Ecological sustainability has been around for quite some time, but social sustainability is often forgotten. Or it’s misinterpreted as just being about places for people to meet and have a coffee. A lot of municipalities struggle with social sustainability so we try to make it more graspable and concrete. One thing we can do is to link it to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals — such as ending poverty and hunger or reducing inequalities — and measure a project using those indicators.
2. It breaks down barriers — social and physical
So we might look at how a project could create more jobs for people who are outside the labour market or meet the housing needs of different groups. We look at the project physically too, so how to create a human scale, and orientability, wayfinding and oversight. That’s a crucial part of an environment where people feel safe. If there’s a barrier — like a freeway or a forest — we look at how that could be bridged, or how we could create activities that make it less of a barrier.