Sustainability Assessment: Criteria and Processes

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Earthscan, 2005 - Business & Economics - 254 pages
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Many governments express commitments to sustainability, yet until now assessing sustainability in projects, plans, programmes and policies has been largely limited to traditional environmental assessment (EA) with an imperfect attempt to staple on biophysical and socio-economic considerations. While traditional EA focuses on mitigating negative effects, achieving true sustainability demands that each new undertaking make a positive contribution to desirable and durable futures. This onerous goal can only be achieved if decision makers are able to consciously and publicly specify and use sustainability-centred criteria to justify options and to weigh trade-offs. Sustainability Assessment covers all aspects of the core requirements of sustainability including the creation of basic criteria, handling trade-offs, practicalities in application, implications for process design and uses in decision-making, as well as examining the range of tools and innovative examples available to assist implementation of sustainability assessment.

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Very informative, very verbose and very direct, with an easy reading style.
This is the definitive reading material for anyone wanting a comprehensive world-view on sustainability assessment and its
implications for decision-making bodies, proponents, and community stakeholders.
The only real point against the book is in its variable formatting, which does not follow one clear and concise style.
The font is too small and there may not be enough visual attractions to prolong continued reading of this otherwise great material.
Clearly editing was not a very big part of the development of this text, and there are a few proofing mistakes. Outside of that there are no real marks against this book.

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About the author (2005)

Robert B. Gibson is professor of environment and resource studies at the University of Waterloo in Ontario and Editorial Board Chair of Alternatives Journal. Selma Hassan is an urban planner and landscape architect with the City of Ottawa. Susan Holtz is an environment and energy policy consultant based in Toronto. James Tansey is a research associate at the Sustainable Development Research Initiative, University of British Columbia. Graham Whitelaw is a doctoral candidate in the School of Planning, University of Waterloo.

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