Investing in sustainable development: the reproduction of manmade, human, natural and social capital
Sustainability as described in Agenda 21 is characterised by a complex system of interacting targets in four dimensions social, environmental, economic and institutional. This four-dimensional approach is illustrated with a new communicative tool based on a spherical structure, the "prism of sustainability". In the economic debate, these dimensions of sustainability are well known; they are referred to as production factors, or as four types of capital (man-made, natural, human and social capital) that have to be serviced with reinvestments from the surplus generated. From a system dynamics point of view, they can be considered to be independent but coupled non-linear self-organising systems. Sustainability refers to the conditions for maintaining their self-organisation processes, and investment to the measures that can be taken to strengthen the resilience and viability of the systems. Consequently, the "currency" of investment cannot be money in all cases, but has to correspond to the system characteristics. In this context, the question of weak or strong sustainability based on substitution possibilities turns out to be more of a methodological artefact of economics, resulting from single factor analysis instead of a multi-criteria approach necessary for sustainable development. This paper focuses on the environmental and the institutional dimension, i.e. on the natural and social capital. For the environmental dimension, the reduction of material flows and the need for safeguarding biodiversity are key targets, for the institutional dimension, it is time management, harmonising social rhythms and the creation of "chronotopes".
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 4 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.inderscience.com/browse/index.php?journalID=25|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ids:ijsusd:v:4:y:2001:i:2:p:184-201. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Darren Simpson)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.