ECO-CITIES: THE MAINSTREAMING OF URBAN SUSTAINABILITY – KEY CHARACTERISTICS AND DRIVING FACTORS
Free (open access)
Volume 6 (2011), Issue 3
268 - 285
Efforts to innovate in urban sustainability have in recent decades culminated in a new phenomenon: eco-cities. In recognition of the key role played by cites both as the cause of, and potential solution to, global climate change and rapid urbanisation, the concept and practice of eco-cities have since the early 2000s gained global significance and become increasingly mainstream in policy-making. This study provides an analysis of contemporary eco-city developments by systematically mapping some 79 recent initiatives at global level; evaluating key characteristics (including development type, phase and implementation mode) and discussing the factors (such as technological development, cultural branding, and political leadership) that drive and condition innovation in this area. The article concludes by outlining a research agenda for addressing both the challenges and opportunities of future eco-city governance.
eco-city, eco-town, governance, socio-technological innovation, urban sustainability