Adelaide has been used as an example to the world of a city that copies natural ecosystems for sustainability.
World Future Council director of programmes Professor Herbert Girardet this month said he was concerned about the effects of human work today on future generations and the relationship between cities and the world’s ecosystems.
He said the largest impact on the biosphere came from production and consumption systems in cities.
In an interview at COP18 UN Climate Change Conference 2012, Professor Girardet said Adelaide had gone from linear processes of resource consumption to a more circular functioning where waste food and water was being returned to surrounding farmland to increase soil fertility.
He said the traditional linear consumption model needed to be addressed with new technologies and innovative ideas on urban development.
More than being sustainable, Professor Girardet said cities needed to develop ways of being regenerative in their developments.
Adelaide is being regenerative in its development by copying the circular functioning of natural ecosystems.
He said this was also being discussed by other cities that were under construction as well as those already built.
Professor Girardet said sustainable development had not achieved enough and many organisations had realised that they needed to restore the natural world through human technologies and development, rather than just sustain the relationship between humans and the natural environs.