Sustainability in the Global City: Myth and Practice (New Directions in Sustainability and Society)

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9781107076280: Sustainability in the Global City: Myth and Practice (New Directions in Sustainability and Society)

Cities play a pivotal but paradoxical role in the future of our planet. As world leaders and citizens grapple with the consequences of growth, pollution, climate change, and waste, urban sustainability has become a ubiquitous catchphrase and a beacon of hope. Yet, we know little about how the concept is implemented in daily life - particularly with regard to questions of social justice and equity. This volume provides a unique and vital contribution to ongoing conversations about urban sustainability by looking beyond the promises, propaganda, and policies associated with the concept in order to explore both its mythic meanings and the practical implications in a variety of everyday contexts. The authors present ethnographic studies from cities in eleven countries and six continents. Each chapter highlights the universalized assumptions underlying interpretations of sustainability while elucidating the diverse and contradictory ways in which people understand, incorporate, advocate for, and reject sustainability in the course of their daily lives.

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Book Description:

Urban sustainability has become integral to urban planning and policy making globally, but we know little about its practical consequences for everyday life, cultural change, and social justice. The contributors to this unique volume look beyond sustainability's promises and propaganda to explore its diverse human meanings and practices.

About the Author:

Cindy Isenhour is Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Maine, Orono. Drawing on ecological and institutional economics, her research interests are focused on sustainability policy and practice, particularly how they relate to issues of consumerism and environmental justice. With support from the Fulbright Program, the American-Scandinavian Foundation, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research, Isenhour has most recently conducted research on anti-consumption sustainability movements and sustainable-consumption policies in Sweden. She has published in American Ethnologist, the Journal of Consumer Behavior, Local Environment, Conservation and Society, City and Society, and in several edited collections.

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