Harmonious City, Green Home
Department of Environmental Science and Engineering, Tsinghua University,
Beijing 100084, People’s Republic of China
With the proposal of constructing a harmonious city and the emphasis on sustainable development, the State Environmental Protection Administration of China declared the Chinese theme for the World Environment Day of the year 2005, which is “Public Involvement for a green home”. This shows the Chinese people’s close attention to the world’s recourses and environment as well as
their consciousness and sense of responsibility to improve the situation and build a comfortable home.
The theme of “Public Involvement for a green home” calls for the public to take part in all kinds of environmental protection activities and to make a “green” home in terms of economy, culture and technology, where human beings get along harmoniously with nature. Then what do we mean by “a green home”? Aristotle once said, “human beings must be subject to the authority of the city-state in order to attain the good life.” In the following part, I’ll be talking about my understanding about the “Green Home” concept by taking city construction as an example.
“Green home” is a concept with profound internal and external meanings. It is a new residential culture, a new environmental cognizance and a new life style. Following humanism principles and ecological models, it concentrates on the harmony between human and the environment and thus bears the characteristics of sustainable development.
For starters, the city culture, including its history and tradition, is the soul of a city, which distinguishes it from others.
In terms of the habitation cultures;traditional ones place emphasis on human
needs, focusing on living and customs and pursuing individual interests and comfort. As the society develops, there come new habitation cultures, which
emphasize the harmony of men and nature. And this will consequentially have a long and deep effect on the culture development of a city.
The habitation culture concept in “green home” not only helps maintain and develop a city’s culture handed down from earlier generations for the sake of history, but also keep up with the tide of maintaining multi-cultures in the process of globalization. Thus it is helpful for the edification of the residents’
sentiment and consciousness. Therefore, to keep city culture’s vitality and advancement is a significant project as well as an important part of the connotation of the “green home”.
Second, advanced environmental cognition is embedded in the combination of the city construction and natural environment as well as the rational utilizing in resources and energy.
The “green home” concept fits in the subject of the sustainable development, advocating science and emphasizing ideology. By taking into consideration the ecological features of the local environment, it can realize sustainable development of the society into practice.
On the aspect of environmental development and management, the “green home” pays attention to scientific greening, and rational growing on the basis of the local natural ecological environment. It does not mean a stiff living environment with only green color but “an organ of love” caring and edifying human beings, a thriving urban ecosystem with stability.
Having changed the model of high energy consumption and non-recycling that now exists in modern cities, the “green home” calls for rational and efficient use of resources, selection of economical energy-saving technologies, and full use of natural energy and recyclable resources. As resources can fully perform their functions without wasting;a little “recycle circle” is realized in
the living environment, which is also part of the “big circle” of the city development. Thus, energies and resources are utilized at different levels and units and different units work harmoniously with each other.
Till now, we see that the “green home” pursues more than the beauty and prosperity of the environment. It looks at the integrity of society, economy and environment. As the living standards improve, it takes into account the balance of economic development and the ecological environment, and develops under the rules of integrity with emphasis on harmony and sustainability. Directed by the sustainable development conception, it justly satisfies the need of current and future generations by appropriate resource structuring. It does not “plunder” the environment for temporary prosperity of the city in order to assure the city’s healthy, sustainable, and harmonious development.
Third, the change of environmental platform will lead to a change of our life style, which will further influence our environmental protection consciousness. And the public environmental protection consciousness directly determines the efficiency of environmental protection cause. Thus forms the benign circle.
The life style involves many aspects of people’s daily behavior as well as their feelings, attitudes and views. Residents in the “green home” have a scientific recognition of the environment and a strong sense of the harmonious development of men and nature. The short-sighted conventional ways will be replaced by a new “prospective” life style: People choose products that are less harmful to the environment in their daily consumption. They care about the producing process and the way to dispose of as well as the purchasing and consumption. They live a low energy-consuming life and long for a harmonious relationship with each other. They take a developing view on their behavior and take part in all kinds of commonwealth activities to create a harmonious atmosphere.
For all above, the “green home” is a synthesis of the eco-environment,
history, culture and economy in a city. It pursues civilization beauty as well as natural beauty. It calls for the integrity of men and nature, men and society, and it is a wonderful idea for the trend of city development.