Social sustainability in local communities in Østfold, Norway.

Social sustainability in local communities in Østfold, Norway.

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The purpose of this project is to better understand how local communities in Østfold can be described in terms of social sustainability.

prosjekt

About/Aims
Background

Developing sustainable cities and communities, ensuring healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages, and achieving gender equality are three of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) that all United Nations Member States have agreed upon (UN, 2015). Developing socially sustainable communities that promote health and well-being throughout the life course has also been emphasized in Norwegian public health policy (Meld. St 19 (2018-2019)). Within the sustainable development discourse, social sustainability is understood as an important and necessary dimension of sustainability (Shirazi & Keivani, 2017), but it has been subject to substantial criticism due to the lack of any clear definition (Boström, 2012; Griessler & Littig, 2005; Larimian & Sadeghi, 2019). Social sustainability has been investigated from different research perspectives, and therefore, a variety of often context-specific frameworks can be found within the literature (Cuthill, 2010; Dempsey, Bramley, Power, & Brown, 2011; Eizenberg & Jabareen, 2017; Murphy, 2012; Opp, 2017). Despite this discrepancy, some dimensions or concepts are assumed to be important for social sustainability within several frameworks. Examples of these are equity, safety, and social cohesion. However, the operationalization and theoretical foundation for social sustainability are often unclear. Therefore, there is a need for a systematic approach to providing a systematic overview of the existing literature. These results can guide the investigation of social sustainability in local communities in Østfold. In this project, we will investigate how different dimensions of social sustainability are related to each other. By including both inhabitants' perspectives and contextual data we aim to extend the knowledge of social sustainability in local communities. Furthermore, as sustainable development aims to address human needs (WCED, 1987), it is important to investigate how different dimensions for social sustainability influence health and well-being.

Objective

This project aims to better understand how local communities in Østfold can be described in terms of social sustainability. We want to explore how different dimensions assumed to be important for social sustainability in local communities are related to each other and how they are associated with health and well-being. In addition to providing knowledge about social sustainability in a specific region, the project aims at contributing to theories on social sustainability by providing a systematic overview of the literature on social sustainability in local communities.