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'Be realistic: Demand the impossible'. Moving towards 'strong' sustainable development in an old industrial region?

Lookup NU author(s): Paul Chatterton


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The term sustainable development provides useful guidance on how economic development can be reconciled with protecting the natural environment and meeting social objectives. However, this rather tricky term is open to a number of interpretations ranging from strong/ecological to weak/technocratic. In the context of an old industrial region, evidence of movement towards strong sustainable development in four areas is discussed: radicalising democracy; promoting the local social economy; meeting basic needs; and encouraging biodiversity. The article explores why, in the light of sustained evidence of multiple social and environmental crises, these messages of strong, ecological sustainable development continue to be ignored and marginalized in formulating policy at the regional level.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Chatterton P

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Regional Studies

Year: 2002

Volume: 36

Issue: 5

Pages: 552-561

Print publication date: 18/08/2010

ISSN (print): 0034-3404

ISSN (electronic): 1360-0591

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/00343400220137155


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