E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Sustainability Assessment and Indicators: Working Towards the Sustainable Development Agenda"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Engineering and Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Tomás B. Ramos

CENSE, Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research, Department of Environmental Sciences and Engineering, NOVA School of Science and Technology, NOVA University Lisbon, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +351 212 948 397
Interests: sustainability assessment; indicators; strategic environmental assessment; planning; stakeholder engagement; circular economy; public sector; organizational sustainability
Guest Editor
Dr. Alexandra Polido

GOVCOPP, Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies, Department of Social, Political and Territorial Sciences, University of Aveiro, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +351 234 372 498
Interests: strategic environmental assessment; sustainability assessment; regional development; community-based development approaches; sustainability transitions
Guest Editor
Dr. André Mascarenhas

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin; Museum für Naturkunde Berlin, Germany; CENSE - Center for Environmental and Sustainability Research, Portugal
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +49(030)2093-6866
Interests: ecosystem services; spatial planning; urban studies; sustainability assessment; indicators; biodiversity; human–nature interactions; stakeholder engagement; transdisciplinary research

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Increasing negative impacts of expanding human development on biodiversity and ecosystems, as well as growing inequalities within and among countries, have led to a pressing need to understand and tackle environmental, social, and economic challenges that are faced globally. The approval of the 2030 Agenda acknowledges these global challenges and represents an ambitious international step towards sustainable development. Decision-making processes, including policies, plans, programs, and projects, need to address those challenges to work towards the Sustainable Development Goals set out in the 2030 Agenda. This can be supported by sustainability assessment (SA), understood as a systematic and comprehensive approach that aims to assess the environmental, social, and economic consequences of decision-making. However, there are multiple sustainability discourses leading to different perspectives on how to advance sustainability in decision-making. Regarding the operationalization of SA, indicators are often suggested to be an effective tool to assess, monitor, and communicate sustainable development issues, due to their capability of synthesizing information, increasing transparency and accountability, and supporting decision-making. It is therefore necessary to understand the role of SA and indicators in achieving sustainable development at strategic and operational levels of planning and project processes. Hence, this Special Issue invites original research articles, case studies, reviews, critical perspectives, and viewpoint articles advancing concepts, frameworks, and applications in the fields of SA and indicators through different perspectives (e.g., through sustainability boundary objects such as ecosystem services) towards sustainable development.

Suggested topics include:

  • Novel developments in sustainability assessment and indicators under different sustainability perspectives;
  • Critical analyses and the advancement of concepts, frameworks, and applications related to sustainability assessment and indicators;
  • Dealing with uncertainties associated with sustainability assessment and estimates provided by indicators;
  • Stakeholders’ role in sustainability assessment and in the development of sustainability indicators, including co-creation and co-production initiatives;
  • Advances in easy-to-understand approaches to assess and communicate sustainability;
  • Institutional and governance aspects of sustainability assessment and indicators;
  • Societal impacts of sustainability assessment processes and indicators;
  • Integration of “immaterial societal values”, such as ethics, cultural aspects, aesthetics, justice, compassion, mutual help, and solidarity in sustainability assessment and indicator approaches;
  • The role of sustainability assessment and indicators in the efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals of the 2030 Agenda.

Prof. Dr. Tomás B. Ramos
Dr. Alexandra Polido
Dr. André Mascarenhas
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • sustainability assessment
  • strategic environmental assessment
  • impact assessment
  • indicators
  • sustainability discourses
  • stakeholder participation
  • co-creation and co-production
  • governance
  • sustainability boundary objects
  • sustainable development goals

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
Sustainability EISSN 2071-1050 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top