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Journal cover: Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal

ISSN: 1477-7835
Previously published as: Environmental Management and Health

Online from: 2003

Subject Area: Environmental Management/Environment

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A comparative analysis of the application of sustainability metric tools using Tipperary Town, Ireland, as a case study


Document Information:
Title:A comparative analysis of the application of sustainability metric tools using Tipperary Town, Ireland, as a case study
Author(s):David Browne, (Centre for Environmental Research (CER), University of Limerick, Ireland), Bernadette O'Regan, (Centre for Environmental Research (CER), University of Limerick, Ireland), Richard Moles, (Centre for Environmental Research (CER), University of Limerick, Ireland)
Citation:David Browne, Bernadette O'Regan, Richard Moles, (2005) "A comparative analysis of the application of sustainability metric tools using Tipperary Town, Ireland, as a case study", Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, Vol. 16 Iss: 1, pp.37 - 56
Keywords:Economic sustainability, Ireland, Sustainable development
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/14777830510574335 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Abstract:

Purpose – The paper aims to assess two sustainability metric methodologies, material flow analysis (MFA) and integrated sustainable cities assessment method (ISCAM), as applied practically to an Irish settlement, in order to compare utility and transparency for stakeholders and policy makers.

Design/methodology/approach – Both methods were applied to an Irish settlement, namely Tipperary Town, with MFA measuring efficiency of resource usage, as measured by urban metabolic efficiency, and the ISCAM method simulating alternative scenarios as well as calculating the divergence or otherwise of current or business as usual (BAU) trends from more sustainable scenarios.

Findings – It was found that both methods have high data requirements, presenting a need for proxy analysis and disaggregation, with the ISCAM method requiring data functionally matched to a time series and over a long time framework. The ISCAM method may also require more advanced extrapolation methods than the simple linear extrapolation employed in the analysis for statistical robustness to reflect behaviour modes more complex than the deterministic behaviour assumed for the selected indicators. A material flow analysis (MFA) was undertaken for household food and waste and it was found that there was a high metabolic efficiency.

Research limitations – This paper was restricted to an application of two methodologies by time constraints and thus was unable to appraise a more comprehensive range of sustainability appraisal options, for example, ecological footprints.

Originality/value – It applies novel methodologies in an Irish context, further highlights the need for more sustainable policy development in an urban setting and was aimed at policy makers at national and local levels.



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