Planet U Paperback – Jul 30 2009
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Planet U places the university at the forefront of the sustainability movement. Questioning the university's ability to equip society to deal with today's serious challenges such as economic growth, democratic citizenship and planetary survival, it calls for a new social movement to take a lead in reforming the university - the world's largest industry.
The book reviews the university's 900-year history from medieval religious philosopher, to Renaissance nation-builder, to its modern function as training grounds for the world's managerial class and the world's largest industry. It examines diverse campus initiatives across North America and Europe and their traditional concerns of green buildings, renewable energy and transportation demand management. But it also demonstrates the promise for social and ecological progress open to the "planetary university" once the university takes its place seriously and discovers its new mission: to create diverse models of local and global innovation centered around tough new questions about what universities - and their societies - can achieve:
- How might the university help move us to a post-automobile, energy-saving society?
- How might universities help refashion the city to be sustainable?
- How might universities be governed for sustainability?
Lively, engaging and perfectly timed for the UN Decade for Sustainability in Education launched in 2005, Planet U will have wide appeal.(2005-11-16)
About the Author
Michael M'Gonigle, Professor and Eco-Research Chair of Environmental Law and Policy at the University of Victoria, is a co-founder of Greenpeace International and has published widely on sustainability issues.
Justine Starke is a Research Associate in the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the University of Victoria.
Top Customer Reviews
Importantly, this is more than a book about the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, Canada; it is more than a book about universities, although much is learned about them through this book; it is an odessy which takes seriously our present ecologically precarious situation on this planet with an eye to showing how universities can be transformative spaces of learning and action which create wonderful future possibilities and realities.
If you are interested in Universities, Institutional Governance, Local Activism, Ecological Building and Planning: including green energy, waste water recycling and more; Learning and Teaching or desire to read a positive yet realistic book that challenges you to see the world in a new (and hopefull!) light, then this book is for you.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Planet U does both of those things. After reading this book you will never think of universities in the same way.
The challenge the book puts out there is that we always imagine ourselves as powerless in this era of global corporations, but the reality is that we have access to power but don't use a fraction of it.
The book is well-written and the argument is based on lots of evidence and stories. It's blissfully short on academic mumbojumbo.
In my own book, The No-Nonsense Guide to World Food, I rely on it to present a major theme of the food movement -- the existence of public sector purchasing as a major force and major step forward for support of local and sustainable food.
The food movement is now alive and well throughout the university world ( a trend that followed this book, and needs to be covered in an update).
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