In this podcast I talk with Atillah about the movement's use of the Internet in their organising activities.
Motivated by a Tax, Irish Spurn Plastic Bags
DUBLIN — There is something missing from this otherwise typical bustling cityscape. There are taxis and buses. There are hip bars and pollution. Every other person is talking into a cellphone. But there are no plastic shopping bags, the ubiquitous symbol of urban life.
In 2002, Ireland passed a tax on plastic bags; customers who want them must now pay 33 cents per bag at the register. There was an advertising awareness campaign. And then something happened that was bigger than the sum of these parts.
Within weeks, plastic bag use dropped 94 percent. Within a year, nearly everyone had bought reusable cloth bags, keeping them in offices and in the backs of cars. Plastic bags were not outlawed, but carrying them became socially unacceptable — on a par with wearing a fur coat or not cleaning up after one’s dog.
Newman, Peter W. G., Kenworthy, Jeffrey R.. American Planning Association. Journal of the American Planning Association. Chicago: Winter 1989. Vol. 55, Iss. 1; pg. 24, 14 pgs
Physical planning policies for conserving transportation energy in urban areas were evaluated by comparing how motor gasoline is used in 32 cities worldwide. Data on 10 US cities were extracted and analyzed before comparing them with data from the global sample. The data were collected over a 5-year period primarily by visiting each city and with follow-up correspondence. Gasoline consumption per capita in the US cities varied by up to 40%, mainly because of land use and transportation planning factors, rather than price or income variations. The same patterns appeared in the global sample, though more extreme. Average gasoline consumption in US cities was nearly twice as high as in Australian cities, 4 times higher than in European cities, and 10 times higher than in Asian cities. Allowing for differences in gasoline price, income, and vehicle efficiency explained only half of these discrepancies. Physical planning policies, especially reurbanization and a reorientation of transportation priorities, were suggested as a means of reducing gasoline consumption and dependence on automobiles.
Call#: Van Pelt Library HE305 .N483 1999
Call#: In Process In Process
Portland's support of cycling pays off
View from Jonathan Maus' bike in Portland traffic
According to Bicycling Magazine, Portland, Ore., has the highest number of bike commuters in the country. Ethan Lindsey reports on the industry that's grown up around all those riders.
Call#: Van Pelt Library HM101 .G565 1995
Nothing inherent in the discipline steers planners either toward environmental protection or toward economic development - or toward a third goal of planning: social equity. Instead, planners work within the tension generated among these 3 fundamental aims, which is called the planner's triangle, with sustainable development at the center. This center cannot be reached directly, but only approximately and indirectly, through a sustained period of confronting and resolving the triangle's conflicts. To do so, planners have to redefine sustainability, since its current formulation romanticizes the sustainable past and is too vaguely holistic. Planners would benefit from integrating social theory with environmental thinking and from combining their substantive skills with techniques for community conflict resolution, to confront economic and environmental justice.
Environmental problems have become a worldwide concern for economists, as is witnessed by the development of many theories and policies aimed at driving the economy towards a ‘sustainable economy'. The problem becomes even greater if we discuss cities. As recognised in many studies, a high percentage of the world population lives in cities, where quality of life and environmental concerns undermine all advantages associated with agglomeration economies. The vast experience in terms of theoretical and empirical substance which has been built up around the theme of ‘sustainable economy' has only partially helped to generate a framework for an ‘urban sustainable development'. The city is in fact by definition an ‘artifact environment', where well-established concepts of ‘environmental economics' (such as natural capital stock, natural environment) can hardly be transferred and applied, in the way they are theoretically formulated. The first scope of the paper is to offer an analytical framework for ‘urban sustainable development' to present the main economic concepts that are hidden under this label. In particular, different ‘environments' co-exist in a city: the natural, the artifact and the social environment. Each of them generates positive and negative externalities for the city, since each of them represents ‘use advantages' and ‘use costs' for a city. If this is true, then it is a plausible assumption that the integration of these three ‘environments' has to be supported with specific intervention policies. The main aim of this paper is to highlight the possible intervention policies which may be developed to achieve a balanced ‘sustainable development' in terms of new policy principles that should govern the ‘sustainable city'.
'Struggling with sustainability': weak and strong interpretations of sustainable development within local authority policy
D C Gibbs, J Longhurst, C Braithwaite
Received 3 May 1996; in revised form 12 April 1997
Abstract. In recent years there has been a growing interest in sustainable development as a guiding principle to allow the integration of economic development and the environment within policy and strategy. At all levels of policymaking a major emphasis has been placed upon the local scale as the most appropriate for the delivery of such policies and initiatives, with a particular stress upon local authorities as the major delivery mechanism. Though it is often assumed that this integration is relatively unproblematic, this paper indicates that this is not the case. The paper draws upon research with urban local authorities in England and Wales, which reveals that there are varying interpretations of the environment within local authorities, reflecting environmental and economic development perspectives. In each case, however, these are effectively interpretations which tend towards the 'weak' end of a sustainability spectrum and it is suggested that such divergent interpretations of sustainability are hindering integrative activity and the potential for introducing 'strong' sustainability measures.
There is evidence that the politics of economic development in the post-industrial city is increasingly bound up with the ability of urban elites to manage ecological impacts and environmental demands emanating from within and outside the urban area. More than simply a question of promoting quality of life in cities in response to interurban competition and pressures from local residents, the greening of the urban growth machine reflects changes in state rules and incentives structuring urban governance as part of an evolving geopolitics of nature and the environment. The adoption of principles and practices of ecological modernization potentially represents a dramatic shift in the social regulation of urban governance away from unconstrained neoliberalized modes. In this article we explore how different demands on and for urban environmental policy have played out vis-à-vis changing modes and practices of governance in two English post-industrial cities. We explore differences in the ways that entrepreneurial urban regimes have sought to incorporate the green agenda (Leeds), or insulate themselves from ecological dissent (Manchester). We further attempt to conceptualize evolving urban economy-environment relations in the UK in terms of an ensemble of governance practices, strategies, alliances and discourses that enables the local state to manage, though not necessarily resolve, seemingly conflicting economic, social and environmental demands at different scales of territoriality. Here we propose the notion of an 'urban sustainability fix' to describe the selective incorporation of ecological objectives in local territorial structures during an era of ecological modernization.
This paper examines how mechanisms of social control function to mediate human–environment relations and processes of environmental change in the city. Using the Fairmount Park System of Philadelphia as a case study, I argue that a history of social control mechanisms, both formal and informal, maintained viable socio-environmental urban relationships. Their decline over the last several decades has produced a legacy of fear towards the city’s natural environment that has had, and continues to have, profound socio-spatial and ecological implications. I argue that these changes have their origin in a set of racially motivated decisions made during the volatile years of the late 1960s and early 1970s and that African American women, in particular, have been impacted disproportionately by their consequences. Fear of crime in the natural environment and suspicion of environmental change have resulted in the exclusion of local women and children from what was, historically, a politically and socially viable public space. In this context, urban ecological change is locally understood as more an issue of social control than one of environmental concern.