USF St. Petersburg campus Master's Theses (Graduate)


Alita M. Kane

First Advisor

Co-Major Professor Dr. Richard Mbatu, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Co-Major Professor Dr. Rebecca Harris, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Dr. Rebecca Johns, Ph.D .


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

November 10, 2017


Across the nation cities are currently seeking new methods of economic development that fit into the sustainable development framework. This search is due in part to the recognition that traditional methods of economic development have left many cities vulnerable to economic downturn and environmental deterioration. The question is what types of economies can foster sustainability in a city? This research explores the concept that localized and diverse economies could be a potential driver of sustainability. The ability of localized and diverse economies to increase economic autonomy and viability has been explored by many researchers but their relationship with sustainability has not been empirically tested. The thesis will first discuss how localized and diverse economies meet the goals of all three pillars of sustainability: social, environmental and economic. The relationship between sustainability and localized and diverse economies was tested in 47 cities in the U.S. The cities have all been ranked with a sustainability score provided by Budd et al. (2008). An analysis of the sustainability score and the level of economic localization and diversity in the cities was conducted to test their relationship.


A thesis submitted for the partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of a Master of Science Environmental Science and Policy Program College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida St. Petersburg

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Creative Commons License
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