Sustainability and Human Well-Being

  • Kiyoko HagiharaEmail author
  • Chisato Asahi
Part of the New Frontiers in Regional Science: Asian Perspectives book series (NFRSASIPER, volume 4)


Subsequent to the publication of Brundtland’s report on sustainable development, the number of books and papers which include the words ‘sustainable’ in their title has grown enormously. However, the very elasticity of the concept has given rise to questions about what it is supposed to mean: the sustainability of what, for whom, for how long, and why? First, the concept of well-being is defined as a multi-level structure in this book. The first level of well-being consists of the sustainability of people’s basic living conditions such as income, health and so on. When we consider the improvement of people’s well-being, we should give precedence to securing the first level of well-being. Second, the equity problem is considered in the framework of welfare economics theory. Multiple criteria analysis is considered to be a promising method which takes into account not only both efficiency and equity but also many non-monetary items which constitute well-being. Concepts in sustainability and vulnerability are complementary and closely related; mitigating the vulnerability of the human-environment system can increase its resilience or sustainability. Vulnerability is not only an issue for developing countries such as Bangladesh, which is one of the poorest nations, but is also an issue for developed countries such as Japan.


Sustainability Well-being Multiple criteria analysis Vulnerability 



We are grateful to Mr. Conrad W. Hipel for editorial comments and suggestions on earlier drafts.


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Copyright information

© Springer Japan 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of SociologyBukkyo UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Division of Urban Policy, Faculty of Urban Liberal ArtsTokyo Metropolitan UniversityHachioji, TokyoJapan

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