Sustainability indicators for municipalities of megacities: Integrating health, safety and environmental performance

Mahsa Mapar, Mohammad Javad Jafari, Nabiollah Mansouri, Reza Arjmandi, Reza Azizinejad, Tomás B. Ramos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


The sustainability assessment of public sector organizations including municipalities, with a focus on the integration of health, safety, and environmental (HSE) issues in the context of sustainability performance indicators, has almost remained underexplored. Moreover, since a large number of the activities of megacities’ municipalities have directly to do with HSE issues, there seems to be a substantial gap in the study of megacities and corresponding local public administrations. The present study is aimed at developing a performance evaluation tool, supported by indicators, to monitor the HSE aspects of sustainable development in the municipalities of megacities. To put the proposed tool into practice, a set of performance evaluation indicators is proposed to be adopted in Iranian municipalities, integrated in the megacity of Tehran. The selection process was conducted by employing Delphi technique. In doing so, a 2-round questionnaire was responded by qualified experts to select the most robust indicators of HSE performance and evaluate the priority of each indicator. A total of 80 indicators were generated and grouped into 13 categories, 29 sub-categories, and 7 themes- (Health (H), Safety (S), Environment (E), Health-Safety (HS), Health-Environment (HE), Safety-Environment (SE), and Health, Safety and Environment (HSE)). Findings indicate that amongst the overall average score of the 13 categories, “Fire and emergency response” is the most important category, closely followed by “Waste”, “Transportation”, and “Natural systems” categories. Moreover, among the 7 proposed themes, the integrated “HSE theme”, nearly followed by “safety theme”, plays the most significant role in enhancing the HSE performance of sustainability in Tehran municipalities. It is concluded that in the HSE context of the megacities municipalities under scrutiny, social aspects of sustainability gain more attention in comparison with the environmental ones. Furthermore, in municipalities of megacities, the indicators related to health and safety could be considered as ‘key indicators’ and should be thus classified into independent categories so that their roles can be highlighted in the management and assessment of municipal sustainable development.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-291
Number of pages21
JournalEcological Indicators
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2017


  • Environment
  • Health
  • Megacities
  • Municipalities
  • Safety
  • Sustainability indicators


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