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Sustainability 2015, 7(2), 1819-1839; doi:10.3390/su7021819

Quantitative Evaluation of Settlement Sustainability Policy (QESSP); Forward Planning for 26 Irish Settlements

1
Environment Department, Limerick City and County Council, County Hall, Dooradoyle, Limerick, Ireland
2
South West Regional Planning Authority, Innishmore, Ballincollig, Co. Cork, Ireland
3
Department of Chemical and Environmental Science, Centre for Environmental Research, University of Limerick, Limerick, Ireland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 10 November 2014 / Accepted: 5 February 2015 / Published: 10 February 2015
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1121 KB, uploaded 24 February 2015]   |  

Abstract

Urban areas are increasingly associated with negative environmental impacts due to concentrated resource consumption; however urban areas also offer economies of scale in terms of service provision. There is no accepted mechanism to aid decision-makers in policy selection to determine where to promote population growth or how to select settlement specific policies to improve sustainability of urban areas. There is strong political desire for methods assessing policy implementation impact on overall sustainability targets, but this has proved challenging, as views on the meaning of sustainability vary, and methods developed satisfying scientists’ needs for rigor are deemed too complex and inadequately transparent by decision-makers. Sustainability measurement is vital to check whether a new policy, decision or technical innovation is helpful in enhancing sustainability. By 2055 estimates indicate that 75 percent of the world population will live in urban areas, highlighting the importance of promoting low cost policy decisions providing greatest environmental benefit, with short implementation timescale. This paper describes an evidence-based method developed and piloted to address these drivers and provide a decision support system for planners and policy-makers developed for Irish settlements with population range 500–20,000, which may have application elsewhere. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban planning; sustainable development; policy making urban planning; sustainable development; policy making
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Fitzgerald, B.G.; O'Doherty, T.; Moles, R.; O'Regan, B. Quantitative Evaluation of Settlement Sustainability Policy (QESSP); Forward Planning for 26 Irish Settlements. Sustainability 2015, 7, 1819-1839.

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