Theme 6 – Natural Capital

Maintaining land, water, soil, natural materials

The expansion of a city into the countryside can be reduced through urban planning and
building design. Also, a country?s best soils are often near large urban areas. Projects
that promote compact urban form, encourage sustainable agriculture or maintain forest
cover near cities can help preserve precious soil resources.
Urban growth increases the demand for fresh water; while the infilling of wetlands, the
destruction of aquifers, and water pollution reduce its availability. An effective way to
maintain the quality and supply of fresh water for urban areas is to retain forest cover
and reduce agricultural pollution in upstream areas.
Materials used for urban construction include crushed rock, sand, wood, metals, etc.
Eco-City projects that reduce road expansion or recycle construction materials can
reduce the use of natural resources.