Why sustainability is so fragilely ‘social’ . . .
Despite the great efforts of sociologists, planners, social geographers, political ecologists, etc. to solidify the social pillar in the Holy Trinity of sustainable development, the social keeps occupying a lower status. The ﬁrst section of this introduction explains why this is. The next section zooms in on strategic planning, showing its natural links with social sustainability, while revealing why these seldom strategically materialize. The third and ﬁnal section makes a plea in favour of a more integrated approach to social sustainability, which could also empower strategic planning approaches and projects. To this end, the sustainability approach is linked to the social innovation approach, in which, although phrased differently, social sustainability is the central principle of collective action. Therefore, it is argued, social innovation is the best way to guarantee social sustainability in strategic planning.