Resilient Cities

Resilient Cities

Responding to Peak Oil and Climate Change

By Peter Newman; Timothy Beatley; Heather Boyer

Island Press, Paperback, 9781597264990, 166pp.

Publication Date: January 9, 2009

Half of the world's inhabitants now live in cities. In the next twenty years, the number of urban dwellers will swell to an estimated five billion people. With their inefficient transportation systems and poorly designed buildings, many citiesespecially in the United Statesconsume enormous quantities of fossil fuels and emit high levels of greenhouse gases. But our planet is rapidly running out of the carbon-based fuels that have powered urban growth for centuries and we seem to be unable to curb our greenhouse gas emissions. Are the world's cities headed for inevitable collapse?The authors of this spirited book don t believe that oblivion is necessarily the destiny of urban areas. Instead, they believe that intelligent planning and visionary leadership can help cities meet the impending crises, and look to existing initiatives in cities around the world. Rather than responding with fear (as a legion of doomsaying prognosticators have done), they choose hope. First, they confront the problems, describing where we stand today in our use of oil and our contribution to climate change. They then present four possible outcomes for cities: collapse, ruralized, divided, and resilient. In response to their scenarios, they articulate how a new sustainable urbanism could replace today's carbon-consuming urbanism. They address in detail how new transportation systems and buildings can be feasibly developed to replace our present low efficiency systems. In conclusion, they offer ten strategic steps that any city can take toward greater sustainability and resilience.This is not a book filled with blue sky theory (although blue skies will be a welcome result of its recommendations). Rather, it is packed with practical ideas, some of which are already working in cities today. It frankly admits that our cities have problems that will worsen if they are not addressed, but it suggests that these problems are solvable. And the time to begin solving them is now.

About the Author
PETER C. NEWMAN has been writing about Canadian politics and business for nearly half a century. The author of 24 books that have together sold more than two million copies, Newman has won some of the country' s most illustrious literary awards, both as author and journalist. A former editor-in-chief of the Toronto Star and Maclean' s, Newman has been recognized with seven honorary doctorates, a National Newspaper Award and election to the News Hall of Fame. He has been called twice to the Order of Canada and has earned his title as Canada' s " most cussed and discussed" commentator.

Timothy Beatley is Chair of the Department of Urban and Environmental Planning and Teresa Heinz Professor of Sustainable Communities at the School of Architecture at the University of Virginia, where he has taught for over twenty-five years.His primary teaching and research interests are in environmental planning and policy, with special emphasis on coastal and natural hazards planning, environmental values and ethics, and biodiversity conservation. He has published extensively in these areas, including the following books: "Ethical Land Use"; "Habitat Conservation Planning: Endangered Species and Urban Growth";" Natural Hazard Mitigation"; and" An Introduction to Coastal Zone Management".In recent years much of his research and writing has been focused on the subject of sustainable communities, and creative strategies by which cities and towns can reduce their ecological footprints, while at the same time becoming more livable and equitable places. His books that explore these issues include "Biophilic Cities", "Resilient Cities", and "Green Urbanism" (Island Press).