Growing Greener Cities: Urban Sustainability in the Twenty-First Century

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Nineteenth-century landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted described his most famous project, the design of New York's Central Park, as "a democratic development of highest significance." Over the years, the significance of green in civic life has grown. In twenty-first-century America, not only open space but also other issues of sustainability—such as potable water and carbon footprints—have become crucial elements in the quality of life in the city and surrounding environment. Confronted by a U.S. population that is more than 70 percent urban, growing concern about global warming, rising energy prices, and unabated globalization, today's decision makers must find ways to bring urban life into balance with the Earth in order to sustain the natural, economic, and political environment of the modern city.

In Growing Greener Cities, a collection of essays on urban sustainability and environmental issues edited by Eugenie L. Birch and Susan M. Wachter, scholars and practitioners alike promote activities that recognize and conserve nature's ability to sustain urban life. These essays demonstrate how partnerships across professional organizations, businesses, advocacy groups, governments, and individuals themselves can bring green solutions to cities from London to Seattle. Beyond park and recreational spaces, initiatives that fall under the green umbrella range from public transit and infrastructure improvement to aquifer protection and urban agriculture.

Growing Greener Cities offers an overview of the urban green movement, case studies in effective policy implementation, and tools for measuring and managing success. Thoroughly illustrated with color graphs, maps, and photographs, Growing Greener Cities provides a panoramic view of urban sustainability and environmental issues for green-minded city planners, policy makers, and citizens.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Growing Greener Cities offers invaluable evidence that we can grow our cities' economies while continuing to repair their ecological foundation. The authors illustrate how the two go hand in hand and offer concrete methods for fixing some of the most challenging issues cities face today."—Andy Altman, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development, Philadelphia

"Now more than ever, we need vibrant, attractive cities to counter the unsustainable impacts of suburban sprawl. This book shows how to use green infrastructure—from heat- and water-absorbing green roofs to restorative neighborhood parks—to draw and hold residents and businesses while improving environmental quality. It's an essential read for anyone interested in making our cities strong and sustainable."—Frances Beinecke, President, Natural Resources Defense Council

"These authors provide a rich menu of ideas and examples for transforming our cities into models of energy efficiency, sustainability, quality living and economic revitalization."—Bruce Babbitt, former Secretary of the Interior and author of Cities in the Wilderness: A New Vision of Land Use

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812220377
  • Publisher: University of Pennsylvania Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 7/28/2008
  • Series: The City in the Twenty-First Century Series
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Eugenie L. Birch is Lawrence C. Nussdorf Professor of Urban Research and Education and Chair of the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. Susan M. Wachter is Richard B. Worley Professor of Financial Management and Professor of Real Estate and Finance at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Together, they direct the Penn Institute for Urban Research and are the coeditors of Rebuilding Urban Places After Disaster: Lessons from Hurricane Katrina, also available from the University of Pennsylvania Press.

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Table of Contents

Preface: Common Ground, Common Good
—Amy Gutmann

Introduction Urban Greening and the Green City Ideal
—Eugenie L. Birch, Susan M. Wachter

1. Taking the Initiative: Why Cities Are Greening Now
—Tom Daniels
2. Growing Greener Regions
—Robert D. Yaro, David M. Kooris
3. The Inter-Regional Dimension: The Greening of London and the Wider South East
—Robin Thompson
4. Greening Cities: A Public Realm Approach
—Alexander Garvin
5. Growing Greener, New York Style
—Rachel Weinberger
6. Greener Homes, Greener Cities: Expanding Affordable Housing and Strengthening Cities Through Sustainable Residential Development
—Stockton Williams, Dana L. Bourland

7. Urban Stream Restoration: Recovering Ecological Services in Degraded Watersheds
—Rutherford H. Platt, Timothy Beatley, Sarah Michaels, Nancy Goucher, Beth Fenstermacher
8. The Role of Citizen Activists in Urban Infrastructure Development
—Paul R. Brown
9. Blue-Green Practices: Why They Work and Why They Have Been So Difficult to Implement Through Public Policy
—Charlie Miller Miller
10. The Roots of the Urban Greening Movement Victor Rubin Rubin, Victor 187
11. Leveraging Media for Social Change Harry Wiland Wiland, Harry Dale Bell Bell, Dale 207
12. Transformation Through Greening J. Blaine Bonham, Jr. Bonham, J.Blaine, Jr. Patricia L. Smith Smith, Patricia L. 227
13. Community Development Finance and the Green City Jeremy Nowak Nowak, Jeremy 244
14. Growing Edible Cities Domenic Vitiello Vitiello, Domenic 259

15. Ecosystem Services and the Green City
—Dennis D. Hirsch
16. Metro Nature: Its Functions, Benefits, and Values
—Kathleen L. Wolf
17. Green Investment Strategies: How They Matter for Urban Neighborhoods
—Susan M. Wachter, Kevin C. Gillen, Carolyn R. Brown
18. Measuring the Economic Impacts of Greening: The Center for Neighborhood Technology Green Values Calculator
—Julia Kennedy, Julia Peter Haas, Peter Bill Eyring
19. What Makes Today's Green City?
—Warren Karlenzig

—Neal Peirce Peirce

List of Contributors

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