Despite a significant pool of sustainable development literature that appeared during the last decade, the term remains unclear. This study involved a theoretical analysis of definitions of sustainable development to identify the weights of different components, to assess what meanings are included in the term by different authors and communities, and to understand the role of managerial issues in sustainable development. A principle managerial model of sustainable development is presented in which common purposes and joint management serve to unify economic, environmental, and social components. Using a basic management approach, field investigation of sustainable development processes were conducted in Athens, Georgia, USA and Uzhhorod, Ukraine. Survey results were utilised to develop managerial sustainable development models for each city, to conduct an internal analysis of the components and connections between components in each model, and to compare the respective components for each city. The comparative results of the study are both theoretically and practically useful in the development of relevant policy approaches.