“How can human communities sustain a long-term existence on a small planet?” This is the main question that resonates throughout Stephen M Wheeler’s book. We are all aware that many existing urbanization patterns are unsustainable in the long run, however our generation has pulled up their sleeves and has started to initiate a change. Green buildings and labels such as LEED (throughout the world) and EPBD (in Europe) have become a predominant building standard in many urban centers, expanding far beyond just skyscrapers and office buildings.

Planning for Sustainability presents a wide-ranging, intellectually well-grounded and accessible introduction to the concept of planning for more sustainable and livable communities. The text explores topics such as how more compact and walkable cities and towns might be created, how local ecosystems can be restored, how social inequalities might be reduced, how greenhouse gas emissions might be lowered, and how more sustainable forms of economic development can be brought about. Only by weaving together planning initiatives and institutions at different scales, and by integrating efforts across disciplines, can we move towards long-term human and ecological well-being.

Our favorite quote: “Moving towards a better, more sustainable future is above all a planning challenge, in the broadest, most creative possible meaning of the term. It is a challenge of envisioning future directions, carefully evaluating and studying them, and then working in a variety of creative ways to get from here to there.”

Here is to the challenge; we know we are up for it!