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How to identify cities on the path towards real sustainability?


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Vigier, M., Moore, J. and Ouellet-Plamondon, C.. 2023. « How to identify cities on the path towards real sustainability? ». In Proceedings of the Canadian Society of Civil Engineering Annual Conference 2021 CSCE 2021 : Environmental Track (En ligne, May 26-29, 2021) Coll. « Lecture Notes in Civil Engineering », vol. 249. pp. 309-321. Springer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH.

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Despite rising awareness concerning climate change, global anthropic impacts on the environment are forecasted to increase in the overcoming years, exceeding our planet’s ecological limits. The accelerating pace of climate degradation calls for a quick and efficient response from our societies, should we have a chance to limit the impacts of global warming. Being main nodes of over-consumption and pollution, thus having a high potential for footprint reduction, cities are crucial actors for climate mitigation. Hence, to successfully achieve a transition towards real sustainability, knowledge transfer needs to happen from the cities that are aiming towards life-respecting planetary boundaries to other urban regions worldwide. Although gaining momentum in the literature, a life respecting Earth’s Carrying Capacity (ECC) is not yet explicitly nor widely set as the ultimate goal for cities wanting to realistically face climate change. This article’s purpose is to reflect on the identification of cities actively aiming for ECC and point out the various obstacles to this goal. A misrepresentation of cities’ impact, both induced by misused sustainability terms and incomplete assessment methodology, is found to be hindering cities from reducing their footprint with the efforts needed to adequately face climate change. To that extent, it is crucial that ECC becomes a wider used target for cities, and that compliant assessment methods along with more holistic indicators are used to evaluate and monitor their progress. Finally, other technical issues regarding the incompleteness of standards, accessibility, and representativeness of qualitative data must be addressed.

Item Type: Conference proceeding
Walbridge, S.
Nik-Bakht, M.
Ng, K. T.
Shome, M.
Alam, M. S.
El Damatty, A.
Lovegrove, G.
Additional Information: Titre traduit : Comment identifier les villes sur la voie du développement durable?
Ouellet-Plamondon, Claudiane
Affiliation: Génie de la construction
Date Deposited: 17 Oct 2022 14:01
Last Modified: 14 Nov 2022 19:34

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