Sustainable Industrial Estates – Drivers for Urban Development
In addition to safeguarding the environment, a sustainable industrial estate supports individual industries housed within the estate with high performance workplaces, to enable industries to strive for efficiency and profitability.
The industrial estates have realised a pivotal role in the country’s development. Industrialisation, while being important for the economic growth and development of a society, can also be harmful to the environment; if not persuaded in a sustainable manner. Amongst other things, the industrial processes can accelerate climate change, level of pollution, health issues, extinction of species and many more. Industrialisation has its impacts on land resources, energy and resource consumption, atmospheric emissions etc.
In the current dynamic environment, a key challenge for urban areas is to achieve economic growth benefitting all citizens without compromising the environment and the ability of future generations to meet their needs.
Additionally, within urban development and planning practice, a little-acknowledged conflict exists between urban industrial land and overall urban development. Strategic planning and mixed land-use development are the responses, adequate to meet the challenge and resolve the conflict. For this, policymakers require a good understanding regarding which industries are the most competitive in central cities; and within these industries, which functions are most compatible with the surrounding areas’ activities. This understanding is needed for creating a robust approach to provide urban infrastructure that supports industrial estates in a manner compatible with desired residential, commercial, and service (private and public) activity.
Hence, a sustainable industrial estate is one where environmental impacts are considered during conception, planning, and setting stage. This can be defined as an earmarked area for industrial use at a suitable site, ensuring sustainability with integration of social, economic, and environmental quality aspects. In addition to safeguarding the environment, a sustainable industrial estate supports individual industries housed within the estate with high performance workplaces, to enable industries to strive for efficiency and profitability.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (GIZ)supported project on ‘Sustainable and Environment-friendly Industrial Production’ works on reducing environmental problems related to industrial waste water and waste management for which technical solutions and business/management models are developed in pilot states. The project is financed by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and is being implemented jointly with the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). Worldwide new instruments and techniques for eco-innovation including fiscal measures are being applied, however, one innovative way is to introduce ‘Sustainability Standards’ for better planning of new and retrofitting the existing industrial areas systematically. The project has developed such ‘Sustainability Standards’ guiding the stages of planning, retrofitting, operating and managing industrial estates in a sustainable manner. So far the Gujarat Industrial Development Cooperation has already adopted the proposed standards.
These efforts offer multiple benefits: Sustainable industrial estates help mitigate climate change by reducing urban expansion pressures and by integrating low-impact infrastructure standards that can reduce long-run costs of infrastructure provision. Moreover, attractive and successful industrial estates create positive economic effects for urban community where they are located as well as for the entire region in which they are embedded. Such industrial estates can influence the regional economic development positively by initiating new supply and product chains and increased economic activities leading to job creation and prosperity for all.
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