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While the concept of sustainability has been widely embraced, it has been only vaguely defined and is exceedingly difficult to measure. Sustainability indicators are critical to making the broad concept of sustainability operational by providing specific measures by which decision makers and the public can judge progress. Sustainability Indicators defines the present state of the art in indicator development. It presents a comprehensive assessment of the science behind various indicators, while placing special emphasis on their use as communications tools. The contributors draw on their experience as academics and practitioners to describe the conceptual challenges to measuring something as complex as sustainability at local, regional, national, and global scales. The book also reviews existing indicators to assess how they could be better employed, considering which indicators are overused and which have been underutilized. Sustainability Indicators will help planners and policy makers find indicators that are ready for application and relevant to their needs, and will help researchers identify the unresolved issues where progress is most urgently needed. All readers will find advice as to the most effective ways to use indicators to support decision making.
Praise for the first edition: 'This book should be of interest to anyone interested in sustainable development, and especially sustainability indicators. Bell and Morse easily succeed in exposing the fundamental paradoxes of these concepts and, more importantly, they offer us a way forward. Readers ... will find their practical recommendations for those attempting to do sustainability analysis in the field most welcome, which is also the book's greatest strength.' Local Environment: The International Journal of Justice and Sustainability 'This book makes a valuable contribution to the theory and practice of using indicators for sustainability. It introduces systems ideas and a range of tools and techniques that have the potential to broaden and deepen our understanding of a whole range of complex situations. Well worth a closer look.' Christine Blackmore, Open University 'This is a book that explores new ways of thinking about how to measure sustainability... It offers stimulating food for thought for environmental educators and researchers.' Environmental Education Research 'This book tells me, as an SI 'practitioner', where I have been and why, and more importantly how I should be thinking in order to effectively present to and empower the local community in the years ahead.' David Ellis, Principal Pollution Monitoring Officer, Norwich City Council 'A practical guide to the development of sustainability indicators which offers a systemic and participative way to use them at local scale. Our preliminary results are highly positive and the approach is applicable in many contexts.' Elisabeth Coudert, Programme Officer Prospective and Regional Development, Blue Plan The groundbreaking first edition of Sustainability Indicators reviewed the development and value of sustainability indicators and discussed the advantage of taking a holistic and qualitative approach rather than focusing on strictly quantitative measures. In the new edition the authors bring the literature up to date and show that the basic requirement for a systemic approach is now well grounded in the evidence. They examine the origins and development of Systemic Sustainability Analysis (SSA) as a theoretical approach to sustainability which has been developed in practice in a number of countries on an array of projects since the first edition. They look at how SSA has evolved into the practical approaches of Systemic Prospective Sustainability Analysis (SPSA) and IMAGINE, and, in particular, how a wide range of participatory methodologies have been adopted over the years. They also provide an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of projects that undertake work in the general field of sustainable development.
This volume is a synthesis of current scientific advice on the future course of work, in the international context, on indicators of sustainable development. It provides input from the scientific and academic community regarding priority areas and direction for future work. It synthesizes current on the ground experience for the decision maker. The volume has special significance in the context of the ongoing CSD multi-thematic programme, which includes 1997.
This handbook provides researchers and students with an overview of the field of sustainability indicators (SIs) as applied in the interdisciplinary field of sustainable development. The editors have sought to include views from the center ground of SI development but also divergent views which represent some of the diverse, challenging and even edgy observations which are prominent in the wider field of SI thinking. The contributions in this handbook: • Clearly set out the theoretical background and history of SIs, their origins, roots and initial goals • Expand on the disciplines and modalities employed to develop SIs of various kinds • Assess the various ways in which SI data are gathered and the availability (over space and time) and quality issues that surround them • Explore the multiplex world of SIs as expressed in agencies around the world, via examples of SSI practice and the lessons that have emerged from them. • Critically review the progress that SIs have made over the last thirty year • Express the divergence of views which are held about the value of SIs including differing views about their efficacy, efficiency and ethics • Explore the frontier of contemporary SI thinking, reviewing anti/ post and systemic alternatives This multidisciplinary and international Handbook will be of great interest to researchers, students and practitioners working in sustainability research and practice.
A unique book which reflects the multifaceted nature of sustainability by bringing together authors from interdisciplinary backgrounds. The book highlights the opportunities and challenges associated with applying sustainability indicators in different socio-cultural and geographical settings. It presents a range of possible solutions to common challenges associated with the use of indicators in practice.
Introducing the reader to 'sustainability' as a concept, a contested idea and a political goal, this book brings together a range of articles and published papers that have influenced the course of thinking in social science. It examines the links between the natural and social sciences, as well as the public policies.
This study provides a number of indicators for use in assessing solid waste collection schemes. The approach integrates the perspectives of the different parties involved from the users to the contractors, the municipality to the NGO. It draws from a detailed case study of Khulna city in Bangladesh. The study provides useful material for those working in this area of civil engineering.

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