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Environment, economy and society: fitting them together into sustainable development


Author Info

  • Bob Giddings

    (Sustainable Cities Research Institute, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

  • Bill Hopwood

    (Sustainable Cities Research Institute, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

  • Geoff O'Brien

    (Sustainable Cities Research Institute, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

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    Sustainable development is a contested concept, with theories shaped by people's and organizations' different worldviews, which in turn influence how issues are formulated and actions proposed. It is usually presented as the intersection between environment, society and economy, which are conceived of as separate although connected entities. We would argue that these are not unified entities: rather they are fractured and multi-layered and can be considered at different spatial levels. The economy is often given priority in policies and the environment is viewed as apart from humans. They are interconnected, with the economy dependent on society and the environment while human existence and society are dependent on, and within the environment. The separation of environment, society and economy often leads to a narrow techno-scientific approach, while issues to do with society that are most likely to challenge the present socio-economic structure are often marginalized, in particular the sustainability of communities and the maintenance of cultural diversity. Copyright © 2002 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. and ERP Environment

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Sustainable Development.

    Volume (Year): 10 (2002)
    Issue (Month): 4 ()
    Pages: 187-196

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:10:y:2002:i:4:p:187-196

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    Cited by:
    1. Agustín J. Sánchez Medina & Arturo Melián González & Ángel S. Gutiérrez Padrón, 2008. "Capital intelectual y territorios insulares: Una aplicación al caso de Gran Canaria," Revista de Estudios Regionales, Universidades Públicas de Andalucía, Universidades Públicas de Andalucía, vol. 1, pages 205-236.
    2. Nelson Jorge Ribeiro Duarte & Francisco José Lopes de Sousa Diniz, 2011. "The Role Of Firms And Entrepreneurship On Local Development," Romanian Journal of Regional Science, Romanian Regional Science Association, Romanian Regional Science Association, vol. 5(1), pages 54-69, JUNE.
    3. Tom Waas & Jean Hugé & Aviel Verbruggen & Tarah Wright, 2011. "Sustainable Development: A Bird’s Eye View," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(10), pages 1637-1661, September.
    4. George Pipinos & Persa Fokiali, 2009. "An assessment of the attitudes of the inhabitants of Northern Karpathos, Greece: towards a framework for ecotourism development in environmentally sensitive areas," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 655-675, June.
    5. Wallis, Anne M. & Graymore, Michelle L.M. & Richards, Anneke J., 2011. "Significance of environment in the assessment of sustainable development: The case for south west Victoria," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 70(4), pages 595-605, February.
    6. Anf Ziadat, 2010. "Major factors contributing to environmental awareness among people in a third world country/Jordan," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, Springer, vol. 12(1), pages 135-145, February.
    7. Tricker, Reginald C., 2007. "Assessing cumulative environmental effects from major public transport projects," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 293-305, July.
    8. Razvan V. Mustata & Carmen Giorgiana Bonaci & Cristina Hintea & Bogdana Neamtu, 2013. "Business Education For Sustainable Development: The Case of Romanian Universities," The AMFITEATRU ECONOMIC journal, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 15(Special 7), pages 802-818, November.
    9. Eric de Noronha Vaz & Teresa de Noronha & Peter Nijkamp, 2013. "An Exploratory Landscape Metrics Approach to Agricultural Changes: Applications of Spatial Economic Consequences for the Algarve, Portugal," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers, Tinbergen Institute 13-140/VIII, Tinbergen Institute.
    10. Falko Leukhardt & Simon Allen, 2013. "How environmentally focused is the German sustainability strategy? A critical discussion of the indicators used to measure sustainable development in Germany," Environment, Development and Sustainability, Springer, Springer, vol. 15(1), pages 149-166, February.


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