Session: Urban Sustainability Assessment

Sustainable Urban and Regional Futures Stream


Day 2, Parallel Session 2A: 11:00am – 12:30pm

Location: Storey Hall (Building 16), Main Auditorium, Level 5, Room 1

Chair: Professor Paul James (RMIT University)


Malcolm Morgan Assessing the Sustainability of Housing in English Towns

  • Presenter and main author: Malcolm Morgan (University of Cambridge)
  • Abstract: Achieving sustainability in England’s housing stock is desirable, but the recent focus by both government and academia on energy efficiency in housing, while important, limits the scope investigation to a subset of sustainability issues.  While detailed sustainability assessments have been made of individual developments, they are too onerous to be performed at the town/city scale. This presentation examines a possible methodology for assessing the sustainability of the urban housing stock within a town by using existing national datasets to minimise the effort of data collection. The range of different sources includes present and historical maps, census data, data on the physical properties of houses, and other socio-economic data. Using a combination of GIS software and a relational database the method can highlight areas with potential problems and scope for improvement at the neighbourhood scale. The presentation uses Welwyn Garden City and its surrounding urban area as a case study to test the method and demonstrates how it can be applied to any other English town.
  • Co-author: Dr Heather Cruickshank (University of Cambridge)
  • About the presenter: Malcolm Morgan graduated with a First Class degree in Civil Engineering with Sustainability from the University of Warwick in 2011. He has started a PhD at the Centre for Sustainable Development, University of Cambridge focusing on developing methods to assess the sustainability of houses and communities in urban areas of the UK.
Anupa Manewa Adaptable Buildings: Striving Towards a Sustainable Future

  • Presenter and main author: Dr Anupa Manewa (Liverpool John Moores University)
  • Abstract: The built environment challenges appear in the areas of ‘environment considerations’ (Geraedts 2008), ‘innovations in technology’ (Flanagan and Tate 1997, Nutt 2000), ‘planning and policy issues’, ‘social requirements, ‘political forces’ (Gann and Barlow 1996) and ‘economic considerations’ (Arge 2005, Douglas 2006). To respond these macro level challenges, buildings need to change in terms of the ‘function’ they house, the ‘capacity’ to achieve the performance required for the population they hold and the ‘flow’ of reacting to internal and external environmental forces (Slaughter 2000). Buildings that are unable to survive with those changes would become prematurely obsolete or require substantial refurbishment or demolition. The UK government is seeking alternative strategies to minimise the building redundancy while promoting optimum use of the existing building stock in urban centres (Davison et al. 2006). This investigation is based on a case study of how the uses and function of the built environment and its supporting infrastructure have changed over a period of 100 years undertaken within a semi-rural Borough in England, UK. The study further investigates the factors behind those transformations and proposes how buildings could be adapted to respond the future change without renewal.
  • Co-authors: Professor Alistair Gibb (Loughborough University), Professor Christine Pasquire (Nottingham Trent University), Dr Andrew Ross (Liverpool John University) and Mohan Siriwardena (University of Salford)
  • About the presenter: Anupa is a Senior Lecturer in Quantity Surveying at the School of the Built Environment, Liverpool John Moores University, UK. She is a Chartered Quantity Surveyor for Institute of Quantity Surveyors Sri Lanka and Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors. She obtained her bachelor’s degree in Quantity Surveying in 2004 and an MPhil in Construction Management in 2008 from the University of Moratuwa, Sri Lanka. She awarded a PhD in 2012 from Loughborough University, UK, which aimed to explore the economic considerations for adaptability in buildings. She has published over 20 research papers and many of which are economic sustainability related.