Sustainable Urban Development – Compact Cities or Consumer Practices?

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Sustainability in urban planning has a long history and it has been a widespread solution to build high and compact in order to minimise the need for transportation, land use and heating. Recent research, however, points towards the need for a supplementary approach, which includes the consumer behaviour of the household. This approach necessarily has to work from below and include the citizens, as it is their daily practices that have to be challenged. This article reviews selected literature and studies on whether compact cities leads to more sustainable cities, and it use lifestyle interpretations of urbane forms to challenge the compact cities approach. As an alternative or supplementary approach the article introduce practice theory as a way to understand consumption and it gives examples on how this approach can be used to inspire local authorities to alternative and supplementary strategies of achieving sustainable urban development.
TidsskriftLandinspektoeren. Tidsskrift for kortlaegning og Arealforvaltning.
Udgave nummer1
Sider (fra-til)50-64
StatusUdgivet - 20 dec. 2011


  • urban sustainability
  • compact cities
  • Consumption
  • practice theory