From activism to ecology, alternative culture to industry, “sustainability,” it seems, is everywhere. In the face of economic and environmental crisis, and unprecedented rates of urbanization, the term has become ubiquitous in policy circles and across many social domains. Yet this ubiquity presents us with competing and often contradictory meanings and applications, and can lead to conflicts over fundamental questions such as “sustainability of what and for whom?” This in turn poses challenges for sustainability scholarship, planning, policy, and practice.
Critical Sustainabilities is a new website that aims to address these issues. It focus on iconic sustainability efforts in Northern California — many of which have popularized the concept nationally and globally — while exploring the multiple, often contested ways these efforts have made use of the term. It offers tools in the forms of “keywords” and “sites” to help grasp the histories and locations through which ideas about sustainability have been produced and become powerful. And it presents “projects” that explore these ideas through a creative and critical lens.
Please join us as we launch Critical Sustainabilities, and share a few contributions from the site:
* Miriam Greenberg (UCSC): “Sustainabilities”
* Simon Sadler (UC Davis): “Keyword: Ecological Design” and “Site: Bateson Building”
* Elsa Ramos (UCSC) “Keyword: Transit Oriented Development” and “Site: 16th and Mission BART Plaza”
* Tracy Perkins (UCSC): “Site: Gonzales” and “Project: Voices from the Valley”
* Kristin Miller (UCSC): “Keyword: Google Bus” and “Projects: Postcards from the Future”
* Rachel Brahinsky (University of San Francisco): “Teaching Critical Sustainabilities”