Sustainability and Planning

Authored by: Richard Cowell

Encyclopedia of Environmental Management

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  December  2012

Print ISBN: 9781439829271
eBook ISBN: 9781351235860
Adobe ISBN:

10.1081/E-EEM-120046105

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Abstract

Planning has been widely identified as a vital mechanism for promoting sustainable development, both in terms of the creation of specific sustainability plans (typically at national level) and by instituting sustainability objectives into existing planning processes (such as land use plans). The conventional perspective sees the task of planning for sustainability through the following steps: identifying sustainability goals, allocating actions, seeking integration between governmental sectors, engagement of different stakeholder groups, and appraisal and monitoring. However, for all the effort that has been applied to planning for sustainability, outcomes have generally been disappointing, in large part because sustainability is a more complex and conflictual goal than the conventional perspective acknowledges. Nevertheless, planning still has an important role, whether that is in facilitating wider processes of societal transition, or allowing the direction of development to be challenged.

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