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Toward a holistic sustainable and happy neighborhood development assessment tool: A critical review of relevant literature
- Cloutier, Scott, Berejnoi, Erica, Russell, Steven, Ann Morrison, Beth, Ross, Allison
- Ecological indicators 2018 v.89 pp. 139-149
- development projects, ecosystems, environmental indicators, traditions
- Holistic ecological indices can integrate the ways in which humans derive happiness (both pleasure and meaning) as either extractive, balanced, or regenerative processes. This critical review paper describes the need for and initial development of a new comprehensive research assessment tool for sustainable and happy neighborhoods: the Sustainable Neighborhoods for Happiness assessment (SNfHa) Tool. The SNfHa builds upon the foundation of the Sustainable Neighborhoods for Happiness Index (Cloutier et al., 2014a) and associated Sustainable Neighborhoods for Happiness projects (Cloutier and Pfeiffer, 2015; Pfeiffer and Cloutier, 2016). We first provide a critical literature review of the most relevant quantitative and qualitative measures within five domains: happiness, and ecological, economic, social, and cultural sustainability, to inform the development of a comprehensive assessment tool. Next, we provide brief insight on a neighborhood development project where the tool is being applied to assess the promotion of happiness through ecological, economic, social and cultural sustainability. The tool can also be applied in future Sustainable Neighborhoods for Happiness projects. Ultimately, we suggest that sustainable neighborhood development should promote the pursuit of happiness while regenerating local economies and ecosystems, rekindling or enhancing social connections, and revitalizing or maintaining desired cultural traditions. We need holistic indices that can promote the growth toward such a vision.