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Green Cities, Growing Cities, Just Cities?: Urban Planning and the Contradictions of Sustainable Development

Abstract: 
Nothing inherent in the discipline steers planners either toward environmental protection or toward economic development—or toward a third goal of planning: social equity. Instead, planners work within the tension generated among these three fundamental aims, which, collectively, I call the “planner's triangle,” with sustainable development located at its center. This center cannot be reached directly, but only approximately and indirectly, through a sustained period of confronting and resolving the triangle's conflicts. To do so, planners have to redefine sustainability, since its current formulation romanticizes our sustainable past and is too vaguely holistic. Planners would benefit both from integrating social theory with environmental thinking and from combining their substantive skills with techniques for community conflict resolution, to confront economic and environmental injustice.
Author: 
Scott Campbell
Year: 
2007
Input By: 
Aleksandra Durova
Affiliation: 
MIT DUSP
Dimensions-Problem/Solution: 
Region(s): 
Country: 
United States
Datatype(s): 
Theory/Definition