Learning from other cities

Policy makers like case studies and examples. If you propose a new waste management project or transport policy idea to a local politician, their first question is likely to be: “Who’s done it before?” Case studies can help transfer experience and knowledge between cities around the world, and help best practices to spread more quickly.

In this assignment, students developed a case study of urban sustainability for a chosen city addressing the following issues:

  • Provide some context. Why is this city an interesting example of urban sustainability? If it has a reputation for sustainability, to what extent is that justified?
  • What are the specific practices, policies or projects that other cities can learn from and emulate?
  • What are the most important lessons learned?

These case studies are not intended to be comprehensive. They don’t try and document everything a city has done – they just pull out the most interesting issues and projects. In Abu Dhabi, this might be green buildings. In Curitiba, it might be transport and land-use planning.

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