We have been involved in writing a book associated with this website that has been recently published by Routledge Press (2015): Urban Sustainability in Theory and Practice: Circles of Sustainability.

Comments and Responses

Michael Müller, Senator for Urban Development and Mayor of Berlin, Germany
‘Circles of Sustainability is an extraordinary guide to our way forward. By bringing together the clear insight of political analysts with the citizen-oriented perspective of experienced practitioners, this book changes the paradigm of urban studies. It is a brilliant book that will be used by cities such as Berlin as we seek a better world together.’

Georg Kell, Executive Director, United Nations Global Compact, New York, USA
‘An inspirational and practical resource for helping our cities drive a revolution in sustainability. The book expertly shows that cities’ toughest issues cannot be solved in isolation. No single actor — government, civil society or the private sector — has the all of the answers, nor can we successfully deal with poverty, climate change, unemployment or rights abuses, for example, if we look at them as separate events. Collaboration and holistic approaches must be driving precepts for achieving a better world.’

Jan Nijman, Professor of Urban Studies, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands
‘Questions of urban sustainable development will be of critical importance around the world. This book presents a profound re-calibration of the once elusive sustainability concept that integrates social and environmental dimensions; an approach that is theoretically informed and practically operational. A must-read for all who are concerned with the urban future.’

José Fortunati, Mayor of Porto Alegre, Brazil
‘This book, elegantly written, raises one of the most important issues of the 21st century — how to make our cities more liveable. The Chocolatao Project appears, together with many other sustainable practices across the world, as a response to this challenge, by establishing a sound cross-sectoral approach to significantly improve the life of garbage pickers in the city of Porto Alegre.’

Luc Hens, Vrije Universiteit Brussels
The book is a ‘must read’ for a wide target audience ranging from students, administrators, to planners. However, it is in essence about how practitioners can best go about changing cities for the better in the context of rushing global change and intensifying crises of sustainability … In short, this is a great book for all who are concerned about urbanization and/or working on sustainable cities.

Fanny Paschek, University of Greenwich, London
Written in a clear and engaging manner the text speaks to academics as much as to a wide range of practitioners, including governance, civil society and business stakeholders … Crucially the book stands as a theoretically engaged and methodologically rigorous effort to re-politicise and ultimately redefine the concept of sustainability thereby strengthening its practical usefulness for understanding and engaging with development processes against the background of urban complexity.

Alain Le Saux, Secretary General of World Association of Major Metropolises, Barcelona, Spain
‘Simple in outline; brilliant in conception. This is a rare work that superbly brings together the thinking of key theorists, activists, local people, and practitioners — including a taskforce from Metropolis. We are proud to have been a part of the process.’


Preface: Towards a New Paradigm

Part 1. Setting the Global-Local Scene

Chapter 1. Confronting a World in Crisis
The New Urban Paradoxes
Why do our Responses Remain Short-Term?
Toward Flourishing Sustainable Cities
Case Study: Melbourne, Australia
Chapter 2. Defining the World around Us
Sustainable and Good Development
Cities and Urban Settlements
Globalization and Localization
Community and Sustainability
Case Study: New Delhi, India

Part 2. Understanding Social Life

Chapter 3. Social Domains
Judging the Value of a Method
Defining Social Domains
Defining Perspectives and Aspects
Case Study: Valetta and Paolo, Malta
Chapter 4. Social Mapping
Researching Social and Project Profiles
Defining Social Themes
Defining Ontological Formations
Case Study: Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Chapter 5. Social Meaning
Ideas and Ideologies
Ontological Formations

Part 3. Developing Methods and Tools

Chapter 6. Assessing Sustainability
Towards a Comprehensive Assessment Method
Defining the Stages of Project Management
Urban-Based Projects using the Method
Case Study: Porto Alegre, Brazil
Chapter 7. Generating an Urban Sustainability Profile
Urban Profile Questionnaire
Chapter 8. Measuring Community Sustainability
Developing a Social Sustainability Questionnaire
Comparing Different Communities
Overcoming Methodological Limitations
Chapter 9. Conducting a Peer Review
Building upon the Strengths of Peer Review
Stages in the Peer Review Process
Case Study: Johannesburg, South Africa
Chapter 10. Adapting to Climate Change
Cross-Domain Options for Adaptation
Risk Assessment Methods
Vulnerability Assessment Methods
Chapter 11. Projecting Alternative Futures
Developing a Scenario Projection Process
The Scenario Process in Action
Beyond the First Stage of Scenario Development
Chapter 12. Simulating Future Trends
Are Cities Actually Like Elephants?
Foundations of an Alternative Approach
Simulating the Future?

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