Governance for Urban Sustainability and Resilience: A brief update


The last couple of weeks have been truly exciting. Edward Elgar Publishing has been working really hard to get my book published in October this year. The title of the book will be: Governance for Urban Sustainability and Resilience: Responding to Climate Change and the Relevance of the Built Environment.

I have already received very positive endorsements for the book. The first is from Rajendra Pachauri, who is the Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), director of The Energy Research Institute (TERI) in India, and Professor at the Yale Climate and Energy Institute. He states:

The Working Group-III Report as part of the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report has highlighted the importance of urban areas in mitigating emissions of greenhouse gases. Urban centres are also subject to the impacts of climate change. Hence urban sustainability and resilience need to be developed to deal with the challenge of climate change in the future and its impacts on urban locations. This book is a rich repository of knowledge and information on this subject of growing relevance – Rajendra Pachauri.

The other endorsement is from Peter Newman, who is the John Curtin Distinguished Professor of Sustainability at Curtin University. Professor Newman is one of the most published scholars in the field of governance for urban sustainability in Australia. His thoughts of the book are:

This book provides a timely overview of the range of government intervention models in the policy domain of urban sustainability. Combining the two closely related, but usually separated, policy objectives of Sustainability and Resilience has particular utility. Having good ideas about how to save the planet are necessary but if we can’t use governance tools to deliver them, we have no hope – Peter Newman.

We (Edward Elgar Publishing and me) are expecting some more endorsements, but these two are already more than I could have hoped for. We have also settled on the back cover text of the book, which now reads as:

Governance for Urban Sustainability and Resilience

Cities, and the built environment more broadly, are key in the global response to climate change. This groundbreaking book seeks to understand what governance tools are best suited for achieving cities that are less harmful to the natural environment, are less dependent on finite resources, and can better withstand human-made hazards and climate risks.

In mapping, describing and evaluating nearly 70 traditional and highly innovative governance tools from Asia, Australia, Europe and North America, Jeroen van der Heijden uncovers the five most eminent contemporary trends in governance for urban sustainability and resilience. He also develops a series of 12 design principles that will help to develop better governance tools for improving the sustainability and resilience of today’s cities and those of the future.

The book is unique in drawing lessons from the theoretical literature on environmental and hazard governance into a broad empirical study.   The book will be of great interest to scholars in the field of urban governance, urban planning, sustainable development and resilience, environmental and hazard governance, and climate risk adaptation and mitigation. It will also appeal to students, policymakers and organisations involved with environmental policy and governance.

Edward Elgar Publishers is now copy editing the book. I just got some questions about a number of references (there will be A LOT of references in the book – over 700), which were not all too difficult to answer because it mostly concerned a lacking page number here and a misspelled name there. This convinces me even more of how important it is to use a reference manager (I use EndNote, but I guess all other programs work fine too). So, all seems good and ready to go.

Even more exciting, I can talk to the book pretty much within the first month of its appearance on the United Nations’ URBAN FUTURES Global Conference in Graz. More about that soon.

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