Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A Review of Urban Sustainability Assessment Methodologies

By Emmanuel Adinyira, Samuel Oteng-Seifah, and Theophilus Adjei-Kumi

Sustainability has emerged as a planning concept from its beginnings in economics and ecological thinking and has widely been applied to urban development. Urban sustainability is simply described as a desirable state or set of urban conditions that persists overtime. Just as the task of defining sustainability has progressed in response to early economic thinking, so has the task of its assessment. Many urban sustainability assessment methods can be identified from literature. However an examination of these methods reveals largely three methodological foundations. Focusing on the context of urban development, this paper presents an appraisal of the relative potentials and limitations of methods developed around the three identified methodological foundations. The paper agrees with the much held view that, most currently available urban sustainability assessment methods fail to demonstrate sufficient understanding of the interrelations and interdependencies of social, economic and environmental considerations. It further points to a wide gap between assessment theories and practices. To help narrow this rather wide gap, the paper recommends a pragmatic shift in focus, from theory development to application and auditing. A suggestion is made for the application of key assessment methods in a given urban area and across various issues, spatial and time scales so as to allow for method comparison. It is hoped that the parallel application of existing methods will greatly accelerate the urban sustainability assessment learning process and will help in the improvement of both theory and practice.

Ciclovia, Bogota, Colombia

More about sustainable cities:

Introduction to Achieve Sustainable Neighborhoods

Climate change and urban transportation systems

Evaluating Urban Sustainability Using Land-Use Transport Interaction Models

Assessment of development and regeneration urban projects: cultural and operational implications in metropolization context 

Measuring Socially Sustainable Urban Regeneration in Europe 

Towards a Sustainable Urban Form in Chiang Mai

Sustainable human settlements development in Latin America and the Caribbean

No comments:

Post a Comment