Implementing Sustainable Policies: how perspectives and representation differs between cities and suburbs

Authors: Guillaume Poiret*, Eastern Paris University
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning
Keywords: Rochester Baltimore Sustainability suburbs
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Virtual 18
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Environmental sustainability and resilience are increasingly important topics for city planners and policy makers. Over the last two decades, cities like New York, Portland (Oregon) and Chicago have been lauded as sites of innovation, illustrating how cities can reduce their negative environmental impacts and also become more resilient in the face of global climate change and related challenges. Yet, many of those policies are initiated at a city level and not at the metropolitan area level. Most of the suburbs of US cities are not involved in the making of and implementation of those policies. Based on interviews and field work, this paper aims to point out how politics but also, in the end, political and social representations do partly explain this growing gap between suburbs and cities . Taking the example of Rochester (NY) and Baltimore (MD), this paper will analyze the sustainable policies of those two cities but also, in both cases, how suburbs mostly tend to weaken the expected results by refusing to take part on the process. It will show how the current political pattern explains it partly and how the gap between urban and suburban representations contributes to the lack of action in most suburbs

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