6227 Transforming Power of Sustainability Laws
Dr. Warren Lavey, M.Sc.
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
02/09/23 to 02/26/23
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Day Date Time Room
Tuesday 05/02/23 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM TC.3.06
Wednesday 05/03/23 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM TC.3.07
Thursday 05/04/23 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM TC.3.08
Friday 05/05/23 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM TC.3.08
Monday 05/08/23 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM TC.3.08
Tuesday 05/09/23 02:30 PM - 05:30 PM TC.5.14
Wednesday 05/10/23 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM TC.2.01
Thursday 05/11/23 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM D5.1.003
Friday 05/12/23 02:00 PM - 05:00 PM TC.4.13

This course empowers students to address current sustainability challenges from the perspective of interrelated social, economic, environmental, and legal systems.  We will open our thinking and gain insights by comparing needs, initiatives, and legal frameworks in Austria, the United States, and other countries.  Students will apply multidisciplinary analyses and design legislation, regulations, and government programs to advance sustainability goals.

The first sessions will address several diverse meanings of sustainability and how sustainability is pursued through various pathways including by enacting and implementing laws.  Next, we will explore and recommend solutions for a range of challenges like environmental justice, epidemics, immigration, education, transportation, and health impacts of climate change.  With guidance from experts, these classes will draw on case studies of initiatives and laws with special attention to Vienna and Illinois.  Finally, each student will select a recent law or design legislation or a government program which advances certain sustainability goals, and the student will present its provisions and the related needs and benefits.

The course uses interdisciplinary concepts and sources in law as well as political science, environmental sciences, public health, economics, engineering, sociology, and education. 

Learning outcomes

Students will learn to

  • analyze sustainability as dependent on interrelated social, economic, environmental, and legal systems
  • examine ways that laws can promote or impede progress toward sustainability, including sources of laws and issues In implementing laws
  • compare nations and cities in their sustainability needs, initiatives, and legal frameworks
  • design and advocate for a law or government program that advances certain elements of sustainability
Attendance requirements

Students are required to attend all lectures and seminars but may miss up to one full session. The first and last session are absolutely mandatory and cannot be missed.

Teaching/learning method(s)

Lectures and guest presentations

In class discussions and small group learning exercises

Student presentations

Readings, videos, and assignments in preparation of each class

  • Assignments for classes 1-6  60% (10% per assignment)
  • Presentation in class 9 and final paper  24%
  • Participation in classes  16%

    Grading scheme:
  • 100-90: 1 =excellent
  • 89-80: 2=good
  • 79-70: 3=satisfactory
  • 69-60: 4=sufficient
  • 59 and below = fail
Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

Course enrollment is on the basis of "first-come, first-served” principle. If you have registered but cannot participate in the course, please de-register via LPIS during the registration period so that your course is available to students on the waiting list. If there is a waiting list for enrollment in the course, students at the waiting list will be notified after the end of the enrollment period, and will be allocated to available places. Students will be ranked by their study progress not by their rank on the waiting list. This procedure, however, is not to be understood as a place guarantee.


Please log in with your WU account to use all functionalities of read!t. For off-campus access to our licensed electronic resources, remember to activate your VPN connection connection. In case you encounter any technical problems or have questions regarding read!t, please feel free to contact the library at

Last edited: 2023-04-18