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Special Issue "Leisure, Tourism, Sport and Community Development"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainability of Culture and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 March 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Heather Mair

Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1, Canada
Website | E-Mail
Interests: leisure, tourism and sport policy development; food and leisure; the politics of tourism and rural development; leisure, tourism, sport and community development; critical and qualitative inquiry

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Any exploration of the relationship between leisure and the various facets of sustainability must underscore its complexity. Indeed, activities related to leisure, tourism, and sport can be understood as both undermining sustainability (e.g., the impact of long-haul airline flights on climate change) while also offering opportunities for fostering change to enhance sustainability (e.g., leisure-related social movements can focus on environmental consciousness-raising). Further, investigations of the role of leisure, sport and tourism in community development illuminate how communities can be built and sustained through leisure (e.g., community gardens can generate social capital) but also the ways in which communities can be destabilised or exclusionary (e.g., fees for community sport programs can limit participation). Efforts to situate our understanding of how leisure, tourism and sport affect community development within the broader context of sustainability, then, must be willing to embrace and navigate these complexities. This Special Issue aims to link broad understandings of sustainability and community development through a direct engagement with topics related to leisure, tourism and sport. Authors are invited to contribute to this issue by submitting conceptual or research articles that engage these tensions and complexities. Papers selected for this Special Issue are subject to a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments, and applications.

Prof. Dr. Heather Mair
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • Community-based approaches to tourism, sport and leisure programs or development
  • Impacts of tourism, sport and/or leisure on sustainability and community
  • Sustainable communities
  • Critical perspectives on sustainability
  • Critical perspectives on tourism, sport and leisure in the context of community development

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Exploring Critical Alternatives for Youth Development through Lifestyle Sport: Surfing and Community Development in Aotearoa/New Zealand
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2298; doi:10.3390/su9122298
Received: 16 November 2017 / Revised: 1 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 December 2017 / Published: 11 December 2017
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While competition-based team sports remain dominant in community and sport-for-development programs, researchers are exploring the value of alternative, less “sportized” activities such as lifestyle/action sports. In this paper, we explore the ways in which surfing is being used in development programs in Aotearoa/New
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While competition-based team sports remain dominant in community and sport-for-development programs, researchers are exploring the value of alternative, less “sportized” activities such as lifestyle/action sports. In this paper, we explore the ways in which surfing is being used in development programs in Aotearoa/New Zealand, examining the perceived social benefits and impact. Our methods involved: (a) mapping the range of surfing projects; and (b) 8 in-depth interviews with program personnel. Widespread conviction in the positive developmental benefits of surfing was evident, and that surfing had a “special” capacity to reform or heal those who participate in it. However, the ways in which individuals’ self-developments were promoted appear to be following the traditional sport/youth development path. They focus on policies aimed at improved life chances, equipping youth with the tools for self-improvement and self-management, inculcating self-governance and self-reliance. However, a counter narrative co-existed, highlighting surfing as a freeing experience, which, rather than restoring social order, works to instigate a personal transformation or awakening. Despite the range of challenges presented by surfing as a tool for positive development, surfing presents a potentially “critical alternative” which if sport-for-development programs are to be a form of social change, we should remain open to exploring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Leisure, Tourism, Sport and Community Development)
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