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|Title: ||Barriers to the adoption of sustainability assessment tools in strategic decision making|
|Authors: ||Khandokar, Fahmida|
Price, Andrew D.F.
Austin, Simon A.
|Issue Date: ||2009|
|Citation: ||KHANDOKAR, F. ... et al, 2009. Barriers to the adoption of sustainability assessment tools in strategic decision making. IN: Second International Conference on Whole Life Urban Sustainability and its Assessment (SUE-MoT 2009).|
|Abstract: ||The ubiquitous drive towards a more sustainable future has resulted in major changes in the planning and
design of urban environments. Government strategies on sustainable development, published in 1999
and 2005, are thought to be driving the development of new legislations that are aimed at delivering a
sustainable future for the UK. As a result, conventional stand-alone approaches to decision making in
strategic planning are being replaced by more participatory and evidence-based approaches. These focus
on achieving sustainability by taking into account the dynamic interactions between social, economic and
environmental aspects of urban environments. The sheer volume of complex urban issues, the multiplicity
of stakeholders and their varying values and diversity of viewpoints - all contribute towards making urban
sustainability and its assessment an intellectually challenging task. Many tools have been developed to
aid the decision making process by assessing the impacts of urban projects throughout their lifecycle.
Sustainability assessment (SA) tools range from the assessment of a single indicator within a given context
to the integrated assessment of a wide range of indicators covering many facets of sustainable development.
However, the adoption of SA tools in decision making for strategic planning remains low.
This paper reports on the findings of the research aimed at the identification and classification of the
factors that had the potential to hinder or encourage the adoption of SA tools during the preparation of a
local strategic plan. Based on the findings of a review of relevant literature, a questionnaire survey, followup
interviews and a case study, the application context of SA tools was identified. To better understand
the barriers to the adoption of SA tools, concepts from information sciences were taken into account. The
findings reveal that in the complex platform of decision making, the adoption of tools is often constrained
by the chain effects of interconnected barriers relating to technology, people and resources. The lack of
appropriate tools to serve the demands of the sustainability assessment process and the lack of relevant
expertise are the major barriers to the adoption of SA tools. Emerging policy context calls for robust and
integrated tools that will perform efficiently to guide the decision making process. Joined-up efforts are
required from academia and industry to develop the SA tools and to enhance professionals’ skills in the
application of SA tools to meet the challenges of sustainability decision making in an emerging policy
|Version: ||Accepted for publication|
|Publisher Link: ||http://sue-mot.org/conference/|
|Appears in Collections:||Conference Papers (Civil and Building Engineering)|
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