Institut de Gestion de l'Environnement et d'Aménagement du Territoire

Centre d'Etudes du Développement durable - Center for Studies on Sustainable Development (CEDD)


The Centre conducts multidisciplinary studies on different aspects of environmental policies and strategies in the context of sustainable development. It deals with the development and evaluation of these policies and actions, and their relations with the technical, socio-economic and philosophical context of sustainable development.

Domain of activity

A multidisciplinary team of academics trained in the field of sustainable development, as well as external scientific collaborators work at the CSSD. According to the research project conducted, it establishes collaborations with other departments of the IGEAT (Institute for Environmental Management and Land-use Planning), the Université Libre de Bruxelles and other Belgian or European universities, as well as diverse organizations in Belgium and abroad.

Through the various studies previously undertaken, the CSSD has developed a leading expertise in the following areas (Studies and publications cited are not exhaustive. For other references visit


1. Analysis of Environmental Policies:

Technical research, analysis and selection of indicator sets for sustainable development or the environment, tailored to precise needs and objectives; Evaluation of environmental and sustainable development policies; Comparative studies of applied policy instruments, ...  at regional, Belgian, European and global levels. Many studies have been conducted on the following topics:

  • Indicators and analysis of the state of the environment
  • Evaluation of sustainable development policies
  • Environmental and social inequalities
  • Energy and climate (see also next point "Adaptation to climate Change and point 4. Consumptiion)

2. Adaptation to Climate Change

In recent years, the issue of climate change has become increasingly central to the CSSD, in particular through the introduction of three thesis projects on adaptation to climate change. The first project under funding from the ULB (MiniArc) was completed in March 2012, and studied adaptation in Benin. Second (Wallonia funding) began in 2009 to analyze the adaptation in the Walloon Region, in particular on the role of regional, private actors in the case of the timber. A third began in 2011 (funding ULB - MiniArc) and focuses on the qualitative and quantitative study of the vulnerability of societies to climate change. In addition, a new project (funding Bernheim Foundation) started in collaboration with Sciences Po Paris, on the linkages between climate, environment and conflict. The goal here is to build a core of expert investigators to monitor the issue, rapidly growing, of the adaptation to climate change.

3. Theoretical Concepts Related to Sustainable Development

Research focuses on the meaning and evolution of themes such as sustainable development, sustainable consumption, environment-society relations, the precautionary principle, the multidisciplinary approach in environmental studies, and climate controversies. The focal point here is to confront different interpretations of concepts and analyse their applications, including a historical (contemporary) perspective.

4. Consumption

Socio-economic studies related to changing patterns of consumption and production in relation to sustainable development; Environmental and ethical criteria in terms of "responsible consumption". Studies of advocacy and awareness in the context of responsible consumption. Studies on household energy consumption.

5. Participation and Communication

Studies on participation in environmental policies; Participation of organized social actors - and of the public - in the implementation of sustainable development policies; Communication between Academia and Society; Studies, design and conduct of surveys and polls opinion.

6. Prospective Studies

Different methods of prospective studies applied to sustainable development.


The research carried out by the CEDD is characterized by a significant number of collaborative arrangements with academic or institutional partners. Collaborations have been established with the Université de LiègeDépartement des Sciences et Gestion de l’Environnement (ULg), the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), the Fondation Universitaire St. Louis (FUSL), the Institut pour un Développement Durable (IDD), the Universiteit Antwerpen (UIA) , the Katholieke Universiteit van Leuven (KUL), the Vrije Universiteit van Brussel (VUB), the Centrum voor Duurzame Ontwikkeling - Universiteit Gent (CDO), the Institut de Conseil et d'Etudes en Développement Durable (ICEDD), the Vlaamse Instelling voor Technologisch Onderzoek (VITO), the Federal Planning Bureau (FPB), the Institut bruxellois pour la Gestion de l'Environnement (IBGE) and the Centre de Recherche et d'Information des Consommateurs (CRIOC).

As such, or via its researchers, the Centre is part of active networks in the field of sustainable development (such as Evaluation of Sustainability - European Conferences - EASY-ECO). The Centre participates in the works of the Federal Council for Sustainable Development Belgium).

In France:

Programme ADD (Agriculture et développement durable - ANR), Programme D2RT (Développement territorial et développement durable), Ministère de l'équipement, Programme Transition vers une économie écologique, MEEDDAT, MOVIDA, Sciences Po Enseignement, IDDRI, Centre Alexandre Koyre, Université de Lille (Science Po et CLERSE), Université de Caen (Centre M. Halbwachs)

In Latin America:

Universidad Alberto Hurtado (Santiago de Chile - department of sociology), Programa de Desarrollo, Inovación y Sociedad (PRODIS - FLACSO Argentina).

Projects of unit (selection)

Publications (selection)