Local sustainability, implementation, organizational capacities
Sustainability has been framed by the World Commission on Environment and Development as a fundamental concept in human society and by Fiorino (2010) as a critical conceptual focus for public administration over the next decade. A large number of U.S. local governments have implemented sustainability initiatives. Nevertheless, relatively few studies have comprehensively examined sustainability implementation by local governments. This study makes a concerted effort to examine sustainability implementation in U.S. local governments, which have taken the lead in many areas of sustainability. This study also develops a capacity building model to empirically evaluate how organizational strategies and capacities influence sustainability practices at the local level of government through a national survey of U.S. cities with populations over 50,000. The results show that cities are most successful in implementing sustainability initiatives if they develop proper technical, financial, and, particularly, managerial capacities and if they pursue primarily external, bottom-up, more participative, citizen or stakeholder driven strategies. These results suggest a public manager road map for sustainability implementation. From a theoretical perspective, the capacity building model adopted in this study provides a relatively powerful explanation of sustainability implementation, which demonstrates the value of a capacity building model in further studying sustainability implementation.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Health and Public Affairs
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Health and Public Affairs, Health and Public Affairs -- Dissertations, Academic
Lebredo, Nick, "Implementing Sustainability Initiatives: A Study Of U.S. Local Governments" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2359.