This paper deals with the experiences of three European universities that have implemented transition initiatives, using the Transition Network’s methodology to promote their…
This paper deals with the experiences of three European universities that have implemented transition initiatives, using the Transition Network’s methodology to promote their sustainability plans. The Transition Communities’ model for change is presented from a socio-educational perspective as an effective methodology for encouraging university environmental sustainability processes. In this context, the purpose of this paper was to analyze Transition Communities at universities using an environmental–educational approach in three different scenarios: the Universidade de Santiago de Compostela (USC), the University of Edinburgh (UEd) and the Universidade do Minho (UMinho).
The authors engaged in a comparative analysis of multiple case studies in the Transition “phenomenon”, looking for convergences and divergences among them.
The comparative analysis revealed three very different scenarios, which ironically shared an absence of explicit theoretical–methodological references in the design, execution and evaluation of the educational actions that were implemented. Examination of the impact and continuity of these initiatives uncovered the existence of a “glass ceiling” in university environmental sustainability strategies. Even the innovative Transition methodology was unable to subvert the established academic, corporate, organizational and cultural structures and dynamics that perpetuate unsustainability.
This study was carried out from an innovative perspective with few precedents in the Transition context. The authors’ educational–environmental approach provides insight for articulating educational strategies for environmental sustainability at universities and for constructing a Transition model for education.
Environmental threats of immediate risk in areas such as coastal zones (CZ) have aroused new trends of citizenship and participatory democracy. The purpose of this paper is to…
Environmental threats of immediate risk in areas such as coastal zones (CZ) have aroused new trends of citizenship and participatory democracy. The purpose of this paper is to analyse elements within those trends, such as environmental culture, socio‐political context, dynamics of social associative movement and integration of local knowledge. It also aims to contribute to an overview of the opportunities and barriers found in considering socio‐cultural and educational challenges in CZ.
In this analysis, case studies of integrated coastal management occurring worldwide were selected and reviewed, considering several nuances of socio‐economic and political contexts of CZ. Experiences of public response to coastal catastrophes such the Prestige oil spill in Spain, are also described.
Whether implementing sustainable coastal management through either balanced systems (between large and small‐scale strategies) or through largely bottom‐up approaches, participation is detected as one of the main factors for a successful integrated approach. Principles such as participatory governance and social justice should be adopted in initial phases of sustainable management processes and preferably involve all of the implied actors of CZ.
The literature reviewed highlighted specific factors that have empirically contributed to participatory sustainability of CZ, integrating three dimensions of citizenship: education, society's dynamics and culture.