Search results

1 – 10 of over 6000
To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 26 November 2009

John Barry

Robert J Antonio's ‘Climate Change, the Resource Crunch, and the Global Growth Imperative’ is an excellent starting point for examining the dominance of the ideology of…

Abstract

Robert J Antonio's ‘Climate Change, the Resource Crunch, and the Global Growth Imperative’ is an excellent starting point for examining the dominance of the ideology of ‘economic growth’ within contemporary societies and social thinking against the background of the growing and profound socio-ecological crises such as climate change, resource scarcity and rampant consumerism. His article integrates contemporary scientific evidence about climate change and the ecological devastation being wrought by contemporary patterns of globalised carbon-fuelled and climate changing capitalism with classical and contemporary sociological theorising and calls for a greater engagement of social theorising with these defining challenges of the 21st century. In particular, Antonio's article begins the process of sociological theory re-engaging and re-interpreting classical sociology (Weber, Durkheim, Mead and Dewey) to develop forms of social theorising, which overcome a simplistic nature–cultural dualism and can equip critical social theory as fit for purpose for analysing the ecological, climate and resource ‘crunches’ facing all societies in the 21st century.

Details

Nature, Knowledge and Negation
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-606-9

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 22 October 2019

Steven Liaros

Whilst the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables offers significant environmental benefits, the other transition – from a centralised to a distributed energy…

Abstract

Purpose

Whilst the energy transition from fossil fuels to renewables offers significant environmental benefits, the other transition – from a centralised to a distributed energy system – underpins a disruptive model for planning cities, towns and villages. A local energy micro-grid can power a local water micro-grid, which in turn can irrigate a local food system, offering a community the opportunity to harvest, store and distribute food, water and energy within their immediate catchment. A distributed network of regenerative villages, connected virtually and with shared electric vehicles is offered as an alternative vision for future cities. The paper aims to justify this as a preferred model for human settlements and develop an implementation process.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper asks: Is it inevitable that large cities will keep growing, while rural communities will continue to be deprived of resources and opportunities? Is the flow of people into cities inevitable? To answer this question, the adopted methodology is to take a systems approach, observing town planning processes from a range of different disciplines and perspectives.

Findings

By contrasting the current centralising city model with a distributed network of villages, this paper offers ten reasons why the distributed network is preferable to centralisation.

Research limitations/implications

It is argued that in this time of dramatic technological upheaval, environmental destruction and social inequality, business-as-usual is unacceptable in any field of human endeavour. This paper presents a sketch outlining a new human settlement theory, a different way of living on the land. It is an invitation to academics and practitioners to participate in a debate.

Originality/value

The information and energy revolutions, both distributed systems, are reshaping cities.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 30 September 2010

Jean-Sébastien Guy

Still recently, one could read that social constructivism as a paradigm in sociology has yet generated no substantive theory of globalization (Risse, 2007). The argument…

Abstract

Still recently, one could read that social constructivism as a paradigm in sociology has yet generated no substantive theory of globalization (Risse, 2007). The argument was that even though social constructivism could certainly contribute to our understanding of globalization, notably by stressing the role of language and cultural norms in the organization of collective activities on a world scale, it could not satisfactorily account in its own terms for the entire phenomena under examination, due to the fact that globalization is not solely or even primarily about language and cultural norms. The exposition of such a position in the academic literature is worth mentioning, indeed even significant, if only for the reason that it occurred in a collection of essays edited by David Held and Anthony McGrew, who have done so much over the past decade to establish globalization studies as a solid research field, all at once theoretically sophisticated and empirically informed, with the publication of a long series of books on Global transformations (Held, McGrew, Golblatt, & Perraton, 1999; Held, 2004a, 2004b; Held & McGrew, 2002, 2003, 2007a, 2007b; Held & Kaya, 2007; Held & Koenig-Archibugi, 2003; see also McGrew & Lewis, 1992; Held, 1995). In spite of such credentials, the present article aims directly at challenging and overcoming this position by developing what would be the basis or the framework for a full-fledged social constructivist theory of globalization. Admittedly, this requires us to redefine globalization in a fundamental manner. Such a transformation is possible when one turns toward a new kind of social constructivism: Niklas Luhmann's radical constructivism as grounded in his systems theory (Luhmann, 2002; see also Luhmann, 1982a, 1989, 1990, 1995, 2000a, 2000b). I contend that globalization is neither a process of social change nor a historical set of forces of transformation having to do with the way human beings shape space through their collective activities; rather, globalization is one of contemporary society's self-descriptions.

Details

Theorizing the Dynamics of Social Processes
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-85724-223-5

Content available
Article
Publication date: 2 October 2018

Kasim Randeree and Nadeem Ahmed

The purpose of this paper is to examine social sustainability effectiveness of eco-cities through the case of Masdar City’s strategy for urban sustainability in Abu Dhabi…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine social sustainability effectiveness of eco-cities through the case of Masdar City’s strategy for urban sustainability in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a case study approach, the paper is an exploratory, qualitative analysis, which investigates the social, environmental and economic performance of Masdar City, a purported carbon-neutral, zero-waste urban development.

Findings

Though Masdar City substantively contributes to innovation in sustainable urban development within environmental and economic contexts and has been effective in capital circulation in green technology markets, the impetus as a commercially driven enterprise is most evident. Successful sustainable urban development requires greater consideration for the social imperative.

Practical implications

Eco-city mega-projects, such as Masdar City, have the potential to fuse achievements in innovation, technology and economic enterprise with the social imperative of functional urban habitats.

Originality/value

Eco-cities are of increasing interest given the growing need for sustainable, energy-efficient living. This paper contributes through a novel case study, exploring how the concept of the eco-city has been developed and understood in the Masdar City context and discusses successes and deficits in its strategic implementation.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 8 May 2019

Carolyn Susan Hayles

This paper aims to explore the outputs of an internship programme, one of a number of campus-based sustainability activities that have been introduced at the University of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the outputs of an internship programme, one of a number of campus-based sustainability activities that have been introduced at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, to encourage student-led campus-based greening initiatives.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study approach was undertaken, allowing the researcher to investigate the programme in its real-life context. The researcher used multiple sources of evidence to gain as holistic a picture as possible.

Findings

Interns report positive changes in their behaviours towards sustainability, s well as encouraging feedback on their experiential learning, the development of their soft skills and the creation of new knowledge. Moreover, students communicated perceived benefits for their future careers. The reported outcomes reflect mutually beneficial relationships for student and institution, for example, raising the profile of campus greening activities and supporting the University’s aim to embed sustainability throughout its campus, community and culture.

Research limitations/implications

The researcher recognises the limitations of the research, in particular, the small sample size, which has resulted primarily in qualitative results being presented.

Practical implications

Feedback from previous interns will be used to shape future internships. In particular, Institute of Sustainable Practice, Innovation and Resource Effectiveness (INSPIRE) will look for opportunities to work more closely with University operations, departments, faculties and alongside University staff, both academic and support staff.

Social implications

Following student feedback, INSPIRE will give students opportunities for wider involvement, including an opportunity to propose their own projects to shape future internships that meet the needs of student body on campus.

Originality/value

Despite being one case study from one institution, the research highlights the value of such programmes for other institutions.

Details

International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1467-6370

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here

Abstract

Details

SDG3 – Good Health and Wellbeing: Re-Calibrating the SDG Agenda: Concise Guides to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-709-7

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 16 September 2013

Carolyn S. Hayles, Moira Dean, Sarah A. Lappin and Jane E. McCullough

In this paper, the authors present the Awareness Behaviour Intervention Action (ABIA) framework, a new system developed by them to support environmentally responsible…

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper, the authors present the Awareness Behaviour Intervention Action (ABIA) framework, a new system developed by them to support environmentally responsible behaviour (ERB).

Design/methodology/approach

Previous ERB programmes have failed to deliver lasting results; they have not appropriately understood and provided systems to address ERB (Costanzo et al., 1986). The ABIA framework has been developed in line with behavioural studies in other disciplines. A preliminary pilot study has been carried out with social housing residents in order to understand the framework's efficacy.

Findings

The ABIA framework enables a better understanding of current attitudes to environmental issues and provides support for ERB alongside technological interventions employed to promote carbon reduction.

Research limitations/implications

The ABIA framework could be tested on individuals and communities in a variety of socio-economic, political and cultural contexts. This will help unpack how it can impact on the behaviours of individuals and communities including stakeholders.

Practical implications

This type of research and the ABIA framework developed from it are crucial if the EU is to reduce is domestic carbon footprint and if the UK is to meet its pledge to become the first country in the world in which all new homes from 2016 are to be zero carbon.

Social implications

The framework encourages both individual and community engagement in solving of sustainability issues.

Originality/value

There are few studies that have developed a framework which can be used in practice to support behavioural change for adaptation to sustainable living in low- or zero-carbon homes.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 18 December 2020

Andreas Beckmann, Uthayasankar Sivarajah and Zahir Irani

Circular economy is presented as an approach to economic growth that is in line with sustainable development. However, the recent literature has highlighted the limits of…

Abstract

Purpose

Circular economy is presented as an approach to economic growth that is in line with sustainable development. However, the recent literature has highlighted the limits of the concept in terms of environmental sustainability. The study examines the relationship between circular economy and conservation of ecosystems, using a case study on the implications of a circular economy for Slovak forests and forest sector.

Design/methodology/approach

This study adopts a qualitative methodology through a focused review of the relevant literature on circular economy and sustainable development and primary data gathered through semi-structured interviews with 15 experts and practitioners in the forest sector, forest conservation and circular economy context, both from within as well as outside of Slovakia.

Findings

The study finds that the forestry sector has an important role to play in a shift to a circular economy in Slovakia, with significant opportunities for improved efficiency as well as substitution of wood for non-renewable resources. There is also growing potential for ecosystem stewardship and restoration. However, the increased application of biomass could crowd out other needs, including for biodiversity. Safeguarding these services depends ultimately on good governance.

Originality/value

The study highlights that circular economy taken in a narrow focus on resource efficiency is insufficient to ensure environmental sustainability but rather needs to be set within the broader environmental and social context.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 18 October 2011

Nnamdi O. Madichie

This paper aims to highlight efforts of an emerging market economy, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in complementing the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to highlight efforts of an emerging market economy, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), in complementing the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) initiative. This is a growing phenomenon that has brought about a major shift in the international business landscape with emerging markets at the center.

Design/methodology/approach

The exploratory nature of the paper prompted the need to draw upon media reports and other official documents in a bid to stimulate academic interest in Masdar City – the world's first zero‐carbon city in Abu Dhabi (capital of the UAE) as a business case illustration.

Findings

Masdar City remains arguably the world's acclaimed first zero‐carbon, zero‐waste city fully powered by renewable energy and poised to attract leading international expertise, academics, commerce, and residents. It also sets a standard for other emerging market players to emulate in this resurgent wave in the “internationalisation of innovation into emerging markets”.

Social implications

The aspiration to live within ecological limits and still improve the quality of people's lives is undoubtedly the cornerstone for sustainable development. Be that as it may, developments at Masdar City would require further monitoring and of course academic and policy research into how it feeds into (as well as feeds off) the international support enjoyed by this emerging market.

Originality/value

By highlighting the efforts made in the UAE, in addition to securing headquarter status for IRENA and the rapid development of Masdar City, it looks quite obvious that the time for reflection is nigh and to learn lessons from the successful communities and emulate the ideas and innovations of these communities by the backward and not so successful nations and regions.

Details

Foresight, vol. 13 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Book part
Publication date: 4 July 2019

Abstract

Details

SDG3 – Good Health and Wellbeing: Re-Calibrating the SDG Agenda: Concise Guides to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-709-7

1 – 10 of over 6000