IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Operationalization and contextualization of sustainability at the local level


  • Gerhard Hartmuth

    (UFZ Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany)

  • Katja Huber

    (UFZ Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany)

  • Dieter Rink

    (UFZ Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany)


Due to its fuzziness, the model of sustainable development has to be particularized and contextualized before it can be used as a yardstick. A local indicator system for two German cities has been developed to meet these requirements using a new conceptualization of sustainability. Initially, local problem areas were identified in a bottom-up approach by local authority personnel. These problem areas were contrasted with a set of sustainability rules, which had been systematically derived from a basic sustainability norm that gives minimum requirements for sustainable development. Indicators were specified at the interface between local problem areas and sustainability rules. The indicators are expected to provide information on whether the city is over time becoming closer to or farther removed from the respective sustainability goals in its problem areas. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Gerhard Hartmuth & Katja Huber & Dieter Rink, 2008. "Operationalization and contextualization of sustainability at the local level," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 16(4), pages 261-270.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:16:y:2008:i:4:p:261-270
    DOI: 10.1002/sd.377

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text; subscription required
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Hartmuth, Gerhard & Rink, Dieter & Huber, Katja, 2006. "Kommunales Nachhaltigkeitsmonitoring: Das intranet-basierte, georeferenzierte Nachhaltigkeits-Informationssystem IGNIS," UFZ Reports 03/2006, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ).
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. repec:cbu:jrnlec:y:2017:v:3:p:124-129 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:16:y:2008:i:4:p:261-270. 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: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.