2019-2020 Academic Catalog 
    Mar 02, 2024  
2019-2020 Academic Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

EN 242 - Sustainable Development Assessment and Planning

We confront one of the most pressing issues of our time: How can society transition to more sustainable development (SD)? Specifically: How can diverse social groups work in concert to vision a sustainable future, assess existing development, compare the impacts - economic, social, political, cultural and ecological - of alternative development pathways, and move towards more sustainable development? Our responses to SD challenges/opportunities require a synthesis of social and technical approaches in ways rarely seen: a) a dialogue-enabled multi-stakeholder assessment and planning process at the core; b) integrative information/communication and education technologies; c) multi-issue/multi-sector integration models (e.g. water * health * energy * food etc.); and d) ways to navigate inherent complexity, including the political context and the mitigation of corruption. The goal of the class is: to help students think about, design and consider the deployment of 2nd generation sustainable development projects. Case studies are used extensively for discussions, and simulations provide practice and insight. The course includes a major SDA&P Team Project Practicum based on either a domestic development case study or an international one (previous cases include the Cape Cod Wind Farm, the Three Gorges Dam in China, a mining project slated for Indonesia). Students work in their SDA&P Team to do three things: a) critically analyze how positive and negative impacts have been estimated (on what basis), also considering their spatial distribution; b) articulate the socio-economic, political, cultural and ecological contexts of the proposal, incl. the power dynamics; and c) design an improved socio-technical SDA&P process.

Anticipated Terms Offered: Annually