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Crafting New Urban Assemblages and Steering Neighborhood Transition: Actors and Roles in Ecourban Neighborhood Development
Published: 31 March 2015 by OpenEdition in Articulo – revue de sciences humaines
OpenEdition, 10.4000/articulo.3114
Abstract: New sustainable neighborhood developments are multiplying worldwide. Embedded in these model neighborhoods are not only particular ideas about better urban form, but also particular ideas about better organization of urban governance and development responsibilities, and how these guide social development and, ultimately, urban life. Numerous frameworks, certifications, and labels have emerged from a range of organizations and actors, intending to offer a level of predictability and certainty in what is included in a sustainable neighborhood, but the majority of these frameworks have yet to be implemented in more than a handful of cases. In this article, we consider two “second generation” ecourban neighborhood frameworks, the Living Community Challenge and EcoDistricts Protocol. We examine these frameworks in terms of seven principles of ecourbanism, and consider the potential of each to guide practice toward an extreme in any particular dimension, or toward an integrated approach. Next, building upon a conceptualization of the demand for intermediary organizations in managing transitions toward urban sustainability, we examine the emergence of these frameworks as they are playing or could play an intermediary or ‘backbone’ role, in building towards collective impact in the realm of ecourbanism. Intermediaries are necessary to advance the practice of transition because none of the key actor groups, while they are necessary and instrumental to bringing particular ecourban neighborhoods into being, are invested with any particular role, responsibility or power to spread the practice of ecourbanism more broadly. Top of page
Keywords: Eco-urbanism, green building, sustainable development, Urban Neighborhoods, intermediaries
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