The Politics of the Urban Sustainability Concept

David Wilson (ed.)

Published by Spaces & Flows, a book imprint by Common Ground Publishing

Format Price
Book: Electronic $US15.00
Book: Print $US40.00

The Politics of the Urban Sustainability Concept explores the widely proclaimed urban sustainability vision that has swept across urban landscapes of the global west like a tidal wave. This planning vision, mixing with notions of “smart growth”, “regional planning”, and “sustainable cities”, now dots urban environments in cities big, medium, and small. This book critically interrogates this vision and practices for the concrete material realities it produces for all urban citizens. This book is inspired by recent calls for a “just sustainability”. Here, urban sustainability is considered through the lenses of things scantily considered: human rights, equality in access to resources and facilities, and the production of economic opportunities and decent qualities of life for all. This book reveals a city growth and redevelopment vision that can be deeply problematic in who it serves and how it reconfigures urban environments. Often, favoring of the affluent in orientation, this problematic vision too often relies on a failed expectation that benefits will trickle down to all. It legitimizes the building of flagrantly segregated, profoundly splintered cities as a now powerful neoliberal tool in current political and economic realities. Cloaked in a mix of ambiguity and class-based specificity the urban sustainability vision threatens to magnify already vexing inequalities in many cities across the globe.

Book: Electronic (PDF File; 7.826MB). Book: Print (Paperback). Published by Spaces & Flows, a book imprint by Common Ground Publishing.

David Wilson

Professor, Geography, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA

David Wilson is professor of Geography, Urban Planning, African American Studies, and the Unit for Criticism and Interpretive Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He has published more than 60 articles in leading journals. His most recent books are Urban Inequalities Across the Globe (Routledge, 2015), Cities and Race: America’s New Black Ghetto (Routledge, 2007), and Inventing Black-On-Black Violence: Discourse, Space, and Representation (Syracuse University, 2005). He has served on the editorial boards of Urban Geography, Professional Geographer, Social and Cultural Geography, Acme: International Journal of Critical Geography, and the Geography Journal.