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Ian R. Cook & Erik Swyngedouw

In: Cities and Social Change: Encounters with Contemporary Urbanism

Chapter 10: Cities, Nature and Sustainability

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Cities, Nature and Sustainability
Cities, Nature and Sustainability
Ian R. CookErik Swyngedouw

This chapter considers the nexus between cities, nature and sustainability. At first glance, the relationship between cities and the natural environment may sound like a peculiar nexus to focus on. Cities have long been viewed as places where nature ends and where urbanism begins, a perspective still prevalent today in many urban policy practices. Yet, cities are inhabited by a magnificent variety of flora and fauna, are built out of natural resources, produce vast quantities of pollution and effluents, contain mesmerising conduits for all manner of resource and other environmental flows, and have become central nodes in the commodification of nature (Heynen et al., 2006b; Hinchcliffe and Whatmore, 2006). What is more, under the ...

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