Planning for Sustainability


Understanding of the concept of sustainability and its practical implications. Identification of major environment and development problems, in Portugal and in the World. Identification of major instruments for sustainability and environment policy. Understanding the role of citizens in the path towards sustainability.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

João Miguel Dias Joanaz de Melo


Weekly - 2

Total - 28

Teaching language



No particular requirements to enroll in this course.


UNCED: Our Common Future (Brundtland Report). UN Comission on Environment and Development, 1987.

CMIO: The Ocean… Our Future (Soares Report). Comissão Mundial Independente para os Oceanos. Edição portuguesa: Expo 98/Fundação Mário Soares, 1998. ISBN: 972-97147-2-X

Pope Francis: Encyclical Letter Laudato Sí – on Care for Our Common Home. Libreria Editrice Vaticana, May 2015

APA: Relatório do Estado do Ambiente, Agência Portuguesa do Ambiente, Lisboa (publicação anual)

WWF: Living Planet Report 2018: aiming higher.  WWW International, Gland, Switzerland, 2018.

UN: Sustainable Development Goals: 17 goals to transform our world.

Teaching method

Tutorials, debates, independent research and field work.

Evaluation method

Three assigments:

1. Analysis of sustainability report;

2. Home environmental diagnosis;

3. Contact organization interested in divulgation of (a) Encyclic Laudato Sí, or (b) UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Subject matter

1. Basic concepts: sustainability and its corollaries; the ecologic, social and economic dimensions; the need for a new development model and new mentality.

2. Problematic and instruments for environment and development: regulatory instruments; environmental tax reform; integrated and voluntary policies and instruments.

3. The role of citizens and NGO: history, perspectives and practice.

4. Planning for sustainability, with a focus on energy and territorial management.


Programs where the course is taught: