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Benchmarking sustainability in cities: The role of indicators and future scenarios

Boyko, Christopher and Gaterell, M. and Barber, Austin R. G. and Brown, Julie and Bryson, John R. and Butler, David and Caputo, Silvio and Caserio, Maria and Coles, Richard and Cooper, Rachel and Davies, Gemma and Farmani, Raziyeh and Hale, James and Hales, A. Chantal and Hewitt, C. N. and Hunt, Dexter V. L. and Jankovic, Lubo and Jefferson, Ian and Leach, Joanne M. and Lombardi, D. Rachel and Mackenzie, Rob and Memon, Fayyaz A. and Pugh, Thomas and Sadler, John P. and Weingaertner, Carina and Whyatt, Duncan and Rogers, Christopher D.F. (2012) Benchmarking sustainability in cities: The role of indicators and future scenarios. Global Environmental Change, 22 (1). pp. 245-254.

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Abstract

Scenarios are a useful tool to help think about and visualise the future and, as such, are utilised by many policymakers and practitioners. Future scenarios have not been used to explore the urban context in much depth, yet have the potential to provide valuable insights into the robustness of decisions being made today in the name of sustainability. As part of a major research project entitled Urban Futures, a toolkit has been developed in the UK to facilitate the use of scenarios in any urban context and at any scale relevant to that context. The toolkit comprises two key components, namely, (i) a series of indicators comprising both generic and topic area-specific indicators (e.g., air quality, biodiversity, density, water) that measure sustainability performance and (ii) a list of characteristics (i.e., 1–2-sentence statements about a feature, issue or small set of issues) that describe four future scenarios. In combination, these two components enable us to measure the performance of any given sustainability indicator, and establish the relative sensitivity or vulnerability of that indicator to the different future scenarios. An important aspect of the methodology underpinning the toolkit is that it is flexible enough to incorporate new scenarios, characteristics and indicators, thereby allowing the long-term performance of our urban environments to be considered in the broadest possible sense.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Global Environmental Change
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
Departments: UNSPECIFIED
ID Code: 53632
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 26 Apr 2012 17:06
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 23 Jul 2014 14:58
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/53632

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