The eco-city: ten key transport and planning dimensions for sustainable city development
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The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Environment & Urbanization, Vol. 18, issue 1, 2006 by SAGE Publications Ltd, All rights reserved. © Jeffrey Kenworthy.
Making existing cities and new urban development more ecologically based and livable is an urgent priority in the global push for sustainability. This paper discusses ten critical responses to this issue and summarises them in a simple conceptual model that places the nexus between transport and urban form at the heart of developing an eco-city. This involves compact, mixed use urban form, well defined higher density, human-oriented centres, priority to the development of superior public transport systems and conditions for non-motorised modes, with minimal road capacity increases, and protection of the city’s natural areas and food producing capacity. These factors form the framework in which everything else is embedded and must operate and without addressing them only marginal changes in urban sustainability can be made. Within this framework environmental technologies need to be extensively applied. Economic growth needs to emphasise creativity and innovation and to strengthen the environmental, social and cultural amenities of the city. The public realm throughout the city needs to be of a high quality and sustainable urban design principles need to be applied in all urban development. All these dimensions need to operate within two key processes involving vision-oriented and reformist thinking and a strong, community-oriented, democratic sustainability framework for decision-making.
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