Elements of a Sustainable Development Policy

Course Code: 

This course has several objectives. The central focus will be on developing a comprehensive understanding of the principles of sustainable development, a broad, deep, and in fact, revolutionary new way of shaping the operations of society. It was first defined in the 1987 Report of the United Nations' World Commission in Environment and Development (the Brundtland Report) as: "... development that meets the needs to the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs." The course will combine lectures on general concepts and ways of viewing sustainable development with individuals and team presentations on a wide variety of sustainable development programs. Students will examine the efforts of universities, companies, local governments, state governments, and national governments to being to moderate man's impact of the natural environment and to make societies more economically viable and just - and therefore, more sustainable - in the long run. Students will learn how sustainable development strategies involve the full range of human activities, such as energy production and use, creation of urban communities, transportation, food systems, building construction and operation, waste disposal, control of environmental pollution, water use and treatment, and social inclusion, migration, and global poverty.