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Urban Sustainability

A Global Perspective

Igor Vojnovic

Publication Year: 2012

More than half the world’s population currently lives in urban areas, and virtually all of the world’s population growth over the next three decades is expected to be in cities. What impact will this growth have on the environment? What can we do now to pave the way for resource longevity? Sustainability has received considerable attention in recent years, though conceptions of the term remain vague. Using a wide array of cities around the globe as case studies, this timely book explores the varying nature of global urban-environmental stresses and the complexities involved in defining sustainability policies. Working with six core themes, the editor examines the past, present, and future of urban sustainability within local, national, and global contexts.

Published by: Michigan State University Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-x

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pp. xi-xiv

When historians of the distant future reflect on momentous transformations in the geographic fabric of the world, a milestone being passed in this early stage of the twenty-first century will surely draw their attention: for the first time in human history, the majority of planet Earth’s human inhabitants reside in urban settings. ...

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pp. xv-xviii

This book explores the multiple dimensions and complexity of urban sustainability within the context of globalization and the growing concentration of wealth and power within global urban centers, particularly within wealthy countries. In the twenty-first century, with the world population becoming urban and with the rapid emergence of megacities in poor countries, ...

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pp. xix-xxvi

The promise of the worn maxim “think global, act local” is that myriad, diverse local actions, particularly in the design, planning, and management of cities can produce positive, cumulative global outcomes. For nearly forty years we have been putting that maxim to the test. There have surely been some cumulative positive results. ...

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Advancing toward Urban Sustainability: The Pursuit of Equity

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pp. 1-34

The concept of sustainability, while gaining popularity in the late 1980s, appears for the first time within a human-environment context in the Club of Rome’s The Limits to Growth (1972). The Club of Rome Executive Committee argued that the “world system is simply not ample enough nor generous enough to accommodate much longer such egocentric and conflictive behavior by its inhabitants.” ...

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Urban Environmental Management in Shanghai: A Multiscale Perspective

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pp. 35-68

Since the late 1970s, Shanghai—China’s economic capital and the largest city—has transformed rapidly from a deteriorating industrial center of the Maoist era to one of the most dynamic, vigorous, and fastest-growing metropolitan areas of the Asia-Pacific Rim.1 ...

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The Urban Expansion and Sustainability Challenge of Cities in China’s West: The Case of Urumqi

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pp. 69-100

Urban sprawl is a global-scale phenomenon that has raised serious environmental concerns.1 Although the most rapid urban expansions tend to occur in coastal and well-developed regions across the globe, in recent decades we have witnessed large-scale urban development in traditionally resource-limited and environmentally vulnerable regions. ...

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Sustainable Manufacturing in Nagoya: Exploring the Dynamics of Japan’s Competitive Advantage

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pp. 101-118

As evidenced by the research presented throughout this book, metropolitan areas are viewed widely and justifiably as engines of economic development. Recent work also suggests that for well into the foreseeable future, cities will remain crucial to sustainable national and global economic growth.1 ...

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The Sufficiency Economy, Sustainable Development, and Agricultural Townsin Thailand: The Case of Nang Rong

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pp. 119-148

During the late twentieth century, much of Southeast Asia adopted the pro-growth policies of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. The export-oriented growth model focused on development in the industrial and commercial sectors using resources from rural economies.1 ...

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Deconcentration in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area: Governance, Markets, and the Quest for Sustainability

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pp. 149-176

Israel is one of the densest countries in the world. It is a small developed country characterized by population growth rates that resemble those of some developing countries, due to a high natural increase of its Arab and ultrareligious Jewish population and to substantial in-migration. ...

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The Crisis of Consociational Democracy in Beirut: Conflict Transformation and Sustainability through Electoral Reform

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pp. 177-198

The pursuit of inter- and intragenerational equity across communities is essential for the achievement of social stability over time and, consequently, sustainability.1 In cities whose communities are deeply divided, equity becomes crucially a political question where power-sharing arrangements among the various residing groups ...

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Segmentation and Enclavization in Urban Development: The Sustainable City in India

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pp. 199-226

India is in the midst of an urban transformation, facilitated by deregulation, globalization, and investment-led economic growth. One outcome of this policy direction is a newly evolving exclusiveness emerging in India’s cities. This is evident from local and state infrastructure and housing policies, which are extensively focused on upper income groups ...

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Urban Sustainability and Automobile Dependence in an Australian Context

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pp. 227-254

Urban sustainability is linked to automobile dependence through the triple set of bottom-line environmental, economic, and social issues, as outlined in table 1. These problems have been developing a synergy of stresses that is finally reaching a point where cities must change or begin to collapse. ...

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Urban Sustainability Rhetoric and Neoliberal Realities: Durban - A City in Transition

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pp. 255-282

In their introduction to The Sustainable Urban Development Reader, Stephen Wheeler and Timothy Beatley contend that the “rising tide of inequity in many societies—in which some groups prosper while others suffer—is profoundly rooted in current patterns of urban development.” ...

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Residential Marginality, Erasure, and Intractability in Addis Ababa

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pp. 283-308

Addis Ababa is one of the most fascinating multicultural cities in Africa. The city’s diversity is characterized not only by the physical environment of the built up area, but also by the social environment of the various peoples of Ethiopia who reside there and exhibit their various cultural and linguistic traits. ...

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Water Provision for and by the Peri-urban Poor: Public-Community Partnerships or Citizens Coproduction?

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pp. 309-340

It is now widely recognized that the urban transition facing the developing world brings with it significant challenges in terms of meeting the water needs of the poor. In this context, it has become common place among international agencies and national governments alike to advocate governance arrangements for service provision that explicitly include the participation of civil society. ...

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Economic Reorganization, Social Transformation, and Urban Sustainability in Argentina: The Case of Metropolitan Buenos Aires

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pp. 341-358

The market-driven policies of macroeconomic adjustment that the Argentinean governments carried out in the 1990s deepened the country’s socioeconomic disparities, reaching the most dramatic turning point during the political-economic crisis of 2001–2002, which resulted in violent protests and the fall of Fernando de la Rua’s government. ...

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Urban Renewal, Favelas, and Guanabara Bay: Environmental Justice and Sustainability in Rio de Janeiro

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pp. 359-386

Famous for its dramatic landscapes and cultural contrasts, Rio de Janeiro evokes images of towering mountains, luxuriant tropical vegetation, white beaches and scenic lagoons, and exuberant carnival celebrations with a pulsating samba beat. ...

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Neoliberal Restructuring, Poverty, and Urban Sustainability in Kingston, Jamaica

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pp. 387-406

Like many other Caribbean and Latin American countries, Jamaica is highly urbanized. In 2007 53 percent of its population of 2.5 million lived in an urban area.1 Not only is Jamaica highly urbanized, its urban population has continued to grow each year. Thus, in the 1960s an average of 37 percent of the population was urban, ...

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Housing and Urban Sustainability: A Los Angeles Case Study

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pp. 407-434

Housing plays a central role in urbanization and urban sustainability in the United States. Population growth in and migration to urbanized areas is accompanied by demand for housing. The response to this demand, housing development, in turn consumes increasingly more land, spurring urbanization and fostering sprawling development patterns. ...

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The Colors That Shaped a City: The Role of Racial and Class Tensions in Inhibiting Urban Sustainability, the Detroit Context

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pp. 435-474

A topic of particular interest in the U.S. discourse on sustainable cities focuses on urban form, the physical fabric of the city. On the one hand, it is difficult to argue that there is a generic American city, since developments in high-density, pedestrian-oriented cities (such as New York and Boston) are very different from development patterns in low-density cities ...

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The Role of Ethnicity and Race in Supporting Sustainable Urban Environments

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pp. 475-508

The title of this chapter, suggested by the editor, offers the opportunity to think about race, ethnicity, and urban sustainability in an uncommon way. What exactly are the contributions of ethnicity and race to sustainable urban settings? Social equity is a component of environmental sustainability, and it is important to consider issues of race and ethnicity ...

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Recent Planning and Development in Toronto: Moving Toward Smart Growth?

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pp. 509-530

There is a growing gap between, on the one hand, the political and planning discourse, that calls for alternatives to urban sprawl and automobile dependence, and, on the other hand, the reality of urban development. Despite efforts to raise density, public transit use, and reliance on walking, relatively low-density, single-use, and automobile-dependent forms still prevail. ...

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Planning for Sustainable Development in Montreal: A Qualified Success

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pp. 531-560

Sustainable development has become the leading paradigm for urban planning and management in Canada at least since the publication and adoption by the United Nations of the Brundtland report in 1987.1 This chapter looks at the ways in which the city-region of Montreal has integrated the concept of sustainability in its policies and practices. ...

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Oil for Food - Energy, Equity, and Evolution of Urban Supermarket Locations: An Edmonton, Alberta, Case Study

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pp. 561-590

This chapter explores the connections between urban sustainability and public health in the context of the physical manifestations of economic, sociocultural, and demographic processes shaping developed world cities, with a focus on a case study of supermarket access in the Canadian city of Edmonton, Alberta. ...

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Green Sustainable Øresund Region: Or Eco-Branding Copenhagen and Malmö?

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pp. 591-610

A positive image of a city or region attracts people, investors, and enterprises. High-quality environment and local sustainability initiatives can be used for creating a positive image. A growing number of regions and cities around the world have in recent years attempted to exploit this opportunity through sustainable development strategies ...

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Urban Sustainability in the United Kingdom

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pp. 611-632

The majority of the Earth’s population lives in urban areas. Consequently, the pursuit of sustainable urban development (SUD) has emerged as a major challenge for governments throughout the contemporary world. The concept of sustainable development, in general terms, aims to meet “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”1 ...

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Sustainable Development in Portugal: An Analysis of Lisbon and Porto

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pp. 633-652

Portugal is in the process of developing and implementing a more integrated national planning strategy so that the country can become both more sustainable and more competitive. However, becoming more sustainable and more competitive can impose some constraints on the pace of development and make the country disrespect previously agreed-upon green gas emission targets. ...

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Sustainable Development in Traditional Harbor Communities: The Case of Genoa and Naples

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pp. 653-676

Sustainable development at both the national and global levels has been the focus of European Union (EU) discussion and policymaking. In 1997 sustainability was included as a main objective in the Treaty of Amsterdam. Then the first comprehensive sustainable development strategy was proposed by the European Commission in June 2001 ...

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pp. 677-685

Adriana Allen is currently a senior lecturer at the Development Planning Unit, University College London. She has over twenty years of work experience in issues related to sustainable urbanization and environmental justice in the context of development. ...

E-ISBN-13: 9781609173470
Print-ISBN-13: 9781611860559

Page Count: 714
Publication Year: 2012