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Environmentally sustainable cities. Critical review and operational conditions

  • Kostas P. Bithas

    (Department of Economic and Regional Development, Panteion University, Athens, Greece)

  • M. Christofakis

    (Department of Economic and Regional Development, Panteion University, Athens, Greece)

The political objective calling for environmentally sustainable development has provided the canvas for lively dialogue amongst scientists and analysts. Be that as it may, what have been found wanting are operational conditions for the achievement of environmental sustainability within specific anthropogenic systems, with cities being cited as a prime example of such systems. Indeed, from a historical perspective, cities have always been based on the concentration of humans and man-made elements, resulting in respective confinement of natural assets. As cities possess particular properties for their environmental basis, the general conditions governing sustainability require suitable modifications when applied to cities. In this context, the present paper examines the conditions for environmentally sustainable development in urban systems. The specific natural and socioeconomic characteristics of urban systems are systematically taken into account for defining environmentally sustainable development in cities. The paper proposes an operational framework for evaluating urban systems for their environmental performance. Urban systems, presenting specific characteristics necessary for creating welfare with high density, ask for particular conditions for their environmentally sustainable development. These conditions differ substantially from those defining sustainability in broader geographical systems. Copyright © 2006 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/sd.262
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Sustainable Development.

Volume (Year): 14 (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 177-189

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Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:14:y:2006:i:3:p:177-189
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1099-1719

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  1. Finco, Adele & Nijkamp, Peter, 2001. "Pathways to urban sustainability," Serie Research Memoranda 0027, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  2. Nijkamp, Peter, 1997. "Environmental and regional economics," Serie Research Memoranda 0027, VU University Amsterdam, Faculty of Economics, Business Administration and Econometrics.
  3. Solow, Robert M, 1974. "The Economics of Resources or the Resources of Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(2), pages 1-14, May.
  4. Christensen, Paul P., 1989. "Historical roots for ecological economics -- Biophysical versus allocative approaches," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 17-36, February.
  5. Camagni, Roberto & Capello, Roberta & Nijkamp, Peter, 1998. "Towards sustainable city policy: an economy-environment technology nexus," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 103-118, January.
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