Healthier and more productive workers then translate to more profits for companies.
The Social Sustainability of Cities: Diversity and the Management of Change
Furthermore, socially sustainable companies enjoy greater consumer patronage, as consumers tend to support businesses that treat their workers fairly. Learn how to Achieve Social Sustainability within your Organization. What is Social Sustainability? What is ESG?
What is GHG? What is Impact Investing? According to the UN Global Compact, aiming for social sustainability can help businesses in a number of ways: Unlocking new markets Helping retain and attract business partners Becoming the source of innovation for new product or service lines Raising internal morale and employee engagement Improving risk management Improving company-community conflicts Social Sustainability Dimensions or Issues According to Nobel Laureate Amartya Sen, social sustainability has 5 dimensions.
These are factors to be considered in determining if a business or a project is socially sustainable: Equity Will the project reduce disadvantage for the target group? Will it assist the target group to have more control over their lives, socially and economically?
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Will it identify the causes of disadvantage and inequality and look for ways to reduce them? Will it identify and aim to meet the needs of any particularly disadvantaged and marginalized people within the target group? Will it be delivered without bias and promote fairness?
The Social Sustainability of Cities: Diversity and the Management of Change | KSA | Souq
Diversity Will the project identify diverse groups within the target group and look at ways to meet their particular needs? Will it recognize diversity within cultural, ethnic and racial groups? Will it allow for diverse viewpoints, beliefs and values to be taken into consideration? Will it promote understanding and acceptance within the broader community of diverse backgrounds, cultures and life circumstances? Social cohesion Will the project help the target group develop a sense of belonging in the broader community? Will it increase participation in social activities by individuals in the target group?
Will it build links between the target group and other groups in the broader community? Will it result in the provision of increased support to the target group by the broader community? Will it encourage the target group to contribute towards the community or provide support for others Quality of life Will the project improve affordable and appropriate housing opportunities for the target group?
Will it improve physical health outcomes for the target group? Urban social diversity is not a new phenomenon but it poses new challenges, some of which relate to global changes. Whether cities can respond effectively to these new challenges, and the extent to which the same lessons can be applied to different cities, remain open questions.
All of these cities are shown to have potentially serious social divisions, capable of threatening social sustainability, as defined above.
Six policy areas central to achieving socially sustainable cities are discussed in turn, namely, governance; social and cultural policies; social infrastructure and public services; urban land and housing; urban transport and accessibility; employment, economic revitalization and the building of inclusive public spaces. The city chapters explore these topics in their local context.
For example, experimental architecture based on renewable sources of energy was a way to prove our technological ability to support human needs in the face of the finite resources of the planet. Thus, ecological designers embraced sustainability for its ecological tenets and emphasized the obligation to redefine the relations between ecological systems and between people and the environment. Some conventional urban planning practices were slowly replaced by a greener, ecological, more sustainable rationality where environmental problems were often relegated to technological considerations.
Such ecological modernization or sustainability fix approaches were perceived as the most efficient and effective use and management of resources but showed limited preoccupation with social and economic issues. Often emphasizing the protection or restoration of ecological processes, ecological design through a sustainable or greening city agenda focused on solving problems "by changing the city, not by changing society" BRAUN, , p. In this sense, the greening of cities has often been considered "largely atheoretical and apolitical" BRAUN, , p.
The ongoing difficulty of reconciling the social, economic and ecological imperatives of urban sustainability does not mean that there have not been some successful efforts or achievements in terms of greater energy efficiency, ecological processes restoration, and waste recycling. Urban planning and design have long relied on historical precedence as a way of studying, comparing and conceiving plans. In recent years, many so-called 'best practices' of urban sustainability have been traveling as aspiring norms and inspiring benchmarks toward greater urban sustainability. Numerous non-governmental organizations and transnational networks dedicated to the promotion of urban sustainability e.
Many cities have used their green plans and developments as competitive advantages, positioning themselves as best practices to emulate. Ranking the greenest cities has become a growing popular global endeavor led by a multitude of actors, such as The Economist in collaboration with the technological company Siemens , Reuters Environmental forum , Organic Gardening and Globe Award , among many others.
Urban sustainability has brought the beginning of a much needed ecological consciousness to urban planning related to energy consumption, integrity of habitats, green spaces, reuse and recycling materials, housing density, and levels of pollution of air and water, among other issues but best practices also represent a political rationality through which cities, organizations, and networks promote and legitimate their particular vision of urban sustainability. Their hope is that their initiatives, programs, and agendas will inspire policy change elsewhere, notwithstanding local conditions or capacities.
Little concern is given to the "underlying premises and beliefs, with processes of learning confined to those of lesson drawing" and the "consequent implications for the governing of urban sustainability" BULKELEY, , p. There are certainly some benefits to shared learning about urban sustainability's best practices to encourage a "sustainable" vision of cities. However, there are obvious difficulties linked to numerical measurement and ranking something as subjective, dynamic and evolving as cities.
The capacity of current assessment tools, indicators and indexes to measure the complexities of sustainability has also been increasingly contested. Davidson et al. As Davidson et al. Moreover, as Bulkeley , p. In the promotion of urban sustainability in national and international arenas, numerous initiatives and programs have been put in place to facilitate the creation and the dissemination of 'best practice' through which to promote policy transfer and learning.
However, despite the vast array of available best practices, little is known about the ways in which best practice is constructed, used, and contested, or of its implications for urban sustainability. The discourse of sustainability has been naturalized in cities, often at the detriment of local knowledge, particularly governance cultures, place-specific intricacies, and historical specificities. In the context of cities, 'sustainable' is often used interchangeably with a series of catchy, indefinite and equivocal terms, such as green, resilient, livable, healthy, happy, biodiverse, biophillic, and so forth.
The predominant commitments of urban sustainability and green urbanism for renewable energy, zero waste, spatial mobility, ecosystem integrity, and food security all good things rarely name the pre-existing social inequalities and injustices that characterize cities. Work is certainly a crucial component of social inclusivity but it may not be sufficient to fully address social inequalities because, as Davidson et al. If, as David Harvey , p.
Urbanism as a social form is not limited to the built environment but also includes its actual mode of production.glenviewlandscapelighting.com/1668.php
Too often, greening is limited to the form or outcome rather than a challenge to the market forces tapping into environmental sustainability rhetoric. Thus, key questions remain: what is sustained, and who benefits and loses from sustainability discourse and programs? Who does not want to live in a sustainable world? Who does not want a greener economy that promotes or invigorates economic growth while also preventing climate change, the dwindling of natural resources, food insecurity, the loss of biodiversity and ecosystems? In the last decade, green neoliberalism i. Although there have been sincere green efforts e.
Greenwashing has been a perverse way to stimulate the market for more consumer goods and services. Despite their best intentions, greening discourse and its underlying moral discourse of responsibility, scarcity and altruism endorsed by some businesses, governments, non-profit organizations and consumers alike adhere to constant externalization, vague tropes, misleading claims or outright falsification to convince the general public that they are 'doing the right thing' to save the planet.
Green neoliberalism is still neoliberalism that favors invasion of market processes in social and political life. It is not enough to promote the recycling of plastic bottles without questioning the privatization of water. Luke , 89 vividly illustrates the neoliberal ethic of 'reduce-reuse-recycle' when he states:. As Khosla , p.
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Green neoliberalism does not challenge the current economic and political systems, and for some businesses, governments and organizations, its nonthreatening appeal is highly profitable. As Luke , p. Eco-efficiency, for example, is environmentally good and commendable but also highly profitable when it ignores the social costs for individuals or groups who bear the brunt of that cost. The so-called "triple bottom line" allegedly reconciling profits, planet and people often sums up into a "reshaping of environmental crisis to the market's ends" ROGERS, As Harvey , p.
Rogers succinctly summarizes the functioning of this "greener" logic of neoliberalism when she writes. Yet, Rogers insists that consumers should not be paralyzed by such logic but rather politicized because "[t]o bring about change we must experience ourselves as political actors and not simply shoppers who are supposed to vote with our wallets. A green or sustainable economy does not automatically fulfill redistributive justice if what is sustained is the same urbanism driven by profits and inequalities - even when presented in a slightly greener shade.
Sustaining Social Justice. There are various reasons why the social is often relegated to lower or after-thought considerations. The quantitative prominence of the economic dimension and the difficulty to balance the social and environmental implications of sustainability tend to avoid the far more difficult need for relational or interdependency analysis. Economic measurements are based on the methodology of liberal economics where intergenerational and intragenerational equity social relations and social differences are difficult to account for and are at best average, thus obscuring rather than detecting differences FOLADORI, Thus, the tensions between the three pillars of sustainability are not only due to the facts that capitalism is built on social inequalities and environmental injustices but also in the fact that the environmental and social are weighted differently and manipulated more easily in such system.
State and planning institutions have long professed to be concerned with equity without necessarily delivering equitable outcomes. As Dale, Dushenko and Robinson , p.
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