The five dimensions of sustainability
Lugar: Kent, Reino Unido de Gran Bretaña; Año: 2009 vol. 18 p. 539 - 556
Sustainability is usually seen as a guide for economic and social policymaking in equilibrium with ecological conditions. More than two decades after the World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) defined sustainable development and put the concept of sustainability on the global agenda, the concrete meaning of these terms and their suitability for specific cases remains disputed. A new conceptual framework to address sustainability issues is needed. The limitations of the WCED definition could be mitigated if sustainability is seen as the conceptual framework within which the territorial, temporal, and personal aspects of development can be openly discussed. Sustainability could be better understood in terms of Place, Permanence, and Persons. Place contains the three dimensions of space, Permanence is the fourth dimension of time, and the Persons category represents a fifth, human dimension. The five-dimensional sustainability framework is arguably more inclusive, plural, and useful to outline specific policies towards sustainability.