A landscape approach for sustainability science

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

35 Scopus citations


The global life-support system for humans is in peril but no alternative to achieving sustainability is desirable. In response to this challenge, sustainability science has emerged in recent decades. In this chapter, I argue that to advance sustainability science a landscape approach is essential. Landscapes represent a pivotal place in the place-based research and practice of sustainability. Landscape ecology, as the science and art of studying and influencing the relationship between spatial pattern and ecological processes at different scales, can play a critically important role in the development of sustainability science. Global sustainability cannot be achieved without most, if not all, landscapes being sustainable. As landscapes are spatial units in which society and nature interact and co-evolve, it is more useful and practical to define landscape sustainability based on resilience rather than stability. Furthermore, the development of landscape sustainability measures can be facilitated by integrating landscape pattern metrics and sustainable development indicators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSustainability Science: The Emerging Paradigm and the Urban Environment
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages19
ISBN (Print)9781461431886, 1461431875, 9781461431879
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012


  • Human-nature interactions
  • Landscape sustainability
  • Sustainability metrics
  • Sustainability science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'A landscape approach for sustainability science'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this