Index of Sustainable Functionality: Procedural Developments and Application in Urat Front Banner, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region

By Giuseppe Tommaso Cirella and Stefan Zerbe.

Published by The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability

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The index of sustainable functionality (ISF) of Urat Front Banner, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is implemented using a cross-reference matrix. The definitional status of sustainability is examined in quantitative and qualitative terms and calculated using multi-criteria analysis. This is based on operations research in which the application uses analytical methods to help make better decisions for optimal, or near-optimal, solutions to problems. Methodology expands across a geographic domain where the related sustainability is the level of functionality within the measured area. Theoretical analysis is tested and comprised of primary research concepts, in which preliminary steps are predefined by integrating notions from previous ISF studies in betterment of formulation and mathematical controls. Triple bottom line (environmental, social and economic) parameters and capital, defined as all goods that can be used in the production of other goods and services, play a key role in the definition of the methodological approach. The focus of defining and formulating function-to-indicator, perspective-to-function and system-to-perspective relationships are based on a stepladder-like bottom-up framework. Results span over a 20-year block indicate a low-intermediate decrease in dysfunctionality from 1990 to 2010. The premise of this research is to promote need-based sustainability thinking and contribute in minimising societal unsustainability.

Keywords: Sustainability, Index of sustainable functionality, Triple bottom line, Sustainability indicators, Multi-criteria assessment, Urat Front Banner, China

The International Journal of Environmental Sustainability, Volume 10, Issue 2, July 2015, pp.15-31. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.601MB).

Dr. Giuseppe Tommaso Cirella

Researcher, Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Bozen-Bolzano, BZ, Italy