Handbook of Sustainable Development Planning
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Handbook of Sustainable Development Planning

Studies in Modelling and Decision Support

Edited by M. A. Quaddus and M. A.B. Siddique

This authoritative Handbook comprehensively examines the current status and future directions of model-based systems in decision support and their application to sustainable development planning.
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Chapter 1: Modelling and Decision Support in Sustainable Development Planning: A Review and Analysis

M. A. Quaddus and M. A. B. Siddique


M.A. Quaddus and M.A.B. Siddique Introduction The concept of sustainable development gained its currency with the publication of Our Common Future by the World Commission on Environment and Development (WECD) in 1987. It emerged from recognition of the need to maintain a balance between economic develeopment and environmental protection and to ensure intra- and intergenerational equity. Before the 1980s, a mono-disciplinary approach was applied to define economic development. Economic development basically meant sustained increase in per capita income. For example, in 1957, Meier and Baldwin defined economic development as ‘a process whereby an economy’s real national income increases over a long period of time’ (Meier and Baldwin, 1957, p. 2). This notion of development was prevalent among many of the third world countries until the end of the 1960s. However, during the last quarter of the twentieth century, a multi-dimensional concept of economic development was developed. One of the shortcomings of defining economic development in terms of sustained increase in per capita income is that it fails to accommodate the question of distribution of income. It was believed that the distributional aspect would be taken care of by the ‘trickle-down effect’ of growth. However, by the end of the 1960s, it became clear that economic development over a long period of time in many of the developing countries failed to bring about the ‘trickle-down effect’. A new environmental and social dimension of development, referred to as ‘sustainable development’, emerged in the 1980s. The first formal definition of...

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