1st Edition

Imagining Sustainability
Creative urban environmental governance in Chicago and Melbourne

ISBN 9781138926073
Published March 16, 2017 by Routledge
164 Pages - 7 B/W Illustrations

USD $160.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country

Book Description

Cities, rather than nations, have become the key sites for enacting environmental policies. This is due to the combination of growing urban populations and increased action on the part of local governments (generally attributed to national governments’ failure to act on climate change).

Imagining Sustainability seeks to understand how actors in local government conceptualize sustainability and their role in producing it, and what difference that understanding makes to their physical, political, and social environments now and in the future. International comparisons can uncover new ideas and possibilities. Chicago and Melbourne are prime candidates for such a comparison: they are cities of the same age, they have similar historical trajectories as interior gateways followed by industrial growth and then deindustrialization, and they have demonstrated the same recent desire to be global champions of sustainability. Based on qualitative fieldwork in these two cities, this book uses Karen Barad’s methodology of diffraction to read these case studies through each other. This methodology helps to understand not only what differences exist between these two places, but what effects those differences have on the urban environment.

This book will be of great interest to students and scholars of urban studies, urban planning and environmental policy and governance.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction: Environmental actors within local governance systems
  2. The existing socio-environment
  3. Envisioning the future through the sustainable imaginary
  4. How the socio-environment is (re)produced
  5. Conclusion

View More



Julie L. Cidell is an Associate Professor of Geography & GIS at the University of Illinois, USA.

Featured Author Profiles

Author - Julie  Cidell

Julie Cidell

Associate Professor, University of Illinois
Urbana-Champaign, IL, USA

Learn more about Julie Cidell »