Sustainability Indicators: Measuring the Immeasurable?, 2nd Edition (Paperback) book cover

Sustainability Indicators

Measuring the Immeasurable?, 2nd Edition

By Simon Bell, Stephen Morse


234 pages

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The groundbreaking first edition of Sustainability Indicators reviewed the development and value of sustainability indicators and discussed the advantage of taking a holistic and qualitative approach rather than focusing on strictly quantitative measures. In the new edition the authors bring the literature up to date and show that the basic requirement for a systemic approach is now well grounded in the evidence.

They examine the origins and development of Systemic Sustainability Analysis (SSA) as a theoretical approach to sustainability which has been developed in practice in a number of countries on an array of projects since the first edition. They look at how SSA has evolved into the practical approaches of Systemic Prospective Sustainability Analysis (SPSA) and IMAGINE, and, in particular how a wide range of participatory methodologies have been adopted over the years. They also provide an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of projects that undertake work in the general field of sustainable development.


'The book by Bell and Morse provides much insight and enlightenment to a wide audience that deals, in some way or another, with sustainability. The book challenges the current way of thinking; developing new practical approaches to sustainability that incorporates the views and values of local people is proposed as the science of the future. Academics and practitioners alike will find this book a must-have to the ever growing literature on sustainability.' Alan Brent, International Jourbnal of Sustainable Engineering

Table of Contents

Foreword * Part I: The Bad Application of Good Science? * Sustainability and Sustainability Indicators * Sustainability Indicators in Practice * Indicators, Cities, Institutions and Projects * Part II: The Application of Grounded and Pragmatic Systemisism * Paradigms and Professionals * Projects and Sustainability Indicators * Imagine: An Example of a Systemic Sustainability Analysis * Part III: Where Next? Humility and Honesty * Sustainability Indicators: The Rhetoric and the Reality * Index

About the Authors

Simon Bell is Director of the Bayswater Institute in London, a Senior Lecturer at the Open University and co-author with Stephen Morse of Measuring Sustainability (2003) and also co-author of How to Set Up Information Systems (2003).

Stephen Morse is Reader in development studies, Department of Geography, University of Reading, UK, and author of Indices and Indicators in Development (2004).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Development / Economic Development