Agger A 2010 Involving Citizens in Sustainable Annotated Bibliography

Excerpt from Annotated Bibliography :

Agger, A. (2010). Involving Citizens in Sustainable Development: Evidence of New Forms of Participation in the Danish Agenda 21 Schemes. Local Environment, 15(6), 541-552.

Agger (2010) reiterated that Scandinavian countries hold in high regard the dictates of Agenda 21 and that's why they have been so fast to implement it. This is because these countries have institutional capacity that makes it easy for them to apply the principles of LA21. Agger attributed Sweden's investments in environmental and technical infrastructure to LA21 initiatives. Other Scandinavian countries nevertheless used LA21 initiatives to decentralize state environmental policy initiatives whereas others used it to mobilize citizens and associations in local environmental policies (Agger, 2010). Agger identified the network approach, the integrated approach, and the canvassing approach as the overall strategies for reaching many stakeholders.

He reckoned that governments all over the world still faced myriad challenges when it came to diversifying citizens' participation in projects of sustainable development. He outlines the characteristics of the more deliberative forms of ecological modernization theory thus: creation of realms for self-regulation; the emphasis on communicative means; and employment of voluntary agreements among stakeholders.

Agger underscored the existence of new and more deliberative and interactive form of involving citizens in sustainable development but is not certain about how it would affect the outreach and inclusion of stakeholders. He is assertive that citizen participation should go beyond traditional public consultation to integrate deliberative oriented modes of collaborations with local neighborhood. Resources should therefore be used to mobilize local resources.

Arku, G. (2009). Rapidly Growing African Cities Need to Adopt Smart Growth Policies to Solve Urban Development Concerns. Urban Forum, 20, 253-270.

The Study brought into perspective the smart growth concept and how rapidly growing African cities could adopt its specific principles to their advantage. These cities are still experiencing macroeconomic reforms. High natural population growth in rural areas have made rural residents to come to the cities in drones thereby underscoring the need for applying principles of smart growth concept to ensure sustainable urban development. To guarantee long-term sustainability, Arku (2009), advocates for an informed and thoughtful approach to urban development. He decries that the current urban development pattern is unacceptable since it is dominated by unlimited outward extension, low density residential developments, and haphazard patterns.

He links destruction of prime agricultural lands and environmentally sensitive lands to the current urban development pattern. The pattern leads to air pollution and traffic congestion. Arku asserts that it is the smart growth principles that can right the wrongs made by the current urban development plans in African cities since it promotes compact urban development by concentrating growth in existing urban areas.

Besides, it encourages creation of strong municipal governments capable of implementing land use legislation and regulations. The authorities should also be in a position to develop comprehensive physical plan that guides location and timing of development. The municipal government should; moreover, commit strongly to manage urban areas and provide a wide range of housing choices that residents with varied incomes, ages, and lifestyles can afford. Arku believes that smart growth protects the environment.

Deakin, M. (2003). Developing Sustainable Communities in Edinburg's South East Wedge: The Settlement Model and Design Solution. Journal of Urban Design, 8(2), 137-148.

Lothian's 1994 Structure Plan adduced that the experiments at Edinburg's South East Wedge transformed the new settlement phenomenon into a plan-led environmentally friendly and sustainable pattern of settlement. However, the development of such settlements was deemed speculative and not supported by planning systems.

Besides, it had limited environmental value. The Edinburg's experiment should have integrated elements of distinctive urban culture, spatially compact form, strong landscape framework in a countryside setting, balance of land use, economic and social structures, energy conscious public transportation network, and high level of infrastructure (Deakin, 2003). The spatially compact design solution advocated for use of natural features, woodlands and country parks to separate new and existing settlements from one another.

It is noteworthy that the state of the art settlement model was found wanting and unable to tell whether the high quality living and working environments were ecologically sound. Asking whether the high quality living and working environment are friendly because they are ecologically sound is neither here nor there as the land market produces enough planning gain. It is however difficult to establish whether the model and the type of design solution advanced represented the environment as an ecosystem and not an avenue for greening economic development.

Fuchs, E.R. (2012). Governing the Twenty-First-Century. Journal of International Affairs, 65(2), 43-56.

Policy makers in developed and developing world are playing dumb to the problems urban dwellers grapple with. A reasonable number of the American middle class started moving out of cities as early as after the end of the WWII to the suburbs. Industries were also moved to the suburbs from the cities. This led to economic freefall in the cities. Poverty, unemployment and crime became the order of the day.

Urban policy therefore became the code for social-welfare policy. It became apparent that a presidential candidate could win an election without the support of the city dwellers as evidenced in Ronald Reagan's re-election (Fuchs, 2012). Urban voters were, and continue to be marginalized. Cities can meet the economic, environmental, and security challenges of the 21st century when accountable and fair governance structures that deliver public services are put in place. The citizenry will therefore hold the government accountable. The principles of urban governance can help city governments meet 21st century challenges. They are effectiveness, equity, participation, accountability, and security.

Sadhu, J. (2005). The Green Development in Chicago. Economic Development Journal.

Sadhu (2005) reiterated the critical role local governments should play in implementing the International Action Plan also known as Agenda 21. It is the duty of the government to educate, mobilize, and respond to the public on issues that touch on sustainable development. This informed the Mayor of Chicago's resolve to develop Chicago's first environmental action plan; the second of its kind after the Plan for Chicago of 1909. The greening of Chicago was supposed to better its natural resources, promote environmentally friendly lifestyles, and incorporate environmental commitment into the work of city government.

The greening initiative was supposed to show the importance of resource conservation, quality of life, and conscious strategy that was to increase Chicago's competitive edge. The city uses solar electricity to expand the use of renewable energy. This helps in saving money as well as improving overall quality of life of the city residents. Apart from solar electricity, there is also widespread use of energy efficiency retrofits and installation of LED lightings. It also owns and operates alternatively fuelled fleets.

With regard to promoting environmentally friendly lifestyles, the city of Chicago provides recycling programs and infrastructure to its residents to reduce the city's waste stream. It also provides technical assistance, model projects, and incentives to build energy green residential buildings. It identifies and eliminates barriers to green building practices as well as providing incentives to local businesses to build resource conserving buildings. Finally, it provides a range of transportation alternatives to the city residents and the visitors (Sadhu, 2005).


The criterion for choosing the articles that appeared in my annotated bibliography was purely based on sustainable development issues. For any article to appear here it had to be illuminating issues touching on environmentally friendly and sustainable pattern of settlement that is consistent with the implementation of the International Action Plan otherwise known as Agenda 21.

The writing of the annotated bibliography required that I look for journals that talked about sustainable development especially those that touched on International Action Plan. It was very difficult getting access to current journals as I was expected to have subscribed to get access to these journals. Those that could be freely accessed were those that were published in the year…

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