Today most major cities have undertaken some form of sustainability initiative. Yet there have been few systematic comparisons across cities, or theoretically grounded considerations of what works and what does not, and why. In Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously, Kent Portney addresses this gap, offering a comprehensive overview and analysis of sustainability programs and policies in American cities. After discussing the conceptual underpinnings of sustainability, he examines the local aspects of sustainability; considers the measurement of sustainability and offers an index of "serious" sustainability for the fifty-five largest cities in the country; examines the relationship between sustainability and economic growth; and discusses issues of governance, equity, and implementation. He also offers extensive case studies, with separate chapters on large, medium-size, and small cities, and provides an empirically grounded analysis of why some large cities are more ambitious than others in their sustainability efforts. This second edition has been updated throughout, with new material that draws on the latest research.
It also offers numerous additional case studies, a new chapter on management and implementation issues, and a greatly expanded comparative analysis of big-city sustainability initiatives. Portney shows how cities use the broad rubric of sustainability to achieve particular political ends, and he dispels the notion that only cities that are politically liberal are interested in sustainability. Taking Sustainable Cities Seriously draws a roadmap for effective sustainability initiatives.