Towards a green sustainable strategy for social neighbourhoods in Latin America: Case from social housing in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico

Ileana Cerón-Palma, Esther Sanyé-Mengual, Jordi Oliver-Solà, Juan Ignacio Montero, Carmen Ponce-Caballero, Joan Rieradevall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In developing countries, particularly in Latin America, the rapid growth of urban areas has led to complex problems, including the exploitation of natural resources, environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions (GHG). Massive structures are being built to meet the housing demand. Moreover, there is excessive use of energy through appliances, interior lightning and air conditioning which generate GHG. This paper aims to propose green sustainable strategies to reduce GHG emissions associated with energy consumption in a social neighbourhood in Merida, Mexico. The strategies were eco-technology (efficient equipment) and green spaces (sedum + food production). Once the context is set, the study collected data about energy habits and consumption. The global warming potential (GWP) was calculated through a life cycle assessment (LCA) to assess the level of GHG emissions associated with household energy consumption. The CO2eq emissions avoided by the transport of the food (tomatoes) from the production site to the consumer were calculated. Distribution, packaging and retail were included. All strategies combined can prevent up 1.06 tons CO2eq/year; this represents 67% of the emissions originating from a reference household (34% avoided by eco-technology, 24.5% fixed by green spaces and 8.4% avoided by food logistics). At city scale (112,000 houses) this represents 100,352 tons/CO2eq/year. This study supports the importance of integrating environmental quantitative tools in planning cities. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-56
JournalHabitat International
Volume38
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013

Keywords

  • Green roof
  • LCA
  • Self-sufficiency in neighbourhoods
  • Social housing
  • Urban agriculture

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