Sustainable Development Insights, No. 4, May 2010

UNsdkp004coverThe Role of Cities in Sustainable Development
By David Satterthwaite

May 2010 (8 pages)
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This brief will argue that with the right innovation and incentives in place, cities can allow high living standards to be combined with resource consumption that is much lower than the norm in most cities today. This is achieved not with an over-extended optimism on what new technologies can bring but through a wider-application of what already has been shown to work by the more innovative and accountable city and municipal governments and their partnerships with civil society groups.

Sustainable Development Insights is a series of short policy essays supporting the  Sustainable Development Knowledge Partnership (SDKP) and edited by Boston University’s Frederick S. Pardee Center for the study of the Longer-Range Future. The series seeks to promote a broad interdisciplinary dialogue on how to accelerate sustainable development at all levels.

David Satterthwaite is a Senior Fellow at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and Editor of the international journal Environment and Urbanization. He was a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (1998-2007) and recipient of the 2004 Volvo Environment Prize. He has written and edited several books on sustainable cities, most recently Adapting Cities to Climate Change (co-editor with Jane Bicknell and DAvid Dodman), Earthscan, 2009.