Beyond environmental moralism and policy incrementalism in the global sustainability debate: Case studies and an alternative framework

Ernest J. Yanarella, Horace Bartilow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Global strategies for sustainable development remain caught in an interplay between environmental moralism and policy incrementalism. The former is evidenced in the continuing proliferation of international sustainability declarations; the latter in the design of local programmes approaching sustainable development in scattered, piecemeal policies where the goal - sustainability - remains unclear or only loosely defined. This paper points to the problems and perils of the dual process, underscoring the risks of environmental moralism implicit in such practices and highlighting the costs of formulating sustainability programmes only vaguely attached to its core concept. It initially focuses on the effort to promote Local Agenda 21 (LA21) - one model of sustainable urban practice - among towns and communities throughout the world and then contrasts Local Agenda 21 with the Aalborg Charter, a competing model for urban sustainability. In order to explore the success to date in implementing Local Agenda 21, the paper offers an overview of four exemplary programmes of community sustainability. The final section presents a critical assessment of LA21's successes and failures judged against an alternative sustainability framework developed by the Center for Sustainable Cities and informing the Aalborg Charter. Copyright (C) 2000 John Wiley and Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)123-134
Number of pages12
JournalSustainable Development
Volume8
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Development

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