Handbook of Cities and the Environment
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Handbook of Cities and the Environment

Edited by Kevin Archer and Kris Bezdecny

With an ever-growing majority of the world's human population living in city spaces, the relationship between cities and nature will be one of the key environmental issues of the 21st Century. This book brings together a diverse set of authors to explore the various aspects of this relationship both theoretically and empirically. Rather than considering cities as wholly separate from nature, a running theme throughout the book is that cities, and city dwellers, should be characterized as intrinsic in the creation of specifically urban-generated ‘socio-natures’.
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Chapter 5: North American and European sustainable urbanism: toward a theoretical model for sustainable urban design

Rafael E. Pizarro


Sustainable urbanism has become the byword for green cities on both sides of the Atlantic. Although in Europe and North America there is agreement that sustainable urbanism is about pedestrianism, bicyclism, compact urban form, medium to high densities, mass public transport, mixed land uses, among other such prescriptions, the approach to these aspects differ in both continents. This chapter compares the elements of sustainable urbanism on both sides of the Atlantic as specified in the academic and professional literature identifying commonalities and differences. It concludes with a proposal for a combined set of prescriptions that, with contextual changes, may lead to a more robust normative theory of sustainable cities.

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