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Examples of Sustainable Development

Sustainable development aims to achieve a balance between social needs and protecting the environment . For this, sustainable projects are developed related to the improvement of energy efficiency , ecological transport or sustainable housing , among others. In this article, the characteristics of sustainable development are explained and  showing examples of sustainable projects .

What is sustainable development

Sustainable development or sustainable development can be defined as the way to achieve homogeneity and coherence between the economic growth of the population, natural resources and society so as to avoid endangering life on the planet and the quality of life of humanity, both in the present and in the future. Thus, sustainable development tries to promote the good relations of human beings with each other and with the environment .

What are the indicators of Sustainable Development?

The concept of sustainable development can cover many fields, however, it is based on a series of basic principles:

  1. A democratic political system in which citizens can participate.
  2. An economy that can create surpluses and technical knowledge autonomously and constantly.
  3. A production system that respects and conserves the environment and seeks environmental sustainability , avoiding the generation of polluting waste .
  4. A technological system that constantly researches and finds solutions, always respecting biodiversity and the environment.
  5. An international system that promotes lasting forms of commerce and finance.
  6. A flexible administration with the ability to correct your mistakes autonomously.

Types of Sustainable Development

1. Social sustainable development: It focuses on the social aspects of sustainable growth, such as problems that may affect people’s quality of life and their social responsibility.

2. Sustainable economic development: It consists in determining how resources that are limited are distributed and how they are managed, so that natural resources are used consistently and responsibly.

3. Sustainable environmental development: Examines natural resources, both those that provide us with renewable energy and those that are not renewable, for better use in a way that improves the quality of human life and the environment.


Examples of Sustainable Development

The projects that give great importance to sustainable development are designed thinking that they have greater energy savings , using renewable energy and renewable resources that do not compromise the environment or future generations and analyzing the life cycle of products and production processes to maintain balance between the capital invested and its long-term value. A sustainable project creates healthy spaces that cover social needs and that are economically viable.

To achieve the objectives of sustainable projects, they must take actions aimed at:

  1. Improve water supply, water production, housing, transportation or industrial processes.
  2. Sanitize and manage waste with environmental responsibility and clean areas with polluting waste .
  3. Energy and natural resources development .
  4. Reduce the environmental and social impact and the restoration of the environment (forests, lakes, wetlands, etc.)
  5. Improve industrial processes to eliminate polluting waste and ensure responsible energy consumption .
  6. Use technology appropriately and respectfully with the environment .

Below are 5 examples of sustainable development that take advantage of natural resources by reducing energy consumption and respecting the environment .


1. Prefabricated and Sustainable Housing

The Australian company Archiblox designs prefabricated houses at affordable prices that reach the point of “positive carbon” due to energy savings during construction and positive energy production during their lifetime, which means that these Positive Carbon Houses avoid emission of more than 1000 tons of CO2, which is equivalent to planting more than 6000 trees. Thanks to the installation of geothermal air conditioning and thermopanel windows, lower heating and cooling consumption is achieved, which is equivalent to a decrease in the electricity bill. These houses give the option of adding landscaped roofs and recycling of gray water and are considered passive solar designs since they have spaces that capture solar heat and distribute it to the rest of the house in winter, while in summer they block solar radiation, in addition to having a thermal and photovoltaic solar energy installation. 

2. Sustainable Food Project

In the food sector, sustainable projects are being carried out through urban agriculture . The Sky Greens sustainable project uses a closed water circuit hydraulic system to grow vegetables vertically, thus operating with less than 5% water than in a traditional crop, which helps reduce the use of fertilizers and pesticides. In addition, this hydraulic system consumes very little electricity.

3. Sustainable Ecological Transport Project

One of the most outstanding sustainable projects in ecological transport is the Spinlister website, a platform that allows you to rent or lend bicycles in more than 65 countries. This covers the need for residents or tourists looking for a cheaper way to get around the city, in addition to preventing traffic jams.

4. Sustainable Technology Project

In the sustainable technology sector there are several sustainable projects of 3D printers with sensors designed for water saving, crop monitors or mapping of solar potential in cities, such as the sustainable Mapdwell Solar System project, created by MIT, with the objective of visualizing the solar potential of the roofs every hour, every day.

5. Sustainable Health Project

The sustainable Solar Ear project helps thousands of people without resources to hear through headphones with rechargeable batteries with the sun, rechargeable up to three years and based on a technology that can be shared.


Other example of sustainable development projects

There is a wide variety of projects related to sustainable development that lead to a more rational use of resources creating less impact. Some of them are:

  • Recycling of inorganic garbage, since it can be subsequently transformed into reusable materials such as bags, bottles or containers.
  • Recycling of biodegradable waste to be used as fertilizer in agriculture or gardening.
  • Plants solar energy using sunlight to produce electricity.
  • Wind farms that take advantage of the force of the wind for the production of electric energy through wind turbines.
  • Use of wave energy, which also generates electrical energy from the force of sea waves, in which floating buoys are found that take advantage of the movement of the waves to produce the hydraulic pressure that will later be converted into electricity. Together with solar and wind energy, it is considered a type of renewable energy.
  • Use of rainwater through collection and storage.
  • Organic farming, which consists in the optimal use of natural resources to produce food while protecting the soil, water and climate, since it reduces the greenhouse effect.
  • Ecotourism , which refers to a type of ecological tourism in which tourists experience the rural way of life, which also allows them to enjoy the natural environment without negatively interfering with it causing damage and pollution of traditional tourism.
  • Sustainable mobility such as the use of electric cars powered by clean energy sources or solar ” ” that during the day take advantage of solar energy to illuminate at night allowing the movement through bicycles.

Sustainable Development: UN Objectives

The UN established a series of global objectives to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure the prosperity of all. This is how the Sustainable Development Agenda emerged until 2030 to achieve all these objectives and that involves both governments and companies as well as society and individuals. These objectives will help to give you the ideas for more examples of sustainable development.

  • Eliminate poverty and hunger.
  • Guarantee a healthy life and the well-being of people.
  • Promote quality education and decent work for economic growth.
  • Promote access to basic services, such as clean water and sanitation.
  • Reduction of inequalities, such as gender equality.
  • Access to affordable energy that does not contaminate.
  • Industry and infrastructure innovation to create sustainable cities and communities.
  • Responsible production and consumption of resources.
  • Take action against climate change to protect and maintain underwater life and life in terrestrial ecosystems.
  • Achieve peace, justice and strong institutions.
  • Forge alliances to achieve all these objectives.

If you want to read more articles similar to this you can read on the advantages and disadvantages of sustainable development 



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