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urban planet

New book highlights different approaches to challenges facing an urbanised planet

Over 100 scientists, architects, journalists, artists, designers and activists provide perspectives on what future urban sustainability should look like


There is a general consensus that we live on an increasingly urban planet but ideas on how to make it sustainable, liveable, and just still differ. A new open access book published by Cambridge has collected a wide variety of ideas and practices that grapple with the conceptual and operational challenges of sustainable urban development. The book, Urban Planet: Knowledge towards sustainable cities, is edited by centre researcher Thomas Elmqvist.

The book presents perspectives from an unusually wide range of academic disciplines as well as contributions from more than 30 architects journalists, artists, designers, activists and youth, giving a diversity of often neglected voices and perspectives. The rationale is that an interdisciplinary approach and co-production of new knowledge are needed to address the new complexity of the Anthropocene.

“There are sometimes drastically different perspectives between practitioners and academics. We need to pursue more universal and scalable patterns and processes that can be used in both the global north and global south,” says Thomas Elmqvist.

He believes that for us to succeed with an urban sustainable transformation, we must actively engage the many and diverse individuals and stakeholders and actors that play a role in this process, from city officials and private and civil-society actors, to the people who live in the cities. That includes including more voices from cities of the global south.

“This book is unique because it connects challenges and solutions at the local scale with drivers and policy frameworks at the regional and global scale," Elmqvist says.

Read more about the book here

Published: 2018-04-26

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