Sustainable Cities + Societies

What did Toynbee say about the rise and fall of civilizations?

Rise occurs when creative minorities respond to physical or social challenges in ways that reorient society + causes society to flourish. 


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Decline occurs when Nepotism supplants Meritocracy. e.g. environmental problems

Describe what Marsh argued in Man and Nature
“…man should moderate his activities and develop and morality in respect to his use of the Earth” ~ argued that we should focus on land
Russian Dolls Model
All economic activity should be bent toward social progress and this must be achieved within environmental limits
What is common to most of the approaches to Sustainability reviewed by Kidd?
Concern for future generations
the “Great Reconciliation”
Refers to shift from limits to growth to managing limits – sustainable development implies limits – not absolute limits but limitations imposed by present state of technolohy and social organization
Expansionist Paradigm
Treat economy as open, growing, independent system lacking fundamentally important “connectedness” to an infinite environment
Steady State Paradigm
Ecological economics sees economy as open, growing, wholly dependent subsystem of a materially closed, non-growing, finite ecosphere
What is Carrying Capacity & what happens if animal populations overshoot it?

CC = number of animal an ecosystem can support without being damaged. 


When overshot, death rate will exceed birth rate until population reverts back to carrying capacity. 

List criticisms of CC aproach
is not fixed (can fluctuate), is a maximum rather than an optimum, we don’t know planetary capacity, humans + resources travel over vast distances
Ehrlich/Holdren thesis – define and explain what is suggests is the explanation of the level of impact per capita

I = P x A x T


impact = population x affluence x technology 

Capital Approach to Sustainability
Focuses on population + impacts; focus on resource base, well-being comes from goods and services produced from capital stocks (K). (K) can be natural or man-made.
List types of capital
manufactured, financial, social, human, natural
Define “weak” & “strong” Sustainability

“Weak” sustainability allows substitutability of Km for Kn


“Strong” sustainability requires constant stock of Kn

Ecological Rucksack
Total amount of “stuff” that goes into the things that we consume
What do proponents of the Material Input approach suggest we do to move toward sustainability?
Reduce material input, dematerialization
Open Earth economics
“Nature is boundless”
Frontier economics
“Biosphere conditions possibilities”
city populations or land development growing faster?
Land development
5 equities
intra-generational, procedural, inter-generational, geographical, interspecies
Why are the equities relevant to sustainability and why does fairness matter to sustainability (according to Haughton)?
Unfair burdens from waste or conservation can fall along any equity. Unfair burdens for mitigation and adaptation undermines cooperation
Why are cities an important focus for people interested in sustainability?
where future growth will occu, epicenter for resource use, focus for greenhouse gas issues, use 75% of Earth’s resources but occupy only 2% of surface
Advantages that cities have over rural places when it comes to sustainability
land use efficiency, large enough markets to support niche innovations, distributional efficiency, potential for local production and consumption, transit options, social economy
Sources of biogenic air poolution and anthropogenic air pollution

Biogenic: volcanoes, trees (GHOs), fires


Anthropogenic: electricy generation, transportation 

How can cities reduce vehicle use?
make fewer auto trips, shorten auto trips, high tolls and parking fees, traffic calming, traffic free zones, preferential carpool/bus lanes, vehicular emisstions controls, fuel efficiency standards
How do compact cities reduce vehicle use?
Shorten trips, make walking and bikes competitive, transit easier to support, mixing uses
Strategies for reducing energy use in buildings
management, behavior, occupier information and control, appliances, lighting, space and water heating, occupancy sensors, insulation and glazing, orientation, shading structures, low embodied energy, ventilation, shared walls, renewable energy
What are sensitive receptors?
persons particularly succeptible to health effects from air pollutants
Heat island effect and management

Air temperature differential between urban centers and adjacent rural areas.


Cool roofs, cool pavement, green roofs, shade trees

Anthropocentric argument for sustainability
based on human well being
Biocentric argument for sustainability
duties to nature
Consumption Landscapes
Auto centric, low density cities
Over the past few decades, aggregate air pollution in USA comprised of criteria pollutants and excluding GHG has…
Gotten better
Largest source of criteria air pollution in the USA is..
________ does NOT follow from compact urban form
fewer trips
Greater urban density (compactness) is associated with more or less air pollution?
Less total air pollution