Ecological footprint models calculate global, national, regional, or local supply of arable land (weighted by productivity) and compare it to the comprehensive demand for land. Global ecological footprint analysis finds that our current demand for resources is 50% higher than the planet’s available resources. The demand for arable land (ecological footprint) includes land required to produce products and land required to dispose of waste. It is calculated in categories that include cropland, grazing land, forest products, fishing grounds, urban land, and (forest) land for carbon sequestration. The available supply of land is the sum of cropland, forest land, etc. weighted by productivity.
The goal of this course is to provide a solid introduction to the concept of sustainable growth and development. Students will learn how to professionally navigate the current debate on sustainability and to assess strategies to promote sustainable communities and a sustainable planet. The course will blend qualitative and quantitative analysis of sustainable development, with large use of data analysis to measure progress towards sustainable development. Special attention will be paid to the role of technological innovation.