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Challenges in Sustainability
Academic, Special adult
Open access
Peer reviewed
Reviewed by: Cheryl LaGuardia, research librarian, Widener Library, Harvard University

Challenges in Sustainability is “dedicated to the publication of high-quality research articles and review papers on all aspects of global environmental and transformational change toward sustainability. Research articles, reviews, communications or short notes and films are welcomed.” [from the journal website] The journal aims “to be a front-runner for original science that stimulates the development of sustainability solutions in an era of global environmental change..., defin[ing] its place at the interface between natural, socio-economic, and the humanistic sciences, creating a unique platform to disseminate analyses on challenges related to global environmental change, associated solutions, and trade-offs. The editors seek articles on the topics of Carbon accounting and compensation, Education for sustainability, Environmental and resource science, Future and anticipatory studies, Governance for sustainability, Impact assessment and integrated modeling, Place-based sustainability studies,
Resource exploitation, Sustainable energy, Sustainable urban systems, Transdisciplinarity, and Transition experiments and pathway studies, among others. The editorial team consists of experts in sustainability from around the globe.

In the Volume 5, Issue 2 (2017) issue of Challenges in Sustainability, two research articles have appeared so far this year: “An Economic Simulation of the Path to Sustainable Energy: A Dynamic Analysis,” in which the authors observe, “the existing economics literature neglects the important role of capacity in the production of renewable energy. To fill this gap, we construct a model in which renewable energy production is tied to renewable energy capacity, which then becomes a form of capital. This capacity capital can be increased through investment, which we interpret as arising from the allocation of energy, and which therefore comes at the cost of reduced general production. Requiring societal well-being to never decline—the notion of sustainability favored by economists—we describe how society could optimally elect to split energy in this fashion, the use of non-renewable energy resources, the use of renewable energy resources, and the implied time path of societal well-being. Our model delivers an empirically satisfactory explanation for simultaneous use of non-renewable and renewable energy. We also discuss the optimality of ceasing use of non-renewable energy before the non-renewable resource stock is fully exhausted.” The other research article in the issue, “Identifying Misalignments between Public Participation Process and Context in Urban Development,” is about public participation in urban development projects. The article’s authors observe that, “Public participation is a common element in state-of-the-art urban development projects. Tailoring the public participation process to the local context is a popular strategy for ensuring sufficient turnout and meaningful engagement, but this strategy faces several challenges. Through a review of case studies of public participation in urban development projects, we identify ten typical misalignments between the public participation process and the local context, including the lack of policy maker support, adverse personal circumstances of participants, low collaborative capacity, and mistrust, among others. When a public participation process is not aligned to the local context, the process may generate outcomes that compromise public interests, inequitably distribute benefits among stakeholders, or favor powerful private interests. This study offers caution and guidance to planning practitioners and researchers on how to contextualize public participation in urban development projects through the categorization of common misalignments that ought to be avoided.” These articles are typical of the kinds of research and reporting of it that’s to be found here. Two special issues of the journal focused around a theme have appeared: Earth System Governance - Task Force Initiative on Sustainability Science, and Urban Agriculture: Fostering the Urban-Rural Continuum.

The journal platform is searchable by author, title, full text, supplementary file, date, discipline, keyword, type, and coverage. This will be a journal of interest to students and other researchers engaged in serious research on the many aspects of sustainability.
18 Oct 2017
Interested in contributing to an upcoming Magazines for Libraries™ Update? Contact Cheryl LaGuardia.

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