The On Sustainability Journal Collection offers an annual award for newly published research or thinking that has been recognized to be outstanding by members of the On Sustainability Research Network.
The concept of sustainability has been widely adopted in urban planning practice and theory. The social dimension of sustainability (SDS) remains the most underdeveloped and overlooked dimension of sustainability, both conceptually and practically, though social aspects of sustainability offer great potential to address urban social problems. This article reports on findings from research involving case studies of neighborhood-scale sustainability planning projects in Portland, Oregon; Copenhagen, Denmark; and Nagoya, Japan to describe the ways in which the SDS has been conceptualized and implemented in recent planning practice. The social determinants of health (SDH) framework is applied to these conceptualizations to identify the utility of this framework in further developing the SDS. Findings suggest commonalities across contexts and differences in their emphasis on structural and contextual determinants. This SDH framework contributes structure to theory on the SDS and provides a useful tool for planners to address complex urban social problems through neighborhood-scale sustainability planning practice.
This research bridges the gaps between social sustainability theory and actual urban sustainability planning practice in an international sample of three case studies while connecting the social determinants of health framework (SDH) as a path forward for guiding social sustainability practice. Bridging the gap between theory and practice with the SDH framework, which is built on a social justice foundation, supports reduction of structural and contextual inequalities in urban neighborhoods.
Poshendra Satyal, The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic, and Social Sustainability: Annual Review, Volume 13, Issue 1, pp. 1-19
Sithamparanathan, Elackiya, The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability, Volume 12, Issue 3, pp. 1-20