This chapter presents the theme, theoretical approaches and overview of the chapters in the book. The theme is the contribution of cities (their actors) to increased sustainability in social-technical systems, eventually by accelerating sustainability improvements. The selected systems are energy, transport and healthcare. Cities may act as the cradle of key inventions, as places of up-scaling and commercialization and as places of quick adoption, though few individual cities take up all these roles. Next, several urban innovation theories are introduced, including agglomeration and cluster theories, and the relational (collaboration) approach, with the aim to ‘position’ the chapters. Specific attention is given to the entrepreneurial ecosystem approach. Complementary approaches are institutional and governance perspectives, in particular with respect to cities acting as institutional innovators. A final approach is the evolutionary approach, as invention, up-scaling, commercialization and adoption of new technology are concerned with long time-lines and manifold uncertainties.
Browse by title
Marina van Geenhuizen, J. Adam Holbrook and Mozhdeh Taheri
No simple adjustment in international law can provide an adequate response to the issues raised by the current debates on “climate migration.” Yet, these discussions could stress the need for structural reforms in global governance in a growingly interdependent world. This introduction presents an overview of the central themes of this book. It introduces the main methodologies and theoretical frameworks that form the general background for the following analysis.
Eva Silveirinha de Oliveira and Catharine Ward Thompson
There has been a growing recognition that green infrastructure can have benefits for public health. This chapter traces evidence of the influence of green infrastructure on people’s health, from the mid-nineteenth century to the most recent studies. By examining two iconic green infrastructures – Boston’s Emerald Necklace and Buffalo Park system – it reviews Frederick Olmsted’s strategic vision which acknowledged the importance of green infrastructures in contributing to an improvement in public health. Through the review of the evidence available on the importance of green infrastructure in health, the chapter summarises the types of benefits (physical activity, restorative effect, social cohesion, air quality enhancement) and reflects on how the evidence relating to the importance of green spaces and contact with nature can be translated into the planning and design of green infrastructures. Finally, the Greenlink project is presented as a case study of best practice, illustrating how green infrastructure can promote health and wellbeing in local communities.