Chapter

The sustainable city: an obituary? On the future form and prospects of sustainable urbanism

Mark Whitehead

in The Future of Sustainable Cities

Published by Policy Press

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9781847426673
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447305545 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1332/policypress/9781847426673.003.0002
The sustainable city: an obituary? On the future form and prospects of sustainable urbanism

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This chapter provides an account of the origins of sustainable urbanism and explores, in the context of climate change, emerging challenges to the legitimacy of sustainable urbanism. It provides case studies of Mesa, Arizona; Totnes, England; and the Meridian Gap, England, to examine, respectively, hyper-liberalism and experiments in sub-prime urbanism; urban transition movements and neo-localisation; and municipal pragmatism; and how these are threatening the power of sustainable urban development as a paradigm of metropolitan planning. This demise of sustainable urban development as a key principle of urban planning will have negative consequences. Conversely, the chapter argues that adopting more radical interpretations of sustainable urban development could help to shape a more progressive and just urban-planning culture.

Keywords: hyper-liberalism; municipal pragmatism; sustainable urbanism; urban planning; urban transition movements

Chapter.  6589 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Urban and Rural Studies

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