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Bridging the gaps between theory and practice: a service niche approach to urban sustainability indicators

  • James Keirstead

    (Energy Futures Lab, Imperial College London, London, UK)

  • Matt Leach

    (Centre for Environmental Policy, Imperial College London, London, UK)

Registered author(s):

    Urban sustainability indicators play an important role in helping policy-makers ensure the continued success of their cities. However, a review of current practice suggests that priority is often given to the measurability and policy relevance of these metrics. Their analytical validity - i.e. their ability to act as meaningful representations of the urban system and thus inform appropriate policy responses - is less certain. An examination of London's USIs confirms this gap between theory and practice and identifies vague definitions of urban sustainability as part of the problem. A 'service niche' approach to indicator selection is therefore outlined, using pervasive goal-oriented urban services such as energy or water systems to guide the selection of policy-relevant interconnected metrics. Strategies for expanding such niches to wider assessments of urban sustainability are also discussed. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/sd.349
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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Sustainable Development.

    Volume (Year): 16 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 5 ()
    Pages: 329-340

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:16:y:2008:i:5:p:329-340
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1099-1719

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