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The Very Hungry City: Urban Energy Efficiency and the Economic Fate of Citiesby Austin Troy
Synopses & Reviews
How serious are the threats to our environment? Here is one measure of the problem: if we continue to do exactly what we are doing, with no growth in the human population or the world economy, the world in the latter part of this century will be unfit to live in. Of course human activities are not holding at current levels—they are accelerating, dramatically—and so, too, is the pace of climate disruption, biotic impoverishment, and toxification. In this book Gus Speth, author of Red Sky at Morning and a widely respected environmentalist, begins with the observation that the environmental community has grown in strength and sophistication, but the environment has continued to decline, to the point that we are now at the edge of catastrophe.
Speth contends that this situation is a severe indictment of the economic and political system we call modern capitalism. Our vital task is now to change the operating instructions for todays destructive world economy before it is too late. The book is about how to do that.
A new understanding of the modern city, its challenges, and why old ideas about urban renewal wont work
Why we are failing to protect the global environment. What we can—and must—do to succeed.\n
James Gustave Speth is dean and professor in the practice of environmental policy and sustainable development at the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University. He founded and was president of the World Resources Institute, co-founded the Natural Resources Defense Council, served as adviser on environmental issues for Presidents Carter and Clinton, and was chief executive officer of the United Nations Development Programme. For his role in bringing the global warming issue to wide public attention, Speth was recently awarded the prestigious Blue Planet Prize.
An important investigation of the ways that cities consume energy and how energy efficiency will determine which ones thrive in the future
As global demand for energy grows and prices rise, a city's energy consumption becomes increasingly tied to its economic viability, warns the author of The Very Hungry City. Austin Troy, a seasoned expert in urban environmental management, explains for general readers how a city with a high "urban energy metabolism"—that is, a city that needs large amounts of energy in order to function—will be at a competitive disadvantage in the future. He explores why cities have different energy metabolisms and discusses an array of innovative approaches to the problems of expensive energy consumption.
Troy looks at dozens of cities and suburbs in Europe and the United States—from Los Angeles to Copenhagen, Denver to the Swedish urban redevelopment project Hammarby Sjöstad—to understand the diverse factors that affect their energy use: behavior, climate, water supply, building quality, transportation, and others. He then assesses some of the most imaginative solutions that cities have proposed, among them green building, energy-efficient neighborhoods, symbiotic infrastructure, congestion pricing, transit-oriented development, and water conservation. To conclude, the author addresses planning and policy approaches that can bring about change and transform the best ideas into real solutions.
The essential guide for forward-thinking business leaders who see the Green Wave coming and want to profit from it
This book explores what every executive must know to manage the environmental challenges facing society and business. Based on the authors\' years of experience and hundreds of interviews with corporate leaders around the world, Green to Gold shows how companies generate lasting value, cutting costs, reducing risk, increasing revenues, and creating strong brands, by building environmental thinking into their business strategies. Daniel C. Esty and Andrew S. Winston provide clear how-to advice and concrete examples from companies like BP, Toyota, IKEA, GE, and Nike that are achieving both environmental and business success. The authors show how these cutting-edge companies are establishing an eco-advantage” in the marketplace as traditional elements of competitive differentiation fade in importance. Esty and Winston not only highlight successful strategies but also make plain what does not work by describing why environmental initiatives sometimes fail despite the best intentions.
Green to Gold is written for executives at every level and for businesses of all kinds and sizes. Esty and Winston guide leaders through a complex new world of resource shortfalls, regulatory restrictions, and growing pressure from customers and other stakeholders to strive for sustainability. With a sharp focus on execution, Esty and Winston offer a thoughtful, pragmatic, and inspiring road map that companies can use to cope with environmental pressures and responsibilities while sparking innovation that will drive long-term growth. Green to Gold is the new template for global CEOs who want to be good stewards of the Earth while simultaneously building the bottom line.
About the Author
“A terrific read, moving seductively from the minutiae of neighborhood history to grand global forces.”Robert Putnam, author of Bowling Alone
“An extraordinarily detailed study of New Haven, tracing the citys rise in the early part of the 20th century and its fall in the second halfan almost archetypal tale of the American city.”Edward Rothstein, New York Times
“For anyone with the slightest interest in cities, this book is that rare combination: a must-read volume that you cant put down.”Planning Magazine
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