Designing Sustainable Cities [1st ed.] 9783030546854, 9783030546861

This book emphasizes new ways of designing for a sustainable city and urban environment. From several angles the future

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Designing Sustainable Cities [1st ed.]
 9783030546854, 9783030546861

Table of contents :
Front Matter ....Pages i-viii
Designing the Sustainable City (Rob Roggema)....Pages 1-16
The Role of Indigenous Paradigms and Traditional Knowledge Systems in Modern Humanity’s Sustainability Quest – Future Foundations from Past Knowledge’s (Chels A. Marshall)....Pages 17-28
Born, not Made. Designing the Productive City (Greg Keeffe, Rob Roggema)....Pages 29-52
Regenerative Placemaking: Creating a New Model for Place Development by Bringing Together Regenerative and Placemaking Processes (Cristina Hernandez-Santin, Dominique Hes, Tanja Beer, Lewis Lo)....Pages 53-68
The Key Role of Systems Thinking in Sustainable Architecture (Luke Middleton)....Pages 69-86
Liveable Green Cities: Integrating Climate Adaptive Solutions and Circular Economy into the Built Environment (Martin Knuijt)....Pages 87-99
Post-earthquake Recovery in Nepal: A Study and Analysis of Post Disaster Perception and Needs for Housing Recovery After 2015 Earthquake (Rupesh Shrestha, Alexander Fekete, Simone Sandholz)....Pages 101-121
Tackling Urban Open Space Encroachment in a South African Township: An Exploratory Study (Lindelwa Sinxadi, Maléne Campbell)....Pages 123-141
The Role of Smart City Initiatives in Driving Partnerships: A Case Study of the Smart Social Spaces Project, Sydney Australia (Homa Rahmat, Nancy Marshall, Christine Steinmetz, Miles Park, Christian Tietz, Kate Bishop et al.)....Pages 143-159
Fostering Successful Smart Campus Transitions Through Consensus-Building: A University of Technology Case Study (Alfred B. Ngowi, Bankole O. Awuzie)....Pages 161-183
The Role of Landscape Architectural Designers in Landscape Construction Health and Safety (John Smallwood)....Pages 185-198
Sustainability, ReciproCity, Radicality (Rob Roggema)....Pages 199-204
Back Matter ....Pages 205-207

Citation preview

Contemporary Urban Design Thinking

Rob Roggema  Editor

Designing Sustainable Cities

Contemporary Urban Design Thinking Series Editor Rob Roggema Cittaideale, Office for Adaptive Research by Design Wageningen, The Netherlands

This series will investigate contemporary insights in urban design theory and practice. Urbanism has considerably changed and developed over the years and is about to undergo a transformation moving into a new era. In the 1990’s and early 2000’s economic driven urban design was prevalent in many countries around the world. Moving forward it is no longer feasible to continue to develop in the same way and new ideas for creating urbanism are urgently required. This series will publish titles dealing with innovative methods of urbanism including, sustainability driven urbanism, smart urbanism, population driven urbanism, and landscape based urban design. The series will include books by top researchers and leaders in the fields of urban design, city development and landscape urbanism. The books will contain the most recent insights into urbanism and will provide actual and timely reports filling a gap in the current literature. The series will appeal to urbanists, landscape architects, architects, policy makers, city/urban planners, urban designers/researchers, and to all of those interested in a wide-ranging overview of contemporary urban design innovations in the field. More information about this series at

Rob Roggema Editor

Designing Sustainable Cities

Editor Rob Roggema Cittaideale, Office for Adaptive Research by Design Wageningen, The Netherlands

ISSN 2522-8404     ISSN 2522-8412 (electronic) Contemporary Urban Design Thinking ISBN 978-3-030-54685-4    ISBN 978-3-030-54686-1 (eBook) © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 This work is subject to copyright. All rights are solely and exclusively licensed by the Publisher, whether the whole or part of the material is concerned, specifically the rights of translation, reprinting, reuse of illustrations, recitation, broadcasting, reproduction on microfilms or in any other physical way, and transmission or information storage and retrieval, electronic adaptation, computer software, or by similar or dissimilar methodology now known or hereafter developed. The use of general descriptive names, registered names, trademarks, service marks, etc. in this publication does not imply, even in the absence of a specific statement, that such names are exempt from the relevant protective laws and regulations and therefore free for general use. The publisher, the authors, and the editors are safe to assume that the advice and information in this book are believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication. Neither the publisher nor the authors or the editors give a warranty, expressed or implied, with respect to the material contained herein or for any errors or omissions that may have been made. The publisher remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. This Springer imprint is published by the registered company Springer Nature Switzerland AG The registered company address is: Gewerbestrasse 11, 6330 Cham, Switzerland


In times of rapid change the need for contemplation is essential. The question about the reasons why and how we live on this planet is more than ever relevant. The global population becomes more and more urban, which is not necessarily the best sign of wellbeing. With more people living in high densities the concerns around supplying food, energy and water in a timely and qualitative manner is increasingly becoming a threat, not to forget the emissions and waste streams the generation of these resources often bring along. Biodiversity is shrinking and urban population become ever more vulnerable for the impacts of climate change, being it floods, bushfires, droughts or the effects of sea level rise. When developments become more disruptive the response is often to start protecting what is around, as if saving the last bits and pieces will repair all that is lost. Or responding by building tiny bee hotels while human culture just destroyed the entire habitat the bee could have thrived. There seems some fundamental mismatch in the perception of the required transformation to a sustainable future and the reality of what is needed for reaching sustainability. The point being that thinking from developing cities itself does not make a more sustainable world by including some green, a bit of water or an energy-­ saving household. No, if the objective is to continue human life on earth, a fundamental rethink is needed. Urban development should in this context not start with numbers of houses, and the accompanying infrastructure, instead the natural conditions of water, ecology, air and soil should be defined as the elements to ‘develop’, and once the qualities of these conditions for life are improved, the second thoughts need to be on how the community could develop its social construct, the connectivity and resilience for a life of togetherness. Then, in last instance those urban activities that fit within natural and social abundances can be integrated in a way these activities further strengthen the human and ecology. This way the city can be balanced within its environment. Designing sustainable cities should therefore start with not designing the city, but design, develop and embrace the landscape and create the surrounds for a contemplative population. Traditional urban development should therefore be turned on




its head. Not the requirements of the urban leave space for the other aspects, but the requirements of nature and people leave the room for the city. In this book this philosophy is explored by the different contributions. The reader will find a range of perspectives on how the city can come second (or third). This gives ample considerations on the role of urban developers, builders and designers, so they can reflect and contemplate what to do different starting tomorrow. In this sense I hope this book will mark a break with the past so we can say 2020 was the year the city became embedded in the landscape. Wageningen, The Netherlands  Rob Roggema


1 Designing the Sustainable City ��������������������������������������������������������������    1 Rob Roggema 2 The Role of Indigenous Paradigms and Traditional Knowledge Systems in Modern Humanity’s Sustainability Quest – Future Foundations from Past Knowledge’s������������������������������������������������������   17 Chels A. Marshall 3 Born, not Made. Designing the Productive City�����������������������������������   29 Greg Keeffe and Rob Roggema 4 Regenerative Placemaking: Creating a New Model for Place Development by Bringing Together Regenerative and Placemaking Processes ��������������������������������������������������������������������   53 Cristina Hernandez-Santin, Dominique Hes, Tanja Beer, and Lewis Lo 5 The Key Role of Systems Thinking in Sustainable Architecture ��������   69 Luke Middleton 6 Liveable Green Cities: Integrating Climate Adaptive Solutions and Circular Economy into the Built Environment������������������������������������������������������������������������������������   87 Martin Knuijt 7 Post-earthquake Recovery in Nepal: A Study and Analysis of Post Disaster Perception and Needs for Housing Recovery After 2015 Earthquake ����������������������������������������������������������  101 Rupesh Shrestha, Alexander Fekete, and Simone Sandholz 8 Tackling Urban Open Space Encroachment in a South African Township: An Exploratory Study����������������������������������������������������������  123 Lindelwa Sinxadi and Maléne Campbell




9 The Role of Smart City Initiatives in Driving Partnerships: A Case Study of the Smart Social Spaces Project, Sydney Australia��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������  143 Homa Rahmat, Nancy Marshall, Christine Steinmetz, Miles Park, Christian Tietz, Kate Bishop, Susan Thompson, and Linda Corkery 10 Fostering Successful Smart Campus Transitions Through Consensus-­Building: A University of Technology Case Study ������������  161 Alfred B. Ngowi and Bankole O. Awuzie 11 The Role of Landscape Architectural Designers in Landscape Construction Health and Safety ������������������������������������������������������������  185 John Smallwood 12 Sustainability, ReciproCity, Radicality��������������������������������������������������  199 Rob Roggema Index������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������  205

Chapter 1

Designing the Sustainable City Rob Roggema

Abstract  For designing the sustainable city the question should be asked what real sustainability knowledge is and how we can be certain the claimed sustainable outcomes are really sustainable? Do we really know if the exact or highest achievable level of an insulation factor for a building delivers a sustainable outcome, for instance for the happiness of the people that live or work in that building? Does it also tell us if we are, by insulating this way enrich biodiversity or have a positive impact on clean water resources? How can we know we are right when we have ‘proven’ only one aspect of the entire spectrum? At the same time, when we keep on investigating only smallest additions to former research, it not only brings us path-­ dependency, it also leads to apathy in an endless wait for the final truth. It prevents us from learning from mistakes, trying out solutions that have never before been tried out, but which might deliver the required way out of the complex and unprecedented future problems we do not even know of. This requires execution of solutions, which might fail, we then learn from them and subsequently increase our understanding how integrated approaches to sustainability can be successful, and even more so anticipate a radical changing future ahead of us. Instead, by constantly repeating previous research, we have now ended up in a stand-still, waiting for final judgements the solution being sustainable or not…… Keywords  Sustainable city · Knowledge · Urban design · Real sustainability

1.1  Introduction Despite developing significant bodies of knowledge on the concept of the sustainable city (Blassingame 1998; Flint and Raco 2012; Satterthwaite 1997; Yannas 2001), sustainable urban design (Wheeler and Beatley 2014; Jabareen 2006; Ritchie and Thomas 2013; Roggema 2016a, b, 2017) and sustainable architecture (Bennetts R. Roggema (*) Cittaideale, Office for Adaptive Research by Design, Wageningen, The Netherlands e-mail: [email protected] © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 R. Roggema (ed.), Designing Sustainable Cities, Contemporary Urban Design Thinking,



R. Roggema

et al. 2003; Guy and Farmer 2001; McDonough 2002), these concepts can still not be considered as mainstream. As a result, too many buildings, streetscapes, public spaces, neighborhoods and city districts are still built using standard, somewhat outdated, economic driven and environmental unfriendly design and construction methods. This business-as-usual urban development follow path-dependent pathways based on the understanding of problems from the past, fitting the solutions from the past. For a long time, this thinking has brought us safety, wealth, and managed expectations. Over the years the disciplines have grown different branches of the same tree, by now they have been separated as isolated entities, competing over scarce light available. This problem of knowledge becoming increasingly segregated is developing with the best of intentions but proves to be too narrow minded and too much focuses on specialties within science only. This process of continuously digging deeper holes goes on and it seems we will never be able to get out of it again. One of the reasons is the stubbornness of sectorial science not to adopt critique on their in-depth approaches, because their projects and outcomes are rigorously investigated, and seem to contain a high level of proven facts. However, this proof is only measured along the lines of their own school of thought, the sector in which the community re-enforces their opinions and additions to existing research. It is difficult to take into account the impacts of the research results on other fields of science, nor on the holistic entirety, and it is often not including the consequences for the well-being or happiness of people. The question that should be asked here is what real sustainability knowledge is and how we can be certain the claimed sustainable outcomes are really sustainability? Do we really know if the exact or highest achievable level of an insulation factor for a building delivers a sustainable outcome, for instance for the happiness of the people that live or work in that building? Does it also tell us if we are, by insulating this way enrich biodiversity or have a positive impact on clean water resources? How can we know we are right when we have ‘proven’ only one aspect of the entire spectrum? At the same time, when we keep on investigating only smallest additions to former research, kit not only brings us path-dependency, it also leads to apathy in an endless wait for the final truth. It prevents us from learning from mistakes, trying out solutions that have never before been tried out, but which might deliver the required way out of the complex and unprecedented future problems we do not even know of. This requires execution of solutions, which might fail, we then learn from them and subsequently increase our understanding how integrated approaches to sustainability can be successful, and even more so anticipate a radical changing future ahead of us. Instead, by constantly repeating previous research, we have now ended up in a stand-still, waiting for final judgements the solution being sustainable or not……

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1.2  Missing in Action ……… In order to break the deadlock, missing, or underwhelmed insights and approaches should be further explored. The design of a sustainable city can no longer build on sectorial insights only. It requires radical new visions, that take into account uncertainty, complexity and enter uncharted territories. This requires courage, taking risks in thinking and loads of creativity.

1.2.1  Radicality Future decades will bring us in a new era. The impacts of the Anthropocene (Crutzen 2006), will change the way we live on Earth dramatically. Recent hurricanes in the US, South East Asia and elsewhere, and bushfires in California and Australia are only the beginning of what is dubbed the new normal. Well, this new normal is far from normal, and the last certainty is that when we try to solve future problems with past standards, we will only make things worse. We cannot solve current or future problems with the means that have caused them in the first place, a famous line Einstein used first. Given the uncertainty hence unprecedented events announcing themselves and the radical nature of upcoming change, all but modest solutions offer a chance to escape future despair. The only perspective at anticipating the future is to invent a new set of parameters along which visions, designs, working methods, and projects are conceived. These new ways of doing may sound extreme or radical to us at the moment, but the future has already begun, and waiting any longer with making fundamental different decisions will only bring more dramatic hazards. We can no longer base our decisions on previous estimates, as these have been proven wrong, or at least at the upper end of predictions, such as the IPCC climate models, which show huge accuratesseness: reality fits, especially when looking at projected sea level rise, neatly at the highest end of the range of scenarios (Rahmstorf et al. 2012; Hausfather 2017; Allison et al. 2009). However, even if this seems to be a rule of law, the models cannot take into account deep uncertainty, so what does this modelling mean if the future is fundamentally unpredictable? Thinking about the design of the city, explorations need to be undertaken to understand radical new worlds, and we need to become serious about out-of-the-box thinking, creative sessions that bring us real new perspectives that are more than adding up existing views, or even worse, interests. Radicality should then not only emerge from fun-exercises or creative workshops, its outcomes need to be tested in real life as realistic scenarios hence not radical at all, and their working understood in order to learn from and increase our overall knowledge and preparedness for future times.


R. Roggema

1.2.2  Integrality The second aspect missing in action is an integrated approach. Many visions, policies and projects declare the ambition to be integral, however most focus on one aspect or theme only. The focus on specialties, from research departments to governmental policies and product-oriented businesses, may be beneficial for one topic, issue or market, it is almost always negative for several others. The maximization of one subject or object comes often at a cost of realizing integrated higher quality for all. This is however not easy to quantify, measure or prove, at least it is much more difficult than to underpin one issue. The search for synergies between two or more topics is time-consuming, not delivering immediate benefits for the one who invests, and therefore is meeting difficulties to be pursued. Integrality requires overview, joining interests and thinking on the long term. It also asks for other personalities, people who aim to think about the far, more abstract future, not too concerned with current detail problems. In science, policymaking and production these capabilities are often not appreciated, reason why these skills are not dominant in education and not too popular when young people make a choice to study. However, the benefits of integration, synergizing and mutual profitability is we can take into account the intrinsic ecological, cultural qualities, and the well-being and happiness of the people living in our research objects, policies and products. Therefore, this gap in attention for visionary integrality deserves to be further developed should we want to really develop sustainable cities.

1.2.3  Exploratory A third element that is underestimated in current liability and juridical dominated practice in nearly all building projects of today, is the freedom to try out and make mistakes. We seem to only design to find the truth, and an outcome that cannot be disputed afterwards. This can only lead to more of the same, and solutions that will not emphasize real innovations or deal with the real sustainability challenges the world faces. When applying a trial and error approach, in which explorations are used to learn what could be effective responses to new challenges and what the flaws and benefits actually are, novel solutions can be found addressing problems that have not even manifested themselves in any concrete way. Still these explorations can be tested now so they are proven when the tide is high and it is needed to use these solutions, for when time does not allow anymore for further explorations. A Research by Design (Roggema 2016b) process works best in this context because design propositions can firstly be tested virtually, and its merits be judged on possible impacts positive and negative, and subsequently being improved in a new design iteration. Secondly, the same iterative process of designing, testing and monitoring can be executed in real projects, which makes it possible to test the actual performance on a spectrum of themes. These results can also be applied under

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different potential (climatic) circumstances hence be improved for anticipated futures.

1.2.4  Designerly Finally, many decisions are taken without design thinking or including design input at a very late stage or as a greenwashing exercise. When problems become complex, or even wicked, design skills are indispensable, as this may help to connect dots of seemingly isolated parts of problems and solutions and bring new, often unexpected, images of a desirable future to the fore. This designerly way of knowing (Cross 2006) provides ways in to a ‘plan that works’ (Hajer et al. 2006). Designers curiosity to connect the inconcilable are capable of creating simplicity as a comprehensive ‘plan’, in the form of spatial solutions emerging out of a complex multiplicity of problems (Sijmons 2012). In order to benefit in the factual outcomes of planning, design and policy processes, this designerly influence needs to be broad, early and leading. In every phase of the planning process integrative ways of designing need to be applied, bringing together the different fields of interest, the people that live in the policy, the environmental qualities that need to improve because of the policy and the prosperity and well-being of social and non-human systems that benefit from the policy.

1.3  Neglected Concepts The current planning and policy practice is still characterized by silo’d approaches. As an estimate, 95% of all we do is mono-thematic, only a mere 5% shows bits or can be called fully integrated. In this sense concepts that are holistic, taking into account several considerations are often neglected in practice.

1.3.1  The City as a Superorganism What if we see the city as being an organism (Van den Dobbelsteen et al. 2012), living, consuming, generating energy, and processing materials and reusing waste flows again? Could we develop spatial strategies that learn from the ecological systemic functions an organism uses to stay healthy (Keeffe and Roggema 2020). Exaptation, the Spandrel, Atavism, Phenotypic plasticity and Vestige are all concepts that can inform adaptive urban design to create a better functioning system. The focus on the process of change, amalgamation of forces and mutual beneficial behavior leaves behind the traditional focus on assessing performance of sectorial aspects of the city. Instead this could help understand the interventions and


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transformation that could increase true resilience in the city. A systems’ thinking state of mind is necessary to land the integrated solutions that overarch quick fixes.

1.3.2  Urban Metabolism, Closing Cycles of Flows In line with seeing the city as an organism its metabolism can also be used as an input for designing a sustainable city. As shown in the Urban by Nature Biennale (Brugmans and Strien 2014) and the Urban Metabolism Rotterdam (Tillie et  al. 2014), using the urban flows of water, energy, materials, nutrients and traffic to understand and redesign the city fabric, environmental impact can be hugely decreased. This conceptual idea is however hardly used in practice, implying that the closing of cycles of these flows is also hesitant. The main ambition of urban metabolism model is to minimize the use of resources (limiting the input into the city), processing flows internally through reuse and recycling, and at the output side minimize waste flows (see the ‘Ecodevice-model’ (van Leeuwen 1981; Fig. 1.1). When this model is combined with the landscape approach of dividing systems according the layers in which they operate, the abiotic, biotic and occupation, a three dimensional model emerges in which the urban flows move between the layers and can be (fully) closed by making use of each other’s resources and waste, as shown in the urban by nature concept (Fig. 1.2, Gemeente Rotterdam et al. 2014).

Fig. 1.1  The Ecodevice-model. (Roggema 2019a; after Van Leeuwen 1981)

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Fig. 1.2  Urban metabolism model. Source: Dirk Sijmons/Jutta Raith. (Gemeente Rotterdam et al. 2014)

1.3.3  B  ecoming Regenerative, Making Use of Indigenous Knowledge One step further, closing cycles is just the first step of thinking in metabolism. Instead of seeing the city as a net consumer of materials and resources, it could also become a net generator of resources that can be given back to its environment or made use of for new purposes. This regenerative view on urbanism (Girardet 2014, 2017; Du Plessis 2012; Thomson and Newman 2018; Hes and Du Plessis 2014) could transform the way we think about urban development in a fundamental way, as it would make urban residents actors in creating sustainable urban flows, contributing their generated materials and clean resources to the common good. The city would then finally end where it originally began, as a social entity of people gathering together to live sustainably together. This concept links then, as described in Hernandez et al. (Hernandez-Santin et al. 2020, see Chap. 4), directly to the concept of placemaking using the understanding of place as an indigenous quality and connectivity (Marshall 2020, see Chap. 2) to be brought to the surface in a community and stakeholder-based process, leading to a specific regenerative outcome.


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1.3.4  Design-Led, Underpinned with Monitored Data The fourth neglected concept is the role of the landscape as the basis for the design of a regenerative, resilient and sustainable city (Knuijt 2020, see Chap. 6). In the landscape the natural powers and systemic features of its ecological characteristics offer the city the potential to grow, respirate, evolve and become a ReciproCity (Roggema 2019b), or maybe better reci-positive. The concept to design the landscape first (Roggema 2019c) is well understood, and concrete conceptual methodologies have been developed (Sijmons 1992; Tjallingii 1995, 2015; Roggema 2012a, b) to shape this approach however it has not yet been put in practice enough. When the design-led approach to landscape-based urbanism is combined with rigorous science on the real performance of these designs in practice, as Middleton argues (Middleton 2020, see Chap. 5) this movement can, and should, gain more traction.

1.4  The Great Divide(s) The focus in academic literature on the specifics of an element of a system distracts from the real integrated way sustainability was meant to be. Despite this research contributes knowledge and understanding to the overall picture, the dominant focus is also creating a divide with more holistic concepts such as described before. This distinction between the technocratic data scientists who optimize the sustainability of one part of the system, such as the insulation, indoor comfort, and other, therewith neglecting other parts, and on the other side the integralists, who claim to integration of the overall ambitions is key, and are not troubled with paying attention to too much detail seems to ever widen. Abstract concepts for the regenerative city, urban metabolism and others contain high level strategies however sometimes lack the detail for proving the pudding. This focus on technological aspects, monitoring and assessments is often used in architectural projects to prove their sustainability rating. And this widens the divide even more, because these projects are then consulted-green-labelled for an aesthetic icon. Instead of these projects being holistically designed as sustainable buildings, streets or precincts, the architects’ or urban designers dream is merely supported by enviro-consultancies, calculating and scoring sustainable sufficiency. If we step away from the aesthetics per se, aesthetics for aesthetic reasons only, but when aesthetics could flow from integrated regenerative solutions, the beauty of the project is both spatially as well as sustainably sublime. But in order to bridge this divide design skills are indispensable. Designing the values of integrated beauty, the unicity of linking somewhat abstract sustainability goals with the spatial, urban and architectural quality must be sought. In this path of search for the most balanced, at the same time radical new solutions the extremes of both ends of the divides should be re-connected.


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1.5  Aspects of Sustainable City Design On the two axes of sustainable city design (Fig. 1.3) these divides becomes visible. The one axe between abstract and concrete solutions is combined with the axe connecting aesthetics with technocratics.

1.5.1  Abstract Overarching Concepts These concepts have been described before and are characterized by fundamental different future visioning, holistically integrated thematically, and cross cutting field of traditional and non-traditional research. These concepts are oriented on the long term, are often speculative and explorative.

1.5.2  Concrete Monitoring of Sustainability Performances At the other side of this axe we’ll find the nots and bolts of sustainability parameters and their performances. Detailed measurement of actual functioning of well-­ intended design propositions is rigorously assessed based on reality, not modelling.

Abstract Welldesigned regenerative, systems thinking, Place making; indigenous principles

Urban metabolism, underpinning sustainable worldviews

City as an organism; real sustainability



Environmental performance indicators



Fig. 1.3  Sustainable city design fields. (By the author)


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This way the exact working of the project can be understood, and this knowledge can be used to improve the current project, or through adaptive learning be applied in future projects. A constantly emergent linkage with changing environments, amongst which climate change is influencing results and putting these in future, multiple interpretable, perspectives.

1.5.3  Technocratic Underpinnings The technocratic knowledge is used to measure the performance of certain separated aspects of a project, often these aspects are limited to the financial, environmental or technical performance of buildings. These engineering data is often used to prove the performance and is often modelled before a project is realized. Ex-post analyses are not very often revisiting the performance in reality.

1.5.4  Aesthetics of Beauty and Appreciated Cities: Design At the other end of this axis the focus on pure aesthetics is putting the shape of a project, often a building, at the forefront. The design qualities seem to accept no other aspects in their shadow, and this could lead to underwhelmed attention for other aspects of the space, such as human, ecological or environmental. As long as these aspects can be calculated and, for instance, made monetary, specialists are hired to support the designer.

1.6  Fields of Integration When the distinction between the ends of these axes are to be overcome, overlapping fields must be defined where the first steps towards integration can be undertaken.

1.6.1  Abstract Aesthetics Combining abstract concepts with design. The desire to develop urban environments and buildings that contribute to a bigger future-oriented story and are beautifully designed integrates two worlds. The ecological principles and regenerative concepts find their bases in landscape systems, such as soil, water, sun and ecology. The design of these systems adds to human appreciation and give non-human participants space to evolve, reproduce and live. No matter whether it is a regional

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design, an urban precinct or a building, the functioning as a living system determines the biomimetic shapes and forms. Overarching objective in this field is to design these systems in a way they can regenerate, replenish resources and develop additional life, for instance in the form of increased biodiversity. The principles that can be applied in this field can be derived from indigenous knowledge, such as to share resources, give back to landscape systems, and live in harmony with other living and non-living creatures (Marshall 2020, see Chap. 2). At regional scale, a research by design approach has led to creating the Sydney Ochre grid, establishing a coherent system of aboriginal value systems in the Western Sydney Parklands (Tyrrell 2019). This design of the Ochre grid forms then the basic layer for urban development. Similarly, a well-designed green infrastructure (Roncken et al. 2011) is paramount for a sustainable urban region, as the Sydney Green Grid (Schaffer 2018) and the design for Western Sydney illustrate Landscape first (Roggema 2019c). This principle can be repeated at the precinct scale, where understanding of the ecological and water systems is used to shape the urban lay-out, such as put in practice in Westerpark, a recent neighbourhood in the municipality of Breda, the Netherlands (Roggema 2019d), or even at the architectural level.

1.6.2  Technocratic Abstractions When these abstract worldviews are technically translated the concept of urban metabolism (Wolman 1965) emerges. The quantification of urban flows of water, energy and materials, is helpful to understand whether resources are depleted, or waste is generated in the process of urbanization, and living urban lives. However, quantifying the flows alone is not enough, as the abstract vision of a regenerative world aims to upcycle, and generate new resources out of waste streams (Roggema 2019b). Also, the interconnection of different flows could minimize use and allow urban consumers to start producing and become prosumers at the building and urban precinct scale (McLean and Roggema 2019) as well as the regional to local scale (Yan and Roggema 2019).

1.6.3  Concrete Aesthetics In the field where concreteness meets aesthetics, Starchitecture (Knox 2011; Ponzini 2014) meets place making (Ellery and Ellery 2019; Toolis 2017). The dominant attention to distinct shapes and forms in architecture sometimes focuses on shape alone however the power of creation architects and urban designers behold is needed to create places for urban residents. The spatial design of high-quality places requires a certain density (NSW Government 2017) and a feel for dimensions, materialization of space and a listening ear for the desires of future inhabitants. Placemaking excels when historic sensemaking, using traditional knowledge, is


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connected with the desires of people for a sustainable and resilient living environment and the competences of well-skilled designers of public space and the city (Hernandez-Santin et  al. 2020). It is essential starchitects and starbanistas are brought in the position (and let themselves be positioned) as to make their highly appreciated skills of use to locally instigated designs.

1.6.4  Technocratic Concreteness The fourth field of integration brings concreteness together with engineering data and technology. Especially when sustainability is strived for, environmental performance indicators are key to understand in great detail how well a project, plan or policy performs. In terms of energy use, carbon emissions, water usage, but also social indicators of well-being and social cohesion, or the amenity level in a neighborhood projects must be measured and monitored. Green building councils across the globe use these labels to not only understand the sustainability of (building) projects, it is also used to stimulate competition amongst builders and architects to reach golden or platinum levels such as in LEED or BREEAM performance systems (Barth 2018; The overall quality of life (Marans and Stimson 2011; European Union 2013; Moradi and Roggema 2020) indicates whether the predicate sustainable is rightly used or a mystic mistake. At city level indicator sets give insights in the most livable cities on the planet (The Economist Intelligence Unit 2019), or the most sustainable ones (Arcadis 2018). Despite these lists are often disputed, the collected data (WCCD undated) also give, to a certain extent, insight in the performance of cities in different fields, in any case in a comparative way. This, at least, triggers the senses when it comes to sustainability (and other) scores of one city against the benchmark. However, this does not always mean a real sustainable future is foreseen, as it mainly shows the current level of, commonly agreed, levels of sustainability.

1.7  Designing a Sustainable City For the design of a, real, sustainable city the above defined fields of integration are, again, integrated in one holistic perspective. At the heart of Fig. 1.3 the urban superorganism (Keeffe and Roggema 2020) brings these fields together. Several common principles guide the design of a sustainable city: 1. The term sustainable has eroded and loosing meaning, is also misused, too marketeered and, according to Middleton (Middleton 2020), does not contribute to real sustainable solutions anymore;

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2. Prevent greenwashing tech- and environmental consultancies that calculate a desired sustainable outcome for a design that an architect or builder requires to get rated and be green-certified (Middleton 2020); 3. Take the landscape as the basis for city design (Knuijt 2020; Roggema 2019c), and combine the understanding of natural systems with genuine attention for people and the quality of their living environment and the living conditions of non-human participants (Hernandez-Santin et al. 2020) in the urban realm; 4. Use reciprocity as a key principle in design (Roggema 2019b), in which the society gives more resources, life and quality back to its environment; 5. Put design-led approaches in the lead (Roggema et al. 2011; Yan et al. 2017), translating abstract sustainable concepts in concrete appealing shapes and forms; 6. Monitor how these forms post occupancy perform by determining their ‘resource depletion factor’, their ‘human degradation factor’, their ‘ecological impact factor’ and then revisit the design to improve and learn in iterative cycles, such as the elastic loop (Middleton 2020) exemplifies; 7. Refrain from using sustainability add-ons such as solar panels for ticking certification boxes’ sake, as these add-ons only distract the design from real sustainable solutions. For instance, when a building is designed to use no energy, even generates more energy than it uses, these add-ons will become redundant. An intrinsically energy-generating house will self-materialize so it won’t require any so-called sustainable additions (Middleton 2020); 8. Design and implement structuring elements, i.e. the patterns that are designed based only on the single rule they have to replenish resources, enhance ecological systems qualities and human wellbeing, giving more back than taking away (Roggema 2019b); 9. Use indigenous principles such as living with and not from the land, and sharing productivity and harvest with nature, to design our cities and environments (Marshall 2020; Hernandez-Santin et al. 2020; Roggema 2019e).

1.8  Conclusion The main question for designing sustainable cities is not easy to answer. What is clear that in fundamentally changing times muddling through will most probably not the answer. Instead of incrementalism transformational thinking (Roggema et al. 2011) is required to be prepared future demands can be met. This also implies a certain level of radicality is needed to overcome contemporary constraints of implicit standards, business as usual and well-known solutions for past problems. Radicality generally also triggers fear and objections. The unknown seems always to be worse than a familiar perspective, even if this has been proven not to be able to solve future problems. Design is a pleasant way of showing unprecedented futures that are different from the past or current practice. A design-led process is suitable to develop these integrated views for complex, wicked futures.


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References Allison I, Bindoff NL, Bindschadler RA, Cox PM, De Noblet N, England MH, Francis JE, Gruber N, Haywood AM, Karoly DJ, Kaser G, LeQueŕe C, Lenton TM, Mann ME, McNeil BI, Pitman AJ, Rahmstorf S, Rignot E, Schellnhuber HJ, Schneider SH, Sherwood SC, Somerville RCJ, Steffen K, Steig EJ, Visbeck M, Weaver AJ (2009) The Copenhagen diagnosis: updating the world on the latest climate science. The University of New South Wales Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC), Sydney, p 60 Arcadis (2018) Citizen centric cities the sustainable cities index 2018. Arcadis, Amsterdam Barth B (2018) Is LEED tough enough for the climate-change era? CITYLAB. https://www. Published 5 June 2018 Bennetts H, Radford A, Williamson T (2003) Understanding sustainable architecture. Taylor & Francis, Boca Raton Blassingame L (1998) Sustainable cities: oxymoron, utopia, or inevitability? Soc Sci J 35(1):1–13 Brugmans G, Strien J (eds) (2014) IABR 2014 – urban by nature. Idea Books, Amsterdam Cross N (2006) Designerly ways of knowing. Springer, London Crutzen PJ (2006) The “anthropocene”. In: Earth system science in the anthropocene. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg, pp 13–18 Du Plessis C (2012) Towards a regenerative paradigm for the built environment. Build Res Inf 40(1):7–22 Ellery PJ, Ellery J (2019) Strengthening community sense of place through placemaking. Urban Plan 4(2): 237–248 10.17645/up.v4i2.2004 European Union (2013) Quality of life in cities. Perception survey in 79 European cities. European Union, Luxembourg Flint J, Raco M (eds) (2012) The future of sustainable cities: critical reflections. Policy Press, Bristol Gemeente Rotterdam, IABR, FABRIC, JCFO and TNO (2014) Urban metabolism. Sustainable development of Rotterdam. IABR, Rotterdam Girardet H (2014) Creating regenerative cities. Routledge, London Girardet H (2017) Regenerative cities. In: Green economy reader. Springer, Cham, pp 183–204 Guy S, Farmer G (2001) Reinterpreting sustainable architecture: the place of technology. J Archit Educ 54(3):140–148 Hajer M, Sijmons D, Feddes F (eds) (2006) Een plan dat werkt. Ontwerp en politiek in de regionale planvorming. NAi Publishers, Rotterdam Hausfather Z (2017) Analysis: how well have climate models projected global warming? Carbon brief, clear on climate. Published 5 Oct 2017 Hernandez-Santin C, Hes D, Beer T, Lo L (2020) Chapter 4: a new model for place development – bringing together regenerative and placemaking processes. In: Roggema R (ed) Designing sustainable cities. Springer, Cham Hes D, Du Plessis C (2014) Designing for hope: pathways to regenerative sustainability. Routledge, Abingdon Jabareen YR (2006) Sustainable urban forms: their typologies, models, and concepts. J Plan Educ Res 26(1):38–52 Keeffe G, Roggema R (2020) Chapter 3: Born, not made: designing the productive city. In: Roggema R (ed) Designing sustainable cities. Springer, Cham Knox P (2011) Starchitects, starchitecture and the symbolic capital of world cities. In: Derudder B, Hoyler M, Taylor PJ, Witlox F (eds) International handbook of globalization and world cities. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, pp 275–283 Knuijt M (2020) Chapter 6: Liveable green cities; integrating climate adaptive solutions and circular economy into the built environment. In: Roggema R (ed) Designing sustainable cities. Springer, Cham

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Marans R, Stimson R (2011) An overview of quality of urban life. In: Marans R, Stimson R (eds) Investigating quality of urban life: theory, methods, and empirical research. Springer. 10.1007/978-94-007-1742-8 Marshall CA (2020) Chap. 2: The role of indigenous paradigms and traditional knowledge systems in modern humanity’s sustainability quest  – future foundations from past knowledge’s. In: Roggema R (ed) Designing sustainable cities. Springer, Cham McDonough W (2002) Big and green: toward sustainable architecture in the twenty-first century. Princeton Architectural Press, Princeton McLean L, Roggema R (2019) Planning for a prosumer future: central park case study. Urban Plan 4(1): 172–186. Special issue ‘The City of Flows’. 10.17645/up.v4i1.1746 Middleton L (2020) Chap. 5: The key role of systems thinkingin sustainable architecture. In: Roggema R (ed) Designing sustainable cities. Springer, Cham Moradi F, Roggema R (2020) Density and quality of life in Mashhad, Iran. In: Roggema R, Roggema A (eds) Smart and sustainable cities and buildings. Springer, Cham NSW Government (2017) Better placed. An integrated design policy for the built environment of New South Wales. Government Architect New South Wales, Sydney. Ponzini D (2014) The values of starchitecture: commodification of architectural design in contemporary cities. Organ Aesthet 3(1):10–18. Rahmstorf S, Foster G, Cazenave A (2012) Comparing climate projections to observations up to 2011. Environ Res Lett 7(4). Online: 10.1088/1748-9326/7/4/044035 Ritchie A, Thomas R (eds) (2013) Sustainable urban design: an environmental approach. Taylor & Francis, New York Roggema R (2012a) Swarm planning: the development of a planning methodology to deal with climate adaptation. PhD-thesis. University of Technology, Delft Roggema R (ed) (2012b) Swarming landscapes: the art of designing for climate adaptation, vol 48. Springer, Dordrecht Roggema R (2016a) The future of sustainable urbanism: a redefinition. City Territory Archit 3(1):22 Roggema R (2016b) Research by design: proposition for a methodological approach. Urban Sci 1(1): 2–20. 10.3390/urbansci1010002 Roggema R (2017) The future of sustainable urbanism: Society-based, complexity-led, and landscape-­driven. Sustainability 9(8):1442 Roggema R (2019a) City of flows: the need for design-led research to urban metabolism. Urban Plan 4(1): 106–112. Editorial. 10.17645/up.v4i1.1988 Roggema R (2019b) ReciproCity, giving instead of taking. Inaugural lecture. Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen Roggema R (2019c) Landscape first! Nature-driven design for Sydney’s third city. In: Roggema R (ed) Contemporary urban design thinking, vol 2: Nature driven urbanism. Springer, Cham, pp 81–110 Roggema R (2019d) Urbanism on water and ecology: The early example of Westerpark, Breda. In: Roggema R (ed) Contemporary urban design thinking, vol 2: Nature driven urbanism. Springer, Cham, pp 155–174 Roggema R (2019e) Towards sustainable cities: about redundancy, voids and the potentials of the land. SASBE  – special issue ‘Smart and Sustainable Planning and Design’. SASBE-07-2019-0092 Roggema R, Martin J, Horne R (2011) Sharing the climate adaptive dream: the benefits of the charrette approach. In: Dalziel P (ed) Proceedings ‘ANZRSAI conference’. Canberra, 6–9 December 2011 Roncken PA, Stremke S, Paulissen MP (2011) Landscape machines: productive nature and the future sublime. J Landsc Archit 6(1):68–81


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Satterthwaite D (1997) Sustainable cities or cities that contribute to sustainable development? Urban Stud 34(10) 1667–1691.10.1080/0042098975394 Schaffer B (2018) A green grid for Sydney’s growth. In: Roggema R (ed) Contemporary urban design thinking, vol 1: The Australian approach. Springer, pp 149–168 Sijmons D (1992) Het casco-concept, een benaderingswijze voor de landschapsplanning. Ministerie van LNV, directive NBLF, Utrecht Sijmons D (2012) Simple rules: emerging order? A designer’s curiosity about complexity theories. In: Portugali J, Meyer H, Stolk E, Tan E (eds) Complexity theories of cities have come of age. An overview with implications to urban planning and design. Springer, Berlin/Heidelberg Thomson G, Newman P (2018) Urban fabrics and urban metabolism–from sustainable to regenerative cities. Resour Conserv Recycl 132:218–229 Tillie N, Klijn O, Frijters E, Borsboom J, Looije M (2014) Urban metabolism Rotterdam. IABR and Municipality of Rotterdam, Rotterdam. metabolism_rotterdam.pdf Tjallingii SP (1995) Ecopolis: strategies for ecologically sound urban development. Backhuys Publishers, Leiden Tjallingii S (2015) Planning with water and traffic networks. Carrying structures of the urban landscape. Res Urban Ser 3(1): 57–80. 10.7480/rius.3.832 Toolis E (2017) Theorizing critical placemaking as a tool for reclaiming public space. Am J Commun Psychol 59:184–199. 10.1002/ajcp.12118 Tyrrell M (2019) Exploring new urban futures through Sydney’s hidden grids. In: Roggema R (ed) Contemporary urban design thinking, vol 2: Nature driven urbanism. Springer, Cham, pp 249–260 Van den Dobbelsteen A, Keeffe G, Tillie N, Roggema R (2012) Cities as organisms. In: Roggema R (ed) Swarming landscapes: the art of designing for climate adaptation. Springer, Dordrecht, pp 195–206 Van Leeuwen, CG (1981) Ecologie en natuurtechniek, 10–5. Tijdschrift KNHM 92, 61–67, 99–106, 155–156, 255–262, 297–306, KNHM Arnhem, in Dutch WCCD(undated) Created by cities, for cities. Wheeler SM, Beatley T (eds) (2014) Sustainable urban development reader. Routledge, London Wolman A (1965) The metabolism of cities. Sci Am 213(3):179–190 Yan W, Roggema R (2019) Developing a design-led approach for the food-energy-water Nexus in cities. Urban Plan 4(1): 123–138. Special issue ‘The City of Flows’. 10.17645/up.v4i1.1739 Yan W, Roggema R, Van den Keeffe G Dobbelsteen A, Thun G, Grichting A (2017) The moveable Nexus: design-led urban food, water and energy management innovation in new boundary conditions of change. M-NEX proposal for sustainable urbanisation global initiative. Food-­ Water-­Energy Nexus, JPI Europe and Belmont CForum Yannas S (2001) Toward more sustainable cities. Solar Energ 70(3):281–294 Dr. Rob Roggema  is Landscape Architect and  is director of Cittaideale, an office for design research and planning adaptive spatial futures in Wageningen, the Netherlands, and distinguished visiting professor at Western Sydney University. Between 2010 and 2013 he resided in Melbourne as the inaugural visiting research fellow of the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research, University of Melbourne, RMIT and Swinburne University. From 2014 to 2016 he was appointed as Professor of Design for Urban Agriculture at VHL University and between 2016 and 2018 he was Professor of Sustainable Urban Environments at the University of Technology Sydney. Before 2010 he worked for the province of Groningen and municipalities such as Almere, Breda and Rotterdam. Rob is currently series editor of ‘Contemporary Urban Design Thinking’ (Springer).

Chapter 2

The Role of Indigenous Paradigms and Traditional Knowledge Systems in Modern Humanity’s Sustainability Quest – Future Foundations from Past Knowledge’s Chels A. Marshall

Abstract  There is growing awareness and understanding in scientific research of the role and benefits Indigenous knowledge systems bring to the science, education and practice of managing the natural environment. These components are slowly being recognised in further fields such as planning and design, food and agriculture, this inclusion is promoting more respectful and equal decision making as well as new perspectives on sustainability meanings and concepts. It also opens dialog for destictive procedures of planning that derive from Indigenous world view. This includes a regenerative planning paradigm that places, culture, climate and ecosystem needs as the primary nucleus of sustainability. This Indignous derived planning paradigm aims to design for a future of co-­ existence and co-evolution of humans and other species. Whereas sustainable design aims to provide fundamental human needs only. The purpose of providing platforms for Indigenous paradigms and traditional knowledge systems in modern humanity’s sustainability is to provide pathways of innovative thinking and approaches by inserting this paradigm into the toolbox that advances evolution in adaptation and resilience in the face of human induced climate change. It includes the key derivatives of what sustained Indigenous cultures, the biophysical habitats we provided custodianship for and the environment that we are caretakers of through Indigenous sustainably lenses for many generations with success not only for humans but for thriving biological elements. Keywords  Traditional knowledge systems · Life cycles · Regenerative design · Future planning · Indigenous adaption principles · Sustainability

C. A. Marshall (*) Applied Marine Research and Studies, Sydney, Australia © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 R. Roggema (ed.), Designing Sustainable Cities, Contemporary Urban Design Thinking,



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2.1  Introduction In uncertain times of global capital, political uncertainty, environmental instability, food insecurity, profound species loss and ecosystem breakdowns, the natural systems essential to our existence and survival including forests, oceans, rivers and air, continue to decline and diminish. Scientific basis for actions to conserve and use the natural environment sustainably has been highlighted is such reports as Climate Science, the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA 2005) and the TEEB Report (TEEB 2010) these and many more make clear that without a radical reform of the human-nature relation – in favour of nature – human civilization is at grave threat. The unknown factors are too much to ignore or to leave to someone else to fix or deal with, we are now at the point where a mass social paradigm shift, through mind frame and actions are required to bring balance back to eco-centric thought, lifestyles and existence. Whilst reading an article on sustainability, finally someone asked the question “why hasn’t the world become much more environmentally sustainable despite decades of international agreements, national policies, state laws and local plans” (Howes 2018).

2.2  Sustainability The idea of sustainability stems from the concept of sustainable development which became common language at the World’s first Earth Summit in Rio in 1992. The original definition of sustainable development is usually considered to be: “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Bruntland Report for the World Commission on Environment and Development (1987). Since the original conception there have been many variations and extensions on this basic definition and there are many different views on what it is and how it can be achieved. Historically the three dimensions of sustainability was that of, economic, environmental, and social dimensions forming the “triple bottom line,” this framework has been at the heart of several decades of reform in natural resource management, construction and development industry. The principles have also made a global impact on land administration and legislative policy development. We also must remember that the sustainability concept materialises from dominant euro-centric paradigms with western frameworks and processes, western euro-­ centric ideology and interpretation. The concepts and constructs are also primarily driven by western institutional models, opinions and ideologies. The definition of sustainable development seems to be void of cultural dimension and associated established societal values. Its meaning is not representative of original (Indigenous) sustainable knowledge systems. Within this western time- and mind frame, there is a perception that sustainability constructs are functioning adequately, nearly all institutions, company’s,

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industries and businesses are working on sustainability and using all kinds of performance systems on energy efficiency, indoor climate and comfort, waste management, and resource viability, while the real sustainability is almost out of sight; namely that the land, earth air and sea which all consists of a holistic and whole systems approach is being manipulated to service market based economies that remain inequitable. This potentially could be why key environmental indicators and ecological functions continue to decline despite the initiative of sustainability. Now, consider and process that since 1970 humanities ecological footprint has exceeded the planets capacity to provide, it is now at the point of where 1.6 planets would be needed to provide resources sustainably. On a global scale humans and the socielitial construct still add over 100 million tons of carbon into the atmosphere, inject over 1400 tones of CFC’s into the stratosphere, eliminate over 180 square miles of tropical rainforest habitat, destroy 74 animal or plant species, continue bad land practice eroding over 80 million tons of topsoil, consume over 54% of the accessible runoff water on earth, this is a daily impact rate (Md Saidul Islam 2018). We are standing on the very edge of the tipping point where if status quo continues there will be irreversible consequences. We are also at the point of where the biodiversity index has declined more than 50% and wild species populations continue to decline rapidly. Greenhouse gas emissions have nearly doubled with climate change impacts increasingly dominating our livelihoods. The planet is devoid of more that 48% of tropical and sub-tropical forests. The rate at which these indicators deteriorated was largely unchanged over the two decades either side of the Rio summit in 1992 (Howes, M Online accessed 5/10/2018). It is also through these performance frameworks that many argue sustainability has been hijacked and twisted to suit government and industry, facilitating a notion of business as usual and that sustainability is only adheared to if it has economic profit attached. Where once we did things for the greater good and not just the bank account or national and global economy, sustainability fundamentals seem to be disorientated and we now exist and tolerate an economic driven, self-indulgent and corporate gain culture that overlooks environmental destruction and demise.

2.3  Ecological Sustainability Wills, 2006 maintains that the sustainability issue is in the interactions between the economy and the environment, or more so the habitats and species cycles within the wider environment, it prompts the question whether, over time, continued expansion of economic activity is consistent with ecological stability and with continued functioning of the ecosystems on which all human activity, and life itself ultimately depends (Wills 2006). This mindset has caused massive gaps and declines in ecosystem functions its cycles and the earths ability to renew and regenerate, where species and ecosystems are struggling and expiring. The earth is essentially in need of palliative care. Therefore, the question is asked, ‘sustainable from who’s perspective’?


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As it turns out these biomes are the cultural and environmental systems Indigenous people have thrived and survived in sustainably for thousands of years through social practices and constructs that placed the environment and its species in levels of equity and of higher influence, with the notion of cyclic existence, in which everything relates to each other, and where collaboration is more important than ownership. The current definition of sustainable development seems to be void of cultural dimension and established societal values and beliefs are not representative of its Indigenous people. We now move into a space where we need to utilise all systems thinking and emotional intelligence to guide and alter our human dominated dimension of nature and existence. To move forward with new ideologies and tools or frameworks to way find into a future by design and future life that thrives. It is at this crisis point of now experiencing first hand the scientific and Indigenous predictabilityes of human induced climate change and altering habitats, seasons and atmospheric cycles, that we must look at other forms of subsistence in governance and management, including a sustainability model derived from Indigenous ideologies, of equitable existence, technical and ecological cultural resource management, mindframes and mindsets. All under the banner of care takers and custodians, which includes spiritual, intellectual, emotional, innovative, resilient and physical constructs. No matter where we start our analysis, the world clearly needs better land and sea resource management through effective governance and administration.

2.4  Traditional Knowledge Systems A key to understanding the role of Indigenous lead sustainability in society is understanding the evolving relationship of people to landscapes and how these relationships and the land administration system provides a framework with the infrastructure to implement landscape -related policies and landscape -management strategies that are adaptive and sustainable. This includes a regenerative planning paradigm that places, culture, climate and ecosystem needs as the primary nucleus of sustainability. The development of an administration system based on Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) and Cultural Adaptive Management (CAM) is now warranted. The application of Traditional Knowledge Systems (TKS) has been applied in the context of scientific research (Traditional Ecological Knowledge, Indigenous Ecological Knowledge, Indigenous Knowledge), Indigenous knowledge preservation, intergenerational knowledge transfer and continuing cultural practice for the last 25 years. The use of Traditional Ecological Knowledge Systems (TEKS) has the potential to extend further and into new realms of intergraded design in the application of architecture, construction, planning, urban design and local capacity building (building local knowledge and strengthening local governance and organization), as most indigenous adaption principles are embedded in local knowledge, sustainable livelihoods and community-based innovation (Nakashima et al. 2012).

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These principles have value in both the components of initial design of the urban and rural landscape and in the design of community governance objectives, principles and policies. These applications are in line with the notions of, different ways of knowing, thinking and being, producing solutions to the uncertainty of future challenges in climate change and sustainability. Ecological Knowledge Systems shows that there is a component of local observational knowledge of species and other environmental phenomena, a component of practice in the way people carry out their resource use activities and further, a component of belief regarding how people fit into or relate to ecosystems, which includes how people relate to species and environmental elements. In short, traditional knowledge is a knowledge- practice-belief complex (Berkes 1999). Studies revealed that there exists a diversity of local or traditional practices for ecosystem management (Berkes et al. 2005: Berkes 1999; Poole 2003; Prober et al. 2011; Usher 2000). These include multiple species management, resource rotation, succession management, landscape patchiness management, and other ways of responding to and managing pulses and ecological surprises. Social mechanisms behind these traditional practices include a number of adaptations for the inclusion, generation, accumulation, and transmission of knowledge; the use of local institutions to provide leaders/stewards and rules for social regulation; mechanisms for cultural internalization of traditional practices; and the development of appropriate world views and cultural values. Some traditional knowledge and management systems are characterized by the use of local ecological knowledge to interpret and respond to feedbacks from the environment to guide the direction of resource management. An example in Australia would be the use of traditional seasonal calendars and the acknowledgement of Aboriginal knowledge of seasonality in the southern hemisphere (many areas have six to seven seasons), rather than the northern hemisphere ideology of four seasons (summer, autumn, winter, spring) that came along with the colonization of Australia. These Aboriginal traditional systems have certain similarities to adaptive management with its emphasis on feedback learning, and its treatment of uncertainty and unpredictability intrinsic to all ecosystems (Berkes et  al. 2005). Indigenous seasonal calendars allow understanding of weather patterns and the ecological responses, which then leads to human understanding and reaction of these patterns, and allows response that is in accordance to the climatic conditions, rather than an expectiation of invariable distinct four seasons.

2.5  Relation to the Land A key to understanding the role of Indigenous lead sustainability in society is understanding the evolving relationship of people to land and water along with how these relationships and the administration system provides a framework with the infrastructure to implement land-related policies and land management strategies that


C. A. Marshall

Governance | Community Management Framework and Systems Architecture | Design | Built Form

Planning and Engineering of services & Infrastructure | water | roads | drainage Associated green space , including ecological corridors traditional foods /medicines | community food and open space | fire and micro climates |

Cultural place/ traditional Landscape variables and local traditional uses and significance Fig. 2.1  The Indigenous knowledge design and development stratums. (Marshall 2019)

are adaptive and sustainable. This includes a regenerative planning paradigm that places, culture, climate and ecosystem need as the nucleus of sustainability. Therefore, in order to incorporate effectively TKS and associated value systems and beliefs into sustainability decision-making, an approach based on indigenous concepts is essential. It requires knowledge and understanding of Aboriginal people’s culture, values and belief systems. A culturally consistent measure of sustainability along with a culturally consistent model for including cultural sustainability in decision-making (Morgan 2006). Decision support tools and the indigenous Paradigm) (Fig. 2.1). In design and planning owning land should not be the main goal, and will definitely not lead to sustainability, as there are only a very few people that profit from developing land. Shared ownership will automatically conserve the land and together the owners will make sure that the land will give back for eternity. It is now time for those with innovative intellect in design and the built environment to step up in altering the perspectives from individual wealth to that of a shared ownership and a holistic acknowledgement of land, nature, humans, all as part of one system. Armitage et al. (2012) define knowledge co-production as ‘the collaborative process of bringing a plurality of knowledge sources and types together to address a defined problem and build an integrated or systems-oriented understanding of that problem’. These cross-scale and cross-cultural methodologies provide an important framework for adaptation action on the ground (Alexander et al. 2011; Berkes 2012). In 2006, T.K. Morgan wrote a paper on decisions to support the Indigenous paradigm and a culturally consistent measure of sustainability with culturally consistent model for including that cultural dimension in sustainable decision-making. Cultural

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inclusion in all dimensions of sustainability as a methodology, for myself, derives from my worldview of totemism and animism, where being embedded within the holistic elements of nature directs the ideology of behaviour towards it. The Indigenous sustainability framework within the environment and its holistic perspective is the geographic relationship that enforces belonging. In presenting a different way of thinking, it may not be called science, but Indigenous knowledge refers to the scientific skills that Aboriginal peoples value and have used throughout the evolution and refining of societal construct and human behaviour. It is based on the fundamental knowledge of how the environment exists and our relationship with it. It embodies a process of eco-centric perspectives and principles. It includes knowledge systems of environmental indicators and familiarities. This thought dimension promotes an existence of equity, an intimate relationship with the environment and the landscape around you. This includes the relationships of these connective systems to the earth and involves all components of these cyclic systems. This paradigm looks at moving out of egocentric consciousness, in seeing, being and doing, and into a more nature-based, nature-focused perspective. This is my environmental kinship and my totemic relationships to Gumbaynggirr country (Fig. 2.2). For me, the ocean is my totem. I hold the ocean sacred and I see it as a living entity, living and breathing. It is to be respected, and in return it will respect me. There is also a female component related to ceremony and kinship to ocean. Associated to the ocean are the atmospheric features created by the ocean. The clouds, the wind, the temperatures, our global weather patterns, these are products of the ocean and therefore also hold the same respect. Every habitat that is in the ocean is also associated to me. Every water body that goes into that ocean. The ngaarlu (water) that comes from the mountains and clouds that makes its way, meandering through the

Fig. 2.2  A small example section from my Gumbaynggirr/Ngambaa-Baga Baga kinship paradigm with elements, animals, plants and habitats. (Source: C. Marshall 2019)


C. A. Marshall

Table 2.1  Totemism in Gumbaynggirr Social component Exogamy (the custom in some societies of marrying outside their people’s own social group) Totemic names Taboo Decent from Totem Ceremonies Reincarnation Guardian spirits Art Rank

Association to Totem Classes, sections, position in clan group and family, order to social relations and blood. Totem Clans All family clans, some individual and country / language group Totemic and non-totemic, restrictions on place and species Totem clans, family groups and responsibilities within country and clan Associated with Totemism Associated with Totemism, spirit animals Associated with Totemism, represented as guides or spirit animals Responsibilities to Totem and restricted in use Passively associated with Totemism

Adapted from Frazer (1910, Durkheim (1912 [1965]))

landscape. Every creature in the ocean, because the ocean is the blanket that encompasses those living organisms. I have a kinship association to these. Every season of the sun that then also influences the different ecological stages of those animals, the habitats and the atmosphere. Every cycle of the moon and the tides that are associated with that ocean and then, the tree of life, the story of resources and sharing. As well as that, I have myself and my family. I am a yugiirr (dolphin). I come from a family of yamaarr (fish). My family’s totem is the red bass that lives in the ocean and reef system. I have cousins who are sharks and my mother is a guruja (whale) who comes from a family of dolphins. I have a daughter who is a frog, a godson who is the lightning storm. I have a father who is a bat, and I have cousins who are birds and carpet snakes. As it moves along, you can see the tree gets bigger and extends into nearly all associations in the environment’s natural kingdoms and their systems. My kinship is to everything that is in my Gumbaynggirr land and seascape, my jagun (home) and bari (country). The associations then relate to the knowledges that come with all these other variables to do with the ocean, that then also influences the vegetation and the biodiversity on the land. Primarily it influences and shapes my mindset and values of these landscape variables and how I interact with them (Table 2.1).

2.6  Moving into New Territory We now move into a space where we need to utilise all systems thinking and emotional intelligence to guide and alter our human dominated dimension of existence. To move with new ideologies and tools or frameworks to way find into a future by design.

2  The Role of Indigenous Paradigms and Traditional Knowledge Systems in Modern…


Effective adaptation planning requires access to the best available knowledge, whatever its source. In the face of climate change risks and impacts that remain uncertain and unpredictable, there is a growing need for policies and action that foster the co-production of new knowledge sets, based upon collaborative efforts involving community-based knowledge holders and natural and social scientists (Nakashima et al. 2012). With this, how does this inter-dynamic future by design evolve? By integrating traditional knowledge practices in worldview and consciousness to recalibrate our future. Succession in making the next generation more aware, eco-­ centric, and with intelligence in holistic solution solving. Indigenous frameworks tend to be more fluid and organic, by not being locked and focussed in narrow perspective with the inability to adjust and adapt. In the end necessity will force innovation, science and technology to deliver the mechanisms and substance, these materials will need to be based on more efficient resources that do not drain, alter or remove non-renewable resources. This innovation and technology are already in play with many solutions and adaptations evolving from next generations, earth based consciousness (i.e.; regenerative design in architecture, hybrid vehicles, smart technology). The fundamental of this is the mindset and the phycological shift that is required to change our status quo livelihoods and to have the ability to support, accept and demand that financial investment resources and governance direction is focused and applied to advance these environmental technologies in research and design paradigms, advancing small solutions that can be scaled up and deployed at global scale. These innovative solutions and adaptive mechanisms are all useless if only a small percentage of the population are committed or believe in the practicality. The precautionary principle would guide sensible technological developments whilst resources remain and are available, leaving things to the eleventh hour is bad management. However, it is the mind shift and intelligence in the finite resource consumption that has dire consequences. Knowledge of economy-environment interactions are imperfect, especially as we move into the future, what do we really know of technology, lifestyle or social preferences of future generations. Having a single set mind frame based on capitalist systems, ideas and beliefs with capital forces for profit and gain, that only benefit small sections of the globe, then small sections of society, who dominate with these ideologies promotes political failures as Governments cannot or will not implement effective environmental or sustainable legislation and policy when there is fear of financial loss or elective unpopularity. This is not a model that is in line with Indigenous ways of being and knowing. The dominance, brings primacy, when our future and environment is changing and unstable, any intense single or multiple natural disaster can bring economic crashes and instability. The desperation in shortages can cause domino effects of bad decisions. The disparity also causes unbalance in natural systems which can favour negative environmental configuration. Resistance of individuals, corporations and companies to compensate the rest of the world due to their products and businesses impacting globally, which in many instances is Indigenous peoples, this ideology is


C. A. Marshall

not conductive to sustainability. Basing future on finite industry and finite resources is not intelligent, as when these ends or collapses there is no transition time or mechanisms for recovering from exhausted natural energy resources. Designing out future does not just involve, research into alternate products or innovative solutions or technology to mend or advance. It firstly needs mindset, the ability to understand and process and connect as to why we need to change our values and society from capitalist, industrial, market driven, throw away finite delusional to one that is comprehensive and holistic intelligent in future outcomes. That comprehends what and why we need to alter behavioural and psychological conditioning of ideology of a primarily western dominate society to evolve into the future as a resilient, capable structure for common good and healthy environments. This provides a psychological mindset and thought pathways that derive and are mindful to the bigger picture and not just short-term single profit gain.

2.7  Conclusion Just like natural environmental systems, we need diversity, diversity brings room for recovery after change or alteration. A monoculture of a few species has no room for error, any impact causes immense and rapid breakdown. As mentioned basing future on finite industry and finite resources is not intelligent, as when these ends or collapses there is no transition time or mechanisms for recovering from exhausted natural energy resources. Having a single set mind frame based on capitalist systems, ideas and beliefs with global forces for profit and gain, that only benefit small sections of the globe, then small sections of society who dominate with these ideologies promotes political failures as governments cant or will not implement effective environmental or sustainable legislation and policy. This is not a model that is in line with Indigenous ways of being and knowing. The dominance, brings primacy, when our future and environment is changing and unstable any intense single or multiple natural disaster can bring economic crashes and instability. The desperation in shortages can cause domino effects of bad decisions. The disparity also causes unbalance in natural systems which can favour negative environmental configuration. The purpose is to provide pathways of innovative thinking and approaches. Inserting a paradigm in the toolbox that advances to evolving in adaptation in the face of human induced climate change. That includes the key derivatives of what sustained Indigenous cultures, the species they provided custodianship for and the environment they were caretakers of for many thousands of generations, future life.

2  The Role of Indigenous Paradigms and Traditional Knowledge Systems in Modern…


References Alexander C, Bynum N, Johnson E, King U, Mustonen T, Neofotis P, Oettlé N, Rosenzweig C, Sakakibara C, Shadrin V, Vicarelli M, Waterhouse J, Weeks B (2011) Linking indigenous and scientific knowledge of climate change. Bioscience 61(6):477–484. bio.2011.61.6.10 Aplin G, Beggs P, Brierley G, Cleugh H, Curson P, Mitchell P, Pitman A, Rich D (1999) Global environmental crisis: an Australian perspective. Oxford University Press, Melbourne. Armitage D, Béné C, Charles AT, Johnson D, Allison EH (2012) The interplay of well-being and resilience in applying a social–ecological perspective. Ecol Soc 17(4):15. https://doi. org/10.5751/ES-04940-170415 Berkes F (1999) Sacred Ecology: traditional ecological knowledge and resource management. Berkes F (2012) Sacred ecology, 3rd edn. Routledge, New York Berkes F, Colding J, Folke C (2005) Rediscovery of traditional ecological knowledge as adaptive management source. Ecol Appl 10(5):1251–1262 Durkheim E (1912) The elementary forms of religious life., tr. 1965. G. Allen & Unwin, New York Frazer JG (1910) Totemism and exogamy, a treatise on certain early forms of superstition and society. Macmillan and co, London Howes M (2018). Online accessed 5/10/2018 Islam S (Ed.) (2018) Sustainability through the Lens of Environmental Sociology (MDPI, Switzerland, 2018; edited) Marshall CA (2019) Looking at the sky, listening to the sea. Doctoral dissertation. Australian National University, Canberra Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (Program) (2005) Ecosystems and human Well-being. Island Press, Washington, D.C Morgan TKKB (2006) Decision support tools and the indigenous paradigm. In: Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers Engineering Sustainability, 15 December 2006, Issue ES4, pp 169–177 Nakashima D, Galloway McLean K, Thulstrup HD, Ramos Castillo A, Rubis JT (2012) Weathering uncertainty: traditional knowledge for climate change assessment and adaption. Paris: UNESCO and Darwin: UNU Poole P (2003) Cultural mapping and indigenous peoples. Report for UNESCO Prober M et  al (2011) Australian aboriginal peoples’ seasonal knowledge: a potential basis for shared understanding in environmental management. Ecol Soc 16(2) TEEB (2010) The economics of ecosystems and biodiversity: mainstreaming the economics of nature: a synthesis of the approach, conclusions and recommendations of TEEB Usher PJ (2000) Traditional ecological knowledge in environmental assessment and management. Arctic 53(2):183–193 Wills I (2006) Economics and the environment, A signalling and incentives approach. Allen & Unwin, St Leonards World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED) (1987) Our Common Future. Oxford University Press, Oxford and New York Chels A. Marshall  is a leading Indigenous ecologist with extensive experience in cultural landscape management and design with over 27 years of professional experience in cultural ecology & environmental planning, design and management within government agencies, research institutes,


C. A. Marshall

Indigenous communities, and consulting firms. She has worked on large-scale environmental projects, applied marine research and studies in Australia, the Pacific and the United States. Chels designed and c­ o-­ordinated successful intra indigenous mediation process regarding cultural heritage and conservation management issues. Designed and co-ordinated successful Aboriginal community facilitation processes for preparation of comprehensive negotiating documents for negotiations with the NSW, SA and Commonwealth Governments.

Chapter 3

Born, not Made. Designing the Productive City Greg Keeffe and Rob Roggema

Abstract  In this chapter new ways are explored how ecological drivers, laws and principles can be used to design and create new parts of cities. Using key evolutionary principles, the city is seen as an organism, and evolving towards a more resilient future. A range of examples designed for different locations in the United Kingdom exemplify this conceptual line of thought. Keywords  Evolutionary principles · City as organism · Ecological footprint · Sustainable city

3.1  Introduction This paper was presented originally as a keynote and has been redrafted to suit publication. This is the toughest century in the history of mankind, so we’re going to have to make some really interesting things happen. The big question is, “What’s the best way to predict the future?’ The only thing we know about the future at this point is that if we are to survive, it’s going to be very different from today and it will take a radical change to get there. Figure 3.1 shows on one side each country’s Earth share and time on the other, and it doesn’t look good. It shows that currently, one and a half planets are needed and by the end of the Century probably three planets will be required, if there’s no disruptive change. This is going to be difficult and all humans can be blamed it has come to this point. All western countries from Australia to the G. Keeffe (*) Queens University, Belfast, UK e-mail: [email protected] R. Roggema Cittaideale, Office for Adaptive Research by Design, Wageningen, The Netherlands © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 R. Roggema (ed.), Designing Sustainable Cities, Contemporary Urban Design Thinking,



G. Keeffe and R. Roggema

Fig. 3.1  Footprint. (

Netherlands as well as the UK are well above their Earthshare (, even less developed countries such as Gabon are using more than their ecological footprint, so it is really, really serious.

3.2  Ecological Footprint One possible way of looking at this problem is to redesign our countries with what we call ‘factor four urbanism’. Here the idea is to reduce our impact by four: this sounds difficult, but if you see it as using ‘half as much, twice as efficiently’ it sounds more manageable. The problem for Australia is however, that it is currently already at a factor six overshoot. The Earth Overshoot Day ( shows the day of the year when each country has used up its fair share of resources (Fig.3.2). For many countries, this is painful: in 2018 on 31st of March Australia had already used up its fair share of the planet. By the time it gets to May 8th, the United Kingdom has used up its share of the planet and it goes on and on; there is no country that manages to get to the end of the year. The amazing thing about Australia is how a continent has become a country (Fig. 3.3). At one time, say 1960, Australia had 30 global hectares of biocapacity per person, and it was hovering around an ecological footprint of around eight global hectares: it was a continent, there was four times as much land as was needed. As the population increased over time, the carrying capacity per person has got a bit smaller due to inappropriate use of the land, and coincidingly the needs have grown a lot, now the capacity and use are close and it is getting to the point where eventually Australia is going to be a country like every other place, and somehow no longer a continent.

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Fig. 3.2  Earth Overshoot Day. (


Global Hectares Per Person

30.0 25.0 20.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 0.0 1961




Ecological Footprint







Fig. 3.3  Australia’s ecological footprint versus carrying capacity




Data Quality Score: 3A



G. Keeffe and R. Roggema

Fig. 3.4  Footprint of London

When this is set in an urbanism context, things become even more scary: City Limits in 2005 was the first ecological footprint of a city. Its numbers were frightening: the ecological footprint of London (Fig. 3.4) is 293 times its area. This ecological footprint is spread all over the world. It gets its asparagus from Peru, oil from Saudi Arabia, and oranges from Spain. Its impact is so wide that it is impossible to see the effects as it is so pervasive: the real challenge is how this can be changed speedily?

3.3  Bio-based Urbanism Somehow a bio-based urbanism has to be developed. This implies transforming the city from being seen from an aesthetic point of view or even a people’s perspective, to seeing the city as a system of processes, as if it were a ‘superorganism’ (Van den Dobbelsteen et al. 2010). Thinking about biomimetic design, one tends to see lovely things, such as abalone shells and curly broccoli, the Fibonacci series on sunflowers (Pennybacker and Newell 2013) and little sea slugs. But there is also less aesthetically beautiful elements, however these perform just as well in their environment as the more beautiful ones. Just because they do not look quite as nice does not mean they are not amazing creatures. The Echidna (Fig. 3.5) for example, is not gorgeous, it looks to have its knees on backwards!

3  Born, not Made. Designing the Productive City


Fig. 3.5 Echidna

3.4  Ecological Synergy Our knowledge of ecology is sadly lacking, even basic ecology was not very well-­ understood until Joseph Priestley in the 1790s (Priestley 1774, 1775, 1777). He was the first person to realize there were different gasses in the air, and that it seemed that plants and animals form one system. He put a mouse and a candle in a big bell jar and next day they were both dead. And then he put another mouse, a candle and some plants in the same jar, and the next day they were still alive. He started to understand animals and plants form a dependent relationship. This was only 200 years ago: the industrial age had already started. We were locked into a mindset of industrial capitalism before we knew even the basics of ecology. It took another 150 years before mankind got to understand, what James Lovelock meant when he said life is nothing individual or distinct (Lovelock 1972), it is actually ecological, living in a sort of biospace. Plants and animals live synergetic lives. The hydra (Fig. 3.6) is actually two creatures in one, a plant and an animal. The animal lives inside the plant and they reproduce at exactly the same time. They eat each other’s excrement, implying they are beyond being just reliant on one another, they are symbiotic. We need to think more synergistically in the way we design and build our cities and buildings. This is the key idea of the city as a ‘superorganism’. It is often compared to a beehive, a wasp’s nest or an ant’s nest, however urban designers and architects need to get real and intrinsically think about the city as if it were a living entity. It is essential we do not pay lip-service to this idea: don’t just call the city a superorganism and move on but think ecologically. If it is a living thing, it must obey the same rules of evolution and development that other living things follow, and this is the radical change we need to make in ecological design: we have to stop seeing this idea as an analogy and start to truly believe that we are part of the same system.


G. Keeffe and R. Roggema

Fig. 3.6  Hydra symbiotic pair

A key concept in evolution and development is modularity: living things are made of small things that join together, whether that is a creature’s fingers, toes or cells. In the city this modularity can also be seen in forms such as self-similarity in streets and neighbourhoods. The second concept of evolutionary development is the idea of ‘developmental plasticity’. Each individual thing (the phenotype) is a product of its own environment. It is shaped by the forces it is surrounded by. Thus, it is worrying to witness a lot of globalisation, which separates individuals from their direct environment in many ways. The benefit of globalization is ideas are shared amongst many, but when everyone is using the same idea, locality has drifted far away hence damaging the environmental context of all living beings. Local cultures are humanity’s version of biodiversity, and we need to preserve this! There are key themes of evolutionary development that could benefit urban design. The first one is ‘exaptation’ (Gould and Vrba 1982). One of the classic exaptations are feathers, that were invented first for display, and then used for flight. So how can an urban element that was designed for one purpose be used in a better way to do something else? Secondly, the ‘Spandrel’ (Gould 1997) is a function which develops from the evolution of an element aimed at another adaptation, as an in-between. In the scheme for Salford Riverside (Fig. 3.7), The idea is to use flood protection also as a productive place in terms of producing food.

3  Born, not Made. Designing the Productive City


A third key theme is ‘Atavism’ (Adams and Shaw 2008), where a hidden genetic code reappears and makes mutation happen. How could historic elements of cities be used in a clever way to invent the future? In the project below, the manufacturing facilities of Salford (Fig. 3.8), which are now empty, were used to create biodomes, giving protection against climate change. ‘Phenotypic plasticity’ (Fusco and Minelli 2010) is the idea that the genotype and phenotype are not identical. The genotype is generic, the phenotype grows, and gets mutated by the forces that surround it. For instance, how can the sun be used to

Fig. 3.7  Spandrel: Salford Riverside

Fig. 3.8  Atavism in biodomes Salford


G. Keeffe and R. Roggema

Fig. 3.9  Dublin as a vestige city

drive the section and form of a building (Middleton 2020), as a sort of phenotypic plasticity system where it mutates according to climatic themes. The final idea is that of ‘Vestige’ (Werth 2014), where things that apparently were useless get used again. In this project in Dublin (Fig. 3.9) we used gondola-­ type boats on a re-opened canal network to connect other bits of mobility infrastructure that were otherwise difficult to join, to help get people around the city.

3.5  Holistic Thinking In the built environment, most of the design professionals work in silos. This separation leads to abdication of responsibility for ecological thinking: in the end sustainability becomes an add-on. This is the world turned on its head: we should be thinking more holistically. For example, the sustainable city is going to be pet-free, if the ecological big hitters of London are taken seriously (Fig. 3.10)! Meat eating is the number one single environmental impact with pet food being the second biggest impact in the whole of London. Perhaps the solution here would be to create electric dogs running on solar rather than solar-powered cars or put dogs on a vegan diet! Drinking milk is at number three and all transport is on four. Starting to look at the big picture is becoming an ecological necessity: a vegan city is a much easy design solution that re-designing the whole cities mobility and has a much larger effect. Thinking holistically also implies getting more for less. Most systems in our mechanical city are designed for one function only, very well optimised for one purpose, but neglecting anything else they could possibly do. This is efficient rather

3  Born, not Made. Designing the Productive City


Fig. 3.10  Sustainable pet-free city. (

than effective. A transformation is needed to make a multitasking city where everything does more than one operation exquisitely. Holistic thinking also aims to create synergies. A dead rat is materially the same as a minced rat (Fig. 3.11). There is no physical difference between the two, as they share the same amount of fat, same amount of protein, same amount of water. But actually, the main difference is that there is order in the living rat, and none in the mincemeat. The rat has order. When we design the city, we can create order and if done ecologically, it is the order that makes the mincemeat turn into a living, breathing, intelligent being. This has to be designed: looking at Australian urbanism (Roggema 2018), the following questions can be posed: Where is the order? How is urban form planned? How are do things made happen? The order needed to make the rat (or the city) a living thing is not that complicated. The rat is super intelligent and at the same time it is just mincemeat. The city is the exact same thing. It can become intelligent and able to adapt to complex situations, as long as the making of mincemeat is halted and exchanged for ecological thinking from the beginning that allows us to make living organisms. This is what will make resilient urbanism, not a smart city, but an intrinsically intelligent city. According to Piaget (Huitt and


G. Keeffe and R. Roggema

Fig. 3.11  Dead or minced rat?

Hummel 2003), the definition of intelligence is the ability to adapt. It is a sensory-­ motor response phenomenon.

3.6  In the Mood for Change 3.6.1  Nelson, Lancashire The town of Nelson in Lancashire has a 65% unemployment rate. Creating a sustainable zero-carbon neighbourhood with 65% unemployment is however never sustainable, because sustainability is more than just a net carbon sum, people need to be economically active and have functioning social infrastructures. In the end it does not matter how the houses will be adjusted, if everyone is unhappy. Just adding photovoltaics on the roofs does not mean anything if one does not make appropriate use of the energy that is generated. In this utopian scheme, for example, the lovely hill in town (Fig. 3.12) can be frozen with snow guns which are powered by the photovoltaically produced electricity, and the town can be turned into an Olympic ski resort! Moreover, the waste heat from the snow guns can be used to heat the town. This synergistic thinking leads to free heating and an Olympic ski resort reachable in 25 minutes by train from Manchester. New ways of designing holistically it would seem, can completely change apparently impossible situations. Creating new possibilities of sustainability, instead of looking at the problem-­ solving features of sustainability requires imaginative thinking. This imaginative thinking can unlock our current problems. Over the past 30 years, no matter how we present the problem, no government has paid a blind bit of notice to our concerns. A new positive amazing future that is transformative might end this inertia and offer a better chance for rapid change.

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Fig. 3.12  Photovoltaic world cup ski in Nelson, UK

3.6.2  Fast-Food in Space The fast-food burger business has a serious ecological impact. The size of an actual drive thru however is very small, just a little red dot on the map (Fig. 3.13), but the space required to produce all the food for one fast food restaurant in a year is enormous. If this space is stacked up as if it were a sustainable drive thru, as an urban farm, the tower would be 30 km tall. When the adjacent derelict 26 hectares of space in Liverpool is used productively, the urban farm would still need to be 30 stories tall. When the burger itself, so without changing the other ingredients, is made of goat meat, the required space already shrinks massively. The veggie burger restaurant/farm then is really tiny (Fig. 3.14) at only a kilometre high. Which is the same size as the Burj in Dubai! So, by building a miniature Burj in every city vegetable’s growing in it a beautiful circular economy can be created. This also implies that the future is vegetarian or probably even vegan. It is indeed necessary to change and face the future truth: a meat-based diet on this planet with 10 billion people is impossibly realistic. Every project we build should encourage vegetarianism. This is a simple thing to do and has to happen as it is probably the quickest way to make a major difference to our footprint.


Fig. 3.13  Size of McDonalds drive thru

Fig. 3.14  Size of veggie burger restaurant

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3  Born, not Made. Designing the Productive City


3.6.3  Algae Arrays in Liverpool This project in Liverpool City started with the question “How can we be sustainable by 2050, without a budget, expertise, or real effort?’. One way of achieving this goal is to aim to power the city with biological means using algae. Algae are basically water-based plants, and instead of producing wood, they fill themselves with oil to keep themselves buoyant. Some species consist of up to 40 or 50% of their weight as oil. Because they grow in water, they can be harvested by filtering the fully-­ grown plants off the surface of the water. Thus, algae do not shade themselves, and so they have a continuous production cycle. This makes algae an extremely productive crop and could be a really good way of achieving a sustainable future. Algae yields are typically 100 times that of growing rapeseed, and 50 times of palm oil: using algae instead of palm could save the rainforest. Liverpool is a shrinking city. 12% of all urban space is derelict and it has lost half the population since the Second World War. Many houses are not needed and empty (Fig. 3.15). Artists are paid to make the boards for the houses, so when the windows are boarded-up they look better. People come and look at the boarded-up houses because of the quality of the artwork. But it is quite a difficult space to be in and work in. When the size of the farm is calculated that powers the whole of Liverpool with rapeseed, it is the size of the red area on Fig. 3.16. In fact, every single field in all the red and green areas on the map need to be cultivated with rapeseed to provide the energy for Liverpool in a year. This is hardly realistic, so it is clear that biofuels such as rapeseed would not solve the renewable energy supply problem. With algae however, we could float arrays in the estuary, and create energy whilst protecting the city from a storm surge. The algae arrays are shallow, water-filled tanks, which are topped with glass, to trap solar gain like greenhouses. The old port is used to bring unrecycled glass from throughout Europe to the city, this could be recycled on shore to build algae arrays. The circularity of the loop of making algae array, generating energy, produce more glass, and make another algae array, more Fig. 3.15  Empty houses in Liverpool


G. Keeffe and R. Roggema

Fig. 3.16  Rapeseed area

energy and another glass factory, would only end when enough algae arrays would power the whole of Liverpool. This would take 40 years to grow the size of system needed. Additionally, the waste from the algae processing is cellulose, which can be used to feed cows. On their turn the waste cows produce, manure, can be used in urban agriculture for market gardening to fertilize the greenhouses. Finally, the CO2 from the cogeneration plants can be sequestered back into the algae arrays in the greenhouse. An amazing virtuous cycle emerges. In a relatively short length of time, by growing this system on a relatively small-­ scale production, more power could be generated than Liverpool needs hence becoming a net exporter of oil by 2050 just at the moment the rest of the world is running out! The abundance of biodiesel from Liverpool gives the city a strategic position in the global energy supply system. The size of the final array is around 6000 hectares. The floating arrays are in the middle of the Mersey estuary positioned in between Birkenhead and Liverpool itself (Fig. 3.17). The full size emerging in the next 40 years is comparable to the growth Europoort in Rotterdam has undergone in the last 40 years. The algae concepts also provide excess amounts of free heat, so much so that every lawn could be under-heated in every garden! A barbecue can be held when it is snowing! And all the derelict spaces get filled in with greenhouses to produce food, which helps improve resilience, and also urban legibility.

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Fig. 3.17  Algae arrays in the river Mersey

Fig. 3.18  Sunflower house

3.6.4  The Sunflower House Urban farming is going to be a key thing, and the scale of it will determine the type of future our cities will have. The Sunflower House project is a design for a passive house that heats itself. This development of apartments has a greenhouse at the bottom and the apartment towers track the sun (Fig. 3.18). The warm pre-heated air


G. Keeffe and R. Roggema

from the greenhouse rises up from the tower and heats all the apartments. The greenhouses themselves cultivate sunflowers: from these, sunflower oil biodiesel is produced and used as fuel for the apartments’ car share scheme. Buying an apartment, includes a car share of an A-Class Mercedes 1.7 diesel for driving 15,000 km each year. Which reduces the impact of the dwellers. In a later development of the project, an improved version of the concept was designed that uses newer technology. This house, a refurbished Victorian terrace, can not only heat itself and power the car but also grow the food for the family living in the house. The Invisible Terrace house (Fig. 3.19) could produce the biodiesel for a Smart Car, so that got us to 20 km to a litre needing less fuel. The algae array on the roof powered it and food is grown in the garden and in the façade. Three pigs in the backyard produce old food and 11 chickens provide enough eggs for a family of four. In the floor there is an inter-seasonal storage which is full of water to breed tilapia fed with other waste food. With new renewable biotechnologies it is possible to live in an incredibly small space.

Fig. 3.19  Invisible terrace. (Source)

3  Born, not Made. Designing the Productive City


3.6.5  Biospheric Project The Biospheric Foundation developed an aquaponic farm in an old building in Blackfriars, Salford, which is the third-poorest neighbourhood in the entire UK. Here a circular city of food, energy and water, with the building in the middle, which houses all the services, was developed. The building itself was poorly built in 1947 out of waste materials from the war and was about to collapse which is why it was vacant. In this somewhat precarious context, some sort of food system in there would need to be as light as possible. Therefore, an aquaponic system was introduced. Aquaponics is a combination of fish farming and hydroponics. It is a simple concept: basically, the fish are fed and produce waste, mainly ammonia and a bit of solid waste. The plants don’t like ammonia, nothing really likes the solid waste apart from worms. There are bacteria which like ammonia turn it into nitrate a rich food source for plants, this process is called mineralisation. The plants take up the nitrate and purify the water. Finally, the water is returned to the fish tank as clean water, so the fish thrive. The project was funded by the Manchester International Festival and it was supposed to run as an exhibition for 2 weeks only, followed by a year as a laboratory. The fish tanks were cheaply bought from eBay, which were used for tilapia and carp. The water overflows from the fish tanks and is then pumped into the mineralization system that looks remarkably like some washing-up bowls filled with little clay balls with a homemade siphon, draining the buckets every minute to help the bacteria work aerobically, which is essential for processing of the ammonia. Then the water gets pumped from there, down the façade of the building through bags made of silicone with fruiting crops, such as pepper and tomatoes, constructed in the south-facing windows (Fig. 3.20). Once it drains through the bags, it is then pumped onto the roof, where a poly-­ tunnel type greenhouse is set on a transfer beam. In here is a nutrient film system, parallel lines of plastic guttering with plastic lids with holes to hold to growing crops. Everything is grown using organic plants and organic food for the fish. As soon as the plants were installed in the system they grew extremely quickly, this is due to the high light levels (the festival was in mid-July) and readily available dissolved nutrient. By the end of the festival, the first crops were ready to harvest. Using cultivation ideas of companion planting from permaculture, 32 different crops, four different species of fish, some worms, snails, crayfish, and mussels made up a really biodiverse system.


G. Keeffe and R. Roggema

Fig. 3.20  Silicone pocket

3.6.6  Food-Producing Facade In the food-producing façade the size of the aquaponic system was minimised and installed within a double-skin façade that could ventilate in several ways, so the transpiration of plants could cool the building in summer and preheat the building in winter. The prototype is built out of ugly drainage goods and spare materials (Fig.  3.21). Energy modelling on computer showed each square meter of façade saved about £100 worth of energy for the building and produced about £50 worth of crops for the year, yet the extra cost to build was around £300/m2, giving a two-year simple payback. This prototype was then extended to an entire supermarket façade (Fig. 3.22). The Super-duper-market is a large supermarket where the South-facing façade incorporates a double-height version of the vertically integrated food system. The supermarket has a great deal of waste heat as a bi-product of refrigeration, and most have a co-gen plant to provide power, so at night there is a surplus of electricity. The plants can be illuminated all night and be heated all day and night in winter, this accelerates growing and provides year-round output. In addition, there is plenty of protein for the fish in the supermarket, in the waste streams, so that waste flow can

3  Born, not Made. Designing the Productive City


Fig. 3.21  Prototype of the food producing facade

be hyper-localized. A typical large-scale hypermarket can produce a million pounds worth of crops per year quite easily.

3.6.7  Whitefield, Nelson The project for Whitefield in Nelson is a neighbourhood with an emergency heritage listing, put on it by English Heritage after pressure from Prince Charles. With limited option for change due to the listing, sustainability is achieved through a novel biodiesel-fuelled solution. The project creates an inter-seasonal store urbanism, with a new public space between the canal and the road (Fig. 3.23). The new public space was initially polluted land, needed to be excavated offering the space to install six large water tanks in the ground. These are heated up in the summer with waste heat from the co-gen plant, and depleted in the winter, which balances the thermal demand, whilst maintaining electrical output.


Fig. 3.22  Supermarket facade

Fig. 3.23  Whitefield, Nelson

G. Keeffe and R. Roggema

3  Born, not Made. Designing the Productive City


3.6.8  CityZEN CityZEN is a project funded by the European Union. It aims to find ways that places can become carbon neutral. Engagement with stakeholders takes place over an intense week-long workshop. The design process firstly develops an understanding of place to develop strategies how carbon-neutrality for the city can be achieved. Then a staged carbon decent plan is developed, using urban design approaches which incorporates new energy technologies. It is exemplified in a design proposal for one neighbourhood in the city. The fast design process implies it has to be inspirational and disruptive. In the town of Roeselere, Belgium a heat ring uses geothermal sources to store energy in summer and deplete in winter. In addition, it also utilises large-scale implementation of photovoltaics supporting the mobility transition to electric vehicles and food production creating a new localised economy. In Gruz, the port of Dubrovnik, the biggest problem is the number of cruise ships visiting. In summer, the city welcomes up to eight or nine of these cruise ships coming in each day. Each boat has 2500 people living like wealthy Americans. These eight ships are equivalent 40,000 Europeans turning up in your neighbourhood every single day! Here, a floating-algae array offshore provides the fuel for the cruise ships, but also processes all their grey water. This is a big improvement as at present, once the ships gets offshore they just throw out all the sewage from all those people straight into the sea, which is incredibly damaging for the ecology of the Adriatic. The algae array and some wind turbines on the golf course generate energy for the neighbourhood as well and a range of carbon-neutral transport getting the visitors to the old city (Van den Dobbelsteen et al. 2018).

3.6.9  Design for Future Climate The future climate of the UK looks terrifying based on predictive data from the Met Office ( The psychometric charts for the current climate in England range from minus five to, every now and again, if we are really lucky, an hour above 25 °C. By 2050, there are now no cold days and no snow anymore, no frost. In Manchester, shown below, there will be hundreds of hot days, hundreds of hours, of which some right up at 48 degrees centigrade. This summer is similar to Nice in France today. Thus, the original façade of a building, built for today’s climate would not perform adequately in this new future climate. The original building was designed to passive house standards. In the future climate, one can hardly imagine living in something designed for a climate so different from the one in 2050. Our idea is to design a building with replaceable facades that adapt the building to its new context. The summer of 2050 is warm and dry: if the façade could be taken off the building and an irrigated loggia added instead, transpiration-cooling can be used


G. Keeffe and R. Roggema

Fig. 3.24  Design for future climate: bioclimatic short-life re-adapted facade

to keep the building cool. The diaphragm wall between the apartments can be used as a ventilation chimney to draw the air through the living space and out. By 2080, still within the expected life of the building, the summer climate has changed again and is now similar to Casablanca. As an aside, I presume that by now Casablanca is going to be living in Manchester, because it will be impossible to live in Casablanca! Now it is drier and warmer: we can use the ground to cool the building. The second (2050) façade would now be unclipped and some of the components reassembled into solar chimneys that now draw air through the ground cooling pipes, up the diaphragm wall, into the apartments, and then use chimneys to pull the air out (Fig. 3.24). This strategy of additive façade-change every 30 years means that only the diaphragm walls and the ground cooling pipes need to be built at present to allow the building to be ready for the future. We need to design much more adaptable buildings, that can change with climate from now on.

3.7  Conclusion Globalisation is great, but the worry is that as we share ideas, we are all copying designs and all everyone’s doing the same thing, and yet we live in so many different places. We want to see a biodiversity of solutions to these problems: ones that are unique to their place. Then there’s less of a worry if they’re the right solution. If we design a range of different solutions, some of them will definitely work.

3  Born, not Made. Designing the Productive City


We know that change is absolutely needed, given rapid changes in climate. What is definite is that this change needs to be radical, and radical change needs radical ideas, that are underpinned with evidence-based design. This radical thinking is not as radical as might be imagined. Nature has been using it for millennia. We need thinking that embraces ecological principles, with the city operating as a superorganism, developing the eco-principles as described in this chapter. How would nature approach this, how would it enter change? The future will be born not made. Nature just chucks stuff out there and sees if it works. And it honours its errors (Kelly 1994). Nature is continually improving its fit between animal and environment, and hence changes as result of errors: if something doesn’t work, let’s try again and try something else. What nature doesn’t do is to keep on testing what to do, and then not do anything. It is 25 years since climate change announced itself, yet very little has been done about it. Instead of progressing we continually test what to do about it before any action is taken, and we are still ongoing. Wouldn’t it have been better to have started planting trees 25 years ago, and having 50% more trees on the planet now? But we didn’t. We kept asking “Do trees really work? How much carbon do they sequester? I’m not sure if they work: I think we’ll have to test that again. Maybe they do work, maybe they work 10%. Oh yeah but that calculation said nine. I don’t know, maybe we need to redo the calculation.”

We just need to get on with things. Designers know that. We always take risks with a very small amount of knowledge. Because intuition counts and imagination counts. We make things happen. Hopefully, holistic thinking can really help us to see cities as these amazing phenotypes: superorganisms that dwell in their landscape, rather than things that get imposed on a landscape. The technologies they will use in the future will be natural: the mechanical age is over. Karl Schroeder, the sci-fi writer once wrote: “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from nature. Basically, either advanced alien civilizations don’t exist, or we can’t see them because they’re indistinguishable from natural systems. I vote for the latter.”(Schroeder 2002). So, we have been visited.

References Adams J, Shaw K (2008) Atavism: embryology, development and evolution. Nat Educ 1(1):131 Fusco G, Minelli A (2010) Phenotypic plasticity in development and evolution: facts and concepts. Philos Trans R Soc Lond Ser B Biol Sci 365(1540):547–556. rstb.2009.0267 Gould SJ (1997) The exaptive excellence of spandrels as a term and prototype. PNAS 94(20):10750–10755. Gould SJ, Vrba ES (1982) Exaptation  – a missing term in the science of form. Paleobiology 8(1):4–15 Huitt W, Hummel J (2003) Piaget’s theory of cognitive development. In: Educational psychology interactive. Valdosta State University, Valdosta.


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Kelly K (1994) Out of control: the new biology of machines, social systems, and the economic world. Addison-Wesley, New York Lovelock JE (1972) Gaia as seen through the atmosphere. Atmos Environ 6:579–580 Middleton L (2020) Chapter 36: Mainstreaming real sustainability in architecture. In: Roggema R, Roggema A (eds) Smart and sustainable built environments. Springer, Dordrecht Pennybacker M, Newell AC (2013) Phyllotaxis, pushed pattern-forming fronts, and optimal packing. Phys Rev Lett 110:248104 Priestley J (1774) Experiments and observations on different kinds of air. W.  Bowyer and J. Nichols, London Priestley J (1775) Experiments and observations on different kinds of air, vol 2. Printed for J. Johnson, London Priestley J (1777) Experiments and observations on different kinds of air. Printed for J. Johnson, London Roggema R (ed) (2018) Contemporary urban design thinking, vol. 1. The Australian approach. Springer, Dordrecht/Heidelberg/London, 228pp Schroeder K (2002) Permanence. Tom Doherty, New York Van den Dobbelsteen A, Keeffe G, Tillie N, Roggema R (2010) Cities as organisms: using biomimetic principles to become energetically self-supporting and climate proof. In: Proceedings ‘ICSU’, Hong Kong, 15–17 December 2010 Van den Dobbelsteen A, Martin CL, Keeffe G, Pulselli RM, Vandevyvere H (2018) From problems to potentials – the urban energy transition of Gruž Dubrovnik. Energies 2018(11):922 Werth AJ (2014) Vestiges of the natural history of development: historical holdovers reveal the dynamic interaction between ontogeny and phylogeny. Evo Edu Outreach 7:12. https://doi. org/10.1186/s12052-014-0012-5 Greg Keeffe  is an academic and urban designer with over 30 years experience in sustainability, energy use and its impact on the design of built form and urban space. He is Professor of Architecture +  Urbanism  and Head of the School of Natural and Built Environment, Queens University School of Architecture, Belfast, UK. Greg has extensive experience of working closely with architects and planners to develop exciting ways of re-invigorating the city through the application of innovative sustainable technologies, informing his work on the sustainable city as synergistic super-organism. In this way, he has sought to develop a series of theoretical hypotheses about our future existence on the planet, through a series of technological and spatial interventions. Most of his work comes out of a free-thinking open-ended discussion about how things should be. Dr. Rob Roggema  is Landscape Architect and is director of Cittaideale, an office for design research and planning adaptive spatial futures in Wageningen, the Netherlands, and distinguished visiting professor at Western Sydney University. Between 2010 and 2013 he resided in Melbourne as the inaugural visiting research fellow of the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research, University of Melbourne, RMIT and Swinburne University. From 2014 to 2016 he was appointed as Professor of Design for Urban Agriculture at VHL University and between 2016 and 2018 he was Professor of Sustainable Urban Environments at the University of Technology Sydney. Before 2010 he worked for the province of Groningen and municipalities such as Almere, Breda and Rotterdam. Rob is currently series editor of ‘Contemporary Urban Design Thinking’ (Springer).

Chapter 4

Regenerative Placemaking: Creating a New Model for Place Development by Bringing Together Regenerative and Placemaking Processes Cristina Hernandez-Santin, Dominique Hes, Tanja Beer, and Lewis Lo

Abstract  In an effort to create thriving living environments, the regenerative development framework has gained recognition as a creative and reflective process that emerges from the uniqueness of a place to activate and support living systems. Another approach that has a strong engagement with the particularity of place is the concept of placemaking, a process of developing places through the active participation of the citizens that conceive, perceive and live in that place. Using discourse grounded theory, this chapter explores and analyses these two complementary place-based practices: regenerative development and placemaking to identify synergies. We propose the term, ‘regenerative placemaking’, to encapsulate this strategic process of (re)igniting people’s relationship to socio-ecological systems through place-specific temporary activations that act as a testing ground for long term potential. Keywords  Placemaking · Regenerative development · Cities · Human and non-human agency · Place-based · Living systems

C. Hernandez-Santin · L. Lo Place Agency, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia e-mail: [email protected] D. Hes (*) MSSI, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia e-mail: [email protected] T. Beer Queensland College of Art, Griffith University, Griffith, Australia © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 R. Roggema (ed.), Designing Sustainable Cities, Contemporary Urban Design Thinking,



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4.1  Introduction With more and more people moving into urban environments, it is important to create places that support the future of cities as places for living, working, creating and contributing. However, designing for people is only one aspect of city-making. Incorporating strategies for nature integration and the non-human aspects of life is also critical, not just for their own sake, but also for the wellbeing of the whole system, including humans, who have an innate need to be connected to nature (Wilson 1984). This chapter brings together two practices, placemaking and regenerative development and proposes a new term  – ‘regenerative placemaking’  – to encapsulate both.1 Placemaking is a relatively recent term for describing a city making movement that focuses on the process of developing places through the active participation of the citizens that conceive, perceive and live in that place. It aims to create place attachment, a foundational concept of environmental psychology linked to positive outcomes in health, community participation, civic behaviour and perceptions of safety. Regenerative development focuses on the delivery and evolution of vital, viable and resilient places to support all human and non-human life. A central component is the notion of facilitating long term potential and adaptability of place. The chapter uses discursive grounded theory as a research approach to analyse and integrate placemaking and regenerative development. The rhetoric and tools of these two place-based practices were analysed through inductive coding to identify similarities, differences and synergies. We begin by identifying the varying strategies each practice has to understand ‘place’, including the difference in temporal timeframes and scales, as well as abilities to elicit potential. Then, the two practices are brought together under the term, ‘regenerative placemaking’, a new model that uses placemaking as a testing ground to promote stronger place agency and foster healthier living systems. We suggest that our concept of ‘regenerative placemaking’ harnesses the key strengths of both regenerative development and placemaking practices while providing ways to also address their limitations. The merging of these two practices has the potential to deliver places designed for both humans and non-humans, shifting city-making from a largely anthropocentric based practice to one that is more aligned with living systems. The combined approach supports the ability to understand a place’s socio-ecological potential while providing a method through which the community can actively participate in the city making process. Regenerative placemaking is thus positioned as a strategy to bring forward the potential of place through testing, playing and evaluating regenerative initiatives within the context of ‘real world’ experiential, spatial, temporal, social and ecological influences.

1  We acknowledge our conceptions of ‘regenerative development’, ‘placemaking’ and ‘regenerative placemaking’ come from Western foundations and understandings of these terms, and does not include Indigenous perspectives of place and sustainability. While notions of Indigenous placemaking is beyond the scope and timeline of this paper, we contend that this is a much-needed area of consideration and research.

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4.1.1  Aims of the Chapter This publication has two clear aims: (1) to provide a comparison of regenerative development and placemaking, including their capacity to create thriving ‘living environments’. The concept of ‘living environments’ is defined as “a setting that is thriving, healthy, and resilient because its ecological, social, and economic systems are continually nourished.” (Plaut et al. 2016, p. 2); and (2) to provide an integrated conceptual outline of the two frameworks coming together under the proposed term ‘regenerative placemaking’.

4.1.2  Practice of Placemaking Placemaking is a worldwide practice focusing on the process of developing places through the active participation of the citizens that conceive, perceive and live in that place (Arefi 2014). It aims to create place attachment, a foundational concept of environmental psychology linked to positive outcomes in health, community participation (Anton and Lawrence 2014), civic behaviour and perceptions of safety (Billig 2006). It is possible to conduct placemaking through formal (i.e. strategic placemaking) to informal (i.e. tactical urbanism) approaches. The key characteristics of a placemaking project are: (1) a process which puts emphasis on deep engagement with the community of an area; (2) the use of relatively small projects to trigger long-term benefits; and (3) the aim of improving life quality by developing social cohesion and place attachment that contributes to the planning and investment in public places (Kyle et al. 2004). There is strong evidence (over five studies) that placemaking can foster place attachment in increasingly dense, diverse and mobile communities (Hidalgo and Hernandez 2001; Lewicka 2010; Scannell and Gifford 2010). The strengths of placemaking lie in its adaptiveness to context, its ease and often affordable ways to reimagining spaces (PPS n.d.). Successful placemaking efforts are often community-­led or have undergone extensive community engagement where the ‘placemakers’ take the time to build a relationship with the people of that area. In many ways, the placemaker role is to provide a safe space for the community to voice their opinions and needs and subsequently works with them to come up with key initiatives. Placemaking is simultaneously a process (of community engagement) and a product (which may or may not be a design). It can be a time-consuming practice in which trained facilitation, communication and listening skills are critical. Because time is often limited, placemaking projects can easily be superficial in their engagement and thus, fail to achieve the intended long-term benefits and can contribute to


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Fig. 4.1  Placemaking Process: it can be strategically used as a quick feedback loop to inform design processes. Image credits: conceptual representation by Cristina Hernandez-Santin, Dominique Hes, Tanja Beer and Lewis Lo., graphic design by Nazanin Moghadam Tabrizi

inequality and gentrification across communities (Fincher et  al. 2016). What is needed is a way to think long term to integrate the ecological, or non-human aspects, and to develop the capacity and capabilities for the place to be a thriving living environment; to strengthen not only itself and its stakeholders but the broader systems on which it relies. This process has been simplified and summarized in Fig. 4.1. This image shows a group of people who collectively initiate a project to solve an issue related to a specific place. They identify an area where to conduct their project and act collectively to come up with a design or strategize to address their issue. Through community engagement, they connect with others to think about a solution, bringing the pieces of their expertise and experience together in a ‘yes and’ conversation creating an opportunity for the creative process. The idea is passed through quick feedback loops that immediately inform the collective thinking. It can be implemented as a light, quick and cheap approach2 that is tested and reflected on.

4.1.3  Regenerative Development Regenerative development is an approach that applies an ecological worldview. Plaut et al. (2016, p. 2) define it as “the process of cultivating the capacity and capability in people, communities, and other natural systems to renew, sustain, and thrive”. Simplified, our approach to regenerative development is to: 2  Project for Public Spaces has advocated for the benefits of placemaking as an affordable approach to transform public spaces quickly and with community input through their “Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper” model (See This is just one way through which placemaking can be implemented. It has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, we contest that it can be used for quick prototype of place ideas.

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1. Understand the flows through a system that bring it to life and create a healthy living system. Flows are the various resources, including ‘intangibles’ such as, culture and social cohesion, which interact with the place; 2. Design place-based solutions that create multiple, mutual benefits between these flows by focusing on the opportunities for creating relationships; and 3. Operate within the context of the place to ensure its relevance, resilience, and ability to adapt. Though in its infancy in application, Regenerative Development is informed by systems thinking (see i.e. Meadows 2008), ecological thinking (see i.e. du Plessis and Brandon 2015) and indigenous thinking (see i.e. Mang and Haggard 2016). Critically, regenerative development is about working within a system to enable the potential of the system to emerge, to co-evolve the aspects of the system so that it can constructively adapt to change and evolve towards increasing states of health and abundance. There are examples of the application of regenerative development ideas, mostly related to reflections on specific projects and their outcomes (Mang and Reed 2012), and case studies found on practitioner pages such as Regenesis and the Institute for the Built Environment (IBE) at Colorado State University. While these provide insights into the outputs of regenerative development projects, there is a need to better understand the process that supports regenerative thinking and contrast it to ‘business as usual’. That is: how do we operationalize these abstract concepts of creating ecological, social, and economic benefit within ‘place’. It is in the operationalization that the potential of bringing regeneration and placemaking together is born. The regenerative development process creates a narrative for the potential of a place, to create a living environment. This is depicted as a spiral of increasing size and complexity as ideas come together and enrich the story and the role of the place as more and more stakeholders have a voice in its development (Fig. 4.2). Where ‘place’, and a love of that place (or threat or problem) leads to a conversation about the potential of the place. All the flows, human and biophysical, mental or non-­ human, are considered through system thinking including both human and non-­ human interactions, to present a richer picture of the past and potential future of the place. A plan is developed to design the flows and how they can be brought into mutually reciprocal and beneficial relationships. The community and the non-­ human are integral to the refinement and growing of the idea as it is tested on the site as the project continues to grow and be upscaled to achieve a higher impact in the greater whole.

4.2  Methods The research started with a literature review of both scholarly and practice-based publications of placemaking and regenerative development initiatives. The following section presents a summary of the key aspects that were revealed from the


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Fig. 4.2  Regenerative Development is represented as a spiral to represent the iterative nature of the process and its increased complexity in the process of supporting living environments. Image credits: conceptual representation by Cristina Hernandez-Santin, Dominique Hes, Tanja Beer and Lewis Lo, graphic design by Nazanin Moghadam Tabrizi

literature review. This literature was coded inductively (Thomas 2006), identifying where their approaches complemented or mirrored each other. Inductive coding allowed us to convert papers, case studies, manuals, online content and books into keywords, approaches and concepts that suggested synergy between the two approaches. Inductive coding supported the research process, continually revisiting the codes allowing an unfolding or revealing process of how the two practices can work together and a sense of the synergistic potential. This is unlike deductive coding where one is trying to prove a hypothesis and has preconceived ideas of the outcomes. We used a ‘discursive grounded theory’ approach to bring this data together. Grounded theory is a systematic methodology in the social sciences involving the construction of theory through the gathering and analysis of data (Martin and Turner 1986; Strauss and Corbin 1994). Grounded theory is a research methodology which operates inductively. For this research, we started with the question of the ability for regenerative development to contribute to the ecological potential of placemaking. We continually reviewed the data collected, repeated ideas, concepts or elements through coding. These were grouped into concepts, categories and themes, resulting

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in the approach outlined herein. ‘Discursive grounded theory’ is the term we used, because this was a collaborative and iterative process of discussion, argument, deliberation and negotiations between researchers and practitioners. This was not a single researcher and a computer using software; the ‘codes’ and their analysis, were developed through consultation, conversations and testing.

4.3  Outcomes Much like placemaking, regenerative development is often regarded as a practice – one that requires co-creation between professional regenerative development practitioners and the users of the development project. Unsurprisingly, this is often centred around underlying connotations, experiences, stories, feelings and values that the stakeholders hold for a place (Mang and Haggard 2016). Co-creating an understanding of place identifies underlying patterns of meaning and interactions, which allows for better integration of human social and economic processes with ecological processes and is something both practices aim for. In placemaking, it is also about co-creating an understanding of place, its values to the stakeholders and what will contribute to the betterment of the stakeholders and the place. Thus, although ends differ somewhat, practitioners of regenerative development and placemaking often perform many of the same tasks. Both practices can lead to long-term care and evolution of places and promote the wellbeing of all stakeholders. Yet they approach a place differently spatially, temporally, in their understanding of the potential of the place and its ability to evolve. Combining the two approaches creates the potential of a more holistic framework. This requires understanding and reconciling their different approaches with different practices, goals and visions (Table 4.1). Importantly, it is the differences between approaches that offer the opportunity to investigate if their integration will provide a greater potential to create living environments. The following sections consider their ability to support the evolution of ‘place’, ability to integrate spatial and temporal aspects of place and the ability to elicit the potential of the place.

4.3.1  Understanding Place: Evolution of a Place Living environments are resilient and respond to events and opportunities in ways that serve the whole system and makes it more vital and viable. Therefore, looking at the way both approaches address evolution is critical. For a place and its stakeholders to be able to evolve constructively through change, it is important to support its ability to identify, respond and adapt to change. In placemaking, the focus is usually on humans as beneficiaries of place, with the important requirement that such benefits should be tailored to how people make


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Table 4.1  Differences and gaps between placemaking and regenerative development Regenerative Development Socio-ecological Humans as catalysts and co-evolving with the environment Meaning of place as means and agent of co-evolution Focused on potential-building Nested within local, proximal Scale of actions Local, with consideration of wider geographical, social or policy context on and global spheres of influence Mutual cross-scale benefits are occasion Cross-scale influence may be important important to ensure the sustainability of local places Co-evolutionary responses Orientation Often neglected or assumed shaped by pattern discernment towards the future Place-keeping to ensure longevity and Lacks clear guidance on ensuring periodic revitalization of placemaking Uncertainty is something to be managed socio-ecological durability Respects uncertainty without (if not neglected) guidance on what to do with it

Goals and human’s place

Placemaking Social Humans as beneficiaries Respecting meaning of place in and of itself Place as a final product

sense of place. Thus, placemaking is most often conceived as activities that develop or increase place attachment and place understanding (i.e. meaning) in addition to enhancing environmental quality and amenities. It is essentially anthropocentric, with the care for the ecosystem aspects of place being strongly related to the perception of the people involved in the value of the ecosystem to their thriving. Further, the support for the non-human aspects of place will reflect the values of the human stakeholders, meaning that sometimes what is perceived to be good for human stakeholders will have priority over the non-human. Without a vision for the complexity of a place and all its human and non-human stakeholders, the opportunity to develop and address the place is reduced. Often it is the non-human that are the heralds of change, think the canary in the mineshaft. Therefore, being able to conceive place as creating mutually beneficial relationships between the human and non-human is critical in being able to identify and respond constructively to change. Placemaking that leads to place attachment without the context of all the stakeholders of the place and its complexity also means that it can result in unhelpful outcomes; it can lead to conscious and unconscious bias that reduces the ability to evolve through change. For example, Devine-Wright (2014), suggests strong place attachment attitudes may actually make people more resistant to making changes. In worse cases, place attachment can result in self-segregation and the manifestation of xenophobia, as evidenced by residents in certain white neighborhoods in South Africa bemoaning the arrival of black neighbors (Dixon and Durrheim 2000). Such negative consequences can become a profound limiting factor for the evolution of places, or otherwise drive places towards degeneration. Therefore, to create a living environment, the ability to create a strong place attachment is an outcome that needs to be carefully planned into the process of working in that place. Creating a strong ‘story of place’ that connects people to the

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benefits of the ecosystems and to their continued thriving in that place is critical, as is the ability to be invested in that place so as to understand it and be able to work with it as circumstances change. This is the contribution that regenerative development can provide. Regenerative development seeks a co-evolutionary relationship between humans and the ecosystems of that place. As Mang and Reed (2012, p. 5) explain, regenerative development is “not preservation of an ecosystem, nor is it restoration. Instead, it is the continual evolution of culture in relationship to the evolution of life.” The philosophy of regenerative development is therefore neither anthropocentric nor explicitly strictly ecocentric either. Rather, proponents of regenerative development envision a relationship where development and ecosystems are changing in response to one another, such that each ultimately benefits from their relationship with the other. Moreover, they argue that value-generating capacity is only possible by (re)growing such a relationship over time, which is not only distinctive to each entity but itself an agent of evolution within open systems (Mang and Haggard 2016). To this end, regenerative development focuses on potential-building and feedback loops. It takes time to understand the human and non-human aspects of place and their relationship beyond the place, therefore, enables those involved to be more able to observe, plan and respond to change. Mang and Reed (2012) describe regenerative development as consisting of two central and interrelated endeavours: (1) Choosing the right phenomena to work on so as to maximize the system’s potential for evolution; and (2) Building capacity and a ‘field of caring and commitment’ among stakeholders. Doing so is not only accepting change but committing to a never-ending process of change and openness. Humans’ role, then, in this co-evolutionary relationship is to be catalyzers and active participants, creating or contributing to processes with the potential to generate a healthy place without trying to tightly control the direction the system evolves in (Mang and Reed 2012; Hes and du Plessis 2014). The regenerative process leads to a narrative of place, a way to conceive of the role of the place in providing increased vitality, viability and ability to adapt to all those who are part of the place. This story can be treated variously as a framework, a mechanism and a process, rather than as a final product (Mang and Reed 2012). As a framework, the ‘story of place’ helps humans learn how to understand and co-­ evolve with their environments better, provided such storytelling explicitly addresses the relationship between humans and the ecology/non-human they are enmeshed in. As a mechanism, ‘story of place’ helps create the field of caring and commitment necessary for continuous potential building. As a process, ‘place’ itself acts a change agent after design and construction, calling on human actors to respond and remake meaning as its potential is realized or changes with regards to wider systemic changes through placemaking. In summary, regenerative development allows stakeholders to understand their place in context, to think about how to support that place to become more vital, viable and able to observe and respond to change. Placemaking allows the testing of this with the stakeholders at a point in time, in a specific place. It is these temporal and spatial aspects that are discussed next.


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4.3.2  Temporal and Spatial Scale of ‘Place’ Temporal As discussed above, placemaking is essentially an activity undertaken to connect people to place with an endpoint in mind, for example, increased activation of a park, activating a dying main street, increased safety of a laneway, etc. As such it is mostly short-term, with some placemaking practice such as tactical urbanism being temporary. However, only thinking in endpoints and solving single space-related problems can be a limitation when working in an ever-changing and evolving place. In contrast, regenerative development’s focus is on fostering co-evolutionary relationships between humans and places, culture and ecosystems/non-human. It does this while looking across time, in some projects taking the Native American concept of design for seven generations (learning from the past three, designing for the future potential of three and the middle one now). Its aim is to create greater vitality, viability and ability to adapt (Mang and Haggard 2016), by looking at what worked throughout history and improving the relationships between aspects of the place, its stakeholders and their ability to reach their potential. Bringing placemaking in line with regenerative development practice provides a way to understand the place over time to ensure the making and management of the place aligns with the essence of the place, based on how it worked throughout history and using placemaking to test if that is still relevant now. Spatial Placemaking focuses primarily on the site itself and rarely addresses the reciprocal impact that occurs between the place, its stakeholders across different scales; it merely acknowledges that this reciprocity can occur. Arguably, this may be due to its essential focus on place attachment and meaning. As discussed previously, place attachment can manifest as insularity if the local communities’ understanding of their place and place identity do not mesh with external elements around them. Mere apathy, lack of understanding, time or ability to support external elements may also prevent cross-scale or cross-place considerations (Dempsey and Burton 2012; Mathers et al. 2015). Regenerative development practice recognizes that development projects are always limited in scale, regardless of how large they are. Thus, regenerative development takes a simple nested approach to the cross-scale interactions (think a village square, within a village, within a watershed). This nested framework considers three layers of influence: the project site itself, the proximate whole and the greater whole. The proximate whole refers to a relatively localized system that is immediately relevant to the project, as defined through an understanding of the natural flows in the system or through cultural and social agreement. The greater whole is the greater system that may affect and be affected by the project in more indirect ways or over longer periods. This may include entities at the city, regional, national or global scales, such as the international market or global climate patterns. The result of this approach is that the project acknowledges its role to provide positive benefits for aspects beyond the site, and this becomes part of its essence and its

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‘story of place’. It also means that its capacity to influence the other levels is explicitly part of the development process, it is explicitly integrated into the project. In regenerative terms, it ‘does what it can’ (Hes and du Plessis 2014) to contribute beyond its boundaries through its design so as to create a stronger whole. For example, the design of tracks of greenery in a housing development can provide a potential wildlife corridor. In the process of bringing placemaking and regenerative development together, it is placemaking that provides place-based projects that can be ‘acupuncture points’ that catalyse a community engagement with the ‘story of place’ and its potential. As Mang (2009) writes: “Places, as attractor points, therefore, are evolutionary agents in that they become points within a larger system in which new life and new distinct patterns of existence can emerge” (p.  40). Additionally, whereas placemaking efforts can sometimes lead to communities responding to external threats by rejecting their influence, regenerative development’s attention to the reciprocal nature of nested cross-scale interactions suggests a different response. Regenerative development gives a way to think of the proximate and greater wholes and their mutual relationships to the project, while placemaking provides a way to test and refine ideas of what happens in the place to manifest these relationships

4.3.3  The Ability to Elicit Potential Thus far this chapter has outlined that both placemaking and regenerative development aim to create better places by working with its potential. A challenge lies in the amount of information required to elicit the potential of the place, particularly if integrating all the aspects of the site. Placemaking elicits potential through a process of strong community engagement throughout the design and development of the project. This can then be tested through tactical urbanism and other temporary techniques so that the lived outcome of the ideas can be experienced creating a stronger connection to the potential of the project. Yet as outlined above this is an anthropocentric approach, and ultimately may fail to lead to ongoing thriving and the capacity to evolve because it overlooks the non-human elements of the ecosystem of which humans are an integral part. Therefore, all aspects of the ecosystem need to be incorporated. Yet limitations on time, resources and capacity might make the data needed to do this seem too onerous. Regenerative development practitioners have a counterpoint to this: they argue that though data of a site is important, it is more critical to identify the patterns revealed by this data. The often-used example is that of knowing your life partner, or children: you don’t know them by the state of their liver, or blood pressure, or ingrown toenail, you know them by the pattern of who they are, and how that reveals their essence. For a project, Mang and Reed (2012) advocate for the use of storytelling to create a ‘story field’ to focus practitioners’ and stakeholders’ attention towards evolving patterns in “the whole system and what [the system] is attempting to become” (p. 12). As the short story above illustrates, it provides for a practical course of action for coming to


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a decision about what phenomena to work on. It is a way to bring together the complexity of the assessments of physical assets, ecosystems, geology, history, hydrology and so on. Again, placemaking gives the tools to engage people to work together at a specific point in time, at a specific place, while regenerative development provides the story and context of how this could be done to achieve greater potential.

4.4  I ntroducing Regenerative Placemaking: Bringing Together Placemaking and Regenerative Development for Continual Co-evolution Placemaking and regenerative development have strengths and weaknesses that are complementary. Working together, these two frameworks have the potential to harness each other’s strengths and use them to minimize their limitations. Placemaking benefits from regenerative development through the systems approach, ecological considerations, nested thinking beyond the project boundary, long-term visioning and planning and pattern analysis to identify potential. Regenerative development benefits from placemaking as it provides a way to test, refine, implement and learn, based on creating relationships to a place at a specific point of time. We propose the term, ‘regenerative placemaking’ to integrate the strengths of both placemaking and regenerative practices to foster socio-ecological connection, capacity and capability in people and places and support the thrive-ability of more-­than-­ human communities. We define regenerative placemaking as a strategic process of (re)igniting people’s relationship to socio-ecological systems through place-specific temporary activations that act as a testing ground for long term potential. At its best, regenerative placemaking can become a process by which people are activated as cultural and environmental stewards of place to engender ongoing systems healing. As a practice, regenerative placemaking employs the reflective nature of regenerative development to allow community and place experts to understand a place from a socio-ecological standpoint. Then, a placemaking implementation tactic is used as a testing ground to activate the site, allowing the community to build a stronger relationship to the place (attachment) and providing opportunities to become active participants of its ongoing development (stewardship). We represent regenerative placemaking as a looping spiral that emerges from a particular place to expand through an active feedback loop (Fig. 4.3). The feedback loop incorporates a diversity of tools available to regenerative development and placemaking practice to deliver healthy living environments that are constantly evolving.3 This iterative process can inspire other places beyond the site, as well as

3  For general communication purposes, we have created a video that shares the vision of regenerative placemaking through an imaginary city providing examples of potential placemaking initiatives and how the start to fit together into the larger narrative and potential of the city. Please visit:

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Fig. 4.3  Regenerative placemaking. Left: The process of regenerative placemaking as embedded into a larger project brings together both experts and local residents and includes three stages: (a) Listening to the place: the early stages of design gather the stories of the place and identify key patterns and attributes of the human (social) and more-than-human (environmental and social) communities living within that space; (b) Prototyping regenerative ideas: temporary spaces are installed to act as testing grounds for the activation of long-term potential; (c) Lessons learned: observing reactions to the prototype and evaluating its effect to identify and integrate best ideas into overarching project. Right: The growing movement of inspiration and increased capabilities: The image shows how an activation applied to a single place (top) can create ripples of inspiration beyond the physical and temporal boundaries of the site (bottom). Image credits: conceptual representation by Cristina Hernandez-Santin, Dominique Hes, Tanja Beer and Lewis Lo, graphic design by Nazanin Moghadam Tabrizi

informing the long-term vision for the place, creating ripples that expand through wider public and semi-public places. An important question to ask is: if regenerative placemaking incorporates temporary interventions, how is this different from other placemaking strategies present in the literature? Regenerative placemaking understands both humans and non-humans as dynamic users of our public places and considers every shared space as an opportunity to support healthy and thriving ecosystems. The process is crafted in a way that encourages designers and community participants to reengage with the cultural and ecological past and present context of an area and re-evaluate their role and relationship to the surrounding natural environment. Meanwhile, the expected tangible output (the temporary activation or prototype implemented) is specifically testing strategies to deliver places that are beneficial to humans and non-humans and non-­ human, and foster responsiveness between the two that creates long-term potential. The principles of regenerative placemaking include: • Systems thinking, employed early on in the process as a way of understanding the place from a socio-ecological standpoint; • Rigorous and inclusive community engagement, applied as part of this analysis to gather the stories of the place, identify the values and needs of the present and past history of the place and deliver an ongoing strategy for engagement;


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• Transdisciplinary research and education, acting as a vehicle for knowledge exchange to increase everyone’s capacity to take care of their environments; • Ecological aesthetics (i.e. biophilia) and sustainability practices, assisting people to visualise a healthier living environment. Short-term interventions constitute a quick and responsive way to observe community responses to regenerative ideas while keeping the interest going throughout the design and planning process of a long-term project; • Regenerative placemaking interventions (i.e. pop-up parks, festivals), which are not considered as the ‘end-product’ but as a way of trialing programming and design ideas for long-term projects and planning initiatives.

4.5  Conclusion Placemaking and regenerative development are two approaches to design and project implementation aiming to deliver healthy built environments that are relevant to the unique attributes of each community and geographical areas. Both approaches are place-centric with placemaking also being people-centric while regenerative development represents a socio-ecological approach. These practices differ in three key elements: 1. Understanding of a place: evolution of a place Placemaking has mostly grown as a social movement focused on delivering temporary or permanent people-friendly shared spaces. Regenerative development is a socio-ecological framework that brings in the importance of both social and natural systems to create vibrant and resilient places. 2. Temporal and spatial scale of ‘Place’ Both frameworks comprise an ongoing and adaptable process constantly revisiting what is working and what is not. However, regenerative development works on much longer timeframes and detailed understandings of systems, while placemaking poses a much more flexible approach suitable for trial and error interventions, embedded in a specific space at a specific time. 3. Eliciting potential While placemaking identifies opportunities through community consultation, regenerative development finds potential within a living system through observation of patterns. These three differences are complementary and can support the alternative framework in moving beyond its limitations. This chapter presents a new approach, regenerative placemaking, to harness these complementary aspects of placemaking and regenerative development. This model understands placemaking as a point of time (i.e. a temporary festival), nested, within regenerative development path (i.e. the site’s journey to enhance social cohesion and support urban biodiversity) and allowing the potential of the place to manifest itself. It proposes regenerative placemaking as a fun and responsive approach to trialing key ideas considered for the long-term outcomes sought by regenerative development.

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In this chapter, we defined regenerative placemaking as a strategic process of (re) igniting people’s relationship to socio-ecological systems through place-specific temporary activations that act as a testing ground for long term potential. It is an approach that acts as an ongoing catalyst, revisiting, adapting and re-aligning the regenerative development journey (i.e. identifying the topics of interest for a meaningful place-keeping strategy). Regenerative placemaking is characterised by applying systems thinking to understand a place; using rigorous and inclusive community engagement to gather social-cultural and ecological stories of a place; delivering design ideas that support the relationships needed to create healthy and thriving living environments; following ecological aesthetics and sustainable design strategies, and using temporary placemaking activations to test regenerative ideas and support people’s relationship to the place. Through developing creative and meaningful connections, partnerships, and networks, regenerative placemaking has the potential to shift narratives and perceptions of place – a process that we believe can rapidly catalyse engagement, cultivate empathy, precipitate action and generate hope for the future.

References Anton CE, Lawrence C (2014) Home is where the heart is: the effect of place of residence on place attachment and community participation. J Environ Psychol 40:451–461 Arefi M (2014) Deconstructing placemaking: needs, opportunities, and assets. Routledge, London Billig M (2006) Is my home my castle? Place attachment, risk perception, and religious faith. Environ Behav 38(2):248–265 Dempsey N, Burton M (2012) Defining place-keeping: the long-term management of public spaces. Urban Forestry and Urban Greening 11(1):11–20 Devine-Wright P (2014) Dynamics of place attachment in a climate changed world. In: Place attachment: advances in theory, methods and applications. Routledge, London, pp 165–177 Dixon J, Durrheim K (2000) Displacing place-identity: a discursive approach to locating self and other. Br J Soc Psychol 39(1):27–44 du Plessis C, Brandon P (2015) An ecological worldview as basis for a regenerative sustainability paradigm for the built environment. J Clean Prod 109:53–61 Fincher R, Pardy M, Shaw K (2016) Place-making or place-masking? The everyday political economy of “making place”. Plan Theory Pract 17(4):516–536 Hes D, du Plessis C (2014) Designing for hope: pathways to regenerative sustainability. Routledge, London Hidalgo MC, Hernandez B (2001) Place attachment: conceptual and empirical questions. J Environ Psychol 21(3):273–281 Kyle G, Graefe A, Manning R, Bacon J (2004) Effect of activity involvement and place attachment on recreationists' perceptions of setting density. J Leis Res 36(2):209–231 Lewicka M (2010) What makes neighborhood different from home and city? Effects of place scale on place attachment. J Environ Psychol 30(1):35–51 Mang NS (2009) Toward a regenerative psychology of urban planning, Saybrook University Mang P, Haggard B (2016) Regenerative development: a framework for evolving sustainability Mang P, Reed B (2012) Designing from place: a regenerative framework and methodology. Build Res Inf 40(1):23–38 Martin PY, Turner BA (1986) Grounded theory and organizational research. J Appl Behav Sci 22(2):141–157


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Mathers A, Dempsey N, Molin JF (2015) Place-keeping in action: evaluating the capacity of green space partnerships in England. Landsc Urban Plan 139:126–136 Meadows DH (2008) Thinking in systems. Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, pp 77–78 Plaut J, Dunbar B, Gotthelf H, Hes D (2016) Regenerative development through LENSES with a case study of Seacombe West. Environment Des Guide 88:1 PPS (n.d.-a) What is placemaking: what if we built our communities around places? Available from: Accessed 20 Mar 2018 PPS (n.d.-b) The lighter, quicker, cheaper transformation of public spaces. Available from: https:// Accessed 24 April 2019 Scannell L, Gifford R (2010) Defining place attachment: a tripartite organizing framework. J Environ Psychol 30(1):1–10 Strauss A, Corbin J (1994) Grounded theory methodology, handbook of qualitative research, vol 17, pp 273–285 Thomas DR (2006) A general inductive approach for analyzing qualitative evaluation data. Am J Eval 27(2):237–246 Wilson EO (1984) Biophilia. Harvard Press, Cambridge, MA Cristina Hernandez-Santin  has a Master of Environment, Melbourne University, and a Bachelor of Biology, Universidad the las Americas. Combined with her qualifications within the field of ecology, she has extensive experience working across disciplines and utilizing her expertise in Landscape design and Participatory Design Practice. Convinced of the critical role that nature plays in ecological and human health, she is particularly interested in the topics of Regenerative Development, Design Sensitive to Biodiversity and Nature based Solutions bridging the gap between place-practice and ecology-practice. Dominique Hes  has degrees in Science, Engineering and a PhD in Architecture. Her passion is for finding ways to address the issues we are seeing all around us: loss of biodiversity, loss of habitat, changing climate and so forth. She works on the premise of hope, but not air fairy ‘wish the grass was greener’ hope, but grounded hope – an irresistible vision of a thriving future and ways to move towards it. So what is the irresistible future, and what can we start doing today to move towards it? The essence of the journey begins in the ideas of regenerative development, something she has explored since her PhD in 2005, developed further in the award winning book ‘Designing for Hope: Pathways to Regenerative sustainability’, co written with Chrisna du Plessis. Dr Tanja Beer  is an ecological designer, community artist and Senior Lecturer in Design at Griffith University who is passionate about co-creating social gathering spaces that accentuate the interconnectedness of the more-than-human world. Originally trained as a performance designer and theatre maker, Tanja’s work increasingly crosses many disciplines, often collaborating with landscape architects, urban ecologists, horticulturists and placemakers to inspire communication and action on environmental issues. Her most celebrated project is The Living Stage: a global initiative that combines spatial design, horticulture and community engagement to create recyclable, biodegradable, biodiverse and edible event spaces. The Living Stage has been realised in Castlemaine, Cardiff, Glasgow, Armidale, New York and Melbourne. Lewis Lo  has a bachelor’s degree in biology and Philosophy of Science and a Master degree in Urban Sustainability. They are passionate about the potential for storytelling to shape real world practices and about the development of communities that are both compassionate and resilient. While being a member of Place Agency, Lewis contributed to advancing sustainable building standards and developing the thinking behind Regenerative Placemaking.

Chapter 5

The Key Role of Systems Thinking in Sustainable Architecture Luke Middleton

Abstract  At present the built environment accounts for a large proportion of the world’s waste, greenhouse gases and consumption of finite resources. To date, only modest improvements in reducing these has occurred. Most of the voluntary rating systems have a piecemeal grab at sustainability, and improvements are benchmarked off a low standard. The main players within the industry have yet to apply the holistic systems thinking that is required to bring about a quantum shift in the way buildings are designed, built and occupied. The continued focus on novelty, the aesthetic and iconography within architecture is encouraged by existing systems. Governments, and private companies are seduced. The awards program for architecture, both local and international doesn’t place world best practice sustainability as a high criterion. These systems together with the powerful influence of social media, Instagram and architectural publications feed the animal that created the current issues. Architecture for the most part remains one of the few industries that have yet to embrace proof of concept seriously. And as a profession it has little interest or involvement in the operational building. How do the users experience the space, what works and what doesn’t? How do particular design elements actually work in practice? Is the building comfortable, is it adaptable? Does it bring inherent happiness now, and what about in 5, 20, 50 & 100 years? Does it perform well, better or worse than predicted? In order to break the cycle of existing procurement paths, accelerate positive change a new approach together with systems thinking is needed - The Elastic Loop. Harnessing the multiplier effect of high profile, and award-winning architecture provides leveraged for rapid re-calibration of the industry’s priorities. Comprehensive independent disclosure of published and award-winning projects in terms of their predicted performance, actual performance together with other key factors like user comfort and air quality. This data will inform and motive. All stakeholders will be able to make better decisions. Architects and other industry professionals will be

L. Middleton (*) EME Design, Collingwood, Australia e-mail: [email protected] © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 R. Roggema (ed.), Designing Sustainable Cities, Contemporary Urban Design Thinking,



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able to improve their skills and design solutions. And false or misleading claims will be quickly discovered. The wide sphere of influence of these projects will amplify the wave of change, hopefully leading to a tsunami of carbon positive and restorative architectural projects. Thereby, re-calibrating the industry where architectural merit has its foundation stone firmly planted on world best practice. The integration of systems thinking within the industry is essential to bring about these changes. Architecture brings with it an engagement with both the Arts and Sciences – we can successfully harmonize the poetry and beauty we love in architecture with the best practice sustainability though leadership, transparency and education. Keywords  Passive house · Passive butterfly · Elastic loop

5.1  Introduction The popularity of sustainability: “A failure to take issues of sustainability seriously enough, incoherent ESD [Ecologically Sustainable Development] policy, the predominantly aesthetic agenda of architecture and the assumption that certain technologies in themselves will deliver sustainability.” (Willis 2000). A shift in the approach and processes driving architecture and the built environment needs to occur in order to create sustainable and resilient buildings, communities, and cities (Roggema et al. 2009) (Fig. 5.1).

5.2  Beginning of the Problem Essentially, through taking a non-systems-thinking approach to design, architecture and construction, many problems have developed causing a misunderstanding of what sustainability really is. Silos have been created between professions, meaning that architecture can focus on concerning itself only with aesthetics while consultants solve problems in a mechanical thinking type of way. Reward systems within architecture are entrenched and celebrate the aesthetics and theoretical. Since the industrial revolution and the rise of modern architecture we have lost the desire and skills inherit in vernacular architecture. Many continue to label projects as vernacular however and it is apparent that in the majority of cases the design agenda is driven by aesthetics rather than the processes essential to a vernacular approach. The following quote is a case in point; Architecture is a very dangerous job. If a writer makes a bad book, eh, people don’t read it. But if you make bad architecture, you impose ugliness on a place for a hundred years. (Luscombe 2011).

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Fig. 5.1  Hidden beginnings

More relevant today, it can be argued that “ugliness” in this quote be replaced with something along the lines of: if you make bad architecture, you impose an energy intensive and fragile built environment on a place for a hundred years. Renzo Piano, one of the many starchitects with limited commitment to sustainability really puts things in perspective. 1. Architecture has become an issue in aesthetics rather than something that should be concerned with the wellbeing of people and the built and natural environment. 2. Architecture has become too reliant on technologies and consultants to achieve an acceptable level of indoor comfort in what would be considered a poorly performing building. 3. Silos have been created between professions limiting the dialogue of process and exchange that result in an in-depth understanding from all involved professions. Architects like to play King when creating buildings from their wildest dreams and imaginations. But with more complexities in the profession evolving, consultants such as engineers, and more recently ESD consultants, have been brought in to ensure the architect does not have to be an expert in every field. They handballed their responsibilities to other experts and while this was a great move forward in developing multiple professions and specialties, at the same time it generated silos that segregated professions which made total understanding and deep collaboration redundant. While there are some professionals and practices that take a multi-­ disciplinary approach to building design and construction, the majority are still dependent on the expertise of others, without fully comprehending what is going on (Fig. 5.2).


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Fig. 5.2  Passive solar design

Whilst there has been an attempt to integrate collaboration between disciplines into the design and construction process, for the most part a collective sustainable focus is absent. Synergistic cross pollination of ideas with a sustainable end game have been lost.

5.3  Change Is Required A fundamental shift needs to happen in the education system in order to produce holistically sustainable buildings. It starts with a rethinking of the role design can play. A lineal layering of ideas and disciplines the BAU needs to be superseded with a sophisticated systems-thinking approach, with a lens continuously focused on symbiotic opportunities for resilient, sustainable, restorative solutions (Sustainability Victoria 2018). There needs to be multi-disciplinary collaboration focused on sustainable opportunities to improve understanding and the flow of knowledge through projects and systems (Fig. 5.3). According to research by the construction blog Bimhow, “the construction sector contributes to 23% of air pollution, 50% of the climatic change, 40% of drinking water pollution, and 50% of landfill wastes”. In separate research by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the construction industry accounts for 40% of worldwide energy usage with estimations that by 2030 emissions from commercial

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Fig. 5.3  Fundamental shifts are needed

buildings will grow by 1.8%” ( how-does-construction-impact-the-environment/). The construction industry is, in fact, one of the largest contributors to climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and environmental pollution. This is why it is one of the most important industries that has to undergo a fundamental change.

5.4  The Misunderstanding of Sustainability Unfortunately, the term ‘sustainable’ has become so common place by marketing teams in a variety of industries around the world. What makes my new restaurant sustainable? I buy direct from farmers. What makes my new car sustainable? It’s a hybrid with improved fuel efficiency. What makes my new house sustainable? It has a rainwater tank and solar panels. Unfortunately, this is the belief of a lot of people today – that certain things are sustainable simply because the person who sold it to them told them so. According to the Oxford dictionary, the term sustainable means “the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level”.1 It’s a sensitive and difficult topic to discuss because realistically, “sustaining” the current way of life is not conducive to “sustaining” the planet’s resources. If the aim is to sustain the planet, the current way of living needs to change, and simply putting a rainwater tank and solar panels on a house will not suffice. There has simply been too much damage done up to now so there is no possible way to sustain anything unless regeneration of what has already been destroyed has to start instantly.

 The Oxford English Dictionary 2010 edition.



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So, if sustainability is such an amazing approach and represents what everyone seems to believe– why has it not become the standard for everything and all? This is simply because for many reasons it has not become well-known enough. People often see living sustainably as too hard. In fact, it requires a lot of hard work to create a regenerative built environment. Simultaneously, policymakers tend to make things to be easier to achieve for people. So that they can, in effect, report their government is achieving something great. Even if it’s only minutely better than what we were doing 50, or even 20 years ago. If the industry and policymakers are celebrating architecture that is slight less unsustainable than 50 years ago – this is what will remain the norm.

5.5  Advanced Definitions of Sustainability In fact, a shift needs to move away from “sustainability” and more towards regenerative design. Sustainability is doing exactly as the term suggests: it is sustaining what currently exists. But this is not enough. Natural environments and ecosystems that are already depleted so much should be restored and regenerated. Several ways of doing exactly this can be distinguished.

5.5.1  P  ermaculture, Systems Based Thinking and Regenerative Design Regenerative design is based on systems thinking where permaculture principles are applied and community development processes to design human and ecological systems. J.T.  Gibberd argued: “a building is an element set within wider human endeavors and is necessarily dependent on this context. Thus, a building can support sustainable patterns of living, but in and of itself cannot be sustainable” (Gibberd 2001). Taking a systems-thinking approach to architecture and the built environment could well bring a resolution. Systems thinking is looking at things from the perspective of the whole system, its interconnected subsystems and the recurring patterns in the relationships between the subsystems. Instead of taking a typical linear thinking approach to problem solving, the systems thinking process is about viewing things from a broader perspective in which structures between elements are interconnected and dependent upon each other. For example, instead of breaking down each element to analyze it, the relationships and connections between elements are analyzed to see how a negative, positive, or neutral force can affect its neighbors, and so forth. In this way, silos between professionals will be broken down, and instead of creating a building with bolt-on “sustainability” that is solely concerned with

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aesthetics and “ticking boxes”, holistic and truly sustainable and regenerative built environments can be created. Incremental improvements that rely primarily on the technological fix is then left behind. Rather, good, practical, pragmatic design of passive systems should be used, with holistic approaches to recalibrate the public’s understanding and the architect’s approach to sustainability. In fact, why is this current way of life sustained when it could be improved for future generations to come? A regenerative design and systems thinking approach to architecture is a multi-­ disciplinary one. It creates systems that cross-pollinate to find new synergies.

5.5.2  Re-evaluating Starchitects’ Values With the changing tides and evolving technologies within the built environment, architects have become very dependent on technology to resolve the performance issues associated with complex geometries. Within the architectural industry itself, praise has moved away completely from performance and solely towards aesthetics. And while aesthetics in architecture is important, aesthetics can and should be integrated with all other aspects that come with designing a built environment in a holistic approach to create a built environment that is not only driven by aesthetics, but is also comfortable, healthy, performance efficiently and is economic to build and maintain. How people view and understand sustainability needs to be refreshed through the lens of a regenerative design and systems thinking approach (Roggema et al. 2009). And one of the reasons this does not currently happen is due to policy and leading architectural firms that are in the limelight. Too often than not these companies are not pushing the environmental and sustainability architectural envelope enough to see substantial and real evident changes. Rather than making incremental improvements in their approach and solutions to sustainable architecture, they primarily rely on a technological fix to improve their sustainability ‘rating’ or award. The buildings that are in the limelight are in fact the ones that will then have the biggest multiplier effect as they get the most exposure.

5.5.3  Energy Rating Systems Another issue with the awards and ratings systems, however, is that these ‘sustainable’ ratings are based on the designed building, rather than the final built and actual performance results. The problem with this current system is that if the industry for the most part is celebrating buildings that are inherently focused on aesthetics, novelty, and theoretical performance, as opposed to real sustainability. The rating system is also based on incremental improvements to current standards (Ausgrid 2018), rather than direct comparison with world best practice., e.g. regenerative design the real sustainable approach is not celebrated.


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5.5.4  Policymaking To break this cycle policy needs to change before everyone is going to be completely on board. Obviously, sometimes there are people who are extremely involved in the field and understand its limits and push the boundaries. But unfortunately, most people do not tend to push the boundaries, and rather float comfortably within their limits of understanding. Education on many levels is key to making the change. While there have been positive steps taken towards incremental improvement in building performance, there is still so much more to do to challenge the minimum requirements. The Passive House certification standard, for example, is completely voluntary, but a positive growth can be witnessed in the popularity it has had in the last decade – especially in Australasia. Improvement in mandatory requirements are resisted by powerful interest groups thereby hampering dynamic and substantive policy change. Professionals should stand up as the leaders of change. Leading by example, setting new standards of architecture that are rigorously tested. The rhetoric has gone unquestioned too long. It is vital that public and high-profile projects and projects that are published are tested to ensure that the right message, knowledge and lessons are being communicated. After all these are the projects that are effectively being held up as exemplars in their field, and more likely to be referenced by others, both professional and general public. Industry professionals have an ethical responsibility to ensure they communicate a genuine message. Implementing rules and regulations to ensure the transparent dissemination of actual performance for high-profile projects, that gain more attention in the public eye, will have an exponential effect on lifting public knowledge and awareness. These regulations will also highlight the benefits of projects with holistically sustainable approaches (rather than bolt-on solutions) and will also increase understanding and awareness of what is sustainable and what is not. To combat the issue of fake sustainability or untested sustainable rhetoric, it is suggested auditing of built projects to check their sustainability claims verses the actual operational outcomes. All high-profile projects will be obligated to publish the real results during their operation. This measure will motivate positive change simultaneously at many levels. Genuinely sustainable projects will clearly shine above ones that have a superficial sustainable approach. The general public and industry peers will enjoy the benefit of better understanding what designs have real sustainability embedded in their design process. Developers and governments will be accountable for all the outcomes of their high-profile projects. The implementation of these measure will prevent design professionals from making misleading statements, thereby, motivating them to really practice what they preach. High profile projects to be audited would include public projects (government, etc.), high-profile award-winning projects, real sustainable projects and projects published in mainstream and industry publications.

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Vital to this process is ensuring the performance comparisons not only include predicted verse actual but also direct comparison with World Best Practice for an equivalent project. The analysis should be in depth and involve rigorous testing of all inputs and outputs to prevent misleading statements. The following new policy is then suggested to be implemented: • All projects that fall within the criteria listed above would be required to be rigorously tested with detailed post-occupancy audits. All results of the audit must be published widely and extensively (to the same level as the publicity gained by the project prior to comprehensive testing). The publication of the results will be accompanied with a plain English commentary to ensure the interpretation of the results can be understood by the wider public as well as industry professionals. • A register of these high-profile projects will provide historic benchmarking to enable comparisons to easily be made.

5.5.5  Post-occupancy Monitoring As mentioned in both energy rating systems and policy making, post-occupancy monitoring is key. Not only are the design results being proved as accurate, but it allows the built environment to be used as a learning tool for future projects. This gained knowledge is used on future projects and to expand and improve on systems and approaches. The post-occupancy monitoring works like an open source for people wanting to understand more about taking a systems-thinking approach in the built environment. It works as an educational tool that is continually growing and developing over time. Other key benefits include providing professionals and the public with proof of concept – highlighting not only the energy savings but significant improvements in the natural comfort and health benefits of well-designed architecture.

5.6  Awareness-Generating Drivers Essentially, to re-calibrate how sustainability is seen and thought about and thus improve the standard of the built environment, moving away from an aesthetic concerned approach, there are several drivers that can push this move.


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5.6.1  S  ystems Thinking – Re-calibrating the Way People See/ Think About Architecture The first step towards bringing awareness and changing the way people see sustainability in the built environment is to change the way it is approached. As discussed, to create truly sustainable architecture, a holistic approach needs to be taken from the beginning.

5.6.2  Health and Comfort Another reason for this misunderstanding of sustainability is due to the lack of knowledge about indoor environments. This relates to not only the quality of the air within the building. In the longer term many poorly designed buildings suffer from damp and mold build up on and within walls. Often these hidden issues are never discovered, however, they silently undermine the integrity of the building structure and negatively impact on the health of the occupants. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) and toxins are alive and thriving in homes. In fact, most people are not aware of the negative impacts everyday home objects, such as carpets, composite materials (bench tops) and appliances have on their internal environment and air quality. VOC’s are carcinogens also have negative impacts on respiratory diseases. They are present in our everyday items, such as (not all, but most) deodorants, paints, glues, carpets, cleaning products and furniture. And while steps towards healthier indoor environments have been taken (e.g. removal of lead out of paints, and more recently the reduction of VOC’s in paint), they could be made a lot faster with giant leaps towards healthier, more comfortable homes and happier people. As sometimes it is not possible to avoid all potential off gasing products, homes designed to Passive House standards constantly replenish the indoor area with 100% fresh air, and simultaneously removes the stale air, thereby removing dangerous VOC’s and other carcinogens.

5.6.3  Economics A common misconception about sustainability is the added cost required to achieve a truly sustainable built environment. Sustainability, however, is affordable at any price bracket, as long as the priorities are in order from the start. If the design process starts with a focus on aesthetics, then the end result is probably not a very sustainable home unless a tiny house has been built or with spending a very generous budget. So, every built project can be sustainable and affordable with the right mindset and approach from its inception.

5  The Key Role of Systems Thinking in Sustainable Architecture


5.7  Case Studies 5.7.1  The MM-House The MM-home was designed as a hybrid, following both Australian passive solar design together with Passive House design principles (Fig.  5.1). It was pressure tested during construction achieving 0.6 ACH, and is currently being monitored for comfort, performance and air quality. The home is a testing bed for other embedded design systems that were experimented previously (Fig. 5.4). This project will be part of an on-going education and dissemination program actively pursued. Spikes in the internal temperature in the graph (Fig. 5.5) are due to direct solar heat gain. This was a deliberate strategy to better monitor the direct solar gain on thermal mass.

5.7.2  Passive Butterfly The Passive Butterfly (Fig.  5.6) is a heritage renovation project that holistically upgrades a cold and draughty home into a twenty-first century sustainable and comfortable home. Passive House principles (Alter 2014; Passipedia 2018) were applied to create an exemplary home that exceeds minimum building standards worldwide. Pioneering projects such as this don’t eventuate without complete passion and collaboration from all parties, such as in this case an enlightened and educated client whose vision of a healthy and carbon positive world perfectly aligned with the ambitions of the architects. The client was also the perfect example of an actively engaged client involved in the process of dialogue and exchange enabling greater understanding and knowledge sharing between all. The Elastic Loop process (Fig. 5.7) of the Passive Butterfly continues even today with the client actively involved with the Passive House Institution, and other sustainable organizations such as the Alternative Technology Association (ATA).

Fig. 5.4  The MM-house


Fig. 5.5  Hux monitoring for University of Melbourne

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5  The Key Role of Systems Thinking in Sustainable Architecture

Fig. 5.6  Passive Butterfly. (EME design, photography Amorfy)

Fig. 5.7  The Elastic Loop process. (EME Design)



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Multiple papers and studies (Middleton and Friedlander 2009) have been conducted on the performance of the Passive Butterfly (see Figs. 5.8, 5.9 and 5.10), and all this information is openly shared as a resource to learn from (Fig. 5.11). The diagrams indicate performance testing conducted at the Passive Butterfly post-occupancy. Figure  5.8 shows how the CO2 levels and relative humidity are controlled and stabilized through the Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery unit. As soon as the unit is switched off, CO2 and relative humidity rise to levels that are uncomfortable and unhealthy to live in causing mold growth as well as increasing the risk of asthma. Once the unit is switched back on, a low volume of filtered fresh air is brought in to constantly provide 100% fresh air and healthy levels of CO2 and relative humidity.

Fig. 5.8  Passive Butterfly performance (Cameron Munro)

Fig. 5.9  Indoor temperature Passive Butterfly

5  The Key Role of Systems Thinking in Sustainable Architecture


Fig. 5.10 CO2 comparison for Passive Butterfly – demonstration of the benefits of constant fresh air supply via Mechanical Ventilation Heat Recovery system

Fig. 5.11  Winter mode


L. Middleton

5.8  REAL Sustainability REAL sustainability can be defined by the following criteria (in no particular order):

5.8.1  Beautify and Delight Real sustainability gives beauty and brings delight. If a building is not beautiful, it will not be appreciated and there will be no desire to build it (or, much less desire than other aesthetic-driven architecture). As aesthetics is what preoccupies people most (typically) about architecture, sustainable solutions are still beautiful ones – if not more beautiful than non-sustainable solutions.

5.8.2  Educational Once education is re-calibrated to portray real sustainability to the general public, and through the teaching of architecture (and all other involved professions), only then can the image of sustainability and its benefits be properly represented and understood. Performance monitoring of built projects will also allow real data results to be shared and used as an educational resource and tool. It can also weed out those projects that claim to be sustainable but do not live up to the claim.

5.8.3  Positive Impact This goes hand-in-hand with the core of sustainability. It is about making a positive impact on the environment by reducing energy consumption (or even better, making an energy contribution), using sustainable, recyclable and reusable materials, and being a generator for positive change.

5.8.4  Multi-disciplinary Approach The Elastic Loop process is all about learning and sharing knowledge between disciplines to achieve a holistically sustainable project. The Elastic Loop as the name suggests embraces the fundamental need for feedback loops at all stages of inception, design and operation of building projects. Information combined with multi-­ disciplinary knowledge leading to an evolution of restorative design solutions.

5  The Key Role of Systems Thinking in Sustainable Architecture


5.8.5  Comfortable, Healthy and Resilient Comfort and health are key. A sustainable building provides both – with almost no inputs from bolt on technical/mechanical devices. A building that is robust and efficient at its core  – providing shelter, comfort and a healthy environment to its occupants. Resilience must play an important role in the conception and realization of buildings, together with their relationship within their context both physically and culturally. Buildings consume a great deal of resources in their construction and it is vital that through thoughtful design buildings have resilience and adaptability thereby ensuring resources are optimized over the long term.

5.9  Conclusion In a rapidly progressing society where a focus on sustainable solutions is key, new approaches to architecture are crucial in order to improve the built environment and reduce footprints. Following the typical business as usual approach is not going to cut it anymore and a holistic approach such as systems thinking is needed to attack multi-disciplinary issues. Architecture can no longer only focus on the aesthetics, but instead needs to create a positive outcome and take a stance that focuses on sustaining our environment. “The requirement for architecture to contribute to social and environmental sustainability now charges architects with responsibilities that go beyond the limits of an autonomous brief.” (Butera 2005). The approach to sustainable architecture and communities relies on a significant shift in the way all professions, stakeholders, governments, and private developments undertake their processes. Only through the process of critical engagement and re-assessment and re-calibration of the typical approach to design and procurement, it is possible to achieve a quantum shift needed to rapidly improve our built environment’s resilience, natural comfort and performance.

References Alter L (2014) The three most important things about passive houses are comfort, comfort and comfort. Treehugger. Ausgrid (2018) Average electricity use. Butera FM (2005) Glass architecture: is it sustainable? International conference ‘passive and low energy cooling for the built environment’, Santorini, Greece Gibberd JT (2001) The opinion of Gibberd. Sustain Build 3:41 Luscombe B (2011) 10 Questions for Renzo Piano. TIME Magazine. time/magazine/article/0,9171,2079576,00.html


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Middleton L, Friedlander M (2009) Elastic design – regeneration of education through architecture – case studies. Paper delivered for SASBE 2009, Sydney, Australia Passipedia  – The Passive House Resource (2018) Thermal comfort parameters, IPHA, Germany. comfort_parameters Roggema R, Middleton L, Van den Dobbelsteen A (2009) Quadruple the potential: scaling the energy potential, PLEA2009 – 26th conference on passive and low energy architecture, Quebec City, Canada Sustainability Victoria (2018) Zero net carbon home program  – program overview, Melbourne, Australia Willis AM (2000) The limits of ‘sustainable architecture’. Paper delivered at shaping the sustainable millennium, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia Luke Middleton  is director of EME, and creates beautiful, sustainable architecture. His award winning community, educational and residential designs embody the EME ethos of intelligence, inspiration and innovation. Luke has over 18 years of design experience and is driven by a process of collaboration both within the EME team and his client relationships. Since 1996 Luke’s commitment to sustainability and efficiency has been reflected in numerous awards, and invitations to industry and academic conferences on developing inherently sustainable architecture.

Chapter 6

Liveable Green Cities: Integrating Climate Adaptive Solutions and Circular Economy into the Built Environment Martin Knuijt

Abstract  The increased number of people living in urban areas requires rethinking what liveable cities are about. Within the next decade both climate change and the shortage of resources on water, energy and nutrients will have strong impacts on the urban environment. The big challenge is to create ‘healthy cities’. Bringing landscape to the cities can strongly contribute to making cities healthier, more resilient, and more vibrant to accommodate all their citizens. The key to this new perspective is how to create healthy cities in densely built areas and strengthen the urban metabolism, while also addressing externalities, such as the urban heat island effect, increased storm events and sea-level rise. The objective of this chapter is to gain insight in the new complexity that arises from the increasing relevance of landscape and planting in dense urban environments in order to set a contemporary agenda for urban green space design. The increasing need to develop healthy, circular and climate adaptive cities leads to new demands on urban green spaces. By rebalancing traffic in cities, a vibrant and green public realm can be realised. Rebalancing transportation and shifting to multimodal mobility has a large impact on the spatial quality of cities and provides access to all. The public realm can be transformed into a green and blue network and set the scene for vibrant city centres. The complexity that arises from the new demands on green space in dense urban environments is explained through the analyses of four case studies in Rotterdam, Athens, London and Utrecht, combined with literature reviews. These four ‘research by design’ projects are discussed and evaluated to reveal the increasing (societal) relevance of urban green space. These projects offer new perspectives on the integration of climate adaptive design and circularity. Toolboxes for heat mitigation and water-­ sensitive design are developed and applied in these designs. Today’s imminent need to increase the degree of self-sufficiency within city limits and regions, as well as climate adaptation, requires continuous monitoring of the level of incorporation of the different aspects of ‘healthy living’ into the realized development and a­ ssessment M. Knuijt (*) OKRA, Utrecht, The Netherlands e-mail: [email protected] © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 R. Roggema (ed.), Designing Sustainable Cities, Contemporary Urban Design Thinking,



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of the standards each year. Adding today’s aspirations for including biodiversity, calls for the idea of ‘urban biotopes’, turning the green into an urban ecosystem that can evolve over time. It requires careful considerations about how to balance energy generation and green, and how to integrate underground infrastructure, to make sure that proper conditions for urban green are set. Keywords  Urbanisation · Healthy cities · Resiliency · Climate adaptation · Circular economy · Biodiversity

6.1  Setting the Scene for Greening the City Increasingly, a high number of people are living within city limits; the world is becoming rapidly urbanized and adjacent natural resources are being exhausted at an unsustainable rate. Ecological and agricultural areas are being developed to accommodate the population shift, resulting in a loss of ‘green’. The quality of our lakes, rivers and streams is decreasing due to run-off. At the same time, we are facing climate change, which challenges contemporary cities to deal with the task of providing fresh water and access to restorative naturalized areas, while protecting citizens from natural disasters like flash floods, coastal storm surges, heatwaves and droughts. In the European densely built mega-polises and metropolitan regions urgent questions emerge on how to develop healthy (peri-)urban environments with green areas within urban boundaries, while integrating solutions for water and drought management as well as heat island effect mitigation. Within cities the fundament for change lies in creating efficient transportation systems, connected to the urban network of spaces. A decade ago the agenda for improving the quality of the public realm was set. Successful transformations of infrastructure into regenerated green structures, such as the Cheonggyecheon River in Seoul (Kodukula 2011) and urban transformations of industrial zones to post-industrial cities in Bilbao and Melbourne (Adams 2009), have shown that large scale transformations are possible. Recently, medium scale transformations in Paris, Zurich and London (Fig. 6.1) highlight the successful effect of areal development and the shift of vehicular space into parks and green alleys, including vertical greening and temporary green spaces. All have one or two aspects of climate adaptivity and circularity integrated into creating an attractive public space. Green, pedestrian-friendly networks provide space for movement and sports, walking and daily use. Temporary green spaces indicate the value of natural conditions and urban food production. The next step will be changing the image of the city. The main challenge is to create ‘healthy cities’. Following the change of direction towards creating green cities, our contemporary challenge is to incorporate the

6  Liveable Green Cities: Integrating Climate Adaptive Solutions and Circular…


Fig. 6.1  Green Strategies in Paris Boulogne Billancourt (upper), Zurich Oerlikon (middle) and London Kings’ Cross natural pond and skip garden (lower). (Photographs of the author)

‘metabolism of the city’ within the context of a densely built urban environment. The challenge is to manage the exchanges of energy, material and population in a responsible and sustainable way, considering and strengthening urban metabolism. Being aware of the growth of the world’s population and the ongoing increase of percentage of people living in cities, it will be imperative to find answers to unhealthy living conditions and to increase the degree of self-sufficiency within city limits and regions. Creating a healthy living environment requires reducing distances between working and living, plus rebalancing traffic into a network of slow movement and


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public transportation (Knuijt 2016a, b) Furthermore, it includes climate proof cities and landscapes, addressing the issues of storm water management and other topics related to strategies for energy transition, the shift from fossil fuels to sustainable energy management and waste management, nutrients and food production within urban boundaries. The increasing need to develop healthy, circular and climate adaptive cities leads to new demands for urban plans. In that context, the role of green spaces in the development of cities will change and will become more relevant. To gain insight in the new complexity regarding urban green space design, four recent urban plans for Rotterdam, Athens, London and Utrecht demonstrate how different growing demands on green space have been integrated in the designs. It is interesting to look at the lessons learned from these urban design projects to set a contemporary agenda for dense urban environments as ‘urban biotopes’.

6.2  Methodology A new perspective on creating healthy cities can strongly contribute to make cities healthier, resilient, and more vibrant to accommodate all of its citizens. Via ‘research by design projects’ new perspectives arise on integrating climate sensitive design and circularity and insights are developed how to achieve substantial improvements in public realm. Three recent urban design projects in Rotterdam, Athens and London are discussed and evaluated for the way in which these designs offer integrated solutions for urban challenges regarding climate change, circular economy and mobility. The contribution of these three case studies to these challenges is evaluated through assessment of the design projects’ output and through literature reviews. Moreover, a currently ongoing urban design project in the Dutch city of Utrecht is reviewed as a pilot project for the application of the concept ‘urban biotope’.

6.3  Results 6.3.1  Rotterdam, the Connected City Centre The first crucial step to the transformation of cities is to change mobility. The strategy for urban change in Rotterdam, and later for London and Athens, was based on three pillars: 1 . Creating access for all and rebalancing transportation, 2. Transforming the public realm into a green and blue network and 3. Activating the public realm to create vibrant city centres.

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Re-balancing transportation has a large impact on the spatial quality of cities. With increased mobility, the quality of life of our citizens is under pressure. Mobility is an issue in contemporary metropolitan regions and in rapidly growing cities. In many cities, auto-centric city planning has led to vehicular movement exceeding maximum capacity of road space, resulting in congestion and low-quality anonymous space, lacking identity. Moreover, prioritizing automobile transportation results in a lack of safe pedestrian and cyclist networks. It has a negative impact on quality of life; air pollution takes a heavy toll on our health. Being aware that about one third of the total amount of air pollution comes from motorized traffic, the development of clean transport to improve air quality will help to increase the liveability of cities. The shift from vehicular mobility to multimodal is part of the strategy for Rotterdam city centre, focusing on the expansion of pedestrian networks, public transit, and cycling (Knuijt 2008). The perception of the space needed to drastically change, not by simply removing lanes of traffic on the main boulevards and roads avenue, but by making a shift from vehicular orientated space to pedestrian orientated space. In an area of four times four kilometers in the city center, the switch from ‘hard traffic’ (car-oriented) space to ‘soft traffic’ (pedestrian, cyclist and public transport oriented) space allowed the centre to become accessible in a different way and created the conditions for the public realm itself to become a catalyst for urban revitalization. Focal points in the city were connected, and the neglected historic pre-World War II streets were activated so that pleasant and attractive networks for slow-traffic could be regenerated. Resulting into a Connected City (Fig. 6.2), the ground is set for greening the space, and for creating inviting places to stay (Knuijt 2008).

Fig. 6.2  Rotterdam, Connected City: the city and River Maas, rebalancing traffic and blue-green strategy for the city centre. (Knuijt 2008)


M. Knuijt

6.3.2  Re-think Athens and a Toolbox for Heat Mitigation Creating space for pedestrians and cyclists sets the ground for resilient and climate-­ proof public realm (Bulleri 2018). The proposed transformation of Athens’s city centre interlinked infrastructural change with the built environment and created a basic framework for a blue-green network. Changing the heart of Athens into a true contemporary metropolitan city centre required transformation of the city triangle into a lively part of the city. Newly gained space, as a result of the major step towards a walkable city by reducing car traffic in this area, will transform it into a vibrant, green and accessible heart of the city (Knuijt 2013). The combination of water solutions was key to make the city more resilient, adaptable, and dynamic. The blue-green network served a multifunctional purpose—stormwater and drought management and heat island effect mitigation. To mitigate urban heat island effects, urban measures for improving the urban microclimate, energy consumption and thermal comfort of citizens need to be integrated into the design principles of the public realm. For the project Re-think Athens, a heat mitigation design toolkit (Fig. 6.3) was part: the addition of greenery, use of light-colour materials and integration of open water helped to reduce the urban heat island effect. A contextual approach defined where the tools for different categories could be applied. Trees and other vegetation provide shade and allow

Fig. 6.3  Heat mitigation toolbox Athens – measures and spatial distribution. (Knuijt 2013)

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Fig. 6.4  Rainfall in Athens, seasonal change. (Knuijt 2013)

evapotranspiration, both having a cooling effect. In addition to this, providing water for the trees stimulates transpiration and contributes to cooling as well. Europe’s largest rainwater retention system will allow the area to be self-sufficient on water for irrigating green areas and tree planting (Fig. 6.4). Parallel to the design process, the monitoring of the results took place during the design stages. Similar to technical aspects, such as traffic modelling, also aspects of climate adaptive design were calculated (Santamouris et al. 2012). Design interventions are beyond quantities indicating the amount of green and water of the design; it is the performance that counts, and that can be indicated in figures related to adjustments made in each phase of the proposal. The broad notion ‘sustainability’ gets precision. For the Re-think Athens project, the heat mitigation toolbox was evaluated and translated into the design for public realm. Measurements on site were executed indicating heat stress in the current situation (University of Athens 2013). During the design stages, ENVI-met simulations were used to calculate the outcome of the proposals on heat reduction. The calculated results of a cooling of 1.5 degrees Celcius up till 3.0 degrees plus 20% of the thermal comfort index on a typical summer day were successfully exceeding the initial aim (Werner Sobek GT 2013).

6.3.3  L  ondon Meridian Water and a Toolbox for Water Sensitive Urban Design In order to adapt to climate change and prevent urban areas from the negative effects of flooding and drought, thinking of these aspects needs to be integrated already at an early stage of the plans for urban development. Regenerating the water system is key to a contemporary and healthy relationship between nature and culture (Hoyer et al. 2011). For London’s largest building development, Meridian Water, situated on a former brownfield area, a water sensitive urban design toolbox has been developed


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(Knuijt 2016a, b). As a result of analysis of the complicated water system of river, channels, brooks and the area being prone to risk of flooding, the new urban program, consisting of 10,000 homes, a substantial amount of workspaces and vital infrastructure should be built taking into account these conditions. Key to the approach is the idea that water solutions and green in public realm in the River Lee valley could work as an ‘urban water machine’. A coherent set of tools was developed (Fig. 6.5), contributing to healthy cities, by integrating water into the public realm through storing, filtering and infiltrating (Knuijt 2016a, b). The first category of tools is about preventing areas from flooding. The second category is about ensuring integrated water management solutions, where capturing and reusing water is of essence. The green areas are designed to act as a flood storage system within the built environment. Additional water storage can be designed into parks and squares serving dual purposes—leisure, recreation and sport most of the year, and stormwater storage during intense storm events. Stormwater can be stored in above- or below-ground containers used for irrigation. Stormwater ponds can be seen as attractive naturalized elements that also serve as habitat for urban flora and fauna. Canals and pools within the public realm can hold and convey water while not only providing something beautiful to look at, but also allowing for evapotranspiration to occur, resulting in lower urban temperatures. Capturing as much rainwater on site as possible is one way in which climate-proof cities can be ensured. The third category is about sound water management tools to filter, infiltrate and recharge the groundwater. The last category of tools is about the educational aspect of water. In addition to rain gardens, swales, ponds, streams and channels, other water elements within public areas such as water-squares, fountains and interactive play elements can serve as protection by providing additional temporary storage

Fig. 6.5  Toolbox for water sensitive urban design, London Meridian Water. (Knuijt 2016a, b)

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and/or reuse. Moreover, creating hydro-centric recreational opportunities is a way to bring people into contact with water; providing these opportunities is essential for education and raising awareness. Within the design of public realm, water and green can be integrated in multiple scales, resulting in an attractive public realm (Fig. 6.6).

6.3.4  Merwedekanaalzone, Utrecht: A New Horizon Facing the limits of natural resources availability, contemporary high-density urban areas should not only include integrated climate adaptive solutions but also be energy neutral, generating heat and electricity as well as provide clever solutions for waste management. Creating a circular economy within the dense urban development plus climate adaptive design and aspirations on creating an urban biotope makes the situation complex. It is so complex that choices have to be made where energy generation can take place and where green on roofs has priority. It even requires re-thinking and integrating underground infrastructure, in order to prevent during a later design-stage the risk of compromising part of the green due to underground infrastructure constraints or necessities. The increase in quality of space requires at least new mobility solutions creating the conditions for a pedestrian orientated public realm. Both public and private space should be green, ensuring that living in a high-density area will be attractive for a wide range of people. Taking this as a base, the dense green neighbourhood offers additional qualities. Improving biodiversity in the urban context and preventing planting from diseases brings nature close to people living in the city. In the recent urban design project for the Merwede area in Utrecht (BURA urbanism et al. 2019), a large brownfield development along the Merwedekanaal, ‘urban biotopes’ are designed in the public realm as well as in inner courtyards and rooftops (Fig. 6.7).

Fig. 6.6  Toolbox for water sensitive urban design translated into typical section for one of the waterways, London Meridian Water. (Knuijt 2016a, b)

96 Fig. 6.7  Climate adaptive and circular solutions integrated in the plans for Merwede

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The concept of ‘urban biotope’ in this case means to design a resilient urban planting plan with a balanced nutrient and water supply system for planting. Based on the abundant existing trees in the area, a selection of additional species is made to create variety in size of trees, understory planting, groundcover and perennials. Part of the planting is edible green, providing nuts and fruits for birds and insects. The project is regarded as a 1:1 design lab and requires monitoring of the results, executed by research institutes. Most likely today’s highest standards will be considered normal standards in a few years and might even become outdated standards within 10 years. This requires continuous monitoring of the level of incorporation of the different aspects of ‘healthy living’ into the realized development and assessment of the standards each year. Results during construction will be set against today’s baseline, and will include achievements over the next 10 years, thus being able to evaluate the different aspects on water sensitive solutions, heat mitigation, carbon reduction, energy cycles and waste management for a longer period.

6.4  Towards Healthy Cities The basis of the abovementioned urban strategies is to enhance green and connectivity in contemporary cities. Firstly, fundamental change is only possible by rebalancing a city’s mobility system, creating access for all, transforming public realm into a green-blue network and activating public realm to create vibrant city centres. Secondly, the role of planting in this green-blue network is beyond aesthetics and has societal relevance. Planting is becoming increasingly important to tackle big societal, urban challenges such as climate adaptation, biodiversity and heat mitigation. Whereas traditionally cities can be regarded as petrified landscapes, the integration of landscape and city can result in the creation of holistic cities. Moreover, increasing urban densification and increasing complexity caused by the need to design and organise cities in a circular way, demands holistic green strategies. In fact, the city should be regarded as a system, connecting places with multi-modal and multi-functional corridors. Cities, like organisms, require inputs, such as water, energy, people and produce outputs, such as waste. The continuous exchange of energy, material, and population is essential to the way a city functions and can be regarded as a metabolism. Finally, today’s aspirations on including biodiversity in highly urban environments calls for the concept of ‘urban biotopes’. The concept of urban biotopes regards a holistic approach in which planting, nutrients and water together form new urban ecosystems. Urban biotopes seem promising for designing cities in such a way that a balanced and holistic green system can evolve over time. Although urban biotopes require careful considerations about how to integrate energy production, underground infrastructure and mobility in such a way that proper conditions for


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urban green are set, the concept is very promising for the necessary development of long-lasting green networks and resilient cities. The design task of today is to manage those exchanges in a responsible and sustainable way—considering and strengthening the urban metabolism thus creating healthy cities. Entering a new era will require that once more the interaction with other fields of expertise will be essential in finding strategic solutions to new challenges. Mixing up and integrating all disciplines seems a fairly logic approach when working in this context. To find answers to today’s complex challenges, a clear vision and a strong collaboration between dedicated people from different fields of expertise is required. The qualities that emerge from the landscape and that connect us with mother earth are universal and are the new programs capable of dealing with change that will be the drivers for spatial adaptation. The creation of landscape-based cities today, which are healthy and sustainable, leads to interesting cities of tomorrow. It goes beyond blue-green networks: creating green that enhances urban biodiversity and brings nature to cities even in the densely built urban environment will be the next step ensuring that cities are resilient enough to be a good place for working and living in the future.

References Adams R (2009) From industrial cities to eco-urbanity; the Melbourne case study. In: Radovic D (ed) Eco-urbanity: towards well-mannered built environments. Routledge, New York Bulleri A (2018) Esercizi di riscatto urbano; Considerazioni sulla riqualificazione degli spazi aperti a Atene da Piazza Monastiraki a “Re-Think Athens” – Exercises in urban redemption; considerations on the redevelopment of open spaces in Athens, from Monastiraki Square to ‘Re-Think Athens’. In: Paesaggio Urbano (urban design) 2018-2, pp 124–133 BURA urbanism i.c.w. OKRA, Stad2, Goudappel Coffeng, Merosch, Skonk, Impuls, Stratego, Mark Rabbie (2019) Voorlopig ontwerp stedenbouwkundig plan MERWEDE (concept), Utrecht Group of Building Environmental Studies, Physics Department, University of Athens (2013) Thermal and wind measurements performed in the Panepistimioy street in the city of Athens (final report). Athens Hoyer J, Wolfgang D, Kronawitter L, Weber B (2011) Water sensitive urban design; principles and inspiration for sustainable stormwater management in the city of the future (Research in the context of the European research project SWITCH). Berlin (Jovis) Knuijt M (2008) The Connected City, The metamorphosis of central Rotterdam’s public space. Topos no. 64, 2008, pp 50–55 Knuijt M (2013) One step beyond, a new city centre for Athens. In: TOPOS 85 Knuijt M (2016a) Stadtentwicklung in wassersensibelen Bereichen /Urbanisation en zone aquatique sensible. In: Anthos 4-2016, pp 20–23 Knuijt M (2016b) Stadt als Stoffwechsel; Gemischte Netzwerke aus Stadt und Landschaft, TU Berlin, Heft 35, 2016 Kodukula S (2011) Reviving the Soul in Seoul: Seoul’s experience in demolishing road infrastructucture and improving Public transport. A joint case study by GIZ and KOTI. In: Case studies in sustainable transport, vol 6. Eschborn (GIZ, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationaler Zusammenarbeit)

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Santamouris M, Gaitani N, Spanou A, Saliari M, Gianopoulou K, Vasilakopoulou K (2012) Using cool paving materials to improve microclimate of urban areas – design realisation and results of the Flisvos Project. Build Environ 53:128–136 Werner Sobek Green Technologies (2013) Final report ‘microclimatic simulation II design conclusions’. Athens Martin Knuijt  is a founding partner of OKRA. His strength is defining strategic visions and scenarios and creating strong spatial designs. He is mostly active in the design of complex urban and landscape development projects, working to the knot. He is fascinated and driven to integrate socially relevant themes, such as design for all and climate-resilient design. Within his work, themes like connected city, vibrant city, healthy city and attractive city are all interrelated with social, economic and ecological sustainability. Martin Knuijt graduated from the Wageningen University & Research with a Master in Landscape Architecture. He is the author of several publications on landscape and urban planning, published in leading European magazines. He has been a guest teacher at various universities in the Netherlands and regularly acts as a jury member. He has been keynote speaker at the IFLA Congress in Calgary, the CCCB Biennial in Barcelona, the EFLA Congress in Prague, at the 75th anniversary of the Technical University of Berlin, and at Tongji University in Shanghai. Martin Knuijt is an honourable member of the Russian Landscape Federation.

Chapter 7

Post-earthquake Recovery in Nepal: A Study and Analysis of Post Disaster Perception and Needs for Housing Recovery After 2015 Earthquake Rupesh Shrestha

, Alexander Fekete

, and Simone Sandholz

Abstract  In 2015, massive earthquakes of 7.8 and 7.4 magnitude struck Nepal. This resulted in severe economic and infrastructural damage, not to mention many human casualties. The government of Nepal has identified 625,000 houses as fully destroyed and 180,000 houses as being partially damaged. This research is a comparative study of traditional-urban, peri-urban, and remote rural settlements of Nepal which were severely hit by the earthquake. It provides an overview of interests and perceptions of local communities in terms of the recovery process. Furthermore, this research also identifies resilience in terms of basic service recovery (basic shelter, electricity, water supply, telecommunication, groceries/food) and existing challenges in housing recovery programs. Assessing the different settlement types individually also allows for tailored policy recommendations to bridge related gaps. From the survey conducted, it can be seen that earthquake affected people’s perception of housing (re) construction has changed considerably and that they are more interested in having earthquake resistant houses after the 2015 events. Analysis also shows that, unlike in urban areas, people in rural areas tend to build stronger houses when they understand the scientific reason behind earthquake-­induced damages. Lack of financing is a major hindrance for reconstruction in all study areas, and there is a need for government and financial institutes to engage to create favourable financing schemes. Keywords  Post-disaster housing reconstruction · Field study · Kathmandu · Sindhupalchok · Bungamati · people’s perception · Nepal R. Shrestha (*) Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust (KVPT), Lalitpur, Patan, Nepal A. Fekete TH Köln (University of Applied Sciences), Institute of Rescue Engineering and Civil Protection, Köln, Germany S. Sandholz United Nations University - Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS), Bonn, Germany © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 R. Roggema (ed.), Designing Sustainable Cities, Contemporary Urban Design Thinking,



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7.1  Introduction On April 25 and May 12, 2015, earthquakes of 7.8 and 7.4 magnitude struck Nepal with epicenters at Gorkha district,1 north-west of the capital Kathmandu (April), and between Sindhupalchok and Dolakha districts north-east of the capital (May), followed by numerous aftershocks. This disaster resulted in major economic and infrastructural damage, as well as 8702 human casualties. The Government of Nepal has identified 625,000 houses as fully destroyed and 180,000 houses as partially damaged in the whole country (PDNA Vol B 2015; Sector Plans – GoN 2016). In Nepal, the earthquake of 2015 has affected both urban and rural areas. Impacts were comparably higher in undeveloped areas than in developed areas. An estimated 6.695 Billion US$ is required for the recovery process (PDRF 2016), signifying around 32.06% of Nepal’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of 2015. Housing recovery is estimated to take 3.27 Billion US$. This means 49% of all recovery funds needs to be spent only for the housing, making it the most demanding sector. People affected by a disaster tend to return to ‘normality’ in post-disaster situations. However, normality in developing countries often means accepting the risk of continuous forms of disaster (Parker et al. 1997; Charles 1995). Disasters are events with multi-dimensional outcomes, ranging from socio-economic to cultural, political, humanitarian, and physical dimensions (El-Masri and Tipple 1997). Hence, recovery and reconstruction should be done appropriately to minimize the different vulnerability dimensions, maximizing resilience rather than just returning to normality, which would mean re-creating the same conditions that have contributed to the previous disaster (UN 2015). Reconstruction can thus bear new opportunities for minimizing risk levels. The reconstruction period offers a chance to strengthen local capacities and to facilitate economic, social, and physical development in the long-term (Berke et al. 1993). Post-disaster recovery is a complex process which requires multi-sectoral involvement, significant resources, and a wide range of skills. The Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) has promulgated the concept of enhancing disaster preparedness for effective response (UN 2015). It further states that “Disasters have demonstrated that the recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction phase which needs to be prepared ahead of a disaster, is a critical opportunity to ‘build back better’, through integrating disaster risk reduction into development measures, making nations and communities resilient to disasters.” SFDRR (2015). Hence, current disasters are seen as an opportunity to prevent future disaster and as a means of enhancing resilience. For this research, primary data were collected from 176 households using stratified random sampling in the Kathmandu Valley and the Sindhupalchok district. In addition, three expert interviews with bureaucrats from the Government of Nepal and community leaders were conducted to 1  Nepalis divided administratively into Federal provinces, Districts, Gaupalika which was previously known as Village development committees (VDC), Metropolitan areas and then Municipalities.

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gather background data. The research compares urban and rural housing recovery. Urban case studies in Kathmandu Valley were Gongabu and Bungamati. For study on rural recovery, Thangpal valley, which lies in Sindhupalchowk district, was chosen. The purpose of this paper is to: 1. Examine interests and perceptions of local communities towards the recovery approaches being undertaken. 2. Investigate achievements and gaps in the housing recovery process and how it is contributing to resilience of the community.

7.2  Post-disaster Recovery in Literature and in Nepal 2015 Researchers have suggested that shelter reconstruction must be considered as a process or a series of actions for fulfilment of certain needs, rather than only as objects or tents (Davis 1978; Jim Kennedy et al. 2008; Turner 1972). Housing plays a central role in both casualties and economic loses. If done properly it can contribute to resilience in long-term (Jones 2006; Jha et al. 2010). Furthermore, disaster recovery stages are divided into phases, but there is no precise agreement on the number and definitions of these recovery stages (Lindell 2011; Alexander 1993; Haas et  al. 1977; Sullivan 2003; UNDRO 1984; Schwab et  al. 1998). While confusion and inconsistent definitions still exist, this research uses recovery as a broader term. The point of departure for this study was adapted from Quarantelli (1999) and Jha et al. (2010): “the word recovery often seems to imply that attempting to and/or bringing the post disaster situation to some level of acceptability. This may be or may not be the same as the pre-disaster level” (Quarantelli 1999). “Decisions and activities taken after a disaster to rehabilitate or improve the pre-disaster living conditions of the affected communities while encouraging and facilitating the necessary adjustments to reduce disaster risk. It is focused not only on physical reconstruction, but also on the revitalization of the economy, and the restoration of social and cultural life.” (Jha et al. 2010). Further, disaster recovery can be sub-divided into three distinct and interrelated meanings (Lindell 2011): (a) The goal of recovery means reinstating normal community activities; (b) The phase of recovery which begins with stabilization of the disaster situation (when the emergency response stops) and ends when the community has returned to its normal state or, as by the definition of Quarantelli (1999), to some level of acceptability. This research has also adapted the same meaning of recovery phase; (c) The process of recovery means a series of actions by which a community achieves normality. The process includes activities that were planned before the disaster and activities that were improvised after the disaster.


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7.2.1  Challenges and Critique After the 2004 Tsunami disaster, Clinton (2006) provided 10 propositions in order to elaborate ‘build back better’. As a former US president, Bill Clinton’s propositions were prominent in providing a framework for ‘build back better’. However, researchers have pointed out the drawbacks in concepts of ‘build back better’: they do not provide clear goals for post-disaster recovery processes. The term ‘better’ can have multiple interpretations and does not necessarily go hand in hand with ‘safer’ construction (Jim Kennedy et al. 2008). This would mean that vulnerabilities are not minimized, and resilience is not maximized. In Aceh which was hit hard by the tsunami, success was measured by the number of houses completed and the speed of execution, rather than focusing on safety, security, and livelihood. Also, ‘better’ was perceived as ‘modern masonry’ dwellings rather than structurally safer vernacular architecture (Jim Kennedy et  al. 2008). Another risk is that recovery efforts that address only the immediate hazard due to time pressures in the recovery process and not fully mitigate vulnerabilities to other hazards (J.  Kennedy et  al. 2009; Mannakkara and Wilkinson 2013). In March 2015, the UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction took place, where the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (SFDRR) 2015–2030 was signed. SFDRR replaced the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005–2015 (HFA). International frameworks like SFDRR have served as a guideline to carry out the recovery process. SFDRR moves beyond HFA and includes response and recovery timeframes, as a way to reduce risks and build back better (Pearson and Pelling 2015). SFDRR also includes seven global targets, whereas HFA did not include any. SFDRR highly recognises the vital role of civil society, science & respective governments to achieve its global targets. However, certain conceptual drawbacks have been pointed out in the framework. The SFDRR discourse has been termed as top-­ down. It does not include substantial focus on community participation, while local communities are valued partners in disaster recovery rather than mere “aid recipients” (Tozier de la Poterie and Baudoin 2015). Global targets included in SFDRR lack quantitative guidance on how the targets are to be met. This can lead to ambiguity in assessing how far SFDRR has achieved its goal (Pearson and Pelling 2015). Jha et al. (2010) state that a disaster which has occurred in both urban and rural areas is challenging and complex to solve. This is a valid assessment for Nepal after the 2015 earthquake, the recovery of which is posing serious urban and rural challenges. To meet these challenges, the Government of Nepal announced the establishment of a National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), a national body that is supposed to report to the Cabinet and which is empowered to set recovery policies, and provide oversight to the recovery efforts of Government as well as the support provided by international and local actors. The underlying visions of the Government of Nepal are well-planned, resilient settlements and a prosperous society through the recovery process, including safe structures, social cohesion, access to services, livelihood support and capacity building (PDRF 2016).

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In Nepal, a more systematic disaster response management began only after 1982 when the Natural Calamity Relief Act 1982 or Natural Disaster Relief Act was created (MoHA 2013). In 1999, the Nepalese government promulgated the Local Self Governance Act. These two acts provided legal foundations for disaster response. This was instrumental towards decentralization of authority by focusing on interrelationships between development processes, environment and disaster. It allows local authorities, namely District Development Committees (DDCs), Municipalities, and Village Development Committees (VDC),2 to manage environmentally friendly development through their own actions. It is noteworthy that local bodies did not have any elected officials due to political deadlock for 20  years. However, in May 14, 2017, Nepal successfully conducted local elections, and elected officials are taking charge of development matters again (Sharma 2017). To support people severely affected by the earthquake, Government of Nepal has decided to provide NRs 300,000 (equivalent to US$2792.16, 1US$ is approx. NRs. 107.29 on Oct 2016) financial grant, each increased from the initial NRs. 200,000 (equivalent to US$1864.11) (Post Report Kantipur 2016). The grant amount is the same for urban and rural areas and dispatched on an instalment basis after the completion of each milestone of construction. A loan of 2.5 million NRs. from Banks for Kathmandu Valley and 1.5 million for areas outside Kathmandu valley can also be granted. The government prefers most of the housing reconstruction to be on the original land. Only where it is unavoidable, relocation will be permitted. For relocation, the government intends to prepare settlement plans which include required civic amenities, employment patterns and social networks (PDRF 2016). Remittance is an important funding source for reconstruction in rural areas of Nepal (Sector Plans – GoN 2016; PDNA 2015). Migrant remittance flow increases in the aftermath of large disasters, which acts as a safety net for households. Such households appear less vulnerable and possess a considerably greater livelihood resilience (Pant 2016). Practical Action (2014) reported that migrant workers from Kathmandu and Jhapa district save up to 37% of their income, 18.1% of this being savings for various construction related practices. A study by Manandhar (2016) found that despite a significant level of remittance money spent on construction work, unsafe construction practices in Nepal increased.

7.3  Case Study & Target Population Gongabu falls into the peri-urban outer fringe of Kathmandu (Fig.  7.1), and is a densely packed urbanized area. Gongabu occupies 2.7 km2 and has a population of 54,410. The residential neighbourhood is characterized by a mixed land use, with socially mixed classes. It is also considered ecologically important because it serves as a major recharge zone for the valley (Shakya and Shrestha 2013). The same study 2  VDC were a local governance body before March 2017 which is replaced by Gaupalika that has greater decision-making powers. Development works at local levels were executed through VDC.


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Fig. 7.1  Map of Nepal with location of Kathmandu and Sindhupalchok. (Data source: ArcDiva, KVDA, modified by authors, 2016)

also found that buildings are used in the most part for housing purposes, and are mostly owner-built with private developers and contractors. The Tokha municipality governs Gongabu but is itself a new municipality, which was formed just four months before the Gorkha earthquake of 2015 (Post Report Kantipur 2014). Tokha Municipality (2015) statistics show that 332 houses were fully, and 2,446 houses partially, damaged by the earthquake. Altogether, there were 135 deaths in this neighbourhood. A study by Hibino et al. (2015) shows that reinforced concrete and masonry buildings were the most damaged. Bungamati falls into the sub-urban inner fringe, and is a settlement with traditional value. It occupies 4.03 km2 area and has 5,966 population. It is located 10 km south of Kathmandu’s centre. It was settled in the seventh century and its inhabitants are predominantly Newars, the indigenous people of Kathmandu valley. The traditional settlement has a compact built form and is famous for renowned temples, wood-carvings and handicrafts. The Central Bureau of Statistics (2012) states that the people here have mostly Hindu and Buddhist religious values. The town form, street patterns, community infrastructure, and open space hierarchy includes Newari architecture style buildings (Shrestha 2001). Four months prior to the earthquake of 2015, it was declared a part of the newly established Karyabinayak municipality. The Karyabinayak Municipality damage assessment report (2016) shows that 1,273 houses were fully damaged and 222 houses were partially damaged. The total number of houses recorded to be existent before disaster were 1,704 houses. This data also shows that the Bungamati experienced severe damage, as 75% of its housing stock was fully destroyed in the 2015 earthquake. The Thangpal valley in the rural hinterland of the Sindhupalchowk district (Fig. 7.2) is highly inaccessible, a great distance from a market centre and has little infrastructure. The Thangpal valley has a total population of 8,047 and covers is

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Fig. 7.2  Map of Kathmandu valley and Sindhupalchok. (Data source: ArcDiva, KVDA, modified by authors, 2016)

59.52 km2. The two villages studied within the valley are Thangpalkot and Gunsa. The Thangpal valley can be categorized as rural hinterland with an agrarian and subsistence lifestyle. The valley lies in the Sindhupalchok district, which has been categorized as severely hit by the Gorkha earthquake (Sector Plans – GoN 2016). The Thangpal valley comprises of 3 VDCs, viz. Thangpaldhhap, Thangpalkot, and Gunsa. There are 1,924 households in the Thangpal valley (653 households in Thangpalkot and 449 in Gunsa) (CBS 2014). The population density is only 135.19 inhabitants per sq. km. This is 170.5 times less than Gongabu. The area of Thangpal valley is 25 times bigger than Gongabu and lies in an altitude between 5,000 ft. to 7,000 ft. People in the valley are from different castes, the majority being from “tamang”, “lama”, and “chhetri” caste. The literacy rate is less than 50%, and there are further social problems which are poverty, lack of education, and child marriage (VDC office – Gunsa 2011). The moderate climate is considered good for farming; hence, people are mostly engaged in agriculture as a profession, however, a growing number of people from Gunsa also go for foreign employment and send regular remittances. Damage to 98% of houses was observed in the settlement. 90% of buildings in this area were mud-bonded stone constructions. Data from UN OCHA (2015) indicates that only seven buildings, from a total of 1,102 houses, were left undamaged after the


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earthquake. Thus, the whole settlement is termed “destroyed”. Buildings are planned in a dispersed manner in Thangpalkot, clustered in Gunsa. Buildings were predominantly for housing purposes before the earthquake. The housing construction approach here is mostly owner-built or formal type housing built by a local contractor. The settlements of Gunsa and Thangpalkot each have a Village Development Committee (VDC), which exists as the lower-tier and local body for governance. The second tier consists of Districts, which are governed by the District Development Committee (DDC).

7.4  Research Framework (Fig. 7.3)

Fig. 7.3  Research framework

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7.5  Methodology The World Bank’s Handbook on Safer Homes by Jha et  al. (2010) and da Silva (2010), the Sendai Framework 2015 SFDRR (2015) and the Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction 2013 GAR (2013) formed the base for conceptualizing this research. Following a multiple-case design, three settlements of Nepal were selected from rural and two different urban contexts. The case study sites of Bungamati, Gongabu, and Thangpal valley were picked based on existing knowledge of the researchers. The reason behind the selection of urban and rural sectors as case study areas, is the distinctive socio-economic patterns, architecture, settlement patterns, governance, damage level, and demographic distribution. Through a questionnaire, 59 individuals from separate households from Bungamati, 57 from Gongabu, and 60 from Thangpal Valley were surveyed using stratified random sampling. Three key expert interviews were collected during the fieldwork – this was carried out during June 2016. Various cases of reconstruction approaches occurring in other countries and its relationship to the whole recovery phase were studied based on literature and secondary data sources. Reconstruction approaches undertaken by government and civil society were compared to people’s needs. The needs were categorized in terms of planning, design, and construction of housing recovery (Barenstein 2006, 2013; Jim Kennedy et al. 2008; da Silva 2010; Graf 2012). The research was carried out following the Case study method (Yin 2009). Previous studies in the field of urban and disaster research in Nepal have applied a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods (Marahatta 2013; Bhandari 2010; Sandholz 2015). Barenstein (2006) uses a quantitative approach in her research, and compares various reconstruction approaches employed after the Gujarat earthquake. Subba (2003) asserts that, to understand the contextual reality and dynamic interplay between human actions and human needs, qualitative method is required. Studies by da Silva (2010) and Jha et al. (2010) were used to prepare a semi-­ structured questionnaire for interviewing the disaster affected people in the three case study sites. Furthermore, the semi-structured interview technique was also chosen for interviews with key informants. The use of a semi-structured interview led to qualitative data about perceptions, meanings, definitions, and a construction of reality. It also opened new leads to current research (Punch 2005; Chitrakar 2015).

7.6  Design of Survey Questionnaire The questionnaire sheet was designed with seven sections and 31 questions. It was based on acquiring the data needed to address the purpose of the research. The sections considered were: (a) Personal details; (b) Perception of risk, hazard and resilience; (c) Design;


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(d) Planning; (e) Construction; (f) Participation, beliefs, practices; (g) Needs after earthquake. Most questions were closed-ended with multiple answer choices to allow for a quantitative analysis. For open-ended questions, space was provided to fill the text. The household survey data was analyzed using SPSS to analyse correlations, and to look for cause and effect relationships. For this purpose, Lambda tests for correlation analysis were conducted. (Creswell 2003). Analysis and interpretation of qualitative data from interviews with key informants was done by coding in MaxQDA. Interview recordings were transcribed in word processing software and later imported to MaxQDA. The qualitative data from key informant interviews as well as from open-ended questions in the survey was used to further deepen the results gained from the quantitative data. The mixed methodology approach also allowed for comparison of the different actors’ perceptions.

7.7  Findings 7.7.1  Hazard that Affects the People Most Nepal and its inhabitants are at risk from different natural and man-made hazards. To assess the risk perception, the respondents in all three sites were asked about the hazards they feel most at risk to. Respondents in Gongabu believe that earthquakes are going to affect them more than fire. Few expressed that floods would also affect them. Additionally, nearly 100% of respondents in Bungamati believe that an earthquake is going to affect them the most in terms of natural hazards. However, in Thangpal, only 43.33% believe that an earthquake is going to affect them while 30% said that thunder and another 20% that landslide would affect them most. It can thus be observed that recovery works have to be tailored to the different sites, to mitigate multiple hazards if necessary and to take people’s perception of hazard risk into consideration, in order to come up with sustainable recovery strategies.

7.7.2  A  wareness About Building Codes and People’s Perception on Rebuilding Building code compliance is taken as a primary tool for measuring the quality of reconstructed houses. However, research shows that only 52.63% of respondents in Gongabu know that building codes exist at all. The awareness level for Bungamati

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is similar, where the same number of respondents are aware of building codes. This, however, is lowest in Thangpal valley, where only 47.46% of respondents have heard about building codes implemented by the government. This can be a severe hurdle for post-disaster recovery if end-users are not aware of the quality to be reached. As a result, housing reconstruction might potentially perpetuate pre-­ disaster risk conditions. At the same time, the study shows that the majority of respondents from all three sites prefer to use stronger construction materials for rebuilding their houses. In their opinion, the future houses must be of better quality than their previous houses and more resistant to earthquakes. Most respondents believe that concrete buildings are stronger compared to vernacular materials and technology. They also said that they want to receive training for constructing better houses. Lambda tests3 done to understand the correlation between the preferred type of house and the respondents’ belief about earthquakes did not show any correlation for Gongabu and Bungamati. However, for Thangpal valley (Table 7.1), the test shows that the preferred type of house (Reinforced Cement Concrete/RCC structure professionally engineered, stone masonry – old technique, etc.) has a moderate relation with what respondents believe about earthquakes. This shows that people’s perception about what is the cause of disaster (either by natural event or God’s wrath) changes people’s decision on how they would build their house. Also, further data analysis shows that people Table 7.1  Lambda test for Thangpal valley. Crosstabulation of survey question ‘What do you believe about Earthquake?’ and ‘Which type of house do you prefer to construct after earthquake of 2015?’ [Area: Thangpal valley, n = 60] Directional measures

Nominal Lambda by nominal

Asymp. Value Std. Errora .147 .064 .051 .035

Symmetric Which type of house do you prefer to construct alter earthquake of 2015? Dependent What do you believe about .276 earthquake? Dependent .065 Which type of house do you Goodman and Kruskat prefer to construct after earthquake of 2015? Dependent tau What do you believe about .244 earthquake? Dependent


Approx. Tb 2.117 1.439

Approx. Sig. .034 .150







Not assuming the null hypothesis Using the asymptotic standard error assuming the null hypothesis c Based on chi-square approximation



3  Lambda test is a measure of association for nominal variables and its results ranges from 0.00 to 1.00. A lambda of 0.00 reflects no association between variables and a Lambda of 1.00 is a perfect association.


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who believe earthquakes are caused naturally and not due to God’s wrath tend to more easily accept buildings with vernacular styles of construction with improved seismic resistant features, indicating a relation between the level of education and lifestyle.

7.7.3  R  econstruction Site Preferences and Restoration of Services The earthquake also poses questions on whether reconstruction should take place in the same site as before. The household survey shows that in Gongabu, 94.7% of the people desire to reconstruct their houses in the same place. The top four reasons for not relocating to other places are: (a) 26.3% of respondents said that it is their ancestral property; (b) 17.5% said that they find this area secure; (c) 15.8% said that they find enough basic services available; (d) 17.5% said that they are well-acquainted with the community members there. In Bungamati, the household survey shows that 67.8% of respondents want to reconstruct their buildings in the same place as before and 18.64% of respondents informed that they want to construct their houses elsewhere. The top two reasons for staying are: (a) 59% of respondents said that the reason to not move else is because it’s their ancestral property; (b) 13% said that that they find enough basic services available so they are hesitant to leave. As for the Thangpal valley, the household survey shows that 74% want to reconstruct their house in the same place as before. The top two reasons for reconstructing in the same place are: (a) 35.5% respondents said that they have no other land; (b) 35.4% respondents said that it is their ancestral property. These results again indicate a difference between urban and rural populations, while in all sites ancestral property is among the top two reasons for staying. Basic services as a reason is given only in the urban case study areas. This is not surprising given that the restoration of basic services took the longest in the Thangpal valley. Restoration of basic services in this case means a supply which is at predisaster level. A comparative analysis from Fig.  7.4 shows that the recovery of basic shelter was quicker in Gongabu, compared to Bungamati and Thangpal valley. It took an average of 31.62 days to arrive at a semi-permanent type of shelter for the affected people, whereas in Thangpal valley it took almost 134  days. In terms of restoring electricity, too, Gongabu performed better than the other areas.

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Fig. 7.4  Mean value of restoration of basic services

The mean value of restoration of the normal supply of electricity was 23 days. For water supply resumption, Bungamati performed better, taking 15 days to resume normal water supply. The Thangpal valley required the most time, taking 42 days to resume a normal water supply. Telecommunication resumed quickly in Bungamati, within 6 days, whereas in Thangpal valley it took 33 days on average. For a normal level of supply of groceries, Bungamati required only 1 day, Gongabu 4 days, and Thangpal valley 16 days. It is noteworthy that Thangpal valley is an agrarian society but it took the longest for a normal supply of grocery items. For those houses which were completely repaired after the earthquake, Thangpal valley took 83 days on average for the repair works, whereas Gongabu took 153 days for complete repair.

7.7.4  P  eople’s perception on Government Capability of Supporting Research in Gongabu shows that 52.63% of people believe that the government can support post-disaster recovery. Others were sceptical about the government’s capacity to support them. Trust in government was better in Bungamati where 62.5% think that the government is capable of supporting them for post-disaster reconstruction. This was also the case in Thangpal valley, where research shows that around 60% of respondents believe that the government can support their community towards post-disaster recovery, and 40% believed that the government is not capable.


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7.7.5  People’s Demands for Post-disaster Reconstruction For questions regarding post-disaster recovery needs, the top answer was “financial support” in all case study areas. Fig. 7.5 shows that financial needs hindered their reconstruction. In second position for post-disaster housing, respondents of Gongabu said that they need a “clean environment”. For people of Bungamati and Thangpal valley this was “building materials”. In third position, people of Gongabu said that they need “better consultation to build earthquake resistant houses”. People of Bungamati said both “financial support and building materials” are needed. People of Thangpal valley said that they need “good roads” as it is problematic for transporting building materials. Financial support in Nepal is closely linked to remittances, which have been a major source of income over the past years. However, the research shows regional differences. Overall 36,7% of the respondents in Thangpal valley have at least one family member working abroad and 26.67% said that they rely on these remittances for reconstruction. Only 6% of respondents said that farming would provide them with sufficient financial resources for reconstruction. Thus, remittances are an important source for reconstruction, particularly in the rural case study site. A Lambda test (Table 7.2), however, shows that there is no relationship between the presence of a migrant family member and the type of house an earthquake affected person might choose for reconstruction.

Fig. 7.5  Results for the question “What are your future needs for post-disaster housing for your family?” (n = 176)

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Table 7.2  Lambda test for correlation for Thangpal valley between variables “Are there migrant workers in family?” and “Which type of house do you prefer to construct after earthquake of 2015?”, n = 60

Nominal Lambda by Nominal

Asymp. Value Std. Errora .066 .030 .182 .082

Symmetric Are there migrant workers in family? Dependent .000 Which type of house do you prefer to construct alter earthquake of 2015? Dependent .141 Goodman Are there migrant workers in family? Dependent and Kruskal tau Which type of house do you .011 prefer to construct alter earthquake of 2015? Dependent


Approx. Tb 2.071 2.071

Approx. Sig. .038 .038







Not assuming the null hypothesis Using the asymptotic standard error assuming the null hypothesis c Cannot be computed because the asymptotic standard error equals zero d Based on chi-square approximation



7.8  Discussion There are certain similarities between the three case studies, although they have different social, economic, and cultural contexts (Table 7.3). Respondents in all three sites lack awareness of building codes, are reluctant to relocate to new site, believe in the government, and are facing financial constraints for reconstruction. The government demands compliance to building codes for earthquake resistant buildings, but in all case study areas, more than half of the population did not know such building codes exist. This raises the need for knowledge dissemination campaigns for building codes. However, the study also shows that most people want to construct stronger houses with stronger construction materials. People’s awareness towards the need for stronger building construction along with technical input has increased. The study also shows that a small percentage of earthquake affected people from all the case study areas want to relocate to another site. The government has decided that only in cases when it is unavoidable, relocation can be allowed to discourage scattered settlement and promote larger integrated settlements. In a practical aspect, this is challenging, as many integrated settlements must be designed and land adjustment schemes have to be executed, since not all the affected people might have land in government designated settlement zones. Results show that most people believe that the government can support their community in post-disaster reconstruction works. However, a proper institutional set-up within government institutions is another hindrance for recovery. Municipalities and VDCs are lacking manpower and elected officials. This creates a lack of clarity for project execution and problems with accountability. On the other hand, the elections of May 2017 have paved the way for newly elected officials to take charge of development and post-disaster recovery matters, which can be a positive change for post-disaster recovery.


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Table 7.3  Summary of results Topic Awareness about building codes Lambda test for believe about Earthquake and type of house preferred Preference of design & technology

Responsibility of housing reconstruction

Geographic area Gongabu 52.63% are aware

Bungamati 52.63% are aware

Thangpal valley 47.46% are aware

Correlation doesn’t exist

Correlation doesn’t exist

Correlation exists

Reinforced cement concrete professionally engineered 68.42% favor only engineers

Traditional Newari architecture (engineered)

2.73 million NRs.

Reinforced cement concrete professionally engineered 31.67% favor only engineers, 18.3% favor self & engineers. 1.41 million NRs.

As per reconstruction master plan Performance is better for water supply, telecom & groceries, complete recovery 1. Finance 2. Building materials 3. Finance together with building materials

1 storey-building, 3 nos. Vacant rooms Performance is below in all basic services recovery 1. Finance 2. Building materials 3. Good roads

Average funding 6.01 million NRs. required for housing Design optimization 3-storey, 6 nos. Vacant rooms Performance is Mean value of restoration of basic better for basic shelter & electricity services 1. Finance People’s need for 2. Clean post-disaster environment recovery 3.Better consultation

42.37% favor engineers & contractors together

The lack of financing is reported to be a major hindrance for affected people to reconstruct in all three sites. Therefore, an adequate financial support scheme is in high demand. The government, along with financial institutes, should engage in creating favorable policies to address this urgent need. For people in Gongabu and Bungamati, a policy review for soft loan is suggested (HRRP/UN-Habitat 2016). A payback period extension to 18 years can be considered. A similar payback period extension can be beneficial for earthquake affected people of Bungamati, where heritage-based tourism can be a good source of income. For the affected people of the Thangpal valley, the best way is to adopt vernacular architecture with earthquake resilient technologies. Other modern construction materials will increase the cost of reconstruction and people there might not be able to pay back their loans on time. Results also show that remittances are a good source of funds in Nepal, particularly in rural settings, but do not influence the type of construction technology a household might choose. There is a possibility that remittance dependent households are interested in building a new house, thus disregarding the necessary earthquake resistant features. This practice is likely to increase earthquake risk. There are also contrasting issues in reconstruction for the case study sites  – rooted in the differences in pre-earthquake building and settlement patterns as well as differences in recovery actions taken so far.

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Bungamati is a heritage zone which has a variety of tangible and intangible values. This would mean that reconstruction will not just be about building materials or earthquake resistive designs, but also about conserving the settlement’s heritage value. Careful considerations need to be made during reconstruction, linking it with public space and community infrastructure. Thangpal valley has not been declared as a heritage zone, but does have its unique vernacular architecture. Contrarily, Gongabu is not a heritage zone. Therefore, the scale of interventions and approach would be different according to each case study sites. Analysis shows that people in Thangpal valley tend to build stronger houses when they understand the scientific reason behind earthquakes. This can be used for risk communication and sensitizing people to construct better houses. Hence, an approach to help people understand how earthquakes are caused might be one way of sensitizing them to follow earthquake resistive designs. However, no similar correlation is found for Bungamati and Gongabu. Gongabu has performed better in terms of basic shelter and electricity recovery, while Bungamati has performed better for water supply, telecommunication, and groceries supply recovery. However, Thangpal valley performed poorly on all basic services recovery. This shows that basic service recovery is faster in urban contexts, potentially leaving rural areas, which have been hit hard by the earthquake, behind.

7.9  Conclusions Housing recovery is crucial in post-disaster Nepal. This study reveals the differences between different sites in urban and rural contexts, posing questions about locally tailored recovery approaches rather than generalized ones on national scale. It also clearly shows that housing reconstruction is going far beyond simple shelter, but is a rather complex issue at the core of overall recovery. People are keen to construct better earthquake resistive houses after the 2015 earthquakes. However, certain gaps have been identified. Although people are willing to reconstruct safer houses, they are not aware of existing building codes. As a consequence, they may build non-safe constructions which they believe to be stable as a result of a simple lack of knowledge. Belief in government is high, although the proper institutional set-up within government institutions is another hindrance for recovery. This creates a lack of clarity for project execution and problems with accountability. Institutional strengthening of local bodies is thus needed. Lack of financing is reported to be another major hindrance for those affected in reconstruction. An adequate financial support scheme is in high demand. The government, along with financial institutes, should engage in creating favorable policies which address this need. The study also shows that a proper risk communication strategy can motivate people from the rural Thangpal valley to build earthquake resistive houses. It further highlights the local importance of remittances, which should be included in recovery strategies.


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The high differences in restoration of basic services is a sign of growing inequalities between rural and urban areas. Further study can shed light on the factors that enhanced the resilience of urban areas, and replicability of these factors to rural settlements. Also, pre-disaster settlement features like the heritage value of Bungamati must be considered while reconstructing, to preserve its identity for the local community, improve cohesion, and maintain tourism as a main source of income. There is a high emphasis towards constructing contemporary style concrete buildings rather than traditional/vernacular style in Gongabu and Thangpal valley. This has caused increase in cost of construction. In Gongabu for multi-storey construction, concrete buildings are feasible but for rural areas they are costlier than what people can afford. Vernacular style of construction should be promoted which would then preserve identity of Thangpal valley and also lead to cost effective construction. Priority 1 of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction articulates that “understanding disaster risk” is necessary to build back better and not repeat the same mistakes while rebuilding. Through understanding interests and perceptions of the affected people in the three case-study sites, this research highlights areas where previously existing risks are not mitigated and at the same time newer risks are (potentially) created during reconstruction. Gaps highlighted in this research can also be useful to understand risks that might increase vulnerability of the affected people in the future. Sendai Priority 4 has “Build Back Better” at its core. By highlighting some major hindrances, this research can contribute to Nepal’s post-disaster recovery efforts. Acknowledgements  The researchers would like to thank the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Institute of Rescue Engineering and Civil Protection (TH Köln) for their generous financial support to undertake this research. The researchers would also like to thank the Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust (KVPT) & Architecture Sans Frontieres Nepal (ASF Nepal) for support on data gathering and logistics.

References Alexander D (1993) Natural disasters. Chapman and Hall, New York Barenstein JD (2006) Housing reconstruction in post-earthquake Gujarat: a comparative analysis, vol 44. Overseas Development Institute, London Barenstein JED (2013) Communities’ perspectives on housing reconstruction in Gujarat following the earthquake of 2001. post-disaster reconstruction and change: communities’ perspectives, pp 69–98 Berke PR, Kartez J, Wenger D (1993) Recovery after disaster: achieving sustainable development, mitigation and equity. Disasters 17(2):93–109. tb01137.x Bhandari RB (2010) Analysis of social roles and impacts of urban ritual events with reference to building capacity to cope with disasters: case Studies of Nepal and Japan. Kyoto University, Kyoto CBS. (2014) National population and housing census 2011 (village development committee/ Municipality) Sindhupalchowk. Kathmandu

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Central Bureau of Statistics, Government of Nepal (2012) National population and housing census 2011 (National Report) 01 (NPHC 2011): 3, 205 Charles K (1995) Assessing disaster needs in megacities: perspectives from developing countries. GeoJournal 37(3):381–385 Chitrakar RM (2015) Transformation of public space in contemporary urban neighbourhoods of Kathmandu valley, Nepal: an investigation of changing provision, use and meaning. Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane Clinton WJ (2006) Lessons learned from tsunami recovery: key propositions for building Back better. United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery, New York Creswell JW (2003) Research design: qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches, 2nd edn. Sage, Thousand Oaks da Silva J (2010) Lessons from Aceh: key considerations in post-disaster reconstruction. Practical Action Publishing, 98. Davis I (1978) Shelter after disaster. Oxford Polytechnic Press, Oxford de la Poterie AT, Baudoin MA (2015) From Yokohama to Sendai: approaches to participation in international disaster risk reduction frameworks. Int J Disast Risk Sci 6(2):128–139. https:// El-Masri S, Tipple G (1997) Urbanisation, poverty and natural disasters: vulnerability of settlements in developing countries. In: Awotona A (ed) Reconstruction after disaster: issues and practices, 1st edn. Ashgate Publishing Limited, Aldershot GAR (2013) Global assessment report on disaster risk reduction: from shared risk to shared value –the business case for disaster risk reduction. United Nations Graf A (2012) Unaffordable housing and its consequences : A comparative analysis of two post-­ Mitch reconstruction projects in Nicaragua. In: Post-disaster reconstruction and change. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 191–208 Haas JE, Kates RW, Pijawka D (1977) From rubble to monument: the pace of reconstruction. In: Haas JE, Kates RW, Bowden MJ (eds) Reconstruction following disaster, 1st edn. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, pp 1–23 Hibino Y, Onishi N, Nakamura A, Maida Y, Environmental Studies (2015) Field investigation in affected area due to the 2015 Nepal earthquake by AIJ reconnaissance team: damage assessment and seismic capacity evaluation of buildings in Gongabu, Kathmandu. Kathmandu HRRP/UN-Habitat (2016) Urban housing recovery policies & strategies for post  – earthquake Nepal (Focusing to Kathmandu valley and market towns). Kathmandu Jha AK, Barenstein JD, Phelps PM, Pittet D, Sena S (2010) Safer homes, stronger communities. In: Construction. The World Bank, Washington, DC. Jones TL (2006) Mind the gap ! Post-disaster reconstruction and the transition from humanitarian relief. RICS, University of Westminster, London Karyabinayak Municipality (2016) Damage assessment after 2015 earthquake (Nepali version). Lalitpur Kennedy J, Ashmore J, Babister E, Kelman I (2008) The meaning of ‘build back better’: evidence from post-tsunami Aceh and Sri Lanka. J Conting Crisis Manage 16(1) Kennedy J, Ashmore J, Babister E, Kelman I, Zarins J (2009) Disaster mitigation lessons from ‘build back better’ Following the 26 December 2004 Tsunamis. Water and Urban Development Paradigms, no. December 2004, pp 297–302 Lindell MK (2011) Recovery and reconstruction after disaster. In: Bobrowsky PT (ed) Encyclopedia of natural hazards. Springer, Dordrecht. Manandhar B (2016) Remittance and earthquake preparedness. Int J Disaster Risk Reduct 15:52–60. Mannakkara S, Wilkinson S (2013) Build Back better principles for post-disaster structural improvements. Struct Surv 31(4):314–327. Marahatta PS (2013) Community-based earthquake vulnerability reduction in traditional settlements of Kathmandu Valley. Tribhuvan University, Kirtipur MoHA (2013) National Disaster Response Framework (NDRF), vol 1. Government of Nepal, Kathmandu


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Pant B (2016) Role of remittances: reconstruction and recovery. The Himalayan Times, August 24, 2016 Parker D, Islam N, Chan NW (1997) Reducing vulnerability following flood disasters. In: Awotona AA (ed) Reconstruction after disaster : issues and practices, 1st edn. Ashgate Publishing Limited, Aldershot PDNA (2015) Post disaster needs assessment vol A PDNA Vol B (2015) Post disaster needs assessment – sector reports. Government of Nepal PDRF (2016) Post disaster recovery framework 2016–2020. National Reconstruction Authority, Government of Nepal, Kathmandu Pearson L, Pelling M (2015) The UN Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction 2015–2030: negotiation process and prospects for science and practice. J Extreme Events 02(01):1571001. Post Report Kantipur (2014) Govt announces 61 municipalities. Kantipur Publication, December 3, 2014 Post Report Kantipur (2016) Reconstruction of homes: PM’s extra assistance promise hard to keep. Kantipur Publication, September 9, 2016 Practical Action (2014) Understanding the role of remittances in reducing risk to earthquakes. Kathmandu Punch KF (2005) Introduction to social research: quantitative and qualitative approaches. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks Quarantelli EL (1999) The disaster recovery process: what we know and do not know from research. In: International Forum on Civil Protection Sandholz S (2015) Our town ? Heritage and identities in changing urban landscapes of the global south. Leopold-Franzens-Universität Innsbruck Schwab J, Topping KC, Eadie CC, Deyle RE, Smith RA (1998) Planning for post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. PAS report 483/484. Chicago, IL Sector Plans – GoN (2016) Sector plans and financial projections – working documents. National Reconstruction Authority, Government of Nepal SFDRR (2015) Sendai framework for disaster risk reduction 2015–2030. United Nations, Sendai. Shakya S, Shrestha MK (2013) Urban growth in the northern fringe of Kathmandu Valley focusing on the residential development: the case of Dhapasi and surrounding VDCs. Proc IOE Grad Conf 1:221–225 Sharma G (2017) Nepal to hold first local elections in 20 years: minister. Thomson Reuters, July 25, 2017 Shrestha BK (2001) Transformation of Machendra Bahal at Bungamati – conservation and management plan -, pp 1–15 Subba M (2003) Urban containment policy: does it present a hope to manage an impending urban crisis of the Kathmandu Valley? Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim Sullivan M (2003) Integrated emergency management: A new way of looking at a delicate process. Aust J Emerg Manage 18:4–27 Tokha Municipality (2015) Tokha Municipality damage report. Kathmandu Turner JFC (1972) Housing as a verb. In: Turner JFC, Fichter R (eds) Freedom to build: dweller control of the housing process. Macmillan Company, New York, pp 148–175 UN OCHA (2015) Sindhupalchok coordinated assessment analysis package. Humanitarian Response, Kathmandu UNDRO (1984) Disaster prevention and mitigation: a compendium of current knowledge. Preparedness Aspects 11 VDC Office – Gunsa (2011) Gunsa VDC Profile.Pdf. Sindhupalchok Yin RK (2009) Case study research – design and methods. Applied social research methods series 5, 2nd edn.

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Rupesh Shrestha  holds a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Tribhuvan University Nepal and Master’s degree in Natural Resources Management & Development from TH Köln – University of Applied Sciences, Cologne, Germany. He also holds Project Management Professional (PMP) certification from Project Management Institute (PMI). His works include cultural heritage conservation, sustainable built environment, urban management, water and sustainable sanitation. Mr. Shrestha has experience of working with both private sector and NGO in Nepal. Since 2017 he is affiliated with Kathmandu Valley Preservation Trust (KVPT) as Project Architect. Dr. Alexander Fekete  holds a diploma degree in Geography and a habilitation degree from the University of Würzburg.He finished his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Janos J. Bogardi at the United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) in 2010 on the topic of social vulnerability to river-floods. Thereafter, he worked as a Project Officer at the German Federal Office of Civil Protection and Disaster Assistance on the topic of Critical Infrastructure. Since December 2012 he is Professor of Risk and Crisis Management at TH Köln - the Cologne University of Applied Sciences. His research and teaching topics cover natural hazards, critical infrastructure, social vulnerability, humanitarian aid, civil protection and many more. Simone Sandholz  is senior researcher and lecturer at United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security (UNU-EHS) in Bonn, Germany. After graduating from architecture, she obtained postgraduate degrees in conservation and resources management in the tropics and a doctoral degree in geography. Her research focuses on sustainable regional and urban development, both in developed and developing countries. Among others she has research experience in Brazil, Indonesia and Nepal. In particular, she is working on different aspects of futureoriented vulnerability and risk reduction and the potentials of urban heritage for sustainable development, including in disaster recovery.

Chapter 8

Tackling Urban Open Space Encroachment in a South African Township: An Exploratory Study Lindelwa Sinxadi and Maléne Campbell

Abstract  Urban open spaces are becoming extinct and spatial patterns of urban land use are severely affected. The changes in land use and occupancy patterns on urban open spaces have led to value conflicts in terms of the quest for sustainable neighbourhoods. This affects the value of urban open spaces, land use management, preservation and sustainability of open spaces. As such, this study seeks to explore, in its entirety, the incidence of urban open space encroachment in Mangaung Township, Free State Province of South Africa. A qualitative case study research design was adopted in the study. The accruing data was analyzed thematically relying on a set of pre-set themes that evolved from literature. The study identified the drivers propelling the incidence of this malaise, chronicles the plethora of strategies which have been implemented to curtail its continued occurrence and it highlights the strengths and weaknesses of these strategies. The study’s findings highlight high cost of the available land for housing, poor sustenance and management of municipal land by municipality officials, non-participation of community members in planning processes, and poor enforcement of land use regimes which remain salient contributors to the preponderance of open space encroachment. These findings have immense implications for planning practitioners and other professionals involved in urban planning and socio-economic development praxes both within the province and beyond. Keywords  Management · Open spaces · Participation · Strategy · Sustainability

L. Sinxadi (*) Department of Built Environment, Central University of Technology, Free State, South Africa e-mail: [email protected] M. Campbell Department of Urban and Regional Planning, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa e-mail: [email protected] © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 R. Roggema (ed.), Designing Sustainable Cities, Contemporary Urban Design Thinking,



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8.1  Introduction Urban open spaces in land use planning remains critical to the environment and the quality of life. The value, management and preservation of urban open space is at the heart of sustainability. The Open Space Act 1906 (1906) defines an open space as “any land, whether inclosed or not, on which there are no buildings or of which not more than one-twentieth part is covered with buildings, and the whole or the remainder of which is laid out as a garden or is used for purposes of recreation, or lies waste and unoccupied”. The Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act, 1972, defines open space as “land laid out as a public garden, or used for the purposes of public recreation, or land which is a disused burial ground”. An open space is open when it is easily accessible to the people and can accommodate human activity and enjoyment (Lynch 1981). The terms “open space”, “urban open space”, “green space”, “public open space” is used interchangeably in planning. It can be defined in terms of the space, location, development and function. An urban open space is defined as “a piece of land, either developed or pristine, that is either existing or planned to maximize the ecological integrity of an urban area by sustaining both urban and natural ecosystems; while improving the quality of human life in both social and economic terms” (Mashalaba 2013: 40). As a result, parks, gardens, wetlands, allotments, trees and forests or grasslands represent urban open spaces. According to Maruani and Amit-Cohen (2007), planning for urban open spaces need to consider supply and demand approaches. The demand approach to urban open spaces must fulfil human needs. This implies that planning for open spaces need to focus on the attributes of the targeted community in reference to its size, values and preferences, residential distribution and density. The supply approach in planning for open spaces focuses on conserving the natural environment. Aspects to target include the selection of the site, the size and amount of open spaces in that community, recreational activities and the design of the site. The demand-approach model is suitable for developed urban areas and the natural undeveloped areas suit the supply-approach model (Maruani and Amit-Cohen 2007; Campbell 2001). Open spaces can be quantified by physical and demographic approaches. A physical approach focuses on the conservation of open spaces thereby protecting biodiversity. The demographic approach focuses on human recreational consumption of open spaces. This is linked to the attributes of the target population. Within these approaches, the open space index (OSI) was introduced to measure the size and the distribution of open spaces that can be used during the planning process. The OSI put emphasis on the quantity and distribution of open spaces and on the target population during the land use planning decisions (Nega et al. 2010). The Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality (MMM) in Free State, South Africa is experiencing rapid changes in land use and occupancy patterns on urban open spaces. This challenge has culminated in value conflicts and this makes it difficult for planners to achieve the objective of planning, that is, creating sustainable neighbourhoods. In this case, rapid urbanization is one of the causal factors for the extinction of urban open spaces. Accordingly, the gradual disappearance of urban open

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spaces has affected the spatial patterns of urban land use. This is evident due to emergence of informal settlements and urban sprawl within the municipal area. The gradual disappearance of urban open spaces has created challenges in terms of the use and value of open spaces, land use management, preservation and sustainability of open spaces. This situation is not peculiar to South African cities alone. Mensah (2014a), highlights that most African countries such as Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Senegal have also lost urban open spaces due to rapid urbanisation and urban sprawl. Lack of proper control and management using urban planning regulations has contributed to extinction of urban open spaces. Also, other countries are still using outdated planning tools or land use management schemes to regulate land uses. For instance, some authorities in South Africa still use the outdated Town Planning Scheme of 1969 for regulating land uses. Time taken in decision-making processes for urban planning application affects the development negatively and this is one of the contributions to the encroachment of open spaces. Therefore, this study seeks to explore the incidence of urban open space encroachment in Mangaung, South Africa. To achieve its objective, the rest of the chapter will be structured accordingly: Urban open spaces and sustainable neighbourhoods- A review; encroachment of open spaces as a societal malaise; description of the case study area; research methodology deployed; presentation and discussion of findings section, and; conclusion.

8.2  Theoretical Perspective Various approaches discussed in this section emphasize the significance of urban open spaces and its relationship to the quest for sustainable neighbourhoods. Planning models that are associated with planning for urban open spaces will be discussed. Emphasis is also placed on the identification of various ills associated with the urban open space encroachment. These consists of the drivers and challenges posed by the encroachment as well as the measures taken to curb the incidence of this societal malaise.

8.2.1  U  rban Open Spaces and Sustainable Neighbourhoods – A Review  Understanding Urban Open Space Planning In creating sustainable neighbourhoods, planning for urban open spaces include aspects such as: (i) The selection of the site which depends on the proximity, accessibility and visibility to the users;


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(ii) The quantitative measures that include the size and the total amount of urban open spaces to be provided; (iii) Variety of recreational activities with the focus on different groups, human needs and preferences; and (iv) Site design for intensive use, maintenance and selection of the facilities to be used in a particular urban open space (Maruani and Amit-Cohen 2007). Different models associated with planning for urban open spaces have been identified and they are described in relation to the uses and values of urban open spaces within a sustainable neighbourhood. Table 8.1 highlights different planning models

Table 8.1  Different planning models associated with planning for urban open spaces Planning models associated with urban open space planning Opportunistic This model refers to open spaces created due to spaces left over after the land model has been allocated for other land uses. Such land uses can be small, irregular, inaccessible and unsuitable for other land uses except for open spaces and be zoned as “parks”. Also, opportunities of such space may arise from land donations to the municipality or state for ecological and educational purposes, demolition of informal settlements to create recreational and leisure spaces and transformation of recycling sites (Maruani and Amit-Cohen 2007; Wang et al. 2013). Quantitative This model serves as a guiding model for the allocation of open spaces in model connection with the potential users. Space standards are considered when allocating land for spaces, that is, the size and number of the people in a given area. Furthermore, the use of the quantitative model in urban open space planning accommodate the population size of the community However, this model has been criticized because cognisance is not taken for social and environmental systems (Maruani and Amit-Cohen 2007; Wang et al. 2013). This model is mostly suitable for newly developing areas and relies on the Park system model population needs rather than the protection of the natural environment. It includes gardens and parks ranging from different sizes, with different uses. However, the size of open spaces should be large enough to accommodate the regenerative and restorative power of that geographic area (CSIR 2005; Maruani and Amit-Cohen 2007). This is regarded as the comprehensive planning model and the major landmark Garden city model urban utopian model that was conceived by Sir Ebenezer Howard (nineteenth century). Focus is on the importance of urban open space preservation and that it forms an integral part of development. Howard’s inspiration was based on the improvement of cities with the aim to remedy social and health ills such as overcrowded and polluted industrial cities of that century (Howard 1902). A garden city model as a cornerstone of modern urban planning in general but an open space planning in particular. It provides a polycentric social city made up of self-sufficient and self-governing small towns that would be linked by rail and contain many open spaces. The features of these towns include, amongst others, the beauty of nature, social opportunity, accessibility to open spaces that includes the fields and parks, low rental and rates and flow of capital, good air and water quality, free slum places, freedom and cooperation in the community (Hall 2002; Alexander 1992). Adapted from Maruani and Amit-Cohen (2007)

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associated with planning for urban open spaces in creating sustainable communities.  Urban Open Space Planning and Sustainable Neighbourhoods Urban areas are viewed to be sustainable if they “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (The World Commission on Environment and Development – WCED 1987). Urban open spaces form an integral part of sustainable development. The presence of open spaces in neighborhoods is important for its sustainability. Different definitions have been attached to the concept “neighborhood”. It refers to a geographically localized community with a collection of people with beneficial interests, residing within a particular area in a city (Choguill 2008). Also it has been described as a setting that promotes a sense of belonging among community members. Population size is not attached to neighborhood as it is just a subdivision of an urban area. A set of criteria in creating or planning of sustainable neighborhoods was identified as consisting of economic, social, technical, and environmental facets. Choguill (2008) mentions that the economic sustainability criterion can be achieved through reducing the cost of transport and infrastructure. Amenities in a neighborhood should be located closer to avoid daily vehicle trips. They should be located where people can be able to walk to the central focal point, be it a school or a shopping complex. Establishments of social amenities should promote community social interaction and a sense of place. Urban open spaces form an important element to the economic impact of urban areas (Choguill 2008; Cilliers et al. 2011). To justify social sustainability, the population size for the neighborhood should be small to promote interaction and citizen participation among the community members. Swanwick et al. (2003) highlight that urban open spaces provide social benefits to the community, are easily accessible to the community and serve as contributors to social inclusion. According to Bromell and Hyland (2007), social inclusion is associated with participation of the community. It promotes the sense of belonging, inclusion, participation, recognition and legitimacy. Technical sustainability focuses on the boundaries of the neighborhood, that is, how the neighborhood fits into the wider community. For instance, the manner in which internal roads are built must promote safety in the neighborhood. To justify environmental sustainability, it is important for the neighborhood to have urban open spaces which serve as the meeting place for community (Choguill 2008). Urban open spaces consider space management, space function and landscape in achieving sustainable neighborhoods. The space management involves: (i) Boosting sustainable lifestyles, community participation and habitat creation and native planting; (ii) Enhancing sense of place and belonging; (iii) Managing natural resources; (iv) Reducing inputs of non-renewable resources; and


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(v) Eliminating the use of herbicides and resources that affect other ecosystems. Space function puts emphasis on car reliance, transport system and the security of the community. Sustainable landscape aims to stabilize the landscape and the character of the site design. It also promotes self- sustaining and self-­ regulating systems (Al-Hagal 2008).  T  he Role of the Planner in Planning for Sustainable Neighborhoods During the planning process, planners need to focus on the existing and emerging needs of the community. Involvement of different urban stakeholders and open communication on what needs to be sustained is prioritized by planners to promote sustainable development (Næss 2001). To create sustainable neighbourhoods, planners must: (i) Identify the needs of the community and ensuring that these needs are met; (ii) Promote sustainability by ensuring balance between environmental, economic and social values; (iii) Encourage the community focus to be on global context; (iv) Engage the community to participate in planning processes; and (v) Educate the community about building sustainable neighbourhoods (Berke and Conroy 2000). Planners must therefore accommodate the needs of the current and future generation when planning for urban open spaces. There must be a balance between economic, social and environmental values in the creation of sustainable communities. As such, the planner has a responsibility to promote community sustainability which forms part of planning education. In planning education, planners must promote sustainable development by using their negotiation and dispute resolution skills. Berke and Conroy (2000) states that land use and urban design solutions during planning must be considered and, in the process, urban open spaces must be protected. Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, Act 16 of 2013 (2013) encourages spatial sustainability as one of the development principles for spatial planning, land development and land use management. Spatial sustainability promotes the protection of prime and agricultural land. To limit urban sprawl, which is a challenge in planning practice, land development in areas that are sustainable must be encouraged. Environmental management tools must be aligned with land use management tools to curb the incidence of encroachment on urban open spaces. Furthermore, spatial sustainability encourages the promotion of sustainable communities and planners have a role to play in protecting and managing urban open spaces. To achieve this, planners can formulate and implement a framework or guidelines that they can use in planning for urban open spaces.

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8.2.2  E  ncroachment of Urban Open Spaces as a Societal Malaise  What Causes Urban Open Space Encroachment? Urban open spaces are important in urban environments as they nurture resilience. However, urban open spaces experience vast challenges that include rapid urbanisation, poor enforcement of land use regimes, poor sustenance and management and low prioritization. These challenges culminate in the extinction of urban open spaces, threatening sustainable planning of urban areas. UN-Habitat (2016a, b, c) points out that rapid urbanization, as a major resultant of urban open space extinction, has a major impact to environmental sustainability policies. Cohen (2006) states that rapid urbanization is caused by rural-urban migration, natural population increase, expansion of the metropolitan periphery and illegal occupation of land. Furthermore, rapid urbanisation has refocused attention on planning and this put pressure on planners to rezone urban open spaces that are encroached for residential purposes. UN-Habitat (2009) suggests that community members must be involved in planning processes. This can curb conflicts and safeguard the lives of poor communities. Some West African countries like Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Sierra Leone lost urban open spaces due to rapid urbanization. Beijing also experienced a similar challenge in 2014 where it lost some urban open spaces due to rapid urbanisation (Mensah 2014a, b: 6; Li et al. 2016). Local spheres have been failing to implement land use regimes hence gradual disappearance of urban open spaces. This includes lack of evaluations of the policies governing the management of urban open spaces. Another causal factor includes the use of outdated land use schemes and delays in approval of land use change application. Bengston et al. (2004) adds that causal factors also include the absence of zoning to protect urban open spaces. Shortage of skilled personnel, financial constraints and political interference are contributors of poor enforcement of land use management. In addition, poor sustenance and improper management of urban open space lead to encroachment of urban open spaces. Lack of co-ordination of the policies for the management of urban open spaces amongst the different spheres of government hinders effective planning and management of urban open spaces. Lastly, lack of stakeholder involvement or community participation in planning and management of urban open spaces is a causal factor for encroachment. The cornerstone of effective implementation and management of urban open spaces is community involvement (Bengston et al. 2004).


L. Sinxadi and M. Campbell  W  hat Measures Can Be Taken to Curb the Incidence of Urban Open Space Encroachment? To curb the incidence of urban open space encroachment, effective planning and implementation of strategic and holistic plans is of utmost importance. In planning for urban open space, different urban stakeholders must be involved because this increases the sense of place and ownership among the residents. This promotes the social dimension of sustainability (Haaland and van den Bosch 2015; World Health Organisation 2017). Countries like China have formulated policies that assist in managing urban open spaces. These policies include “Afforestation Project for the Plains of Beijing” and the “Urban Green System Planning of Beijing (2004–2020). China also deploys the “Green Line Management System” to control the changing of urban open space into other land uses (Li et al.: 2016: 9). Bengston et al. (2004) mentioned public policy instruments which assist with management and protection of urban open space. These are classified in terms of public ownership and management, regulation and incentives. For instance, United States is using public acquisition and management as a policy instrument for protection of urban open spaces. Public acquisition of urban open spaces is used for the creation or expansion of different form of open spaces. It is regarded as the most appropriate policy for managing urban open spaces. The regulatory approach promotes the subdivision of land in protection of environmentally sensitive areas. Building on wetlands is also prohibited inorder to protect endangered species as well as areas of critical environmental concerns. Cluster zoning, where residential buildings are clustered together, allows the remaining land parcel to be zoned as an urban open space. Unused and vacant land must be rezoned to urban open spaces in addition to the existing ones. Strategy must be formulated for urban land monitoring, development control and effective management of urban open spaces. Urban open spaces must be designed in a way that will enhance the aesthetic of the urban environment. Community participation, consumer education and awareness programmes on the management of urban open spaces must be promoted (Bengston et al. 2004; Officha et al. 2012).

8.2.3  Description of the Case Study Area Mangaung is one of the metropolitan municipalities in South Africa with the population of approximately 787,929. The Mangaung area is made up of three urban centres and a surrounding rural area specializing with commercial and communal mixed farming. Bloemfontein, as the main urban centre, is the economic hub and the locus for future development of the municipal area. The city is centrally located in South Africa and is served by major roads such as N1, N6 and N8. Bloemfontein (Fig. 8.1) includes Mangaung townships which form the case study area (Fig. 8.2). Because the city is regarded as an economic hub, it has been challenged with rapid urbanization. Illegal occupation of land has been experienced in Mangaung

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Fig. 8.1  Map of Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, Free State, South Africa

Fig. 8.2  Map of Bloemfontein showing the case study area



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especially in areas that are far from job opportunities and backyard dwelling has decreased (MMM Reviewed Integrated Development Plan 2017–2022). Mangaung townships are faced with the challenge of high rate of urban open space encroachment. The Council of Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality (MMM) took a resolution in 1998 that all families that illegally occupy municipal land that is not zoned for residential purposes will not be accommodated in terms of town planning, surveying and the provision of services. However, an exception is always made by planners in each can of informal settlement upgrading. Where there is urban open space encroachment, planners, with the agreement of human settlement practitioners, make an exception of this resolution by lodging an application to amend the general plan, subdivide and rezone the urban open spaces to accommodate residential dwellings for those who need housing.

8.3  Methodology The study seeks to explore, in its entirety, the incidence of urban open spaces encroachment in Mangaung Townships, Free State Province of South Africa. The study took a qualitative stance and adopted a case study strategy with a variety of techniques like focus group discussions, face-to-face semi-structured interviews and personal observation for data elicitation at different intervals. According to Yin (2014), a case study assists the researcher in understanding the real-world case. It covers the logic of the design, data collection instruments and data analysis approach. In addition, a case study strategy explores a contemporary bounded system through detailed, in-depth data collection. The effectiveness of using a case study design to engender in-depth data collection is enabled through the use of techniques such as observations, interviews, focus groups and documents (Creswell and Poth 2018). Semi-structured interviews form the core of the case study and focus on the same form of questions asked in the participants of the same sample size. Personal observations help the researcher to observe the actions of the participants in a particular setting (Bernard and Ryan 2010). Field notes and memos were developed during this process. Focus group discussions refer to the interactive discussion with a group of people with the knowledge of the topic (Merriam and Tisdell 2016). About ten individual semi-structured interviews were conducted with purposively recruited town planning, human settlements, land invasion and environmental management professionals from local level of government. Participants included town planners, housing officers, environmental offices and ward councillors. Town planners selected were responsible for land use management in Mangaung township. Personnel from parks and recreation were interviewed regarding the management of urban open spaces. The interviewees from the human settlement division included the participants working with informal settlements upgrading and land invasion with the aim of curbing illegal occupation of municipal and privately-­ owned land. Ward councillors of the case study area were also interviewed on how

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they perceive urban open space encroachment. They assisted to identify community members to form focus group discussions. Discussants for the focus group discussions included community members who have encroached upon open spaces and those occupying properties around open spaces. Personal observations were conducted around the study area to get first-hand information on the state of urban open spaces in Mangaung. The observations were also undertaken from memos drawn thereof. The accruing data was analyzed thematically relying on a set of pre-set themes that evolved from literature.

8.4  Presentation and Discussion of Findings The study’s findings will be discussed concurrently according to themes. This format is expected to aid easy comprehension of the study’s findings. Four themes were selected in discussion of the findings, including rapid urbanization, poor enforcement of land use regimes, poor sustenance and management of urban open spaces and the value conflicts in terms of the level of prioritization of urban open spaces.

8.4.1  Rapid Urbanisation Urbanization is the movement of people from rural areas to urban areas for better quality of life. It is regarded as a major contributor to urban open space extinction (UN-Habitat 2016a, b, c). Jiboye (2011: 178) describes urbanization as the “improvement of urban quality including renewing the city, optimizing urban spatial organization and improving urban function”. Fuwape and Onyekwelu (2001) concur with this statement, indicating that urbanization focuses on spatial dimension and change in urban space. In addition, rapid urbanization has resulted in informal settlements especially with encroachment of urban open spaces. Mangaung townships have lost urban open spaces due to rapid urbanisation. This has been confirmed by the interviewees and the discussants (people residing around the urban open spaces). Community members and MMM officials indicated that the actual perpetrators of urban open encroachment are non-South African citizens and people from all over the country in search for better quality of life. During the focus group discussions, discussants highlighted that urban open spaces around their properties have gradually disappeared and are rezoned for residential purposes. This has affected the spatial patterns of urban land use in Mangaung townships. The actual perpetrators of the encroachment who formed part of the focus groups indicated that they are aware of the value for urban open spaces, but they are in need of proper housing, water and electricity. Encroachment on urban open spaces is the only option with the perception that the municipality will provide adequate or formal housing for them with basic services. This has increased informal settlements


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in Mangaung townships where people lack water and electricity. According to Speak and Tipple (2006), people living in informal settlements where there are no proper basic services like housing, water and electricity may be regarded as homeless. Homelessness can also be classified as rooflessness, houselessness, insecure accommodation and inferior or substandard housing. Speak (2004) also defines homelessness in terms of categorisation, that is, supplementation, survival and crisis management. Some encroachers are family men who left their rural homes in search for better job opportunities. They opt to stay in informal settlements and financially provide their families back home. They do not live a luxurious life because they are concerned about the well-being of their families who are left in rural areas. This is referred to as supplementing rural livelihood. Other people fall in the survival strategy of homelessness. This strategy originates from the supplementation strategy in that the survival homeless people also migrate from rural to urban areas in search for better job opportunities. Most of these people migrated from rural areas to urban areas for job opportunities but they are often unable to send enough money to their families for better survival. Hardships in informal settlements deny them an opportunity to return home and connect with their families (Speak 2004). From the focus group discussions, some of them indicated that they moved to Bloemfontein 20 years ago and have been staying in shacks without water and electricity since their arrival. They were promised proper housing with basic services on yearly basis. Currently, some of the areas they have encroached upon have been formalised by means of rezoning from urban open spaces accommodate residential development. The actual perpetrators of encroachment highlighted inability to afford proper housing hence view informal settlements as an option. Goal 11 of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) promote cities that are inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. This includes access to adequate, safe and affordable housing (United Nations 2016a, b, c). The aim of this goal is inhibiting and addressing the problem of homelessness or residing in informal settlement. Homelessness is part of inadequate housing that remains a global sustainability challenge. People who have encroached urban open spaces do not have access to basic services, which is a constraint and a cause for homelessness. Homelessness is a critical factor for persistent poverty and exclusion globally. This is a challenge for sustainable and inclusive urbanization (UN-Habitat 2016a, b, c). Also, some of the discussants are unable to secure better jobs due to acute poverty, unsustainable dependency and lack of alternatives. This causes people to occupy municipal land illegally with the hope that they will be allocated adequate housing (Cross and Seager 2010; Somerville 2013; Nooe and Patterson 2010).

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8.4.2  Poor Enforcement of Land Use Regimes Every municipality must have a land use scheme for enforcement of the law to all urban stakeholders (Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act 2013). The dysfunctional nature of land use regimes and delays in decision-making processes in planning applications leads to poor enforcement in term of land use management. This is evident in Mangaung as encroachment of urban open spaces has been attributed to poor enforcement of extant land use regimes. This was confirmed by the interviewees and discussants of focus groups. In August 1998, the MMM council, in one of its meetings resolved that the municipality will not provide infrastructural and town planning services to people who have invaded municipal land. This resolution was not implemented by the municipality when areas that were hitherto earmarked for “parks” were encroached for residential purposes. In the case study area, Freedom Square in Mangaung, other urban open spaces are already rezoned for residential purposes whereas others are still in the process of being rezoned for residential purposes or are left open because they are inhabitable. Initially, the planners allocated twenty-four (24) urban open spaces in this area. Some of these urban open spaces are illegally occupied for residential purposes. Others have been rezoned to accommodate formal housing and provide water and electricity to resident. Other urban open spaces are vacant and undeveloped. Watson (2002) indicates that there is a gap between planner’s assumptions and reality as rezoning is employed by replacing of informal shacks with formal housing in planned and serviced townships. During the focus group discussions, those who are losing urban open spaces near their properties argue that the municipality is failing them as they allow encroachment by infill development. Rowley and Phibbs (2012) define infill development as a residential development that is planned or formalised within the existing residential area. Some of these spaces where infill development occurs are normal spaces that are left over because of their small, irregular shape. Sometimes the space is inaccessible for other land use uses. Such spaces are referred to as opportunistic spaces and are easily allocated as urban open spaces. Maruani and Amit-Cohen (2007) classify opportunistic spaces under the opportunistic planning model which refers to the pattern where urban open spaces emerge due spaces left over after systematic planning process. The municipality has shortage of personnel and this makes it difficult for municipal employees responsible for management of urban open spaces to act promptly to evict land invaders of municipal land. Olufemi (2004) confirms that land invasion and eviction is a challenge for land, housing and planning policy makers. Land invasion occurs due to desperation of space for shelter and is persistent because people lack resources to build their shelter formally and legally. Land invasion is led by poor enforcement of land regimes because urban open spaces are not used for their initial land use. There is still resistance to change in land use regimes. Some planners are still operating with the old town planning schemes to regulate land use management. MMM is still using an outdated town planning scheme to regulate land use. People encroaching urban


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Fig. 8.3  Urban open space encroachment in Freedom Square, Mangaung, South Africa

open spaces in Mangaung indicated that they invade these spaces because there is no proper enforcement of land regimes (Fig.  8.3 indicates the case study area, Freedom Square township in Mangaung which has lost urban open spaces due to encroachment for residential purposes). Currently, some of the actual perpetrators of encroachment have been allocated properties with basic services on the land they have encroached.

8.4.3  P  oor Sustenance and Management of Urban Open Spaces Shi and Woolley (2014) maintain that the quality of urban open spaces can provide sustainable development for a healthy living. This can be achieved by provision of recreational outdoor environments and aesthetic amenities for the communities. Safety in such areas for the users needs to be a priority, including their health. Management of urban open spaces is the responsibility of different stakeholders involved in land use planning and management. Proper management of urban open spaces can prevent anti-social behaviours, sufficient usage and cleanliness. On the contrary, poor sustenance and management of urban open spaces has created a gap for encroachment. Most of the open spaces that are encroached are parks that are not properly managed. In order to avoid conflict, the community must be recognised as the key stakeholder in the management of open spaces. The discussants, who are encroaching on the urban open spaces, indicated that they saw an opportunity for

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shelter because these spaces are utilised for criminal activities or dumping sites. Some indicated their awareness of the benefits and value of the open spaces but their main concern is housing. Furthermore, other encroachers mentioned non-­ involvement in planning processes. Willingness on their side to be part of the planning and management of urban open spaces was highlighted. In this instance, community participation is crucial and it must involve different stakeholders. Participation is the distribution of power to society so that they can have influence in decision-making. Non-involvement of the community members in decision-­ making regarding policies affects the community negatively, they will not be empowered (Arnstein 1969). UN-Habitat III (2015: 6) defines capacity building as “a transformative engine for creating and maintaining development change. It is strongly associated with effectiveness of organizations and individuals. Thus, it is intrinsically linked to the ability to understand problems and design solutions to resolve them, to deliver and sustain development programs over time”. All stakeholders need access to and capacity to interact in planning processes. Residents occupying properties around the urban open spaces are willing to be educated on the sustainability of these spaces to create change in the quality of their lives. Richards et al. (2004) add that stakeholders must not only be given an opportunity to participate in decision-making, but they must be capacitated. Capacity building refers to the efforts taken in building relations and competency of the society in the participation process (UN-Habitat 2015). In addition, Mashalaba (2013) indicates that different urban stakeholders involved in planning and management of the urban open spaces must work together to achieve the goal of creating sustainable communities. Authorities who are responsible for urban open space management must consider open space audit. These audits must include the location, size, characteristics, quality and the purposes of open spaces. This will assist the authorities to know their space and manage it better (Campbell 2001). Proper planning and management of urban open spaces, especially in townships, must be taken into account. In the case of Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality, management of urban open space in the township, city centre and the surrounding suburbs is different. The functions of the urban open spaces in the city centre and the suburbs are clearly stated on the municipality’s land use schemes. Municipalities, especially in planning practice, need guidelines or frameworks on how to manage urban open spaces. This must be inclusive of community participation or involvement of the different stakeholders involved in management and sustaining urban open spaces.

8.4.4  Level of Prioritization of Urban Open Spaces Another causal factor of urban open space encroachment is the value conflict in terms of awareness and level of prioritization of open spaces by both the residents and municipal officials. The needs of the users of urban open spaces, the quality of the physical features and spatial form of the space play an important role in effective


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use of urban open spaces (Abbasi et al. 2016). These spaces impact positively on people’s sense of quality of life, their physical and psychological well-being. Urban open spaces provide the users a space for interaction, relaxation, restoration, contact with nature and they offer many opportunities or leisure purposes. In Mangaung, urban open spaces are less prioritized as concentration is on other land uses like residential, educational and health facilities. This has led to mismanagement or negligence of urban open spaces. Similar cases are evident in some African countries and thus results in poor implementation of planning projects (Mensah 2014a, b). According to Cilliers et al. (2015), urban open spaces are not prioritized because they lack monetary value. This has caused value conflicts in terms of different land uses, conservation and development. Land uses like residential, commercial, and community facilities are highly prioritized because they have monetary value. Low prioritization of urban open spaces has resulted to under-provision of urban open spaces and amendment of the general plans by means of the closure of a park, subdivision and rezoning to accommodate dwelling houses. The municipal officials indicated that there are many urban open spaces in the township that have been rezoned for housing purposes (Fig. 8.3 indicates some of the urban open spaces that have been rezoned for residential purposes). Discussants stated that they are residing in properties that were initially zoned as urban open spaces but are rezoned for residential purposes. This is referred to as “inform settlement upgrading”. This leads to a challenge in balancing the importance of building sustainable future and addressing the need to prioritize urban open spaces (Cilliers and Cilliers 2016).

8.5  Conclusion Planning and management of urban open spaces has major challenges due to rapid urbanization. This has led to rapid changes in land use and occupancy patterns on urban open spaces. Urban open spaces are facing extinction due to encroachment for residential purposes. This study seeks to explore the incidence of urban open spaces encroachment in Mangaung, Free State in South Africa. For data elicitation, face-to-face semi-structured interviews, focus groups and personal observations were used. Findings indicated that the incidence of urban open space encroachment is prevalent in that some of the urban open spaces have been rezoned from urban open spaces to accommodate formal housing with water and electricity. Causal factors for urban open space encroachment in Mangaung townships include rapid urbanization, poor enforcement on land use regimes, poor management and low level of prioritization by the municipal officials. There is willingness by the community to protect the urban open spaces that are still not encroached. Involvement of all the urban stakeholders in sustaining and managing the urban open spaces is crucial. Also, working together of all the municipal officials during the planning process will assist in building sustainable environments. Planners have a critical role to play in terms of promoting sustainable neighbourhoods and this includes formulation of policies that would curb the encroachment of urban open spaces. The

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municipality must formulate policies governing the management of urban open spaces which can be used by planning. A strategic framework of stakeholder involvement or community participation in planning and management of urban open spaces is needed. There must be co-ordination of policies for management of urban open spaces, this can include planning, human settlement, and environmental management including other spheres of government. Sustainable development concept must be taken into account by planners, other professionals involved in the planning practice and the community members.

References Abbasi A, Alalouch C, Bramley G (2016) Open space quality in deprived urban areas: user perpective and use pattern. Procedia Soc Behav Sci 216(2016):194–215 Alexander ER (1992) Approaches to planning: introducing current planning theories, concepts and issues, 2nd edn. Gordon and Breach Science Publisher, Yverdon Al-Hagal KS (2008) Towards a sustainable neighborhood: the role of open spaces. Int J Archit Res 2(2008):162–177 Arnstein SR (1969) A ladder of citizen participation. J Am Inst Plann 35(4):216–224 Bengston DN, Fletcher JO, Nelson KC (2004) Public policies for managing urban growth and protecting open space: policy instruments and lessons learned in the United States. Landsc Urban Plan 69(2004):271–286 Berke PR, Conroy MM (2000) Are we planning for sustainable development? An evaluation of the 30 comprehensive plans. APA J 66(1):21–33 Bernard, H.R. & Ryan, G.W. (2010). Analyzing qualitative data: systematic approaches Bromell DJ, Hyland M (2007) Social inclusion and participation: a guide for policy and planning. Social Inclusion and Participation Group Ministry of Social Development, Wellington Campbell K (2001) Rethinking open space, open space provision and management: a way forward. Report presented by Scottish Executive Central Research Unit, Edinburgh, Scotland, UK Choguill CL (2008) Developing sustainable neighbourhoods. Habitat Int 32(1):41–48 Cillier EJ, Diemont E, Stobbelaar D, Timmermans W (2011) Sustainable green urban planning: the workbench spatial quality method. J Place Manag Dev 4(2):214–224 Cilliers J, Cilliers S (2016) Planning for green infrastructure: option for south African cities. South African Cities Network, Johannesburg Cilliers EJ, Timmermans W, Van Den Goorbergh F, Slijkhuis JSA (2015) Green place-making in practice: from temporary spaces to permanent places. J Urban Des 20(3):349–366 Cohen B (2006) Urbanization in developing countries: current trends, future projections, and key challenges for sustainability. Technol Soc 28:63–80 Cross C, Seager JJ (2010) Towards identifying the causes of South Africa’s street homelessness: some policy recommendations. Dev South Afr 27(1):143–158 CSIR (2005) Guidelines for human settlement planning and design. Published by CSIR Building and Construction Technology, Pretoria Fuwape JA, Onyekwelu JC (2001) Urban forest development in West Africa: benefits and challenges. J Biodivers Eco Sci 1(1):77–94 Haaland C, van den Bosch CK (2015) Challenges and strategies for urban green-space planning in cities undergoing densification: a review. Urban For Urban Green 14(2015):760–771 Hall P (2002) Cities of tomorrow, 3rd edn. Blackwell Publishing, Oxford Howard E (1902) Garden cities of tomorrow (second edition of tomorrow: a peaceful path to real reform). Swan Sonnenschein & Co. Jevons, W. S, London (1866)


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Jiboye AD (2011) Urbanization challenges and housing delivery in Nigeria: the need for an effective policy framework for sustainable development. Int Rev Soc Sci Humanit 2(1):176–185 Li F, Sun X, Li X, Hao X, Li W, Qian Y, Liu H, Sun H (2016) Research on the sustainable development of green-space in Beijing using the dynamic systems model. Sustainability 8(965):1–17 Lynch K (1981) A theory of good city form. MIT Press, Cambridge, MA Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality. Reviewed Integrated Development Plan 2017–22 Maruani T, Amit-Cohen I (2007) Open space planning models: a review of approaches and methods. ScienceDirect. Department of Geography and Environment Israel. Landsc Urban Plan 81(2007):1–13 Mashalaba YB (2013) Public open space planning and development in previously neglected townships. Unpublished dissertation. Department of Urban and Regional Planning. University of the Free State Mensah CA (2014a) Urban green spaces in Africa: nature and challenges. Int J Ecosyst 4(1):1–11 Mensah CA (2014b) Destruction of urban green spaces: a problem beyond urbanization in Kumasi City (Ghana). Am J Environ Protect 3(1):1–9 Merriam SB, Tisdell EJ (2016) Qualitative research: a guide to design and implementation, 4th edn. Jossey-Bass, USA Næss P (2001) Urban planning and sustainable development. Eur Plan Stud 9(4):503–524 Nega T, Fu W, Vrtis G (2010) Open space index: a GIS-based tool for assessing human penetration of a landscape. Local Environ 15(8):743–759 Nooe RM, Patterson DA (2010) The ecology of homelessness. J Hum Behav Soc Environ 20(2):105–152 Officha MC, Onwuemesi FE, Akanwa AO (2012) Problems and prospect of open spaces management in Nigeria: the way forward. World J Environ Biosci 2(1):7–12 Olufemi O (2004) Socio-political imperatives of land invasion and eviction: revisiting the Bredell case, Johannesburg, South Africa. Centre for Urban and Community Studies. International conference. Toronto June 2004 Creswell JW, Poth CN (2018) Qualitative inquiry and research design: choosing among the five approaches, 4th edn. Sage, Thousand Oaks Richards C, Sherlock K, Carter C (2004) Practical approaches to participation. SERP policy brief, vol 1. Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen Rowley S, Phibbs P (2012) Delivering diverse and affordable housing on infill development sites, AHURI final report no. 193. Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, Melbourne Shi W, Woolley H (2014) Managing for multifunctionality in urban open spaces: approaches for sustainable development. J Urban Manage 3(1–2):3–21 Somerville P (2013) Understanding homelessness. Housing, theory and. Society 30(4):384–415 South Africa (2013) Spatial planning and land use management act, act 16 of 2013. Department of Rural Development & Land Reform. Government Press, Pretoria Speak S (2004) Degrees of destitution: a typology of homelessness in developing countries. Hous Stud 19(3):465–482 Speak S, Tipple G (2006) Perceptions, persecution and pity: the limitations on interventions for homeless in developing countries. Int J Urban Reg Res 30(1):172–188 Swanwick C, Dunnet N, Woolley H (2003). Nature, role and value of green space in towns and cities: an overview. Built Environ 29(2) Perspectives on Urban Greenspace in Europe:94–106 UN-Habitat. Global Report on Human Settlements (2009) Planning sustainable cities. Nairobi, Kenya UN-Habitat (2015)…/Capacity-Building-in-New-Urban-AgendaHABITAT-III UN-Habitat (2016a) Fundaments of urbanization. Evidence Base for Policy Making. Nairobi UN-Habitat (2016b) World cities report. Nairobi UN-Habitat (2016c) Habitat III policy paper 10 – housing policies (unedited version). Nairobi

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Wang D, Mateo-Babiano I, Brown G (2013) Rethinking accessibility in planning of urban open space using an integrative theoretical framework. University of Queensland. Brisbane. Conference Paper Watson V (2002) Do we learn from planning practice? The contribution of the practice movement to planning theory. J Plann Educ Res 22(2):178–187 World Commision on Envirionment and Development (1987) Our common future. World Commission on Envirionment and Development. Oxford University Press, Oxford World Health Organization (WHO) (2017) Urban green spaces: a brief for action. Europe Yin RK (2014) Case study research: design and methods, 5th edn. Sage, London Lindelwa Sinxadi  earned her PhD in Urban and Regional Planning at the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at the University of the Free State, South Africa. Currently, she is working as a Lecturer at Central University of Technology (Faculty of Engineering – Built Environment and she is also a professional Town and Regional Planner). Her research interest is on urban and regional planning, sustainable development, urban open space management, human settlements, planning education and service-learning. During this time, she has published her research work as book chapters and conference papers. She investigated human settlements and urban open space planning challenges. Maléne Campbell  is a professional Town and Regional Planner with 35 years experience. She worked both in private and public sector and has been teaching at the University of the Free State for the past 23 years while doing research. During this time, she investigated town planning challenges of mining towns and secondary cities. She also published on additional topics such as studentification. Editorial contributions include the role as editor of the Town and Regional Planning Journal. She is currently the Academic Departmental Head of the Department of Urban and Regional Planning.

Chapter 9

The Role of Smart City Initiatives in Driving Partnerships: A Case Study of the Smart Social Spaces Project, Sydney Australia Homa Rahmat, Nancy Marshall, Christine Steinmetz, Miles Park, Christian Tietz, Kate Bishop, Susan Thompson, and Linda Corkery

Abstract  This chapter explores the potential of smart cities initiatives as a driver of partnership formation. It presents lessons learnt from the collaboration between the Faculty of Built Environment at the University of New South Wales Sydney, Street Furniture Australia, and Georges River Council, New South Wales, as partners in a Commonwealth funded smart cities grant awarded in 2017. The research pilots how environmental sensors can inform the potential to improve the amenity and use of public open spaces and contribute to the asset management system of small-scale street furniture. This project provides a basis from which to explore the opportunities and challenges of collaboration across three domains (academia, industry, government) while conducting a smart cities project. We demonstrate how mutually collaborative efforts can better harness real-time data to identify and address citizens’ needs, interests and demands, for public space in parks and plazas, in addition to assisting council with developing an efficient asset management system. These critical insights (concerning processes, outputs and outcomes) can be applied to develop an effective model of research, practice, and local government collaboration that stimulates urban innovations to address complex problems of twenty-first century cities. Keywords  Smart cities partnership · Triple helix model · Interdisciplinary collaboration

H. Rahmat (*) · N. Marshall · C. Steinmetz · M. Park · C. Tietz · K. Bishop · S. Thompson L. Corkery Faculty of Built Environment, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW, Australia e-mail: [email protected] © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 R. Roggema (ed.), Designing Sustainable Cities, Contemporary Urban Design Thinking,



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9.1  Introduction As cities are growing and densifying, they are struggling with challenges such as overcrowding, traffic congestion, noise, pollution and infrastructure that needs updating to meet current demands. In response, technology is viewed as a panacea, but this promise should be met with caution. Contemporary urban issues are different from what occurred in the past. Smart cities require transdisciplinary knowledge and collaboration amongst different industries to address ‘wicked’ (complex and interlinked) problems. Innovative solutions which transcend disciplinary boundaries, are needed. We are at the tipping point of the smart city movement. Local and state governments, alongside private industry and academia are jockeying for position to be leaders in the space. As a result, disparate initiatives and pilot projects in this space are often less informed by evidence-based research. In turn, documented efforts of conceptualising and testing innovative smart city methodologies go unnoticed and hence have limited impact and/or remain with a select few. Meaningful collaboration to advance the field is essential. This chapter positions and demonstrates a working cross-sectorial collaboration, outlining the strengths and challenges associated with complex smart city projects which seek to benefit the community and its governance structures.

9.2  Smart Cities Much of the initial research about smart cities attempted to interrogate the concept and develop definitions (Hollands 2008; Allwinkle and Cruickshank 2011; Batty et al. 2012); Albino et al. 2015). Key elements of these definitions include the utilisation of new technologies (mainly Information and Communication Technologies), enabling sustainable economic, social, and urban development, an urban entrepreneurial element (mostly hi-tech), and knowledge-based economy (knowledge/information capital). Smart cities can also focus on human and social capital, social learning and community development (Hollands 2008). Kitchin (2014) signifies the role of data analytics to understand, monitor, regulate and plan the city; this is widely recognised as contributing to the big data industry. This chapter draws on Albino et al. (2015), who propose that smart cities can be applied to ‘hard’ domains such as buildings, energy grids, natural resources, water and waste management, and mobility, as well as ‘soft’ domains including education, culture, policy innovations, social inclusion, and government. The discussion and practice surrounding smart cities is often about big data sets, large scale infrastructure projects, reconfiguring urban systems that involve major technological applications and sometimes, altering business culture (e.g. Tel Aviv as a start-up city with one start-up for every 290 residents—the highest per capita figure in the world. Oren 2017, p. 118). What is often overlooked are different scale projects and their impacts which may be at a

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local scale and directed at specific human-centered problems aimed at enhancing people-place relationships using open, accessible, and user-friendly technologies. Different urban issues operate at a national to micro local scale (e.g. Australia’s National Broadband Network [NBN] initiative down to a local government’s place-­ based smart initiatives. The range of potential problems need different solutions at varying scales. As Cruickshank (2011) notes, the innovative and creative capacities of the Smart Cities partnership is needed to deal with this complex and multi-scale landscape. The smaller scale projects tend to enable urban entrepreneurialism through getting start-ups and tech-based companies engaged in these projects/initiatives and public-private partnerships to support new digital businesses. Citizens also have a role in creating smart cities and need to be involved to ensure the outcomes are beneficial to them at human scale. The Australian Federal Government has the following four priority areas that encapsulate different scales of smart city projects: smart infrastructure, smart precincts, smart services and communities, and smart planning and design (Australian Government Smart Cities and Suburbs grant program 2017). The span of content areas and scale of these priority areas indicate interdisciplinary and cross-sectoral collaboration is a necessity.

9.3  Collaboration To frame collaboration in a smart city project, this chapter draws on the triple helix model. This model is based on genetics and DNA coding. “The triple helix of university-­industry-government interactions is a universal model for the development of the knowledge-based society, through innovation and entrepreneurship” (Etzkowitz and Zhou 2017, p.  4). “The university is the generative source of knowledge-­based societies … Industry … a key factor as the locus of production, government as the source contractual relations that guarantee stable interactions and exchange” (Etzkowitz and Zhou 2017, p. 23). The triple helix model has been applied in many circumstances: for instance, “University-Industry-Government (U-I-G) interactions and relationships provide an optimum methodology for entrepreneurship and innovation, moving research/knowledge into practice/use.” (Etzkowitz and Zhou 2017, p. 2). For Leydesdorff and Deakin (2011), “the triple-­ helix model … proposes that the three evolutionary functions shaping the selection environments of a knowledge-based economy are: (i) organized knowledge production, (ii) economic wealth creation, and (iii) reflexive control” (p. 56). Cruickshank (2011) has applied the triple helix model to the smart city, arguing that collaboration is needed for the intellectual capital of universities and wealth creation of industry. He focuses on the underlying institutional relations that support the involvement of universities, industry, and government in knowledge production processes. In a more recent study, Dameri et al. (2016, p. 2974) note that “the smart city success depends on the synergic action by the triple helix key actors: public bodies, universities, and private companies”. They further argue that there are differences in smart city vision among these actors with respect to three factors:


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technology, human factor, and institutional factors. They conclude that “without a central direction, coordinating the interests of all the key actors with the stakeholders’ expectations and needs, the smart city will remain an interesting innovative laboratory, but failing in creating public and private value for all in the long term” (Dameri et al. 2016, p. 2980).

9.4  Design Thinking Smart city issues are more than technical problems to be solved by computer engineers, data scientists or business administrators. They require creative and collaborative approaches to develop innovative solutions to address urban challenges. Design thinking is an often overused and somewhat misunderstood term (Dorst 2010). However, when applied at the front-end of a design or planning process, design thinking can lead to meaningful insights and greater understanding of opportunities to address problems. At its simplest, design thinking can be information gathering, but more sophisticated approaches involve analytical (benchmarking and data acquisition) and observational (ethnographic or other) techniques, collaborative design strategies, and the testing of iterative prototypes. These methods can heighten empathy and understanding by placing people at the center of the process and thereby propose new insights to solve problems (Brown 2008; Adams et  al. 2011). The collaboration between university, industry and local government enables an inter-institutional project team to take a transdisciplinary approach (Brown and Katz 2009). A range of methodologies, from qualitative observational studies to quantitative data capture and analytics, builds a rich and nuanced understanding of people and place. Design thinking also refers to the iterative approach which is applied to the current project. As it is a pilot project, insights were gathered from the information and data collected and used to revise and fine-tune our approach and interpretation of the data based on this feedback loop.

9.5  Equal Contributors in the Triple Helix Model Employing the triple helix model of collaboration to achieve smart cities objectives and aspirations, each partner plays important roles and the resulting outcomes vary as discussed below.

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9.5.1  University Boyer (1990) suggests that the university can function as the scholarship of integration and application; to explore how knowledge can be applied to consequential problems; and how it can be helpful to individuals and institutions. In doing so, universities serve the interests of the larger community (see Ian Jacobs’ talk to the National Press Club in which it is stated that ‘for every $1 investment in universities it creates a $10 return in the community!’ Boyer argues that the process should be dynamic rather than one-way in which knowledge is first “discovered” and then “applied”: “New intellectual understandings can arise out of the very act of application… theory and practice vitally interact, and one renews the other” (Boyer 1990, p.  23). He highlights “the need to move beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries, communicate with colleagues in other fields, and discover patterns that connect” (p. 20). Charles (2011, p. 282) who discusses the role of universities in building knowledge cities, notes that “ensuring that the knowledge assets of the university are applied to meet the needs of the local community, in terms of business or indeed in wider social and cultural impacts, requires a set of policies and initiatives, and a form of scholarship, to ensure that local needs inform the development of high-quality research and teaching, that those activities engage with local partners”. Researchers can scientifically observe, identify, and evaluate innovations and provide directions for further smart city investigations. This is difficult for others who might not have the time, resources or training. The relevant outputs that research-intensive universities require are publications, grant monies and industry networks. This requires researchers to explore, create, innovate without immediate commercial gain, which is the prime concern of industry. Researchers can enquire without citizen pressure to deliver goods and services which are normally the focus of government.

9.5.2  Industry The private sector plays a key role in smart city projects. At times, it is not only a partner in Public-Private Partnerships, it can also be one of the essential driving forces behind projects, alongside city and public-sector initiators. Private sector businesses are interested in widening their business interests and are keen to boost their image by being publicly concerned about the future of cities (Hatzelhoffer 2012). Businesses also want to be perceived as having a ‘green’ and ‘social’ conscience, alongside their need to make a profit. Smart city projects, like the one presented here, are an excellent opportunity for industry to identify and test before going to market. There is value in prototyping products in situ. It “allows for the testing of the potential solutions early on in the design process … [it] involves turning design concepts into functional solutions… In particular, in urban environments, the process of turning a design concept into a functional solution is not


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straightforward” (Tomitsch 2018, p. 153). Industry cannot do this without a partner who has a need and a place for their products to be tested in a real urban setting.

9.5.3  Government Local government can benefit from the living lab concept as it is at the forefront of assisting research and practice to identify and solve real-world problems affecting the local community. Despite local governments competing with each other for businesses and reputations as sustainable and liveable place creators, government administrations are networked with each other and share knowledge and solutions to urban problems. They learn from each other. They also reach out to universities and industry because they need and want cutting-edge knowledge and access to the latest technology, which they do not have in-house, to address their local challenges. Local governments offer the place to host technology and trial innovative solutions and to collect evidence for new, potentially beneficial outcomes for the community. As the Australia Government noted: “smart infrastructure to improve efficiency, smart precincts to make communities more liveable, smart services and communities that will deliver community-focused local government services and smart planning and design to build adaptable and resilient cities” (Australian Government Smart Cities and Suburbs Program 2017: website).

9.6  Case Study: A Smart Cities Partnership This smart city case study involves a collaboration between the Faculty of Built Environment at the University of New South Wales Sydney [UNSW], Street Furniture Australia [SFA], and Georges River Council [GRC], in the southwest district of the metropolitan area. The study provides an opportunity to design, test and implement new, smart street furniture in the public domain. It also pilots a flexible and smart infrastructure management system. This is significant for smaller local government areas that are typically ‘lower-tech’ and cannot afford complicated, outsourced, technical infrastructure needed to run a ‘smart city management system’. The project overall will give the local council hard evidence to inform open space, urban design and public infrastructure decisions. Both components of this project are designed to improve healthy and connected living. This project is a case study, which we present in detail in this chapter. Findings from this study are not intended to be generalisable. However, a case study can include ‘lessons learnt’ from within the project scope (Patton 2002). These details, although specific to this case study, are relatable to other local governments with similar small-scale projects where collaboration is critical for success. This research project entitled ‘Smart Social Spaces: Smart Street Furniture Supporting Social Health’ was a recipient of the Australian Government’s Smart

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Cities and Suburbs grant program, 2017–2019. There were 49 successful projects in round one of funding worth $27.7 million; round two funding is valued at another $22 million and was distributed in late 2018. The program demonstrates the Australian Federal Government’s commitment to the smart cities movement. Our research pilots the use of environmental sensors to determine the extent to which improvements can be made to increase the amenity and use of public open spaces and the asset management system of small-scale street furniture. Using digital sensors installed on street furniture and existing park facilities, sensors record real time use of urban furnishings in two public spaces in the GRC – a plaza, Memorial Square in Hurstville, and a park, Olds Park in Penshurst. These different types of public space were selected: one an urban setting that is intensively used on a daily basis, and the other, a park less intensively used during the week and more heavily used for recreation on the weekends. Figure 9.1 below illustrates the basic components of the project that compose a smart system based on IoT (Internet of Things) technology. The IoT technology as a network of sensors embedded in devices and physical objects provides a means to monitor and manage urban assets and their use. The ‘Smart Social Spaces’ project has been aimed to collect data from environmental sensors, store it in cloud servers, process and analyse it in real-time, convert it into useful forms and insights, and displays it on a city dashboard. This provides local councils with live user data about public open space and the use and performance of their public furnishings. A key component of the project was fitting out new and existing street furniture installations with a range of digital wireless sensors (Figs. 9.2 and 9.3) that operate on several different transmission platforms to provide data about the use of these urban furnishings. For example, it is possible to determine how long people spend in the vicinity of the site; how often a piece of equipment is used; and whether the equipment needs servicing. Sensors also provide data on how long people sit on the benches, and whether they are alone or with someone. This data can be cross referenced with sound and location-specific weather data that is also collected. This gives GRC a rich and detailed picture of the patterns of use for the assets in these settings. The project has introduced a novel data system provided by IoT sensors. This project has been an opportunity for the industry partner, SFA, to test a new product: the ‘PowerMe’ table that includes two General Purpose Power Outlets, USB ports, wireless charging and inbuilt power monitoring integrated into a new range of seating. This is a first in Australia. Also a (cigarette) ash receptacle was invented that measures the heat inside the unit. Sound sensors and a weather station were installed in both case study areas to measure those environmental factors. These products, alongside smart bins (measuring fill levels, heat and passing pedestrians), are being combined into an IoT of diverse and extensive data. This evidence base is the start of GRC’s new smart asset management system. In addition, an entirely new product is provided, the Healthy Living Hardware (HLH). This is an innovative street furniture product that aims to improve public health by providing power and water in proximity to heavily used public areas. The HLH includes WiFi, General Power Outlet [GPO], USB and power outlets (Fig. 9.4). The units allow people to recharge their phones, wash their hands, or make a cup of


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Fig. 9.1  Schematic diagram of Smart Social Spaces. (Authors 2018)

tea. They also include a timed water tap, a grate for drainage at the base and side counter tops for food preparation. With the HLH, people can bring a cooking appliance like an electric BBQ, wok, or hot plate, extending the range of activities that can take place in a public setting, introducing an element of domestic activity into the public space. The HLH has been adapted by SFA to fit their existing product range by integrating elements of their products’ design materials and features, such as timber fittings and other fixtures. The result is that this unit, albeit a prototype of

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Fig. 9.2  Vibration sensor installed under the seats, Olds Park. (Authors 2018)

Fig. 9.3  Sound level meter installed in the Plaza, Memorial Square. (Authors 2018)

a new typology of street furniture, now looks and feels like it belongs to the existing range of an established repertoire of street furniture options. Key stages of the project were as follows (also represented in Fig. 9.2): • Proposal Development was mostly conducted by UNSW and SFA.  This included identifying sites, preparing the plan for the refurbished sites, identifying opportunities and constraints, refining the initial proposal, developing concepts of smart furniture and turning concepts into products. Feasibility planning and cost assessment was undertaken to ensure the project components are aligned with the budget and schedule; • Innovation Legality included drawing up an agreement between UNSW and GRC to address liability issues associated with the installation of the HLH as a piece of untested in the public realm; • Installation, conducted through the collaboration of SFA and GRC, included site preparation, furniture installation, ensuring water flow and power supply


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Fig. 9.4  Healthy Living Hardware and smart bins installed in Olds Park. (Authors 2018)

through GPO and USB outlets, and setting up a network connection via 4G modems to enable sending data to cloud servers.

9.6.1  R  oles of the Collaborators in the Smart Social Spaces Project Figure 9.2 illustrates the three contributors to the project and the dynamic nature of their relationships. It also shows the iterative nature of the design thinking behind the project and amongst the players. As well, Fig. 9.2 summarises the major roles of each collaborator. A summary of tasks by collaborator is as follows: UNSW • • • • •

Wrote and submitted the grant (driver and now leader) Led discussions about legalities of the innovative part of the project Operationalised the data collection and management systems Positioned the location of street furniture in the plaza and park Documenting knowledge through journal articles and conference publications (ongoing) • Promoted the project through social and other media outlets • Managing the project overall to be completed within time and budget SFA • • • •

Designed and developed smart street furniture Prepared engineering and structural drawings for new furniture Managed subcontractors for technical aspects of the project Produced, assembled and delivered the smart street furniture

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GRC • Agreed to be formal grant partner and host the project • Identified the public domain case study sites which have some current social and place-based issues requiring research • Participated in discussions about legalities of the innovative part of the project • Prepared the site and installed new street furniture • Communicated regularly with their local community Subcontractors • Developed IoT sensors to install on street furniture • Advised on the selection of technology to be used • Provided the data platform for data capture and data visualisation

9.6.2  T  he Role of the Disciplines in the Smart Social Spaces Project Collaboration across the various disciplines (planning, landscape architecture, industrial design) and scales (from individual furniture to a public space, street, neighborhood and beyond) in the Smart Social Spaces project is essential to its success. There are always opportunities and challenges collaborating across different disciplines that work at 1:1//1:200//1:2500 scale drawings from objects to site plans to maps, and of course, all involving interactions with people. The UNSW team is made up of industrial designers, city planners, a healthy built environment expert, a landscape architect, an environmental psychologist and an architect who work at these different scales. The SFA team includes industrial designers, engineers, graphic designers, and construction/production staff. The Council team includes project managers, an infrastructure manager, engineering operations staff, electricians, tradespeople, parks crews and the communications coordinator. Collectively, the complexity of the project can be successfully addressed by the expertise in the multidisciplinary teams from across the partners.

9.7  Lessons Learnt Beyond developing technical and design solutions, there has been a highly cooperative and productive partnership between local government, academia and industry. By working collaboratively, we have been able to provide a better understanding of the use of public space, so that Council can make informed decisions that support and optimise the use of shared public space, encourage social interaction and ultimately, improve public health. The critical insights (concerning processes, outputs and outcomes) presented below can be applied to develop an effective model of


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research, practice, and local government collaboration that stimulates urban innovations to address complex problems of twenty-first century cities: 1. Processes • Start developing the MOUs and legal agreements necessary for the project at the outset or during planning phases • Appreciate that knowledge creation can happen through experiential learning or ‘learning by doing’ which means that new knowledge and innovation cannot be rushed • Innovation emerges as collaboration occurs • Communication between parties is vital • Decide early in the process which collaborator owns the Intellectual Property, including the data generated • Enable urban entrepreneurism through supporting start-ups and tech-based companies • Identify what you do not know which could interfere with the project and seek solutions 2. Outputs • Aim to commercialise new products to ensure the private industry partner benefits • Allow the industry partner to experiment/test and improve its products in a real-world setting for both social and economic benefit • Ensure these innovative projects provide the industry partner with opportunities for publicity • Be aware that new products take time to be designed, tested and launched into the marketplace • Improve the public amenity or services by using smart technologies with the end user in mind 3. Outcomes • Develop proposals for future projects that can benefit from the established collaboration • Assess and reflect on what has been done in order to learn from mistakes or run future projects more effectively • Do not underestimate the potential for ‘scaling up’ or the transferability of findings • Set future research agendas • Continue to invest in collaboration (with partners and their relationships) • Look for non-traditional partnerships

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9.8  I nnovations and Smart City Projects: Reflections on Collaboration A smart city is committed to innovation in management and policy as well as innovation in the adoption of technology (Nam and Pardo 2011). The Smart Social Spaces project has been an opportunity to deliver ‘technological innovation’ by developing new products, as well as ‘organisational innovation’ by enabling cross-­ sectoral collaboration. The formation of new partnerships between university, industry, and government represented one of the innovative aspects of the project. Although the Smart Social Spaces project, like most smart city initiatives, started as a pilot project, as the partnerships formed and trust between the actors was built up over the course of conducting the project, additional projects have been identified and the collaboration has been extended.1 It was through the sharing and integrating of information and knowledge that this ‘smart city innovation’ has been fostered in the above case study. Triple helix collaboration enabled the development of a cutting-edge project by bridging efforts that were otherwise isolated: the university analysed the problems and generated creative solutions; industry devised these solutions to improve their services and products; and the local government implemented them in real urban settings to better serve their community. In this way, one partner’s activity contributed to another’s to ensure the effective use of technology for overall community benefit – ultimately a goal for all three organisations. Getting involved in collaborative projects is a great opportunity for universities to boost innovation and knowledge. As noted by Boyer (1990), knowledge can be acquired not only through research, but also synthesis and practice. In the Smart Social Spaces project, the university brought different disciplines together and proposed the application of smart technology in a real-life setting. This enabled the scholarship of integration and application that are often seen as a university’s functions besides teaching and discovery (Boyer 1990). Finally, the case study in this chapter provided an example of a dynamic collaboration taking place in a non-linear way in which partners are jointly involved in multiple stages of the project. Flexibility of partners in taking charge of different tasks has been critical in the success of this project; it would not have been possible to define these roles precisely at the beginning of developing an innovative proposal. Also, for smart city projects to include the element of innovation, the involvement of start-up companies and tech-based contractors are essential  – these too were central to the success of this project (see Fig. 9.5). This is of great advantage for start-ups as it enables strengthening their link with academia as well as established industry practices.

1  The same set of partners applied for and were successful in Round 2 of Smart Cities and Suburbs grant program in 2018.


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Fig. 9.5  Cross-sectoral collaboration in Smart Social Spaces project. (Authors 2018)

9.9  Conclusion The Smart Cities Movement is here to stay and can be a catalyst and driver of meaningful partnership formation. Local councils, private industry and academia need to realise the power of collaboration at large or very small scales. Connecting all three groups of collaborators can increase the effectiveness of their individual efforts and initiatives that aim to make cities smarter. Despite “the project partners having differing objectives and cultures” (Hatzelhoffer 2012, p.  190) there is much to be gained from working together. This chapter highlights one case study and discusses the many lessons learnt about the process, outputs and outcomes of smart city initiatives across a range of scales. Mutual trust amongst the players can help ensure the overall success of these projects as innovation often ‘tests’ and ideally strengthens these relationships. The effective use of technology for improving infrastructure, precincts, services, planning and design needs an interdisciplinary collaboration. Roles and responsibilities may be blurred or overlap at times, but it makes the triple helix a stronger and more dynamic model of collaboration to deliver a smart city.

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References Adams R, Daly S, Mann L, Dall’Alba G (2011) Being a professional: three lenses into design thinking, acting, and being. Des Stud 32:588–607 Albino V, Berardi U, Dangelico RM (2015) Smart cities: definitions, dimensions, performance, and initiatives. J Urban Technol 22(1):3–21 Allwinkle S, Cruickshank P (2011) Creating smart-er cities: an overview. J Urban Technol 18(2):1–16 Australian Government Smart Cities and Suburbs Program (2017) Smart cities and suburbs program guidelines. Available at: smart-cities-and-suburbs/smart-cities-and-suburbs-program-guidelines-round-one-PDF Batty M, Axhausen K, Fosca G, Pozdnoukhov A, Bazzani A, Wachowicz M, Ouzounis G, Portugal Y (2012) Smart cities of the future. Eur Phys J Spec Top 214:481–518 Boyer EL (1990) Scholarship reconsidered: priorities of the professoriate. Princeton University Press, Princeton Brown T (2008) Design thinking. Harv Bus Rev 86 Brown T, Katz B (2009) Change by design: how design thinking transforms organizations and inspires innovation. Harper Collins, New York Charles D (2011) The role of universities in building knowledge cities in Australia. Built Environ 37(3):281–298 Cruickshank P (2011) SCRAN: the network. J Urban Technol 18(2):83–97 Dameri RP, Negre E, Rosenthal-Sabroux C (2016) Triple Helix in smart cities: a literature review about the vision of public bodies, universities, and private companies. In: 2016 49th Hawaii international conference on system sciences (HICSS), pp 2974–2982 Dorst K (2010) The nature of design thinking. Proceedings of the 8th design thinking research symposium (DTRS8), Sydney, October 19–20, pp 131–139 Etzkowitz H, Zhou C (2017) The triple helix: university–industry–government innovation and entrepreneurship. Routledge, New York Hatzelhoffer L e (2012) Smart city in practice: converting innovative ideas into reality: evaluation of the T-city Friedrichshafen. Jovis Verlag GmbH, Berlin Hollands RG (2008) Will the real smart city please stand up? Intelligent, progressive or entrepreneurial? City 12(3):303–320 Kitchin R (2014) The real-time city? Big data and smart urbanism. GeoJournal 79(1):1–14 Leydesdorff L, Deakin M (2011) The triple-helix model of smart cities: a neo-evolutionary perspective. J Urban Technol 18(2):53–63 Nam T, Pardo TA (2011) Smart city as urban innovation: focusing on management, policy, and context. In: Proceedings of the 5th international conference on theory and practice of electronic governance. ACM, New York, pp 185–194 Oren H (2017) Tel Aviv, 2010–2016: the start-up city of the start-up nation. Collar Venture Rev 5:118–119 Patton MQ (2002) Qualitative research and evaluation methods, 3rd edn. Sage, Thousand Oaks Tomitsch M (2018) Making cities smarter: designing interactive urban applications. Jovis Verlag GmbH, Berlin Homa Rahmat  is currently a Research Associate at University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. She is part of an interdisciplinary team of researchers working on two Smart Cities and Suburbs Grant projects and has developed a wide range of skills in evidence-based policy and practice and place-based innovation. Homa completed a PhD on a data-driven analysis of urban interventions using Twitter data. Her areas of research include citizen participation and innovations, smart cities initiatives, social media data, network analysis, urban sensor data, and public space planning and management.


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Nancy Marshall  is an Associate Professor in the Urban and Regional Planning Program at the University of Sydney, in Sydney Australia. In her academic career she has been an Associate Dean/ Education, won the UNSW Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Teaching Excellence and is currently a Program Director. Her research focuses on people and place, with a particular focus on plazas, parks and smart cities. Her recent books include the co-edited Routledge Handbook, with A/ Professor Kate Bishop, entitled: People and Place in the 21st Century City (2020) and Urban Squares as Places, Links and Displays (2017) co-written with Jon Lang. Dr Christine Steinmetz  is a Senior Lecturer in City Planning at the University of New South Wales Sydney, Australia. Her research focuses primarily on citizen engagement with smart city initiatives. In 2018, she spent three months in Tel Aviv researching how their smart city and citizenled initiatives incorporate technology to facilitate place and encourage active participation in city governance. Since 2017, Christine, along with the Smart Social Spaces Team, from UNSW Sydney, have been awarded over $1.5 million (AUD) from the Australian Government, Departments of Prime Minister & Cabinet and Industry, Innovation and Science. Miles Park  is a Senior Lecturer in Industrial Design at UNSW in Sydney Australia. He leads a graduation (honours) year design studio and contributes to other technology and design theory courses and is co-chair of IDEN (Industrial Design Educators Network). Prior, he was Program Director of Industrial Design UNSW and Program Director of Product Design, University for the Creative Arts, UK. Miles gained many years experience in design practice working in various design consultancies. He has contributed to patents and various successful mass-produced products. Christian Tietz  is a Senior Lecturer in Industrial Design at UNSW in Sydney Australia. His research interests are in the field of Design and Context. He pioneered the introduction of Industrial Design perspectives into Indigenous Environmental Health in Australia. In his work he examined in detail the performance of domestic fixtures and appliances and their impact on contributing to a healthy living environment and sustainable social change. In 2012 he was awarded the University Technology, Sydney Human Rights Award for Reconciliation for his work in this field. Kate Bishop  is an Associate Professor and Discipline Director of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Built Environment at the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia. Dr. Bishop’s background in environment-behaviour research underpins her teaching and research and her particular area of interest: children, youth and environments. She specialises in the research and design of environments for children with special needs; child and youth-friendly urban planning and design; and participatory methodologies with children and young people. Professor Susan Thompson  is Professor of Planning and head of the City Wellbeing Program in the Faculty of the Built Environment, UNSW, Sydney, Australia. Susan’s career has its foundations in local and state public sector planning practice. Susan is a pioneer in the development of healthy planning in Australia from an urban planning perspective, contributing to research, education, and advocacy for health supportive environments. Her longstanding contributions to planning have been recognised by numerous awards, including the prestigious Sidney Luker Memorial Medal in 2015. Susan is one of only three women to receive the award since its inception in 1956.

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Professor Linda Corkery  is a Professor of Landscape Architecture in the Faculty of Built Environment at the University of New South Wales, Australia. Her research and teaching focuses on the social dimensions of urban landscapes, including major greenspaces and the public domain; urban landscape planning and design of green infrastructure; and collaborative design processes. Linda is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA); was AILA’s National President from 2016-2018; and is a member of the Environmental Design Research Association.

Chapter 10

Fostering Successful Smart Campus Transitions Through Consensus-Building: A University of Technology Case Study Alfred B. Ngowi and Bankole O. Awuzie

Abstract  University campuses across the world are transforming into Smart campuses at an increasing pace. Such transformation is predicated on an understanding that this move will engender improved levels of resource efficiency and cost-­ savings. The desire to embed resource efficiency measures is driven by the dwindling resources being experienced by these institutions. Reporting on Smart Campus transitions indicate varied performances. Achieving early buy-ins from relevant stakeholder groups has been identified as a success factor. Therefore, achieving a consensus among stakeholder groups within HEIs becomes imperative. This chapter details the aspirations of a South African University of Technology (SAUoT) to transform into a Smart Campus. Precisely, it analyses perceptions of relevant stakeholders towards the development of a strategic framework for facilitating Smart Campus transitions at SAUoT in a manner suggestive of a consensus. Accordingly, this study reports on the findings from a workshop session with representatives of different stakeholder groups at SAUoT.  Findings highlight the variety of perceptions concerning the proposed transition and the sequence of implementation processes therein and, the development of a context-based definition of the Smart Campus. Expectedly, findings from this study will foster better appreciation of stakeholders’ roles in successful Smart Campus transitions. Keywords  Smart campus · South Africa · Stakeholder · Universities

A. B. Ngowi (*) · B. O. Awuzie Central University of Technology (CUT), Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa e-mail: [email protected] © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 R. Roggema (ed.), Designing Sustainable Cities, Contemporary Urban Design Thinking,



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10.1  Introduction Confronting the rising incidence of unsustainable consumption patterns remains a major source of concern for contemporary society. Rapid urbanization, climate change issues, etc. have further contributed to aggravating this challenge. Different think-tanks have tasked themselves with proffering veritable solutions to stem this tide. Such efforts have culminated in various initiatives, like the erstwhile millennium development goals (MDG) and the current sustainable development goals (SDG) (Sachs 2012; Waage et al. 2015). Comprising of 17 goals and 169 sub-sets, the latter remains a globally accepted governance framework for aligning the developmental aspirations of several countries to the mandate of fostering sustainability/sustainable development (SD) ethos. In furtherance to this framework, several initiatives have evolved, all focusing on the operationalization of different approaches with the aim of ensuring sustainability. These initiatives which include, inter alia; Sustainability and Sustainable development, Smart City/Campus/ Environment, responsible sourcing, green and/or sustainable supply chain management, green buildings/economy, circular economy etc. have gradually assumed centre-stage in global developmental discourse. Governments have expressed their commitment by aligning local developmental agendas to these initiatives (Baker and Eckerberg 2008; Preuss 2009; Happaerts et  al. 2010). This is evident in the number of national governments that are signatories to the global development framework- the sustainable development goals (SDG) framework and its precursor, the millennium development goals (MDGs) (Sachs 2012; Waage et al. 2015). The criticality of data and its subsequent deployment towards enabling these new approaches to sustainable consumption cannot be overemphasized (Mellouli et al. 2014). Yet, the management of the unprecedented inflow of data due to the internet makes the need for a platform for data analytics, interpretation and utilization, imperative. This has given rise to the concept of smartness. The Smart City concept is a salient facet of the smartness concept which has evolved to cater to this need albeit from a city-wide perspective. Therein, information and communication technologies (ICT) are being deployed to collect and manage data related to patterns of consumption within cities to guide the development of futuristic projections (Lee et al. 2014; Angelidou 2015). These futuristic projections allow for the development of necessary interventions for resolving society’s present challenges (Celino and Kotoulas 2013). According to Albino et al. (2015), cities play a critical role in the development and sustenance of social and economic activities which support human existence. Corroborating this view, Mattoni et  al. (2015) admit that cities consist of spaces within which distinct interrelated ecosystems are linked through communication networks in a coordinated manner. Ultimately, the level of integration of these ecosystems is influenced by the nature of these communication networks. Hence the transition towards a Smart City status is based on the availability of smart communication networks which are in turn, usually enabled by digital/information technology architecture.

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The reputation of universities as microcosms of society lends credence to the need for them to play a pivotal role in societal transformation towards smartness (Cortese 2003; Leal Filho 2011). These roles extend beyond the conventional boundaries of knowledge creation for smart cities. Societal expectations dictate that these institutions should, relying on the vast multi-, inter- and transdisciplinary (MIT) skill-sets available within them, serve as living laboratories for the Smart City. This will buttress the benefits of such transition whilst highlighting the probable challenges that may confront society in the quest to achieve Smart City status. Also, the reverberations of the achievements recorded within these institutions are expected to be felt across multiple scales-within the city- and thus, propel interests therein. The Smart Campus initiative has taken off across several universities in response to these expectations. Universities in South Africa are not left out from this broad-­ based initiative as a cursory look at the websites and associated marketing paraphernalia of most universities serve to indicate their individual aspirations to transform their approach to operations, pedagogy, and research through internet-enabled communication and digital technologies. These efforts are not solely aimed at process optimization and efficiency savings but also at transforming learner-experiences within these institutions (Malatji 2017). In short, it has become a value proposition to attract students and staff. Although the transition efforts are on-going and have been alluded to enhance user-experience in these institutions, there is little evidence to show that the views of the users are being incorporated during the initiative’s conceptualization and design stages. Scholars bemoan the uni-directional nature of the smart city implementation programmes (Némoz 2015; Rha et al. 2016). The South African University of Technology (SAUoT) is an institution where the systemic transition to a smart campus status is at an embryonic stage. The desire to make a success of this initiative has necessitated the programme proponents/designers to elicit the views of the users at this stage. As such, this study reports on the approaches utilized in eliciting stakeholder perceptions on the transition, and expected benefits on one hand, and the development of the implementation sequence for successful transition based on a need’s assessment and; an appraisal of available infrastructure as well as a SWOT analysis of such transition. The rest of the chapter is structured as follows: a review of the theoretical perspectives of the study’s underlying concepts, a description of the case study’s institutional context, a narrative on the research methodology adopted, a presentation and discussion of the study’s findings, and; a conclusion.

10.2  Smart City/Smart Campus- Clarifying the Nexus A consensus on what a Smart City connotes remains elusive in relevant communities of scholarship and practice (Mattoni et al. 2015, Castelnovo et al. 2016). Central to extant scholarly definitions is the domineering fixation on the roles of information and communication technologies (ICT) as enabling platforms (Mellouli et al.


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2014; Berntzen and Johannessen 2016). However, this claim has been disputed (Aune and Gonçalves 2017; Albino et al. 2015). The latter group maintain that the Smart City concept means more than just the adoption of ICT. In support of this latter school of thought, Meijer and Bolívar (2016) observe three dominant focus areas; the technological focus, the human resource focus, and the governance focus, within the Smart City context. Continuing, Albino et al. (2015) assert that Smart Cities have moved beyond the diffusion of ICT, with increasing attention focusing on the advancement of people and communities. Furthermore, they identify the components of Smart Cities as comprising of a smart economy, smart people, smart governance, smart mobility, smart environment, and smart living. This is congruent with the definition proffered by Schaffers et  al. (2011: 432) wherein a city was described as smart if the ‘investments in human and social capital and traditional (transport) and modern (ICT) infrastructure fuel sustainable economic growth and a high quality of life, with a wise management of natural resources, through participatory government’. Obviously, this description of a Smart City provides the much-­ needed nexus between the concepts of Smart City and Sustainable Development (SD). Suffice to state that the intention of Smart Cities is to provide the highest possible quality of living standards for residents through effective networking of infrastructure, not only in a politically efficient manner but also supports community socio-­ cultural developmental aspirations. Such aspirations seek to improve social inclusivity and social capital for residents through enhancement of business investment and creative opportunities therein (Berntzen and Johannessen 2016; Albino et al. 2015). Smart Cities aim to provide better living experiences for the citizens of a given area through the integration of appropriate technological frameworks, upskilling of the human resource and engagement of these citizens in the governance of their immediate environs in a participatory, collegial manner. On their part, Angelidou (2015) and Lee et al. (2014) view Smart Cities as urban development models wherein technology is relied upon to evolve innovation networks, improve citizens’ health and well-being, build dynamic yet resilient economies, and contribute significantly towards confronting the challenges bedevilling society. The Smart Campus initiative shares the same premise with the Smart City initiative although contrasting based on context. Whereas the latter concerns the introduction of requisite dimensions into a city area to enable smartness, the former happens to be confined to institutional geographical parameters, in this case, university campuses. The relationship between the Smart Campus, Smart City and Smart Nation is elucidated in Fig. 10.1. A Smart Campus is presented as an efficient, safe, sustainable, responsive and enjoyable place to live and work, underpinned and enhanced by digital/internet-­ based technologies (Hipwell 2014). Its evolution has been linked to the need to foster a new paradigm in higher education due to the overt reliance on the information and communication technologies (Rha et al. 2016). Given that a smart campus is a microcosm of a smart city, a smart campus is one that aligns the aspirations of “university as city” and stronger connections across and outside the campus within the context of smartness.

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Fig. 10.1  The Smart Campus/Smart City/Smart Nation Nexus. (Author’s conceptualization 2019)

As universities embrace the concept of a “smart campus”, three elements need to be incorporated (Davies 2015): 1. The concept of the university as a city, a collection of people, amenities and assets which respond to, and are shaped by, the values, expectations and shifting demands of its “citizens”. 2. Connectivity comprising of the operational and transactional capabilities that come with the idea of a smart campus. The notion of a smart campus encapsulates sensor-based smart parking and new ways to use digital lighting to make campus facilities more accessible, safer and more energy technologies to totally reshape the spaces for learning and interaction whilst brokering new and more nuanced relationships between students. Those relationships extend to the wider communities of alumni and business and community partners in which a university is embedded. It is about having the skills and capability to forge and sustain more complex co-design and co-production relationships across the campus (or multiple campuses, in many cases) and outside the campus with business, government and start-up or innovation communities for projects of joint research and commercialization.


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3. It requires investments in infrastructure and services on which the two first concepts rely. Therefore, a Smart Campus can be likened to one that aligns the aspirations of “university as city” and stronger connections across and outside the campus with the necessary investments in requisite technology assets and capability to bring about value creation and capture. The obvious point, as universities increasingly seek to combine their physical and digital assets, services and platforms to improve the total university experience, is that none of these concepts makes sense on its own, hence necessitating the need for the development of integrative platforms. Abuarqoub et al. (2017) observe that significant investments were being made by universities in the transition towards smartness. According to them, the reasons for these investments are predicated on the potential of the efforts to transform the higher education sector through the institution of effectiveness in service delivery to members of the university community. Furthermore, they opined that universities with Smart Campuses will fare better than those without, in terms of cost and time savings, protection of the environment, effective monitoring of attendance of staff and students as well as effective space planning and utilization efforts. In furtherance to these, the adoption of implementation of smart campus projects in universities will enable the collection of critical data about operational facets thus enabling optimal decision-making by management. Recent studies have chronicled the operationalization of various facets of the Smart Campus initiative across different locations. Such exemplars include the development of an anytime-anywhere learning within a smart campus environment (Hirsch and Ng 2011), smart parking (Shoup 2005; Bandara et al. 2016), frameworks for modelling movements on a smart campus (Fan and Stewart 2014), development of platforms for energy management and optimization on campuses (Barbato et al. 2016; Lazaroiu et al. 2015), dynamic timetabling systems (Campuzano et al. 2014), and, the use of apps for location directions and information dissemination purposes (Dong et  al. 2016). These examples highlight the utility of Smart Campuses in facilitating better learning environments as well as effective and efficient resource (mostly energy, time and space) allocation and usage. Summarily, it can be adduced that the Smart City and Smart Campus initiatives both seek to enhance the standards of liveability within cities whilst enhancing the productivity levels of its citizens through participatory decision making and governance based on the availability of credible data. Given the focus of these initiatives on the ‘citizen’ (Aune and Gonçalves 2017; Berntzen and Johannessen 2016; Castelnovo et al. 2016; Mellouli et al. 2014) it will be proper to expect that these citizens will be involved in the adoption and implementation of these concepts. Yet, evidence from various studies report limited involvement of citizens in the design of the Smart City/Smart Campus (Granier and Kudo 2016; Harms 2016). Rather participation is viewed based on the availability of opportunities for citizens to make contributions on how they are being governed, and not from the perspective of involvement in the co-design of the smart initiatives that are being introduced, being the main actors (Aune and Gonçalves 2017; Granier

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and Kudo 2016). This study provides an insight into the process adopted in the incorporation of the views of relevant stakeholders and the process’s utility in enabling the building of consensus around usually contentious facets under similar transitions. It provides findings which serve to direct the transition process at SAUoT.

10.3  Description of Case Study Context (SAUoT) The catch phrase of SAUoT’s Vision 2020 is “social and technological innovation”. Furthermore, “innovation” is one of the five SAUoT’s values. Innovation is an improved product, process or service that benefits society in a timely and, sometimes, transformational manner. It is a team activity at the intersection of different fields, bringing together diverse ideas, abilities and/ or methods to result in the creation of value (Patil et al. 2015). Innovation creates societal value (through an existing or new product, process or service) and one interesting aspect is internal innovation whereby an organization tweaks its processes to bring about efficiencies. In the quest for digital transformation, an entity at SAUoT has taken gradual steps ranging from digital scholarship aimed mainly at enhancing student experience by placing all learning materials at a learning management system that is accessible anytime, anywhere; followed by comprehensive digital strategy aimed at bringing about operational integration and optimization through digital workflows and storage of information. However, these initiatives have been constrained by lack of their uptake by other entities across the campus. Recently, a project on digital transformation across the campus has been launched and it is expected that what has worked so far will be taken up by all entities. Hence, to ensure that all initiatives towards digital transformation are integrated, an SAUoT strategy for Smart Campus is being proposed. SAUoT’s campus is an ideal environment and ‘vehicle’ through which to research, develop and evaluate a diversity of Smart Campus, and potentially Smart City concepts, being embedded within its host city environment, and encircled by major facilities, including a psychiatric hospital, police station, high court, and churches. In addition to the obvious benefits of a more efficient, connected and responsive campus, such a campus would also enhance and reinforce the University’s reputation as a progressive academic institution and a university of technology. Such potential benefits and support are also likely to strengthen the case for further funding e.g. from the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), Technology and Innovation Agency (TIA); Department of Science and Technology (DST) and other funders who would like to be associated with efficient and technologically connected working environment. However, before the complexity of challenges that developing a Smart Campus poses can be addressed, a formalization of needs as opposed to abilities is crucial. Also, it is necessary to identify what has already been done, both internally and externally. Indeed, an awareness of the latter, will help to avoid simply replicating the work of other Universities, and enable refocusing of efforts on identified areas


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of strength. It is also imperative that a ‘people’ oriented approach be advocated rather than ‘hardware-centred’ and avoid simply finding uses for new technologies and data, rather than focusing on the actual needs of those that use and service the campus.

10.4  Research Method A brainstorming workshop session was convened by the lead author to elicit viewpoints from various stakeholder categories within SAUoT concerning the design and implementation of the smart campus initiative. Effort was made to identify and recruit discussants purposively from the different stakeholder groups present in campus (Denscombe 2014). The import of this selection was premised on the need to provide these groups with the opportunity to participate in the development of a protocol for SAUoT’s Smart Campus transition. In total, 19 participants were recruited apart from the lead author who acted as facilitator and the co-author. Stakeholder groups from which these participants were drawn included: non-academic personnel from the Registry, Finance/Accounts, Procurement, Facilities, and, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) departments respectively. Also, in attendance were members of academic staff representing different disciplines and a select number of students from the Student Representative Council (SRC). The distribution of the discussants is provided for in Table 10.1. In summary, the workshop featured a truly representative audience comprising of the internal stakeholders of the university community. The facilitator had requested for researchers in the audience to make presentations on the utility and application of the smart ideology according to their different specialisms. These presentations lasted for 10  min each on the average. PowerPoint presentations on themes such as Smart Buildings, Smart Energy, Smart Water, Smart Mobility and the Internet of Things (IoT) was carried out. In the aftermath of these presentations, questions around salient issues were posed by the facilitator to Table 10.1  Discussants’ Demographics No. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

Sector Registry Finance/accounts Procurement Estates and infrastructure (facilities) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Student representatives Academic staff Total

Discussant code R1–2 F/A1 P1–2 FA1–2 ICT1–2

Number of discussants per category 2 1 2 2 2

SR1–4 AS1–6

4 6 19

Source: Compilation from Authors’ fieldwork (2017)

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achieve the objective of the workshop-the development of a common ontology among different stakeholder categories concerning a Smart Campus and identification of priority areas where the incorporation of smart features were deemed imminent. Questions posed to the audience during the deliberations were centred on the following thematic areas: • • • •

A context-specific definition of the Smart Campus; Stakeholders’ expectations of a Smart Campus environment; An appraisal of the state-of-art Smart infrastructure at SAUoT; A SWOT analysis concerning the transition towards a Smart Campus environment; • A consensus on the priority implementation areas. Discussants were requested to write down their answers on a notepad once a question was posed. A round of discussion ensued upon receipt of the notepads and the facilitator tried to achieve a consensus among participants on key issues concerning that question. This process lasted for 3 h with breaks in-between. The authors thematically analyzed the texts provided by the participants during the workshop. A comprehensive document outlining the details of the workshop was compiled by the authors and subsequently shared with the participants later. At this point, these participants were availed with a 1-week window to either express their reservations on the information provided or make clarifications where necessary concerning the emerging implementation objectives included in the document. At the end of this period, all participants agreed that the content of the compilation was indeed, a valid reflection of their contributions and stance on the Smart Campus initiative.

10.5  Presentation and Discussion of Findings The findings from the workshop session are provided in subsequent sections according to the previously explicated themes.

10.5.1  A Context-Specific Definition of the Smart Campus Discussants were asked to describe what they understood by a smart campus and they provided the answers listed in Table 10.2. From the answers provided, it can be stated that a smart campus from the perspective of SAUoT’s internal stakeholders can be described as “an interactive and interconnected campus wherein effective and efficient utilization of resources is achieved through the reliance on an ICT–enabled infrastructure by a variety of skilled academic and administrative staff, students, and other relevant stakeholders,


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Table 10.2  Definitions of smart campus from stakeholders‘perception No Stakeholder Definition 1 FA2 “…an interactive campus which engenders optimal occupant comfort levels whilst allowing for efficiencies in resource utilization” 2 FA1 “…an interconnected campus where data is collected centrally about many objects such as power consumption, water consumption, room availability etc. the data is used for smarter decision making.” 3 AS2 “…refers to a one-stop shop, self-service, effortless communication” 4 AS4 “…must be clean and attractive, easily accessible; human; paperless; and better system collaboration, better security” 5 SR1 “…must incorporate the following a conducive environment; cleanliness; easy access to facilities; staff and student population (cohesion and interaction); improved security; up to date data”. 6 P1 “…. Should possess enough resources (finances, employees, students, facilities), have technology – driven classes and exhibit policies and procedures that are clearly articulated and consistently practiced”. 7 AS3 “…a campus with a positive climate, where staff and students thrive to reach their maximum potential in what they do, relying on easy access to information and well-integrated data systems”. 8 P2 “…consist of highly skilled staff behind all computer desks in all support sections thus not allowing for any time lag”. 9 F/A1 “…embody the latest technology, thrive on e-communication, experience a drastic reduction in printing costs, and staff are able to make own travel arrangements”. 10 ICT2 “…a campus wherein things will happen at the click of a finger (computerization), with a reduction in paper usage, and systems up and running electronically”. 11 AS5 “…an interconnected campus where people and resources work to achieve a common goal; in a nutshell, a self-sufficient campus”. 12 ICT1 “…one where integrated digital technology is used optimally. However, the term SMART is not the best term to use”. 13 R2 No answer 14 AS1 “…. a campus where technology is efficiently and effectively used for the benefit of staff and students”.

Dominant theme Resource efficiency; occupant comfort levels; Resource efficiency; data/ ICT/technology-driven;

Communication; ICT-driven; Resource efficiency; data/ ICT/technology-driven; Data/ICT/technology-­ driven; security; accessibility; Resource efficiency; data/ ICT/technology-driven;

Resource efficiency; data/ ICT/technology-driven;

Resource efficiency; data/ ICT/technology-driven; Resource efficiency; data/ ICT/technology-driven;

Resource efficiency; data/ ICT/technology-driven;

Resource efficiency; data/ ICT/technology-driven; Resource efficiency; data/ ICT/technology-driven; N/A Resource efficiency; data/ ICT/technology-driven; (continued)

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Table 10.2 (continued) No Stakeholder Definition 15 SR2 “…entails going paperless with increased security, accessibility for staff and students and the general public –proper control from the protection services”. 16 SR3 “…a clean, technologically enhanced and friendly campus environment. It should be friendly with regards to people with disabilities and disadvantaged backgrounds are catered for”. 17 AS6 “…. Consist of connectivity and digital environment, safety and security, efficient mobility, efficient resource use; academic environment; staff and users”. 18 R1 “…. Entail a one touch data entry, electronic availability of verified data and allow for secure access”. 19 SR4 N/A

Dominant theme Resource efficiency; data/ ICT/technology-driven; security; accessibility; Resource efficiency; data/ ICT/technology-driven; social value; Resource efficiency; data/ ICT/technology-driven; accessibility; Resource efficiency; data/ ICT/technology-driven; security N/A

in such a manner that it provides optimal comfort levels, smart mobility and ease of access, improved security, a paperless business environment, smart energy and water usage in buildings and up-to-the-second information and knowledge creation and sharing capabilities’. This definition aptly captures the views of all the discussants as they did not disagree with the definition when it was sent back to them for review as indicated in the research methods section. Yet, from the list of definitions provided in Table  10.2, a multiplicity of nuances concerning the connotation accorded to the Smart Campus concept can be deciphered. These nuances were significantly driven by the nature of the stakeholder group. However, most of the stakeholder groups commonly agreed on the themes around Resource efficiency, Data/ICT/Technology-driven, security, and improved accessibility. This observation buttresses the views explicated in relevant literature wherein the need for process optimization and resource efficiency, improved security and accessibility levels have been identified as salient drivers for the transition towards smartness whether in cities or in campuses. This implies that SAUoT fares no differently.

10.5.2  S  takeholders’ Expectations of a Smart Campus Environment Upon the establishment of a common ontology among relevant stakeholders as it concerned a contextual definition of the Smart Campus concept for SAUoT, the authors sought to unravel their expectations from a successful transition towards the concept. This information was critical as it was expected to provide an insight into the aspects needing considerable improvements. Also, the elicitation of stakeholder expectations about a phenomenon during the design stages enables the


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implementers to tailor any proposed innovative solutions towards catering for the attainment of these expectations (Ritter et al. 2014, Simonsen and Hertzum 2012). The responses provided by the stakeholders are chronicled in Table 10.3. It can be deduced that the information presented in Table 10.3 is reflective of the views of a diverse range of stakeholder groups beyond those present at the workshop. However, only donor and industry representatives were truly left out and other stakeholders had to rely on phenomenological experiences with these stakeholder groups to reiterate what their expectations were from SAUoT.  For stakeholder groups such as alumni, some of the discussants had acquired one degree or the other from SAUoT and therefore were considered as alumni. The same principle was extended to the community stakeholder group. Based on the foregoing, the nuances evident in the expectations proffered are easily decipherable. A trend that indicates a congruence with the stakeholders’ relationship with SAUoT was observed. For instance, communication of on-going and potential initiatives at SAUoT was of importance to stakeholder groups like the donors, industry, community and alumni community respectively. For stakeholder groups with an interest in the built environment within campus, aspects concern the nature of design, resource efficiency etc. proved to be salient among their depositions. The trend observed in the data confirms the findings in similar studies carried out by Uskov et al. (2018) and Ljung (2018) where the authors held that the expectations of stakeholders were largely driven by their perception of how the implementation of the Smart initiative will influence the nature of their extant relationship with the context where such implementation is expected to take place.

10.5.3  A  n Appraisal of the State-of-Art Smart Infrastructure at SAUoT Quite understandably, SAUoT has made considerable investment in a diverse array of ICT infrastructure over time. Therefore, there was a need to identify the available infrastructure and the contributions of such infrastructure to facilitating the transition. Accordingly, the facilitator put across the question to discussants with the intention of establishing availability of relevant ICT infrastructure on campus. Table 10.4 provides a list of these ICT platforms as identified from the stakeholder. Based on the contents of Table 10.4, the role of the ITS as a core component of the entire ICT architecture at SAUoT can be observed. However, discussants opined that this overload of the ITS had exacerbated the challenges faced when trying to utilize the existing ICT architecture. The poor integration of different systems into the ITS was mentioned and flagged as a major contributor towards the low uptake of the digitization strategy at SAUoT by relevant stakeholders given the severity in down-times and non-functionality. Figure 10.2 is a pictorial evidence of the state of the ICT infrastructure architecture at SAUoT based on the contributions of FA1, FA2, and ICT 1 during the workshop and conceptualized by AS4.

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Table 10.3  Stakeholders’ Expectations of a Smart Campus Environment Stakeholder Students

Academic staff

ITS staff

Administrative staff (Registry/HR/ Finance)

Expectation 1. Secure campus 2. IT platform compliant and competent academic and support staff; 3. Optimal utilization of the e-learning platform by academic staff in teaching and learning activities; 4. Presence of more interactive workspaces; 5. Ease of access into and within the campus; 6. Effective E-learning platforms without serial downtimes; 7.Transparency of the grade centres on ethuto, and; 8. Improved levels of integration of these e-platforms to reduce the time spent sourcing for relevant information on campus. 1. More conducive workspaces; 2. Secure campus; 3. Ease of secure access into and within the campus 4. Development of a smart access capability for lecture halls, 5. More interactive workspaces; 6. Optimally integrated ITS system; 7. More efficiencies in procurement and decision making through improved information and knowledge sharing among stakeholders. 1. More investments into the expansion of the ITS network; 2. Optimal integration of successive e-platforms into the ITS network; 3. Improved interest of academic staff in the utilization of e-resources in carrying out their academic activities of teaching and learning, research and community engagement; 4. Secure commitment of Mobile phone operators to provide free access for students to the university’s e-learning platform on their phones through the mobile app. 5. Achieve integration between ethuto and ITS platform for the integration of marks. 6. Development and delivery of fully online courses for students; 7. Development of a holistic monitoring and analytical data system for monitoring students’ progression, and; Movement of the blackboard server to the cloud servers. 1. Secure campus through use of CCTV cameras, smart access cards, 2. Paperless work environment; 3. Central collection/integration of data (information); 4. Achievement of efficiency savings in procurement and ancillary roles through reliance on ICT technology, and; 5. Integration of databases across the two campuses (continued)


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Table 10.3 (continued) Stakeholder Facilities/ academic staff from the built environment/civil engineering/electrical engineering disciplines.






Expectation 1. Development of a 3-5D inventory of all built assets on campus; 2. Integration of this inventory into the Archibus platform; 3. Conversion of existing buildings into smart buildings through the installation of smart meters, sensors etc.; 4. A complete transition towards the SMART grid; 5. Efficient energy usage through the installation of spotlight lighting systems, use of solar panels and wind mills for power generation on campus; 6. Design of an advanced load modelling platform; 7. Smart storage of electrical and thermal energy; 8. Smart metering and smart lighting; 9. Development of smart water management and distribution systems through the installation of smart pipes, sensors, smart meters etc. 10. Reduced reliance on municipality water; 11. Optimal use of ICT in driving water management on campus; 12. Redesign of the water reticulation system on campus towards gaining self-sufficiency in water usage; 13. Improved levels of Pedestrianization; 14. Development of an automated vehicle parking system; 15. Use of solar bikes across the campuses; 16. Ease of safe movement across campuses 17. Development of dedicated parking area. 1. Up-to-date (real-time) information of CUT activities, particularly research and innovation, and teaching and learning (on-line short and custom-made courses) 2. Platform for real-time collaboration in such areas as research and innovation 1. Real-time communication of programs and activities serving community needs 2. On-line interdisciplinary and whole-of-university collaboration with community partners 1. A digital platform that can facilitate real-time communication between alumni and students (potential alumni) and among alumni 2. Facilities within campus to facilitate meetings both face-to-face and on-line 1. Easy to follow digital platform that explains SAUOT core activities and potential areas for donor engagement 2. Real-time access to how donor funds is being utilized 1. Access to up-to-date on-line information about SAUOT learning programmes 2. On-line access to SAUOT activities, particularly those related to schools 3. On-line forms for different types of engagement with SAUOT such as applications in learning programs etc.

Source: Compilations from Authors’ Fieldwork (2017)

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Table 10.4  ICT Platforms at SAUoT ICT platform Archibus ITS

CELCAT Building Management systems Record and document Management systems

Role Serves for the space management as well as resource management within such spaces; Serves as the core campus ICT platform; comprises of the following: Integrated finance system, student enrolment and administration systems, payroll and fleet management systems, e-learning system (blackboard), the integrated printing system, telephone management system and the SharePoint for collaborative working, etc. Serves as the timetabling system Serves as a platform for managing amenities like air-conditioning systems and electrical systems on campus Serves the purpose of updating and managing documents and records.

Source: Authors’ compilations from fieldwork (2017)






Acve Directory









CelCAT Scripts Server




Incomplete informaon


Manually programmed / under development

Fig. 10.2  Present State of ICT Infrastructure at SAUoT (Discussant’s conceptualization [AS4])

Figure 10.2 buttresses the over-dependence of most of the systems within the ICT infrastructure architecture on the ITS. Also, it highlights the disjoint manner of relationships existing within the overall platform. According to relevant stakeholders, any transition to the Smart Campus must provide for the development of a robust platform which supports interoperability of hitherto disparate systems as well as the provision for application programming interfaces (APIs) to facilitate linkages to an enterprise service bus (ESB) which is expected to replace the current


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Scripts Server













Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) API















Acve Directory


Fig. 10.3  Projected state of the ICT infrastructure at SAUoT for smart campus preparedness. (Discussant’s conceptualization 2017)

function of the ITS in the current architecture. Figure 10.3 showcases the projected state of the ICT infrastructure architecture at SAUoT according to the perspectives of discussants as explained previously.

10.6  S  WOT Analysis Concerning the Transition Towards a Smart Campus Environment An analysis of the strength, weakness, opportunities and threat (SWOT) of phenomena for the purposes of rationale and robust decision-making has proven to be a critical management tool for contemporary managers (Gürel and Tat 2017; Phadermrod et  al. 2019). Among its numerous advantages is the ability to assist organizations in identifying the opportunities which they may leverage upon to improve on their strengths, confront their weaknesses or even overcome the threats (Gürel and Tat 2017). The scholars indicate the utility of SWOT analysis in promoting group discussions about issues relating to strategy development and implementation (Gürel and Tat 2017; Phadermrod et  al. 2019). Both formed the rationale behind the facilitator’s intention to conduct the brainstorming session. Accordingly, the  facilitator sought to the help of the stakeholders to identify the probable strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats confronting the Smart Campus transition aspirations of SAUoT during the workshop. Table 10.5 provides a summary of the responses of the stakeholders, categorized according to SWOT of SAUoT’s Smart Campus transition.

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Table 10.5  A SWOT analysis of SAUoT’s smart campus transition Strengths 1. The realisation of the need to develop a smart campus; 2. The apparent willingness on the part of a sizeable number of stakeholders to be a part of the initiative; 3. The presence of an already existing ICT infrastructure at the university, hosting several platforms like the e-learning platform; 4. The presence of knowledge capabilities within the institution, and; 5.Some faculties are already experiencing a transition towards smartness (starting from going paperless).

Opportunities 1. Advantages conferred on the University by virtue of its location; 2. The location of SAUoT within a city desirous of attaining a smart city status) is considered an opportunity. SAUoT can provide the competencies required, if it becomes smart. This can provide opportunities for the co-production/co-creation of smart knowledge assets which can in turn bring about improved revenue for the institution. 3. Presence of similar interests in peer institutions, regionally, nationally and internationally for benchmarking purposes.

Weaknesses 1. Poor integration of extant e-platforms on the ITS; 2. Unwillingness on the part of relevant stakeholders to embrace the smart campus initiative; 3. Poor and inadequate funding issues; 4. Compartmentalized nature of the various pockets of knowledge, and; 5. Inability to effectively utilize the knowledge capabilities present on campus. Threats 1. Competition from peer institutions 2. Declining grants from external sources (DHET, DST etc.)

Source: Authors’ compilations (2017)

10.6.1  Strengths The area denoted as strength comprises of organizational and/or environmental attributes which confer relative advantage on an organization over its peers. In the case of SAUoT’s Smart Campus transition, stakeholders opined that SAUoT stood to benefit from the existence of the presence of relevant knowledge capabilities within the institution. Such capabilities are available within the academic and support facets of SAUoT.  To the discussants, having pro-smart capabilities within SAUoT conferred competitive advantage when compared to other Universities without such capabilities. Based on the situational analysis of the ICT infrastructure at SAUoT reported previously, discussants reiterated that the presence of degree of ICT systems in the university and the proclivity of a considerable number of staff therein to use such systems in the conduct of their respective tasks, placed the institution in an advantageous position. The latter is evident in a Faculty within SAUoT which has transited to a paperless work-environment in recent times. Official documents are now being handled and managed electronically.


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10.6.2  Weaknesses Contrasting with the strengths on a SWOT matrix, the weakness is used to connote those organizational and/or environmental attributes which stand to negate the pro-­ growth aspirations of an organization when compared to its peers. Whereas the strengths are expected to serve as repositories where the organizations are expected to leverage upon to advance its transition ambition, the weakness consist of those aspects which have the potential to deter the organization from the attainment of this mandate. As stated previously, the poor integration of extant ICT systems -see Fig.  10.2-was easily identified as a significant weakness confronting SAUoT’s attempt at a Smart Campus transition. Available evidence indicates an apathy of a considerable number of academic and support staff at SAUoT towards different facets of the Smart Campus transition. For instance, since the transition to the paperless work environment in a Faculty of SAUoT some years ago, staff in three other Faculties have not showed any intention of migrating to a similar work context. Activities in different operational (support) departments of SAUoT have carried on in manner that negates the utility of available ICT systems. Preference is accorded to traditional methods instead of ICT-backed methods. Funding was flagged by discussants as a probable challenge to SAUoT’s transition aspirations. The availability or non-availability of funding remains an albatross for universities seeking to make transitions towards Smart Campus or Sustainable University Status. This was highlighted by Fortes et al. (2019) who maintained the need for adequate consideration to be paid towards the development of funding pathways for Smart Campus projects. SAUoT fares no differently, especially with the tightening of government budgets and increasing clamour for tuition-free education at tertiary level. Also, discussants acknowledged the existence of silos which were focused on disciplinary-based knowledge, thereby closing out opportunities for knowledge sharing between different platforms. As such, SAUoT cannot optimally leverage upon the availability of these platforms to sustain the Smart Campus transition.

10.6.3  Opportunities According to Helms and Nixon (2010), opportunities can be described as those elements external to the organization which have the potential of providing numerous benefits for the organization if properly utilized. In this wise, discussants identified the location of SAUoT in a locality with Smart City aspirations as an opportunity. Figure 10.4 highlights the location of SAUoT within the Metropolis. Most of them opined that the operationalization of Smart Campus tenets at the SAUoT will provide a platform for the local government to leverage upon in driving the actualization of its own aspirations. According to them, such arrangements will be mutually beneficial to both parties.

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Fig. 10.4  SAUoT’s location within a metro area

Furthermore, the transition to Smart Campus is becoming commonplace across the globe. Such happenstance inadvertently provides opportunities for SAUoT to benchmark progressions made in different phases of the transition with peer institutions within and beyond South Africa. SAUoT’s ability to engage with the benchmarking process was considered a strength given the potential of the process to assist SAUoT to learn from mistakes and successes of peer institutions.

10.6.4  Threats Threats consist of elements which exist within an organization’s external environment with the potential of causing trouble for the organization’s transition aspirations (Helms and Nixon 2010). During the workshop, the stakeholders identified issues such as competition from peer universities and the declining grants from external funding sources like government departments and industry as threats to the actualization of the Smart Campus transition. Summarily, the SWOT analysis presented in this section indicates SAUoT’s potential to transit successfully towards a Smart Campus status based on a juxtaposition of the outcomes of the situational analysis of the ICT infrastructure and the pro-smart mindset of a significant population of the institution’s population.

10.7  Consensus on the Priority Implementation Areas Based on the foregoing, a set of strategic goals were formulated to direct the sequence of activities during implementation. These goals in order of priority to be implemented in the first phase of the transition include:


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(a) Leveraging digital platforms to integrate and optimize operational activities; (b) Create user-friendly platforms for interaction with key stakeholders; (c) Optimize all utilities-energy, water, space-through reliance on Internet of Things (IoT); (d) Provide a secure and safe campus using smart technologies; (e) Leveraging digital platforms to enhance student life-both academic and social; (f) Optimize the functions of all SAUOT buildings using intelligent devices. Expectedly, SAUoT’s transition to Smart Campus and the individuals saddled with the responsibility of managing such transition will comply with the outcomes of the brainstorming workshop session as explicated in this chapter.

10.8  Conclusion Implementing Smart Campus transitions in Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) across the globe require painstaking efforts. Whereas such transitions are seemingly at nascent stages in Sub-Saharan Africa, reportage from other geographical contexts indicate varied implementation performance. Like other HEIs in other SSA countries, South African HEIs have shown interest in leading the continent towards such transitions. This is especially the case with the determination of these institutions to contribute to the emerging 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) through the various facets of their mandate. However, a paucity of studies seeking to report on the process of designing such transitions from an end-user participatory praxis has been noticed. In its bid to bridge this gap, this study reports on the process adopted in eliciting the perspectives of relevant stakeholders in facilitating effective Smart Campus transition at SAUoT. Also, it presents discusses the findings which culminated from the brainstorming workshop session with critical stakeholders at the HEI. Besides explicating the utility of the workshops for consensus building, findings reported in this study include the determination of a context-based definition of the Smart Campus concept, an elucidation of the expectations from a Smart Campus transition, a situational analysis of the state-of-the-art as it pertains to the ICT infrastructure required to drive the transition and an appraisal of the flaws thereof, a SWOT analysis as well as an establishment of the component parts of the initial implementation phase based on the plethora of expectations identified. Whereas this study has succeeded in making contributions to the development of a framework for engendering consensus-building through participatory workshops, it establishes the factors which are likely to impact on the success or otherwise of transitions towards Smart Campus by SAUoT. Managers of such transitions stand to benefit from the outcomes of this study. However, as is the case with similar illustrative case studies, the findings from the study reflect the realities within a particular context. It must be noted that no attempt has been made at generalizing the findings from this study. Yet, this step can be carried out in future studies as it will enable the

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development and validation of a framework for consensus building among stakeholders during Smart Campus transitions in South African Universities.

References Abuarqoub A, Abusaimeh H, Hammoudeh M, Uliyan D, Abuhashim M, Murad S, Al-Jarrah M, Al-Fayez F (2017) A survey on internet of things enabled smart campus applications. In: Proceedings of International conference on future networks and distributed systems. IFNDS, Cambridge Albino V, Berardi U, Dangelico RM (2015) Smart cities: definitions, dimensions, performance, and initiatives. J Urban Technol 22:3–21 Angelidou M (2015) Smart cities: a conjuncture of four forces. Cities 47:95–106 Aune A, Gonçalves RS (2017) Human smart cities – the Brazilian scenario and the importance of the joined-up approach in the definition of smart city. Dissertação de Mestrado, Pontifícia Universidade Católica Baker S, Eckerberg K (2008) In pursuit of sustainable development: new governance practices at the sub-national level in Europe. Routledge, New York Bandara H, Jayalath J, Rodrigo A, Bandaranayake A, Maraikar Z, Ragel R (2016) Smart campus phase one: smart parking sensor network. In: Manufacturing and industrial engineering symposium: innovative applications for industry, MIES Barbato A, Bolchini C, Geronazzo A, Quintarelli E, Palamarciuc A, Pitì A, Rottondi C, Verticale G (2016) Energy optimization and management of demand response interactions in a smart campus. Energies 9:398 Berntzen L, Johannessen MR (2016) The role of citizen participation in municipal smart city projects: lessons learned from Norway. In: Smarter as the new urban agenda. Springer, Cham Campuzano F, Doumanis I, Smith S, Botia JA (2014) Intelligent environments simulations, towards a smart campus. In: 2nd International workshop on Smart University Castelnovo W, Misuraca G, Savoldelli A (2016) Smart cities governance: the need for a holistic approach to assessing urban participatory policy making. Soc Sci Comput Rev 34:724–739 Celino I, Kotoulas S (2013) Smart cities [guest editors' introduction]. IEEE Internet Comput 17:8–11 Cortese AD (2003) The critical role of higher education in creating a sustainable future. Plan High Educ 31:15–22 Davies B (2015) Internet of everything -powering the smart campus and the smart city: Geelong's transformation to a smart city. [Online]. Deakin University IBM CISCO, Geelong. Available: Accessed 17 May 2017 Denscombe M (2014) The good research guide: for small-scale social research projects. McGraw-­ Hill Education, London Dong X, Kong X, Zhang F, Chen Z, Kang J (2016) OnCampus: a mobile platform towards a smart campus. Springerplus 5:974 Fan J, Stewart K (2014) An ontology-based framework for modeling movement on a smart campus. Analysis of movement data. GIScience workshop, Vienna, Austria Fortes S, Santoyo-Ramón JA, Palacios D, Baena E, Mora-García R, Medina M, Mora P, Barco R (2019) The campus as a smart city: University of Málaga Environmental, learning, and research approaches. Sensors 19:1349 Granier B, Kudo H (2016) How are citizens involved in smart cities? Analysing citizen participation in Japanese “Smart Communities”. Inf Polity 21:61–76 Gürel E, Tat M (2017) Swot analysis: a theoretical review. J Int Soc Res 10:994–1006


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Happaerts S, Van Den Brande K, Bruyninckx H (2010) Governance for sustainable development at the inter-subnational level: the case of the network of regional governments for sustainable development (nrg4SD). Reg Fed Stud 20:127–149 Harms J (2016) Critical success factors for a smart city strategy. In: 25th twente student conference on IT. Twente, Netherlands Helms MM, Nixon J (2010) Exploring SWOT analysis–where are we now? A review of academic research from the last decade. J Strateg Manag 3:215–251 Hipwell S( 2014) Developing smart campuses – a working model. In: International conference on intelligent Green Building and Smart Grid (IGBSG), IEEE, pp 1–6 Hirsch B, Ng JW (2011) Education beyond the cloud: anytime-anywhere learning in a smart campus environment. In: International Conference for Internet Technology and Secured Transactions (ICITST), IEEE, pp 718–723 Lazaroiu GC, Dumbrava V, Costoiu M, Teliceanu M, Roscia M (2015) Smart Campus-an energy integrated approach. Urban Probl 1:4 Leal Filho W (2011) About the role of universities and their contribution to sustainable development. High Educ Pol 24:427–438 Lee JH, Hancock MG, Hu MC (2014) Towards an effective framework for building smart cities: lessons from Seoul and San Francisco. Technol Forecast Soc Chang 89:80–99 Ljung RL (2018) Stakeholder management for sustainable campus development. MSc Master’s thesis. University of Stavanger, Norway Malatji EM (2017) The development of a smart campus-African universities point of view. In: 8th International Renewable Energy Congress (IREC), pp 1–5 Mattoni B, Gugliermetti F, Bisegna F (2015) A multilevel method to assess and design the renovation and integration of smart cities. Sustain Cities Soc 15:105–119 Meijer A, Bolívar MPR (2016) Governing the smart city: a review of the literature on smart urban governance. Int Rev Adm Sci 82:392–408 Mellouli S, Luna-Reyes LF, Zhang J (2014) Smart government, citizen participation and open data. Inf Polity 19:1–4 Némoz S (2015) Smart campus: recent advances and future challenges for action research on territorial sustainability. In: Leal FW, Muthu N, Edwin G, Sima M (eds) Implementing campus greening initiatives, World sustainability series. Springer, Cham Patil L, Dutta D, Bement A Jr (2015) Educate to innovate: factors that influence innovation: based on input from innovators and stakeholders. National Academies Press, Washington, DC Phadermrod B, Crowder RM, Wills GB (2019) Importance-performance analysis based SWOT analysis. Int J Inf Manag 44:194–203 Preuss L (2009) Addressing sustainable development through public procurement: the case of local government. Supply Chain Manag Int J 14:213–223 Rha J-Y, Lee J-M, Li H-Y, Jo E-B (2016) From a literature review to a conceptual framework, issues and challenges for smart campus. J Digit Convergence 14:19–31 Ritter FE, Baxter GD, Churchill EF (2014) Foundations for designing user-centered systems. Springer, London. 10, 978-1 Sachs JD (2012) From millennium development goals to sustainable development goals. Lancet 379:2206–2211 Schaffers H, Komninos N, Pallot M, Trousse B, Nilsson M, Oliveira A (2011) Smart cities and the future internet: towards cooperation frameworks for open innovation. In: The future internet assembly. Springer, pp 431–446 Shoup DC (2005). Parking on a smart campus: lessons for universities and cities Simonsen J, Hertzum M (2012) Sustained participatory design: extending the iterative approach. Des Issues 28:10–21 Uskov VL, Bakken JP, Karri S, Uskov AV, Heinemann C, Rachakonda R (2018) Smart university: conceptual modeling and systems’ design. In: International conference on smart education and smart e-learning. Springer, pp 49–86

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Waage J, Yap C, Bell S, Levy C, Mace G, Pegram T, Unterhalter E, Dasandi N, Hudson D, Kock R (2015) Governing the UN sustainable development goals: interactions, infrastructures, and institutions. Lancet Glob Health 3:251–252 Alfred B. Ngowi  holds a BSc (Civil Engineering) degree from the University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; a Masters of Civil Engineering (Construction Engineering and Management) from Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden; and a PhD in Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa. He is a registered professional construction project manager (Pr. CPM) and, a member of the Chartered Institute of Building (MCIOB). His multi-disciplinary research interests span 4IR technologies deployment for engendering smart and sustainable built environments. Bankole O. Awuzie  holds a BSc degree in Real Estate Management from Imo State University, Owerri, Nigeria; an MSc degree in Construction Project Management from the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland; and a PhD in the Built Environment from the University of Salford; both of which are in the United Kingdom. His research interests span the realm of smart, sustainable, and circular built environments. He is widely published within this domain.

Chapter 11

The Role of Landscape Architectural Designers in Landscape Construction Health and Safety John Smallwood

Abstract  The influence of design on construction Health and Safety (H&S) is well documented in literature, as the concept and practice of ‘designing for construction H&S’. However, there is a paucity of literature relative to landscape construction H&S and none relative to the influence of landscape architecture on landscape construction H&S. Furthermore, no research has been conducted relative to this subject area, despite landscape construction entailing exposure to numerous hazards and risks. Given the status quo, a quantitative study was conducted among members of the Institute of Landscape Architects South Africa (ILASA), the objectives of the study being to determine, among other, perceptions, and practices of landscape architects relative to landscape construction H&S. The salient findings include: –– Site handover, site meetings, and site inspections/discussions predominate in terms of the frequency landscape construction H&S is considered/referred to on various occasions; –– Method of fixing predominates in terms of the frequency construction H&S is considered/referred to relative to design related aspects; –– Position of components predominates in terms of the extent design related aspects impact on landscape construction H&S; –– Tertiary landscape architecture education addresses landscape construction H&S to a minor extent, and –– Respondents rate their knowledge of landscape construction H&S and ‘design for landscape construction H&S’ skills as poor, and experience predominates in terms of respondents’ acquisition of knowledge of landscape construction H&S.

J. Smallwood (*) Department of Construction Management, Nelson Mandela University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa e-mail: [email protected] © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 R. Roggema (ed.), Designing Sustainable Cities, Contemporary Urban Design Thinking,



J. Smallwood

Conclusions include: –– Respondents are committed to landscape construction H&S, however they are lacking in knowledge; –– The extent to which respondents perceive landscape architecture impacts on landscape construction H&S indicates inadequate knowledge; –– The ratio of action in terms of consideration of/reference to landscape construction H&S as a percentage of perceived impact of landscape design thereon indicates that there is potential to enhance such consideration/reference, and –– Respondents appreciate the potential of interventions to improve landscape construction H&S, and the extent to which landscape architectural programmes address landscape construction H&S reflects inadequate commitment thereto on the part of the related stakeholders. Recommendations include: –– Tertiary education landscape architectural programmes should include appropriate ‘designing for landscape construction H&S’ modules as a component of a subject–probably design. –– The ILASA should develop practice notes relative to landscape construction H&S, and –– The South African Council for the Landscape Architectural Profession (SACLAP) should include construction H&S in their six work stages as per the identity of work (IoW) in a more comprehensive manner. Keywords  Construction · Health and safety · Influence · Landscape architects

11.1  Introduction The definition of ‘designer’ in the South African Construction Regulations (Republic of South Africa 2014) includes, inter alia, a landscape architect. The Construction Regulations require designers to, inter alia, modify the design or make use of substitute materials where the design necessitates the use of dangerous procedures or materials hazardous to H&S, and consider hazards relating to subsequent maintenance of the structure and make provision in the design for that work to be performed to minimise the risk. This alludes to the term ‘designing for safety’, which Behm (2006) defines as “The consideration of construction site safety in the preparation of plans and specifications for construction projects.” Thorpe (2006) in turn contends that design is an important stage of projects, as it is at this stage that conceptual ideas are ideally converted into constructable realities. Thorpe (2006) further states that designing for safety is one of a range of considerations that need to be balanced simultaneously during design.

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However, there is a paucity of literature pertaining to landscape construction H&S, and the role of landscape architecture in landscape construction H&S. Given this paucity, a study was undertaken, the objectives being to determine the: • Frequency at which landscape architectural practices consider landscape construction H&S on various occasions, and relative to various design related aspects; • Extent to which various design related aspects impact on landscape construction H&S; • Potential of various interventions to contribute to an improvement in landscape construction H&S; • Extent to which tertiary landscape architecture education addresses landscape construction H&S, and the form in which landscape construction H&S is addressed; • Landscape architects’ rating of their knowledge of landscape construction H&S and • ‘design for landscape construction H&S’ skills, and • Means by which landscape architects’ landscape construction H&S knowledge is gained.

11.2  Literature Review 11.2.1  H  ealth and  Safety Legislation and  Recommendations Pertaining to Designers In terms of the South African Construction Regulations (Republic of South Africa, 2014), clients and designers have responsibilities with respect to construction H&S.  Clients are required to, inter alia, prepare an H&S specification based on their baseline risk assessment (BRA), which is then provided to designers. They must then ensure that the designer takes the H&S specification into account during design, and that the designers carry out their duties in terms of Regulation 6 ‘Duties of designers’. Thereafter, clients must include the H&S specification in the tender documentation, which in theory should have been revised to include any relevant H&S information included in the designer report as discussed below. Designers in turn are required to, inter alia: consider the H&S specification; submit a report to the client before tender stage that includes all the relevant H&S information about the design that may affect the pricing of the work, the geotechnical-­ science aspects, and the loading that the structure is designed to withstand; inform the client of any known or anticipated dangers or hazards relating to the construction work, and make available all relevant information required for the safe execution of the work upon being designed or when the design is changed; modify the design or make use of substitute materials where the design necessitates the use of


J. Smallwood

dangerous procedures or materials hazardous to H&S, and consider hazards relating to subsequent maintenance of the structure and make provision in the design for that work to be performed to minimize the risk. To mitigate design originated hazards, requires hazard identification and risk assessment (HIRA) and appropriate responses, which process should be structured and documented. Despite the requirements of H&S legislation relative to clients and designers, in general, the related statutory councils’ respective identities of work (IoW) record limited H&S deliverables (Deacon 2016). The point with respect to the respective IoW is that in general, the deliverables inform with respect to the competencies of practitioners and graduates. In the case of the South African Council for the Landscape Architectural Professions (SACLAP) (2011), the reference to H&S is as follows: Stage 1 ‘Project Initiation and Briefing’  - nil; Stage 2 ‘Concept and Feasibility’  - advise the client regarding the appointment of an H&S consultant where necessary; Stage 3 ‘Design and Development’; Stage 4 ‘Tender Documentation and Procurement’ – nil; Stage 5 ‘Construction Documentation and Management’ where the compliance of landscape contractors could be monitored in accordance with the requirements of the H&S consultant, and Stage 6 ‘Project Close Out’ – nil. Furthermore, the International Labour Office (ILO) (1992) recommends that designers should: receive training in H&S; integrate the H&S of construction workers into the design and planning process, and not include anything in a design which would necessitate the use of dangerous structural or other procedures or hazardous materials which could be avoided by design modifications or by substitute materials.

11.2.2  Landscape Construction H&S The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the United States of America (USA) identified landscape and horticultural services, which include, inter alia, landscape construction, as one of the most hazardous industries in the USA. Potential hazards include: motor vehicle and other equipment accidents; ergonomic injuries such as back strains; exposure to noise, heat, cold, chemicals, and insects; amputations; slips, trips and falls; eye injuries, and electrocutions (Integrity Insurance 2013).

11.2.3  Statistics Table 11.1 provides an overview of landscape gardening injury statistics for the years 2008 to 2014 (Federated Employers Mutual 2015). The mean accident frequency rate of 1.71 indicates that 1.71 per 100 workers experience a disabling injury, which results in a loss of a shift or more after the day of the injury. The highest is 2.04 relative to 2010. The mean for all classes is 3.13, the highest being 3.86

11  The Role of Landscape Architectural Designers in Landscape Construction Health…


Table 11.1  Landscape gardening injury statistics for the years 2008 to 2014 Year 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 Mean

Accident frequency rate 1.83 1.80 2.04 1.57 1.66 1.61 1.44 1.71

Employees (No.) 8 898 9 025 7 755 8 010 8 749 8 466 8 430

Accidents (No.) 163 162 158 126 145 136 121

Fatal accidents (No.) 0 2 2 0 0 2 0

relative to 2008. Then, the fatality rate for the year 2010 equates to 25.8 per 100 000 workers [(100 000 / 7 755) x 2], which is high.

11.3  Research Method A previous study conducted among engineers in South Africa to determine their perceptions and practices with respect to construction H&S investigated the: frequency at which construction H&S is considered on various occasions, and relative to various design related aspects; extent to which various design related aspects impact on construction H&S; sources of H&S knowledge, and the potential of various aspects to contribute to an improvement in construction H&S (Smallwood 2004). The study reported on constitutes a replication of this prior study, which study in turn constitutes the origin of the occasions, aspects, and sources. Given that it is landscape oriented, some amendments were necessary. The questionnaire consisted of primarily closed end five-point Likert scale type questions – 10/13 questions were closed end. The questionnaire, accompanied by a covering letter explaining the rationale for the study, was forwarded per e-mail to 139 members of the ILASA. 21 responses were included in the analysis of the data, which equates to a net response rate of 15.1%. A follow up e-mail was sent after a few weeks in an endeavour to enhance the response rate, but with limited success. Possible reasons for the response rate include the subject relative to the practice of landscape architectural design, namely landscape construction H&S. Descriptive statistics in the form of frequencies and a measure of central tendency in the form of a Mean Score (MS) were computed to present the findings of the empirical study. The MS is based upon a weighting of the responses to the five-­ point Likert scale type questions, and ranges from a minimum of 1.00 to a maximum of 5.00. The MS thus enables the range of percentage responses to be interpreted, and parameters, occasions, aspects, and interventions to be ranked. Due to the number of responses, inferential statistical analysis was not possible.


J. Smallwood

11.4  Research Findings Table 11.2 presents the importance of eleven project parameters to respondents in terms of percentage responses to a range of 1 (not) to 5 (very), and a MS ranging between 1.00 and 5.00. It is notable that all eleven MSs are above the midpoint of 3.00, which indicates the parameters are more than important, as opposed to less than important. It is notable that 6/11 (54.6%) parameters’ MSs are > 4.20 ≤ 5.00 – between near major to major / major importance. The environment (natural) ranked third, and public H&S ranked fifth are within this range. The remaining 5/11 (45.4%) MSs are > 3.40 ≤ 4.20 – between important to more than important / more than important. Project H&S ranked eighth is in this range. It is notable that the MS of public H&S is 4.45, and for project H&S 3.90 – an absolute difference of 0.55, and the former is 19% more important than the latter. Table 11.3 presents the frequency at which landscape architects consider/refer to landscape construction H&S relative to fourteen occasions, in terms of a frequency range, never to always, and a MS ranging between 1.00 and 5.00. It is notable that 9/14 (64.3%) MSs are above the midpoint of 3.00, which indicates consideration of/ reference to landscape construction H&S relative to these occasions can be deemed to occur. It is notable that no occasions are > 4.20 ≤ 5.00  – between often to always/ always, however, 5/14 (35.7%) are > 3.40 ≤ 4.20 – between sometimes to often/ often. It is notable that the top three ranked occasions are downstream during Stage 5, namely site handover, site meetings, and site inspections/discussions. Then fourth ranked preparing project documentation, and pre-tender meeting are Stage 4 occasions. Those occasions ranked sixth to twelfth (50%) have MSs > 2.60 ≤ 3.40 – between rarely to sometimes/sometimes. Evaluating tenders, and pre-qualifying Table 11.2  Importance of project parameters to respondents

Parameter Client satisfaction Project quality Environment (natural) Designer satisfaction Public H&S Project cost Project schedule Project H&S Contractor satisfaction Worker satisfaction Labour productivity

Response (%) Not …………………………. Very Unsure 1 2 3 4 5 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.8 9.5 85.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 23.8 76.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 5.0 20.0 75.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 4.8 38.1 57.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 5.0 45.0 50.0 4.8 0.0 0.0 4.8 38.1 52.4 0.0 0.0 4.8 28.6 28.6 38.1 0.0 0.0 4.8 28.6 38.1 28.6 0.0 0.0 5.0 25.0 60.0 10.0 4.8 4.8 4.8 28.6 47.6 9.5 4.8 4.8 0.0 33.3 42.9 14.3

MS 4.81 4.76 4.70 4.52 4.45 4.29 4.00 3.90 3.75 3.55 3.48

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

11  The Role of Landscape Architectural Designers in Landscape Construction Health…


Table 11.3  Frequency of consideration / reference to landscape construction H&S on 14 occasions Occasion Site handover Site meetings Site inspections / discussions Preparing project documentation Pre-tender meeting Evaluating tenders Constructability reviews Pre-qualifying contractors Detailed design Working drawings Client meetings Design coordination meetings Deliberating project duration Concept (design)

Response (%) Unsure Never Rarely Sometimes 9.5 0.0 9.5 9.5 4.8 0.0 4.8 14.3 0.0 0.0 4.8 14.3

Often 28.6 38.1 42.9

Always 42.9 38.1 38.1

MS Rank 4.16 1 4.15 2 4.14 3








4.8 9.5 9.5 4.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

0.0 4.8 4.8 9.5 14.3 19.0 0.0 9.5

23.8 14.3 23.8 23.8 14.3 14.3 52.4 23.8

19.0 33.3 23.8 23.8 33.3 38.1 19.0 52.4

23.8 23.8 28.6 23.8 28.6 14.3 19.0 9.5

28.6 14.3 9.5 14.3 9.5 14.3 9.5 4.8

3.60 5 3.32 6 3.16 7 3.10 8 3.05 9 2.90 10 2.86 11 2.76 12

4.8 0.0

23.8 9.5

23.8 57.1

28.6 14.3

14.3 19.0

4.8 0.0

2.50 13 2.43 14


contractors are Stage 4 occasions, whereas constructability reviews, detailed design, working drawings, client meetings, and design coordination meetings are Stage 3 occasions. Client meetings also occur during Stage 1 and 2. Deliberating project duration and concept (design) have MSs > 1.80 ≤ 2.60, and thus the frequency is between never to rarely/rarely. The former occurs during Stages 1, 2, 3 and 4. The latter is a Stage 2 occasion. Table 11.4 presents the extent to which nineteen design related aspects impact on landscape construction H&S in terms of a frequency range 1 (minor) to 5 (major), and a MS ranging between 1.00 and 5.00. It is notable that only 5/19 (26.3%) MSs are above the midpoint of 3.00, which indicates the extent is deemed major as opposed to minor. It is notable that no design related aspects’ MSs are > 4.20 ≤ 5.00 – between often to always/always, and then only one MS is > 3.40 ≤ 4.20 – between sometimes to often/often, namely position of components. The MSs of those design related aspects ranked second to eleventh (52.6%) are > 2.60 ≤ 3.40  – between rarely to sometimes/sometimes. This range includes edge of materials, position of components, specifications e.g. hard surfaces, surface area of materials, position of vegetation/features, details, finishes, content of material, mass of materials, and mass of vegetation/features. The MSs of those design related aspects ranked twelfth to nineteenth (42.1%) are MSs > 1.80 ≤ 2.60, and thus the frequency is between never to rarely/rarely. This range includes method of planting, design (general), texture of materials, schedule, plan layout, content of vegetation, elevations, and


J. Smallwood

Table 11.4  Extent to which 19 design-related aspects impact on landscape construction H&S Aspect Method of fixing Edge of materials Position of components Specifications e.g. hard surfaces Surface area of materials Position of vegetation / features Details Finishes Content of material Mass of materials Mass of vegetation / features Method of planting Design (general) Texture of materials Schedule Plan layout Content of vegetation Elevations Texture of vegetation / features

Response (%) Unsure Never Rarely Sometimes 4.8 4.8 9.5 38.1 4.8 9.5 19.0 14.3 0.0 4.8 19.0 28.6 0.0 9.5 9.5 33.3

Often 14.3 33.3 33.3 38.1

Always 28.6 19.0 14.3 9.5

MS Rank 3.55 1 3.35 2 3.33 3 3.29 4

23.8 0.0

9.5 9.5

14.3 28.6

19.0 28.6

19.0 23.8

14.3 9.5

3.19 2.95

0.0 4.8 23.8 19.0 4.8

14.3 9.5 14.3 9.5 9.5

14.3 33.3 19.0 28.6 33.3

47.6 19.0 9.5 14.3 23.8

9.5 19.0 28.6 23.8 23.8

14.3 14.3 4.8 4.8 4.8

2.95 7 2.95 8 2.88 9 2.82 10 2.80 11

4.8 4.8 10.0 14.3 0.0 9.5 0.0 9.5

19.0 9.5 15.0 23.8 9.5 14.3 14.3 19.0

38.1 47.6 25.0 23.8 52.4 38.1 52.4 38.1

14.3 23.8 40.0 19.0 23.8 19.0 19.0 23.8

9.5 4.8 10.0 9.5 9.5 19.0 9.5 9.5

14.3 9.5 0.0 9.5 4.8 0.0 4.8 0.0

2.60 2.55 2.50 2.50 2.48 2.47 2.38 2.26

5 6

12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

texture of vegetation/features. In practice, all the design related aspects affect landscape construction H&S. Table 11.5 provides a comparison of the frequency at which landscape architects consider/refer to landscape construction H&S relative to nineteen design related aspects, and the impact of the aspects on landscape construction H&S in terms of MSs, ranks, and the ratio of consider (Con.) to impact (Imp.). The table reflects action as a percentage of perceived impact. The ‘impact’ MSs are greater than the ‘consider’ MSs in 12/19 (63.2%) cases, and lower in 7/19 (36.8%) of cases. In terms of the lowest ratio, the greatest difference is relative to content of material (0.84) and design (general) (0.84), followed by position of components (0.89). In terms of the highest ratio, the greatest extent is relative to surface area of materials (1.55), followed by mass of vegetation/features (1.33), and edge of materials (1.21). Table 11.6 presents the potential of interventions to contribute to an improvement in landscape construction H&S in terms of percentage responses to a range of 1 (minor) to 5 (major), and a MS ranging between 1.00 and 5.00. It is notable that 11/13 (84.6%) MSs are above the midpoint of 3.00, which indicates the

11  The Role of Landscape Architectural Designers in Landscape Construction Health…


Table 11.5  Comparison of the frequency at which landscape architects consider / refer to landscape construction H&S relative to design related aspects and the impact of the aspects on landscape construction H&S Design related aspect Position of components Method of fixing Content of material Specifications e.g. hard surfaces Details Edge of materials Position of vegetation / features Design (general) Finishes Mass of materials Plan layout Elevations Method of planting Schedule Texture of materials Surface area of materials Mass of vegetation / features Texture of vegetation / features Content of vegetation

Consider MS 3.33 3.55 2.88 3.29 2.95 3.35 2.95 2.55 2.95 2.82 2.48 2.38 2.60 2.50 2.50 3.19 2.80 2.26 2.47

Rank 3 1 9 4 7 2 6 13 8 10 16 18 12 15 14 5 11 19 17

Impact MS 3.62 3.24 3.24 3.19 3.10 2.95 2.86 2.85 2.70 2.67 2.58 2.53 2.50 2.47 2.45 2.41 2.35 2.28 2.21

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Con. /Imp. 0.89 1.14 0.84 1.05 0.93 1.21 1.05 0.84 1.15 1.09 0.94 0.90 1.07 1.02 1.03 1.55 1.33 0.98 1.21

interventions have major as opposed to minor potential to contribute to an improvement. ‘D’ denotes design, and ‘C’ construction. It is notable that only 2/13 (15.4%) interventions’ MSs are > 4.20 ≤ 5.00  – between near major to major/major potential – awareness (D & C), and safe work procedures (SWPs) (C). 4/13 (30.8%) MSs are > 3.40 ≤ 4.20 – between potential to near major / near major potential - contractor planning (C), design of equipment (construction) (C), constructability (general) (D), and specification (D). The remaining 7/13 (53.9%) interventions have MSs > 2.60 ≤ 3.40  – between near minor potential to potential/potential. 5/7 MSs are in the upper half of this range - workshop facilities on site (C), design of tools (C), mechanisation (D & C), reengineering (D & C), and details (D). In summary: one ‘D&C’ and one ‘C’ have between near major to major/major potential; two ‘C’ and two ‘D’ have between potential to near major/near major potential, and two ‘C’, two ‘D & C’, and three ‘D’ have between near minor potential to potential/potential. In theory and practice, all the interventions have the potential to contribute to an improvement in landscape construction H&S. Respondents were required to indicate the extent tertiary landscape architecture education addresses landscape construction H&S in terms of percentage responses to a scale of 1 (minor) to 5 (major). The resultant MS of 2.15 indicates the extent is between a minor extent to near minor/near minor extent, as the MS is > 1.80 ≤ 2.60.

Intervention Awareness (D & C) Safe working procedures (C) Contractor planning (C) Design of equipment (construction) (C) Constructability (general) (D) Specification (D) Workshop facilities on site (C) Design of tools (C) Mechanisation (D & C) Reengineering (D & C) Details (D) General design (D) Prefabrication (D) 28.6 33.3 28.6 23.8 28.6 38.1 38.1 33.3 47.6

33.3 38.1 28.6 33.3 23.8 9.5 38.1 19.0 14.3

4.8 0.0 9.5 14.3 9.5 4.8 9.5 14.3 14.3

0.0 0.0 9.5 19.0 14.3 23.8 0.0 0.0 9.5

9.5 14.3 9.5 0.0 9.5 9.5 9.5 23.8 9.5

Minor …………………………… Major 1 2 3 4 0.0 0.0 9.5 47.6 0.0 4.8 14.3 28.6 4.8 4.8 19.0 38.1 4.8 4.8 14.3 28.6

Unsure 0.0 0.0 0.0 23.8

Response (%)

Table 11.6  Potential of interventions to contribute to an improvement in landscape construction H&S

23.8 14.3 14.3 9.5 14.3 14.3 4.8 9.5 4.8

5 42.9 52.4 33.3 23.8 3.62 3.52 3.32 3.29 3.28 3.25 3.19 2.86 2.84

MS 4.33 4.29 3.90 3.81

5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

Rank 1 2 3 4

194 J. Smallwood

11  The Role of Landscape Architectural Designers in Landscape Construction Health… Table 11.7  Form in which landscape H&S should be addressed in landscape architecture programmes

Table 11.8 Respondents’ source of landscape construction H&S knowledge

Form A subject ‘construction H&S’ Included in a range of subjects Included in the subject ‘design’ Unsure Not at all

Means Experience Magazine articles Tertiary education Workshops Postgraduate qualifications Practice notes CPD seminars Conference papers Journal papers Other: H&S Act

Yes (%) 95.2 38.1 23.8 19.0 14.3 14.3 9.5 4.8 4.8 4.8


Yes (%) 42.9 23.8 23.8 9.5 0.0

Rank 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

In terms of the form in which landscape construction H&S should be addressed, it is notable that 42.9% of respondents identified ‘A subject construction H&S’, and 23.8% each of ‘Included in a range of subjects’, and ‘Included in the subject design’ (Table 11.7). Respondents were required to rate their knowledge of landscape construction H&S and ‘design for landscape construction H&S’ skills in terms of percentage responses to a scale of 1 (limited) to 5 (extensive). The MS of 3.00 indicates the rating is between near limited to average/average as the MS is > 2.60 ≤ 3.40. In terms of respondents’ source of landscape construction H&S knowledge, 95.2% identified experience, followed by magazine articles (38.1%), and tertiary education (23.8%) (Table 11.8). The seven other sources were identified by less than 20% of the respondents. Workshops was identified by 19.0% of respondents, marginally below 20%. Table 11.9 indicates the number of comments in general regarding landscape architecture design and landscape construction H&S. Twenty-two comments were received from the twenty-one respondents. It is notable that 38.1% of respondents did not record a comment. Only a third (33.3%) of respondents recorded a single comment, however, 19.0% recorded two comments, and 4.8% recorded each of three and four comments. All the comments are recorded verbatim below: • “Reports and auditing are too cumbersome”; • “Contracts procedures should be in poster format on sites”;

196 Table 11.9  Number of comments in general regarding landscape architecture design and landscape construction H&S

J. Smallwood No. 0 1 2 3 4

% 38.1 33.3 19.0 4.8 4.8

• “Practical application of H&S is seriously lacking and overlooked by especially contractors and machine design”; • “On large projects the H&S is complied with rigorously, however the small projects seem to slip through the cracks”; • “No specific H&S for landscape contracting rather following civils H&S”; • “The landscape architecture design is influenced by the landscape construction H&S, to determine the safety aspects affected by design. The design should articulate activities envisaged to be carried out with safety, both during construction and later in usage”; • “The materials specified to accentuate design are influenced by the safety factor”; • “Vegetation plays a significant role in landscape design and health and safety aspects are foremost”; • “Mostly, awareness is due to on-the-job experience. There should be courses in it. This should be enforced”; • “From my experience: once there is an H&S issue, or problem, it will always be a part of other problems and be caused by a problematic design. A well knowledgeable Architect will take everything under consideration the second he starts sketching”; • “LA H&S should be included in the subject ‘construction’ and not in design”; • “Construction H&S is a mindset-even; the most complex and dangerous sites can be done safely. Operational H&S is perhaps more important for us than construction. PS. The co. I work for, …….., has 70% of their client sector in mining and is extremely conscious of H&S. The greatest issues are attitude, system awareness - not necessarily LA or engineering design”; • “Still not taken seriously by contractors and consultants alike”; • “Students studying landscape architecture need to be taught the effects of poor design on H&S - also the means to be able to recognise H&S principles / objectives on site”; • “It is important to keep up to date with new technology and building methods”, and • “Design always considers labour constructing the project and end user safety, as well as ‘green’ issues such as material sourcing and life-cycle, and toxicity levels. This has to be taken through to practice. Most universities, particularly those doing only 2 years “masters” degrees don’t have time to teach design, detailing or construction let alone H&S”.

11  The Role of Landscape Architectural Designers in Landscape Construction Health…


The 22 comments can be categorised as follows: reports (4.6%); safe work procedures (4.6%); compliance (9.2%); H&S programme (4.6%); designing for landscape construction H&S (31.8%); education and training (22.7%); H&S culture (13.6%); technical expertise (4.6%), and performance (4.6%).

11.5  Conclusions The traditional project parameters of cost, quality, and time are more important than project H&S, which indicates that landscape architects’ perceptions reflect those of built environment designers, and other stakeholders. However, public H&S is substantially more important than project H&S, which reflects an awareness of the impact of the landscaped environment on the users in the form of the public. Landscape construction H&S is considered/referred to on various occasions mostly to a major as opposed to a minor extent, and relative to design related aspects mostly to a minor as opposed to a major degree, which indicates a degree of commitment to landscape construction H&S, and inadequate knowledge. There is minor as opposed to major appreciation in terms of the extent design related aspects impact on landscape construction H&S, which indicates inadequate knowledge. Then, the ratio of action in terms of consideration of/reference to landscape construction H&S as a percentage of perceived impact of landscape design thereon indicates that there is potential to enhance such consideration/reference. There is major as opposed to a minor degree of appreciation of the potential of interventions to contribute to an improvement in landscape construction H&S. Landscape architectural programmes address landscape construction H&S to a limited extent, which indicates that: the presenters of such programmes are likely not committed thereto; ILASA and SACLAP are not engendering the inclusion thereof in such programmes; ILASA and SACLAP are not interrogating the degree to which it addressed in such programmes during accreditation panel visits, and ILASA and SACLAP are likely not commitment thereto. Respondents’ self-rating of their knowledge of landscape construction H&S and ‘design for landscape construction H&S’ skills, and the level of acknowledgment relative to experience as the source of landscape construction H&S knowledge further confirms that landscape architectural programmes address landscape construction H&S to a limited extent.

11.6  Recommendations Recommendations include tertiary education landscape architectural programmes should include appropriate ‘designing for landscape construction H&S’ modules as a component of a subject - ideally design. The ILASA should develop practice notes relative to landscape construction H&S, and the SACLAP should make more


J. Smallwood

comprehensive reference to construction H&S in their six work stages of their IOW. Furthermore, SACLAP accreditation reviews of tertiary education landscape architectural programmes should interrogate the extent to which landscape construction H&S is addressed, or rather embedded in such programmes. Both ILASA and SACLAP should actively promote, and/or deliver landscape construction H&S-­ related continuing professional development (CPD). Landscape architectural practices should consider landscape construction H&S on various occasions, and relative to various design related aspects more frequently. However, this is dependent upon the improvement of the extent to which tertiary landscape architecture education addresses landscape construction H&S, and the form in which landscape construction H&S is addressed.

References Behm M (2006) An analysis of construction accidents from a design perspective. The Center to Protect Workers’ Rights, Silver Spring Deacon, CH (2016) The effect of the integration of design, procurement and construction relative to health and safety. Unpublished PhD Thesis. Department of Construction Management, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, Port Elizabeth, South Africa Federated Employers Mutual (2015) FEM's Accident Stats as at March 2015. http://www.fem. Integrity Insurance (2013) Landscape industry manual. Integrity Insurance, Appleton International Labour Office (ILO) (1992) Safety and health in construction. ILO, Geneva Republic of South Africa (2014) No. R. 84 Occupational Health and Safety Act, 1993 Construction Regulations 2014. Government Gazette No. 37305, Pretoria Smallwood JJ (2004) The influence of engineering designers on health and safety during construction. J South Afr Inst Civil Eng 46(1):2–8 South African Council for the Landscape Architectural Professions (SACLAP) (2011) Identification of work for the South African Council for the Landscape Architectural Professions. SACLAP, Ferndale Thorpe B (2006) Health and safety in construction design. Gower Publishing Limited, Aldershot Prof John Smallwood  is the Professor of Construction Management in the Department of Construction Management, Nelson Mandela University, and the Principal, Construction Research Education and Training Enterprises (CREATE). Both his MSc and PhD (Construction Management) addressed construction health and safety (H&S). He has conducted extensive research and published in the areas of construction H&S, ergonomics, and occupational health (OH), but also in the areas of the environment, health and well-being, primary health promotion, quality management, and risk management.

Chapter 12

Sustainability, ReciproCity, Radicality Rob Roggema

Abstract  The future of the sustainable city is under pressure. The term sustainability has eroded over the years, meaning to sustain current lifestyles more than preserving the ability of future generations to fulfill their needs. The fact that many business, consultancies, governments and people in general strive for a sustainable development is, in itself a good thing. However, it also means that the term has become so general that it loses its meaning. This gives rise to rethinking what is currently needed to develop cities in a way the people living in those cities will be able to continue living their lives in a somewhat pleasant way. Instead of digging deeper and creating ever more advanced sustainability systems, new avenues need to be explored. Three overlapping waves emerge, sustainability, reciprocity and radicality will be explored in this chapter and are seen to replace traditional sustainability thinking. Keywords  Sustainability · Reciprocity · Radicality · Sustainable city · Urban design

12.1  Introduction The future of the sustainable city is under pressure. The term sustainability has eroded over the years, meaning to sustain current lifestyles more than preserving the ability of future generations to fulfill their needs. The fact that many business, consultancies, governments and people in general strive for a sustainable development is, in itself a good thing. However, it also means that the term has become so general that it loses its meaning. This gives rise to rethinking what is currently needed to develop cities in a way the people living in those cities will be able to continue living their lives in a somewhat pleasant way. Instead of digging deeper and creating R. Roggema (*) Cittaideale, Office for Adaptive Research by Design, Wageningen, The Netherlands e-mail: [email protected] © The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 R. Roggema (ed.), Designing Sustainable Cities, Contemporary Urban Design Thinking,



R. Roggema

Fig. 12.1  Three consecutive waves of designing the sustainable city

ever more advanced sustainability systems, new avenues need to be explored. Three overlapping waves emerge (Fig. 12.1) and will (have to) replace traditional sustainability thinking.

12.2  The SustainabiCity Sustainability has long been the driver of environmental policies. Its influence on the design of the city however was limited. The main attributes of sustainability were aiming to clean the city. Its water treatment systems, including the sewage system, the air quality, such as the attention for small particles in the urban atmosphere, cleaning polluted soils and waste incineration were meant to limit health implications for urban citizens and improve the general urban environment. Recently renewed attention for nitrogen deposition (Adviescollege Stikstofproblematiek 2019) resurrected and brought discussion back to the basic levels of a sustainable minimum. In this context the ambitions focused on, amongst others, reducing car mobility and energy use, preservation of nature reserves or the use of sustainable materials. Sustainability has become an engineering exercise, supported by assessment systems, such as the triple bottom line, and can be characterized as being analytical. Design has not been very prominent in this era and a SustainabiCity has not been designed, except for some keystone examples, such as Curitiba (Macedo 2013; Soltani and Sharifi 2012) or Freiburg (Freytag et  al. 2014; Fastenrath and Preller 2018). However, the ambitions to create a clean city are to be supported and the design of the SustainabiCity could actually bring this goal within reach.

12  Sustainability, ReciproCity, Radicality


12.3  The ReciproCity A second wave of sustainable approaches can be distinguished that overtake the basic objectives of sustainability. Once fundamental environmental qualities are taken care of, which unfortunately is not in all cities the case yet, the attention can be reoriented at looking at the city as a system. In this perspective the city does not only use resources and clean waste flows, but it could become a net producer of environmental flows as well as human wellbeing and biodiversity. In this reciprocal perspective the understanding of indigenous relationships with the land (Pascoe 2014) the systems forming landscape (Clark 2010; Roggema 2019a) and the ways to become regenerative (Girardet 2014, 2017; Du Plessis 2012; Thomson and Newman 2018; Hes and Du Plessis 2014) open the way for the city to become presumptive and give more back to the environmental systems it relies on, than it extracts from it. This requires mutuality, as on the one hand side the city depends on the resources it is embedded in, on the other hand the surrounding resources depend also on the replenishing capability the city is able to generate. This perspective poses us for a complex design task, as the interdependencies between flows, materials, places and people have to be understood in relationship with each other so the ReciproCity (Roggema 2019b) can be designed. However, when the regenerative principle is used to (re)design the city an attractive future lies ahead in which people, businesses, and governments begin to contribute to their own sustainable future and start to immediately benefit from their actions. Moreover, the design of the ReciproCity is able to present a reachable and imaginable future that people are willing to pursue.

12.4  The RadicaCity The third wave is becoming visible as result of fundamental change currently occurring and for a large part ahead of us. Induced by climate change city design has to adapt to new circumstances, impacts and influences. These impacts may be uncertain, and cannot be predicted very well, but it seems to be certain that this future is completely different from the past that is so familiar to us. Therefore, a radical approach is required, in which out-of-the-box thinking (; Roggema 2013) and counterintuitivity (Roggema 2019c) are needed to create images of a sustainable future. Dealing with uncertainty requires a large portion of creativity, as the future solutions need to be invented from scratch and cannot be based on past experiences. The design of the RadicaCity is the big future task ahead of us and we need to begin exploring this pathway as soon as possible, because the city has to have its transformation undergone before the real changes are hitting the lives of urban residents. To develop new spatial insights, which can be tested and learned from can be used to help people to understand the risks and transformations required and also to make the necessary changes more acceptable. Testing solutions


R. Roggema

in practice also increase the knowledge about which solutions work and which don’t under different types of change hence make solutions easier implementable when change occurs.

12.5  Conclusion The importance of creating cities that are meant to sustain urban live on our planet is evident. The way how to do this however is subject of continuous changing considerations. In this chapter the transformation of city design from a sustainability practice via reciprocity towards radicality has been highlighted. As is suggested here, the hightide of traditional sustainability thinking are over. We are currently in an in-between period, in which our plans and policies slowly transform. Reciprocity can be seen as the transition phase towards future demanding times, when radical change needs to be coped with. Reciprocity is the extension of sustainability thinking in a way, conscious of the big change ahead of us, but not fully anticipating this new era. It preludes to radicality which eventually will take over as the reigning paradigm (see Fig. 12.2). It is paramount these three perspectives will need to be applied altogether. Anticipating radical impacts does not make sense in an environmentally detoriated context. But again, creating basic sustainability under radical condition will also not create a safe and pleasant living condition for urban citizens. A sustainable, reciprocal and radical future is the only way forward towards a sustainable city. Moreover, these three aspects of the whole need to be brought together and be integrated so

Fig. 12.2  The City as a Superorganism: transformation of sustainability in city design. (Source: by the author)

12  Sustainability, ReciproCity, Radicality


they are not influencing each other negatively in any way. Even stronger, they should be brought in line, and increase each other’s capabilities. In this sense the complexity of the task is large, and the role of design cannot be underestimated. Designers have the ability to create a new image of the future world at the same time imagining that future, so it becomes comprehensible for others. It is a magical skill to integrate, combine, synergize and visualize seemingly contradictory elements of future problems, uncertainties, desires and interests. This makes the role of the designer one that is essential in preparing for that future. Isn’t it strange that when it comes to preparing the most precious we have, our livelihoods, we still travel on sectorial knowledge and understanding of details, instead of looking at the bigger picture and allowing designers to create a new desirable image out of that?

References Adviescollege Stikstofproblematiek (2019) Niet alles kan. Eerste advies van het Adviescollege Stikstofproblematiek. Aanbevelingen voor korte termijn. Monisterie van LNV, Den Haag Clark W (2010) Principles of landscape ecology. Nat Educ Knowl 3(10):34 Du Plessis C (2012) Towards a regenerative paradigm for the built environment. Build Res Inf 40(1):7–22 Fastenrath S, Preller B (2018) Freiburg: the emblematic green city. In: Green building transitions, The urban book series. Springer, Cham. Freytag T, Gössling S, Mössner (2014) Living the green city: Freiburg’s Solarsiedlung between narratives and practices of sustainable urban development. Int J Justice Sustain 19(6):644–659. Girardet H (2014) Creating regenerative cities. Routledge, New York Girardet H (2017) Regenerative cities. In: Green economy reader. Springer, Cham, pp 183–204 Hes D, Du Plessis C (2014) Designing for hope: pathways to regenerative sustainability. Routledge, Abingdon Macedo J (2013) Planning a sustainable city: the making of Curitiba, Brazil. J Plan Hist 12(4):334–353. Pascoe B (2014) Dark Emu. Magabala Books Aboriginal Corporation, Broome Roggema R (ed) (2013) The design charrette: ways to envision sustainable futures. Springer, Dordrecht/Heidelberg/London, 335 pp. Roggema R (2019a) Landscape first! Nature-driven design for Sydney’s third city. In: Roggema R (ed) Contemporary urban design thinking, Nature driven urbanism book series, vol 2. Springer, Cham, pp 81–110 Roggema R (2019b) ReciproCity, giving instead of Taking. Inaugural lecture. Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen Roggema R (2019c) The joy of counterintuitive-ity. In: Mossop E (ed) Design for coastal resilience. CRC Press, Boca Raton, pp 73–92 Soltani A, Sharifi E (2012) A case study of sustainable urban planning principles in Curitiba (Brazil) and their applicability in Shiraz (Iran). Int J Dev Sustain 1(2): 120–134. Online ISSN: 2168-8662. ISDS Article ID: IJDS12071301 Thomson G, Newman P (2018) Urban fabrics and urban metabolism–from sustainable to regenerative cities. Resour Conserv Recycl 132:218–229


R. Roggema

Dr. Rob Roggema  is Landscape Architect and  is  director of Cittaideale, an office for design research and planning for adaptive futures in Wageningen, the Netherlands, and distinguished visiting professor at Western Sydney University. Between 2010 and 2013 he resided in Melbourne as the inaugural visiting research fellow of the Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research, University of Melbourne, RMIT and Swinburne University. From 2014 to 2016 he was appointed as Professor of Design for Urban Agriculture at VHL University and between 2016 and 2018 he was Professor of Sustainable Urban Environments at the University of Technology Sydney. Before 2010 he worked for the province of Groningen and municipalities such as Almere, Breda and Rotterdam. Rob is currently series editor of ‘Contemporary Urban Design Thinking’ (Springer).


A Accidents, 188, 189 Agencies, 54, 167 Architectural, 8, 11, 75, 185–198 Asset management, 149 B Biodiversity, 2, 11, 19, 24, 34, 50, 66, 95, 97, 98, 124, 201 Biophilia, 66 Blue-green network, 92 Brainstorming, 168, 176, 180 Build back better, 102, 104, 118 Built environments, 22, 36, 57, 66, 70, 71, 74, 75, 77, 78, 85, 87–98, 148, 153, 172, 174, 197 Bungamati, 103, 106, 109–114, 116–118 C Case study design, 132 Circular economy, 39, 87–98, 162 Cities, 2, 3, 5–8, 10, 12, 13, 29–51, 54, 62, 70, 87–98, 125–127, 130, 133, 134, 137, 143–156, 162–167, 171, 177, 178, 199–202 Climate adaptation, 97 Climate adaptive, 87–98 Community participation, 54, 55, 104, 127, 129, 130, 137, 139 Consensus-building, 161–181 Constructions, 2, 18, 20, 58, 61, 70–73, 79, 85, 97, 104, 105, 107–112, 115–118, 153, 185–198

D Data, 8, 10, 12, 49, 58, 63, 84, 102, 103, 106, 107, 109–111, 118, 132, 133, 138, 144, 146, 149, 152–154, 162, 166, 168, 170–173, 189 Designs, 2–5, 8–13, 20–22, 24, 25, 32, 33, 36, 37, 43, 49–51, 55–58, 61–63, 65–67, 70–72, 74–79, 81, 84, 85, 90, 92, 93, 95, 97, 98, 109–110, 116, 117, 124, 126, 128, 132, 137, 145–148, 150, 152, 153, 156, 163, 166, 168, 171, 172, 174, 186–189, 191–198, 200–203 Digital platforms, 174, 180 E Earthquakes, 101–118 Ecological footprint, 19, 30–32 Education, 4, 66, 72, 76, 79, 84, 95, 107, 112, 128, 130, 144, 164, 166, 167, 178, 187, 193, 195, 197, 198 Encroachment, 123–139 Enforcement, 129, 133, 135–136, 138 Evolutionary development, 34 Extinction, 124, 125, 129, 133, 138 H Hazards, 3, 104, 109, 110, 186–188 Health and safety, 185–198 Healthy architecture, 75, 79 Healthy cities, 88, 90, 94, 97–98 Heat mitigation, 92–93, 97 Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), 180 Human and non-human, 54, 57, 60

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020 R. Roggema (ed.), Designing Sustainable Cities, Contemporary Urban Design Thinking,


206 I ICT infrastructure, 172, 175–177, 179, 180 Indigenous adaption principles, 20 Injuries, 188, 189 Integrated water management, 94 Interactive and interconnected campus, 169 Interdisciplinary collaboration, 156 Iterative design, 4, 146 K Kathmandu, 102, 103, 105, 106, 118 Knowledges, 1–3, 7, 8, 10, 11, 17–26, 33, 51, 66, 72, 76–79, 84, 109, 115, 117, 132, 144, 145, 147, 148, 152, 154, 155, 163, 171, 173, 177, 178, 187, 189, 195, 197, 202, 203 L Landscapes, 6, 8, 10, 11, 13, 20, 21, 23, 24, 51, 90, 97, 98, 127, 128, 145, 153, 185–198, 201 Land use management, 125, 128, 129, 132, 135 Land use regimes, 129, 133, 135–136, 138 Life cycles, 196 Liveable cities, 87–98 Living laboratories, 163 Living systems, 11, 54, 57, 66 M Management, 18–21, 25, 62, 88, 90, 92, 94, 95, 97, 105, 124, 125, 127–130, 132–139, 144, 148, 152, 155, 162, 164, 166, 167, 174–176, 188 Mangaung, 124, 125, 130–138 N Natural systems, 13, 18, 25, 26, 51, 56, 66 Nepal, 101–118 P Parameters, 3, 9, 164, 189, 190, 197 Passive house, 43, 49, 76, 78, 79 People’s perception, 110–113 Permaculture design, 45, 74 Place-based, 54, 57, 63, 145, 153 Placemaking, 7, 11, 53–67 Places, 3, 7, 11, 20, 22, 24, 30, 34, 49, 50, 53–67, 70, 71, 73, 91, 93, 95, 97, 98,

Index 104, 112, 126, 127, 130, 146, 148, 150, 155, 164, 172, 201 Post-disaster housing reconstruction, 114–115 Potentials, 5, 8, 20, 54, 57–59, 61–67, 78, 126, 145, 147, 154, 166, 167, 170, 172, 174, 178, 179, 187–189, 192–194, 197 Prioritization, 129, 133, 137–138 Projects, 2–4, 8, 10, 12, 35, 36, 39, 41, 43–45, 47, 49, 55–57, 59, 62–66, 70, 72, 76–79, 84, 90, 92, 93, 95, 97, 115, 117, 130, 138, 143–156, 165–167, 178, 186, 188, 190, 191, 196, 197 Proof of concept, 77 Public spaces, 2, 12, 47, 56, 88, 117, 149, 150, 153 R Radicality, 3, 13, 199–203 Rapid urbanization, 124, 129, 130, 133, 138, 162 Real sustainability, 2, 4, 19, 75, 76, 84–85 Reciprocity, 8, 13, 62, 199–203 Regenerative design, 25, 74–75 Regenerative development, 54–67 Resilience, 6, 42, 57, 85, 102–105, 109, 118, 129 Resilient, 8, 12, 20, 26, 37, 54, 55, 59, 66, 70, 72, 85, 90, 92, 97, 98, 102, 104, 116, 134, 148, 164 Resource efficiency, 170–172 Risk assessment, 187, 188 S Sindhupalchok, 102, 107 Smart cities partnership, 145, 148–153 Socio-ecological, 54, 60, 64–67 South Africa, 60, 124, 125, 130–132, 136, 138, 163, 179, 186, 187, 189 Spatial quality, 91 Stakeholder expectations, 171 Stakeholders, 49, 56, 57, 59–63, 85, 128–130, 135–139, 146, 163, 167–177, 179–181, 197 Starchitecture, 11 Street furniture, 148, 149, 151–153 Sustainability, 2, 8–10, 12, 13, 17–26, 36, 38, 47, 60, 66, 70, 71, 73–78, 84, 85, 93, 124, 125, 127–130, 134, 137, 162, 199–203 Sustainable architecture, 1, 69–85 Sustainable cities, 1–13, 36, 199, 200, 202

Index Sustainable development, 18, 20, 70, 127, 128, 134, 136, 139, 162, 164, 199 Sustainable neighbourhoods, 124–128, 138 SWOT analysis, 163, 169, 176–180 Systems thinking, 20, 24, 57, 65, 67, 69–85 T Tertiary, 178, 187, 193, 195, 197, 198 Thematic analysis, 169 Traditional knowledge systems (TKS), 17–26 Triple helix model, 145–148 U Universities, 57, 80, 93, 145–148, 155, 161–181, 196

207 Urban biotopes, 90, 95, 97 Urban design, 1, 5, 20, 34, 49, 90, 93–95, 128, 148 Urban green spaces, 90 Urban metabolism, 6–8, 11, 89, 98 Urban open spaces, 123–139 Urban planning, 125, 126 V Value conflicts, 124, 133, 137, 138 Vegetation, 24, 92, 191–193, 196 W Water sensitive design, 93, 95