Developing something is the act of creating growth, progress or positive change. Development can also refer to:
A development project can be something as simple as building 4 residential units on a block of land, or as complex as the merging of two university departments. It can even refer to breaking news, the latest developments in a story.
The most commonly used definition of development is referring to countries: the more developed a country is, the more it has in terms of wealth and technology. Development can be measured in a number of ways, such as GDP per capita or the Human Development Index.
Some researchers have different ideas about what development is. Some use the example of a butterfly to describe development, others believe that humans change through discontinuous qualitatively different stages (like caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly). Some researchers think that humans are passive participants who are reactive to forces outside themselves, while other scholars believe that people participate actively in choosing and shaping their own next steps.
One major concern about development is that it be sustainable, meaning that it does not undermine the capacity of future generations to meet their own needs. Development can be unsustainable if it relies on fossil fuels or other resources that are finite, and if it leads to climate change and habitat destruction.
Some researchers argue that development should include the social, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. They also argue that reducing poverty is essential for development because it reduces the barriers to other goals, such as gender equality or education.