We’ve created an early version of the top tier standards for the following categories: materials, food, water, energy and air. Furthermore, we’ve created a land use classification to identify areas of concentrated human use (C) and areas to be set aside for relief and restoration (R) like wilderness, natural parks and organic agriculture. Areas that are not clearly identifiable as C or R are classified transition area (T), which over time would either need to convert to C or R. This “C-R-T” System allows planners to collapse a system with several hundred codes into three simple areas. Then policy can create incentives for parts of the transition areas’ return to nature or continued development to concentrated human use. This classification is important for the IES because a top tier ecocity will have proximity to nature and a minimum of transition areas.
We created a classification of urban elements (UE) from city block to neighborhood, and a classification of areas under various levels of governance. We are planning to provide IES certification for city blocks (UE1), neighborhoods (UE2), district/ward (UE3), city (G1), county/sub province (G2) and metropolitan area G3 with our initial focus on G1 (city level governance area). We created an additional classification system of human settlements to account for differences based on population, density, latitude, climate, altitude, continent, ethnic diversity, primary economic driver, ecological footprint, wealth distribution and remoteness.
We have also drafted a list of representative towns that span across all ranges of the above characteristics. The representative towns will be used to test how IES and the certification process would impact towns with different characteristics.