It is now generally agreed that the prediction of long-run development has to include natural resource use. To focus on the long run is, however, not equivalent to the use of balanced growth assumptions. It should be kept in mind that reaching a long-run equilibrium might take considerable time. Transition phases often exhibit characteristics which differ from the long-run state of the economy, but are important for its nature.
We discuss a number of different drivers that govern the transition to the steady state, including the development of stocks, substitution possibilities, savings decisions, and institutions. Based on this theoretical evaluation, we discuss five contributions of the conference on sustainable resource use and economic dynamics (SURED 2006) included in this special issue.