Cristhian Gutierrez; Robert Mallette; Adebola Odumade , pp. 80. TEK/avd. för maskinteknik, 2008.
Our current global context is driven by two trends. Trend 1: a manifestation of the „take-make-waste‟ worldview, systematically decreases the carrying capacity of the world in terms of necessary natural resources for human survival while simultaneously increasing the amount of waste introduced back into the biosphere by human civilization. Trend 2 shows a correlation between global demand for world resources and increasing global population. The unnerving reality of these trends is their convergence. As resources deplete their demand increases. If allowed to persist, these trends will ultimately undermine humanity‟s ability to perpetuate itself (Robèrt 2000). To avoid this outcome, and move humanity towards sustainability, large scale strategies are required. To aid us in that movement, the international non-governmental organization, The Natural Step (TNS), developed a framework for strategic sustainable development (FSSD). That is, a perspective for dealing with sustainability problems within complex systems (Robèrt 2000). This framework outlines a decision making process, adding rigour and insight, for developing strategies towards the sustainable function of an organization in society in the biosphere (Robèrt 2000). Through its application, organizations work to minimize their risks by developing and assessing strategies made within, scientifically grounded, sustainable constraints.
Our cities each consist of thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of people, making a shift towards sustainability at the community level a useful strategy in agreement with our present global context. Moving such a mass of people, however, is easier said than done. To induce a societal shift towards sustainability, community governance must learn to use their strengths as key leverage points. In such a strategy, vital social hubs and/or centralized infrastructure will yield positive results towards change—because they assemble many people at once, they are efficient way to „spread the word‟. Perfect for these reasons, community stadiums provide excellent potential as a community platform.
As the house of professional sports, stadiums draw staggering crowds world-wide, numbering high into the hundreds of millions annually (List of attendance figures at domestic professional sports leagues 2008). These numbers alone present a dramatic opportunity for inducing sustainability, however, combined with the positive pro-social psychological effects resulting from spectators sports (Howard 1912; Platow et al. 1999), intervention through use of stadiums is especially appealing. Furthermore, stadiums serve as statement pieces of a community‟s culture; as a symbol of modernity and innovation they come to represent the citizens of the towns in which they stand (Ponder 2004). Thereby, moving a stadium towards sustainability would yield significant momentum towards a societal shift, through changing both the minds and hearts of individuals.
Our research is framed within the structure of the FSSD, using a large, multi-resource literature review complemented by conceptual diagrams and interviews to inform our views. We used the literature review to understand broad concepts within the stadia industry, translating these finding visually into two system maps. We were then able to understand, from a system perspective, what areas required more research by further literature review or as part of an interview schedule. When our results were complied, we released them for critical review from industry experts. Having obtained constructive feedback, we revised our findings in line with expert opinion.