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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Sustainable Urbanism: Vision and Planning Process Through an Examination of Two Model Neighborhood Developments

  • Author(s): Kasioumi, Eirini
  • et al.

The emergence of the concept of “sustainable development” has provoked an interesting discussion about the physical, technological, and socioeconomic attributes of the sustainable city, but less has been said about the role of planning in achieving them. This paper explores the planning processes underlying two new neighborhood developments broadly regarded as exemplary sustainable districts: Hammarby Sjöstad in Stockholm, Sweden, and Quartier Vauban in Freiburg, Germany. I find that planning was proactive, in that the local government had considerable powers and resources to implement the plans; visionary and goal-oriented, in that planners pursued an integrated vision of interrelated goals and devised the means to achieve them; and collaboration-intensive, in that planners focused on increasing technical capacity and on building alliances with stakeholders. These empirical findings suggest that cities that want to pursue sustainability should adapt their planning process towards incorporating these characteristics.

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