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Luis Peral

Global governance is essential in transitioning to sustainability and to effectively implement the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It has been argued in this context that global democracy is the only means to achieve compliance with international rules and face challenges requiring determined collective action, such as climate change. The chapter contends that in a global security perspective sustainability requires as a minimum norms and principles to be implemented in a way that decreases, or at least does not increase, inter-state tensions resulting from conflict or situations of mass atrocities. With a focus on effectively implementing the international principle of Responsibility to Protect, three key ways of realizing a more democratic mode of global governance are proposed and explained, namely: effectively incorporating the global civil society and expert communities into international decision-making; fulfilling democratic values by transnational organizations; and creating conditions for more sustainable democracy at the national level through international action.

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Janette Hartz-Karp and Rob Weymouth

Current democratic decision-making appears to be appears to be showing its weakness unable to resolve complex challenges due to its competitive, combative, and individualistic nature. By contrast, strong democracy can be created through a deliberative approach which allows descriptively representative, deliberative, and influential decision-making. This better taps into people’s values and preferences to reach the common good, contextually understood. However, assumptions about the roles, rights, and capacities of government officials and the general public need to be overturned, adopting a different set enabling more ‘power with’ than ‘power over’ the people. To spread and sustain deliberative democracy, methods are suggested to scale its underlying principles and to institutionalise it.

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Jeffrey R. Kenworthy

Passenger transport is a vexed problem in cities across the globe, whether in highly auto-dependent regions in the USA or Australia, more transit-oriented cities in Europe, or in Latin America, China, India and Africa with their giant, rapidly motorizing and fast-growing megacities. The work described in this chapter presents a global research enterprise, which had its origins in the late 1970s and is still ongoing today, to properly enumerate key data that describe the characteristics, strengths and weaknesses of urban passenger transportation in over 100 cities worldwide. By collecting reliable and hard-to-get data, comparative statistics for each city are calculate, e.g. per capita car use, urban density and many more. This has amassed a significant legacy of academic publications and has been used globally to help develop better cities. The chapter describes the history of this research, its methodology and examples of some output.

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Janette Hartz-Karp and Dora Marinova

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Dora Marinova and Janette Hartz-Karp

This introductory chapter clarifies the two main terms of the book, namely method and sustainability, and their relevance to its readership. It also outlines the nineteen chapters contributing to the four parts of the book dedicated to: more sustainable cities; better governance; transitioning to more sustainable economics; and more sustainable livelihoods and living. The conceptual methods for a sustainability cosmos is then introduced, which explains the methodological space for transitioning to a more sustainable development. At its core is the sustainability aim. The time horizon to respond to that may be long-term, short-term or immediate. Many methodological strategies may be developed with the book outlining nineteen innovative and creative ways to approach the four areas of cities, governance, economy, livelihoods and lives. The associated philosophies with the respective strategies and approaches, namely technological determinism, interpretivism, pragmatism and social determinism, are explained.

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Christine Eon and Josh Byrne

Buildings are responsible for a large share of the global energy use and greenhouse gas emissions generation. Most emissions are produced during the operation of the buildings. The chapter presents tools to monitor and assess the performance of residential buildings from design to operation in relation to energy, water and use of materials without compromising and in fact enhancing their liveability. A focus is on the Australian setting with some international examples provided for comparison. Mandatory housing energy assessment tools and their regulatory context are outlined, followed by two emerging ‘beyond compliance’ tools that address life-cycle analysis as well as broader sustainability outcomes. The Josh’s House case study in Perth, Western Australia, is explored in some detail in order to highlight lessons learned from a best practice example.

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Annie Matan

The term walkability relates to people’s use of public spaces, such as streets, squares, green parks and plazas. This chapter discusses some of the empirical tools and methods applied by urban designers and planners to determine walkability, which is a fundamental aspect of sustainable cities. The focus is on empirical, substantive methods allowing to study how the city is deriving information from direct observation. Three groups of methods are discussed, namely: (1) predominantly observational methods which look at use of an area; (2) methods which ask people about how they use an area, such as interviews; and (3) methods which examine the existing built form and infrastructure provision of an area. As none of the described methods is holistic in and of themselves, the chapter encourages users to combine their application to enable a more complete picture of the walkability of an area.

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Laura Stocker and Gary Burke

The chapter presents a methodological framework enhancing the governance of sustainability and climate change. Four domains are considered important. (1) knowledge, including science, lay, managerial and indigenous knowledges; (2) governance, including decision-makers, policy-makers and stakeholders; (3) the constituency, including community and the private sector; (4) management, including implementation strategies and monitoring regimes. Legitimacy is the key emergent issue in the framework. It relates to knowledge about sustainability and climate change; making significant governance decisions around sustainability and climate change; the means by which those decisions are implemented and managed; and the policy process as conferred by the policy-takers, the constituents. Legitimacy is conferred as a result of mutual conversation among the above four domains. Conferral results when: governance meets the criteria of efficacy and accountability; knowledge – of adequacy and cogency; implementation establishes appropriate standards and professional practice; and constituency accepts that knowledge and actions meet criteria of credibility and salience.

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Giovanni Allegretti and Janette Hartz-Karp

Participatory budgeting, which proliferated across the globe to over 3,000 local governments and some supra-municipalities, helps to improve sustainability, and could make a greater contribution in the future. It enables local people to co-decide the city’s or region’s budget, which is an issue of importance to them. Examples show that when local people allocate budgets, governance becomes more inclusive and empowered; social justice is promoted; more sustainable outcomes are achieved; and a more holistic approach to sustainable planning is enabled. It is one of the few empowered deliberative participation initiatives which has achieved continuity over time and has strengthened resilience.

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Dora Marinova, Vladislav Todorov, Andrey Blinov and Evgeny Safonov

Economics is deeply rooted in social sciences and needs to reclaim its roots in ethics and philosophy. An examination of its history shows that key economics issues have always been of moral and ethical nature and its methodologies directly linked to human and societal objectives. Ethical economics is needed to urgently respond to the priorities of climate change and facilitate a transition to sustainability. The 20th-century tools are not adequate for the sustainability challenges. New developments associated with information, education, innovation, neo-financing and spirituality offer new resources and understanding to economics. Three conceptual and three operational principles are presented as a way in which ethical stances can translate into practical solutions and form the basis of policy development, decision-making and planning. An ethics matrix is put forward for evaluating any existing or proposed economic tools or initiatives, with collaborative consumption put to the test as an example.