An Adaptive Quantitative Method to Measure Sustainability: An Application for the State of Queensland, Australia

By Giuseppe Tommaso Cirella and Longbin Tao.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The continued rising concern of unsustainable action in society is the underlying incentive for the use of sustainability measurement. Measurement, in this context, is used as a utility to gauge actions and then develop sustainability trends within a geographical domain; the basis for the utilisation of measurement is by way of the index of sustainable functionality (ISF). An ISF application of the State of Queensland, conducted over a 25 year period from 1980 to 2005, found that an intermediate level of functionality was attained. This functionality is related to the level of sustainability within the measured region which amounts to the related concerns of economic progress and lack of social awareness. For this application, the methodologies expanded upon the concept of weightings by use of the dual weightings approach, which incorporates an expert panel to formulate values for indicator-to-function and function-to-perspective relationships and a community viewpoint via a twelve question telephone questionnaire. Assessment of the State, using this technique, measures changes in sustainability over time and develops sustainability trends useful for policy making and management alike. This research adaptively analyses sustainability – a concept that is lacking throughout much of the academic literature or any reciprocal experimentation, and emphasises on future sustainability research concepts for rapidly growing regions. It is the intentions of this research to help foster the development of index-based quantitative sustainability and notions-alike to promote societial minimisation of unsustainable action.

Keywords: Sustainability, Sustainable Development, Environmental Engineering, Index of Sustainable Functionality (ISF), Indicators, Sustainability Science

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 5, Issue 1, pp.127-140. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.711MB).

Dr. Giuseppe Tommaso Cirella

PhD Candidate, Griffith School of Engineering, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia

Dr. Longbin Tao

Senior Lecturer, Griffith School of Engineering, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Qld, Australia


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