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Approaches to Sustainable Development

The Public University in the Regional Economy
Strategies for social and economic development, based on the experience of Lowell, Massachusetts

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How can cities and regions foster sustainable development? What role can a university play in this process? These are the central questions addressed in this innovative collection of essays, which brings together scholars in such diverse fields as history, political economy, community studies, industrial theory, economic geography, environmental studies, ergonomics and work design, race and gender studies, manufacturing engineering, and public health.

In 1993 a core group of faculty members at the University of Massachusetts Lowell launched an interdisciplinary study to find ways for the university to help stimulate regional development on a sustainable basis. They looked at models of development, new processes, and practical tools for transforming ideas into actions. At the same time, they moved beyond traditional research paradigms that focus on business growth and technology diffusion to the exclusion of social, environmental, and cultural development. Lowell is an ideal place for exploring these issues, given its rich industrial and immigrant history and the University's expertise as a science and engineering institution.

The product of this research is a set of thoughtful essays that span the physical and social sciences, engineering, and the humanities and engage the debate over how best to achieve sustainable developmentā€”a debate in which issues of social justice, popular participation, and economic development are inextricably linked.

In addition to the editors, contributors include Michael Best, Meg A. Bond, Cathy Crumbley, Louis Ferleger, M. A. Fiddy, Ken Geiser, Jeffrey Gerson, Laurence F. Gross, Dikshitulu K. Kalluri, Nancy Kleniewski, David Kriebel, John MacDougall, Rafael Moure-Eraso, Laura Punnett, Margaret Quinn, Julian David Sanchez-de-la-Llave, Linda Silka, Krishna Vedula, Vesela Veleva, and John Wooding.

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