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Urban Sustainability: A Global Perspective

edited by IGOR VOJNOVIC
Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 714
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.14321/j.ctt130hjhm
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  • Book Info
    Urban Sustainability
    Book Description:

    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.

    eISBN: 978-1-60917-347-0
    Subjects: Political Science, Sociology, Economics

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. I-VI)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. VII-X)
  3. FOREWORD
    (pp. XI-XIV)
    HARM DE BLIJ

    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. Given the dimensions of the twentieth century’s population explosion, coupled with the long-term ascendancy of the industrial revolution, it is noteworthy that this urbanizing threshold was not crossed earlier. Today the rush to the cities accelerates from China, where it constitutes the greatest short-term migration of its kind...

  4. PREFACE
    (pp. XV-XVIII)
  5. OVERVIEW
    (pp. XIX-XXVIII)
    JEB BRUGMANN

    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. In the late 1970s, for instance, local and even household-based measures contributed significantly to a 15 percent reduction in per capita energy consumption in the United States.¹ Solid waste recycling programs in industrialized countries have significantly reduced waste volumes going into landfills. Water conservation programs, better water utility...

  6. Advancing toward Urban Sustainability: THE PURSUIT OF EQUITY
    (pp. 1-34)
    IGOR VOJNOVIC

    The concept ofsustainability,while gaining popularity in the late 1980s, appears for the first time within a human-environment context in the Club of Rome’sThe 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.” Their solution was to pursue “a society in a steady state of economic and ecological equilibrium,” with the goal of establishing a “condition of ecological and economic stability that is sustainable far into the future.”¹ In the midst of...

  7. Urban Environmental Management in Shanghai: A MULTISCALE PERSPECTIVE
    (pp. 35-68)
    WEI TU, DANIEL SUI and WEICHUN MA

    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 The unprecedented urban redevelopment process has greatly improved the economic, social, and environmental conditions of Shanghai. Moreover, after successfully hosting the 2010 World Expo and with a Disney theme park under construction, the economic growth of Shanghai in the near future seems assured (figs. 1, 2, and 3). As cities become larger and wealthier, the driving forces and the manifestations of...

  8. The Urban Expansion and Sustainability Challenge of Cities in China’s West: THE CASE OF URUMQI
    (pp. 69-100)
    JIAGUO QI, PEILEI FAN and XI CHEN

    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.

    Urumqi, one of three large cities in China’s west, has experienced rapid urban expansion in the past five decades. Its recent urban expansion is closely associated with institutional intervention, such as the West China Development Program (WCDP). The WCDP was advanced by the Chinese central government in 2000 as part of an economic development strategy...

  9. Sustainable Manufacturing in Nagoya: EXPLORING THE DYNAMICS OF JAPAN’S COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
    (pp. 101-118)
    RONALD KALAFSKY

    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 There are many reasons for this relationship between urban growth and economic sustainability, but, in particular, it is because urbanized areas are centers of innovation and creativity, enduring as cores of economic dynamism. Findings from researchers as varied as Michael Porter, Edward Glaeser, Allen Scott, and Michael Storper have clearly demonstrated the importance of cities to economic...

  10. The Sufficiency Economy, Sustainable Development, and Agricultural Towns in Thailand: THE CASE OF NANG RONG
    (pp. 119-148)
    PARIWATE VARNAKOVIDA and JOSEPH MESSINA

    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 Following regional trends, Thailand from 1960 through the mid-2000s adopted the National Development Plan, which focused on rapid gross national product (GNP) growth through capital-intensive industrialization.² However, with the adoption of this development plan, uneven growth and significant equity imbalances resulted in highly disproportionate income distributions and extreme differences in basic living standards emerging between urban and rural areas.³ Concurrently, land...

  11. Deconcentration in the Tel Aviv Metropolitan Area: GOVERNANCE, MARKETS, AND THE QUEST FOR SUSTAINABILITY
    (pp. 149-176)
    ERAN RAZIN

    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. Population density according to official statistics reached about 803 persons per square mile (310.2 persons per square kilometer) in 2006, up from 279 persons per square mile (107.6 persons per square kilometer) in 1961 and 112 persons per square mile (43.1 persons per square kilometer) at the end of 1948.¹ Apart from tiny city states...

  12. The Crisis of Consociational Democracy in Beirut: CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION AND SUSTAINABILITY THROUGH ELECTORAL REFORM
    (pp. 177-198)
    IMAD SALAMEY

    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 determine to a large extent the prospect of social stability and prospective sustainability. Pursuing appropriate urban resource and environmental management strategies becomes secondary to achieving political equity. As the case of the oil-rich city of Kirkuk in Iraq demonstrates, the agreement over appropriate political arrangement that provides an accommodating and equitable ethno-sectarian and sustainable coexistence remains a...

  13. Segmentation and Enclavization in Urban Development: THE SUSTAINABLE CITY IN INDIA
    (pp. 199-226)
    DARSHINI MAHADEVIA

    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 while being increasingly dismissive of the needs of the urban poor living in India’s slums. With increasing deregulation and globalization there has been a new focus in urban India on policies promoting high end real estate developments, such as gated communities and hi-tech zones.

    Not only is there almost...

  14. Urban Sustainability and Automobile Dependence in an Australian Context
    (pp. 227-254)
    PETER NEWMAN and JEFFREY KENWORTHY

    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. Whole suburbs of highly car-dependent cities are now being abandoned as the multiple problems of living where there is no option to reach work or services other than long-distance car trips is beginning to destroy the financial, social, and environmental values that once drove such land development. Jago Dodson and Neil Sipe in Australia...

  15. Urban Sustainability Rhetoric and Neoliberal Realities: DURBAN—A CITY IN TRANSITION
    (pp. 255-282)
    BRIJ MAHARAJ and SULTAN KHAN

    In their introduction toThe 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.” The South AfricanState of the Cities Report 2006also referred to the capacity of cities to “exclude, to marginalise, to reinforce patterns of inequality, and to create insiders and outsiders.” This was especially evident with reference to unsustainable apartheid cities. The apartheid urban planning discourse was organized along the lines of racial separation and operationalized through spatial partition.¹...

  16. Residential Marginality, Erasure, and Intractability in Addis Ababa
    (pp. 283-308)
    ASSEFA MEHRETU and TEGEGNE GEBRE-EGZIABHER

    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. The official language is Amharic, but people speak tens of their mother’s dialects, and almost all who have had grade school education speak some English. News dailies are printed in Amharic, English, and a few of the major Ethiopian languages. The city is replete with contradictions. To a visitor...

  17. Water Provision for and by the Peri-urban Poor: PUBLIC-COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS OR CITIZENS COPRODUCTION?
    (pp. 309-340)
    ADRIANA ALLEN

    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. However, underlying this apparent consensus there is a wide range of ideological positions. They range from pragmatic arguments for the participation of the so-called third sector to fill in the gaps left by the state and the private sector, to the more...

  18. Economic Reorganization, Social Transformation, and Urban Sustainability in Argentina: THE CASE OF METROPOLITAN BUENOS AIRES
    (pp. 341-358)
    RICARDO GOMEZ-INSAUSTI and ANALIA S. CONTE

    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. The execution of this type of economic reform was not new in Argentina. The World Bank (WB) and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have encouraged the implementation of neoliberal policies since the 1970s. However, the magnitude of the socioeconomic and spatial transformation was unusually high in the 1990s. Argentina’s largest urban centers became...

  19. Urban Renewal, Favelas, and Guanabara Bay: ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE AND SUSTAINABILITY IN RIO DE JANEIRO
    (pp. 359-386)
    BRIAN J. GODFREY

    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. The city’s panorama exhilarates visitors landing by plane, although the time-honored arrival by sea remains even more aweinspiring, as vessels sail past Sugarloaf Mountain to behold the breathtaking tableau of Guanabara Bay. The need to preserve the city’s beautiful natural setting led the United Nations to inscribe “Rio de Janeiro, Carioca Landscapes between the Mountain and the Sea” as a world heritage site in 2012. Amid these...

  20. Neoliberal Restructuring, Poverty, and Urban Sustainability in Kingston, Jamaica
    (pp. 387-406)
    BEVERLEY MULLINGS

    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, rising to 44 percent in the 1970s, and to 48 percent and to 50 percent, respectively, throughout the 1980s and 1990s.² Jamaica’s large and growing urban population represents a significant challenge to the sustainability of its cities, because urbanization is occurring in the context...

  21. Housing and Urban Sustainability: A LOS ANGELES CASE STUDY
    (pp. 407-434)
    VICTORIA BASOLO

    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. With over fifty years of growth, mass housing production, and a cultural propensity for consumptive behavior, the United States serves as an exemplary case through which to examine urbanization and the featured role of housing within this larger process. This case also reveals the effects of decisions by housing producers, consumers, and...

  22. The Colors That Shaped a City: THE ROLE OF RACIAL AND CLASS TENSIONS IN INHIBITING URBAN SUSTAINABILITY, THE DETROIT CONTEXT
    (pp. 435-474)
    IGOR VOJNOVIC and JOE T. DARDEN

    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 that were shaped by the automobile (cities such as Houston and Phoenix). On the other hand, over half of the U.S. population lives in suburbs, with the rest split between urban and rural areas, creating a concrete demographic and physical settlement...

  23. The Role of Ethnicity and Race in Supporting Sustainable Urban Environments
    (pp. 475-508)
    JUNE MANNING THOMAS

    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 when discussing social equity, but these topics are not usually offered as necessary to “support” sustainable urban environments. Indeed, they have emerged largely in discussions concerning the deleterious effects of environmental degradation and its uneven distribution, with large burdens falling upon minority races and...

  24. Recent Planning and Development in Toronto: MOVING TOWARD SMART GROWTH?
    (pp. 509-530)
    PIERRE FILION

    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. The chapter addresses this gap within the context of the Toronto metropolitan region.

    I identify major attempts over the 2001–2007 period at achieving alternative models of urban development, which feature rising densities, multifunctionality, high levels of transit use and walking, along with the preservation...

  25. Planning for Sustainable Development in Montreal: A QUALIFIED SUCCESS
    (pp. 531-560)
    RAPHAËL FISCHLER and JEANNE M. WOLFE

    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. As with most metropolitan areas, Montreal is subdivided into a large number of local and regional jurisdictions, each with its own fields of interest and agenda, but rarely united on precise political, economic, or social objectives, much less on the way to achieve them. All actors,...

  26. Oil for Food—Energy, Equity, and Evolution of Urban Supermarket Locations: AN EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CASE STUDY
    (pp. 561-590)
    NAIRNE CAMERON, KAREN E. SMOYER-TOMIC, VLADIMIR YASENOVSKIY and CARL AMRHEIN

    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. Sustainability refers to the ability for both human and ecological systems to coexist and function effectively over time. Health is viewed here following the World Health Organization in terms of overall well-being, and not merely the absence of illness or infirmity. Public health is defined broadly as “the art and science of preventing disease, and...

  27. Green Sustainable Øresund Region: OR ECO-BRANDING COPENHAGEN AND MALMÖ?
    (pp. 591-610)
    STEFAN ANDERBERG and ERIC CLARK

    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 and innovative environmental initiatives combined with green image marketing. The Øresund region in southern Scandinavia is an example of an area that has gone to great effort to brand itself as green and sustainable. One of the central visions for the region when the Øresund cooperation was launched in 1994—...

  28. Urban Sustainability in the United Kingdom
    (pp. 611-632)
    MICHAEL PACIONE

    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 In seeking to achieve the goal of sustainable urban change, society must aim to achieve a balance between economic priorities on the one hand and social and environmental priorities on the other.

    The ideal world envisaged at the Rio Earth Summit in...

  29. Sustainable Development in Portugal: AN ANALYSIS OF LISBON AND PORTO
    (pp. 633-652)
    CARLOS BALSAS

    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. It is estimated that Portugal will surpass the national target for green gas emissions from 8 percent to 14 percent. The Kyoto Protocol requires Portugal to comply with only a 27 percent increase in relation to the 1990 target for CO2emissions for 2008–2012. However,...

  30. Sustainable Development in Traditional Harbor Communities: THE CASE OF GENOA AND NAPLES
    (pp. 653-676)
    GIOVANNA CODATO, ZENIA KOTVAL and ELENA FRANCO

    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 at the European Council at Gothenburg. In June 2006 the European Council adopted a renewed sustainable development strategy for an enlarged EU, which is based on the preceding Gothenburg strategy and is adapted for the present inclusion of twenty-five nations in the union.

    This renewed strategy aims to direct EU...

  31. CONTRIBUTORS
    (pp. 677-685)
  32. Back Matter
    (pp. 686-686)