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Sustainable neighbourhood masterplans: an analysis of the role of BREEAM Communities in green infrastructure evaluation

Callway, R. F. (2018) Sustainable neighbourhood masterplans: an analysis of the role of BREEAM Communities in green infrastructure evaluation. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

Evaluative practice is described as an integrated or ‘embedded’ part of urban design processes, helping to establish, trace and refine designers’ intentions, supporting the rational enhancement of design decisions and associated actions. This assumption is central to standard evaluative frameworks, such as the UK sustainable neighbourhood masterplan standard, BREEAM Communities (BC). There is a need to better understand this concept of ‘embedded evaluation’, by examining how evaluation functions in the transition from masterplan design to end-use. This includes examining to what extent standard evaluative frameworks like BC promote an embedded evaluative approach, directing decisions and material outcomes towards the standard’s definition of a sustainable neighbourhood. Adopting an empirical lens of green infrastructure (GI) evaluation and an analytical framework of Strategy-as-Practice, this research examines the enactment of formal evaluative practices in six English masterplanned sites. Based on 48 interviews and document analysis, thirteen evaluative episodes are presented, reviewing how different actors structure, enact and respond to evaluative practices. The findings reveal dynamic relationships between evaluation, design, construction and in-use practices. In most of the episodes (11 of 13) GI intentions are compromised in the transition from design to construction. Four drivers of evaluative embeddedness are identified that affect these relationships: external drivers, responsibility, negotiation and reflexivity. The research considers the potential implications for GI evaluation and BC, including the need to address dominant evaluative practices, such as cost appraisal, to build non-specialist knowledge of GI and to assign evaluative responsibility throughout the masterplan journey.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Dixon, T. and Nikolic, D.
Thesis/Report Department:School of the Built Environment
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment
ID Code:77827

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