Research & Publications

The research and publications of the Centre for Sustainable Development seek to support and enable the sustainable development of communities in B.C., Canada, and internationally. The lessons from our research, education and community mobilization activities are disseminated through a variety of channels, including books, academic journal articles, papers, reports, student projects and the media.


Atasoy, Yıldız (2017)  Commodification of Global Agrifood Systems and Agro-Ecology: Convergence, Divergence and Beyond in Turkey, London & New York: Routledge. 

Atasoy, Yıldız (2017). Repossession, Re‐informalization and Dispossession: The ‘Muddy Terrain’ of Land Commodification in Turkey. Journal of Agrarian Change 17(4): 657-79. (Electronic version appeared in 2016: doi: 10.1111/joac.12182.) 

Atasoy, Yıldız (2013). Supermarket Expansion in Turkey: Shifting Relations of Food Provisioning, Journal of Agrarian Change 13(4): 547-70.




Carlson, T. and Ashworth, J. (2017). Democratizing Urban Watersheds: A Prospect for Participatory Environmental Planning in Metro Vancouver. Municipal World. (Forthcoming). 

Roseland, M., & Spiliotopoulou, M. (2016). Converging Urban Agendas: Toward Healthy and Sustainable CommunitiesSocial Sciences5(3), 28.

Whitelaw, P, and R. Barrs, Sustainable Neighbourhood Development: Practical Solutions to Common Challenges, Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Green Municipal Fund, 2016

Whitelaw, P. and Modus Planning, Design and Engagement, Collaboration for a Sustainable Built Environment in British Columbia: Context, Models, and Success Factors, Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, 2016

Joss, S., Cowley, R., de Jong, M., Müller, B., Park, B-S., Rees, W., Roseland, M., and Rydin, Y. (2015). Tomorrow’s City Today: Prospects for Standardising Sustainable Urban Development. London: University of Westminster. (ISBN 978-0-9570527-5-8).

Bird, K., Neighbourhood Sustainability Assessment: Connecting Impact with Policy Intent, SFU School of Resource and Environmental Management, Masters project, Spring 2015.

Ardis, L., Laneway Revitalization Through The Lens Of Community Capital, SFU School of Resource and Environmental Management Project No. 594, Masters project, Spring 2014.

Roseland, M., “Networking the Nexus: Mobilising Research and Collaboration to Support the Urban Nexus,” Expert Statement in Brugmann, J.,  Operationalizing the Urban NEXUS: Towards Resource-Efficient and Integrated Cities and Metropolitan Regions, GIZ – Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, Bonn, Germany, 2014.

Connelly, S., S. Markey, and M. Roseland, “Building Community Capacity for Strategic Sustainability,” in T. Haas, ed., Sustainable Urbanism and Beyond: Rethinking Cities for the Future, NY: Rizzoli/Random House (April 2012).

Roseland, M., Toward Sustainable Communities: Solutions for Citizens and Their Governments (Gabriola Island, BC: New Society Publishers, 2012).

Hendrickson, D., The Belly of the Beast: Post-Occupancy Assessment of Sustainable Consumption in Multi-Unit Residential Buildings in Metro Vancouver, PhD Dissertation, SFU Dept. of Geography, August 2011.  


CSD uses a Community Capital Framework as a way to understand sustainable community development.  We have developed the Community Capital Tool based upon that framework.  Both the framework and the tool are described in detail in CSD Director Mark Roseland’s book, Toward Sustainable Communities: Solutions for Citizens and Their Governments (2012). 

The Community Capital Tool is a decision support and assessment tool designed to facilitate and ground community discussion about integrated planning and monitoring. It is the product of collaboration between CSD and Telos, Brabant Center for Sustainable Development, Tilburg University, Netherlands. 

The Community Capital Tool comprises two related instruments, the Community Sustainability Balance Sheet and the Community Capital Scan.   Several projects and graduate theses have been completed in recent years using the Community Capital Tool.  A team from the Centre worked on version 3.0 of the Tool which was released in 2017.  Team:  Mark Roseland, John Dagevos, Peter Whitelaw, Gretchen Ferguson, Maria Spiliotopoulou, Aaron Pardy.  



Boutilier, R.G. 2017. Raiding the honey pot: The resource curse and weak institutions at the project level. The Extractive Industries and Society, online preprint.

Connelly, S., K. Green, S. Markey and M. Roseland.  “Peaks and Valleys on the Prairies: Optimism and resistance to sustainable community development in Craik (SK),” in Hallstrom, L., M. Beckie, G. Hvenegaard, K. Mundel (Eds.)  Taking the Next Steps:  Sustainability planning, participating and public policy in rural Canada (Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2016).

Markey, S., Breen, S., Lauzon, A., Gibson, R., Ryser, L., Mealy, R. (eds.) (2015). State of Rural Canada. Calgary: Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation

Ryser, L., Halseth, G., Markey, S., Morris, M. (2016). The structural underpinnings impacting rapid growth in resource regions. Extractive Industries and Society.doi:10.1016/j.exis.2016.06.001

Ryser, L., Markey, S., Halseth, G. (2016). The workers’ perspective: The impacts of long distance labour commuting in a northern Canadian small town. Extractive Industries and Society. doi:10.1016/j.exis.2016.02.002

Manson, D., Markey, S., Ryser, L., Halseth, G. (2016). Recession Response: Cyclical Problems and Local Solutions in Northern BC. Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, 107 (1): 100-114.

Markey, S., Breen, S., Vodden, K., and Daniels, J. (2015). Evidence of Place: Becoming a Region in Rural Canada. International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 39(5): 874-891.

Breen, S. W., Markey, S. (2015). Unintentional influence: Exploring the relationship between rural regional development and drinking water systems in rural British Columbia, Canada. The Journal of Rural and Community Development, 10(3), 52-78.

Heisler, K., Markey, S. (2014). Navigating Jurisdiction: Local and Regional Strategies to Access Economic Benefits from Mineral Development. The Canadian Geographer, Volume 58, Issue 4, pages 457–468

Markey, S., Ryser, L., Hasleth, G. (2015). “We’re in this all together:” Community Impacts of Long-distance Labour Commuting. Rural Society, 24(2):131-153.

Zirul, C., Halseth, G., Markey, S., & Ryser, L. (2015). Struggling with new regionalism: Government trumps governance in Northern British Columbia, Canada. The Journal of Rural and Community Development, 10(2), 51-77

Halseth, G., Ryser, L., Markey, S. and Martin, A, (2014) “Emergence, transition, and continuity: Resource Commodity Production Pathways in Northeastern British Columbia, Canada”. Journal of Rural Studies, 36, 350–361.

Heisler, K., Markey, S. (2014). Navigating Jurisdiction: Local and Regional Strategies to Access Economic Benefits from Mineral Development. The Canadian Geographer, 58, 4: 457-468

Ryser, L., Markey, S., Manson, D., Halseth, G. (2014). From Boom and Bust to Regional Waves: Development Patterns in the Peace River Region, British Columbia. Journal of Rural and Community Development, 9(1): 87-111.

Heisler, K., Markey, S. (2013). Scales of Benefit: Political leverage in the negotiation of corporate social responsibility in mineral exploration and mining in rural British Columbia, Canada. Society and Natural Resources, 26(4), 386-401.

Markey, S., Halseth, G., Manson, D. (2012). Investing in Place: Economic Renewal in Northern British Columbia. Vancouver: UBC Press.





Ferguson, G. (2018). The Social Economy in Bolivia: Indigeneity, solidarity, and alternatives to capitalism. VOLUNTAS: International Journal of Voluntary and Nonprofit Organizations, 1-11.

Gismondi, M., Connelly, S., Beckie, M., Markey, S., Roseland, M. (eds.) (2016). Scaling Up: The Convergence of Social Economy and Sustainability. Athabasca: Athabasca University Press.

Gismondi, M., Connelly, S., & Markey, S. (2016). Conclusion: "Social economizing" sustainability. In M. Gismondi, S. Connelly, M. Beckie, S. Markey & M. Roseland (Eds.), Scaling up: The convergence of social economy and sustainability. (pp. 269-295). Edmonton, Canada: AU Press.

Hardill, A., Impact Investing for Sustainable Community Development, SFU School of Resource and Environmental Management, Masters project, Spring 2016.

Markey, S. (2013). El enfoque de “la comunidad como un todo” al desarrollo (The “Whole Community” Development Approach). Umbrales: Desarrollo Económico Comunitario, 26: 15-36.

Lowery, B., Entrepreneurs for a Sustainable Renewal: Community Capital in Greater New Orleans and the Impacts of Sustainability Entrepreneurship, SFU School of Resource and Environmental Management Masters Project No. 573, Summer 2013.

Connelly, S., S. Markey, and M. Roseland, “We Know Enough: Achieving Action through the Convergence of Sustainable Community Development and the Social Economy.”  In R. Simpson (Ed.), The Economy of Green Cities: A World Compendium on the Green Urban Economy, Springer Netherlands, Local Sustainability, Vol. 3 (November 2012).


Community Evolution Foundation.  Gretchen Ferguson is on the Board of Directors of the Foundation which works internationally to help communities realize their common aims through community economic development initiatives. 

VanCity Community Foundation. Sean Markey serves on the Board of Directors of the Foundation, which uses community economic development strategies, partnerships, and advocacy to enable community change, capacity building, and well-being.

Community Economic Development professional certificate program.  Courses include:



Boutilier, R.G. and Zdziarski, M. 2017. Managing stakeholder networks for a social licence to build. Construction Management and Economics, online preprint.

Boutilier, R.G., Henisz, W.J. and Zelner, B. 2016. A systems approach to stakeholder management, Chapter 19, in Handbook of Applied System Science, ed. Z. Neal, New York: Routledge.

Halseth, G., Markey, S., Ryser, L., Manson, D. (2016). Doing Community-based Research: Perspectives from the Field. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press.

Boutilier, R.G. and Zdziarski, M. 2016. Strategic maneuvering in stakeholder networks. Problemy Zarządzania (Management Issues), 14(4(64)), 62-79.

Boutilier, R.G. 2015. Book review:. The social license: How to keep your organization legitimate, Morrison John. Palgrave Macmillan (2014), ISBN: 9781137370716. The Extractive Industries and Society, 2(2), 391-392.

Boutilier, R.G. 2014. Frequently asked questions about the social licence to operate, Impact Assessment and Project Appraisal 32(4), 263-272.

Kristensen, F. and M. Roseland. (2012). Mobilising collaboration with Pando | Sustainable CommunitiesLocal Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability.

Boutilier, R.G. 2011. A Stakeholder Approach to Issues ManagementNew York: Business Expert Press.  


Pando | Sustainable Communities. This sustainable communities researcher-practitioner network and collaboration platform is designed to connect local governments with sustainability-focused researchers from within academia and respected non-governmental organizations, through a web-based home that facilitates professional collaboration and the sharing of sustainability research, tools, resources, challenges and solutions. was launched at Rio+20 in June 2012; it was re-launched with new features at the 2015 Local Governments for Sustainability World Congress in Seoul.  Mark Roseland, Project Lead.

Engaging Students in Sustainability Learning. Mark Roseland and Maria Spiliotopoulou.  This series of small grant-funded projects assesses the potential of open online educational resources (eg, MOOCs) in sustainability teaching and learning.

Integrating Open Educational Resources in Sustainable Community Development. Mark Roseland, Joanna Ashworth, and Maria Spiliotopoulou.  Building on a previous inventory of open educational resources (OER) related to sustainability, this project attempts to incorporate OER seamlessly into both classroom and online SCD courses.  



Sustainability Vision Research
Research into company best practices in setting sustainability visions. 2017

Social Purpose Assessment Tool for Credit Unions
A checklist and benchmarking tool for credit unions to assess their performance in becoming social purpose organizations.  2017

Industry Association Sustainability Benchmark and Checklist
A tool for industry associations to assess their sustainability programs enabling a gap and opportunity assessment.  2017

Sustainability Competencies and Talent Management
Global research into the five essential sustainability skills for business leader competency models, including systems thinking, external collaboration, social innovation, sustainability literacy and active values.  2015.

Qualities of a Transformational Company 
The essential qualities of a company seeking to transform itself and its operating context to advance toward a sustainable future for itself and society. 2015

Social Value Business Guide
Guide for business on how to improve its social footprint by embedding social sustainability into core functions such as HR and procurement. Includes chapters on social buying, community hiring, living wage and social innovation and collaboration.  2014


Catalyst Community Developments Society, Mark Roseland, Charter Board member.    Catalyst is a social enterprise being created to leverage real estate assets for social change.  It acts as a catalyst for creative and community-oriented development of real estate by using its expertise and equity to secure control and/or ownership of strategically significant real estate to provide time and support for the necessary planning, co-ordination and due diligence work.  Catalyst is aligned with CSD research into “strategic sustainability.” 

UniverCity model sustainable community.  Mark Roseland is a founding member of the SFU Community Trust’s Board of Directors, responsible for the award-winning UniverCity neighbourhood.  



Connelly, S., & Nel, E. (2017). New Zealand: Restructuring of the New Zealand economy: Global-local links and evidence from the West Coast and Southland regions. In G. Halseth (Ed.), Transformation of resource towns and peripheries: Political economy perspectives. (pp. 112-136). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Connelly, S., & Nel, E. (2017). New Zealand: Employment and labor in New Zealand: Recent trends and reflections on developments in the West Coast and Southland regions. In G. Halseth (Ed.), Transformation of resource towns and peripheries: Political economy perspectives. (pp. 221-242). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Connelly, S., & Nel, E. (2017). New Zealand: Community responses to restructuring. In G. Halseth (Ed.), Transformation of resource towns and peripheries: Political economy perspectives. (pp. 317-335). Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Ardis, L., Hernandez (Ferguson), G., Mollinedo, A. (2015). Scanning for Sustainable Community Development in the Bolivian HighlandsWestern Geography, 20&21.

Boutilier, R.G. and Black, L. (2013). Legitimizing industry and multi-sectoral regulation of cumulative impacts: A comparison of mining and energy development in Athabasca, Canada and the Hunter Valley, Australia. Resources Policy, 38(4): 696-703.

Brohman, J., & Hernandez (Ferguson), G. (2013). The shaping of community economic development (CED) to fit Bolivian particularities: Effects of decentralization, indigeneity, structural economic change and popular participation. UMBRALES, 26 , 157-168.

Hernandez (Ferguson), G. (2013). Indigenous perspectives on community economic development: A north-south conversationCanadian Journal of Nonprofit and Social Economy Research, 4(1), 7-25. 


Dynamics and impacts of community-based enterprises in the Andean region using the Community Capitals Framework.  Project lead: Gretchen Ferguson.

Sustainable Cities International Youth Internships ProgramThis program sent 40 young Canadians to work with municipal governments in Tanzania, Senegal, South Africa, Bangladesh, Mexico and Bolivia for periods of up to six months, in various activities related to sustainable economies and food systems.  Project leads:  Caroline Assaf, Gretchen Ferguson, Jane McRae. 

Greece Community Economic Development program: A six-week capacity-building program in Athens for local practitioners involved in social enterprise and co-operative initiatives in Greece.  Project leads: Gretchen Ferguson, John Restakis. 

Metropolitan Governance in Mexico: Learning from Canadian and Brazilian Experiences.  Applied research involving an exchange between key governmental and non-governmental actors in Vancouver, Recifa, Guadalajara and Colima in order to identify the challenges and opportunities for implementing effective collaborative regional governance in the Guadalajara Metropolitan Area and the Colima Metropolitan Area.  Project leads: Gretchen Ferguson, Sean Markey. 

From Theory to Practice: Identifying and Activating Community Capitals for Sustainable Local Economic Development.  Project lead: Gretchen Ferguson, with Alberto Mollinedo & Alfredo Seoane (Universidad Mayor San Andres, Bolivia). 

The Bolivian Specialization in CED Project offered practical, locally defined, university-based training in Community Economic Development (CED) in Bolivia. Training participants were from traditional indigenous leadership, non-profit organizations, local government, and community organizations. Applied research was part of the initiative, and developing online training and audio-visual training materials in native languages. Project directors:  John Brohman, Joanna Ashworth. Project coordinator: Gretchen Ferguson. 




Connelly, S., & Beckie, M. (2016). The dilemma of scaling up local food initiatives: Is social infrastructure the essential ingredient? Canadian Food Studies3(2), 46-69.

Beckie, M., & Connelly, S. (2016). The role of the social economy in scaling up alternative food initiatives. In M. Gismondi, S. Connelly, M. Beckie, S. Markey & M. Roseland (Eds.), Scaling up: The convergence of social economy and sustainability. (pp. 59-81). Edmonton, Canada: AU Press.

Connelly, S., Markey, S., & Roseland, M. (2011). Bridging sustainability and the social economy: Achieving community transformation through local food initiatives. Critical Social Policy31(2), 308-324.


Rethinking Seafood Production: Developing Sustainable Communities with Land-Raised Fish.  With the quest of feeding our growing population already straining fragile global fisheries, aquaculture is being considered as a supplement to some sectors of seafood production.  Land-based aquaculture (LBA) has the potential to meet this shortfall while fostering sustainable community development. We are collaborating with a Council of BC First Nations to assess LBA’s viability in terms of community planning & implementation, food security & food sovereignty, and social entrepreneurship & economic development. We are consolidating a literature review, interviews with industry professionals and community members, and a multi-sectoral advisory process to share findings with relevant professionals.  The collaboration is an opportunity for the Council’s member nations to explore LBA in a low-risk environment and allow three Masters interns to develop a holistic Community Site Assessment Index to guide communities through LBA implementation and foster future industry-community partnerships.  Mark Roseland, Jake Bastedo, Jeff Lemon, Elizabeth Mosier.