Urban development and the environmental challenges: “Green” systems considerations for the EU

Author(s): Svedin, U
In: Sustainable Development, Knowledge Society and Smart Future Manufacturing Technologies
Year: 2014
Type: Book chapter
Link to centre authors: Svedin, Uno
Full reference: Svedin, U. 2014. Urban development and the environmental challenges: “Green” systems considerations for the EU. In Filho W.L., A. Úbelis, D. Berzina, eds. Sustainable Development, Knowledge Society and Smart Future Manufacturing Technologies. World Sustainability Series, Springer.

Summary

The increased expansion of urban oriented challenges calls for the need to develop related policies in a sustainable development fashion. This means to be alert to the grand challenges to connect environmental/ecological—social— cultural—economic and technical factors. These challenges exist in all parts of the globalized world, not least in the EU domain. But the different parts of the world will have to find their specific ways to create solutions to these problems.

Thus the need for a "green" development profile calls for integrated policy making and new ways to reflect on the urban-rural interface which is specific to the environmental, historical, social and technical specificities of the area in focus — e.g. the EU. Related management schemes will have to consider all sorts of environmentally oriented concerns, not least those connected to climate change.

In the urban context such considerations have to be long term, systems oriented and resilience reflexive. The forms of decision making, the governance structure and the support measures for such activities have to be given careful attention. This should be done in a spirit of finding a wide range of innovative approaches including not only technical ones, but also those with a social and cultural orientation. In the not too long run such societal transformation strategies will be necessary in the new historical period of the Anthropocene.

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