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Scaling Urban Environmental Challenges

Edited By: Gordon McGranahan and Peter Marcotullio

International Institute for Environment and Development

Paperback | Dec 2007 | #165799 | ISBN-13: 9781844073238
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NHBS Price: £29.50 $39/€34 approx

About this book

'Think globally, act locally' emphasizes the importance of scale in dealing with environmental challenges, but not how to factor it in. This major new book focuses on the spatial dimensions of urban environmental burdens, showing how important it is to take these into account when pursuing environmental justice and good governance - whether in the context of the sanitary risks of slum living, the pollution of uncontrolled industrialization and motorization, or the enormous ecological footprints of affluent urban lifestyles.

The volume reviews the urban environmental shifts that have shaped today's challenges, and examines conditions and problems in the urban centres of low, middle and high income countries. Case studies address such economically diverse cities as Accra, New Delhi, Mexico City and Manchester, while thematic chapters explore issues including water, sanitation and transportation. The book concludes by exploring and analysing different scales of governance. The editors argue that we should not rely solely on local governance to address local burdens like poor sanitation, nor depend only on global governance for global challenges, such as greenhouse gas emissions, but that scale is crucial in both understanding the problems and devising successful responses.

'With chapters by some of the most thoughtful international urban environmental scholars ... [and] many concrete examples from around the world, this volume advances the science by addressing issues of scale in both its meanings; the geographical scale of environmental interactions as well as the difficulties involved in scaling (overcoming) the many challenges of designing and promoting sustainable human environments worldwide' Kirk R. Smith, Professor of Environmental Health Sciences, University of California, Berkeley, USA


Part I: Urban Environmental Transitions and Shifting Environmental Burdens; * Part II: Environment and Health Agendas in Low Income Cities and Neighbourhoods; * Part III: Environment Agendas in Middle Income Cities; * Part IV: Sustainability Agendas and High Income Cities; * Part V: Urban Environmental Improvement and Scales of Governance in a Globalizing World; * Bibliography.

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Gordon McGranahan is Director of the Human Settlements Programme at IIED. Peter Marcotullio is a Professor at the Center for Advanced Science and Technology, University of Tokyo.

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