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Urban sustainability: Research, politics, policy and practice

With the world becoming urban and virtually all population growth over the next three decades expected in cities, it is certain that key pressures of government and governance will be urban in nature. In addition, much of the global wealth and resource consumption is concentrated in urban regions, and particularly in high-income countries. Into the 21st century, these evolving urban socio-ecological conditions and pressures are reflected, in part, in the global interest in urban sustainability. This article explores the evolution of the concepts sustainability and urban sustainability and assesses where we stand now with regard to research, politics, policy and practice. A particular interest in this analysis is placed on what limits our advancement toward the sustainability condition, with a focus placed on the interplay between two variables, the limited understanding of the science behind sustainability or the lack of commitment and apprehension by governments in advancing urban sustainability.
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