If I were teaching a course related to sustainability, I would be very tempted to assign readings from this book to my students. Given... Readers accustomed to textbooks that present material in a unitary voice might be surprised to find in this one statements that do not always agree. read more. Reviewed by Sean Bryan, Instructor, Colorado State University on 1/7/16, This book has "comprehensive" in the title, and it delivers on that promise. Finally, although I applaud the use of Learning Objectives throughout the book, some were too broad to be useful for a student. Captions to figures suffered from some overlay issues with the footer in the PDF version. From my perspective, and the way I like to structure my Introductory course, the organization of this book doesn't necessarily make sense. An Introduction To Community Development In Local Government An Introduction To Community Development In Local Government by . The book is well organized. I’m not sure how an environmentally-oriented textbook can be organized such that updates are easy and straightforward to implement, since so much of this content is being updated with new research and governments reports published annually. Offered by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For the most part, though, the individual chapter authors have done an excellent job in distilling their topics down to the most essential core ideas. The text is broken down into well defined sections. In 2010, the Academic Advisory Committee for the Office of Sustainability The content is unbiased, and presents students with accurate information about a range of topics in sustainability. The text was easily and readily divisible into smaller reading sections because each chapter was written by different authors. The text appears to be written in a way that it could be updated by the authors if they are motivated to do so. There are also some noticeable mistakes in the references by adding unnecessary spacing between words. The fully updated second edition, including new figures and images, teases out the diverse but intersecting domains of sustainability and emphasises strategies for action. As far as the science and economics are presented in an elementary fashion, there is little to be disputed in its accuracy. But the components of it recognizable as what we call the CAA were added in 1970, so it seems questionable to refer to it as a 1955 act. I think there is slightly more from the "human dimensions" of sustainability presented in this text, and while I am a social scientist by training, I am teaching an ecological dimensions course, and as a result, I had hoped to have a much more substantial and comprehensive perspective on sustainability from the natural sciences represented in this text. The text is highly modular; indeed, because of its multiple authorship, the book would be overwhelming to read all at once. But other than that, the book is a very good read and introduces the concept of sustainability very well to undergraduate students. Simplicity is important in a text such as this because it allows the reader to build a conceptual understanding without getting lost in terminology or quantitative manipulations. read more. it reports the current human population of 6.8 billion, pg. The textbook is consistent in its terminology, structure, and organization. Sustainability is a large topic though. We design at varying scales and detailed descriptions were missing on subjects like extensive versus intensive greenroofs, designing healthy landscapes and sustainable cities through park design, vegetated streetscapes, permeable paving, and new inventing engineered hydrological systems that support a native plant palette. However, I have one over-riding suggestion that I think would greatly increase the impact of this text on college students. In chapter 6 the idea of Tragedy of the Commons is explained but misrepresented. A few exceptions though: It seems the clarity is lost where too many examples, and too many figures are being introduced in the text as a way to clarify a specific point e.g. For example, Chapter 2, which discusses the evolution of enviornmental policy in the U.S., makes no reference to native American experiences; it treats the "beginning" as colonialists' ownership and use of land. As mentioned above, the embedded cultural base-line is the U.S., white man's story. An Introduction to Sustainability provides students with a comprehensive overview of the key concepts and ideas which are encompassed within the growing field of sustainability. The long standing and various criticisms of the Tragedy thesis are that it assumes actors who do not communicate with each other, and that in real world examples of common pool resources they typically do. The formatting is a bit clunky at times with empty space on some pages because of photos on the next, only a space between section breaks, and some tables that don’t translate well to PDF. This field is so new, and is moving so quickly, that updating frequently will be critical. I doubt the authors could do much about that though. Well done. The layout and presentation is very consistent, although them modular approach means that the conceptual framing of each chapter can vary dramatically. Yet these are not usual times. The book is suitable for introductory interdisciplinary courses on sustainability, as well as those in the fields of geography, geology, sociology, planning, political science, and anthropology. On one hand, I really wanted to love this book. I find the content very accurate, at least for the parts that i am involved in. read more. It is an impressive work. Overall, the content seems as if it would be easy to reorganize and realigned, or used in conjunction with other ancillary course materials. It would be nice to see more references to the international case studies, policy, research, etc. It is broad in its scope and covers most topics included in many Sustainability and Environmental Studies textbooks. With the subject of sustainability, I would imagine that there would need to be constant edits and update to chapter contents and relationships between chapters. Almost all of the case studies are from the US which I believe should be remedied. I was impressed that the authors were consistent throughout the book in documenting their sources. The value system of the military-industrial complex, consumption as 'way of life' and concentraion of profit for the few, are embedded in this statement as if these things were God-given, rather than socially-defined. It is broken into smaller sections take can aid in its readability however at times this is distracting and the sections are overly divided. Furthermore, the modular design allows individual chapters and sections to be easily appropriated without the purchase of a whole new text. Additionally, the ecological dimensions it *does* cover creates good scaffolding for the social dimensions; it's just not comprehensive enough for the class I had hoped to use it for. As a result, this would not only have reduced the more than 600 page-volume textbook, but it would also have made it easier for students to read as well. "For more information about this, click here" ), some tables not rendered correctly in Chapter 11 on "Sustainable Infrastructure," and dashes are rendered so thinly that they appear almost invisible in the PDF version. Because the field of sustainability science is in rapid development, I would expect either one or both of the following to happen within about 4 to 8 years: (a) Another groups of editors and authors will compile a "successor" or "competitor" book, or (b) the present editors and authors will revised the chapters within such a time frame. When reading on a desktop computer through the eBook application, I found the format to be more streamlined and easy to follow. Perhaps some formatting distinctions (fonts, underlines, bolds, boxes) can be used to subdivide the text, rather than using the elaborate numbering system? Alternatively, I could assign a series of essay questions, asking students to use the open textbook as their main resource. the solid state lighting (SSL) and the compact-fluorescent light bulbs [CFL] (pp 557-558). Worldmapper was once great, but reflects 2002 data. It would be fun to have such teams give back-to-back 20-minute presentations. It is quite a challenge to develop a comprehensive document for an area of subject matter which is under formulation. I do think students often relate best to understanding sustainability issues from the U.S., but to not dedicate more time to global sustainability surprised me. I was not offended, but cannot comment on whether others might be offended. "This is a timely and much-needed book, written by experienced university educators who know how to engage with students and spark and sustain their interest. Table 7.2 has some overlapping, unreadable text as viewed in PDF form in Acrobat. Each chapter has an effective glossary. There is a weird formatting issue on pp. Very easy to separate into sections. However, as some have noted, the book gives short shrift to some issues, such as agriculture, that are important facets of sustainability discussions. I cannot comment on US environmental policy for example but given the quality of my topics, i would assume that the whole book follows the same level of accuracy. The book covers a full range of topics relating to the multi-disciplinary nature of sustainability. The built environment's use of alternative energies is lightly touched on but lacking in passive systems and review of current technological advances. Because the engineering designer has generally honor the compact, no serious consideration was given during design to any efforts to “preserve” the system… to monitor the inevitable deterioration of the system or structure and repair or replace the necessary elements to sustain it. This is also helped by the well integrated reader provided by openstax cnx. However, the authors discuss the foundation concepts of sustainability. The book description notes that "readers accustomed to textbooks that present material in a unitary voice might be surprised to find in this one statements that do not always agree" (3), but this is not a major issue; the variations in style and approach are more significant. The interface is quite good for a free text. Journalism, Media Studies & Communications, 3 Introduction to Sustainability: Humanity and the Environment, 4 The Evolution of Environmental Policy in the United States, 7 Physical Resources: Water, Pollution, and Minerals, 11 Problem-Solving, Metrics, and Tools for Sustainability, 12 Sustainability: Ethics, Culture, and History. It is definitely written from an American cultural background. Reviewed by Kelly Curl, Assistant Professor, Colorado State University on 1/7/16, As the title portrays, this is a very comprehensive collection of subjects and topics related to sustainability. Each subsection has a title. The authors seemed to interpret the cartoon as saying that the Tragedy of the Commons thesis argues that people don't communicate enough. Introduction to Sustainability is the first major textbook to review major themes in the cutting-edge field of sustainability. Some of the chapters are more blunt, others more descriptive. I felt that the sustainable energy systems chapter could be a bit longer with perhaps more relevant case studies. For the most part, the authors did an impressive job in communicating concepts clearly and in simple terms. In addition, each chapter provides several citations for data and references to research – which adds another layer of transparency and opportunity for students to dive further into various topics. While there is much to be praised about the volume's attempt at comprehensiveness, it also seems somewhat tone-deaf at times to the larger conversation about sustainability taking place around the world. The organization is different from my logic, but I do like ending with sustainable infrastructure. Introduction to Sustainability is the first major textbook to review major themes in the cutting-edge field of sustainability. It also includes more than ten short case studies. One needs to go back and find out what the acronym stands for each time they come across it until that acronym is memorized. Add to cart. The modularity is EXCELLENT and is what might make this book most useful. 1.1 Introduction. However, the modular nature of this text lends itself to integrating more international or global case studies and examples. Each chapter has been written by subject-matter experts with good research. It can be dry at times. The extensive glossary is useful in this regard. As compilation this is inherently a weak spot, but on the important concepts there is consistency. Any inconsistency in the text is actually a reflection of the real world in which we live and the limits of human knowledge in trying to unravel complex issues such as climate change and economic development. That probably is not the authors' intent either; it is intended to be incorporated chapter by chapter, section by section. Sustainability is a large topic though. I really wanted to be able to use this whole book for my course, but ultimately found that it is not a good fit for a class that focuses on the ecological dimensions, or natural science dimensions, of sustainability. Until you click into each do you then get to scroll and find the subjects with the title. The pictures presented in the text are of good quality allowing the reader of the viewer to clearly see without confusion. The word "comprehensive" is in the title of this open textbook, and the editors and authors have made an effort to include numerous aspects of the topic without leaving anything out. The visual layout is much less clunky (e.g. One student could not really consume this much in one semester. Perhaps there is no other way to communicate the basic concepts of risk assessment, but I fear most students will not gain a conceptual understanding of this concept from reading this section. Some chapters are incredibly long, and some are quite short. For example when the authors addressed the question of energy: multiple examples are given taking too much time, and space in the textbook. I would give this book a great rating on accuracy -- the authors did a fabulous job with their research, and did great summaries of the topics that they covered. Almost without exception, the text is accurate and complete. 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