Changing attitudes to sustainability

Douglas John Harris

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The concept of sustainability has been around for about twenty years, and in that time there have been profound changes in the way we think about the environment, and also in that time the concept of sustainability has not only entered general currency, but has itself undergone shifts in its meaning.
Our understanding of sustainability has increased over the years since the concept was introduced by Bruntland in 1987; it is not necessary for me to repeat to such an audience the definition of sustainability which was stated in the report. Sustainability is a word that is used in almost every conversation about energy or the activities of humans as a whole, and sadly is probably one of the most abused expressions of recent years. It is applied to almost every field of human endeavour from conserving rainforests to selling soft drinks. Indeed, the expression ‘sustainable development’ sometimes seems to be used to cover activities that are neither sustainable, nor could be considered ‘development’.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2013
EventSENVAR 14th International Conference on Sustainable Environment and Architecture - Banda Aceh, Indonesia
Duration: 7 Nov 20139 Nov 2013


ConferenceSENVAR 14th International Conference on Sustainable Environment and Architecture
CityBanda Aceh


  • building, sustainability, development


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