1st Edition

Capital Cities and Urban Sustainability

Edited By Robert W. Orttung Copyright 2019
    202 Pages
    by Routledge

    202 Pages
    by Routledge

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    Capital Cities and Urban Sustainability examines how capital cities use their unique hub resources to develop and disseminate innovative policy solutions to promote sustainability. Cities are taking a leading role in defining a sustainable future at a time when national, state, and regional governments in several countries do not provide sufficient leadership.

    Capital cities stand out among cities as likely leading drivers in the effort to empower sustainable innovation as they provide a hub for connecting a variety of key constituencies. While acknowledging the successes capital cities have achieved, the international, multi-disciplinary contributors to this work discuss how there is room to do more and improve. The promotion of specific sustainability policies in crucial areas such as clean water provision, high tech innovation, public procurement contracting, and improving flood control in capital cities is examined through various global case studies. The examples range from relatively rich capital cities, such as Copenhagen, where the well-financed hub would be expected to succeed in generating sustainable policies, to poorer cities such as Phnom Penh, where such an optimistic outcome can seem less likely.

    Part I: Theoretical Overview

    1. Capital Cities as Innovators in Sustainability Policy and Practice

    Robert W. Orttung

    2. Capital Cities and Regions: A General Comparative Overview

    Hal Wolman

    3. Indicators for Measuring the Performance of Smart and Sustainable Capital Cities

    Stanislav E. Shmelev and Irina A. Shmeleva

    Part II: Case Studies

    4. Moving the Capital to Promote Sustainability Innovations: Analyzing Cairo’s Future Plans

    Sahar Attia and Costis Toregas

    5. Stockholm: Where Sustainability Meets Technology

    Anna Helm & Nicole Forsberg with Christina Johannsen

    6. Using Public Procurement to Promote Sustainability in Copenhagen

    Marta Andrecka and Alexandra Andhov

    7. Innovations in Public Participation for Sustainability and Resilience in Hanoi

    Linda J. Yarr and Nguyễn Ngọc Lyì

    8. Delivering Clean Water in an African Capital

    Jennifer Lessick

    9. Phnom Penh, An Unsustainable Capital City

    Anthony Gad Bigio

    10. Conclusion: Missed Opportunities

    Robert Orttung


    Robert W. Orttung is Research Director at Sustainable GW and Research Professor at the Elliott School for International Affairs, the George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA.

    "This book provides insight into the unique role that capital cities can and should play as leaders in sustainability. The authors show persuasively that capital cities are different from other types of cities: they are home to the national government, numerous networks of NGSOs, media and think-tanks, and are linked though embassies to the wider global community.  Capital cities can—potentially-- stimulate the process of developing sustainability solutions in novel ways which in turn can be disseminated throughout the rest of the country, and the international community."

    Lisa Benton-Short, professor of Geography, George Washington University


    "This book presents a conceptually stimulating and data rich insight into the sustainability policies and practices in the national capitals throughout the world. Does a well-functioning capital city hub necessarily lead to effective sustainability efforts? Is sustainability agenda in the capitals enabled or constrained by their political role? What are the factors of success or failure? The book makes a first attempt to answer these questions by placing the national capitals on the global map of urban sustainability."

    Andrey N. Petrov, President, International Arctic Social Sciences Association and Associate Professor of Geography, University of Northern Iowa, USA