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A framework for social and economic sustainability benefits evaluation of sustainable regeneration projects in the UK

Akotia, Julius K 2014, A framework for social and economic sustainability benefits evaluation of sustainable regeneration projects in the UK , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

In recent years, the concept of sustainable regeneration has been recognised as being a major social and economic concern which has been a focal point of government policy for some time in the UK. The appreciation of such concerns has led to the development of various evaluation frameworks to guide practitioners to deliver higher and improved sustainability standards for their sustainable regeneration projects. Although these evaluation frameworks have been applied on sustainability projects in general, their focuses have remained limited to the evaluation of the environmental benefits, seemingly, relegating the social and economic benefits to the background. It has been argued that achieving successful delivery of socio-economic regeneration has proved to be elusive and difficult to deliver due to lack of understanding and over concentration on the environmental aspect of sustainability. While there have been some studies on sustainability evaluation of regeneration projects in general in the UK, it is contended that, there remain a paucity of a well-defined empirical research that is able to deal with the issues relating to the evaluation of the socio-economic sustainability benefits of sustainable regeneration projects. Hence the study aims to develop a framework that can be used to evaluate the social and economic sustainability benefits of sustainable regeneration projects. The study adopts a mixed method approach: qualitative and quantitative research methodologies to explore the research questions to meet the aim and objectives set out for the study. A qualitative data is collected through semi-structured interviews from 21 practitioners from three selected construction organisations involved in the delivery of sustainable regeneration projects in the UK. This is complemented by a quantitative data collected through a questionnaire survey from 193 practitioners involved in the delivery of sustainable regeneration projects in the UK. The study identifies a number of barriers and drivers that determine the adoption and implementation of the social and economic sustainability factors in the delivery of successful sustainable regeneration projects in the UK. Notable among the barriers identified include, lack of funding/financial support, the contracts’ requirements and lack of clients’ willingness to adopt sustainability. Similarly, enhancement of reputation, competitive advantage and clients’ requirements are some of the drivers identified to be determining the adoption and implementation of the social and economic sustainability factors in the delivery of the regeneration projects. The findings also reveal that health and safety, education and skill training opportunities and affordable housing are the most considered social sustainability factors being promoted by practitioners on their regeneration projects. The economic sustainability factors which are currently being promoted by practitioners include, value for money, profitability for investors/developer (Return on investment) and jobs and employment opportunities. It is observed that a significant number of practitioners are still not genuinely committed to adopt and implement the socio-economic sustainability principles on their regeneration projects. The study also identifies the lack of understanding and knowledge of the sustainability composition of sustainable regeneration projects. An evaluation framework is developed to guide practitioners to evaluate the social and economic sustainability benefits of their sustainable regeneration projects. It recommends for guidelines or checklist of the key sustainability composition of sustainable regeneration projects to guide practitioners.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: JK Akotia
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2015 13:04
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2016 18:18
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/32941

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