An integrating framework for sustainable communities: exploring the possibilites and challenges

Common Ground
Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, 2007, 2 pp. 1 - 9
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The purpose of this paper is to briefly outline a framework for sustainable communities and to introduce some of the ways that this framework can contribute to an integrated view of sustainability, incorporating both natural and social science perspectives. Several sustainability concepts derived from principles that govern the operation and organisation of ecosystems have been integrated and synthesised to create this theoretical framework. These concepts are drawn from diverse academic disciplines and practice-oriented endeavours, and they each address a different aspect of sustainability. Through the synthesis of these concepts, the framework offers a bridge of common terms and metaphors between the physical and social science perspectives on sustainability. Consequently, it can facilitate an approach that integrates the dimensions of environmental, cultural, social and economic sustainability. To demonstrate the elements of the framework and its potential to help overcome polarisation of the physical and social sciences, the framework is applied to two concepts that are fundamental to sustainability: social justice and environmental pollution. Using the lessons learned from this theoretical exercise and the authors experience to date of sharing the integrating framework with others, the possibilities and challenges of the proposed framework are examined.
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