Sustainable Cities

 Resilient & Sustainable Development


See our link to Green Infrastructure






World Bank Definition
Sustainable Development 
 in the 21st Century

... A multi-dimensional concept which combines five perspectives, all of which are key to making development sustainable.

Financial capital: sound macroeconomic planning and prudent fiscal management.

Physical capital: infrastructure assets such as buildings, machines, roads, power plants, and ports.

Human capital: good health and education to maintain labor markets.

Social capital: people's skills and abilities as well as the institutions, relationships, and norms that shape the quality and quantity of a society's social interactions.

Natural capital: natural resources, both commercial and non-commercial, and ecological services which provide the requirements for life, including food, water, energy, fibers, waste assimilation, climate stabilization, and other life-support services.






Definitions ...

Almost everyone is talking about - and advocating -

"resilient & sustainable development".

... Yet, various governmental, academic, institutional and professional groups offer somewhat varying definitions for the concepts of resilient and sustainable development.

Sustainable development: Many appear to agree that sustainable development is development that meets the needs of present societies without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs...  Put another way, sustainable development seeks to improve the quality of human life on earth now but seeks to accomplish this within a growth framework which deliberately takes into account the ecological capacity -and "sustainability" - of our current natural environment while also safeguarding the needs of future generations.


Resilient development, on the other hand, mainly refers to the ability of cities, regions and nations to withstand and quickly respond to major threats and changes to the natural environment, to social, economic and financial turmoil and economic and to increasing threats form climate change. Of special concern is the ability of critical infrastructure systems to flexibly respond to, adequately survive and rapidly recover from major natural, socio-political and economic changes or disruptions.



The basic principles of sustainable development have been well analyzed, discussed and generally agreed upon within many local, state and national as well as international organizations throughout the world. 

The European Union has been especially active in promoting and seeking to implement many of these fundamental principles in their EU wide policy guidelines as well as individual member state action programs. Also, many US states and numerous academic institutions throughout the world are examining and promoting action programs addressing sustainability.

For much of the developing world, however, sustainable development remains more an agreed-upon goal than an active component of public sector or private sector projects and programs. Most decision-makers will now agree that programs to promote  environmental protection and public health must be addressed alongside those promoting economic development, poverty reduction, social cohesion and political acceptability. These various factors are essentially intertwined within the concept of sustainability. 

While there are no quick cures for moving  public and private sector decision-makers within a village, town or region toward sustainability, there is now a beginning set of widely-available tools believed useful for assisting stakeholders in moving toward sustainable development programs and projects.

Below are links to some of the more useful sustainable development programs and tool kits accessible through the internet. If you know of others, or have comments on those listed here, please email us.


To view J. Michael Cobb's work 
in sustainable development,
please click here

Tool Kits & Program Links 



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Urbanism3 / IDC - Int'l Development Consultants, LLC