Pearce, Markandya and Barbier define sustainability as “a nondeclining utility function or nondeclining capital; nondeclining human welfare over time” (Hempel 2001, 47).

Another definition is “resilience- ability to maintain structural integrity, form, and patterns of behavior in the midst of disturbance” (Common 1995). 
Goals of Sustainability

“the system does not cause harm to other systems, both in space and time; the system maintains living standards at a level that does not cause physical discomfort or social discontent to the human component; within the system life-support ecological components are maintained at levels of current conditions or better” (Voinov and Smith 1998)

“development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (Brundtland Commission 1987)

Broad-based sustainable development requires a healthy, growing economy undergoing structural transformation and leading to a higher standard of living, an economy in which the benefits are equitably shared and distributed, a protection of human rights, civil society, and democratic participation, and that of sustainability, wherein the environment is not destroyed and descendants of current peoples enjoy the same or a higher standard of living (Weaver, Rock, Kusterer 1997, 2, 3, 13-36).


Brutland Commission. (1987). Our common future. New York: Oxford University Press.

Common, Michael. (1995). Sustainability policy and policy: Limits to economics. Cambridge University Press.

Diamond, J. (2004). Collapse: How societies choose to fail or succeed. United Kingdom: Viking Adult.

Giddens, Anthony. (2003). Runaway world. New York: Routledge.

______________. (1990). The consequences of modernity. Stanford: Stanford University Press.

Hempel, L. (2001). Conceptual and analytical challenges in building sustainable communities. In D. A. Mazmanian & M. E. Kraft. (Eds.)Toward sustainable communities: Transition and transformations in environmental policy. (pp.43-74) Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Mazmanian, D. A. & Kraft, M.E. (2001). Toward sustainable communities: Transition and transformation in environmental policy. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Munro, David A. (1995). Sustainability: Rhetoric or reality? In sustainable world: defining and measuring sustainable development, ed. Thaddeus C.Tryzyna, Sacramento CA: International Center for Environment and Public Policy and the World Conservation Union: 27-35.

Ostrom, E., Schroeder, L., & Wynne, S. (1993). Institutional incentives and sustainable development: Infrastructure policies in perspective. Boulder: Westview Press.

Rao, P.K. (2000). Sustainable development: Economics and policy. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

Smith, M. R. & Marx, L. (2000). Does technology drive history? The dilemma of technological determinism. Cambridge: The MIT Press.

Weaver, J. H., Rock, M.T. & Kusterer, K. (1997). Achieving broad-based sustainable development: Governance, environment, and growth with equity. West Hartford: Kumarian Press.

Voinov, Alexey and Courtland Smith. (1998). Dimensions of Sustainability. At

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