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When first published in 2004, Cities People Planet effectively anticipated current concerns about climate change, most significantly, outlining the central role of cities in contributing to energy consumption. Since the book's publication, the tsumani in Thailand, hurricanes, intemperate weather conditions worldwide and the increasing demand on natural resources have made the book's original urgent appeals seem more relevant than ever.
In this new Second Edition, environmental journalist Herbert Girardet's landmark book offers a broader look at the response cities have made to meet the challenge of sustainable development. Focusing on urbanization efforts in China, the book details the government's push to develop entire cities and city extensions within a few years. Girardet describes the flagship project for sustainable development in Dongtan, which he is involved with.