Gauging 'Sustainability' in Cities
In recent years, urban researchers have been understandably doing lots of work on sustainability – this conceptualization of the economic development, environmental protection and social equity activities of local governments as single, unidimensional latent construct.
While the literature to date has offered a lot of insights, my co-author William Swann and I argue in a new Journal of Urban Affairs article that researchers need to now move beyond treating all “green” policy tools as these equally weighted commitments to sustainable governance.
Specifically, we explore whether the degree of such commitment reflects different motivations and test for distinct political economies underlying decisions to commit to energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction policy tools. We find evidence that the determinants for the two types of policies are distinct, and subsequent research should focus on disentangling these distinct motivations for sustainable action by governments.
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I work as an Assistant Professor at the O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Bloomington. There, I direct the MGMT Lab.