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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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Duncan French and Louis J. Kotzé

This chapter provides the context, a broad introduction and the essence of each of the chapters in the book.

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Edited by Ed Couzens, Tim Stephens and Saiful Karim

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Evan Hamman

The aim of this article is better to understand the relationship Japanese people have with birdlife, wetlands and environmental law. The article uses a case study of the Japanese ‘red-crowned’ crane (the tancho) and Ramsar sites in Eastern Hokkaido to examine Japan's environmental governance systems and actors and the extent to which they utilize the principle of public participation. The topic is significant because of the urgency with which wetlands and birdlife are being lost in East Asia and the impacts such loss will have on communities and national identity. The observations in this article have relevance for neighbouring Asian countries like China and Korea, both of which have their own cultural perceptions and legal protections to consider.

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Daniel R. Montello

This chapter introduces and overviews the field of behavioral and cognitive geography. Behavioral and cognitive geography is the study of human mind and activity in and concerning space, place, and environment. The field relates to many subfields of human geography, cartography, and geographic information science (GIScience). It is also fundamentally multi- and interdisciplinary, connecting primarily to various subfields of research psychology, but also to economics, linguistics, computer science, architecture and planning, anthropology, neuroscience, and more. It originated as a contrast to aggregate approaches to human geography that treat people as more or less interchangeable within groups and homogeneous in their responses; to models of human activity based on simplistic and psychologically implausible assumptions; and to conceptualizations of humans as passive responders to culture, social institutions, economic forces, and the physical environment. The chapter concludes with an overview of the Handbook that it introduces.

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Annalisa Savaresi

The Paris Agreement is the first climate treaty to include a reference to traditional knowledge, opening up a new legal frontier to address this complex subject in international law. Traditional knowledge has already been the subject of considerable regulatory developments in international environmental and human rights instruments. This article reflects on how these bodies of law treat traditional knowledge, with the objective of understanding what are the gaps that could and should be addressed in the context of the climate regime. The article is divided into four parts. The introduction outlines the article's structure and methodology. Section 2 provides a definition of traditional knowledge and identifies the international law questions it raises. Section 3 analyses existing international obligations on traditional knowledge in environmental and human rights law. Section 4 considers the interplay between the climate regime and the bodies of international law analysed in Section 3. The conclusion offers some recommendations on the treatment of traditional knowledge in the climate regime.

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Edited by Sam Adelman

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Andreas Raspotnik

In recent years, the Arctic region has reappeared as a centre of world politics and attracted the interest of stakeholders from within and outside the circumpolar North. The region is literally melting and the term ‘Arctic geopolitics’ has become a popular catchphrase to illustrate the Arctic’s status quo and its allegedly fluid future. During that time the European Union also discovered its Northern neighbourhood. Concerned about an unstable Arctic region and related spill-over effects reaching Europe, the EU has shown considerable interest in having a determining influence on future regional developments. It envisioned an Arctic future alongside its own conceptualisation of world order, rule of law and good governance.

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Edited by Barry D. Solomon and Kirby E. Calvert

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Barry D. Solomon and Kirby E. Calvert

The Introduction has three aims. First, the editors unpack the meaning of ‘geographies’ as it relates to energy studies, and question the significance of distinguishing energy from other geographical traditions. Indeed, reviews of research in energy geography since the early 1980s have failed to uncover coherent or integrated themes. The editors ponder the implications of thinking about energy as a concept, rather than as merely an object of empirical analysis. Second, they situate the volume in the recent geography literature. Third, they identify themes and big questions that have emerged throughout the volume, finding inspiration in the work of the distinguished list of contributors. The Introduction also provides a brief overview of the chapters in the Handbook.