Sustainable urbanization : a bi-dimensional matrix model

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journal

25 Scopus Citations
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-433
Journal / PublicationJournal of Cleaner Production
Online published19 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2016


The urbanization process is creating dramatic and rapid changes globally, with over half of the world's population living in cities. This rapid urbanization growth has led to the need to understand urbanization as a major contributor to not only economic/social transformation but also resource consumption and environmental damage. In this context, ‘sustainable urbanization’ came into being. Theoretical debate on ‘sustainable urbanization’ has been eliminated by the rhetoric and realities of sustainability, while the practical application of this debate to the urbanization process has been both limited and contradictory (Pinches, 1994). From the practical application point of view, many effective urban-rural sustainability practices exist in different situations depending on social, economic, political, cultural development and geographical conditions, which makes it difficult to effectively share the experiences obtained from these practices. It is therefore imperative to establish a fundamental holistic model to share these practical experiences in order to mirror and help transfer the good results already obtained. The aim of the bi-dimensional model for sustainable urbanization is to analyze environmental, social and economic issues in quadrant terms at different stages from a new life cycle perspective of the urban and rural environment. Based on the conceptual model, a Curitiba case is used to demonstrate the way how one of the quadrant I (sustainable urban form) is achieved at city level. It is highlighted that government sponsored urbanization pattern can be efficient. However, practical implementation at city governance/management level is rather more important. This research proposes a roadmap for sustainable urbanization, facilitating the generation of the effective acquisition and sharing of sustainable urbanization experiences to support the decision making processes involved in selecting strategies and solutions. This contribution aims to stimulate innovative methods that are able to cope with current challenging urbanization problems in an integrative manner that is adapted to fluctuating urban demand patterns.

Research Area(s)

  • Conceptual model, Life cycle perspective, Sustainable urbanization, Urban-rural dichotomy