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How smart is smart growth?: Examining the environmental validation behind city compaction
The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9021-1033
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science. The Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden; The Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7644-7448
Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.
2019 (English)In: Ambio, ISSN 0044-7447, E-ISSN 1654-7209, Vol. 48, no 6, p. 580-589Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Smart growth (SG) is widely adopted by planners and policy makers as an environmentally friendly way of building cities. In this paper, we analyze the environmental validity of the SG-approach based on a review of the scientific literature. We found a lack of proof of environmental gains, in combination with a great inconsistency in the measurements of different SG attributes. We found that a surprisingly limited number of studies have actually examined the environmental rationales behind SG, with 34% of those studies displaying negative environmental outcomes of SG. Based on the insights from the review, we propose that research within this context must first be founded in more advanced and consistent knowledge of geographic and spatial analyses. Second, it needs to a greater degree be based on a system's understanding of urban processes. Third, it needs to aim at making cities more resilient, e.g., against climate-change effects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 48, no 6, p. 580-589
Keywords [en]
City compaction, City densification, Environmentally friendly urban development, Smart growth, Sustainable urban development
National Category
Other Social Sciences Other Engineering and Technologies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-27873DOI: 10.1007/s13280-018-1087-yISI: 000466181400004PubMedID: 30171568Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85053378151OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-27873DiVA, id: diva2:1246157
Available from: 2018-09-06 Created: 2018-09-06 Last updated: 2019-11-25Bibliographically approved

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Colding, Johan

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