A values-based approach for generating localized social indicators for use in sustainability assessment and decision-making test case of brownfield soft reuse in Nigeria

Elijah C. Odii, Chike C. Ebido, Marie K. Harder

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Sustainable development is a global aim, aided in its application by the use of social, environmental and economic indicators for monitoring, planning, and assessment. However, several significant weaknesses are reported which reveal the need for improvement of the social indicators such as problems of being difficult to localize; to measure, and to be complete; being less commonly used; and thus, leading to assessments which are unbalanced across the three domains. Here we demonstrate that a values-based approach called WeValue InSitu, previously known to reliably 'crystallize' local shared values, can be successfully used as a bolt-on process to produce localized social indicators for direct insertion into the SuRF-UK process. SuRF-UK is a widely used decision-support framework for sustainable remediation of brownfield sites, and we apply it here to a hypothetical scenario analysis for a real community in villages near a derelict Salt Lake in Nigeria. Results show the WeValue InSitu approach resolves the reported challenges of localized social indicators, does not introduce any new issues, and in addition provides a route for wider participation and auditability. The study shows that a mechanism of red-flag boundaries may need to be introduced into SuRF-UK to allow veto of unacceptable breaches of social issues by proposed scenarios.

Original languageEnglish
Article number 135045
Number of pages36
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2019



  • SuRF-UK
  • WeValue InSitu
  • Localization
  • Mmahi Salt Lake
  • Okposi Okwu
  • Sustainability assessment
  • WeValue

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