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 Phillip Rollfing  

Sustainable Development

CHUD joins U.S. Partnership
for the Decade of Education
for Sustainable Development



Sustainable development is often defined as: “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” — Brundtland Commission, United Nations 1987

The Center for Housing and Urban Development at the Texas A&M University College of Architecture has joined the U.S. Partnership for the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD), an initiative dedicated to fully integrating sustainable development into education and learning in the United States.

The partnership acts as a convener, catalyst, and communicator working across all sectors of American society in its mission to foster sustainable development education under the auspices of the 2002 United Nations resolution declaring a Decade of Education for Sustainable Development beginning in January 2005.

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the initiative’s lead agency, has described the four major thrusts of education for sustainable development in a "Framework for a Draft International Implementation Scheme" for the DESD:

• The promotion and improvement of high quality, relevant basic education;

• The reorienting of existing education policies and programs to address the social, environmental and economic knowledge, skills and values inherent to sustainability in a holistic and interdisciplinary manner;

• The development of public understanding and awareness of the principles of sustainable development; and

• The development of specialized training programs to ensure that all sectors of society have the skills necessary to perform their work in a sustainable manner.

The framework states that "the focus of DESD activities will be advocacy, communication and networking directed at facilitating all educators to include sustainable development concerns and goals in their own programs."

Member organizations for the U.S. initiative come from every sector, including higher education, K-12, business, non-profits, government, and faith communities.

As partners in the Decade for Education in Sustainable Development, CHUD director Jorge Vanegas says the center has a two-fold mission:

First, in regard to housing and urban development, to answer questions through research, development, demonstration and deployment; to solve problems with innovative research; to satisfy needs through planning and design; to realize opportunities with innovative services; and to fulfill aspirations with creative entrepreneurship, facilitation and coaching.

Secondly, to employ CHUD’s social service partners in the collection and provision of data and knowledge related the health and education of impoverished Hispanic communities in Texas.

CHUD, Vanegas said, will promote DESD activities through it commitment to sustainable development, waste reduction programs, fair trade practices, and social, environmental and responsibility programs.

“Education for sustainable development recognizes that our choices as consumers, investors, workers and community members effect the quality of life of people around the world,” said Debra Rowe, executive committee member the U.S. Partnership for the DESD. “By making educated choices, we can create sustainable development, which means simultaneously creating flourishing ecosystems, healthy communities and stronger economies.”

For more information about DESD, visit the U.S. Partnership website at For more information about CHUD’s participation, contact the CHUD main office at, 1-800-633-2374.



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