What can justice and sustainability mean, pragmatically speaking, in today’s cities? Can justice be the basis on which the practices of city building rely? Can this recognition constitute sustainability in city building, from a pragmatic perspective? Today, we are faced with a mountain of reasons to lose hope in any prospect of moving closer to justice and sustainability from our present position in civilization.
Pragmatic Justifications for the Sustainable City: Acting in the Common Place offers a critical and philosophical approach to revaluating the way in which we think and talk about the "sustainable city" to ensure that we neither lose the thread of our urban history, nor the means to live well amidst diversity of all kinds. By building and rebuilding better habits of urban thinking, this book promotes the reconstruction of moral thinking, paving the way for a new urban sustainability model of justice.
Utilizing multidisciplinary case studies and building upon anti-foundationalist principles, this book offers a pragmatic interpretation of sustainable development concepts within our emerging global urban context and will be a valuable resource for both undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as academics and professionals in the areas of urban and planning policy, sociology, and urban and environmental geography.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 Our starting point: sustainability and justice made urban
Chapter 2 Sustainability as a slippery and a sticky concept
Chapter 3 Celebrating the city, for all the wrong reasons?
Prelude: An urban way forward in a pragmatic view
Chapter 4 An urban shot at authenticity
Chapter 5 Empowerment in urban communities
Chapter 6 Risk and resilience
Chapter 7 Conclusion: A better urban life to be lived
Meg Holden is Associate Professor in the Urban Studies Program and Department of Geography, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, Canada.
Drawing on the American pragmatic tradition and the recent pragmatic French sociological theory, Meg Holden develops a fresh and illuminating approach to issues of urban sustainability and justice. She perceptively discusses recent debates and persuasively shows how a pragmatic orientation provides a more flexible and realistic way of moving forward with urban planning. Throughout she shows a subtle way of integrating theory and practice.
Richard J. Bernstein, New School for Social Research, USA
In our pursuit of urban justice and sustainability 'despair is not an option' argues Meg Holden but 'willingness to compromise' is. Using anti-foundational, humanist, core pragmatic ideas alongside more contemporary analytical interpretations, she critiques sustainable development concepts, plans and policies and articulates a hopeful, moral platform on which to learn about, talk about and ultimately build sustainable cities.
Professor Julian Agyeman, Tufts University, USA
Why don't we have more books like this? Smart, theoretically astute, profoundly relevant, morally engaged, and thought-provoking. Meg Holden has written an outstanding book. Everyone working in the value-inflected world of urban studies should read this book.
Robert A. Beauregard, Columbia University, USA
In this compelling book Meg Holden charts a new pathway to the sustainable city, guided by the spirit and philosophy of pragmatism. In dispirited times, this is a much needed and unique contribution to those most pressing challenges in the urban age: justice, sustainability and democracy. Here hope is not the misty ideal of political rhetoric, but the hammer that must be applied to the anvil of pragmatism to fashion, at last, that most elusive object, the sustainable city.
Brendan Gleeson, University of Melbourne, Australia