Urban environmental transitions in Southeast Asia

Authored by: Peter J. Marcotullio

Routledge Handbook of the Environment in Southeast Asia

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415625210
eBook ISBN: 9781315474892
Adobe ISBN: 9781315474885


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Transitions are breaks or inflections in long-term trends and include both the quantities and the rates of change in quantities of interest (for example, in environmental terms, the amount of pollution as well as pollution emission rates of change) (National Research Academy, 1999). These breaks or inflections define a process of system change in which the structural character of the system transforms. Transition frameworks move beyond economic indicators to include a number of social, health and environmental measures that help to outline development. For example, the notion of transition has been used to examine shifts in a wide variety of social and coupled human–environment systems, including, inter alia, demographic (Kirk, 1996), energy (Grubler, 2004; 2012), epidemiologic (Omran, 1971), environmental risk (Smith, 1990; 2001), nutrition (Popkin, 1999), land use and forest cover (Foley et al., 2005; Lambin and Meyfroidt, 2010; Mather, 1992) and urban environmental (McGranahan et al., 2001; McGranahan and Songsore, 1994) change. The concept of transition is a powerful tool with which to understand the dynamics of system change during development.

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