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Beyond Green Growth: Policymaking under Planetary Boundaries for the Transformations Towards Sustainable Development

February 14, 2018 @ 5:00 pm - 6:30 pm


In 2015, the United Nations announced a document known as ‘Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, which is built around the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Agenda stresses the need to change our development path. Indeed, the existing development models do not fit this new agenda, and several alternatives have been proposed. Among those, the discourse of “green growth” has gained ground in governance deliberations and policy proposals. It is presented as a fresh and innovative agenda centered on the deployment of engineering sophistication, managerial acumen, and market mechanisms to redress the environmental and social derelictions of the current development models. But can the green growth project deliver environmental sustainability, social justice and the achievement of economic life upon a materially finite planet? This presentation tries to answer several questions. First, what explains modern society’s investment in the green growth idea, why has it emerged as a master concept in the contemporary conjuncture, and what social forces does it serve? Second, how do we evaluate the results of a series of prominent green growth projects? Finally, it weighs up the merits and demerits of alternative strategies and policies asking the vital question: If not green growth, then what development models we need for the 2030 Agenda? How can we transform our development model and policy making to take into consideration planetary boundaries? The presentation by Jose A. Puppim de Oliveira will bring examples of cities and focus the discussion on alternative models of urban development.

NYU Urban Seminar Series: Equity, Design, and Climate Change

Co-sponsored by NYU Wagner, NYU Department of Environmental Studies, and UPSA.

Cities today are growing quickly. The UN projects that continuing population growth and urbanization will add 2.5 billion people to the world’s urban centers by 2050. Even as our cities expand, unprecedented climate events flood our urban spaces, redraw shorelines, and devastate infrastructure. In the face of these twinned challenges of rapid growth and climate change, how do we design our cities so that they are inclusive, and remain centers of economic growth and creative dynamism that integrate new arrivals, while at the same time becoming more resilient to climate change? How do we ensure that our design approaches promote equity in our cities, and address climate change impacts that are most often felt by the economically vulnerable populations and areas of our cities? How do we create a design process that is inclusive, represents the needs of different urban constituencies, and draws on the creativity of all residents as we address emergent climate shifts? The 2018 NYU Urban Seminar Series will include urban planners, designers, researchers, practitioners, and artists whose work explores the intersection of equity, design, and climate change.


NYU Wagner, UPSA, NYU Department of Environmental Studies


The Puck Building, The Rudin Family Forum for Civic Dialogue
295 LaFayette Street
New York, NY 10012 United States
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