Week 3: Beyond Sustainable Cities (2) How have sustainable cities been…
Week 3: Beyond Sustainable Cities
1) What have sustainable cities got to do with production and consumption
urban age- rapid urbanisation and population growth- growth in size of cities. 3 fold increase by 2050, proportion urban growing, growth in sites of the world's largest cities
Cities are sites of concentrations of people, places of economic activity , creativity. Cities concentrate huge amounts of global growth. Rising GDP per capita with size of cities
Cities are significant sites of consumption of energy, water, food, wastes majority GHG, bad air quality. Cities are responsible for over 70% of all emissions
Cities are places of social diversity, also exclusion and inequalities. Number of people in slums growing hugely - 828million 2010, correlation with the fastest growing cities
Aggregate, large scale statistics, what about infrastructure provision such as energy, water, waste, food, transport, mediate production and consumption in cities
2) How have sustainable cities been understood?
Historical context- Engels and Howard concerned with the sustainability of the industrial city
Emergence of radical sustainability- contemporary SC debates emerged 60-70s responding to multiple crises, endlessly growing production and consumption challenged.
Efforts rethinking relationships between economy, ecology and society were fused with existing political ideologies
80/90s- Emergence of mainstream ideas of sustainable development- 1987 Bruntland Report, Base recommendations on the realities of the present institutions and what can eb accomplished today
Critique- Working with today's main institutional arrangements. Got rid of the idea of reorienting economic and social practices in favour of more environmentally friendly strategies of production and consumption
Sustainable cities discourse- development of a large body of academic work on sustainable cities through the 90s and 00s
Principles of sustainable cities- inter-generational equity, intra-generational equity, geographical equity, procedural equity
Varying possible interpretations of sustainable city from the very strong to the very weak
3) Is the sustainable city discourse fragmenting?
1) Very much based on capitalism & economic growth as the answer to environmental problems
2) Social justice needed under sustainable cities discourse- stalled
3) appropriate scale the economy, environment and social are most 'appropriately' organised is also a site of struggle
New visions of the city in addition to 'sustainable cities'- bewildering array of visions- sustainable cities, smart cities, eco-cities, knowledge cities etc. Rethink the relationship between city, infrastructure, and resource flows and how they are organised.
4) Materialising future cities
Eco Cities & Smart Cities
Blank Canvas- energy, waste, transport, food production and consumption
Car-free, self-sufficiency, low or zero carbon urban development
Associated with development of new cities/ retrofitting, coalitions vs grassroots responses, economy increasingly driven by innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. Lack of detailed understanding of the concept, early stage in conceptual development and empirical udnerstanding
Aims from enhancing security to reducing carbon emissions
Smart cities- the use of ICT to stimulate economic development
5) Understanding how this happens: Experiments and Transitions
Eco-cities & smart cities can be organised differently in geographical contexts
Brings together ideas about how a city is governed vs transformation of infrastructure systems
Will remaking the city occur through urban 'experiments' & leaning rather than planned and managed
6) Analysis and Dilemmas: what are the implications?
1) Eco-cities are presented as exemplars- what is replicable?
2) What about other social interests?
Beyong dominant eco-cities/smart cities- what potential is their for multiple, different styles of city?
How and when do we know if it had desirable or successful outcomes?