Science discerns, processes, tests and incorporates changing reality. Human Geography theory acknowledges, as part of science theory evolution, that humans do care, that humans are agents of changing reality and that we have value and knowledge-based preferences of how our collective future may be influenced by our choices and resultant actions and impacts.
Climate change, disaster mitigation and sustainability implementation planning are linked aspects of an emerging value system in science: Sustainability Implementation Research (SIR). SIR starts with the value systems of Ecologically Sustainable Development, embraces the rigours of science replication and extends Action Research to take a whole-systems approach using the David Suzuki model. This defines long-term values, principles and processes to achieve sustainability. This paper draws on extensive disaster risk communication and community engagement research and consultancies by the author at Australian national, state and local government levels, with focus on Sustainability Implementation Planning (SIP) in North Queensland and James Cook University, described in this paper.
Understanding the degradation of ‘the linear industrial model’, of human-enhanced global warming; given a surveyed consensus that people want ‘sustainable settlements’, we can join values with emergent technologies to foster long-term local needs-meetings. Also, there are elements within organisations’ authority chains which may resist complex change. Quantifying planning choices with science rigor via Sustainability Implementation Research (SIR) may help fearful decision-makers, although critical elements within ‘the old way’ of settlement planning do not want to lose power to ‘the new way’. There is resistance to hierarchical command and control giving way to engaged participation in implementing sustainable structures and behaviour (Goudie 2005). This paper details rigorous and replicable values, principles and processes (VP&P) to practice the emergent science of sustainability implementation, using Australian examples.
|Keywords:||Urban Sustainability, Science, Research, Planning, Methodology, Energy, Value|
Adjunct Lecturer, Centre for Tropical Urban and Regional Planning, School of Earth and Environmental Science, James Cook University, Townsville, Nth. Queensland, Australia