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Operationalization and contextualization of sustainability at the local level

Author

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  • 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)

Abstract

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
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/sd.377
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    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).
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