Saturday, December 19, 2009

Why Copenhagen

So one is very green conscious and is concerned about the environment to such an extent that finding out about the multiple problems facing the environment makes him sad and depressed but then one has his own life to live, people to meet bills to pay wives to marry. So when the Copenhagen Summit started the skeptic that I am my first reaction was Cities do not deserve to host such conferences and summits they directly or indirectly contribute to the uphill task we face if we want to make this world live able in the long term.

However cynicism should be based on facts so I had to find out if I could criticize Copenhagen, this is where Google comes in handy. So I start reading and the more I read the better I feel because no matter how pessimistic or realistic we are we all want to see the practical implementations which are already effective and show that Sustainability is not just an illusion and more importantly we can undo the damage done to the Environment.

Case in point, Vision 2015 Copenhagen plans to be justifiably famous as the capital city in the world with the best urban environment. It will have become the Eco-Metropolis of the world, thus demonstrating that environmental concern adds an extra dynamic to urban development. This is not just a far off dream which will join many other plans that have yet been unfulfilled and look likely never to succeed. Let’s just have a little look at how Copenhagen harbor has been cleaned in over a decade, so that now it’s a place where people can swim again.

The overflow of Sewage systems harms the water ways therefore this needs to be reduced as there are some key contaminants in sewage water:

Nutritive salts which fertilize the water and algae growths excessively.

Bacteria make water unhygienic.

Heavy metals and environmentally injurious substances are poisonous, when ingested by living organisms.

Organic substances diminish oxygen levels around the discharge sites.

The City of Copenhagen formulated its first Waste Water Management Plan in 1976.

This was followed by the establishment of a wastewater treatment plant in 1980, which was further improved in 1997 to handle sludge and incineration.

Which in turn was followed up by investments to reconstruction the sewage system, by building rain water reservoirs and reservoir conduits which can store waste water until there is space again in the sewage system.

Creation of an online municipal warning system that calculates and provides information about the water quality in the harbor.

Strategic efforts to create urban recreational facilities such as public harbor baths.

The desired impact has been a sustainable one, now that the harbor is clean enough for people to bath in without getting sick, all this has been accomplished in a relatively short space of time. The long term impact of this will show when the wildlife in and around the harbor returns. Above all Copenhagen’s efforts are an example of the fact that little efforts in the correct direction lead to sustainable results.

1 comment:

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