Regional Trends in Social-Ecological-Technological (SET) Approaches to Sustainable Urban Planning: Focus on Asia

Rapid urbanization coupled with inadequate infrastructure development impacts urban air and water quality amidst other challenges. Sustainable urban planning considers the integration of blue-green infrastructure (BGI) and ecosystems to produce environmental benefits together with improvement in the quality of life. In this context, the social-ecological-technological (SET) framework provides guiding principles for projects visioning sustainable urban futures. Based on the case study analysis and review of integrated SET frames, BGI innovations, and nature-based solutions (NBS) approaches, it is suggested that the policies to improve the urban landscape could consider interlinkages of environmental, economic, and social systems as important at all stages of planning. Drawing on the key observations from the past and ongoing NBS- and BGI-focused projects and programs in selected cities of Asia, this chapter highlights the role of co-designing, technological innovations, participatory implementation and evaluation, and up-to-date knowledge as significant to address challenges in operationalizing the sustainable urban planning vision. Furthermore, Sustainable Urban Natural Resources Management framework is proposed as model for integration of air pollution and water quality management with socio-technical options supported by institutions, legislations, and finance to boost ecological sustainability, disaster risk reduction, and climate change adaptation. Overall, the synthesis will help to understand and evaluate the underlined concepts/frameworks which are essential to transform these approaches beyond project-based interventions into broader urban sustainability paradigms.

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