22 July 2013
University of the Sunshine Coast researchers have completed the first comprehensive assessment of the sustainability of the Sunshine Coast region.
USC’s Sustainability Research Centre prepared the first Community Plan Sustainability Indicators Report for the Sunshine Coast Council.
The report, which examines 20 indicators of sustainability across the region in 2012, was released at the World Environment Day Festival held recently at the University.
Dr Dana Thomsen, Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of Sustainability Programs, said it was an excellent chance for the community to reflect on the current situation and future goals.
“Examining environmental, social, economic and governance indicators provides a benchmark of regional sustainability,” she said.
“Many positive indicators, such as safety, wellbeing and health, highlight the quality of the Sunshine Coast lifestyle. However, addressing indicators requiring action – such as biodiversity – is essential for maintaining these benefits.”
Co-author and Director of USC’s Sustainability Research Centre Professor Tim Smith said the report built on an earlier assessment of Australian cities by the Australian Conservation Foundation.
Regular monitoring of the indicators is expected to provide valuable insights into sustainability trends on the Coast.
The report uses a visual “traffic light” system to evaluate the status of each sustainability indicator. Red means “action required”, amber means “of concern” and green means “positive”.
For example, Air Quality is green, Biodiversity is red and Population Density is amber.
Refer to the full report
— Julie Schomberg