Sustainable Development and its Indicators: Through a (Planner's) Glass Darkly
The paper evaluates the usefulness of indicators as decision support instruments in planning for sustainable development. It examines key concepts and critical issues in planning for sustainable development and reviews the development of indicators in the last two decades. It evaluates their relevance in four planning functions by means of planning-related criteria. It concludes that indicators are still a long way from making a substantial contribution to planning and proposes broad research directions to improve their contribution. The need for integrated, context-specific theories of planning situations to frame the conceptualization, operationalization and use of indicators is emphasized.
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