Collaborative Strategies for Sustainable Cities: Economy, Environment and Community in Baltimore, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Collaborative Strategies for Sustainable Cities

Economy, Environment and Community in Baltimore, 1st Edition

By Eric S. Zeemering


176 pages

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Baltimore, like many other cities around the globe, is redesigning local government policy and programs in order to become a more sustainable city. Sustainability, as a concept guiding public action, encourages city officials to integrate policy and programs addressing the economic, environmental, and social health of the community. City governments, including Baltimore, have adopted plans to integrate this new priority into local policy and program management. Reorienting city policy and programs to address an emergent concern like sustainability requires collaboration between city government and various actors and organizations in the community.

Collaborative Strategies for Sustainable Cities examines how cities define sustainability and form policy implementation networks to integrate sustainability into city programs. Using the city of Baltimore to describe and analyze the involvement of the participants in local sustainability efforts in rich detail, Eric S. Zeemering argues that when we think about the sustainable city, the city government is not the best unit of analysis for our investigations or policy planning. Instead, policy networks within cities carve out slices of a sustainability agenda, define sustainability in their own ways, and form implementation networks with city government officials, neighborhood and community organizations, funders, and state and federal agencies in order to achieve specific goals. When cities begin to integrate sustainability into policies and programs, surveying and understanding competing definitions of sustainability within the community may be central to their success.

The book’s rich array of data, including qualitative data from elite interviews and public documents, Q-methodology and social network analysis will make for an engaging read to scholars of political science or public affairs as well as the interested citizen or policy advocate.


"In Collaborative Strategies for Sustainable Cities,Zeemering uses Baltimore as his backdrop to produce a careful and nuanced analysis of how sustainability is defined and implemented at the city level, and how it matters. Ideal for the classroom as well as the scholar’s bookshelf."

— Richard C. Feiock, Florida State University

"Zeemering unpacks how sustainability is defined and sustainability policy is implemented by local policymakers, community leaders, environmental advocates, and the business community. Utilizing extensive interview data, he weaves together a compelling tale of how one city with numerous challenges and limited resources grappled with this issue."

—Abigail York, Arizona State University

"This detailed case study of urban sustainability provides further justification for scholars to include Baltimore in their research… this book is highly recommended for readers interested in emerging sustainability programs and in conducting case study research. Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate, graduate, research, and professional collections."

--M. L. Godwin, University of La Verne, CHOICE February 2015

Table of Contents

Preface. 1. Being a Sustainable City. 2. Sustainability in Baltimore. 3. Defining Sustainability in the City. 4. Policy Networks and Sustainability Implementation. 5. Collaborative Strategies for Baltimore and Beyond. Appendix: Methods of Investigation.

About the Author

Eric S. Zeemering is an assistant professor in the Department of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). He completed a Ph.D. in political science at Indiana University. His research and teaching explore collaboration in public management and policy implementation.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Public Administration and Environmental Sustainability

Climate change, loss of habitat and biodiversity, water security, and the effects of new technologies are placing pressure at all levels of government for effective policy responses. Old policy solutions and the administrative processes associated with them are sometimes inadequate and even counterproductive for effectively addressing these sustainability issues. The challenge for societies worldwide often is how best to harness in the public interest the dynamism of markets, the passion and commitment of nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations, and the public interest-oriented expertise of career civil servants at all levels of government. Routledge Studies on Public Administration and Environmental Sustainability will focus on core public administration questions as they relate to the topics of environmental, energy, and natural resources policies, and which together comprise the field of environmental sustainability.

The objective is to provide a forum for addressing the range of issues of concern in the field of public administration as they bear on environmental sustainability, as well as to alert policy makers to the managerial implications of the policy choices they make. Proposals are welcome which focus on the policy and management challenges, choices, and opportunities that environmental sustainability poses for public management, especially as these relate to the managerial, political, legal, and market-related dimensions of effective public administration.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / City Planning & Urban Development
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Affairs & Administration
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Public Policy / Environmental Policy