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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Remaking the Urban Social Contract is edited by Michael Pagano, the director of the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) Urban Forum.


Infrastructural Ecologies, by Hillary Brown and Byron Stigge, is an encouraging book full of case studies that illustrate what possibilities exist for emerging economies with serious deficits in infrastructure provision.


Written by Massimo Livi Bacci, Our Shrinking Planet advocates bringing the demographic question back to the centre of the international community’s debates on development.


Edited by Perry and Naqvi, Improving Access and Quality of Public Services in Latin America brings insights from a variety of Latin American nations to evaluate the effectiveness of mechanisms and governance structures to deliver improved quality, access and affordability to critical pub


Edited by Moloney, Fuenfgeld and Granbery, Local Action on Climate Change: Opportunities and Constraints brings together seven case studies from around the world.


Children and the Geography of Violence expands upon the social–ecological perspective of violence to consider how the physical environment is integral to the issue of violence and what its implications are for children, in particular.


Uganda is at the centre of current debate on urban refugees. The country’s Refugees Act 2006, which establishes refugees’ rights to live, work and own land in urban areas, has been hailed as exemplary and a global model for humanitarian responses.


In a globalized world that is increasingly urban, cities are viewed as being more able to respond to local needs and wants, and better positioned to find local solutions and develop more sustainable futures (page 8). It is within this context that the directly elected mayoral model is promoted.


Writing a history of smell is a novel means of exploring changing notions of urban environmental justice and public health. One potent example from Smell Detectives is the common belief in 19th-century America that foul smells were signs of miasma, or a bad air that caused disease.


Around 1 billion people live in informal settlements across the global South. This demonstrates a need to rethink how urban development is structured, in order to create an investment environment that delivers more inclusive and prosperous cities.