The grant for developing a methodology to measure sustainability has been awarded to a team of Houston researchers to come up with methods for measuring future development.Î¾ The team includes Rice sociology professor Stephen Klineberg and University of Houston Institute for Regional Forecasting director Barton Smith, as well as Rice environmental law professor Jim Blackburn.Î¾ He says a city's sustainable growth involves economic, environmental and social factors.
"I think we will have, you know, quite a lot of very interesting discussions about it, but I think that's sort of the point.Î¾ I think for so long we have measured success in our society primarily in economic terms, oftentimes seldom in social or environmental terms.Î¾ And the idea is to try to bring those three things together."Î¾Î¾
Blackburn hopes the team will have preliminary concepts ready for a course beginning in spring 2010.Î¾ He says it could be a regular report, much like Stephen Klineberg's Houston Area demographic surveys that began in 1982.
"Very similar to Stephen's survey in the sense that it will give us a measurement of progress and change over a long period of time.Î¾ Ultimately, there may be an economic, social and environmental system that's quite a bit different than what we think of as a sound economy today."Î¾Î¾Î¾
Issues being considered include the number and type of jobs being created, social equity in job creation, water and air quality, food security and transportation.Î¾ Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.