The Second Annual Conference on Gross National Happiness The Second International Conference on Gross National Happiness
Local Pathways to Global Wellbeing
St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada
June 20 to June 24, 2005
  Rianda Mills
Sustainably Managing a Small Urban City using
the Index of Sustainable Functionality (ISF)

The term sustainable development has become a topic of great interest, but as currently defined it does not add much to the better management of our life or our resources. Recently, a new systems definition of sustainability was defined by Imberger et al (2005), who then quantified sustainability with the Index of Sustainable Functionality (ISF). The ISF provides a simple, objective and quantitative assessment of the sustainability of certain actions combining quantitative trends, as measured by indicators, with the changing values of society, as measured by relative weightings. This methodology was applied to a small urban city called the City of Subiaco (the domain) in Western Australia. The systems considered within this domain are built infrastructure, economy, community, individual, nature and the University of Western Australia (UWA). The perspectives from which these systems were viewed were society, economy, nature, UWA and the State. Stakeholders were interviewed in order to define the most important functions of these systems from each perspective and then indicators to measure the effectiveness of each function were chosen. Finally, a community survey was carried out that will allow each function to be weighted. The ISF, which is the inner product of the normalized indicator values and the weightings, was then computed. Results will be presented for the ISF computed from historical and current data and it will be shown how the City's local authority can use this methodology in order to achieve a more sustainable management practice.

Authors: Rianda Mills, Ross Perrigo, Alicia Brown, Matthew Rafty, Jorg Imberger, Caroline Wood, Dan Pearce, Paul Zuvela, Cindy Siano

Rianda Mills
University of Western Australia
35 Stirling Highway
Western Australia
Phone: (618) 6488 1885
Fax: (618) 6488 1015

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