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Capacity of Local Development Planning in Slovenia: Strengths and Weaknesses of Local Sustainable Development Strategies

Tomaž Deželan, Alem Maksuti, Matjaž Uršič


Despite being coined by international forums and promoted chiefly by international/supranational organisations and clubs, sustainable development is a concept that in essence rests on and is largely determined by the local level. The local level’s primacy in terms of introducing the principles of sustainability is openly stipulated by Agenda 21, thus providing the impetus for local sustainable development strategies – Local Agenda 21. These community-specific, long-term visions of sustainable co-existence serve as an important strategic tool for overcoming challenges communities may face while maintaining the general idea of the future. As prime standardised artifacts, local sustainable development strategies represent an excellent insight into the capacity of an individual community to achieve a sustainable future and deal with potential challenges. In this paper, we analysed four such visions of a sustainable future for two city and two minor Slovenian municipalities in order to examine their capacity to develop into sustainable communities. By employing George and Kirkpatrick’s (2006) framework for assessing sustainable development strategies, we identified useful and problematic aspects of the documents prepared by the city and town municipalities. The analysis showed that the transition period in Slovenia has left a significant impact on development planning and its consequences have yet to be fully resolved.


local sustainable development strategy, sustainability assessment, sustainable development, Local Agenda 21, Slovenia

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