A multi-year, multi-scale analysis of urban sustainability
In an urban world human well-being and global sustainability are connected to cities and the way they function. However, the ability and political willingness of local authorities and urbanites to take action to significantly reduce urban negative biophysical impacts is limited. This manuscript presents the results of a research which aimed to examine the extent to which existing and potential measures within and outside urban boundaries can reduce the urban ecological footprint and advance urban sustainability. It focuses on the town of Ra'anana, Israel, as a case study examined over a decade. It identifies the contribution of different urban activities (e.g., transportation, food consumption etc.) and stakeholders (e.g., urban residents, municipality, the state etc.) to the changes of the urban footprint over time. It then examines the potential contributions of selected measures (e.g., plans, technology implementation, behavioral change, etc.) within and outside the town's boundaries to minimize the urban footprint. The research joins a small group of studies that have examined urban footprints over time and an even smaller number that tried to examine the potential footprint reductions from sustainability actions taken at different spatial scales.