The Seven Challenges of Sustainable Cities

Morten Elle, Susanne Balslev Nielsen, Birgitte Hoffmann, Jesper Ole Jensen

Research output: Contribution to book/anthology/report/conference proceedingArticle in proceedingResearchpeer-review


The departing point for this paper is that we do not know what a sustainable city is. The present situation is characterised be small demonstration projects and strategies for urban sustainable development that are not coherent. The modern city can be viewed as a complex technological system. The urban infrastructure, the buildings and their users interact in numerous and increasingly complex ways. The paper analyses some of the challenges cities meet in their quest for sustainability: Lack of awareness and ethics; Lack of tools for decision making; Lack of models for sustainable urban management; Lack of diffusion of innovations; The momentum of existing infrastructure; Counteracting trends in the development of modern society and the need for reinventing planning.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSustainable Urban Infrastructure : approches - solutions - methods
Number of pages426
Place of PublicationTrento, Italy
PublisherTEMI Editrice
Publication date2004
ISBN (Print)88-85114-80-6
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


Bibliographical note

Final Conference for COST C8 'Best Practices in Sustainable Urban Infrastructure'

Cite this

Elle, M., Nielsen, S. B., Hoffmann, B., & Jensen, J. O. (2004). The Seven Challenges of Sustainable Cities. In Sustainable Urban Infrastructure: approches - solutions - methods (pp. 379-387). TEMI Editrice.