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Lecture 2

REM 420 Lecture 2: Lecture 1 - What is Sustainability

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Ryerson University
Real Estate Management
REM 420
David Scofield

What is Sustainability? What is Sustainable Development • Meeting the needs of the present without compromising future generations of meeting their own needs This assumes that we know what the needs of the future are Before, it was hard to determine what we would need in our era, but now we have technology to help have a better idea of what future generations may need Elements of Sustainability • There are three elements of sustainability which are all somehow connected 1. Environment 2. Society 3. Economy • Sustainability – Economic growth and development is “sustainable” if and only if the stock of overall capital assets remains constant or rises over time • Environmental accounting – The preservation or loss of valuable environmental resources should be factored into estimates of economic growth and well being This is an important attribute to sustainability, but it can be very difficult to measure it Sustainability • Has several definitions • “The preservation of the natural environment so as to preserve the living standards of future generations at a level at least as high as current standards” Assumes an understanding of future technologies • “Sustainability and sustainable development are inherently indeterminate and contested concepts, which cannot be translated into a consistent intellectual or policy blueprint from which criteria can be derived and unambiguous decisions can be taken to attain them” Says that we are not very sure of what the future may bring • “Sustainable” in real estate is the idea of market institutions that promote efficiency or maintain social stability Disagreement about Defining Sustainability • An essential part of sustainable development – Makes operational interpretation, measurement and implementation difficult • There are different ideas of what sustainable development amounts to for actors in various sectors Looks at what we eat, food systems, waste management etc. – It takes a lot of grain to feed cows to grow them and use these cows for food. Although
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