This seminar, composed of five topics, aims to provide students with a set of knowledge, fundamental for a reflection on sustainable development. It starts by addressing the concept of sustainability, with multiple objectives and complex interdependencies. A brief reference is made to the most significant landmarks, as well as to the main guiding documents. The second topic addresses the main global problems contributing to the environmental crisis, including greenhouse gas emissions and global warming, loss of biodiversity, waste production, water and ocean pollution and deforestation. Intra-generational equity will be the object of attention in topic three. The main obstacles to social sustainability, some of the Millennium Development Goals: human rights, hunger and poverty, gender inequalities, access to education and health (infant and maternal mortality, AIDS, malaria) are explored. Topic four looks at today's major issues and population challenges. The world population continues to grow, with strong concentration in poor regions and without access to resources. The search for better living conditions and natural resources leads to migratory flows into the city. It is estimated that about half the world's population lives today in urban areas. However, this true "urban revolution" is not accompanied by the development of adequate infrastructure. Lack of space, water, sanitation, transport, results in population growth in unworthy conditions. Finally, several authors claim that the discussion about sustainable development is an ethical issue, anchored in the values and culture of the community. Issues such as the time horizon and the 'content' of development are decisions to be made on the basis of prevailing valuesand ethical standards. Ethical positions related to sustainable development are analyzed under the prism of environmental ethics (ie the Human / environment relationship) and social and economic ethics (involving human, social and economic relations).
Sustainability and Development: emerging concepts and policies
Environmental problems and sustainability
Space and Sustainability
Social inequalities and sustainability; Ethics for sustainability
In the end it is intended that the doctoral students knows well the basic concepts related to sustainability; are aware of the main global changes; are able to discuss the main issues related to population challenges; that understand inter- and intra-generational equity; and become familiar with the main environmental and socio-economic ethics.
• Sustainability and development: emerging concepts and policies
• Global Changes
• Urban Challenges
• Social inequalities and sustainability
• Ethics for sustainability
Baker, S. (2006) Sustainable Development, Routledge.
Becker C. U., (2011) Sustainability Ethics and Sustainability Research 137pp. Springer.
Cafaro, P. (2011). Taming growth and articulating a sustainable future: the way forward for environmental ethics. Ethics & the Environment, 16(1), 1-23.
Davoundi, S., Evans, N., Governa, F., & Santangelo, M. (2008) Territorial governance in the making. Approaches, methodologies, practices”, Boletín de la AGE, 46, p. 33-52.
Hickel, J. (2019). The contradiction of the sustainable development goals: Growth versus ecology on a finite planet. Sustainable Development, 27(5), 873-884.
Khoday, K. (2018). Rethinking human development in an era of planetary transformation. UNDP Human Development Report Office.
Parkin, S, (2010) The Positive Deviant – Sustainability Leadership in a Perverse World. Earthscan. London and Washington DC.Sen, A. (2010) Desenvolvimento como Liberdade. Companhia das Letras.
Turnbull, M., Sterrett, C.L. & Hilleboe, A., (2013) Toward Resilience – A Guide to Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation. Practical Action Publishing.
Woiwode, C., Schäpke, N., Bina, O., Veciana, S., Kunze, I., Parodi, O., ... & Wamsler, C. (2021). Inner transformation to sustainability as a deep leverage point: fostering new avenues for change through dialogue and reflection. Sustainability Science, 16, 841-858.
Ensino a distância, na modalidade online, utilizando a plataforma de elearning em uso na Universidade Aberta.
Students' evaluation is made on individual basis and it is 100% continuous assessment. Further information is detailed in the Learning Agreement of the course unit. As defined by the teaching team in articulation with the coordination of the Doctoral Program.
Knowledge of English is recommended since most of the bibliography is available in English.