Conferences and workshops

Is Urban Sustainability Going Out of Fashion?





Simon Joss took part in a roundtable discussion at the AESOP Annual Congress in Gothenburg last week, exploring the rise of new urban development concepts and practices (smart cities, resilient cities, low carbon cities, etc), and where these leave the idea of sustainability.  The interesting questions posed by convenor Jonathan Metzger included the following:

Has ‘sustainability’ been a fashionable concept that is now losing its attraction and receding to the background of urban planning and development practice? If so, what are its remaining effects or institutional legacy?

How should we view the practices that are coalescing around new key concepts such as smart, resilient, low-carbon – are they continuations of the sustainability paradigm, complimentary or rather competing?

Should ‘sustainability’ be let go of as a guiding concept for urban planning and development? What are the arguments for and against?


You can read the session abstract and list of speakers here.

Not unrelatedly, Simon is currently co-editing (with SMART-ECO colleagues Federico Caprotti and Martin de Jong) a special issue of the journal Sustainability, on the theme of ‘Smart, the New Sustainable? The Smart City and Its Implications for Sustainable Urbanism’.  More news on that will be posted here closer to publication date.

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