Urban Planning: Case of Irvine City – Case Study Example

The paper "Urban Planning: Case of Irvine City" is an excellent example of a case study on environmental studies. Irvine is a city is located in Orange County about twelve miles away from the coast; it has most of its parts is level with few hills and canyons. It is a well-run and affluent community which is master planned. The city occupies an area of about sixty-six square miles, and this makes it be the largest city in Orange County as far as the area is concerned. The city holds a population of approximately half a million people making it the third in population rank. The climate in Irvine city is moderately hot with an average temperature of 7seventy four degrees annually with low levels of precipitation (Georgi, n.d.). I choose the Irvine city because I know little about it and would want to learn more of it as I research it for this paper. The high temperature is bound to increase the level of evaporation, and this may lead to significant loss of vegetation due to loss of soil moisture. This may eventually lead to desertification. What makes the temperature rise to be even more in the future is the use of vehicles in the city which emits greenhouse gases that deplete the ozone layer. As people tend to use air conditioners at a higher rate without sources of clean electricity sources is bound to increase the emission of greenhouse gases. With the reduced levels of precipitation and increased salt in the water bodies, the rivers are expected to shrink. Colorado River is now on the verge of running dry, and this will further the scarcity in water sources (Georgi, n.d.). Water scarcity may cause a reduction in sources of hydropower which will lead to the production of electricity from sources that may cause emission of greenhouse gases.  If the climate change signs are not looked upon and their spread prevented, the city will suffer from the harsh conditions caused by climate change. The city will suffer from extreme temperatures that will be hazardous to people’s health. A person’s metabolism and body system are made to adapt up to specific heat of which there will be abnormalities in the body processes. Already the effects of high temperatures are already being felt by the children and the elderly. Reduced precipitation will be a threat to water security in the city. Water has many uses including uptake to the body and for the growth of vegetation. Diminished vegetation will cause a problem in the natural ecosystem; this will lead to desertification which will turn the city from being a green city into a desert city. Increased salty conditions will result in saline soils that will not be able to support future vegetation. This soil condition will render the surface bare, a situation that could lead to desertification. The change in the built environment will affect the city’s resistance to climate change. The way the structures are designed and build will have an impact on climate change as the buildings both residential and commercial contribute to 37% of the gas emissions that occur in the United States. By designing and building structures that have well ventilation facilities and efficient air conditioning; the problem of climate change will reduce (Smart Growth and Climate Change, 2017). Use of appropriate building materials will go a long way in reducing the hating level in the buildings. This reduction in the heat levels will see a decline in the electricity demand for cooling inside the buildings. The building materials, however, need not react to high temperatures emitting harmful gases that may be hazardous to human health; green roofs and albedo roofs are some of the suggested materials. Keen attention should be paid to the designs to have enveloping strategies in the buildings. For residential structures, appropriate landscaping with drought-resistant trees will help in reducing the amount of carbon dioxide present in the atmosphere that results in damage to the ozone layer. Proper selection of the types of trees to plant is crucial considering the changes in the climate patterns throughout the year; this calls for prior research on the tree species which should be incorporated during the design stage. Urban planning should design the residential buildings, schools, shopping malls among other social and commercial amenities near each other to reduce the distance that people travel in search of the services. Reduction in driving distances will result in a decrease in greenhouse gases emissions. When planning to set up new buildings, the environmentally vulnerable areas should be avoided and set aside for conservation. These fragile areas may be expensive to set up structures and if any case the buildings are set up either for residential or commercial purposes, they might be hazardous to the health of the people. Modifying the city’s transport system will reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. These changes should be effected on all the transport modes that operate in the city. The municipal authorities should enact transport systems redundancy will reduce the cases of vehicle trips; this will reduce the consumption of petroleum oil and save on natural fossil fuel deposits. Reduced vehicle trips will also reduce greenhouse emissions through the vehicles exhaust gases to the atmosphere. Provision of cheap, affordable and comfortable public transport facilities will help in reducing the traffic congestion in the city. Reducing the congestion in the city will save time and also lower the greenhouse gases emission. Irvine city is in the process of adopting an adaptation policy towards climate change. There are however existing plans that are under the proposal and are anticipated to be put into place in the most vulnerable areas in and out of the city. These ideas are coastal plans, local hazards prevention programs, climate action plans and also general plans (Smart Growth and Climate Change, 2017). These methods are yet to be presented to the key decision makers in the city, but there plans to do so this year. The Irvine hazard mitigation plan addresses how the impacts of hazardous activities and processes will be dealt with locally. Plans should be put into place to cleanse water especially the salty water in the ocean. This water should then be used for domestic purposes including artificial cooling systems; this way the electricity demand on cooling will be reduced. The pure water can be used to water trees in that are planted during landscaping for climate hazards mitigations (McMahon, 2011). Trees offer a medium for reducing the carbon dioxide content in the atmosphere.