Sustainable development indicators: Conceptual frameworks of comparative indicators sets for local administrations in Japan

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Comparative indicators, with which local governments monitor and evaluate policy progress, help effective implementation of public policy toward sustainable development (SD). However, such policy tools have been less developed at the local level. This study proposes conceptual frameworks of sustainable development indicators (SDIs) taking Japanese municipal governments as examples. The results illustrated five SDIs thereby indicating four approaches, and highlighted the most feasible and optimal frameworks. The former, supported by the vast majority of local governments, had a strong predilection for socioeconomic policies while disregarding environmental aspects despite their holistic aim, reflecting the current trend of sustainability at the local level in Japan. In contrast, the latter tended to encompass three dimensions of SD in a balanced manner, focusing largely on well-being. Hence, this framework helped complement the lack of environmental orientation and potentially maintain the consistency of public policy.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSustainable Development
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)683-690
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 01.11.2018

    Research areas

  • Comparative indicators, Japan, Municipality, Public policy, Sustainability policy, Sustainable city, Sustainable development indicators
  • Sustainability Science