ECO-productive cities.

Auroville, a growing international township near Puducherry, known for its efforts in social and environmental sustainability is hosting a three-day workshop on ECO-Productive Cities. Distinguished national and international professionals in the field will share their vision and experiences addressing sustainable resource and waste management in the context ECO-Productive Cities.

Cities today are global ECO-predators, occupying 3-4% of the land surface. They consume 80% of its resources and discharge more wastes. And cities in India are growing, the scale and speed of today’s urbanization is unprecedented. An estimated 400 million people are living in cities today. By 2050 another 500 million people will be added to India’s urban population. This urban expansion has huge implications for the building and infrastructure sector but equally so for the supply of basic goods and services such as clean water and healthy food.

With population growth and its concentration in urban areas, demand of water and food will increase. Putting more stress on energy demand and land resources in a region where the existing usage already has an adverse impact on the environment and where the availability of productive agricultural land is dwindling every day due to urban sprawl and unsustainable agricultural practices that lead to soil infertility.

Indian cities rarely produce food or harvest rainwater, nor do they make use of biological waste streams for regenerative development and productive landscaping. The supply of agricultural products of cities comes from rural areas and the international market. Much energy is used for transportation, cooling and storing of food. Biological waste, mixed with other waste streams, is being disposed at uncontrolled landfills instead of being used productively for soil regeneration within cities or their immediate hinterland.

There exists an urgent need in embracing sustainable life style practices and a need to address the issue of water and food wastage due to transportation losses and storage. Introducing closed loop systems for the productive use of biological waste and wastewater in areas such as landscaping and food production will greatly contribute to enhanced food and water security.

Cities of tomorrow need to be ECO-Productive Cities-cities that work with closed-loop systems utilizing waste outputs as raw material for ecologically regenerative development that provides high quality of living, regenerates soil and water bodies, restores and nurtures biodiversity within the city boundaries and harvests water and food.

Auroville Green Practices invites policy makers, municipal authorities, architects and landscape architects, project developers, urban planners and engineers who have an interest in planning, designing and building ECO-Productive Cities. Several Auroville experts will join the workshops to stimulate discussion about experiences at Auroville. This is a limited-capacity event that asks for active participation of all attendees.

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