Summary and Info
Timothy Beateley did an excellent job describing European cities and their sustainability policies. Overall it is a solid, technical approach with detailed information about policy, institutions, research. But somehow he does not succeed in convincing me about appropriate tactics to enhance sustainability in cities. He just offers extensive, I must say, rather optimistic appraisals of European cities and their policies. Yes, European cities do have advantages compared with the avarage American city. A medium sized European city mostly has a compact urban form and does nut suffer from extensive urban sprawl. But Beatley fails to distinguish between good intentions and results in urban planning. I fear that mostly his descriptions are based on rather biased information, including mine, on the possibilities and realities of European planning. He bases his analysis on the charters with good intentions, policy documents and congresses. He seems to oversee the fact that even European cities do not succeed in reducing the ecological footprint. I would rather divert the attention towards the conceptions of the real possessors of power, the builders, the industrial entrepreneurs, the image makers. The selling of sustainability seems to me the most challenging issue. Policy makers have temporarily lost their interest and are not able to implement their well intended policies.
More About the Author
Dr Timothy Beatley is an internationally recognized sustainable city researcher and author. His writings have focused on creative strategies cities can use to reduce their ecological footprints and become more livable and equitable places in the process.
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