"Sustainable development is development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs."
~World Commission on Environment and Development
The term sustainable development means that builders, architects, designers, community planners, and real estate developers strive to create buildings and communities that will not deplete natural resources. The goal is to meet today's needs using renewable resources so that the needs of future generations will be provided for.
Sustainable development attempts to minimize greenhouse gases, reduce global warming, preserve environmental resources, and provide communities that allow people to reach their fullest potentials.
Sustainable development will have many, although not necessarily all, of these characteristics:
- Green architecture and eco-friendly building practices
- Local building materials
- Natural, bio-degradable building materials
- Local workers
- Renewable sources for water
- Renewable energy sources such as solar and wind
- Protection of natural habitats
- Planned replacement for any resources used
- Non-polluting construction practices and industries
- Walkable communities
- Mixed-use communities that combine residential and commercial activities
- New Urbanism
- Adaptive reuse of older buildings
- Use of recycled architectural salvage
Also Known As:
sustainable design, green architecture, eco-design, eco-friendly architecture, earth-friendly architecture, environmental architecture, natural architecture
The Villages of Loreto Bay in Loreto Bay, Mexico is promoted as a model of sustainable development. The community claims to produce more energy than it consumes and more water than it uses. Some environmentalists charge that the developers' claims are overstated.