Sustainability, environment and urban quality of life

Quality of life, urban environment and regional attractiveness are medium and long term planning key-areas as do sustainable energy. This and the fact that a common indicators’ base is shared with energy demand foresight makes advisable to consider interlinks and integration potential. Additionally, making urban metabolism be more efficient is beneficial for energy saving on the same basis as it does for other environmental resources.

Thus, in the proposed approach integrated views of environment and energy is considered.

Similarly with Covenant of Mayors requested instruments, the following can be used for environment:

  • Baseline urban metabolism report;
  • Urban sustainability action plan;
  • Implementation report.

The similarity of foresight analysis instruments between energy and environment areas advises for integration and interchange among this sectors.

The predictive analysis of energy regional demand and supply as needed under Covenant of Mayors’ scope, on the sustainable energy area, uses a complex knowledge, data and modelling bases which operates far behind the strict energy related variables. Part of handled data refers to environment related phenomena and significant scope of knowledge and modelling are also valid to predict environmental indicators behaviour. Thus, exploiting interrelations benefits both sectors and reduces overall planning and forecasting burden.

Among the environment related areas to which a common knowledge-base if shared with energy sectors, the following predominates:

  • Air quality;
  • Wastes management;
  • Water supply and waste water treatment;
  • Public realm management;
  • Biomass and biowastes management and upgrading;
  • Urban environment and quality of life.

 

Air quality is a prime example of environment and energy interrelation. On one hand, energy sustainability beneficial measures may harm urban environment and, on the other, air quality beneficial measures may impose changes in energy carrying such as lower cycle efficiencies. Otherwise, mutually beneficial measures must be prioritized and better valued when it comes to cost / benefits analysis.

As in other areas, such as innovation and competitiveness, again a symbiotic vision between environment and energy is proposed as part of the vison of Beja as an Emerging Region.