Keywords: sustainability indicators, Utopia, collective vision, sustainable development, ecology, built environment
Sustainability: an individual or collective endeavour?
The discussion on sustainability is often focused on indicators that measure the progress towards sustainability or on checklists that suggest what needs to be done to create sustainable buildings. This article argues that most of these systems are predicated on maintaining the status quo and that real sustainability cannot be achieved unless there is a collective vision of what can and should be achieved within the resources available. It also argues that sustainability indicators tend to be considered in isolation rather than together. This runs against the ecological approach that is based upon understanding linkages. Examples related to the built environment are discussed in detail.