Original Articles

An Assessment of Regional Sustainable Development: Progress and Perspectives

  • Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research,CAS, Beijing 100101 China

Received date: 2002-03-01

  Revised date: 2002-04-01

  Online published: 2002-05-24


The assessment of sustainability is a critical issue and a frontier in the research area of sustainable development. The paper reviews the current methodologies and theories, and identifys main difficulties and probable solutions, such as the relationship between sustainability and indicators, weighting of indicators, quantifying of indicators, substitution between different capitals, and definition of thresholds. It argues that the assessment of sustainability should be focused on certain geographical area and would be stamped with the brand of a region. Thus the indicators of sustainable development in different regions vary remarkably. It points out that socio economic development, consisting of economic, social and demographic improvements, is the main objective of regional development, but its sustainability depends on the support capability of environment, including the life support system, resource, and biodiversity. Thus, the development and its sustainability can be regarded as a two coordinate axes of the reference frame to assess regional development. Based on the methodology of barometer of sustainability, sustainability can be pictured in four different quadrants in this reference frame. Moreover, it puts forward the methodology for indicator selecting.

Cite this article

LI Li feng, ZHENG Du . An Assessment of Regional Sustainable Development: Progress and Perspectives[J]. PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY, 2002 , 21(3) : 237 -248 . DOI: 10.11820/dlkxjz.2002.03.006


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