Our Urban Future

An Active Learning Guide to Sustainable Cities

by Shaikh, Talen

| ISBN: 9780262376679 | Copyright 2023

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A practical, comprehensive textbook that uses active learning techniques to teach about the challenges and opportunities associated with urban sustainability.

While the problem of urban sustainability has long been a subject of great scholarly interest, there has, until now, been no single source providing a multi-disciplinary, exhaustive view of how it can be effectively taught. Filling this gap, Our Urban Future uses active learning techniques to comprehensively relate the theory of urban sustainability and the what, why, and how of sustainable cities. This practical, pedagogically rich textbook concisely covers all the key subjects of the field, including ecosystem services and transects, the internal design and patterning of urban elements, how cities mitigate and adapt to climate change, and questions of environmental justice. It functions as both an illuminating roadmap and active reference to which any student of sustainability can turn to find essential resources and perspectives in pursuit of creating sustainable cities.

•Approachable, discrete exercises introduce students to key sustainability subjects
•Learn-by-doing approach encourages critically engaging from multiple angles
•Ideal for students across environmental sustainability, urban planning, urban design, urban studies, sociology architecture, landscape architecture, and geography
•Robust suite of ancillaries includes links and downloadable data to support activities, and additional readings and resources

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Contents (pg. v)
Acknowledgments (pg. vii)
Introduction (pg. ix)
Chapters (pg. x)
1. The Sustainable City (pg. 1)
From Environmentalism to Sustainability (pg. 2)
Defining the Sustainable City (pg. 3)
Values and Principles (pg. 4)
Putting Values into Practice (pg. 6)
Literature Cited (pg. 7)
2. Urban Ecosystem Services (pg. 9)
Introduction (pg. 9)
Topic 1: Conceptual Framework for Ecosystem Services (pg. 10)
Topic 2: Measurement and Methods for Ecosystem Services (pg. 12)
Topic 3: Urban Ecosystem Services (pg. 16)
Topic 4: Ecosystem Services in Planning and Practice (pg. 20)
Literature Cited (pg. 23)
3. The Rural-To-Urban Transect (pg. 25)
Introduction (pg. 25)
Topic 1: Human Habitats (pg. 27)
Topic 2: Transect Zones (pg. 30)
Topic 3: Nature in the City (pg. 33)
Literature Cited (pg. 36)
4. Green Space (pg. 37)
Nature in the City, Revisited (pg. 37)
Topic 1: Urban Green Space and Human Health (pg. 38)
Topic 2: Urban Green Infrastructure (pg. 41)
Topic 3: Parks as Urban Green Space (pg. 47)
Literature Cited (pg. 51)
5. Density (pg. 55)
Introduction (pg. 55)
Topic 1: Density Preferences (pg. 57)
Topic 2: Locating and Measuring Density (pg. 63)
Topic 3: Density by Design (pg. 65)
Literature Cited (pg. 70)
6. Neighborhood Diversity (pg. 73)
Introduction (pg. 73)
Topic 1: Social Mixing (pg. 78)
Topic 2: Measuring Diversity (pg. 80)
Topic 3: Mixed-Income Housing (pg. 82)
Topic 4: Policies That Support Diversity (pg. 84)
Topic 5: Zoning and Diversity (pg. 88)
Literature Cited (pg. 90)
7. Mobility (pg. 93)
Introduction (pg. 93)
Topic 1: The Trouble with Cars (pg. 94)
Topic 2: Walking and Biking (pg. 96)
Topic 3: Shared Mobility (pg. 101)
Topic 4: Electric Cars and Autonomous Vehicles (AVs) (pg. 104)
Topic 5: Equitable Mobility (pg. 105)
Topic 6: Mobility and Urban Form (pg. 107)
Literature Cited (pg. 111)
8. Resource Planning in Cities (pg. 113)
Introduction (pg. 113)
Topic 1: City Strategies and Governance for Climate Action (pg. 115)
Topic 2: Behavior and Resources (pg. 120)
Topic 3: The Circular City: Waste (pg. 124)
Topic 4: The Net-Zero City: Energy (pg. 127)
Topic 5: The Sponge City: Water (pg. 129)
Literature Cited (pg. 133)
9. Environmental Justice (pg. 137)
Introduction (pg. 137)
Topic 1: Definitions, Actions, and Outcomes (pg. 139)
Topic 2: Environmental Justice and Climate Action Planning (pg. 142)
Topic 3: Urban Planning, Scale, and Governance of Environmental Problems (pg. 143)
Literature Cited (pg. 145)
Notes (pg. 147)
Introduction (pg. 147)
Chapter 3 (pg. 147)
Index (pg. 149)

Sabina Shaikh

Sabina Shaikh   is Senior Instructional Professor in the Committee on Environment, Geography and Urbanization at the University of Chicago, where she is the Director of Academic Programs, and conducts research on environment and migration in Southeast Asia. She is the faculty director of Chicago Studies and the co-lead of the Environmental Frontiers Initiative at the Mansueto Institute for Urban Innovation.

Emily Talen

Emily   Talen   is Professor of Urbanism at the University of Chicago, where she teaches urban design and directs the Urbanism Lab, and author of   Neighborhood, among many other books. She is a Fellow of the American Institute of Certified Planners and the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship.

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