Sustainable development has long been promoted as the best answer to the world’s environmental problems. This term has generated mass appeal as it implies that both the development of the built environment and its associated resource consumption can be achieved without jeopardising the natural environment. In the urban context, sustainability issues have been reflected in the promotion of sustainable urban development, which emphasises the sensible exploitation of scarce natural resources for urbanisation in a manner that allows future generations to repeat the process. This chapter highlights attempts to promote sustainable urban development through an integration of three important considerations: planning, development and the ecosystem. It highlights the fact that spatial planning processes were traditionally driven by economic and social objectives, and rarely involved promoting the sustainability agenda to achieve a sustainable urban future. As a result, rapid urbanisation has created a variety of pressures on the ecosystem upon which we rely. It is believed that the integration of the urban planning and development processes within the limitations of the ecosystem, monitored by a sustainability assessment mechanism, would offer a better approach to maintaining sustainable resource use without compromising urban development
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