A critical review of reductionist approaches for assessing the progress towards sustainability

Alexandros Gasparatos, Mohamed El-Haram, Malcolm Horner

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    196 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The increasing prominence of Sustainable Development as a policy objective has initiated a debate on appropriate frameworks and tools that will both provide guidance for a shift towards sustainability as well as a measure, preferably quantitative, of that shift. Sustainability assessment has thus the challenging task of capturing, addressing and suggesting solutions for a diverse set of issues that affect stakeholders with different values and span over different spatial and temporal scales. However sustainability assessment is still not a mature framework in the sense that Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) are. This paper aims to provide suggestions for improving the sustainability evaluation part of a sustainability assessment. In particular it will provide a comprehensive review of different sustainability evaluation tools (from a reductionist perspective) as well as the feasibility of incorporating them within a sustainability assessment framework. Reviewed tools include monetary tools, biophysical models and sustainability indicators/composite indices that have been developed within different disciplines such as economics, statistics, ecology, engineering and town planning. (c) 2007 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)286-311
    Number of pages26
    JournalEnvironmental Impact Assessment Review
    Volume28
    Issue number4-5
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

    Cite this

    Gasparatos, Alexandros ; El-Haram, Mohamed ; Horner, Malcolm. / A critical review of reductionist approaches for assessing the progress towards sustainability. In: Environmental Impact Assessment Review. 2008 ; Vol. 28, No. 4-5. pp. 286-311.
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    A critical review of reductionist approaches for assessing the progress towards sustainability. / Gasparatos, Alexandros; El-Haram, Mohamed; Horner, Malcolm.

    In: Environmental Impact Assessment Review, Vol. 28, No. 4-5, 2008, p. 286-311.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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