Application of sustainability indicators in decision-making processes for urban regeneration projects

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49 Citations (Scopus)


Birmingham Eastside, an area of 170 ha, is located to the eastern side of Birmingham's city centre in the UK. Over a 10-year period this once-deprived inner city area is being regenerated through public and private finance estimated at 6 pound billion. The regeneration scheme is bringing about changes to the local environment, economy and society. The key players (e. g. landowners, developers and planners) involved in the decision-making processes for Eastside have the power to see that these changes are brought about in a more sustainable manner. To achieve this it is necessary to assess in which direction the development should go, and to provide benchmarks for implementing and measuring sustainable changes along the way. The process can be facilitated by the use of sustainability indicators, of which there are many. This paper outlines a variety of sustainability indicators (e. g. Spear, Breeam, sustainability checklists and other benchmarks), including those used within the decision-making processes for Eastside. In particular, it details those indicators operating at city level, quarter level and then individual development site level. Several case study sites are included (Masshouse, City Park Gate, the learning and leisure quarter, the new technology institute and Warwick Bar). The paper discusses the role of indicators in achieving a more sustainable development (SD). The development timeline framework (DTF) is used to analyse how and when indicators have formed an integral part of the decision-making process for various sites in Eastside. The responsibility for implementing SD and the role of participation are discussed and generic lessons learned for the application of indicators, including aspects of timing, are set out.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-91
Number of pages15
Journal Institution of Civil Engineers. Proceedings. Engineering Sustainability
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2008


  • buildings, structures & design
  • urban regeneration
  • sustainability


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