Social sustainability and collegiate campuses: Measuring environments' functionality
Grimble, Michael David
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Sustainable development is thought of as the balance between three considerations which are environmental, economic and social. Balancing these three considerations requires compromise betwixt and between. For the environmental and economic consideration, this is possible because quantitative measurement systems for them already exist. Currently, there is no quantitative measurement system to account for the social consideration of sustainability. This thesis examines this issue and creates a quantifiable measure for the social consideration of sustainability that accounts for the relationship between people and place. This relationship is characterized by an environment's functionality. What makes an environment functional is also examined in this thesis. The measurement system created can be used in two different ways. It can be used to benchmark an environment and track it over time, or it can be used to compare one environment to another. This system ultimately creates a representation of an environment's functionality. Understanding the functionality of an environment is the first step toward creating environments that work better for their users. The measurement system described assesses the ability of an environment's users' to participate in the broad range of interconnected activities hosted by the environment. Collegiate campuses were selected as the setting to employ this assessment tool because of the negative implications associated with creating a dysfunctional academic environment.