Emma/Sustainable Design in Cities

I was interested to learn Joppe’s perspective that sustainability is not simply about creation for longevity, but also about quality of life and social realities. Prior to taking this class, I mostly understood sustainability to be chiefly focused on combatting climate issues and rectifying humanity’s harmful impact on the planet with the hopes of slowing down the resulting effects. But Joppe’s posing of the question of whether or not it is smart to keep living, building, and planning in an area threatened by water truly makes the case for quality of life being an important piece of the sustainability puzzle; how big of a threat would water have to become to lead to the end of attempts to battle it?

In terms of questions for Joppe, I wonder what he feels the conditions would have to evolve into for a city like Amsterdam to be considered a lost cause? How is the industry that spearheads projects to combat water levels and increase sustainability keeping up with the rate at which climate issues are impeding on quality of life? Water levels in other areas of the planet – what will life look life for coastal cities 20, 50 years from now?


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