University of Canberra
Professor Barbara Norman's recently published book shortlisted for National Award
Posted 14 February 2019 1:41pm

"Sustainable Pathways for our Cities and Regions: Planning within Planetary Boundaries" by Professor Barbara Norman has been short-listed for a Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) National Award.

More details about the book and a link to purchase can be found here: Routledge

Planning Institute of Australia 2019 Awards: Awards Shortlist

The seven key messages for sustainable cities and regions in the 21st century highligetd in her book are:

1 The scale of the challenge
We can expect nearly 10 billion will live in cities by 2050, the equivalent of building a new city of one million every 5 days between now and 2050. Globally 10 cities already exceed 20 million people (Delhi, Shanghai, Jakarta, Manila) and one billion people remain in poverty with growing inequalities within and between cities.

2 Living within our environment
The concept of planetary boundaries seeks to identify nine key processes such as climate change, biodiversity, land system change, ozone loss, ocean health and so on to define a safe operating space for humanity.  This could be the basis for an environmental health check for every city and region opening up a way for cities to be part of a larger planetary effort towards sustainability.

3 Global challenges and agreements
Recent global agreements include the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Climate Agreement, the UN New Urban Agenda, the Sendai Framework for Risk Reduction, and the Small Islands States Partnership. The persistence of multiple forms of poverty, growing inequalities, and environmental degradation remain among the major obstacles to sustainable development worldwide. 

4 Enormous amount of urban innovation
As cities produce 76 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions and account for 75 per cent of energy use worldwide, cities will be at the heart of achieving the aim to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius. Four cities are explored in relation to sustainability lessons – Canberra (the Australian planned national capital), Kuala Lumpur (a growing Asian city region), Copenhagen (the green city) and New York (the resilient city).

5 Implementation
National urban policies are seen as critical to supporting regional and local action (OECD). Planning for vulnerable communities, the value of good urban design, urban governance and the quality of the public realm are all critical to a more sustainable future. Action in smaller cities is also important as more than half the global population lives in small to medium sized cities.  Clear targets are essential to successful implementation.

6 Seven sustainable pathways for our cities and regions
The book concludes with the need for better PLANNING. The key elements of the seven sustainable pathways are: (i) Planning within planetary boundaries (PPB), (ii) Long term vision with targets, (iii) Adaptive integrated planning, (iv) National sustainable development strategies, (v) Net zero carbon precincts, (vi) INnovative platforms for collaboration and evaluation and (vii) Green growth.

 7 Sustainable communities
‘I am yet to meet someone who does not want to live, work and play in a more sustainable, healthy and liveable environment. We are the stewards of our home, our planet. So, call up your presidents, prime ministers, mayors and local officials, and make it happen’!



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