Handbook of Sustainability Assessment
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Handbook of Sustainability Assessment

Edited by Angus Morrison-Saunders, Jenny Pope and Alan Bond

The Handbook of Sustainability Assessment introduces the theory and practice of sustainability assessment and showcases the state-of-the-art research. The aim is to provide inspiration and guidance to students, academics and practitioners alike and to contribute to the enhancement of sustainability assessment practice worldwide. It emphasises how traditional impact assessment practices can be enhanced to contribute to sustainable outcomes. Featuring original contributions from leading sustainability assessment researchers and practitioners, it forms part of the Research Handbooks on Impact Assessment series.
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Chapter 18: Conclusion: reflections on the state of the art of sustainability assessment

Jenny Pope, Alan Bond and Angus Morrison-Saunders


In this concluding chapter we offer some of our reflections on the state of the art of sustainability assessment based upon the contributions to this Handbook. We do not claim that this is a definitive summary of global sustainability assessment theory and practice, as this is not possible based solely on the 17 preceding chapters, varied and interesting though they are. The focus of this Handbook is sustainability assessment research, and the chapters reflect both applied research and more conceptual contributions. While many of the chapters have been written by members of the impact assessment community, some come from researchers on the edges of or even outside this community and as such offer some fresh perspectives on the conceptual foundations of sustainability assessment. We hope that this research focus means that this Handbook complements other recent and not so recent books on sustainability assessment that have more practical orientations, particularly: Sustainability Assessment: Criteria and Processes (Gibson et al., 2005); Sustainability Assessment: Pluralism, Practice and Progress (Bond et al., 2013b); and Sustainability Appraisal: A Sourcebook and Reference Guide to International Experience (Dalal-Clayton and Sadler, 2014).

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