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International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, vol. 12 no. 4/5/6/7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-333X

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Article
Publication date: 25 September 2009

Sueli Corrêa de Faria, Luiz Fernando Macedo Bessa and Helena Corrêa Tonet

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the ideal meaning of good governance for cities sustainability, basing itself on the international consensus of governance as the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the ideal meaning of good governance for cities sustainability, basing itself on the international consensus of governance as the most important issue when facing urban environmental problems.

Design/methodology/approach

Focusing on urban environmental problems and based on discussions about environmental governance and sustainability carried out throughout the last decades, the paper recognizes that the discussions on environmental governance, although presenting converging ideas and some successful examples, are still to convey a definitive framework as a base to be followed and consolidated. For this reason, it aims to offer a theoretical framework for handling urban environmental governance, as well as an approach that allows one to recognize ways for an appropriate assessment of cities sustainability.

Findings

The results of the analysis suggest that, while the notion of governance offers a direction in researches addressing the study of institutions and of the interaction between governmental and non‐governmental actors, there is still a lack of applicable and appropriate models to achieve good governance in a democratic way, especially in developing countries. Another important conclusion lies in the perception that, for knowledge construction purposes, as well as for structure policies and measurement of society's achievements towards a more sustainable development, urban environmental governance indicators are a helpful and thoroughly necessary tool.

Originality/value

Developing an urban environmental governance assessment model allows for comparisons in between analytical results of projects implemented or under implementation, creating a scientific basis for designing sustainable institutional arrangements in future projects.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 20 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Book part
Publication date: 25 November 2014

Bart Wissink

This chapter aims to share the Dutch experiences with the transformation of urban and regional planning practices towards sustainability.

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter aims to share the Dutch experiences with the transformation of urban and regional planning practices towards sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

The chapter does so by answering the following research question: What were the main problems with the integration of environmental considerations in Dutch urban and regional planning practices, and how have these been overcome? This question is answered through a historical analysis of policy changes in the Netherlands, and through the presentation of two case studies.

Findings

The chapter shows that initial attention for sustainability resulted in the enactment of competing practices for environmental planning and water management planning, next to existing practices for urban and regional planning. The coordination of the resulting planning practices proved difficult due to opposing cultures of thought, and attempts to overcome these differences through comprehensive plans turned sour. The chapter illustrates how alternative solutions at the regional and urban level were eventually successful. In the Gelre Valley region, an open project approach translated in a sustainable regional plan. And in Schalkwijk neighbourhood in Haarlem, an environmentally sensitive conceptual framework – the Strategy of the two Networks – let to the incorporation of environmental considerations in urban planningpractices. In both cases, the insistence of the principal actor – provincial and municipal government – on sustainability issues was crucial.

Originality/value

This chapter introduces experiences with a transformation to sustainable urban and regional planning in the Netherlands. It will be interesting for practitioners and researchers of urban and regional planning practices and sustainable cities around the world.

Details

From Sustainable to Resilient Cities: Global Concerns and Urban Efforts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-058-2

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Article
Publication date: 5 July 2019

Mirjana Pejic Bach, Emil Tustanovski, Andrew W.H. Ip, Kai-Leung Yung and Vasja Roblek

System dynamics is a whole-system modelling and learning approach, useful for tackling non-linear problems, such as sustainable urban development. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

System dynamics is a whole-system modelling and learning approach, useful for tackling non-linear problems, such as sustainable urban development. The purpose of this paper is to review system dynamics applications in the simulation of sustainable urban development over a period from 2005 to 2017.

Design/methodology/approach

The analysis reveals that the number of applications of system dynamics modelling in the area of urban sustainable development increased in the analysed period. Research has changed its focus from the modelling of environmental problems to more complex models, portraying the multidimensional socio-economic processes that have an impact on the sustainability of urban development. Analysed case studies most often use the behaviour reproduction test for model validation, but without a unified approach. In most cases, modelling has been done in China, Germany and the USA, while urban development in the Eastern European countries, Africa and Latin America has not often been investigated. This paper indicates the knowledge gaps and suggests future research directions.

Findings

Papers that report the use of system dynamics modelling reveal a wide range of applications in urban sustainability. The analysis shows significant emphasis on environmental problems, while the interest for modelling social problems has been increasing during the last several years. Most of the modelled problems examine the sustainability of resources (land, water) and waste management, which are used for insights into the reasons for the system behaviour, forecasting future behaviour and policy testing.

Originality/value

The presented models were developed in most cases for the purpose of understanding the phenomena examined, as well as the future use of the models in policy planning. This brings us back to the need for greater stakeholder involvement, not only in the initial phase, but also during the whole modelling process, which could increase understanding, use and ownership of the models in the future, and thus increase their practical application.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 49 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Stella Kyvelou and Walter Leal Filho

This paper aims to present some challenging issues concerning urban space management in the Mediterranean region, with a special focus to sustainability.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present some challenging issues concerning urban space management in the Mediterranean region, with a special focus to sustainability.

Design/methodology/approach

It is structured around the outcomes of the SB05MED International Conference titled “Sustainable Construction: Action for Sustainability in the Mediterranean Region,” held in Athens in June 2005, which is the main subject of this special issue. It will present the main outcomes related to existing approaches of environmental quality in buildings as well as methodologies, policies and standards for environmental quality in buildings and cities. Furthermore, it will present future trends and explore the current situation of projects, systems and operations, as well as performance assessment tools and financial instruments and mechanisms towards sustainable construction in the Mediterranean region. Each major scientific topic is presented and analysed. Finally, a synthesis of outcomes is presented.

Findings

The paper demonstrates the links between developments in the field of sustainable building in the Mediterranean region and relates them with future developments and perspectives at a macro‐regional level.

Originality/value

This overview paper can be used as the starting point of future research as well as a reference paper.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2008

Richard C. Smardon

The purpose of this paper is the comparison of Local Agenda 21 – sustainability plan implementation and research activity between Europe, North America and India.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is the comparison of Local Agenda 21 – sustainability plan implementation and research activity between Europe, North America and India.

Design/methodology/approach

Intensive literature and web search for European, North American and Indian Local Agenda 21 sustainability planning and implementation status.

Findings

Close to 6,000 sustainability plans have been prepared for European communities versus about 100 for North American communities. A total of 20 Indian cities have started sustainability planning efforts. There is an extensive support network for European communities and much less so or North American and Indian communities. Most sustainability/biodiversity/urban ecosystems research is ongoing in Europe and North America and there is a beginning surge of activity in India.

Practical implications

Knowledge of Local Agenda 21 implementation status between these three regions can hopefully spur more activity in North America and India. Comparisons of applicable planning innovations and approaches could be useful.

Originality/value

There has not been a comparison of Local Agenda 21 implementation that compares Europe, North America and India. There have been some reviews respective to each region.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2005

Michele M. Betsill and Harriet Bulkeley

Within the field of international relations, global environmental governance is frequently discussed in terms of “international regimes,” defined as “social institutions…

Abstract

Within the field of international relations, global environmental governance is frequently discussed in terms of “international regimes,” defined as “social institutions that consist of agreed upon principles, norms, rules and decision-making procedures, and programs that govern the interaction of actors in specific issue areas” (Young, 1997, pp. 5–6). Viewed from the regime theory perspective, nation-states are seen as territorially bounded entities with a monopoly on the use of (economic or military) force (Agnew, 1999). As a result, they are assumed to have primary authority in matters of global environmental governance. It is nation-states that engage in the negotiation of international treaties (in which the elements of a regime may be formalized), which are then taken home to be either implemented or ignored as the nation-state sees fit. Given that political power is defined by state boundaries within the regime approach, the internal politics of nation-states is considered to be of relatively little import in much of the literature. Aside from some interest in the concept of sovereignty (Litfin, 1998), the notion of transgovernmental coalitions (Risse-Kappen, 1995; Slaughter, 1997), and two-level games (Putnam, 1988), in the main the state remains conceived as a homogenous and unitary actor, a “fixed territorial entity…operating much the same over time and irrespective of its place within the geopolitical order” (Agnew & Corbridge, 1995, p. 78). While a recent focus on knowledge and the role of nonstate actors in international regimes has led to a revision of the nature of interests, politics, and influence, the state remains defined in terms of national government, albeit with potential internal conflicts and the roles of domestic actors noted. Implicitly, regime theory assumes that subnational governments act under the (sole) influence and direction of national government. Critically, the potential role of subnational government is either ignored or subsumed within the nation-state.

Details

Perspectives on Climate Change: Science, Economics, Politics, Ethics
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-271-9

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Book part
Publication date: 18 December 2009

Rajib Shaw, Siti Omar, Miki Yoshizumi and Noriati Mat So

Kampong Bahru is located at the heart of the “golden triangle” of Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. The Settlement was established in 1899 as a result of the…

Abstract

Kampong Bahru is located at the heart of the “golden triangle” of Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. The Settlement was established in 1899 as a result of the expressed desire of the Resident General and the British Resident of Selangor. Initially its objectives were: to educate the children of Malays, to take part in the administration, and to enable them to reap some of the advantages of the prosperity. The new settlement is known as Kampong Bahru (New Village). This chapter describes new innovative ways to revitalize community ties in the urban village context of Kampong Bahru. The concept of eco-communities is analyzed and specific suggested actions are presented.

Details

Urban Risk Reduction: An Asian Perspective
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-907-3

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Book part
Publication date: 25 November 2014

Daniel M. Cartledge

This chapter examines issues of sustainability in regard to post-Soviet Central Asian urban centers via a case study of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. This urban center of…

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter examines issues of sustainability in regard to post-Soviet Central Asian urban centers via a case study of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. This urban center of approximately one million people is the largest in the Kyrgyz Republic, and one of the larger cities in Central Asia. Dubbed “the Tree City” during the Soviet Era, it, like other Central Asian population centers, occupies an oasis-like environment at the foot of a major mountain range, the Ala-Too Range of the Tian Shan (Mts.). This major mountain massif, which extends across the northern part of Central Asia and on into North-West China, has numerous peaks more than 4,000 m high and many glaciers. It is these snowfields that provide most of the water used by the city of Bishkek and its suburbs.

Methodology

The findings represented herein are based on ethnographic field observations and interviews conducted in 2006–2007 and 2013–2014. A variety of documentary resources were accessed as well.

Research findings

During Soviet times, Bishkek and its environs were the location of industrial complexes focused on the processing of minerals and agricultural produce, much of which was shipped to other republics within the USSR. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union, many of these industrial sites have fallen into disuse and disrepair. So, while Bishkek has numerous “socialist” planned parks, long-established green spaces, and a relatively large “urban forest” along major boulevards and thoroughfares, it is also dotted with abandoned factories, warehouses, and crumbling infrastructure. In parts of the city, and especially around its perimeter, urban fruit and vegetable gardens have reappeared, as many residents had to return to subsistence gardening to provide basic food needs for their households.

In the last decade, however, the local economy has begun to diversify and grow. This has brought more cars to the streets and a substantial number of new businesses and building projects, along with increasing amounts of air, water, and noise pollution. Concomitant with this new development has been the emergence of a nascent green movement, the establishment of environmental organizations, and a small but growing “green consciousness” as witnessed by the creation of new recycling programs, increased bicycle travel, and related activities pointing toward a more sustainable future.

Implications

In this chapter, the relative sustainability (social, cultural, economic, and ecological) of this Central Asian urban center are considered as it has emerged from its Soviet past to become the focal point of new enterprises, including a small but growing ecotourism industry. Bishkek, in common with other major cities of this region, which is far from the moderating influences of the sea, must adapt to the realities of what are likely to be increasingly severe climate change impacts – increased average annual temperatures, the rapid retreat of mountain glaciers and a reduction in the essential waters that they provide, and increasingly severe and numerous periods of drought. Whether or not Bishkek can successfully adapt to these changes and emerge as a more sustainable city remains to be seen.

Details

From Sustainable to Resilient Cities: Global Concerns and Urban Efforts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-058-2

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 13 October 2008

Mags Adams, Gemma Moore, Trevor Cox, Ben Croxford, Mohamed Refaee and Stephen Sharples

This chapter considers the role and potential of sensory urbanism as an approach to exploring people's sensorial experiences and understandings of their local…

Abstract

This chapter considers the role and potential of sensory urbanism as an approach to exploring people's sensorial experiences and understandings of their local environments. Such an approach is warranted given the influential role of the senses in developing and affecting experience of the urban environment. Debate about the role of the senses in shaping urban experience has progressed in recent years and increasingly is taking place across disciplines (Adams & Guy, 2007). Pallasmaa (2005, p. 40) describes this sensory urban engagement when he says:I confront the city with my body … I experience myself in the city, and the city exists through my embodied experience. The city and my body supplement and define each other. I dwell in the city and the city dwells in me.

Details

Qualitative Housing Analysis: An International Perspective
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84663-990-6

1 – 10 of over 21000