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 SSC 343 Sustainable Development



The concept of sustainability has been gaining currency over the past two decades especially in the discipline of Human Geography. It has become the normative guiding principle of the international community over poverty reduction, resource management and community empowerment. The ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, adopted by the United Nations in September 2015, represents the latest highlight with regard to this development. The notion of sustainable development aims to make global development socially, environmentally, and economically, sustainable, and thus seeks to provide future generations with the opportunity to fulfil their aspirations for a better life. 

However, the notion of sustainable development has been criticised for becoming a buzzword, which enables policy makers simply to pay lip services, without genuinely improving people’s lives. This course combines geographical and development theories and practices. It unpacks the concept of sustainable development and draws on the ‘energy-water-land’ nexus to examine the (uneven) distributions of costs and benefits of sustainable development, especially in rural communities in developing countries. This course will introduce latest theoretical concepts, such as the Theory of Change and New Institutionalism, and interrogate current development practices, such as Sustainable Development Goals and sustainability strategies, through the social and environmental justice lens. 

One of the characteristics of this course is to teach students about how to write effective policy briefs to influence the policy-making decisions. An experienced, London-based development consultant will also be invited to provide a key-note lecture and to share his experiences in conducting consultancy projects in Vietnam, Cambodia and Fuji. 


Dr. Sam Wong


Human Geography


One of the following is required in order to take this course:

·        SSC 141 Introduction to Human Geography

·        SSC 111 Introduction to Sociology

·        SSC 131 Introduction to Socio-Cultural Anthropology

·        SSC 151 Introduction to Political Theory

·        SSC 241 Urban Geography

·        SSC 243 Environment and Society

·        SSC 341 Power and Space

·        Or by permission from the instructor​