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Help with 9 mark A-level geography question

Evaluate the relative importance of strategies used to develop sustainable cities in overcoming environmental problems for one urban area you have studied ( 9 marks)

Sustainability is described by the Brundtland definition of 1987 as being sustainable development that meets the needs of the current generation without compromising the ability for future generations to meet their own needs. There are 4 ways that a city can become sustainable: through natural, social, economic and physical sustainability. The key features of a sustainable city are resources and services accessible to all and compact cities which reduces urban sprawl. London has implemented many strategies to reduce environmental issues.

Many strategies have been implemented in London to reduce the need for fossil fuels and therefore reducing pollution. For example, the 2040 diesel and car ban will lessen the emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere so therefore decreasing the enhanced greenhouse effect. This will greatly improve London’s natural sustainability which is how the environment, resources and waste are managed. However, as there is quite a long temporal period before the strategy comes into full effect as around 9,500 Londoners a year are dying prematurely of air pollution. This greatly affects people’s quality of life and can weaken the sustainability of London. Another strategy to improve London’s environment is the relatively clean water supply yet regarding the River Thames, about 39 million cubic metres of raw sewage still floods into it every year; this is extremely dangerous and better strategies need to be brought about to improve the treatment of sewage.

However, it’s also important to consider other strategies to improve a sustainable city. For example, economic factors need to be considered to reduce deprivation. The London Living Wage was introduced so people are able to afford to live in London yet even at £9.75 for many people this isn’t enough and people are still struggling. This affects the economic sustainability of London as social inequality is rife in London. Therefore, the mayor of London stated that 50% of new developments should be affordable housing yet 27% of Londoners still live in poverty, with 15% of London’s total income owned by the richest 1%. This highlights the extreme disparities in wealth.

Overall, environmental strategies are important to overcome issues such as pollution and waste yet to a greater extent economic and social strategies should be better considered as these are essentially vital to making an urban area, especially, London more sustainable.

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