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Space and sustainability. Potential for landscape as a spatial unit for assessing sustainability


  • Stephen Morse
  • Ioannis Vogiatzakis
  • Geoff Griffiths


Assessment of sustainable development normally takes place within what can best be termed ‘administrative’ spaces (cities, regions, nation states etc.), where there is some managerial and policy control. Thus recommendations may be derived from an analysis of this space, for example the derivation of indicators and indices, which can feed more readily into decision-making. They are alternatives to the use of defined ‘administrative’ spaces such as the ecosystem and landscape. The paper questions the viability of landscape as a viable spatial matrix for assessment of sustainability. Joint Character Areas (JCAs) in England were employed as the landscape space, and data were collected to assess environmental quality (via the creation of a Countryside Quality Index, CQI) and social deprivation (via the Townsend Index of Deprivation, TID) for each JCA, as these represent two dimensions of sustainability. Results suggest that when employing JCAs as the spatial matrix it is possible to derive a statistically significant regression between CQI as the independent variable as TDI as the dependent variable. Therefore landscape does have some viability as a space for assessing sustainability. Copyright (C) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Morse & Ioannis Vogiatzakis & Geoff Griffiths, 2011. "Space and sustainability. Potential for landscape as a spatial unit for assessing sustainability," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(1), pages 30-48, January/F.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:19:y:2011:i:1:p:30-48

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