Monday, November 12, 2012

Sustainable Cities: Oxymoron or the Shape of the Future? (White Paper)

The Harvard Business School has come up with a powerful analysis in the working Paper "Sustainable Cities: Oxymoron or the Shape of the Future?" When we think holistically we can create sustainable value. The failed business approach of the past has been due to the "single factor analysis" pitfalls. What is holding us back is the monomaniacal focus on one company or technology at at time. When we collaborate with all stakeholders, we can avoid those pitfalls. This requires us to follow the advice of great philosophers and prophets of history, exemplified by Aristotle, who pointed out that the best form of government is one where all participate and compete to find the best way to serve the communities in which they live.

As stated in the paper's abstract, "Two trends are likely to define the 21st century: threats to the sustainability of the natural environment and dramatic increases in urbanization. This paper reviews the goals, business models, and partnerships involved in eight early “ecocity” projects to begin to identify success factors in this emerging industry. Ecocities, for the most part, are viewed as a means of mitigating threats to the natural environment while creating urban living capacity, by combining low carbon and resource-efficient development with the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) to better manage complex urban systems."

To download this paper click here.

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