When the UN’s Millennium Development Goals expire in 2015, they will be replaced by a post-2015 UN development agenda called the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs include a new focus on communities and human settlements, proposing to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.” The inclusion of cities and human settlements in the new UN development agenda marks a turning point in global efforts to address sustainability issues, highlighting the need to develop integrated responses to international challenges on a local and regional level.
Mark Roseland’s research group seeks to further the theory and practice of local community development in Canada and internationally. While there is an emerging body of literature and case studies that address the many elements of sustainable community development, more work is required to build theory, develop themes through case studies, and create a common body of knowledge that can be disseminated and built upon by both researchers and practitioners. The recognition of human settlements as critical elements in the path toward global SDGs provides the impetus for the team’s renewed efforts to advance both theory and practice in this maturing eld.
Key allies in these efforts include Pando | Sustainable Communities (www.pando.sc), an online researcher-practitioner collaboration platform, and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (www.iclei.org).