The coastal zone is a space where many social, economic, and political activities intersect with natural processes. In this paper, we present an adaptation of the method of ‘Circles of Sustainability’, used to provide a visual assessment of indicators that define sustainability profiles for cities. It is used as a basis for a ‘Circles of Coastal Sustainability’ (CCS) framework that can be used at multiple spatial scales to assess indicators of critical processes that facilitate/constrain sustainability of the world’s coastal zones. The development of such a framework can support management by identifying key features that influence environmental sustainability and human well-being. CCS presents a holistic assessment of four interdependent boundary domains: Environment and Ecology, Social and Cultural, Economics, and Governance and Policy. This approach improves its utility and usability for decision-makers and researchers. CCS adds to existing assessment frameworks that are often focused on particular themes and/or domains that confine their utility to the context of sustainable development and the UN Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals, which demand an inherently holistic and integrated evaluation. CCS is a holistic framework designed to assess the boundaries to sustainability for socio-ecological systems at multiple scales for the world’s coasts.
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