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 19: Urban design and sustainability: looking backward to move forward

Tridib Banerjee

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

Extract

In recent decades we have seen an explosive growth of books and monographs on the general themes of sustainability, but, more specifically, and of interest here, on urbanism, urban planning, urban design and landscape planning. Many of these publications have essentially repackaged many of the known principles, or included very specific and technical but partial responses to the challenges of sustainable design. But in the end not much of this new production is innovative or broadly applicable. In this chapter I do not aim to review the new materials. Rather, I return to the established literature in environmental and city design. This chapter scans the relevant literature in environmental design and culls the theories, principles, methods and measures pertaining to the goals of sustainability. This scanning is framed in a theoretical construct, and findings are presented according to a schema derived from it. My aim is to critically review urban design theories and movements to reveal how their theoretical roots relate to sustainability. Such a critical understanding will be fundamental to advance the theory and practice of urban design towards more sustainable cities in the future. Accordingly, it is appropriate to begin by reviewing the legacy of important thinkers and thinking about sustainability in the literature of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design.

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