Cities as sustainable ecosystems: principles and practices

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Island Press, Jan 31, 2008 - Architecture - 284 pages
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Modern city dwellers are largely detached from the environmental effects of their daily lives. The sources of the water they drink, the food they eat, and the energy they consume are all but invisible, often coming from other continents, and their waste ends up in places beyond their city boundaries.

 

Cities as Sustainable Ecosystems shows how cities and their residents can begin to reintegrate into their bioregional environment, and how cities themselves can be planned with nature’s organizing principles in mind. Taking cues from living systems for sustainability strategies, Newman and Jennings reassess urban design by exploring flows of energy, materials, and information, along with the interactions between human and non-human parts of the system.

 

Drawing on examples from all corners of the world, the authors explore natural patterns and processes that cities can emulate in order to move toward sustainability. Some cities have adopted simple strategies such as harvesting rainwater, greening roofs, and producing renewable energy. Others have created biodiversity parks for endangered species, community gardens that support a connection to their foodshed, and pedestrian-friendly spaces that encourage walking and cycling.

 

A powerful model for urban redevelopment, Cities as Sustainable Ecosystems describes aspects of urban ecosystems from the visioning process to achieving economic security to fostering a sense of place.

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Contents

Economy and Society
32
Biodiversity
64
Ecological Footprints
80
Sense of Place
144
Partnerships
168
Sustainable Production and Consumption
188
chapter w Governance and Hope
216
Conclusions
238
Notes
253
References
269
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Peter Newman is professor of city policy and director of the Institute for Sustainability and Technology Policy at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. He recently completed a Fulbright scholarship, which he spent at the University of Virginia studying sustainability initiatives in the U.S. He is the author of Sustainability and Cities (Island Press, 1999).

 

Isabella Jennings is a graduate student in the School of Environmental Science at Murdoch University. Her past and current research is related to the cities as sustainable ecosystems idea.