Urban Social Sustainability Trends in Research Literature

  •  Amir Ghahramanpouri    
  •  Hasanuddin Lamit    
  •  Sepideh Sedaghatnia    


During the recent decade, scholars from different disciplines have discussed social sustainability within urban studies from both academic and policy perspectives. This paper aims to review the current literature and characterize definitions and trends related to social sustainability consideration of various urban units. The methodology used in this paper is desk research. Selection of the documents from different urban related disciplines - including urban planning, urban design, urban sociology and urban policy, limited to those published during 1993 to 2012. Social sustainability definitions portray either conditions of the concept or its principles and measurement framework. The review shows that different aspects in defining and reviewing social sustainability include social equity, satisfaction of human need, well-being, quality of life, social interaction, cohesion and inclusion, sense of community and sense of place. Reviewing studies conducted in different urban units, revealed that previous attempts on urban social sustainability emphasized more on community related issues. The majority of such researches examined the urban contexts of developed countries. This paper concluded that there has been little discussion on place related issues. Therefore, the urban social sustainability of urban places is the current understudied gap in the academic literature.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.