Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

Book notes

Engaging our readers in preparing book notes

Our Book Notes section has short descriptions of books, papers and reports that we have prepared on all subjects relevant to urban issues. These are summaries rather than reviews. These go into the Book Notes online database that contains all Book Notes since our 1993 editions. It has facilities for searching by author, title, key word, city or country.

As an experiment, we are opening this to our readers so it can draw on a wider pool of knowledge. So we invite you to send us short summaries of new publications you have read that you found interesting – and relevant to urban issues. Authors may submit summaries too, but not promotional material. We welcome your submission on relevant publications published within the last two years. This includes English-language Book Notes and English summaries of publications in Spanish, French or Portuguese. You will be listed as the author of the summary.

If you would like to submit a Book Note, please search the database on this page to ensure that the publication has not already been covered. Please specify the title, author, publisher, year of publication, number of pages, and ISBN (if applicable). For the description, between one and six paragraphs is sufficient. Book Notes can be sent to christine.ro@iied.org

(For a searchable database of papers in Environment and Urbanization, go to http://eau.sagepub.com/)

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Breathing Space treats air as an ecosystem – one that humans depend on, yet are prone to abusing. While the importance of air is obvious, it is often neglected in debate and policy around environmental management. Breathing Space seeks to counteract this neglect.


This paper makes a case for strong property tax systems in Africa. It addresses the following questions:


Why is taxation beneficial?


This briefing examines the needs of low-income residents of Indonesian areas that are vulnerable to climate change. Specifically, it explores why residents decide to stay or leave in the face of climate risks, including elevated temperatures and sea levels.


This working paper focuses on the Bengawan Solo River Side Buffer of Bojonegoro Regency, East Java, Indonesia. This area has frequent floods, and the Bojonegoro Regency has built a levee for flood protection.


Increasing urban expansion and the accompanying changes in land-use patterns are leading to a silent crisis by destroying ecosystems and the services they provide to support the poor, as well as affecting the resilience of urban areas.


In Neighborhood as Refuge, Isabelle Anguelovski challenges conventional wisdom in the field of urban environmental justice by arguing for a renewed focus on the roles of place, community, and a sense of wellbeing in how urban neighbourhoods rebuild after environmental trauma.


This report describes a finance facility that provides seed capital to support community-led upgrading in informal settlements in South Africa. Called Masikhase – the Community Upgrading Finance Facility (CUFF) – this shows what communities can do with modest financial support.


This paper examines the vulnerability of migrant workers in the informal sector in three Indian cities (Kochi, Surat, and Mumbai), specifically in terms of livelihoods, climate change and health inequities.


This study examines the local impacts of economic crises and reform on the textile industry in Karachi, with a focus on the informal power loom sub-sector and the low-income settlement (Dibba Colony) where it operates. A number of undocumented issues relating to these impacts include:


As climate change threatens low-income communities with intensified environmental risks, the need to provide mechanisms to help low-income households cope with these risks grows.