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Planetary University Project
A former initiative of POLIS, the Planetary University Project explored how the university campus is a microcosm of the larger urban environment and led to a book by Michael M’Gonigle and Justine Starkcalled Planet U: Sustaining the World, Reinventing the University. The basic premise is that universities face problems similar to any other growing urban environment, including allocation of available space, transportation issues, energy consumption, water management, and protection of natural areas. The campus is, or could be, a model for the larger community.
Universities are entrusted with a major responsibility to enable societies to address the immense social and environmental challenges of the 21st century. Each university is different, but each has attributes that no other institution has, collectively equipping these places with an unparalleled potential for ecological innovation and ability to drive regional sustainability. A place-based strategy can be used to integrate everything from the development of green buildings, local reinvestment strategies and governance structures into an integrated approach for university sustainability. Where innovative development patterns are embraced, campuses can become comprehensive models of sustainability. The “planetary university” is the one that consciously shapes itself as a local model of planetary sustainability. The planetary university…
- Is locally catalytic
- Is globally networked
- Creates a comprehensive vision of sustainability through an expanded political mission for the university
- Redirects decision making through new institutional arrangements
- Cultivates constructive citizenship
- Offers a whole learning organization and community
Related Resources and Links
- Planet U: Sustaining the World, Reinventing the University by Michael M’Gonigle and Justine Stark (New Society, 2006)
- "Precautionary Goverance and the Planetary University" by Susanne Porter-Bopp and Michael M'Gonigle. The Networker (Newsletter of the Science and Environmental Health Network), 12(3), April 2007.
- Uncommon Ground: Creating Complete Community at the University of Victoria by Jason Found and Michael M’Gonigle (2005)
- A Path Less Taken: Planning for Smart Growth at the University of Victoria by Emily MacNair and Shannon McDonald (2001)
- Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE)
- Common Energy, a UVic network associated with POLIS working to find solutions to the climate crisis in Victoria
- Sierra Youth Coalition Sustainable Campuses Campaign
- The Climate Campaign
- Planet U radio interview with Michael - Coming soon
Page last updated: 02/03/2013