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J Environ Manage. 2004 Jul;71(4):335-44.

Evaluation of coastal zone sustainability: an integrated approach applied in Shanghai Municipality and Chong Ming Island.

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Open Laboratory of Geo-Science, Department of Geography, East China Normal University, 3663 Zhong Shan North Road, Shanghai 200062, China.


A systems approach has been applied to the examination of sustainable development in the coastal zone. This complex system is envisaged as comprising three sub-systems: environment and resources, economic development and society. A sustainability indicator system based on these three sub-systems has been set up to evaluate the nature of development in the coastal zone. The administrative regions of the Municipality of Shanghai and Chong Ming Island (in the Yangtze Estuary) have been selected as two coastal zones in which to demonstrate the feasibility and effectiveness of the approach. The approach indicated that the development process in Shanghai is one of weak sustainability with relatively rapid social and economic development at the cost of environment and resource degradation. In contrast, social and economic development in Chong Ming County has been limited to protect the regional environment and resources indicating a more sustainable approach to development.

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