Green growth and transformation to sustainability: supplementation or contradiction?

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It becomes evident that sustainable development cannot be a question of iterative changes and technical adaptation to a changing natural environment. Rather, it requires the transformation of major societal systems and processes such as production and consumption, mobility and land-use patterns as result of an approach shared and promoted by the majority of current society. In other words, a transformation to sustainability is required. In order to realize this demand for fundamental societal change, the transformation has to occur in the three pillars our society is based on: energy systems, urban areas as main emitters of greenhouse gasses and global land-use systems (WBGU, 2011: 48) which can also be identified as the main fields of intervention to pursue broad societal change (WBGU, 2011: 265). The spatial patterns of cities and city regions are urban systems which consume vast amounts of land and resources that exceed natural regeneration rates while degrading the environment. Furthermore, the vulnerability of cities and regions to climate change impacts and other biophysical and societal stressors such as the degradation of ecosystems and poverty (IPCC, 2014: 182) are consequences of long existing unsustainable societal structures and processes.
Book of proceedings: Annual AESOP Congress, Spaces of Dialog for Places of Dignity, Lisbon, 11-14th July, 2017
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