Regional Sustainability

Regional Sustainability - Journal of Planning Education and...

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View Full Document Right Arrow Icon Journal of Planning Education and Research DOI: 10.1177/0739456X0002000201 2000; 20; 133 Journal of Planning Education and Research Stephen M. Wheeler Planning for Metropolitan Sustainability The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: On behalf of: Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning can be found at: Journal of Planning Education and Research Additional services and information for Email Alerts: Subscriptions: Reprints: Permissions: Citations at UNIV CALIFORNIA BERKELEY LIB on March 13, 2009 Downloaded from
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Whe ler Plan ing for Metropolitan Sustainability Planning for Metropolitan Sustainability Stephen M. Wheeler M any aspects of sustainable development are best addressed at the metropolitan regional scale. Subjects benefiting particularly from regional coordination include land use, transportation, air quality, water quality, ecosystem protection, afford- able housing provision, and social equity. The problem is that this is often the most diffi- cult level at which to find the political will and institutional capacity to bring about change. These difficulties have been particularly great in North America, where regional planning structures have been weak and incentives to think in terms of the long-term sustainability of metropolitan regions are often lacking. Nevertheless, a number of metropolitan sustainability-related initiatives are under way, and more are likely to appear in the future. The question is how planners, politi- cians, and activists can best develop these or help them succeed. This article will investigate the origins of the sustainability concept and its meanings when applied to urban development, briefly survey historical approaches to planning the urban region, and analyze some of conditions through which improved metropoli- tan sustainability planning might come about. The greatest emphasis here is on how a context can be created in which metropolitan sustainability planning can occur, rather than on specific techniques or policy directions. That is because (1) many general directions for sustainability planning are already well known, though specific tactics can be argued; (2) existing metropolitan sustainability initiatives in North America are quite preliminary and provide few grounds for evaluation; and (3) the most pressing question for many observers is how more substantial efforts might come about. The fol- lowing discussion is based on review of the literature related to both regional planning and sustainable development and uses as examples three North American metropoli- tan areas—Portland, Toronto, and the San Francisco Bay Area—known for a variety of
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Regional Sustainability - Journal of Planning Education and...

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