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Urban environmentalism is at least as old as environmentalism outside of the cities. The origins of urban planning in squalid industrial cities, the rise and decline of the Green Bans in Australia during the 1970s, and the contemporary Environmental Justice Movement in the United States are examples of urban environmental action that challenges environmentalists to rethink notions of the environment, environmentalism, and how we construct boundaries and define cities and nature.

The concept of sustainable cities has increased in popularity since the early 1990s. Some authors tend to emphasize one aspect of sustainable cities, such as transport (Peter Newman and Jeffrey Kenworthy), energy (Roberta Capello, Peter Nijkamp, and Gerard Pepping), or eco-partnerships (Takashi Inoguchi, Edward Newman, and Glenn Paoletto).

The sustainable cities idea emerged from a discourse ...

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