What Makes Sustainable Communities

Sustainability has been a concept that has become widespread in recent years. There are several reasons to this. First, industrial societies are growing at a rapid pace and they do so while affecting the health, culture, and livelihood of the people who are living in them.

Second, as the world population increases exponentially, it has become critical for governments to address scarcity, not only in terms of food and other resources, but also in terms of living space. And third, there is an ever increasing need to uplift the quality of life for many low-income families, especially those belonging to indigenous groups.

In the context of housing, sustainability involves the need for state and non-state actors to construct homes that are safe for the environment, respect indigenous rights, encourage inclusion, promote disaster resiliency, and realize the drive to accomplish the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals.

Let’s look at a few core tenets of sustainability that lie at the center of development work.

Disaster resiliency

earthquake rubble collapse disaster - What Makes Sustainable Communities

Every year, vulnerable countries within the Pacific Ring of Fire are highly susceptible to potential calamities, chief of which are earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. People living in these areas should be aware of the importance of disaster resiliency. Communities that are able to design and execute disaster response plans are able to reduce casualties and damages to infrastructure.

Indigenous rights

little boy carrying can - What Makes Sustainable Communities

Far-flung villages are critically in danger. With threats of suburban expansion, deforestation, and climate change, indigenous populations are on the brink of losing their way of life. With this in mind, it’s important to create communities that respect indigenous culture and prevent ages-old traditions form fading along with the villages that practice them.

Inclusion

workplace team business meeting - What Makes Sustainable Communities

Housing development should also aim towards creating better inclusion. In other words, populations should be able to take part in needs-based policy-formulation, which is at the very core of framing sustainability within the context of social empowerment. Inclusion also involves allowing marginalized members of society to take part in crucial conversations that have a long-term impact on their livelihood and, in general, their way of life.

Environment

cerrado deforestation goiás goiânia - What Makes Sustainable Communities

As industrialization continues to chip away at our and oceans, it has become vital that housing development consider the potential effects that residential projects have on the environment. Sure enough, sustainable communities use alternative energy sources, adopt a more rational waste management program, and encourage frugal, organic lifestyles to its citizens.

Millennium Development Goals

construction house building shell - What Makes Sustainable Communities

The United Nations plans to elevate the quality of life for the populations of its member-countries through initiatives that seek to uplift the social and cultural aspects of affected communities. Part and parcel of this drive is the reduction of poverty through livelihood development and other key projects that aim to give a better life, especially to the next generation. Sure enough, sustainable communities will have an important role in promoting this advocacy.

The Keys to Effective Housing Construction

Building houses is nowhere near simple and easy as building a bridge using LEGO bricks. Still, when it comes to construction, engineers know better than to ignore a few important principles. Sure enough, it’s important that housing construction has to be done in the most technical and straightforward manner, especially when it comes right down to providing people their need for sustainable housing.

If you’re planning to work in the development sector, you will have to learn these keys to creating high quality dwellings for the people who need them:

Assessment and field validation

man wearing white hard hat leaning on table with sketch plans - The Keys to Effective Housing Construction

Before you start building homes, you will need to find a great location where they can stand. Our goal is to provide sustainable communities as described in this Wikipedia article. For this, it’s important to conduct a field survey and validation as part of your feasibility study. This allows you to determine if a site is suitable for housing construction. This will involve studying the soil and knowing the topography of the site.

Availability of livelihood

boats business coast dock - The Keys to Effective Housing Construction

If residents are living near or within hazard zones, then it’s understandable to relocate them to somewhere safe. However, you will need to do so without having to disrupt their sources of livelihood. Fishing communities, in particular, are highly vulnerable to tsunamis and storm surges. Bringing people from the shore to the hills is obviously bad practice, so you will have to make sure that the livelihood they already know is easily accessible.

Environmental consciousness

deforestation forest killarney - The Keys to Effective Housing Construction

When constructing new homes, it’s important to remain a good steward of the environment. In other words, you should be able to find construction sites without having to disrupt whole ecosystems or affect the food chain. What’s more, it’s important that you spend time exploring alternative energy sources so that recipients can break free from their dependency on fossil fuels.