Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously: Economic Development, by Kent E. Portney

By Kent E. Portney

This day a minimum of twenty-five significant U.S. towns have pursued a few type of sustainability initiative. even though many case experiences and "how-to" manuals were released, there was little systematic comparability of those towns' courses and projects. during this ebook Kent Portney lays the theoretical basis for study on what works and what doesn't, and why.Distinguishing towns at the foundation of inhabitants features and area for his research, Portney indicates how towns use the large rubric of sustainability to accomplish specific political ends. towns that take sustainability heavily, equivalent to Portland, San Francisco, and Seattle, use large definitions that move well past crisis for the actual surroundings or growing jobs. They pursue sustainability at many degrees and combine main issue for fiscal improvement, the surroundings, and caliber of lifestyles throughout all actions of urban executive. towns that take sustainability much less heavily, corresponding to Cleveland, Boston, and Orlando, confine it to such concerns as sturdy waste disposal, brownfields, redevelopment, and local beautification. nonetheless different towns, resembling New Haven, Brownsville, and Milwaukee, do significantly much less to paintings towards sustainability.Portney starts through reviewing the conceptual underpinnings of sustainable improvement and sustainable groups. The comparisons that persist with offer a starting place for assessing the diversity of what's attainable and fascinating for sustainability projects. within the book's end, Portney assesses the level to which towns can use the pursuit of sustainability both to foster swap in public values or in basic terms to augment values which are already mirrored in platforms of governance.

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Additional resources for Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously: Economic Development, the Environment, and Quality of Life in American Cities (American and Comparative Environmental Policy)

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Some of the programs are citywide initiatives to address a particular environmental problem. Sometimes they are focused on a particular economic sector or activity (such as household recycling or brownfields development), and sometimes they cut across sectors and activities. , a local nonprofit organization). In any case, sustainable communities initiatives have emerged and exist in cities all around the country. What these initiatives do—how they define and attempt to achieve their objectives is what this research is all about.

Of course, defining specific activities and policies that can accomplish these goals is where the real challenge lies. Many of these kinds of activities are discussed later. Conceptually, the idea that there is an ecological footprint, and that sustainable cities are places that seek to minimize this footprint, makes great sense. It may be difficult to imagine a city that is completely selfsufficient, but making efforts to become more self-sufficient, particularly where the costs of doing so are relatively low, seems almost commonsense.

Certainly, the Brundtland Commission report asserts that urban sustainability is important in industrialized nations if for no other reason than because cities are the places where large and growing proportions of the environmental and social problems reside (WCED 1987, 241–243). For a variety of reasons, a substantial amount of attention has become focused on the potential for small geographic areas, including cities, to be primary contributors to achieving sustainability. This has given rise to what Marvin and Guy (1998) call a “new localism” of environmental policy.

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