Abstract of PhD Thesis

Spatial Modelling of Sustainability Indicators and Policy Implications for Sustainable Development Across Three Regions of Ireland

Jennifer Donlan, University of Limerick (2011)

This research used the Sustainability and Future Settlement Patterns in Ireland (SFSPI) database to explore spatial relationships between sustainable development indicators. The SFSPI is an EPA-Funded project that examined the relative sustainability of 79 Irish settlements across 3 regions of Ireland.  The resulting database contains 43 sustainable development indicators and indices for Environmental, Socio-economic, Quality of Life, and Transport domains. A Geographically weighted Regression technique was used to reveal spatial variations in the relationships between sustainable development indicators.  Many expected relationships were found to vary in nature or magnitude across regions. A Geographic Information System (GIS) and a custom built scenario tool were used to model and visualize policy scenarios using Ecological Footprint (EF) indicators and components from the SFSPI database. A scenario tool within the GIS was developed for this research to simulate the relative effects of policies on the EFs of a settlement, group of settlements, or region.