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.
Pettibone, L. (forthcoming). Governing urban sustainability: Cases from the USA and Germany. Surrey: Ashgate. ISBN 978-1-4724-6316-6.
Pettibone, L. (2014). Introduction: The need for integrative and interdisciplinary approaches for urban sustainability. Journal of Environmental Studies and Sciences. OnlineFirst December 2014. DOI: 10.1007/s13412-014-0211-y
Ziegler, D., Pettibone, L., et al. (2014). BürGEr schaffen WISSen - Wissen schafft Bürger (GEWISS): Entwicklung von Citizen Science-Kapazitäten in Deutschland. Forum der Geoökologie 25(3): 8-12.