Environmental sustainability has become a hallmark of community planning in areas all over the world. As more countries are affected by climate change, air pollution, flooding problems and water shortages, effective strategies for managing these problems must be being developed to allow communities to increase in number and progress economically in the future. A number of measures are already being utilized in cities and towns around the country.
1 – Water Management
The management of water resources is one of the most critical aspects in infrastructure and will have increasing importance in particular areas of the country where population growth is outstripping the ability to provide fresh water. New facilities and systems will have to accommodate innovative designs that treat wastewater efficiently and ensure clean water for residents in communities. Building these facilities will require in-depth knowledge of environmental concerns as well as construction issues. Individuals with a master in civil engineering will be involved in designing and implementing the innovative water management systems of the future.
2 – Efficient Energy Use
Energy use is another area where the infrastructure designs of the future will differ significantly from the past. Already, solar energy is being used for lighting of streets and highways, public buildings and other facilities. These measures will see increased use, as new buildings are constructed and others undergo retrofitting and remodeling. Civil engineers will be utilized in these projects to ensure the best use of materials and processes for maximum environmental sustainability.
3 – Community Services
A growing population will require a variety of community services, such as schools, fire departments and law enforcement agencies to manage the routine problems that occur. The infrastructure that houses these services will depend more on renewable energy sources and environmentally sustainable systems to both save money and improve services. More interactive law enforcement personnel that have regular face-to-face contact with community members will be more prevalent in the future, eliminating vehicle costs and resulting energy use and pollution.
4 – Storm Water Management
Sewer systems and pumping stations in communities of the future will see a variety of new measures to ensure the safety of populations during periods of severe weather. These problems continue to plague communities where new developments have changed the structural features of the land, leading to great risk of flash flooding, property damage and loss of life.
The days of building homes, commercial structures and public buildings without regard to their impact on the environment has come to an end. Infrastructure designs in the future will integrate sustainable building and services that meet the needs of growing communities, while still reducing energy use, water use and pollution. With the appropriate planning and designs, communities will run more efficiently and provide better services for all those who live there.
Read more about sustainable communities.
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