Handbook of Sustainable Development Planning
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Handbook of Sustainable Development Planning

Studies in Modelling and Decision Support, Second Edition

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

The thoroughly revised second edition of this authoritative Handbook, complete with new chapters, 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 13: Decision support systems for ecosystems management: a Singerian approach to urban infrastructure decision making

James F. Courtney, Sandra Richardson and David Paradice


The World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) suggests that development is sustainable when it ‘meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs’ (www.wbscd.ch). Sustainable development is a strategy by which communities seek economic development approaches that preserve and maintain the local environment and enhance the quality of life. Through this approach a framework is provided under which communities can protect environmental resources by using resources efficiently, create efficient infrastructures, protect and enhance quality of life, and create new businesses to strengthen their economies (US Dept of Energy, 2001). Ecosystems management attempts to deal with complex environmental issues by fostering sustainable development that recognizes the complex web of natural, economic, social and political factors that affect environmental systems. Effective management of these systems requires an understanding of their properties and in particular knowledge of the dynamics of these systems, and the cultures that rely on them (Mäler, 2000).

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