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Sustainability is the ability to exist constantly. In the 21st century, it refers generally to the capacity for the biosphere and human civilization to coexist.
It is also defined as the process of people maintaining change in a homeostasis balanced environment, in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations.
For many in the field, sustainability is defined through the following interconnected domains or pillars: environment, economic and social, which according to Fritjof Capra is based on the principles of Systems Thinking.
Sub-domains of sustainable development have been considered also: cultural, technological and political. According to Our Common Future, Sustainable development is defined as development that “meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Sustainable development may be the organizing principle of sustainability, yet others may view the two terms as paradoxical (i.e., development is inherently unsustainable).