Purpose - The economic model pioneered by today's industrial countries is not viable for the world as a whole. In fact today's economy is profoundly out of balance with the world's natural system with impacts on economic and social equity among nations. It has become clear that our global community has to adopt more sustainable patterns of production and consumption to reduce both the use of natural resources and pollution, and move towards low-carbon societies and a green economy (UNEP, 2011). Urban areas are the source of many of today's environmental challenges and can play an important role in achieving the objectives of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (Council of the European Union, 2006). Several diverse initiatives are being put in place by pioneering green cities. However, most European cities are far from realizing an urban environment that could be considered coherent with green economy principles. This paper aims to: i) explain how green economy principles, and in particular environmentally related ones, can be applied to cities in order to make them green cities, ii) review well-being indicators, iii) propose a set of indicators that can be used to assess cities well-being. Design/methodology/approach - To this aims the green economy concept is first described. Then a matrix is employed to characterize environmental practices that are connected with the green economy and are adopted in the urban environment. The matrix will draw upon a sample of best performing cities. This matrix is built upon two analytical dimensions: environmental focus and impact. Specifically, three types of environmental focus are considered: material, energy, and pollution; and three types of environmental impact are considered: less negative, neutral, and positive. The sample city is made of the winning cities of the European Green Capital Award from 2010 to 2013 (Stockholm, Hamburg, Vitoria-Gasteiz, and Nantes). Then, a review of well-being indicators is conducted. Through the comparison and integration of the analyzed indicators, a set of well-being indicators for cities is proposed. Specifically, the identified dimensions of well-being are grouped into three main domains and for each of them a set of relevant dimensions with related indicators is reported. Originality/value - This paper will offer a tool to analyze the environmental performance of cities and will propose a set of well-being indicators helpful to assess the level at which cities incorporate green economy principles also from a social and economic point of view. Economic development, social equity, and inclusion are in fact key dimensions of green economy, but have been so far mostly neglected in 'green' cities. Practical implications - This paper could be particularly useful for policy makers, since it offers structured examples of best practices to make cities green along green economy principles, as well as provide tools and indicators to assess the level at which green economy principles are incorporated by cities.

Green economy principles applied to cities: an analysis of best performers and the proposal of a set of indicators

Albino, Vito;
2012

Abstract

Purpose - The economic model pioneered by today's industrial countries is not viable for the world as a whole. In fact today's economy is profoundly out of balance with the world's natural system with impacts on economic and social equity among nations. It has become clear that our global community has to adopt more sustainable patterns of production and consumption to reduce both the use of natural resources and pollution, and move towards low-carbon societies and a green economy (UNEP, 2011). Urban areas are the source of many of today's environmental challenges and can play an important role in achieving the objectives of the EU Sustainable Development Strategy (Council of the European Union, 2006). Several diverse initiatives are being put in place by pioneering green cities. However, most European cities are far from realizing an urban environment that could be considered coherent with green economy principles. This paper aims to: i) explain how green economy principles, and in particular environmentally related ones, can be applied to cities in order to make them green cities, ii) review well-being indicators, iii) propose a set of indicators that can be used to assess cities well-being. Design/methodology/approach - To this aims the green economy concept is first described. Then a matrix is employed to characterize environmental practices that are connected with the green economy and are adopted in the urban environment. The matrix will draw upon a sample of best performing cities. This matrix is built upon two analytical dimensions: environmental focus and impact. Specifically, three types of environmental focus are considered: material, energy, and pollution; and three types of environmental impact are considered: less negative, neutral, and positive. The sample city is made of the winning cities of the European Green Capital Award from 2010 to 2013 (Stockholm, Hamburg, Vitoria-Gasteiz, and Nantes). Then, a review of well-being indicators is conducted. Through the comparison and integration of the analyzed indicators, a set of well-being indicators for cities is proposed. Specifically, the identified dimensions of well-being are grouped into three main domains and for each of them a set of relevant dimensions with related indicators is reported. Originality/value - This paper will offer a tool to analyze the environmental performance of cities and will propose a set of well-being indicators helpful to assess the level at which cities incorporate green economy principles also from a social and economic point of view. Economic development, social equity, and inclusion are in fact key dimensions of green economy, but have been so far mostly neglected in 'green' cities. Practical implications - This paper could be particularly useful for policy makers, since it offers structured examples of best practices to make cities green along green economy principles, as well as provide tools and indicators to assess the level at which green economy principles are incorporated by cities.
7th International Forum on Knowledge Assets Dynamics, IFKAD 2012
978-88-96687-08-6
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11589/20322
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