Inderscience Publishers

Measuring regional sustainability: lessons to be learned

Developing tools for measuring progress toward sustainability has proven a challenging task. Indicators offer an excellent means to explore the success or otherwise of management strategies. They also allow reporting social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability. To ensure that the tools developed are effective in measuring the progress toward sustainable futures, an evaluation of the methods and the indicators used must be undertaken so that with progress there is learning and with the new knowledge methods can be redesigned to better advance sustainability. This paper discusses a study carried out in the south west region of Victoria, Australia, using indicators as the basis for developing a tool to measure progress toward sustainability. By evaluating the methods and indicators used in the study this paper provides an insight into the challenges encountered and the lessons learned. Issues explored include selecting indicators, collating data, integrating social, economic and environmental aspects of sustainability and using an adaptive approach.

Keywords: sustainability, sustainable development, indicators, multidimensional aspects, sustainability measurement, sustainability evaluation, sustainability monitoring, Australia, regional sustainability

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