The challenge in teaching an introductory course on sustainability is there are many ways to teach it, and many issues to cover. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals offer a cohesive and interconnected set of topics to help address this problem – indeed the SDGs are now the guiding framework for planning and implementing sustainability through 2030. They are the focus of international development efforts, and the lingua franca of sustainability as a field of study, the international consensus on “what is sustainability?” As such, the UN SDGs present an ideal framework for an introductory level textbook because taken together, they integrate the “Three Es”—environment, economic development, and equity—that are the core definition of sustainability.
This book introduces students to sustainability structured around the 17 UN SDGs. Through a global perspective, with attention given equally to how sustainability challenges the highest income countries of the Global North, as well as to the moderate- and low-income countries of the Global South, Benton-Short synthesizes basic environmental science, policy, and interdisciplinary perspectives while investigating key challenges to developing a more sustainable future through the SDG framework.
Readers will easily tackle this complex set of topics through an accessible writing style, comprehensive scholarship, and diverse perspectives. Guided by a lush art program, complete with numerous maps, figures, and photos to enliven the presentation, students will develop a greater understanding of the important trends in sustainability in the twenty-first century. The broad arguments highlighted through numerous case studies and boxes prepare global citizens to grapple with the environmental, social, economic, and political challenges that face our collective future.
Features of this exciting, brand-new text include:
Lisa Benton-Short is a professor in the Department of Geography at George Washington University and a senior fellow at the GW Sustainability Collaborative. She has served as Program Director for the interdisciplinary sustainability minor and teaches the introduction to sustainability course.
List of Illustrations
Introduction: Sustainability and Sustainable Development
Chapter 1: Poverty
Chapter 2: Hunger and Food Insecurity
Chapter 3: Health
Chapter 4: Education
Chapter 5: Gender Equality
Chapter 6: Water and Sanitation
Chapter 7: Energy
Chapter 8: Decent Work
Chapter 9: Infrastructure, Industry and Innovation
Chapter 10: Reduce Inequalities
Chapter 11: Sustainable Cities
Chapter 12: Production and Consumption
Chapter 13: Climate Change
Chapter 14: The Ocean
Chapter 15: Terrestrial Ecosystems and Biodiversity
Chapter 16: Peace, Justice and Human Rights
Chapter 17: Collaborative Governance and Partnerships
Chapter 18: Reflections on Sustainability and Sustainable Development
About the Author
This book provides a comprehensive view of sustainability. Its global perspective and examples help the reader realize how expansive our problems are but how powerful solutions can be.
Benton-Short’s review of the patterns and processes of sustainable development offers a comprehensive assessment of where we stand today as well as our prospects for a brighter future. Whether it’s food insecurity or fast fashion, the book’s emphasis on inequality and fairness is especially welcome and long overdue. Highly readable and authoritative, this is the right book at the right time.
Organized around the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, this book introduces factors contributing to key global issues and considers solutions the world is, and should be, investing in to address these issues. Data and examples are given from places around the world, and the reality of circumstances are brought home through the vignettes at the beginning of each chapter. This current and accessible text will give students a new perspective on sustainability and sustainable development.
Lisa Benton-Short’s Sustainability and Sustainable Development: An Introduction is a most welcome addition to the literature—cleverly conceived and skillfully executed. Its unique structure devotes a chapter to each of the Millennium Development Goals. Students will benefit from the author’s careful framing of fundamental issues facing our planet. The rich empirical detail and incisive geographic analysis will help cultivate in students something beyond a mere awareness of global challenges. It is a pleasure to recommend this timely text. It deserves a wide readership.
Sustainability and Sustainable Development is a much needed primer on the historical contexts and theoretical debates that inform the current global narratives and policy initiatives surrounding sustainability. Lisa Benton-Short’s approach to analyzing sustainable development through the lens of the United Nations’ SDGs offers students and faculty alike a tangible, accessible, and critical guide for examining the limitations and possibilities of achieving sustainable development.