Sustainability In Urban Development

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As the global population continues to rise more people are choosing to live in the world's cities. With United Nations predictions indicating a peak of 70% urban inhabitation by 2050 (ESA-UN, 2007, quoted in: Agudelo-Vera et al. 2010, 2295), how we facilitate the accommodation of over half of the 3.5 billion people on the planet in these urban landscapes is paramount to both our impact on the remaining natural environment, and the quality of life we live. Sustainability is a word thrown about with great frequency but little definition in relation to the built environment in contemporary specification, advertising and academic texts, and while society as a whole must take a greater responsibility in the use and re-use of natural resources,…show more content…
Sir Alexander John Gordon, President of the Royal Institute of British Architects from 1971-1973, coined the 3L Principle in defining good architecture, that buildings and in turn the built environment must manifest 'long life, loose fit and low energy' (Gordon 1972, quoted by Langston 2014, 163). Gordon intended these simple principles to result in an architecture of effective and efficient buildings with inherent 'adaptability' being one of their key sustainable attributes. This concept is further explored by Langston (2014, 168) in not only functionality but structural flexibility, going on to add 'durability', a primary criteria in the resource re-utilisation required to reduce material consumption in buildings (McCormick et al. 2014, 5). These two key elements of sustainable design define the foundation for new developmental longevity, in the considered use of material and predetermined intent for reuse, and when applied retrospectively contribute to the value in the conservation and reuse of the existing urban…show more content…
Bullen & Love (2011, 411) consider heritage buildings to be 'an integral part of Australia's social capital', in that they are assets in the diverse historical and cultural wealth of the nation. Their studies find that the 'adaptive reuse of historical buildings' further contributes to a community's sense of place, promoting the cyclical nature of sustainability in that it 'invests local communities with a powerful reason to look after their local environment and lead more sustainable lives' (Bullen & Love 2011, 419). Furthermore, McCormick et al. (2012, 3) stress that sustainable development (transformation) must actively seek to engage and entice peoples’ consideration on lifestyle choices. Recognition of the value of sense of place in parallel consideration with design solutions that invite people to live more sustainably, is required for design to enhance urban

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