Urbanization, carbon neutrality, and Gross National Happiness: Sustainable development pathways for Bhutan

Bhutan is a rapidly growing economy. Its commitment to carbon neutrality, as well as to Gross National Happiness (GNH) objectives, make Bhutan a fascinating laboratory for studying sustainable development strategies.

This study uses the framing of the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways (SSPs) from global climate change literature to develop a vision for a locally appropriate SSP for a sustainable Bhutan. Most of the settlements in Bhutan are located within steep-walled river valleys. These areas are vulnerable to climate impacts, and need well-planned strategies for both climate adaptation and mitigation. The proposed sustainable pathway for Bhutan (SSP1) outlines a future in which all basic social services are provided locally with more broadly balanced urbanization strategies, and emphasizes environmental values and ecosystem services as well as community well-being. SSP1 aims to harmonize all Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness domains.

Project facts

Bhutan

Thimphu

2019

Submitted by:

Miho Kamei

Project member

28 februari 2021 12:00:00

How to cite this page:

Miho Kamei

Urbanization, carbon neutrality, and Gross National Happiness: Sustainable development pathways for Bhutan

Resources

Kamei, M.;Wangmo, T.; Leibowicz, B.D.; Nishioka, S. Urbanization, carbon neutrality, and Gross National Happiness: Sustainable development pathways for Bhutan. Cities 2020.

Project images

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SSP Bhutan

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Thimphu

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SSP assumptions

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Key SDGs

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 
Main ecosystems 
Scale
Urban areas
Small scale agriculture & villages
Forests
Mountains
Small country (e.g. Trinidad or Taiwan 50-200 km on edge)