Today, the active promotion of sustainability is acknowledged as a pivotal task for universities. Under the flagship of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the demand is to help cities and territories tackle complex challenges by providing innovative solutions and local actions. The call is for deep change in the ways universities address their fundamental missions and or-ganisation, and the relationships with their internal and external stakeholders. From this per-spective, a key issue to be investigated further is how new approaches and measures can con-cretely foster universities’ social responsibility towards SDGs. Taking a research-based ap-proach, the article addresses this question through the critical analysis of actions and tools deliv-ered by the Italian Universities Network for Sustainable Development (RUS), and the University of Trieste (UniTS). From sustainability and social reporting to civil engagement practices, the fo-cus is on the nexus between the upgrading of universities’ overall performance, and the ways they can act as living labs, capacity builders, and hubs of knowledge transfer. Discussion and conclu-sions highlight some fields and key factors that can drive universities towards a more effective integration of sustainability measures involving their spatial assets, governance, and stable col-laboration with their hosting cities, territories, and communities.

Italian Universities for Territorial Sustainable Development and Responsible Communities—The Case Study of the University of Trieste

Elena Marchigiani
;
Ilaria Garofolo
2023-01-01

Abstract

Today, the active promotion of sustainability is acknowledged as a pivotal task for universities. Under the flagship of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the demand is to help cities and territories tackle complex challenges by providing innovative solutions and local actions. The call is for deep change in the ways universities address their fundamental missions and or-ganisation, and the relationships with their internal and external stakeholders. From this per-spective, a key issue to be investigated further is how new approaches and measures can con-cretely foster universities’ social responsibility towards SDGs. Taking a research-based ap-proach, the article addresses this question through the critical analysis of actions and tools deliv-ered by the Italian Universities Network for Sustainable Development (RUS), and the University of Trieste (UniTS). From sustainability and social reporting to civil engagement practices, the fo-cus is on the nexus between the upgrading of universities’ overall performance, and the ways they can act as living labs, capacity builders, and hubs of knowledge transfer. Discussion and conclu-sions highlight some fields and key factors that can drive universities towards a more effective integration of sustainability measures involving their spatial assets, governance, and stable col-laboration with their hosting cities, territories, and communities.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11368/3039518
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