Research: Reviewing the literature on urban sustainability and highlighting the complexities and trade-offs between and within the three Es – ecology, economy and equality

SFL Centre Vice-Director and Professor Lin Lerpold together with Professor Örjan Sjöberg and Professor Wang-Shing Tang wrote and published a chapter examining the literature on urban sustainability which highlight the sustainability trade-offs and complexities across and within the intra-urban space.
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Reviewing the literature on urban sustainability and how it relates to ecology, economy and equality, they in particular focus on the intra-urban dimensions of density, mobility, the built environment and housing, lifestyle trends and gentrification along with social sustainability issues of crime, homelessness and community. Amongst other insights, they observe that rebound effects often are overlooked – hence it often becomes an empirical issue whether the potential for sustainability gains materialize. Moreover, they conclude when assessing from a more holistic perspective (taking into account the three dimensions of ecology, economy and equality) that the potential of a “sustainable city”, when additionally social sustainability is treated as just as important as environmental, that such a “sustainable city” may become a victim of trade-offs that are difficult to resolve.

This summary only scratches the surface, read more in-depth and access their analysis and conclusions here

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