Chapter 4 - The Built Environment

Part 1 - Green Urbanism

There is a challenging reality of our human history that urban cities, especially those with high population density and long histories of unplanned development, are perhaps the least sustainable environs of human society when our current considerations of "sustainability" are applied. The characteristics of cities that exemplify green urbanism include a linkage with their ecological footprint, biophilicity, closed metabolism, self-sufficiency, and a focus on sustainable lifestyles, health and quality of life (Beatley, 2000: Green Urbanism: Learning from European Cities).

"Green Urbanism makes every effort to minimize the use of energy, water and materials at each stage of the city’s or district’s life-cycle, including the embodied energy in the extraction and transportation of materials, their fabrication, their assembly into the buildings and, ultimately, the ease and value of their recycling when an individual building’s life is over. Today, urban and architectural design also has to take into consideration the use of energy in the district’s or building’s maintenance and changes in its use; not to mention the primary energy use for its operation, including lighting, heating and cooling." (Steffen Lehmann, 2005/2010).

green urbanism figure outline int he component parts

Figure 1. Above: The three pillars of Green Urbanism, and the interaction between these pillars. Figure 2. Above: The holistic concept of Eco-City has again a balanced relationship between the urban area (city) and the rural area (countryside). Both diagrams by Steffen Lehmann, 2005/2010.


  • green urbanism
  • ecocity
  • urban stainability
  • zero fossil-fuel energy use
  • zero waste
  • zero emissions
  • embodied energy
  • poly-centric cities
  • passive design principles


  1. Steffen Lehmann, "Green Urbanism: Formulating a Series of Holistic Principles", S.A.P.I.EN.S, 3.2 | 2010, [Online], Online since 12 October 2010.
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