Rapid urbanisation generates risks and opportunities for sustainable development. Urban policy and decision makers are challenged by the complexity of cities as social–ecological–technical systems. Consequently there is an increasing need for collaborative knowledge development that supports a whole-of-system view, and transformational change at multiple scales.
This research demonstrates growth in GDP ultimately cannot be decoupled from growth in material and energy use. It argues for discarding GDP growth as the goal in favor of more comprehensive measures of societal wellbeing.