HVA ER BÆREKRAFT OG HVORDAN KAN MAN SAMMENLIGNE BÆREKRAFTEN I ULIKE SYSTEMER? / What is sustainability and how can we compare different systems?
The aims of this article are to increase the awareness of sustainability as a tool to obtain more sustainable infrastructure and to show how sustainability may be calculated. The sustainability of an infrastructure may be assessed by using a set of indicators and a subsequent weighing process implemented on these indicators. Politicians should take part in the final weighing process in projects of importance. The indicators should reflect the three main dimensions of sustainability: ecology, sociology and economy. The system borders for the analyses are important. A wider or narrower definition of the system studied may alter the result of the assessment completely. The system borders should be large enough to include not only the infrastructure itself, but also the community it serves. The assessment of a system requires considerable amounts of data and may be very time consuming. It is therefore advisable to start with a screening assessment, in which only a core set of indicators are analysed and discussed. A screening may thus include more alternative system designs, and more future scenarios than the final detailed assessment.