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Information for G00504

Urban Centres: An Assessment of Sustainability

As increasing proportions of the world's population, production and consumption become concentrated in urban areas, the need for urban development patterns that are ecologically sustainable becomes obvious. A large proportion of the world's urban population has needs that are unmet. We review the scale and nature of urban change worldwide, the environmental impacts of these changes, and the potentials and difficulties in meeting sustainable development goals in urban centres. The discussion of the interaction between city-based production and consumption and the resources and sinks on which these rely that are outside city boundaries is a reminder that the goal is not sustainable cities but cities that contribute to sustainable development within their boundaries, in the region and around them, and globally.

Publication information

  • IIED code: G00504
  • Published: Aug 2003 - Annual Reviews
  • Theme: Urban
  • Source pub: The Annual Review of Environment and Resources
  • Language: English

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McGranahan, G. and D. Satterthwaite (2003), Urban centers: An assessment of sustainability, Annual Review of Environment and Resources, Vol 28, pages 243-274.