25 years have passed since the 'Brundtland Report‘ defined sustainability as a possibility to equally meet current and future needs. 15 years later, the author of the definition stated that despite of the fact that the definition does not need to be changed, its understanding bettered off during the interval. 25 years later, the present paper takes an in-depth look at the concept and its practical implications. One of the issues being addressed refers to the pillars of sustainability; their number increased by 25% to include the cultural pillar in addition to the economic, social, and cultural one. Spatial thinking added a new dimension, translating into concepts like 'sustainable communities‘ or 'self standing village‘ at the local level, and 'polycentricity‘ and 'cohesion‘ at the regional one. Furthermore, practical implications include environmental impact assessment (evolving towards strategic impact assessment), internalization of externalities, ecological restoration, and a new view on conservation, different from the one addressed by the 'Zero Growth Strategy‘. In addition, the paper discusses several criticism addressed to the concept and its implementation, attempting to reveal their underlying causes. Overall, the critical analysis shows that the attempts to achieve sustainability did not change the concept as much as its understanding.
Abaza H., Bisset R., Sadler B. (2004), Environmental Impact Assessment and Strategic Environmental Assessment: Towards an Integrated Approach, United Nations Environment Program, Geneva, Switzerland.
Alshuwaikhat H. A. (2005), Strategic environmental assessment can help solve environmental impact assessment failures in developing countries, Environmental Impact Assessment Review 25(4):307-317.
Aronson J., Clewell A. F., Blignaut J. N., Milton Sue J. (2006), Ecological restoration: A new frontier for nature conservation and economics, Journal for Nature Conservation 14(3-4):135-139.
Barbier E. B. (1987), The Concept of Sustainable Economic Development, Environmental Conservation 14(2):l01-110.
Beaud M. (1994), Face à la croissance mortifère, quel développement durable? Tiers Monde 35:137-143.
Bass S. (2007), A New Era in Sustainable Development. An IIED Briefing, International Institute for Environment and Development, London, UK.
Bassett K. (1993), Urban cultural strategies and urban regeneration: a case study and critique, Environment and Planning A 25(12):1773-1788.
Basiago A. D. (1999), Economic, social, and environmental sustainability in development theory and urban planning practice, The Environmentalist 19:145-161.
Bottero Marta, Ferretti Valentina, (2010), Integrating the analytic network process (ANP) and the driving force-pressure-state-impact-responses (DPSIR) model for the sustainability assessment of territorial transformations, Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal 21(5):618-644.
Brundtland Gro Harlem (1987), Our Common Future, WCED, Oxford University Press, Oxford.
Bugge H. C., Watters L. (2003), A Perspective on Sustainable Development after Johannesburg on the Fifteenth Anniversary of Our Common Future: An Interview with Gro Harlem Brundtland, Georgetown International Environmental Law Review 15:359-366.
CEMAT - European Conference of Ministers responsible for Regional Planning (2000), Guiding Principles for Sustainable Spatial Development of the European Continent adopted at the 12th Session of the European Conference of Ministers responsible for Regional Planning on 7-8 September 2000 in Hanover, document CEMAT(2000)7.
Choi Y. D., Temperton Vicky M., Grootjans A. P., Halassy Melinda, Hobbs R. J., Naeth M. Anne, Torok K. (2008), Ecological restoration for future sustainability in a changing environment, Ecoscience 15(1):53-64.
Clive G. (1999), Testing for sustainable development through environmental assessment, Environmental Impact Assessment Review 19(2):175-200.
Coffey W. J., Shearmur R. G. (2002), Agglomeration and Dispersion of High-order Service Employment in the Montreal Metropolitan Region, 1981-96, Urban Studies 39(3):359-378.
Colignon P. (2009), Situation et défis du monde rural - Le patrimoine et le paysage au coeur des enjeux du développement territorial durable, Aménagement du territoire européen et paysage 88:99-103.
Conway G. R., Barbier E. B. (1986), After the Green Revolution: Sustainable and Equitable Agriculture Development, Futures 20:651-678.
Curtis F. (2003), Eco-localism and sustainability, Ecological Economics 46(1):83-102.
Dale V. H., Efroymnson R. A., Kline K. L. (2011), The land use - climate change - energy nexus, Landscape Ecology 26:755-773.
Daly H. E. (1990), Toward some operational principles of sustainable development, Ecological Economics 2(1):1-6.
DG Regional Policy (2004), Third Interim Territorial Cohesion Report (Preliminary results of ESPON and EU Commission studies), Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxemburg.
Fernolend Caroline (2010), 10 years experience of Mihai Eminescu Trust foundation in revitalizing Transylvanian villages - a commitment for valorizing the Romanian cultural heritage, National Conference Urban Concept, Sinaia, March 12, 2010.
Fisher B., Turner K., Zylstra M., Brouwer R., de Groot R., Farber S., Ferraro P., Green R., Hadley D., Harlow J., Jefferiss P., Kirkby C., Morling P., Mowatt S., Naidoo R., Paavola J., Strassburg B., Yu D., Balmford A. (2008), Ecosystem services and economic theory: integration for policy-relevant research, Ecological Applications 18:2050-2067.
Georgescu-Roegen N. (1991), Correspondence with J. Berry, in: Bonaïuti M, (Ed.) La teoria bioeconomica. La “nuova economia” di Nicholas Georgescu Roegen, Carocci, Rome, Italy.
Gibson R. B. (2006), Beyond the pillars: sustainability assessment as a framework for effective integration of social, economic and ecological considerations in significant decision-making, Journal of Environmental Assessment Policy and Management 8(3):259-280.
Haberl H., Gaube Veronika, Díaz-Delgado R., Krauze Kinga, Neuner Angelika, Peterseil J., Singh S. J., Vădineanu A. (2009), Towards an integrated model of socioeconomic biodiversity drivers, pressures and impacts. A feasibility study based on three European long-term socio-ecological research platforms, Ecological Economics 68(6):1797-1812.
Hawkes J. (2001), The fourth pillar of sustainability: Culture's essential role in public planning, Melbourne, Australia.
Healey Patsy (2004), Creativity and urban governance, Policy Studies 25(2):87-102.
Hoag Dana L., Skold M. D. (1996), The relationship between conservation and sustainability, Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 51:4292-4295.
Holling C. S. (2000), Theories for sustainable futures, Conservation Ecology 4(2):7.
Ianoş I., Peptenatu D., Zamfir D. (2009), Respect for environment and sustainable development, Carpathian Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences 4(1):81-93.
Jacobs P., Sadler B. (Eds.) (1989), Sustainable Development and Environmental Assessment: Perspectives on Planning for a Common Future, Canadian Environmental Assessment Research Council, Ottawa.
Judge W. Q., Douglas T. J. (1998), Performance Implications of Incorporating Natural Environmental Issues into the Strategic Planning Process: An Empirical Assessment, Journal of Management Studies 35(2):241-262.
Latouche S. (1994), Développement durable: un concept alibi. Main invisible et main mise sur la nature, Tiers Monde 137:80.
Lester B., Becky J. (1987), Global Sustainability: toward definition, Environmental management 11(6):713-719.
Littig B., Grießler E. (2005), Social sustainability: a catchword between political pragmatism and social theory, International Journal of Sustainable Development 8(1-2):65-79.
Loftman P., Nevin B. (1995): Prestige Projects and Urban Regeneration in the 1980s and 1990s: a review of benefits and limitations, Planning Practice & Research 10(3-4):299-316.
Mazilu Mirela, Giurgea Doina (2011), Contradictions between the human development and the necessity of implementing the sustainable development principles, Present Environment and Sustainable Development 5(2):241-253.
McLellan B., Zhang Q., Farzaneh H., Utama N. A., Ishihara K. N. (2012), Resilience, Sustainability and Risk Management: A Focus on Energy, Challenges 3:153-182.
McMillen D. P., Smith S. C. (2003), The number of subcenters in large urban areas, Journal of Urban Economics 53(3):321-338.
Meijers E. (2008), Measuring Polycentricity and its Promises, European Planning Studies 16(9):1313-1323.
Murphy K. (2012), The social pillar of sustainable development: a literature review and framework for policy analysis, Sustainability: Science, Practice, & Policy 8(1):15-29.
Müller M. O., Stämpfli A., Dold Ursula, Hammer T. (2011), Energy autarky: A conceptual framework for sustainable regional development, Energy Policy 39(10:5800-5810.
Ng M. K. (2005), Quality of Life Perceptions and Directions for Urban Regeneration in Hong Kong, Social Indicators Research 71(1-3):441-465.
Nordic Centre for Spatial Development (2003), ESPON 1.1.1. Third interim report. The role, specific situation and potentials of urban areas as nodes in a polycentric development, NORDREGIO, Sweden.
Nordic Centre for Spatial Development (2005), ESPON 1.1.1. Potentials for polycentric development. Final Report, NORDREGIO, Sweden.
Norton B. (1992), Sustainability, Human Welfare, and Ecosystem Health, Environmental Values 1(2):97-111.
OECD (2004), Measuring sustainable development. Integrated economic, environmental and social frameworks, OECD, Paris, France.
Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (2006), A common approach to creating sustainable communities: “The Bristol Accord”, in: UK Presidency. EU Ministerial Informal on Sustainable Communities. Policy Papers, ODPM Publications, London, Document 05 EUPMI 03656/A
Owens Susan (1994), Land, Limits and Sustainability: A Conceptual Framework and Some Dilemmas for the Planning System, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 19(4):439-456.
Partidário M. d. R. (2007), Strategic Environmental Assessment. Good Practices Guide. Methodological Guidance, Portuguese Environment Agency, Amadora, Portugal.
Pawlowski C. W., Auslander D. M. (2000), A hierarchical approach to the sustainable management of controlled ecological life support systems, Life support & biosphere science 7(2):171-185.
Peptenatu D., Merciu Cristina, Merciu G., Drăghici C., Cercleux Loreta (2012), Specific features of environment risk management in emerging territorial structures, Carpathian Journal of Earth and Environmental Sciences 7(2):135-143.
Peptenatu D., Pintilii R. D., Drăghici C., Stoian Daniela (2010), Environmental pollution in functionally restructured urban areas: case study - the city of Bucharest, Iranian Journal of Environmental Health Sciences and Engineering 7(1):87-96.
Peptenatu D., Pintilii R. D., Drăghici C. (2011), Environmental risk management of urban growth poles regarding national importance, International Journal of Environmental Science & Technology 8(4):737-746.
Peters D. (2003), Cohesion, Polycentricity, Missing Links and Bottlenecks: Conflicting Spatial Storylines for Pan-European Transport Investments, European Planning Studies 11(3):317-339.
Petrişor A.-I. (2008), Towards a definition of sustainable development [in Romanian], Amenajarea Teritoriului şi Urbanismul 7(3-4):1-5.
Petrişor AI (2011a), Spatial principles of conserving biodiversity through natural protected areas [in Romanian], Analele Arhitecturii 6(1):37-39.
Petrişor A.-I. (2011b), Systemic theory applied to ecology, geography and spatial planning. Theoretical and methodological developments, Lambert Academic Publishing, Saarbrücken, Germany.
Petrişor A.-I. (2012a), Land cover and land use analysis of urban growth in Romania, Human Geographies 6(1):47-51.
Petrişor A.-I., Ianoş I., Tălângă C. (2010), Land cover and use changes focused on the urbanization processes in Romania, Environmental Engineering and Management Journal 9(6):765-771.
Petrişor A.-I., Sârbu C. N. (2010), Dynamics of geodiversity and eco-diversity in territorial systems, Journal of Urban and Regional Analysis 2(1):61-70.
Péti M. (2012), A territorial understanding of sustainability in public development, Environmental Impact Assessment Review 32(1):61-73.
Pope Jenny, Annandale D., Morrison-Saunders A. (2004), Conceptualising sustainability assessment, Environmental Impact Assessment Review 24(6):595-616.
Pretty J., Brett C., Gee D., Hine Rachel, Mason C., Morison J., Raymenti M., van der Bij G., Dobbs T. (2001), Policy Challenges and Priorities for Internalizing the Externalities of Modern Agriculture, Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 44(2):263-283.
Sârbu C. N. (1999), Urban rehabilitation and development - a main dimension of socioeconomic transition. A model of approach: the urban texture [in Romanian], in: Vădineanu A., Sustainable development, Vol. 2, Mechanisms and instruments, University of Bucharest Press, Bucharest, pp. 298-329.
Sârbu C. N. (2006), Housing in Romania: a framework approach [in Romanian], ―Ion Mincu‖ University Press, Bucharest.
Smyth L. (2011), Anthropological Critiques of Sustainable Development, Cross-Sections 7:78-85.
Sneddon C., Howarth R. B., Norgaard R. B. (2006), Sustainable development in a post- Brundtland world, Ecological Economics 57:253-268.
Tofan A. (2009), Economic requirements for Romania’s sustainable development, Present Environment and Sustainable Development 3:113-123.
Turok I. (1992), Property-led urban regeneration: panacea or placebo?, Environment and Planning A 24(3):361-379.
Trouwborst A. (2009), Prevention, precaution, logic and law. The relationship between the precautionary principle and the preventative principle in international law and associated questions, Erasmus Law Review 2(2):105-127.
Ungureanu Irina, Bănică A., Tudora D., Ursu A., Sfîcă L. (2011), The urban environment and the sustainable development. Conceptual and applicative preliminaries, Present Environment and Sustainable Development 5(2):111-122.
United Cities and Local Governments (2010), Culture: Fourth Pillar of Sustainable Development. Policy statement, United Cities and Local Governments, Barcelona, Spain.
United Nations (1992a), Agenda 21, United Nations Conference on Environment & Development, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
United Nations (1992b), Convention on biological diversity, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil,
United Nations (1992c), Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, in: UN Conference on Education and Development, Agenda 21: Programme of Action for Sustainable Development 7, UN Sales No E.93.I.11, UN Doc. A/CONF.151/26/Rev1
van Well L (2006), ESPON project 1.1.3. Enlargement of the European Union and the wider European Perspective as regards its Polycentric Spatial Structure, The Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
Vădineanu A. (1998), Sustainable development. Vol. I. Theoretical foundations of sustainable development [in Romanian], University of Bucharest Press, Bucharest.
Vădineanu A. (2004), Management of development. An ecosystemic approach [in Romanian], Ars Docendi Press, Bucharest.
Vădineanu A. (2007), The ecosystem approach applied to the management of the coastal socio-ecological systems, in: Gonenc I. E., Koutitonsky V. G., Brenda Rashleigh, Ambrose Jr. R. B., Wolflin J. P. (Eds.), Assessment of the Fate and Effects of Toxic Agents on Water Resources, Springer, Amsterdam, pp. 199-224.
Vădineanu A. (2009), Key conditions necessary for organizing and promoting inter- and trans-disciplinary researches on the complexity of nature, environment and society, doctoral summer school on the complexity of nature, environment and human society, Bucharest.
Vădineanu R.-Ş. (2008), Methods and indicators for assessing the natural capital and sustainability of socio-economic systems [in Romanian], Doctoral Dissertation, University of Bucharest, Bucharest.
Waterhout B., Zonneveld W. A. M., Meijers E. J. (2005), Polycentric Development Policies in Europe: Overview and Debate, Built Environment 31(2):163-173.