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Marina van Geenhuizen, J. Adam Holbrook and Mozhdeh Taheri

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.

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John Stanley, Janet Stanley and Roslynne Hansen

What makes for a great city in the 21st century? If one aspires to a vision like that of Vancouver, as we do, what does it actually mean and how can a city best realise its vision? Questions such as these are the reason for this book, focusing on cities in highly developed western economies and working from a perspective that sees the idea of integrated planning as a core starting point. This chapter outlines some of the important trends we have observed in urban land use transport planning in recent years, such as: a growing sustainability focus; more attention being paid to structural economic changes and how they affect the spatial structure of cities; the growing importance of neighbourhood, adding a local lens to strategic planning; the interest in compact settlement patterns and in how knowledge of built form and travel interactions can be used to promote this settlement pattern; putting transport in its place, as a servant of land use, rather than letting it determine wider urban outcomes ; and, an increased interest in governance and funding. Our interest is in identifying how the growing knowledge base in such areas can be brought together more effectively, to deliver better urban outcomes. This underlines the vital role we see for a broader, more integrated approach to strategic urban land use transport planning. Subsequent chapters explore improved practice in some detail, with extensive use of case study material.

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Kris Bezdecny and Kevin Archer

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Michiel C.J. Bliemer, Corinne Mulley and Claudine J. Moutou

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Edited by Michiel Bliemer, Corinne Mulley and Claudine J. Moutou

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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.
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Danielle Sinnett, Nick Smith and Sarah Burgess

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David E. Boyce and Huw C.W.L. Williams

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David E. Boyce and Huw C.W.L. Williams

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David E. Boyce and Huw C.W.L. Williams