Key Aspects Of Social Sustainability

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Social sustainability has gained increased recognition for being key aspects of the sustainability debate in recent years. Previously, the concepts of environmental and economic sustainability were dominant in the social sustainability debate and it wasn’t until the 1990s that social issues of society were added into the subject of sustainability (Drexhage and Murphy, 2010). Social sustainability is defined by “development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (World Commission on Environment and Development,2009:40.) A combination of the increasing population, rising levels of consumption and a limited amount of resources creates issues in the ability to meet the …show more content…
The MDGs were predominantly focused on human development outcomes and in contrast the Sustainable Development Goals goes into a whole range of other territories including sustainable growth, reducing inequality, climate action, peace promotion and responsive governance (Clarke, 2015). This is both a good and a bad thing when discussing the ambiguous nature of social sustainability because it is clear that there are different aspects which may not have previously been associated with sustainability within society which need to be understood as a key part of what social sustainability is. On the other hand, this is perhaps where the Global goals add to the complexity of our understanding of Social Sustainability. Due to the social sustainability being thing made up of a composite of many different issue within society and therefore the scale of the project what needs to be one in order to achieve social sustainability and the need to understand and locate a solutions to the many themes which construct social sustainability the whole concept becomes complex and perhaps seems unachievable. The scope of issues that fall into social sustainability means that it cannot be clearly defined as one concept and this adds to the complexity of exactly what social sustainability …show more content…
In some cases, these are replacing the traditional themes or ‘hard’ concepts of social sustainability such as poverty, education and employment opportunities (Colantonio:2009.) This means that it is harder to see whether the goals have been met and that conditions have improved for society due to the differing cultural contexts in terms of the ‘soft’ themes. What is classed “life satisfaction” for example may differ according to the context within each society and therefore it is not possible to generalize the findings. Whereas in terms of the more traditional social sustainability concepts such as education it is easier to see how the quality and achievement of children had improved over time and how their future prospects have increased. This is especially the case in less economically developed countries where previously many children may not have had access to education which would have limited their opportunities and perhaps decreased their “life satisfaction.” Furthermore, the member states of the governments avoided quantified benchmarks for 2030 for many of the targets (Clarke 2015). This further identifies the problem that we will never definitively be able to assess whether they have been

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