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Chpt 4: Possible Urban Futures.doc

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Andre Sorensen

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GGRA03: Possible Urban Environmental Futures Urban Futures and the Environmental Citizenship:  Over half of the global population lives in areas defined as urban  Over 80% of Canadians now live in urban areas (Census Metropolitan Area – 100,000+)  Increasing urbanization across the globe  Urban Environmental Crises: public discourse suggests that unless society configures a different mode of living in cities the future of urban life is bleak.  Peak Oil: higher costs and less access  Reduction of biodiversity  Pollution and impacts on quality and use of air, water and land.  Definition of Peak Oil Theory?  Summer 2008: high gas prices and consequences for automotive and travel industry  Impacts for human settlement and survival in cities?  Employment  Residential choices  Survival necessities  Expanding physical infrastructure of cities reduced quantity of natural vegetation spaces, specie habitats and tree canopy  Level of diversity key to healthy ecosystem  Natural vegetation absorbs toxic emissions (CO2)  Impact on species habitats and activities  Damage of interconnected necessities for human and non-human survival  Linear metabolism of cities, exacerbated by population concentration and activities, impact quality of basic necessities  Public concern about effects of climate change  Urban public health impacts: ‘tainted’ water; respiratory diseases  Contaminated land. Environmental Citizenship:  Official citizenship:  Nationality: identification with nation state  Membership in a political community (ex: democracy)  Political participation – right to vote  Rights of an individual within society  Official citizenship status  Active Citizenship:  Individual responsibilities and duties within society: connection of individual with the commons (larger society)  Individuals work to benefit the commons  Individual and community identity  Civic engagement and action  Environmental Citizenship:  Environmental citizens make a commitment to the ‘common good’ (through responsibilities and actions)  Balancing of environmental rights and responsibilities in search for environmental justice (obligation to act in an environmentally just manner)  Similar to sustainability  Awareness of individual actions on a common understanding of the ‘public goods’.  Sensitivity to impact of individual actions on the larger commons  Emphasis on changing en
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