Sustainable Development and Sustainable Science. Where We Came From, Where We Are Now and Where We Are Heading? Part I: The History of the Concept

Zrównoważony rozwój i nauka o zrównoważoności. Skąd pochodzimy, gdzie jesteśmy teraz i dokąd zmierzamy? Część I: Historia koncepcji

Magdaléna Drastichová

Technical University of Ostrava, Czechia


This work focuses on the origin, the history and milestones that led to the conceptualization of sustainable development (SD). Not only is the concept of SD broad, but it is often used interchangeably with the more general (but sometimes also more specific) concept of sustainability. The concept of SD is analysed based on its development and relationships with sustainability and related scientific (theoretical) and practical concepts. The rationale behind this work lies in clarifying the meaning of SD, including the concept of sustainability, and, on the basis of this, identifying the main ways of moving closer towards the aims of SD, including quality of life and wellbeing. The limitations of the concept are identified and summarized, as are the alternatives to SD and sustainability. The rationale behind this work lies not only in the clarifying of the SD concept, but also in the normative evaluation of this concept in relation to the wellbeing and quality of life of the Earth’s population for an infinite time period, while maintaining the supply of ecosystem services which the planet provides, taking into account that these resources are not only a source of people’s wellbeing, but are essential for people’s survival in general. Hence this work includes an in-depth sophisticated consideration of the SD concept based on its historical development, with a focus on the most crucial milestones, as well as normative assessments of the concept resulting from this knowledge.

Key words: development, history, progress, quality of life, sustainable development, sustainability, wellbeing

JEL Classification: I10, I13, I15, I18, Q01

Słowa kluczowe: rozwój, historia, postęp, jakość życia, zrównoważony rozwój, zrównoważoność, dobrostan

Problemy Ekorozwoju 17(2)2022: 7-18

DOI: 10.35784/pe.2022.2.01