Dilemmas of Sustainable Urban Development : A View from Practice book cover
1st Edition

Dilemmas of Sustainable Urban Development
A View from Practice

ISBN 9780367266608
Published July 21, 2020 by Routledge
254 Pages 12 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Dilemmas of Sustainable Urban Development offers valuable insights into a difficult line of work whose practice inevitably requires a confrontation with fundamental conflicts between divergent goals, and therefore also demands difficult choices and compromises. With contributions from leading academics and expert practitioners, this book provides readers with diverse international case studies which highlight and examine the concrete challenges of practicing sustainable urban development.

The examples in this book touch upon all aspects of sustainable urban development work, from City Hall to the local park. All of the cases unfold in their own specific contexts under particular circumstances—but from each one of them there are general lessons that can be used to inform practice. This book is essential reading for anyone who is active as a student, researcher, or practitioner in the field of urban development.

Table of Contents


A practice-centered approach to dilemmas of sustainable urban development

Jonathan Metzger & Jenny Lindblad

Chapter 1. LAW

Sustainable Development in English planning law: Golden Thread or Black Swan

Sue Chadwick

Chapter 2. POLITICS

Who stands up for the ecology? The politics of sustainable land use in Stockholm

Sabina Edelman


Sustainability in city management and urban planning in Gothenburg: from vague vision to social inclusion activities

Petra Adolfsson and Sara Brorström

Chapter 4. STRATEGY

What is more important than getting things done? Learning from Sustainable Sydney 2030

Martin Kornberger


Best-Practices: Contradictions of the ‘Green City’ in Germany

Samuel Mössner & Rob Krueger

Chapter 6. MOBILITY

Promises of intermodality for sustainable mobility in Bordeaux

Patrice Godier & Guy Tapie


Construction sites of sustainable low carbon transition in Paris: snapshots of internal organization, energy plans and technical infrastructure

Jonathan Rutherford & Sylvère Angot

Chapter 8. VALUES

Valuing sustainability in Bordeaux: should the lawn be mowed?

Jenny Lindblad


Programming urban transitions in practice

Jonas Bylund

Chapter 10. EVIDENCE

Evidence-based urban development: beyond the urban anecdotes?

Magnus Johansson & Joakim Forsemalm

Chapter 11. SMART

Climate-Smart Cities: A corporate takeover of urban environmental governance in Malmö?

Darcy Parks

Chapter 12. OWNERSHIP

Delivering sustainable development: landownership and accountability in Cambridge city

Sophia Peacock & Phil Allmendinger

Chapter 13. TOOLS

Realizing the vision of a socially inclusive RiverCity

Jacob Lindkvist, Kristian Käll & Anders Svensson

Chapter 14. COMMONS

Producing collaborative sustainable urban development: experiences of water management in Bangalore, India

Hita Unnikrishnan, Vanesa Castán Broto & Harini Nagendra


Hope and despair: professionals’ struggle to navigate multiple planning ideas in a public-private collaboration in Gothenburg

Mari Kågström


Will sustainability be replaced by resilience, and if so, why?

Barbara Czarniawska

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Jonathan Metzger is Professor in Urban and Regional Studies at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Most of his research deals with decision making concerning complex environmental issues—often (but not exclusively) with a focus on urban and regional policy and politics. In his work he relates to, and finds inspiration in, research debates within the subject areas of planning studies, human geography, science and technology studies, and organization studies.​

Jenny Lindblad is a PhD candidate in Urban and Regional Studies at KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. Her dissertation explores bureaucratic practices in French urban planning, and particularly the implications of contexts as a setting for, and product of, planning. Broadly, her research inquires how material infrastructures shape urban geographies. Jenny is trained in social anthropology, and an associated member of the research center Profession, Architecture, Ville et Environnement (PAVE) of the École Nationale Supérieure d’Architecture et de Paysage de Bordeaux.