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A systems approach to livability and sustainability: defining terms and mapping relationships to link desires with ecological opportunities and constraints


  • Jacqueline de Chazal

    (Resource Management in Asia-Pacific Program, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University, Australia Author-Homepage


I offer a protocol for assessing the sustainability of livability. This protocol draws on a framework developed to assess vulnerability, and offers two key pertinent features. These are (a) a capacity to incorporate multiple and shifting stakeholder values, and (b) a means of moving from expressions of livability to underlying ecological attributes that deliver or constrain system change. The applicability of these features to both assessing the sustainability of livability, and a reappraisal given system change are illustrated using data from a study site in the French Alps. The central place of values intrudes into livability and sustainability so as to complicate the situation. Even so, the protocol presented here is able to ground the abstractions and equivocation in a transparent and explicit set of announcements. Laying the steps out in the open allows for consistency in comparison and replication without artificially removing the labile flexibility embedded in livability and sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacqueline de Chazal, 2010. "A systems approach to livability and sustainability: defining terms and mapping relationships to link desires with ecological opportunities and constraints," Environmental Economics Research Hub Research Reports 1064, Environmental Economics Research Hub, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:eenhrr:1064

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Johan Rockström & Will Steffen & Kevin Noone & Åsa Persson & F. Stuart Chapin & Eric F. Lambin & Timothy M. Lenton & Marten Scheffer & Carl Folke & Hans Joachim Schellnhuber & Björn Nykvist & Cynthia , 2009. "A safe operating space for humanity," Nature, Nature, vol. 461(7263), pages 472-475, September.
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    1. EERH Research Reports: June 2010
      by David Stern in Stochastic Trend on 2010-07-03 15:06:00


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    1. Miller, Harvey J. & Witlox, Frank & Tribby, Calvin P., 2013. "Developing context-sensitive livability indicators for transportation planning: a measurement framework," Journal of Transport Geography, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 51-64.
    2. Arnab Chakraborty, 2012. "Recognizing Uncertainty and Linked Decisions in Public Participation: A New Framework for Collaborative Urban Planning," Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(2), pages 131-148, March.
    3. Badland, Hannah & Whitzman, Carolyn & Lowe, Melanie & Davern, Melanie & Aye, Lu & Butterworth, Iain & Hes, Dominique & Giles-Corti, Billie, 2014. "Urban liveability: Emerging lessons from Australia for exploring the potential for indicators to measure the social determinants of health," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 64-73.
    4. Guohua Bai & Lawrence Henesey, 2012. "Coping with System Sustainability: A Sociocybernetics Model for Social‐Economic System Architecture," Systems Research and Behavioral Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(3), pages 263-273, May.
    5. Richard Henry Rijnks & Sierdjan Koster & Philip McCann, 2018. "Spatial Heterogeneity in Amenity and Labor Market Migration," International Regional Science Review, , vol. 41(2), pages 183-209, March.
    6. Beatriz Valcárcel-Aguiar & Pilar Murias & Alexandre Vecino-Aguirre, 2022. "Liveability Versus Sustainability in Spanish Cities: First Evidences Using Synthetic Indicators," Applied Research in Quality of Life, Springer;International Society for Quality-of-Life Studies, vol. 17(4), pages 1935-1960, August.
    7. de Chazal, Jacqueline, 2010. "Examining resilience and vulnerability as concepts conditional upon human values: a review," Research Reports 107581, Australian National University, Environmental Economics Research Hub.
    8. Philip Leat & Cesar Revoredo-Giha & Chrysa Lamprinopoulou, 2011. "Scotland’s Food and Drink Policy Discussion: Sustainability Issues in the Food Supply Chain," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 3(4), pages 1-27, March.
    9. Jacqueline de Chazal, 2010. "Examining resilience and vulnerability as concepts conditional upon human values: a review," Environmental Economics Research Hub Research Reports 1082, Environmental Economics Research Hub, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    10. Beatriz Valcárcel-Aguiar & Pilar Murias & David Rodríguez-González, 2018. "Sustainable Urban Liveability: A Practical Proposal Based on a Composite Indicator," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 11(1), pages 1-18, December.

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