Urban Sustainability - Summary of Stage One
Urban Sustainability - Making It Happen
Publication Year: 2017
The Urban Sustainability project conducted by the Jerusalem Institute for Policy Research looked at urban development through the lens of lifestyle changes, putting an emphasis on the following: reduction of consumption, collaboration, resource conservation, changing the city’s modes of transportation, reinforcing the city’s community affiliation, and using public space in different ways. The project concluded that under the guidance and leadership of the local authority, a strategy for sustainability would enhance urban wellbeing, reduce social gaps, and improve life for the residents
of Israel’s cities.
The project focuses on the city as the crucial context for human activity and it proposes policy recommendations for achieving urban sustainability through changes in urban lifestyles.
The concept of “sustainability”
The concept of “sustainability” has many definitions, and models of urbanity are constantly evolving. The Urban Sustainability project sought to provide a definition for a sustainable lifestyle that can ensure a high quality of living in the urban context, whilst minimizing the deterioration of global resources and reducing the level of use of materials and energy.
The project was conducted in three stages. Stage One laid the theoretical base: expert opinions were solicited in a range of fields identified as relevant to urban sustainability. These included “classic” or recognized environmental issues such as transportation and energy, alongside issues not traditionally seen as inherently “environmental”, such as the role of design and harnessing social networks. This stage enabled the formulation of fundamental concepts of urban sustainability and a vision of a “sustainable city”. Stage Two examined the principles of the vision through a series of “urban labs” – pilot projects and test cases conducted in various cities which addressed real life issues of urban sustainability. Stage Three focused on formulating perative policy recommendations for local authorities interested in promoting sustainable lifestyles within their areas. A system of indicators for use by local authorities was developed for the assessment of urban sustainability.