Geographia Polonica (1996) vol. 67

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Towards a more operational from of the idea of sustainable development

Ryszard Domański

Geographia Polonica (1996) vol. 67, pp. 121-139


The author starts from the assumption that the idea of sustainable development will remain merely an attractive slogan of limited application if it is not given an operational form. It is therefore necessary to search for ways of making it operational. The author suggests two ways he considers promising: one inspired by the theory of economic development and the other by the theory of synergetics. To approach the targets of sustainable development, the present structure of ecological-economic systems requires a pro-ecological transformation. It follows from the theory of economic development that a necessary condition for such a transformation is the discontinuity of the functions of demand, production, saving, and straining and regeneration of the natural environment. Synergetics, in turn, suggests tracing the transition from micro-scale changes to macro-scale ones, and then the transition of complex systems from one level of complexity to another.

Keywords: operational definition of sustainable development, pro-ecological transformation of economic system, theory of economic development, theory of synergetics, ecological-economic information

Ryszard Domański, Academy of Economics Poznań, Department of Spatial and Environmental Economics al. Niepodległości 10, 60-967 Poznań, Poland