are linear—our waste is an endpoint, ending up in landfills or in the atmosphere as pollution. While natural ecosystems get energy from the sun, urban ecosystems are unsustainable since cities get their energy from fossil fuels, which are nonrenewable.
So what are we to do? There is a movement on the rise aiming to build “eco-cities,” which are cities that are influenced by nature and address sustainability issues locally (Roseland). They aim to utilize renewable energy, become carbon neutral, conserve water and natural resources, have zero waste, emphasize alternative modes of transportation such as walking or bicycling, and have a self-contained economy (Harvey). Certainly, urban farming would play an integral role in these cities.
Eco-cities are already underway today… you can read about a few of them here, or read more about the movement in generalhere.
Harvey, F. (2010). Green vision: The search for the ideal eco-city. FT.Com,
Roseland, M. (1997). Dimensions of the eco-city. Cities, 14(4). 197-202.