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On the concept of sustainability - assessing th sustainability of large public Investment projects

Abstract

Assessing the sustainability of large public investment projects within the general framework of three-pillar thinking is a complex affair. Such ventures involve multiple actors – e.g. planners from various disciplines such as engineers, economists and social scientists, in addition to politicians, users and other people affected – each carrying with them particular agendas and priorities, and corresponding understandings of the concept of sustainability. In this paper, we propose to frame the concept of sustainability assessment within the context of investment projects, in order to enable communication between the multiple actors, to assess different impacts of an investment project against one another in a meaningful way and, ultimately, to enhance the commensurability of investment project alternatives. Our main idea is that there exist different levels according to which the assessment of sustainability ought to refer – operational, tactical and strategic – and that properly addressing these levels can permit the different actors to comprehend one another, and thereby allow for more clarity and positive action.

Category

Academic article

Language

English

Author(s)

  • Tore Haavaldsen
  • Ola Lædre
  • Gro Holst Volden
  • Jardar Lohne

Affiliation

  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • SINTEF Industry / Sustainable Energy Technology

Year

2014

Published in

International Journal of Sustainable Engineering

ISSN

1939-7038

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Volume

7

Issue

1

Page(s)

2 - 12

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