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Urban Planning and Sustainable Development


  • Petter Næss


Following the discourse about sustainable development based on the Brundtland Commission's report and the processes in the UN Committee on Environment and Development, a sustainable urban development would require considerably more ambitious policies than today in order to limit energy consumption, reduce pollution and protect natural areas and arable land. Re-use of urban areas and more effective utilization of building sites is a possible strategy to this end. However, continuous growth in the building stock will make it increasingly difficult to bring urban development in wealthy countries within the frames of what is ecologically sustainable and equitable in a global perspective. Planning for a sustainable urban development must be oriented towards long-term goals and utilize knowledge about the environmental consequences of different solutions, but should not be based solely on means-ends rationality. Rather than aiming at consensus including all stakeholder groups, planning for sustainability should facilitate alliance-building among those population groups who can support the basic equity and environmental values of a sustainable development.

Suggested Citation

  • Petter Næss, 2001. "Urban Planning and Sustainable Development," European Planning Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(4), pages 503-524, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:eurpls:v:9:y:2001:i:4:p:503-524
    DOI: 10.1080/713666490

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    Cited by:

    1. Tennøy, Aud, 2010. "Why we fail to reduce urban road traffic volumes: Does it matter how planners frame the problem?," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 216-223, August.

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