Elgar Companion to Sustainable Cities
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Elgar Companion to Sustainable Cities

Strategies, Methods and Outlook

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.
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Chapter 6: Strategies for growing green business and industry in a city

Karen Chapple


Cities around the globe are trying to figure out how to ‘grow green’ – that is, how to generate economic activity that preserves and enhances environmental quality while using natural resources more efficiently. Although the path to reducing human impact on the environment is relatively clear, we are less sure about how to grow our economies and benefit society’s least advantaged members at the same time – in other words, how to link the three Es (environment, economy and equity) of development. Sustainable economic development joins sustainability goals to economic development: Sustainable economic development enhances equitable local income and employment growth without endangering local fiscal stability, degrading the natural environment, or contributing to global climate change. It challenges the model of growth based on pure consumption rather than human happiness, takes into account long-term goals as well as short-term needs and is sensitive to local context and history. (Gage and LoPresti 2012, p. 1) How is growing a green economy related to sustainable economic development? Green growth meets many sustainability goals: for instance, it leads to more fiscal stability by reducing energy usage and reliance on fossil fuels; it reduces consumption by promoting recycling and reuse; and it focuses on local context by improving quality of life and supporting local business. Yet the transition to a low-carbon economy does not necessarily promote equitable local income and employment growth. Such outcomes, then, must result from intentional economic development strategies.

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