Traditional reductionist methods of analysis, which breakdown and isolate the component parts will bring the risk of fragmented decision making with potential unforeseen consequences. Systemic, holistic and hierarchical assessment of sustainability is therefore needed. This paper shows that there are two kinds of sustainability evaluation frameworks which are identified: one is in nominal loops. The other is in linear, ordinal categories, without loop. Each category has its strength and weakness because of their intrinsic characteristics. There is also systemic approach in eastern way of thinking that could combine the strength of both sides: Chinese indigenous knowledge to view the environment is keeping the balance of waxing and waning between sub-systems in the cycle of the universe. Discussion on the overlapping worldviews could provide better understanding on systems theory to be applied on sustainability evaluation methods based on the indigenous approaches of China. The framework developed in this research will inherit the character of "ordinal loops" of Chinese traditional diagrams. The conceptual process utilizes the eastern thinking model into the organisation of sustainable development evaluation framework, which can be adopted by policy-makers, designers, and stakeholders in Asia-Pacific.
7th International Conference of The Center for the Study of Architecture in the Arab Region (SAUD 2010). Sustainable Architecture and Urban Development, Volume II (Amman, Jordan 12-14 July, 2010)