Incorporating sustainability principles in six U.S. and German cities: The role of strategic plans, sustainability indicators, and sustainability-minded groups
Prof. Dr. Miranda Schreurs
Sustainability has been described as the most urgent political issue of the century or as a buzzword that merely maintains the status quo, as a term filled with meaning or utterly lacking it. The terms remains, however, subject of lively academic and political debate that seeks to define it and advocate for preferred action. My dissertation examines how sustainability is defined in leading U.S. and German cities - that is, those that see themselves and are seen by others as concerned with sustainability. I do this by looking at three aspects of sustainability definition: urban plans, indicators, and sustainability-minded institutions. Through case studies of six cities - New York, Seattle, Portland, Hamburg, Heidelberg, and Berlin - I aim to create a better understanding of how a contested universal concept can be translated into concrete political action.