on the way to sustainability?

Sustainability is not a strange word for us. Faced with climate change and upcoming energy deficiency, people in modern society have no choice but to pursue a sustainable way of life. However, are our cities on a track of sustainability? To answer this question, we first need to discuss whether there is a contradiction between what we want and what we get from cities. Influenced by nowadays economic status and public value, most people living in current society are struggling for bigger houses, better cars and bigger energy sources. For them,”More is more”, “Bigger is bigger”. They view this as “high standard life”. What’s more,they also want a comfortable living environment and wish to acquire more opportunities to access nature. Conversely, what we got from cities are absolutely disappointing. First, busy and boring life mode. In order to achieve the so called “high standard life”, most poverty and middle class people have to keep struggling. In effect, they live in a stressful life with rare activities. The opening public areas are replaced by skyscrapers and malls. Hence, residents have no place to relax themselves. Second,congesting roads and a series of environmental problems. Nowadays urbanization process pushed us to rely on automobiles which lead to the great demand for parking lots and related facilities. As a result,the city became more and more crowded. At the same time, this kind of urbanization process put remarkable pressure to energy supply and environment protection. A huge volume of greenhouse gases are released and a large portion of fuel oil are consumed. In the end,climate change and energy deficiency became a great challenge for us. So what on earth leading us to this dilemma?

The root cause is our wrong value and unhealthy lifestyle. We always want more energy and hope to control over nature. Nevertheless, “The creature that wins against its environment destroys itself”. It seems that our cities have already recognized the importance of sustainability. In fact, a lot of green techniques were introduced to urban life, for example,the appearance of energy efficient automobiles which powered by clean energy. But this is not the fundamental solution. We hope to do something for our environment but aren’t on the track of sustainability at least for now.  The most effective way to achieve sustainability  is changing our way of life and redefine our relationship to nature.Certainly, we have to take economy, culture, politics into consideration. Only if we balance all the factors which influence our urbanization process well, we can finally achieve the real sustainability.


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