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The Environmental Advantages of Cities

The Environmental Advantages of Cities PDF Author: William B. Meyer
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262019043
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages : 234

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Book Description
Conventional wisdom about the environmental impact of cities holds that urbanization and environmental quality are necessarily at odds. Cities are seen to be sites of ecological disruption, consuming a disproportionate share of natural resources, producing high levels of pollution, and concentrating harmful emissions precisely where the population is most concentrated. Cities appear to be particularly vulnerable to natural disasters, to be inherently at risk from outbreaks of infectious diseases, and even to offer dysfunctional and unnatural settings for human life. In this book, William Meyer tests these widely held beliefs against the evidence. Borrowing some useful terminology from the public health literature, Meyer weighs instances of "urban penalty" against those of "urban advantage." He finds that many supposed urban environmental penalties are illusory, based on commonsense preconceptions and not on solid evidence. In fact, greater degrees of "urbanness" often offer advantages rather than penalties. The characteristic compactness of cities, for example, lessens the pressure on ecological systems and enables resource consumption to be more efficient. On the whole, Meyer reports, cities offer greater safety from environmental hazards (geophysical, technological, and biological) than more dispersed settlement does. In fact, the city-defining characteristics widely supposed to result in environmental penalties do much to account for cities' environmental advantages. As of 2008 (according to U.N. statistics), more people live in cities than in rural areas. Meyer's analysis clarifies the effects of such a profound shift, covering a full range of environmental issues in urban settings. The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket.

The Environmental Advantages of Cities

The Environmental Advantages of Cities PDF Author: William B. Meyer
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262019043
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages : 234

View

Book Description
Conventional wisdom about the environmental impact of cities holds that urbanization and environmental quality are necessarily at odds. Cities are seen to be sites of ecological disruption, consuming a disproportionate share of natural resources, producing high levels of pollution, and concentrating harmful emissions precisely where the population is most concentrated. Cities appear to be particularly vulnerable to natural disasters, to be inherently at risk from outbreaks of infectious diseases, and even to offer dysfunctional and unnatural settings for human life. In this book, William Meyer tests these widely held beliefs against the evidence. Borrowing some useful terminology from the public health literature, Meyer weighs instances of "urban penalty" against those of "urban advantage." He finds that many supposed urban environmental penalties are illusory, based on commonsense preconceptions and not on solid evidence. In fact, greater degrees of "urbanness" often offer advantages rather than penalties. The characteristic compactness of cities, for example, lessens the pressure on ecological systems and enables resource consumption to be more efficient. On the whole, Meyer reports, cities offer greater safety from environmental hazards (geophysical, technological, and biological) than more dispersed settlement does. In fact, the city-defining characteristics widely supposed to result in environmental penalties do much to account for cities' environmental advantages. As of 2008 (according to U.N. statistics), more people live in cities than in rural areas. Meyer's analysis clarifies the effects of such a profound shift, covering a full range of environmental issues in urban settings. The hardcover edition does not include a dust jacket.

Making Cities Work

Making Cities Work PDF Author: Richard Gilbert
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134052103
Category : Business & Economics
Languages : en
Pages : 222

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Book Description
For too long, cities have been thought of as environmental blackspots, with high levels of air and soil pollution, overcrowding, poor sanitation and growing waste disposal problems. This book takes a more positive attitude: cities can be made to work sustainably. Their high population density can work in the environment's favour if they can achieve efficient use of resources such as energy and water supplies, and improve transport and infrastructure. The best cities today are clean, resource efficient, green and pleasant, and not only act as cultural and entertainment centres, but also harbour great varieties of wildlife. Making Cities Work looks at the vital role which local authorities can - and must - play in safeguarding and developing our towns and cities. Their role is crucial, and the aim of the book is to make governments, international bodies and local authority associations aware of how potential environmental and social problems can be overcome, and what can be achieved. This book is being written by urban development experts, based on material supplied by the world's leading city associations. It is being edited by one of the world's most highly regarded cultural ecologists, and has been commissioned by UNHCS for the Habitat II conference. Clearly written, accessible, and fully illustrated throughout with photographs, figures and graphs, it is ideal for students, fascinating reading for the general public, and essential for those involved in local authorities, planning and development.

Cycling for Sustainable Cities

Cycling for Sustainable Cities PDF Author: Ralph Buehler
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262362007
Category : Transportation
Languages : en
Pages : 480

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Book Description
How to make city cycling--the most sustainable form of urban transportation--safe, practical, and convenient for all cyclists. Cycling is the most sustainable mode of urban transportation, practical for most short- and medium-distance trips--commuting to and from work or school, shopping, visiting friends, going to the doctor's office. It's good for your health, spares the environment a trip's worth of auto emissions, and is economical for both public and personal budgets. Cycling, with all its benefits, should not be reserved for the fit, the spandex-clad, and the daring. Cycling for Sustainable Cities shows how to make city cycling safe, practical, and convenient for all cyclists.

City Futures in the Age of a Changing Climate

City Futures in the Age of a Changing Climate PDF Author: Tony Fry
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317659023
Category : Architecture
Languages : en
Pages : 198

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Book Description
This book goes beyond current ways that the impact of climate change upon the city are understood. In doing so it addresses climate in a variety of its connotations. It looks to the nomadic behaviour patterns of the past for lessons for today’s population unsettlement, and argues that as human survival will increasingly be linked directly to movement, the city can no longer be defined as a constrained space. The impacts of climate change must be understood as a combination of the actual and the expected, and have to be addressed both practically and culturally. City Futures in an Age of Changing Climate looks at how cities can adapt and respond to the unsustainable conditions they are now facing. The book considers possible post-urban futures, exposing a range of very different urban forms, and addresses the concept of fragmentation; the breaking up of any coherent economic or cultural nucleic urban spaces. Urban planners, designers, development practitioners, and anyone seeking to understand what the future is likely to look like for our cities, and how to prepare for it, will find this an essential read.

Motor Vehicles, the Environment, and the Human Condition

Motor Vehicles, the Environment, and the Human Condition PDF Author: Hans A. Baer
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield
ISBN: 1793604894
Category : Science
Languages : en
Pages : 258

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Book Description
This book explores the political ecology of motor vehicles in an era of growing social disparities and environmental crises. Humanity needs to move beyond motor vehicles as much as possible as part and parcel of the larger process of radical social structural changes.

How Cities Will Save the World

How Cities Will Save the World PDF Author: Ray Brescia
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317120884
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages : 282

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Book Description
Cities are frequently viewed as passive participants to state and national efforts to solve the toughest urban problems. But the evidence suggests otherwise. Cities are actively devising innovative policy solutions and they have the potential to do even more. In this volume, the authors examine current threats to communities across the U.S. and the globe. They draw on first-hand experience with, and accounts of, the crises already precipitated by climate change, population shifts, and economic inequality. This volume is distinguished, however, by its central objective of traveling beyond a description of problems and a discussion of their serious implications. Each of the thirteen chapters frame specific recommendations and guidance on the range of core capacities and interventions that 21st Century cities would be prudent to consider in mapping their immediate and future responses to these critical problems. How Cities Will Save the World brings together authors with frontline experience in the fields of city redevelopment, urban infrastructure, healthcare, planning, immigration, historic preservation, and local government administration. They not only offer their ground level view of threats caused by climate change, population shifts, and economic inequality, but they provide solution-driven narratives identifying promising innovations to help cities tackle this century’s greatest adversities.

Science and Environment in Chile

Science and Environment in Chile PDF Author: Javiera Barandiaran
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262347423
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages : 284

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Book Description
The politics of scientific advice across four environmental conflicts in Chile, when the state acted as a “neutral broker” rather than protecting the common good. In Science and Environment in Chile, Javiera Barandiarán examines the consequences for environmental governance when the state lacks the capacity to produce an authoritative body of knowledge. Focusing on the experience of Chile after it transitioned from dictatorship to democracy, she examines a series of environmental conflicts in which the state tried to act as a “neutral broker” rather than the protector of the common good. She argues that this shift in the role of the state—occurring in other countries as well—is driven in part by the political ideology of neoliberalism, which favors market mechanisms and private initiatives over the actions of state agencies. Chile has not invested in environmental science labs, state agencies with in-house capacities, or an ancillary network of trusted scientific advisers—despite the growing complexity of environmental problems and increasing popular demand for more active environmental stewardship. Unlike a high modernist “empire” state with the scientific and technical capacity to undertake large-scale projects, Chile's model has been that of an “umpire” state that purchases scientific advice from markets. After describing the evolution of Chilean regulatory and scientific institutions during the transition, Barandiarán describes four environmental crises that shook citizens' trust in government: the near-collapse of the farmed salmon industry when an epidemic killed millions of fish; pollution from a paper and pulp mill that killed off or forced out thousands of black-neck swans; a gold mine that threatened three glaciers; and five controversial mega-dams in Patagonia.

Rail and the City

Rail and the City PDF Author: Roxanne Warren
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262027801
Category : Architecture
Languages : en
Pages : 336

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Book Description
The United States has evolved into a nation of twenty densely populated megaregions. Yet despite the environmental advantages of urban density, urban sprawl and reliance on the private car still set the pattern for most new development. Cars guzzle not only gas but also space, as massive acreage is dedicated to roadways and parking. Even more pressing, the replication of this pattern throughout the fast-developing world makes it doubtful that we will achieve the reductions in carbon emissions needed to avoid climate catastrophe. In Rail and the City, architect Roxanne Warren makes the case for compact urban development that is supported by rail transit. Calling the automobile a relic of the twentieth century, Warren envisions a release from the tyrannies of traffic congestion, petroleum dependence, and an oppressively paved environment. Technical features of rail are key to its high capacities, safety at high speeds, and compactness -- uniquely qualifying it to serve as ideal infrastructure within and between cities. Ultimately, mobility could be achieved through extensive networks of public transit, particularly rail, supplemented by buses, cycling, walking, car-sharing, and small, flexible vehicles. High-speed rail, fed by local transit, could eliminate the need for petroleum-intensive plane trips of less than 500 miles.Warren considers issues of access to transit, citing examples from Europe, Japan, and North America, and pedestrian- and transit-oriented urban design. Rail transit, she argues, is the essential infrastructure for a fluidly functioning urban society.

Sustainability the Environment and Urbanisation

Sustainability the Environment and Urbanisation PDF Author: Cedric Pugh
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1134174535
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages : 266

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Book Description
The 1992 Rio Summit and subsequent literature and debate has focused on 'green' issues such as biodiversity, climate change and marine pollution. Much less has been written concerning the 'brown' agenda: factors such as poor sanitation and water quality, air pollution and housing problems which are particularly prevalent in Third World cities. Sustainability, the Environment and Urbanisation provides a comprehensive overview of the brown agenda, with case studies and examples from a number of Southern countries. It looks at the broad economic context behind the problems and covers the conceptual issues of sustainability, infrastructure and health programmes, as well as assessing environmental appraisal methods. Clearly written, with contributions from some of the leading experts in the field, the book will appeal to students on environmental and developmental courses, researchers, and all those concerned with the 'healthy cities' movement.

Global Cities

Global Cities PDF Author: Robert Gottlieb
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262338874
Category : Political Science
Languages : en
Pages : 472

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Book Description
How Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and China deal with such urban environmental issues as ports, goods movement, air pollution, water quality, transportation, and public space. Over the past four decades, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and key urban regions of China have emerged as global cities—in financial, political, cultural, environmental, and demographic terms. In this book, Robert Gottlieb and Simon Ng trace the global emergence of these urban areas and compare their responses to a set of six urban environmental issues. These cities have different patterns of development: Los Angeles has been the quintessential horizontal city, the capital of sprawl; Hong Kong is dense and vertical; China's new megacities in the Pearl River Delta, created by an explosion in industrial development and a vast migration from rural to urban areas, combine the vertical and the horizontal. All three have experienced major environmental changes in a relatively short period of time. Gottlieb and Ng document how each has dealt with challenges posed by ports and the movement of goods, air pollution (Los Angeles, Hong Kong, and urban China are all notorious for their hazardous air quality), water supply (all three places are dependent on massive transfers of water) and water quality, the food system (from seed to table), transportation, and public and private space. Finally they discuss the possibility of change brought about by policy initiatives and social movements.