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All Ebook Formats $29.99 ISBN: 9781610915045 Published September 2013
Paperback $30.00 ISBN: 9781610913799 Published September 2013


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The Guide to Greening Cities

The Guide to Greening Cities
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Sadhu Aufochs Johnston, Steven S. Nicholas, and Julia Parzen

264 pages | 41 photos, 13 figures, 1 table, 4 boxes | 7 x 10
Superstorm Sandy sent a strong message that a new generation of urban development and infrastructure is desperately needed, and it must be designed with resilience in mind. As cities continue to face climate change impacts while growing in population, they find themselves at the center of resilience and green city solutions, yet political and budgetary obstacles threaten even the best-planned initiatives. In The Guide to Greening Cities, seasoned green city leaders Sadhu Johnston, Steven Nicholas, and Julia Parzen use success stories from across North America to show how to turn a green city agenda into reality.
The Guide to Greening Cities is the first book written from the perspective of municipal leaders with successful, on-the-ground experience working to advance green city goals. Through personal reflections and interviews with leading municipal staff in cities from San Antonio to Minneapolis, the authors share lessons for cities to lead by example in their operations, create programs, implement high-priority initiatives, develop partnerships, measure progress, secure funding, and engage the community. Case studies and chapters highlight strategies for overcoming common challenges such as changes of leadership and fiscal austerity. The book is augmented by a companion website, launching with the publication of the book, which offers video interviews of municipal leaders, additional case studies, and other resources.
Rich in tools, insights, and tricks of the trade, The Guide to Greening Cities helps professionals, policymakers, community leaders, and students understand which approaches have worked and why and demonstrates multidisciplinary solutions for creating healthy, just, and green communities.
Visit the companion website to the book -
"...a useful book for urban planners wishing to increase the resiliency of their communities."
ASLA's The Dirt blog

"As far as I know, The Guide to Greening Cities is the first book written primarily from the perspective of municipal sustainability officials, sharing their on-the-ground experience working to advance green city goals. As such, it explains the story of government leadership from the inside and, importantly for readers, at the level of practitioners rather than politicians. It's easy to forget that the maze of government bureaucracy can be just as daunting to those seeking change from within as it is to those of us on the outside. As a result, the Guide is really useful to advocates who need to understand how the bureaucracy works in order to be influential."
NRDC's The Switchboard blog

"The Guide provides useful advice on how practitioners work in local government bureaucracies to advocate and influence directions."
Ontario Municipal Knowledge Network

"... [The Guide to Greening Cities] offers inspiration on how to create transformation from within city government in partnership with its citizens."
Funders' Network

"Cities are the recognized leaders on greening, sustainability and climate action. The Guide to Greening Cities is the first book I have seen that captures the spirit and hard work of how cities are accomplishing their sustainability goals, and reducing emissions, across North America. Mayors and local leaders who want to join this growing trend of city leadership, innovation and creativity to build more sustainable cities need to read The Guide to Greening Cities."
Annise Parker, Mayor, City of Houston

"A superb book, timely, practical and visionary. Three intrepid pioneers of urban sustainability describe how cities are being transformed to meet the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century and beyond. Essential reading for everyone concerned with the vitality and resilience of urban regions."
David W. Orr, Oberlin College

"Urban areas offer some automatic advantages in efficiency—but this fine book shows how they can become the driving force of a working planet!"
Bill McKibben, author of Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist

"From a business perspective, the question related to cities and sustainability is clear and compelling: can you have a healthy company in an unhealthy city? Arguably, no. Companies need healthy cities to provide reliable infrastructure, an educated and vital workforce, a vibrant economy, and a safe and secure environment to survive and thrive. Business executives have a lot to learn from cities, and a lot to contribute, and this book shows the way, chronicling the successes and the lessons learned about what it takes to make a city healthy, in every sense of the word."
Joel Makower, Executive Editor,

"Around the world, people increasingly recognize that our planet's future largely depends on making our cities sustainable. But for each city, turning that recognition into a realistic action plan is an enormously complicated undertaking. Using their direct experience, and their deep understanding of municipal policy and politics, the authors of The Guide to Greening Cities explain what it takes to move beyond the talk of greening cities to actually getting it done."
Michael R. Bloomberg, New York City Mayor

"An excellent addition to public and college library environmental and sustainability shelves, The Guide to Greening Cities should be mandatory reading for mayors, city planners, community organizers, and urban leaders everywhere."
Midwest Book Review

Foreword by Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia
Introduction: The New Urban Imperative

Chapter 1. Working Within City Government: Lessons from Sadhu Johnston in Chicago and Vancouver

Chapter 2. Leading from the Inside Out: Greening City Buildings and Operations
-Case in Point: Assessing Climate Risk and Resiliency in Flagstaff
-Case In Point: Greening City Fleets in Raleigh

Chapter 3. Leading in the Community: Using City Assets, Policy, Partnerships, and Persuasion
-Case In Point: Returning to Green City Roots and Loving El Paso
-Case In Point: Sewer Overflows and Sustainable Infrastructure in Philadelphia

Chapter 4. The Green City Leader
-Case-in-Point: Funding Sustainability through Savings in Asheville
-Case in Point: Permeable Pavement and the Green Alley Program in Chicago

Chapter 5. Getting Down to Business: Budgeting, Financing and Green Economic Development
-Case in Point: Growing Green Businesses and Jobs in San Antonio
-Case In Point: Financing Affordable Housing Along Transit Lines in Denver

Chapter 6. Driving Green Progress Using Indicators
-Case In Point: Sustainability Performance Management in Minneapolis
-Case in Point: Ensuring Sustainability Remains a Priority in New York City

Conclusion: From Green to Resilient Cities


To read additional case studies, keep up-to-date on events, or watch interviews, visit the companion website to the book  -
The companion site also contains interviews from more than 20 urban sustainability directors, including:
  • David Bragdon, New York, New York
  • Dennis Murphey, Kansas City, Missouri 
  • Celia Vanderloop, Denver, Colorado
  • Alicia Zatcoff, Richmond, Virginia
  • Lawson Oates, Toronto, Ontario
  • Leslie Ethen, Tucson, Arizona
  • Jo Zientek, San Jose, California
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