Application of a sustainability model for assessing the relocation of a container terminal: A case study of kristiansand port

Mariia Dushenko, Clemet Thaerie Bjorbaek, Kenn Steger-Jensen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
5 Downloads (Pure)


Sustainable development, a new interdisciplinary paradigm, is attracting increasing attention from the global research community. It is an enhancement of sustainability principles. This study documents the findings from applying a sustainability assessment model framework by Koo and Ariaratnam (2008) for decision support in connection with the projection of major infrastructure investment in a port. The objective of this study is to support the decision-making process in a port development project and to verify the applicability of sustainability assessment using a sustainability assessment model for a terminal development project in an urban area of Scandinavia. The sustainability assessment model is based on the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP). A literature review of sustainability assessment models was conducted to find indicators for the AHP approach. Subsequently, a questionnaire was compiled and six decision-makers for projects in Scandinavian Ports in urban areas were selected for the case study. The hypothesis is that decision-makers of major infrastructure investment projects in publicly owned ports must adhere to sustainable development principles and support the United Nations sustainable development goals that are a call for action by all countries. When documenting a sustainable design of port projects, decision-makers use theoretical sustainability models to conceptualize features of a sustainable society. However, a major challenge for the decision-makers was that the sustainability assessment results did not show, as expected, the same results as those of three existing theoretical sustainability models. The results of the sustainability assessment model were scrutinised and benchmarked against existing theoretical sustainability models, namely: a sustainability stool, a 3-overlappingcircles model, and a 3-nesteddependencies model. The benchmark results indicate a disparity between the importance of what sustainability models describe and what is important in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number87
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 by the authors.


  • Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP)
  • Container terminal
  • Development project
  • Port
  • Sustainability
  • Sustainability assessment model


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