Does the sustainability movement sustain a sustainable design ethic for architecture?

Environmental Ethics 28 (3):265-283 (2006)
The sustainability movement, currently gathering considerable attention from architects, derives much of its moral foundation from the theoretical initiatives of environmental ethics. How is the value of sustainability to mesh with architecture’s time-tested values? The idea that an ethic of sustainability might serve architects’ efforts to reground their practices in something that opposes consumer values of the marketplace has intuitive appeal and makes a certain amount of sense. However, it is far from obvious that the sustainability movement provides a strong enough conceptual framework for an entire designphilosophy. This issue is complicated by two different sustainable design outlooks which parallel two conceptions of environmental ethics: the practical and the radical. Neverthleless, sustainability need not resort to the philosophical excess of its radical branch to help foster a new public-spiritedness
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