Sustainability Planning: Pushing Against Institutional Barriers
Free (open access)
This paper describes a case study of an institution promoting sustainability goals but acting to restrict innovation and implementation of those same goals. The issue is important because institutions have cultures which may feel antipathy to a paradigm shift toward sustainability, whilst required to usher in sustainability. There are a multitude of conservative forces representing the Dominant Social Paradigm restricting innovation, despite sustainability policy. People engaging in sustainability implementation may come into conflict with institutional representatives of the old paradigm. Resistance to the New Environmental Paradigm may permeate our own organisations. Trying to strike a balance between implementing ecologically sustainable development and respecting institutions’ behaviour may require courage and perseverance. Institutions are often big, powerful, conservative and may tolerate bullying behaviour if threatened by innovation. With most development takes place in urban settings, concepts of urban sustainability attempt to merge two very different fields of human endeavour - how we modify our landscape, our built environment, and how we behave in that environment. Transport planning in Queensland, Australia displayed a tension between the infrastructure providers and the intending behaviour changers, so that project managers vested with encouraging travel behaviour change, badged as 'TravelSmart', appeared to fear innovation, fear action research which was, definitively, not under their full control. This paper explores this apparent 'internal dissonance' between the accepted need for, yet fear of change, via a case study attempting to introduce a pilot TravelSmart Destinations project to a provincial Queensland University, and the ways perseverance and maintaining focus on goals in both infrastructure and behaviour will make sustainability gains. Keywords: sustainable, sustainability planning, institutional barriers, paradigm shift, implementation, impediments to change, ecologically sustainable development, urban travel change.
sustainable, sustainability planning, institutional barriers, paradigm shift, implementation, impediments to change, ecologically sustainable development, urban travel change.