International trends on transformative learning for urban sustainability

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Discover Sustainability


It is widely assumed that transformative societal action is required to address the world's many sustainability challenges of today. This is especially true in an urban context, since urban sustainability may assist in improving the conditions of the urban environment and the quality of life of humans. Nevertheless, and despite the many advantages that urban sustainability may bring about, there is a need for studies that look at the role that transformative learning may play in influencing it. This study will address this need. It provides an analysis of the subject matter of transformative learning and how it may be practised and experienced in an urban context, thus contributing to urban sustainability in practical terms. It reports on a survey specifically directed to the teaching staff, on the extent to which transformative learning is being deployed in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in supporting urban sustainability efforts. In addition, the study ends by listing and presenting examples of approaches, methods, and initiatives in transformative learning within an urban sustainability context, and provides an analysis of its main features and learned lessons. It concludes with some best practices for transformative learning that could assist in designing and implementing urban sustainability teaching at HEIs, on a broader scale. It can be stated that not only can sustainability thought improve the urban conditions, but as the developing world gets further urbanised, sustainability in the urban context specifically becomes a matter of particular relevance.