The World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) coined the phrase “sustainable development” in its 1987 report “Our Common Future.” These definitions try to include a broader range of sectors to assure the long-term viability of a whole metropolitan system. Cultural, ethical, and philosophical dimensions have recently been recognized as essential components of sustainability. Commonly, in urban areas, sustainability must include addressing people’s long-term well-being, resource conservation, long-term financial planning, community empowerment, creating a culturally appropriate sense of place, just and equitable governance, and ensuring the integrity of the urban environment.
Because of the way the watershed, drainage, agriculture, atmospheric commons, forests, and groundwater systems are naturally organized and intertwined, the entire Kathmandu valley functions as a single ecological unit. Since sections of the Kathmandu and Lalitpur districts stretch outside the valley’s boundaries, the three districts of Kathmandu, Lalitpur, and Bhaktapur have a total area of about 900 square kilometres. The population of the valley is increasing at an unprecedented rate. The acceptability of a segregated social structure is a normative issue that requires a critical examination using today’s democratic and pluralistic norms in Nepal. The valley’s environmental quality is rapidly deteriorating, as evidenced by high levels of air pollution, water pollution, and land contamination in metropolitan areas. In addition, planners and policymakers must determine whether there is sufficient potential for supplying Kathmandu with water, building materials, waste management resources (such as landfills), pollution control, and other urban amenities to maintain an acceptable level of urban quality of life.
Here are some ideas for making cities healthier and more environmentally friendly.
Reducing and Managing Food Waste
People in cities consume up to 70% of the world’s food supply, but much of it is wasted. Even though the reasons for food waste differ by country, poor food planning, inadequate packaging, incorrect storage, and cultural traditions are all factors that contribute to the problem. Furthermore, food waste that is not recycled or repurposed is clogging landfills. It decomposes there and produces methane, a greenhouse gas that is far worse for the environment than CO2. This situation is not only a waste of food, but also of energy, money, and natural resources used to produce and process food, such as land and water. Composting or using rejected food to create energy, as well as city-wide strategies for recovering safe and nutritious food and redistributing it through charities and food banks, can all help to reduce food waste.
Reuniting cities with their rural surroundings
Cities and metropolitan areas do not operate independently of rural areas. They are, in reality, heavily reliant on the rural areas that surround them. Food, labor, water supply, and food waste disposal are all significantly reliant on nearby rural areas. The Food Liaison Advisory Group, a stakeholder platform comprised of urban-rural actors in Kisumu City, Kenya, is taking a broader approach to food system planning by integrating the city with the larger region. This seeks to guarantee a steady supply of fresh, safe, and nutritious food while also encouraging rural farmers’ market access and creating jobs in the food system.
Promoting Urban Agriculture
The majority of people associate agriculture with rural places. But did you know that urban agriculture is practised by over 800 million people around the world? We can reduce supply chains and the quantity of CO2 emitted when transporting food from rural to urban areas by protecting agricultural land in urban areas. Producing and selling more fresh food in the city reduces the environmental effect of food distribution, increases the potential for inclusive local supply chains, and improves access to healthful meals, such as through farmers’ markets.
Increasing green space for a healthier environment and a better way of life
Green places are vanishing as metropolitan areas continue to grow. Trees and green spaces are important for improving air quality, reducing urban temperatures, stimulating physical exercise, and enhancing general health, as well as for aesthetic reasons. Air pollution, rising local temperatures, and sedentary lifestyles can increase the risk of cardiovascular and respiratory ailments, obesity, and the spread of novel viruses, among other things.
To reduce pollution and promote healthy diets and physical exercise, food systems must be organized and maintained in concert with the natural environment. For example, in Los Angeles, researchers discovered that the more parks within 500 metres of a child’s house, the lower that child’s BMI will be at the age of 18.
Encouraging Healthy Diets
The types of food available and their price have a big impact on people’s lifestyles and eating habits. The food offered in cities with a broad selection of fast food and convenience options is generally energy-dense and highly processed. This is becoming more common. Between 1998 and 2012, consumption of processed foods with limited nutritional value increased by 5.45 percent yearly in lower-middle-income nations. In developing countries, national governments and city administrations must deal not only with under-nutrition but also with the health consequences of obesity, which is expanding at an alarming rate.
Nevertheless, all cities can do more to promote healthy eating habits. Singapore used the occasion in 2014 to evaluate its food outlets and develop the Healthier Dining Program. Food businesses were urged to utilize healthier products, such as oils with lower saturated fat content, and to offer lower-calorie meals as part of a subsidy program. The number of healthier food options had increased in just over a year.
Hempkoo brings varieties of handmade products which are sustainable, eco-friendly, and bio-degradable to mother nature. We are motivated by the traditional hemp fabric for its durability, sustainability, and eco-friendly. Keeping these principles in mind, we design and develop our products. All the products are unique and are handmade by underprivileged local women of Nepal.