Matthew Kahn's new book sounds quite interesting:
- Written in a lively, accessible style, Green Cities takes the reader on a tour of the extensive economic literature on the environmental consequences of urban growth. Kahn starts with an exploration of the Environmental Kuznets Curve (EKC)â€“the hypothesis that the relationship between environmental quality and per capita income follows a bell-shaped curve. He then analyzes several critiques of the EKC and discusses the implications of growth in urban population and surface area, as well as income. The concluding chapter addresses the role of cities in promoting climate change and asks how cities in turn are likely to be affected by this trend.
As Kahn points out, although economics is known as the "dismal science," economists are often quite optimistic about the relationship between urban development and the environment. In contrast, many ecologists and environmentalists remain wary of the environmental consequences of free-market growth.
This paper by Peter Gordon explores some of the themes mentioned above, including the EKC.