The Uncertain Quest for Urban Sustainability: The Micro-Local Experiment

By Robert Lancaster.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Under the tenets of urban sustainability, ‘scale’ remains among the initial considerations before a government can depart on any sustainability ‘journey’. Urban sustainability, a decidedly localized model of sustainability, acknowledges the strong role economics plays at all levels of government, while centering on the ‘built’ environment remaining foremost at the local economic forefront. Indeed, the literature demonstrates a decidedly ‘local’ acceptance of certain sustainability discourses, particularly at the city level. The more recent trend is toward even more “localized” in-city attempts to measure sustainability. Here, a few North American cities have begun to shift more toward the scale of in-city community as laboratory to test the viability, applicability, and the potentiality of sustainability before committing their entire city to go down any sustainability pathway. To exemplify this shift, I explore the impact of “Civano” in Tucson, Arizona, the United States, as it illustrates a newly “built” community put on the ‘right path’ toward sustainability. Strict adherence to the implementation of such potentially economic-driven programs tends to beg the question: “Will the results be urban sustainability, or just economically ‘green’”?

Keywords: Urban Sustainability, Green Construction, Sustainable Cities, Civano Project

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 5, Issue 6, pp.127-138. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 627.330KB).

Dr. Robert Lancaster

Assistant Professor, Department of Political Science, Kentucky State University, Frankfort, Kentucky, USA

I am currently five years into my third career. My teaching interests include state and local government, presidential and legislative politics, as well as research methods and public policy. My primary scholarly interest remains urban sustainability as policy, and I a manuscript near completion for publication in the summer 2010. Moreover, after 25 years as a Certified General Appraiser, I have a deep interest in the decidedly more economic issues of “market value”, as well as zoning issues (and the affect on market value), while I have outlined manuscripts for each of these areas. Finally, I have been married for 33 years to a Registered Nurse, and she and I have three children. The oldest is a computer engineer (he is married with one daughter), our middle girl is a university junior studying to be a Registered Nurse, while our youngest daughter is a junior in high school -- she is hoping to become a medical doctor -- who has been invited to play volleyball for the United States in Australia in July 2010.

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