Academic journal article International Education Studies

Implementation of the Biosphere Compatibility Principle in Urban Planning: How to Train Next-Generation Specialists

Academic journal article International Education Studies

Implementation of the Biosphere Compatibility Principle in Urban Planning: How to Train Next-Generation Specialists

Article excerpt

Abstract

The co-authors address the relevant issues concerning the need to implement the principle of the biosphere compatibility as the core prerequisite for the symbiotic co-existence of man and nature. Caring treatment of the biosphere, termination of its excessive exploitation, analysis of the ratio between the biospheric potential of specific areas and the needs of their population represent the most relevant problems. Ecological problems are particularly grave in Russia. However, only the new generation of specialists, having the ecological awareness and applying nature preservation techniques to their activities, can meet the challenge. The authors provide the findings of the sociological survey into the state of the human capital in the Russian urban planning industry and propose a set of actions aimed at its improvement.

Keywords: biosphere, sustainable development, biosphere compatibility, humanitarian balance of the technosphere, human capital, ecological education

1. Introduction

Presently, over fifty per centum of the human population lives in cities and towns. The urban population of the Russian Federation totals at about 74%. The first ecological rating of the major Russian cities, compiled in 2012 on the basis of the data covering 2011 and the first quarter of 2012, took account of the following seven criteria: aerial environment, water consumption and quality, waste management, land use, transportation, power consumption, and management of environmental impacts. Moscow, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Chita, Novokuznetsk, Magnitogorsk, Nizhniy Tagil, Ivanovo, Bratsk, Volzhskiy, Norilsk, and Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk top the "ecological blacklist". (The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment) "According to the data generated in the course of regular monitoring procedures in 2011, atmospheric contamination remains high in the Russian Federation. The population of the cities, demonstrating high and very high atmospheric contamination, totals at 55.1 million people, or 53% of the urban population of the Russian Federation. The top-priority list comprises 27 cities having the total population of 16.3 million people (in 2010, the blacklist had 36 cities, while in 2009, there were 34 cities on the blacklist)." (Ecological Rating of Russian Cities, 2011-2012).

Russian specialists have to admit: "Stagnation, depopulation, degradation, and physical extinction of populated localities take place in the 90% of Russia's territory. These processes outspread in rural areas, small, mid-size, and big towns, large and major cities. "Desertification" of well-developed areas and "disintegration" of inhabited networks are underway, although the latter serve as the material basis for the integration of the socioeconomic, nation-wide and state-run space of Russia." (Yusin, 2013).

According to the assessments, made by the international organizations, covering 215 major cities worldwide, and based on the integrated life quality criteria (per capita income, life duration, availability of housing and leisure facilities, water quality, social package cost, etc.), St. Petersburg takes the 196th position, and Moscow takes 205th position, and the capital went ten point down over the past ten years (Agasyants, 2009).

According to the analytic data, extracted from the Global Index for Urban Liveability and published in World Review of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, Moscow takes the 62nd position in the rating of liveable cities that has sixty-four cities. Analysts base their conclusions on the social, cultural and public environment, economic criteria, competitiveness, safety and environmental friendliness (Giap, Thye, & Aw, 2014).

"Cities are the source of degradation of the biosphere, they are the places where its consequence-the degradation of humans-manifests," says academician V.I. Ilyichev, director of the fundamental research project entitled Biosphere Compatible Communities and Human Development, developed by the Russian Academy of Architectural and Construction Sciences. …

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