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Ecological Footprint analysis: An Irish rural study

Brenda Ryan


This paper uses the ecological footprint concept to investigate the notion of a sustainable rural settlement. Most eco-footprint studies to date tend to focus at a national or city scale. However, this paper examines how rural settlements relate to global carrying capacity. The formulation of a relevant methodology is a central issue. Specifically, local and primary data collection methods developed to meet the aims of this study, are outlined. The methodology's component based structure and form of bottom-up data collection, allows the final footprint results to be analysed (and understood) in terms of underlying variations in consumption and waste production patterns within the community. These data can then contribute to the development and understanding of a model of best practice for a sustainable rural settlement.

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