Action Research Books

Social Justice, Environment and Livability books from MIT Press

Human Settlements and Planning for Ecological Sustainability

Human Settlements and Planning for Ecological Sustainability:
The Case of Mexico City

Keith Pezzoli, Forward by John Friedman

July 2000, MIT Press

“This book is recommended for anyone interested in urban planning and the struggle for sustainable development in the urban context. . . . Human Settlements and Planning for Ecological Sustainability goes to the heart of what is needed to accomplish sustainable development in an urban setting. . . . This book and the study it contains are vital to our future.”
— Mark J. Spalding, Journal of Environment & Development

In many areas of the world, environmental degradation in and around human settlements is undermining prospects for both socioeconomic justice and ecological sustainability. To explore the issues involved in this worldwide problem, Keith Pezzoli focuses on a dramatic instance of conflict that grew out of the unauthorized penetration of human settlements into the Ajusco greenbelt zone, a vital part of Mexico City’s ecological reserve.

The heart of the book is the story of what happened when residents of the Ajusco settlements fought relocation by proposing that the areas be transformed into productive ecology settlements. Pezzoli draws upon urban and regional planning theory and practice to examine biophysical as well as ethical and social sides of the story, and he uses the Mexican experience to identify planning strategies to link economy, ecology, and community in sustainable development.


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