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  • Introduction: Beyond Sustainability

    Introduction: Beyond Sustainability

    In this special issue of the eJournal of Public Affairs we contend that there is a flaw in sustainable development models and perhaps in the basic concept of sustainable development itself. Use of the term development implies a continued use and perhaps abuse of the limited planetary resources without consideration of the considerable environmental, social, and even economic havoc caused by current sedimented organizational structures and practices. What then is Beyond Sustainability?
  • Beyond Sustainability: A New Conceptual Model

    Beyond Sustainability: A New Conceptual Model

    Over the last few decades, the notion of sustainability has become an interdisciplinary buzz word. Sustainability has been an integrative concept that includes three constructs or pillars: a) social; b) economic; and c) ecological. Until recently, theoretical approaches based on the three pillars approach have operated in silos rather than exploring the interconnectedness of the constructs. Few models have moved beyond the idea that logical relations exist among the constructs (social, economic, and ecological) to consider factors external to communities, nor have they examined the internal socio-economic factors that influence positive outcomes. While this conceptualization has raised awareness about the distribution of scarce resources, it has not been useful in creating resilient and sustainable development. The model proposed in this paper is theoretically driven and considers the multifaceted concepts of ecological perspectives and risk and resilience. In addition, unlike previous conceptual representations, the model suggested in this paper offers opportunities for intervention to decrease risk, promote community cohesion, and encourage social change through empirical investigation.
  • Traditional Feng Shui Architecture as an Inspiration for the Development of Green Buildings

    Traditional Feng Shui Architecture as an Inspiration for the Development of Green Buildings

    Feng Shui, one of the three pillars that support China’s ancient architectural theory, was the soul of Chinese traditional architecture during its five thousand year history. It advocated the harmony between mankind and nature which perfectly coincides with the concepts of modern green buildings. Feng Shui includes geomantic astronomy, geography, human information science, and other fields. Because of the lack of systemic scientific knowledge associated with Fen Shui, it has a mystical character bordering at times on superstition. This paper analyzes the culture essence of Feng Shui and explores the relationship between traditional geomantic omen and architectural aesthetics. This paper also examines the application of traditional Feng Shui in site selection—indoor and outdoor, environment controlled, and other areas. The paper aims to help absorb and inherit the essence of Feng Shui and provides the cultural foundation and methods for the development of green building.
  • Can a University’s Public Affairs Mission Move the Institution Beyond Sustainability?

    Can a University’s Public Affairs Mission Move the Institution Beyond Sustainability?

    Institutions of higher learning spend considerable time linking their mission to every facet of the institution. More recently, considerable attention to sustainability has been a focus of almost every higher learning institution in the United States and many abroad. This paper is a case study exploring whether an institution with a strong, state-mandated mission in public affairs has infused sustainability into its mission or developed sustainability independent of its mission. Surveys of sustainability and public affairs curricula illustrate that curriculum based on the public affairs mission is dictated from the top, but that curriculum based on sustainability is a choice of individual faculty and academic departments. As a result, public affairs and sustainability are not linked at the curricular level. However, this case study illustrates administrative initiatives and student attitudes that indicate that a public affairs mission can move an institution “beyond sustainability.”
  • Economic Changes, Policy Changes:  The First Major Effect of the Green Revolution

    Economic Changes, Policy Changes: The First Major Effect of the Green Revolution

    The Green Economy is something more than the sum of all possible related efforts to create a “green” turning point in the economy. It is a revolution of the way of life of the inhabitants of the planet to try to change a system that is leading us to self-destruction. The facts speak for themselves: the human factor is affecting the climate with vast greenhouse gas emissions due not only to the exploitation of fossil fuels but also to deforestation, agriculture and intensive livestock farms, and of course industrialization. The Green Revolution is thus the first collective effort to save the species. It has just started, but like all revolutions that start from the bottom it will make changes to our reality that become normality. (Translation by: Matthew Kubik.)
  • Book Review:  Civic Engagement in Higher Education: Concepts and Practices

    Book Review: Civic Engagement in Higher Education: Concepts and Practices

    This edited volume makes two major contributions to the understanding of this pedagogical practice. First, its authors seek to tackle the epistemological problem of defining civic engagement. Is civic engagement the same as service-learning or is it something more? If it is something more, does it do better meeting the needs for learning outcomes that service-learning as a high-impact practice does? Second, its authors’ demonstrate through case studies varied approaches to how to best conduct the work.
  • Book Review: Transforming Cities and Minds through the Scholarship of Engagement

    Book Review: Transforming Cities and Minds through the Scholarship of Engagement

    With so much focus on the diminishing affordability of higher education to students and financial cuts to state-level appropriations to public universities, there is perhaps no crisis facing the academy receiving as little attention as the one highlighted by Lorlene Hoyt and her contributors. The academy has not focused its attention on a singular project in some time and has never invested ample attention in the numerous crises that have plagued American cities over the last century.
  • Features

    Features

    The eJournal is excited to provide a new FEATURE section. With our primary purpose for scholarly publications, we want to offer an opportunity for students, staff, and community members, along with faculty, to share their projects, experiences, and events involving civic engagement. We are looking for informative contributions in the form of videos, photo essays, and other formats of multimedia submissions. In this issue we feature two videos, one describes a culinary sustainability degree program at Kennesaw State University, and the other video is produced by a Missouri State University student who describes various community, state, and university sustainability projects.