Table of Contents

Elgar Companion to Sustainable Cities

Elgar Companion to Sustainable Cities

Strategies, Methods and Outlook

Elgar original reference

Edited by Daniel A. Mazmanian and Hilda Blanco

Against a backdrop of unprecedented levels of urbanization, 21st century cities across the globe share concerns for the challenges they face. This Companion provides a framework for understanding the city as a critical building block for a more sustainable future within broader subnational, national and continental contexts, and ultimately, within a global systems context. It discusses the sustainable strategies being devised, as well as the methods and tools for achieving them. Examples of social, economic, political and environmental sustainable policy strategies are presented and the extent to which they actually increase sustainability is analyzed.

Chapter 8: Aligning fiscal and environmental sustainability

Richard F. Callahan and Mark Pisano

Subjects: economics and finance, regional economics, environment, environmental sociology, geography, cities, urban and regional studies, cities, urban studies


The future of environmental sustainability will be driven by the capacity of local, state and federal levels of government to develop fiscal sustainability. For example, in the case of the Alameda Corridor in Los Angeles County environmental sustainability advanced only because of the fiscal sustainability of the project. The environmental improvements of reducing particulate car and truck pollutants, as well as remediation of underground water pollution, were financed by the innovative public–private partnership that generated revenues to pay for long-neglected environmental degradations (Callahan 2007). The Alameda Corridor rail construction case illustrates a small but emerging set of cases showing local government leaders linking fiscal de cisions to environmental issues (Wang et al. 2013), as well as the connection of public administration and environmental sustainability (Fiorino 2010). In research on leadership adaptation to fiscal stress, a recent set of case studies offered practical lessons for connecting fiscal and environmental sustainability (Pisano and Callahan 2012; 2013). These practices include: framing fiscal stress as a catalyst for addressing long-term natural resource needs, done recently in San Bernardino County; developing fiscal expertise before a crisis, in Los Angeles County; and more inclusive budget processes to develop trust, as found in the Whittier School District (Rubio-Cortes 2012). The findings from these and other cases offer actionable lessons for leaders in the public sector and communities to link environmental and fiscal sustainability. This chapter describes examples of fiscal sustainability that can fund environmental sustainability.

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