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Essay Questions

  1. Based on the textbook, list and discuss four characteristics of postindustrial society commonly found in the United States, Canada, and many nations in the European Union.
    • Economic dominance of the service sector over those of manufacturing and agriculture; complex nationwide communication networks
    • A high degree of economic activity based on an educated workforce employing scientific knowledge and technology in their work
    • A high level of public mobilization in society (including the rise of historically new social causes such as the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, the anti-nuclear movement, the anti-globalization movement, the environmental movement)
    • Increasing population growth and employment in urban areas (and subsequent decline in rural areas); and historically unprecedented societal affluence (Touraine 1974; Galston 1992; Inglehart 1997)

  2. Based on the textbook, list and discuss three particular issues of great importance for contemporary state and local governments in the United States in terms of promoting sustainable economic development.
    • Water resource protection and conservation
    • "Smart growth"
    • Environmental stewardship-oriented land use practices
    • The enforcement of energy-efficient building standards
    • The implementation of air quality protection measures
    • The reduction of the impact of carbon emissions on global climate change

  3. Based on the textbook, list and discuss three higher-order or postindustrial needs found in postindustrial societies.
    • Social affiliation
    • Quality of life concerns
    • Connection to transcendent values

  4. According to the textbook, list and discuss four core dimensions (objectives) of sustainable communities.
    • Social objectives
    • Economic objectives
    • Environmental objectives
    • Institutional objectives

  5. List four general determinants of adaptive capacity.
    • Improved access to resources
    • Reduction of poverty
    • Lowering of inequities in resources and wealth among groups
    • Improved education and information
    • Improved infrastructure
    • Diminished intergenerational inequities
    • Respect for accumulated local experience
    • Assurance that responses are comprehensive and integrative, not just technical
    • Active participation by concerned parties, especially to ensure that actions match local needs and resources
    • Improved institutional capacity and efficiency



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