Sustainable Development and Sustainable Science. Where We Came From, Where We Are Now and Where We Are Heading? Part II: An In-Depth Analysis of the Concept of Sustainable Development

Zrównoważony rozwój i zrównoważona nauka. Skąd przyszliśmy, gdzie jesteśmy i dokąd zmierzamy? Część II: Dogłębna analiza koncepcji zrównoważonego rozwoju

Magdaléna Drastichová

Technical University of Ostrava, Czechia


The concept of sustainable development (SD) is broad and moreover, it is often interchangeably used with the more general, but sometimes also more specific, concept of sustainability. The concept of SD is analysed on the basis on its development (analysed in the first part: Drastichová, 2022) 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, as well as normative assessments of the concept resulting from this knowledge. Alternative concepts and the possibilities of sustain-ability science are also summarized. A significant effort has been made to identify the relationships of the SD concept with sustainability and to the main related scientific (theoretical) and practical concepts, as well as to the alternative concepts to them. These outcomes were again obtained from a detailed analysis of history and relevant scientific works. Finally, a possible design of the SD concept is outlined on the basis of the analysis and synthesis of the knowledge.

Key words: quality of life, sustainable development, sustainability, sustainability science, wellbeing

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

Słowa kluczowe: jakość życia, rozwój zrównoważony, zrównoważoność, zrównoważona nauka, dobrostan

Problemy Ekorozwoju 18(1)2023: 9-27

DOI: 10.35784/pe.2023.1.02

Submitted: 30.10.22, accepted: 15.11.02, published on-line: 1.01.23