Sustainability Through Happiness: A Framework for Sustainable Development

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


Happiness is commonly thought of as an individual characteristic for which each person is solely responsible. However, happiness is also a community characteristic influenced by factors external to the individual. This article offers an alternative sustainable community development framework that focuses on improved opportunities for happiness. Key components of the framework include happiness visioning, public participation, a happiness profit inventory, and systems planning and sustainability interventions. Lessons learned from applying this framework to a neighborhood in a fast-growing region in the southwestern United States are drawn. Ultimately, happiness offers a universal measure focused on the quality of human life and a community development framework that may translate to a sustainable future.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)317-327
Number of pages11
JournalSustainable Development
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1 2015


  • Community development
  • Happiness
  • Sustainability
  • Wellbeing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Development


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