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A good environment is a major requirement for a sustainable community. There should be protection of local and regional ecosystems and biological diversity. Preservation of natural environment is necessary for ensuring community sustainability. There should be utilization of prevention strategies and appropriate technology to minimize pollution. The community must learn not to use resources faster than their rate of renewal. This is because as much as renewable resources are used, if they cannot get renewed fast enough for later use, then they are just like the non-renewable resources. A healthy environment must also consist of infrastructure that improves accessibility of services and markets without causing damage to the environment. There must be conservation of water, energy, land and the non-renewable resources.
Adequate supply of acceptable quality of water is necessary for both the local systems and the community. The community and the government must work together to ensure adequate water supply to meet the needs of the future. This will, in turn, promote community sustainability. Communities cannot do without energy. This is because energy, especially from these resources, is necessary for generation of power at the workplace, for transportation and at home. Non-renewable resources that are utilized by majority, however, lead to pollution of the environment. Energy conservation is a very important part of community sustainability (Barton, 2000). The community must therefore get sensitized, because the use of renewable fuels provides cost-effective and more sustainable alternatives.
As part of ensuring a healthy climate and environment, we must be aware that human health and the natural ecosystem can become adversely affected by the diminishing air quality and climatic changes. Communities must preserve air by ensuring there is no discharge of harmful chemicals into the air minimizing the sources of air pollution. Biodiversity must also be looked into, because it is important for creating sustainability of the specialized functions that every species performs in maintaining the ecological balance. Communities can promote healthy wildlife by managing, protecting and promoting wildlife populations and living zones appropriate to their area (Schlosberg, 2007). Ecosystems, lands and forests are also an important part of a healthy environment that is necessary for a sustainable community. Forests are particularly important since they provide a protecting covering for soil, atmosphere and water. They are also renewable sources which provide an endless variety of products. For an ecosystem to be healthy, policies and programs must balance economic and conservation needs. Communities must develop land use practices that conserve the ecosystem and promote local economies.
In each and every community there are certain aspects of the community and the general quality of life that can help it qualify to become a sustainable community. In an acceptable environment, social wellbeing and economic security must be ensured.
There must be healthy and safe housing that can be accessed by everyone in the community. There should be provision of affordable health care, prevention and treatment services to every person in the community. This is because a healthy community will directly result in a productive community. This creates a good environment for work, and there is motivation to ensure that other aspects of the environment that must be kept up to standard for a sustainable community are met, for example, proper management of resources. There should be satisfaction of the basic human needs such as water, air and food. All these should be absolutely free from contamination. There should be an equitable access to formal and informal education that is quality. This will ensure adequate manpower that is necessary to man the community’s resources so as to ensure sustainability. Basic human rights of the community should be respected and defended from injustice such as physical harm, psychological harm and exploitation. Social wellbeing also ensures the protection of culture, enhancement of culture and an appreciation of community traditions, diversity, customs and treasures.
The environment in a sustainable community should provide frequent street connections and pathways that encourage people to walk more and, in turn, promote physical fitness. It should include a diversity of houses and buildings that look at character in the community. The street caps should be safe and inviting for pedestrians.