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Title: A window on urban sustainability

Sustainable urban development requires the integration of environmental interests in urban planning. Although various methods of environmental assessment have been developed, plan outcomes are often disappointing due to the complex nature of decision-making in urban planning, which takes place in multiple arenas within multiple policy networks involving diverse stakeholders. We argue that the concept of ‘decision windows’ can structure this seemingly chaotic chain of interrelated decisions. First, explicitly considering the dynamics of the decision-making process, we further conceptualized decision windows as moments in an intricate web of substantively connected deliberative processes where issues are reframed within a decision-making arena, and interests may be linked within and across arenas. Adopting this perspective in two case studies, we then explored how decision windows arise, which factors determine their effectiveness and how their occurrence can be influenced so as to arrive at more sustainable solutions. We conclude that the integration of environmental interests in urban planning is highly dependent on the ability of the professionals involved to recognize and manipulate decision windows. Finally, we explore how decision windows may be opened. -- Highlights: • Decision-making about sustainable urban development occurs in networks. • The concept of ‘decision windows’ was further elaborated. • Decisionmore » windows help understand how environmental interests enter decision-making. • Decision windows can, to some extent, be influenced.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. Research Center for Technology and Innovation, Utrecht University of Applied Sciences, P.O. Box 182, 3500 AD Utrecht (Netherlands)
  2. Copernicus Institute of Sustainable Development, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.115, 3508 TC Utrecht (Netherlands)
  3. Department of Human Geography and Spatial Planning, Faculty of Geosciences, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80.115, 3508 TC Utrecht (Netherlands)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
22246891
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Impact Assessment Review; Journal Volume: 42; Other Information: Copyright (c) 2013 Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam, The Netherlands, All rights reserved.; Country of input: International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; DECISION MAKING; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY; ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION; PLANNING; SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT