Transforming research for a sustainable society. Patrick Troy contributes to a debate about the future of urban life in a situation where the capacities of the ecosystems on which we depend now challenges the validity of the trajectory we have hitherto pursued.
This paper has a simple purpose that is nonetheless ambitious in its intent. It is simple because it attempts to address an obvious and important problem. It is ambitious because it is founded on a belief that we can and must develop a new way of thinking about where we are, where we might like to be and how we can get there. In the process it will likely prove that self-interest, while typifying social attitudes in Australia’s past, provides little guidance for coping with its future.
People will need to be convinced that their own interests may be better served by taking into account the bigger picture. As a critical friend of the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, I offer this paper as a contribution to a debate about Melbourne’s future but, more importantly, about the future of urban life in a situation where the capacities of the ecosystems on which we depend no challenges the validity of the trajectory we have hitherto pursued.
MSSI strives to inform and stimulate public conversation about key sustainability questions facing our society. Each MSSI Issues Paper aims to encapsulate the insights of a thinker or practitioner on a particular issue of importance to society. Although material is often closely informed by peer-reviewed academic research, the papers themselves are presented in a clear, discursive style intended for a broad readership.