This is the blog for CY Plan 254 Sustainable Communities, a graduate course in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the University of California, Berkeley.
As a concept, sustainable development emerged in the 1980s as a way to bridge the gap between the interests of development professionals and the environmental community.
“Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
The above quote, the most widely cited definition of sustainable development is from “Our Common Future,” the 1987 Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development. What’s not quoted as often is what comes immediately after, that sustainable development contains within it two key concepts:
- “the concept of ‘needs’, in particular the essential needs of the world’s poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and
- the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organization on the environment’s ability to meet present and future needs.”