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Challenges of responding to sustainability with implications for affordable housing

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  • Arman, Michael
  • Zuo, Jian
  • Wilson, Lou
  • Zillante, George
  • Pullen, Stephen
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    Abstract

    Sustainability is one of the most contested ideologies of our time because everyone acknowledges that it must occur but no one can agree on what needs to change in response. This is unsurprising, because objecting to the goal of sustainability is like objecting to other inherently good goals like peace or freedom. Responses to sustainability exist on a long continuum, with some interpreting sustainability to mean conservation-at-all-costs and reduced economic growth, while others suggest that the market will ensure sustainable outcomes eventually result. Further, sustainability can be easily manipulated to justify predetermined outcomes. There are, indeed, a multitude of conceptual and pragmatic challenges to operating on sustainability, particularly when the scale shifts from a global goal to local action. Using the application of sustainability to affordable housing in Australia as a case study, this article argues that rather than limiting sustainable outcomes, the existence of the sustainability debate which focuses on the many challenges is a positive indicator that sustainability may be attainable.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Ecological Economics.

    Volume (Year): 68 (2009)
    Issue (Month): 12 (October)
    Pages: 3034-3041

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:ecolec:v:68:y:2009:i:12:p:3034-3041

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/ecolecon

    Related research

    Keywords: Sustainability Affordable housing Needs and wants Sustainable consumption Intergenerational equality Global inequality;

    References

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    1. Sneddon, Chris & Howarth, Richard B. & Norgaard, Richard B., 2006. "Sustainable development in a post-Brundtland world," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 253-268, May.
    2. Brand, Fridolin, 2009. "Critical natural capital revisited: Ecological resilience and sustainable development," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 605-612, January.
    3. Dietz, Simon & Neumayer, Eric, 2007. "Weak and strong sustainability in the SEEA: Concepts and measurement," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(4), pages 617-626, March.
    4. Howarth, Richard B., 2007. "Towards an operational sustainability criterion," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 656-663, September.
    5. Fiala, Nathan, 2008. "Measuring sustainability: Why the ecological footprint is bad economics and bad environmental science," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(4), pages 519-525, November.
    6. World Commission on Environment and Development,, 1987. "Our Common Future," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780192820808, September.
    7. Sherry Bartz & David L. Kelly, 2006. "Economic Growth and the Environment: Theory and Facts," Working Papers 0601, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
    8. Eric Neumayer, 2004. "Sustainability and well-being indicators," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 30851, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    9. Jackson, Tim & Papathanasopoulou, Eleni, 2008. "Luxury or 'lock-in'? An exploration of unsustainable consumption in the UK: 1968 to 2000," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1-2), pages 80-95, December.
    10. Beate Littig & Erich Griessler, 2005. "Social sustainability: a catchword between political pragmatism and social theory," International Journal of Sustainable Development, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 8(1/2), pages 65-79.
    11. Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2008. "The developing world is poorer than we thought, but no less successful in the fight against poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4703, The World Bank.
    12. Nessa Winston & Montserrat Pareja Eastaway, 2008. "Sustainable Housing in the Urban Context: International Sustainable Development Indicator Sets and Housing," Social Indicators Research, Springer, vol. 87(2), pages 211-221, June.
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