Potential benefits of BEC are quality of life, urban-rural balance, local conservation and global sustainability
The benefits of BEC are both human and environmental. They are:
- Quality of Life
Market in Paris, France. Photo: J. Birtch
Life improves for people in urban and rural parts of a Biosphere Eco-City, as negative environmental impacts (generally human-created) are reduced. BEC Themes relate to better design, reduced pollution, greater safety, an enhanced sense of belonging, and other benefits. As well, cooperation that comes from BEC helps identify and solve common problems. This could lead to better transportation and housing systems which would make life better for many people.
2. Urban-Rural Balance
Urban & rural people mix for country music. Photo: J. Birtch
Cooperation between urban and rural areas helps balance the benefits between the two areas. Without it, urban areas could exploit surrounding areas – grabbing land, distorting prices, taking resources, exporting garbage and pollution.
But with cooperation, an equitable exchange can take place. Urban areas need access to the food, clean water, building materials, recreational opportunities etc. that rural areas provide. Rural areas, in return need capital investment, health services, education, training and environmental protection.
Urban-rural cooperation is a feature of planning for BEC activities. It is needed to ensure an urban-rural balance of human and environmental benefits.
3. Local Conservation
Volunteers planting 1 of a million trees. Photo: Ecology Ottawa
Biosphere Eco-City activities spread conservation values among the population. For example, when people visit a Habitat demonstration site in Ottawa, Canada, they see how volunteer efforts maintain a wilderness area in the middle of the city. The BEC approach can also give non-government organizations and government what they need to advance local conservation: awareness, public support, and volunteers.
4. Global Sustainability
Ilhabela (Beautiful Island), Brazil. Photo: J. Birtch
Ultimately, the goal of BEC is to protect the Biosphere (see the Biosphere and Us). BEC activities increase our harmony with nature. Realigning human actions will protect the world and the species in it. Every Biosphere Eco-City can help create a unified human-environmental system, to ensure global sustainability.