Harro van Lente awarded for Sustainability Science paper

The journal Sustainability Science has awarded the paper ‘Sustainability assessment as problem structuring: three typical ways‘ an honorable-mention in the Best Paper Award 2017.

The paper, authored by Harro van Lente and colleagues from ICIS, addresses the epistemological differences in various approaches of sustainability assessment and discusses the implications. The paper was nominated from among 62 articles.

Sustainability assessment (SA) is an increasingly popular term referring to a broad range of approaches to align decision-making with the principles of sustainability. Nevertheless, in public and private sectors sustainability results are still disappointing, and this paper reflects on this problem and proposes a way forward. We argue that, because sustainability issues are generally wicked problems (i.e. a ‘complex of interconnected factors in a pluralistic context’), effective assessments need to be reflexive about the definition of the issue and about the criteria for sustainable solutions. Based on a distinction of policy problems, we characterize SA as a form of problem structuring, and we distinguish three typical ways of problem structuring, corresponding to three different ways of integrating reflexivity in the assessment. We illustrate these routes in three examples. We discuss the way reflexivity is integrated in each example by discussing the mix of methods, SA process and epistemological balance. Rather than merely calling for more stakeholder participation, our aim is to call for more reflexivity integrated into the SA approach, and we conclude by proposing a process map for reflexive sustainability assessment to support this.

M. Dijk, J. de Kraker, A. van Zeijl-Rozema, H. van Lente, C. Beumer, S. Beemsterboer, P. Valkering (2017) Sustainability assessment as problem structuring: three typical ways, Sustainability Science, Volume 12(2), 305–317.

Submit your comment

Please enter your name

Your name is required

Please enter a valid email address

An email address is required

Please enter your message

FASoS Weekly © 2019 All Rights Reserved

Designed by WPSHOWER

Powered by WordPress