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Implementing City Sustainability: Overcoming Administrative Silos to Achieve Functional Collective Action, Rachel M. Krause and Christopher Hawkins

Reviewed by Corina Mckendry

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Two decades of research on city sustainability policies have created a clear picture of why cities adopt sustainability initiatives, as well as numerous analyses of the content of these plans. Yet a crucial question that has received much less attention, and which Rachel M. Krause and Christopher Hawkins begin to answer in Implementing City Sustainability, is how city sustainability initiatives, often adopted with much fanfare, actually get implemented. As having some kind of city sustainability plan has moved from liberal city niche to widely accepted best practice in urban governance, understanding the challenges of implementation is increasingly urgent.

Of particular interest to Krause and Hawkins is how city governments address what they call the functional collective action problem of sustainability. As a multifaceted issue, sustainability does not sit squarely within the purview of traditional units of city government. The concern, as Krause and Hawkins see it, is that if responsibility for achieving sustainability goals is not clear, they are likely to fall by the wayside as other, more clearly defined priorities receive local governments' scarce funds and staff time.

To understand how this functional collective action problem is addressed to achieve sustainability goals, Krause and Hawkins take a mixed-methods approach. First, th

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