Perspectives on comprehensive sustainability-orientation in municipalities: Structuring existing approaches

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Municipalities play an important role in fostering sustainable development at the local level. Yet, they still face significant challenges in comprehensively integrating sustainability aspects into administrative action. In order to overcome real or perceived barriers to implementing sustainability into administrative practices comprehensively, this article presents a structured set of 19 fields of sustainability-orientation in local administrations derived from a literature review, considering international scientific and German practical perspectives. Our findings indicate that the resulting fields of sustainability-orientation differ in their potential to foster change towards sustainability in a complex administrative system. Furthermore, there is evidence that the reviewed scientific documents in particular insufficiently illustrate comprehensive approaches for ingraining sustainability-orientation in local administrations. Based on the findings, we outline implications for further research in order to better meet the challenges of enhancing sustainable practice in local administrations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1040
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 16.02.2019