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Interdisciplinary Approach to Sustainability from ...

...a Geography and Planning Perspective



Dr. Constance Carr, Department of Geography and Spatial Planning

Prof. Dr. Markus Hesse, Department of Geography and Spatial Planning

We view Sustainable Development as not simply the end-product of good intentions, appropriate technological innovations, or correctly designed policies, rather as a multi-dimensional, contradictory, and discursively constructed normative orientation (like “justice”, or “liberty”). In general, we seek to understand the role of this normative orientation in processes of urban transformation. In particular, we aim to reveal hidden dimensions of perceived policy gaps between Sustainable Development goals on the one hand, and limited policy achievements on the other... (more)

Keywords: urban geography, urban policy, urban studies, human geography.


...a Sociological  Perspective 


 Economic  Perspective  






Prof. Dr. Louis Chauvel, Institute for Research on Socio-Economic Inequality






Prof. Dr. Conchita D'Ambrosio, Institute for Health and Behaviour

We adopt the Brundtland definition of sustainability to look at how individuals can shape their own individual development in a sustainable way. A sustainable path of growth entails facing the social and psychological challenges of development with a       sensible and resilient use of individual skills, social connections and resources, institutional opportunities and constraints...(more)






Our view of sustainability stems from our research on well-being and inequality and points to the social-economic dimension of sustainability, which is one of the two fundamental pillars of Sustainable Development, along with the environment, according to the Brundtland Report. Therefore, the concept of sustainability, in our perspective, necessarily envisages an equal distribution of resources and opportunities and at the same time stresses the issue of an unequal effect of environmental degrade across different economic and social groups...(more)

Keywords: individual sustainability and resilience, welfare sustainability, psychological post-trauma recovery, failure in socialization process.






Keywords: inequality, well-being, relative deprivation.


...a Political Science Perspective





...a Circular Economy Perspective







Dr. Anna-Lena Högenauer, Institute of Political Science





Paula Hild, Ph.D Candidate, Department of Geography and Spatial Planning


Our main reference is the definition of sustainable development in the Brundtland report: “Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs (...)”.
In a political sciences perspective, the concept increasingly refers not only to “hard” resources, such as natural resources or money, but also to "abstract" resources, such as “trust” and “legitimacy”... (more)





We look at circular economy practices in companies. We are interested in the boundary of these practices from a theoretical point of view and the challenges and opportunities for business actors who are involved in their implementation... (more)




Keywords: resource management, international and interregional cooperation, international and interregional long-term planning.





Keywords: Circular economy; social practice theory; institutions.




...a Sustainability Science  Perspective 






...Comparative Regional Perspective 






Dr. Ariane König, Institute for Applied Educational Sciences






Prof. Dr. Harlan Koff, Department of Geography and Spatial Planning

We engage in sustainability science, an approach to research that seeks to draw on different forms of science and expertise to improve our understanding of and repertoire of action on complex dynamic human-environment interactions.  Our conception of sustainability is derived from ecology – it denotes long-lived biological systems... (more)






Sustainable development addresses political, economic and social processes that determine whether territories are at the service of their communities or communities are at the service of their territories... (more)

Keywords: sustainability science, transformative learning, social learning, scenario approaches, collaborative systems thinking, citizen science.






Keywords: human and environmental security, policy coherence for sustainable development, migration and sustainable development, comparative regional integration and sustainable development, sustainable development in cross-border regions.


...a Communities and Commons Perspective 


 Environmental Economic Geography Perspective






Dr. Gerald Taylor Aiken, Department of Geography and Spatial Planning






Prof. Dr. Christian Schulz, Department of Geography and Spatial Planning

We view sustainability in a constructively critical light, and look to its effects on the ground. This involved taking communities, or other local initiatives, and looking more closely at what sustainability does — or is claimed to so — within these empirical examples...(more)






We look at sustainability from the perspective of environmental economic geography and cross border governance. Sustainable development, in this realm, can be conceived as the governance mechanisms and societal innovation processes which are key to move towards a more sustainable society... (more)

Keywords: community, sustainability transitions, environmental geography.






Keywords: environmental economic geography, cross boarder governance, circular economy, cross-border spatial planning.


...a Food Studies Perspective  


 Environmental Anthropology Perspective






Dr. Rachel Reckinger, Institute for History






Dr. Carmen Maganda, UNILU-INECOL collaborator

We envision sustainability as a multi-scalar, everyday negotiation process during which different actors ­– ranging from individuals to multinationals, including all types of intermediary constellations – display and adapt multiple meanings, priorities and motivations of ‘responsible’ practices through interaction, according to their specific positions, means and constraints – in short, their worldview. Basically, a contested and co-constructed practice of resilience... (more)






I look at Sustainable Development as an imperative need to keep exploring the ways in which societies and actors can better engage in applied sustainable policies at different levels of governance as well as proactive local practices favoring the fairest possible development in different world regions... (more)

Keywords: foodscape-governance, food production and retail, food consumption, changes of practices, reflexivity, governmentality, policy gaps, gaps in everyday practices.






Keywords: social participation on natural resource management, water politics, comparative political ecology analysis in theory and practice.


...a Local Participation Perspective


 Actionable Knowledge Perspective






Santiago Mejía Idárraga, Ph.D Candidate, Department of Geography and Spatial Planning                                                 






Kristina Hondrila, Ph.D. Candidate in Social Sciences

Sustainable development does not have a universal meaning. Latin American perspectives propose an extensive comprehension of the concept, but with the common aim to analyzing the socio-environmental conditions in the local territories looking for reaching solutions in equilibrated ways in its operationalization...(more)






We regard sustainable development as a discursive field characterized by a multitude of contested facts, beliefs, values, actions, practices and strategies concerning the future of humanity, societies and our planet. Our approach is constructivist, pragmatic and transformative, focusing on human agency, social innovation, learning and interaction within a systems perspective... (more)

Keywords: Participatory sustainable development, new regionalisms, sustainable emergent cities.






Keywords: Actionable knowledge, transformative sustainability science, transdisciplinarity, collaborative systems thinking, scenario approaches, social learning, reflexivity, citizen science.

...a Socio-Fiscal Perspective                                              













Dr. Vincent Vergnat, Institute For Health and Behavior & LISER






We approach the concept of sustainability through the issue of social cohesion, one of the pillars of sustainability. According to our vision, building a fair world for tomorrow takes time and public decision makers play a key role to create conditions for greater equality. Social and fiscal policies make it possible to distribute resources more equally within a population and thus help to fight poverty and gender inequalities, but also to foster equality of opportunity and equal access to essential needs…(more)






Key words: Income and gender inequality, poverty, public policies.