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Saturday, April 13, 2024

How to Fight for Sustainable and Accessible Infrastructure

By Sam Bowman

Many people do not understand the importance of sustainable and accessible infrastructure until it is too late. Sustainable and accessible infrastructure is about more than fighting climate change. It is about providing an abundance of resources to a variety of people with different needs. It promotes sound economic development, increases the quality of life in residents, and helps protect vital natural resources. Fighting for sustainable and accessible infrastructure will benefit citizens in so many ways.

How will supporting the need for walkable communities benefit residents in the long run?

The need for walkable communities is growing within the American population for several reasons. Walkable communities provide safety, encourage more social interactions with other people, and lead to better health for residents. Walkable communities emphasize the protection of pedestrians, which leads to lower rates of car accidents and pedestrian accidents. Not only that, but walkable communities accommodate cycling and foot travel as viable modes of transportation.

The atmosphere of walkable communities opens up to more creative endeavors like art movements, concerts, galleries, and other cultural programs. Because walkable communities encourage policies that promote healthy exercises, residents engage in beneficial activities like cycling, skateboarding, and riding scooters. These activities may lead to a reduction in chronic diseases and conditions.

How do walkable communities promote sustainability and accessibility?

Walkable communities emphasize the importance of sustainability in several ways. Residents in walkable communities utilize public transportation and drive less often. This results in a decrease in air pollution in the community. Walkable communities also offer more easily accessible shopping options for residents, leading to a reduction in product shipping. 

For accessibility, walkable communities contain streets that accommodate pedestrians, senior citizens, and individuals with disabilities. Some of the most accessible cities in the world are also some of the most walkable and sustainable, including Warsaw, Melbourne, and Oslo. For individuals who do not own cars and still want to travel, walkable communities provide great public transit options. 

To make your community more walkable, vote for a local government that prioritizes walkability in development. Talk to your current city council members and mayor about the importance of walkability.

What is sustainable construction?

Construction is answering the growing necessity for sustainable and accessible infrastructure in the form of sustainable construction. Sustainable construction is the procedure of creating a healthy environment based on ecological principles. These six principles that sustainable construction focuses on are conservation, reusability, recycling, protecting nature, renewing, and creating non-toxic and high quality spaces. Salt River Fields, the home of the Diamondbacks baseball team in Arizona, is one example of a facility that was created via sustainable construction methods.

Through sustainable construction, the construction industry aims to reduce its impact on the environment by utilizing sustainable development practices. These development practices include employing energy efficiency and using green technology to the fullest extent. Moreover,  new construction technology can help developers minimize the environmental impact of building projects. 

What are some of the benefits of sustainable construction?

Some of the benefits of sustainable construction include greater psychological benefits for residents, the reduction of construction waste, and improvements in the economy. In an office building that was developed into a green building, the cognitive function scores of the staff increased by 61%. 

Employees also showed 172% improvement in information usage compared to in a conventional building. Green buildings contribute to reducing construction waste by requiring fewer resources and relying on recyclable materials and sustainable construction methods. Sustainable construction is also a growing industry that provides many jobs for workers and improves the economy.

To fight for sustainability practices in construction, consider protesting projects that are clearly unsustainable and disruptive to the natural environment in your area. Talk to your city council about prioritizing green construction.

How is the transportation industry contributing to sustainable and accessible infrastructures?

Transportation consumes a majority of the environment’s resources. Restructuring transportation and making it more sustainable would help reduce the amount of air pollution in a community. 

Some communities are encouraging residents to consider alternative means of transportation that are beneficial to the environment. Sustainable transportation ideas involve cycling, walking, riding an e-scooter or electric vehicle, carpooling, or using public transportation.

How does public transportation help to make infrastructure more sustainable?

Public transportation helps make infrastructure more sustainable in several ways. It plays a role in improving air quality and reducing gas emissions, utilizing compact development, and using alternative means to minimize gas emissions. Public transportation reduces the number of trips residents take in vehicles. It reduces gas emissions by moving more people with fewer vehicles and using transit systems like light rails and buses to produce a lower amount of emissions.

The different transit systems used in public transportation utilize compact development by reducing the amount of congestion on roadways. The increased use of public transportation leads to a lower amount of cars stuck in traffic. The different transit systems also use more efficient vehicles and alternative fuels to help minimize the number of emissions needed for public transit. Alternative transit systems also result in a decrease in project construction and service operations.

To fight for sustainable transportation, vote with your wallet by using alternative transit, carpooling, and any other low-impact transportation modes available in your community. 

Read more Technology articles on Green Living.

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