Social sustainability and the city
Over the past 25 years, sustainability has become a key consideration for city governments. However, many sustainability initiatives have remained dogged by the concept's nebulous character. The development of the triple-bottom-line conceptualization of sustainability - environment, economy, society - has been seen as potentially offering a solution to this problem. This paper reviews recent engagements in academic and policy debates with the least examined of the triple-bottom-line: social sustainability. It begins by asking if a concern for the social sustainability of cities is anything new. This leads into a review of the ways in which the concept of social sustainability has been developed in the urban literature. Here, varying relations to environmental debates are identified and the intersections between sustainability and contemporary policy thinking flagged. A cursory review of current engagements with social sustainability by city governments, something mostly confined to the Anglo context, flags how issues of definition and application distinguish those approaches developed. In conclusion, the question of whether engagements with social sustainability conform to critiques about the post-political nature of sustainability is considered. © 2010 The Author. Journal Compilation © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
governance approach, planning theory, policy analysis, social policy, sustainability, theoretical study, urban planning, urban policy, urban society
Davidson, Mark, "Social sustainability and the city" (2010). Geography. 121.