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Chpt 8: Urban Sustainability.doc

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Andre Sorensen

Week 4: Urban Sustainability (Defining Sustainability, Urban Sustainability and Government, Practices of Urban Sustainability) Defining Sustainability:  Sustainability a dominant concept for policy formulation since 1980s.  popular with private sector (businesses), public sector (government) and third sector (non-profit organizations)  adopted by different interests for varied purposes What does Sustainability mean?  Sustain: to support; to hold; to bear weight of  Sustainability: extent to which this action is accomplished  Sustainability: “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future qualification to meet their own needs  Concern about accelerating deterioration of the human environment and natural resources and consequences for social and economic development.  Environmental problems are global in nature  Environmental problems have different manifestations in various geographic areas.  Concept of sustainability based upon a ‘three spheres’ model Balance and inter-relationship of:  Three spheres model:  Social development  Environmental protection  Economic growth  Balance of interrelated social development objectives, environmental protection goals and economic growth strategies in cities  Emphasis on circular metabolism  Awareness of the increasing role of cities and growing urbanization in the production and consumption of natural resources  Cities simply cannot continue consuming resources and generating waste at their current rate  “Sustainability is the new catchword of city thinking”  Broadness of sustainability concept allows for adoption by governments and businesses  ‘fuzzy concept” of sustainability – difficult to universally define and interpret  Marketing of sustainability is now an aspect of urban consumer culture and city lifestyles Reasons for a focus on urban sustainability?  growing concern about climate change: global warming caused by greenhouse gases  cities dependent on large inputs of energy  cities dependent on availability of fresh water  urban heat island effect: cities are warmer because of extra heat produced in a city and the heat absorption of building materials (i.e. tarmac , asphalt and concrete)  garbage is a major output of cities due to mass consumption  noise pollution in cities: impact on quality of life and hearing ability  cities impact the daily and seasonal flows of water due to impermeable surfaces How sustainability is defined and why the concept is impl
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