National Academies Press: OpenBook
« Previous: Appendix G - Project Overview and Interactive Workshop Material
Page 189
Suggested Citation:"Appendix H - Glossary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14598.
×
Page 189
Page 190
Suggested Citation:"Appendix H - Glossary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14598.
×
Page 190
Page 191
Suggested Citation:"Appendix H - Glossary." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/14598.
×
Page 191

Below is the uncorrected machine-read text of this chapter, intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text of each book. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Glossary H-1 Appendix H Glossary Biogeophysical Sustainability – Biogeophysical sustainability is the maintenance and/or improvement of the integrity of the life-support systems on Earth. Earth’s Life Support Systems – Natural systems that support life on Earth; the atmosphere, the waters, the soils; ecosystems that provide essential services, such as food, energy, waste decomposition, and pollination of plants. Eco-Efficiency – World Business Council for Sustainable Development describes eco-efficiency as a management strategy of doing more with less (Schmidheiny and the Business Council for Sustainable Development, 1992). In practice, eco-efficiency is achieved through the pursuit of three core objectives: increasing product or service value, optimizing the use of resources, and reducing environmental impact. Eco-efficiency is only a relative measure, seen by some as a necessary but not sufficient condition for achieving sustainability, since in some cases absolute reductions in some environmental pressures are needed. Ecological Economics – Ecological economics is a transdisciplinary field of study that combines economics and technology with ecology. It studies the relationships between ecosystems and economic systems, encompassing both biological and cultural change. Ecological Modernization – Ecological modernization refers to the transformation or adaption of industrial systems to reduce their environmental impacts. The concept focuses on material and energy productivity gains through actions such as product and process innovations, supply chain management improvements, and the replacement of hazardous chemicals with nontoxic substitutes. Equity/Equitable Distribution Among Population Groups – Equity concerns the distribution of access to facilities (e.g., jobs and leisure), benefits from investment decisions, and exposure to the negative externalities generated by transport. Equitable policies are those that both promote social progress and lead to a narrowing of the gap between groups that have the best and worst of current conditions. Progressive policies close the gap between the true marginal social cost of journeys and the prices paid by travelers. Human Needs (Basic) – Basic human needs can be grouped into four general areas that can be used to consider the motivation, functioning, and well-being of humans. These areas are (1) safety, security, and sustenance; (2) competence, efficacy, and self-esteem; (3) autonomy and authenticity; and (4) connectedness. The satisfiers to these needs are defined by economic, social, and political systems. Thus, they differ across cultures and change over time. Impact (Cost/Benefit) – The effect or consequence of something. Impact is the effects (desirable or undesirable) of some activity or influence on entities of human concern. Impact is often seen as the terminal point of a causal chain, following intermediate steps such as pressure on and change in the state of a system or entity. For example, a disturbance (pressure) on a traffic flow may change the average speed (state), leading to time losses (impact). Impacts are therefore the ultimate concern for policy or project assessment. Impacts can be positive or negative. Impacts are sometimes aggregated into categories depending on the domain in which they occur (e.g., environmental impacts, economics impacts) or on their value to human society (costs or benefits).

H-2 A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies In dicators – Indicator s a re measurable entitie s o r v ar iables that can be used to evaluate progres s toward achievement of a goa l o r objective. While ofte n u se d i nterchangeably with “pe rform ance measures,” indicator s t ypically provide an idea of genera l d irectio n o f p er form ance, wi thout th e introductio n o f s pecific units or benchmarks . In dustrial Ecology – I ndustrial ecology is th e s tu dy of mate ri al an d e nerg y u se s a nd flow s i n products , p ro cesses, an d i ndustria l s ystems . I t f oc us es on ways to re duc e n egativ e e nvironmenta l impacts fro m i ndustr ial activity usin g t echnique s s uc h a s life-cycl e a nalysis. Liv ability – Liva bility captu re s t he de gr ee to whic h i ntegrate d t ra nspor t a nd land -u se planning initiatives contribut e t o c ommunitie s w ith high en vi ronmental quality , w hich pr omot e w alking , cycling, and public trans por t u se and easy acces s t o l ocal amenities. Man agement of Reso ur ces – M anagemen t o f r esour ces re fe rs to th e p rudent us e o f non re newabl e re sources that ar e c urrently used as input s t o t he tr anspor t s yste m ( e. g. , c onstructio n m ater ials an d fu els) . T he genera l d ir ectio n o f c hange is to us e f ew er nonrenewable re sources an d t o u se them at ra te s n o g reater than that at whic h t hey can be re pl aced . Natura l C apita l – Natu ra l capita l i s t he st oc k o f a ll environmenta l a nd natura l r esour ce assets . I t consists of thre e m ain categor ie s: (1 ) non re newabl e r esour ces , ( 2) re newabl e r esour ces , a nd (3 ) the capacity of natu ra l s ystems to abso rb emissions and pollutant s f ro m h um an activity . Pe rf ormanc e M easure s – P erformance measures ar e quantifiabl e i ndicator s o f p erfo rm ance that can be used to evaluate prog re ss toward achievement of a goa l o r objective. While of te n u se d interchangeably with “indicator ,” perfo rm ance me asur es generally denot e t he presence of speci fi c quantificatio n m echanisms, units , a nd implie d t ar ge ts /benchmark s. Quality of Li fe – Quality of lif e a t t he commun ity leve l o r i ndi vi dua l l evel encompasse s a spect s that go beyond basic human need s f or su rviv al —f or example, health , c om fort an d c onvenience, sa fe ty , s ecur ity , a nd quality of community an d s oc ia l i nteractions . I ndicator s f or quality of lif e a re highl y c ontex t s pecifi c a nd ar e t ypically define d b y a si gnifican t c ommuni ty engagement exer cise . Steady-State Econ om y – A st eady- st ate econom y i s one wher e t he th roughput s o f a ll ra w material s a nd wastes ar e k ep t t o l evel s w ithin th e r egener ativ e a nd assimilative capacity of th e ecosystem . W ithin th e s teady-state economy, tech no logy, knowledge , t he distribu tio n o f i ncome, an d t he allocatio n o f r esour ces ar e f luid . S ince a f ix ed amount of re sources will yiel d a constant flow of goods an d s er vices (a ll else bein g e qual) , t echnological progres s i s one wa y i n w hich more (o r m or e h ighl y v alued) goods an d s er vices ca n b e p roduced . St ro ng Sus tainability – St rong sust ainability mean s a ssu min g t ha t e nvironmenta l r esour ces an d syst ems, or th e “ natural capita l, ” cannot be re placed by ar ti fi cial syst em s a nd re sources , o r “ man- made capital, ” w ithout detriment to sust ainability . T o e nsur e s ustainable development, it is neces sa ry to preserve th e n at ur al capita l a nd theref or e t o m easur e i t i n n atur al ra ther than economic units . Sus tainability – S ustainability emphasizes th e n eed to balance human need s w ith consideratio n o f th e n atur al enviro nm en t a nd equity issues , i n bot h a presen t ( intragenerational) an d f utur e (int er generational) context. Su st ainability is genera lly discusse d i n t er ms of thre e d imens ions : economic , e nvironmental, an d s ocia l ( equi ty). Th e d is tinctio n b etween sust ainability an d

Glossary H-3 sust ainabl e d evelopmen t i s u sua lly made by considerin g s ustainability to be an idealized en d s tate an d s ustainable developmen t a s t he proces s o f m ov in g t owar d i t. Sus tainabl e D evelopmen t – S ustainable development can be viewed as a p ro ces s o f w orking toward achievement of sust ainability , w ith a p ar tic ular fo cu s o n h um an needs. Tr aditionally , i t i s define d a s developmen t t hat meet s t he need s o f t he presen t w ithout compromising the ability of futu re generations to meet thei r o wn needs. Weak Sus tainability – Weak sust ainability mean s a ssu min g t ha t m an -m ade capita l ( machines , technology, etc. ) i n p rinc iple can re place natura l c ap ita l w he n t he latte r i s c onsumed or depleted , provide d t he form er is able to produc e a n e quivalent economic valu e t o s ociety ove r t im e. Accordin g t o t hi s a ssu mption, it is not th e n atur al res ources or syst em s p er se that matte r f or sust ainabl e d evelopment, but th e w el fa re they ar e a bl e t o p roduc e f or soci ety.

Next: References »
A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies Get This Book
×
MyNAP members save 10% online.
Login or Register to save!
Download Free PDF

TRB’s National Cooperative Highway Research Program (NCHRP) Report 708: A Guidebook for Sustainability Performance Measurement for Transportation Agencies describes the underlying principles of sustainability as it relates to transportation, possible goals that can be used to address those principles, and performance measures that can be used to address those goals.

Aspects of sustainability-related performance measures, including data sources and examples of use, are discussed. A reference compendium of performance measures has also been provided.

In addition to the guidebook, the contractor’s project Final Report contains the results of the literature review, surveys of the state of the practice, case study interviews, detail on research methodology and findings, and a discussion of future research needs is available on the NCHRP Project 08-74 website.

A CD-ROM, included in the print version of the guidebook, contains an Excel-spreadsheet-based version of the performance measures compendium located in Appendix B of the guidebook. The spreadsheet allows the existing measures to be modified, and macros enable the user to generate and export a custom list of measures. Instructions for using the spreadsheet are found in Appendix C.

The CD-ROM is also available for download from TRB’s website as an ISO image. Links to the ISO image and instructions for burning a CD-ROM from an ISO image are provided below.

Help on Burning an .ISO CD-ROM Image

Download the .ISO CD-ROM Image

(Warning: This is a large file and may take some time to download using a high-speed connection.)

An article on NCHRP Report 708 was published in the January-February 2013 issue of the TR News.

CD-ROM Disclaimer - This software is offered as is, without warranty or promise of support of any kind either expressed or implied. Under no circumstance will the National Academy of Sciences or the Transportation Research Board (collectively “TRB’) be liable for any loss or damage caused by the installation or operation of this product. TRB makes no representation or warranty of any kind, expressed or implied, in fact or in law, including without limitation, the warranty of merchantability or the warranty of fitness for a particular purpose, and shall not in any case be liable for any consequential or special damages.

  1. ×

    Welcome to OpenBook!

    You're looking at OpenBook, NAP.edu's online reading room since 1999. Based on feedback from you, our users, we've made some improvements that make it easier than ever to read thousands of publications on our website.

    Do you want to take a quick tour of the OpenBook's features?

    No Thanks Take a Tour »
  2. ×

    Show this book's table of contents, where you can jump to any chapter by name.

    « Back Next »
  3. ×

    ...or use these buttons to go back to the previous chapter or skip to the next one.

    « Back Next »
  4. ×

    Jump up to the previous page or down to the next one. Also, you can type in a page number and press Enter to go directly to that page in the book.

    « Back Next »
  5. ×

    To search the entire text of this book, type in your search term here and press Enter.

    « Back Next »
  6. ×

    Share a link to this book page on your preferred social network or via email.

    « Back Next »
  7. ×

    View our suggested citation for this chapter.

    « Back Next »
  8. ×

    Ready to take your reading offline? Click here to buy this book in print or download it as a free PDF, if available.

    « Back Next »
Stay Connected!