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I. Define sustainability.

March 13, 2012

          Sustainability needs to be a part of all decisions and actions, whether the consideration is economic, environmental, social or cultural. Economic sustainability assesses various plans for best financial value, expected life span, maintenance and operational costs. It is concerned with “actions and issues that affect how people and organizations meet their basic needs, evolve and define economic success and growth” (The Living Principles for Design, web). Environmental sustatinability attempts to minimize nonrenewable water and energy consumption, waste to land fill, etc. It is concerned with “actions and issues that affect natural systems, including climate change, preservation, carbon footprint, and restoration of natural resources” (The Living Principles for Design, web). Social sustainability focuses on meeting all, or as many of the community’s needs as possible, such as appropriate facilities for the elderly, children and cultural groups. It is concerned with “actions and issues that affect all aspects of society, including poverty, violence, injustice, education, healthcare, safe housing, labor, and human rights” (The Living Principles for Design, web, http://www.core77.com/blog/business/the_living_principles_for_design_a_new_online_community_for_sustainable_design_16800.asp). Cultural sustainability involves efforts to preserve the tangible and intangible cultural elements of society such as heritage, shared spaces, public art, social capital, educational opportunities, and public policies, in ways that promote environmental, economic, and social sustainability. Cultural sustainability examines ways to enhance our cultural identity and sense of place. A building has real estate value, but may also have spiritual, symbolic or cultural — in addition to economic — value. A building’s cultural value is also known as cultural capital which encompasses tangible forms of culture in addition to buildings such as places, arts, artefacts. Intangible cultural capital includes forms such as “ideas, practices, beliefs, traditions, etc.” (Throsby 4).

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One Comment leave one →
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