Do sustainability measures constrain urban design creativity?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Authors

  • Joanne M. Leach
  • Christopher T. Boyko
  • Rachel Cooper
  • Anna Woodeson
  • Jim Eyre

Colleges, School and Institutes

Abstract

Planners, architects, urban designers and other built environment professionals engage with a myriad of checkboxes, guidelines, requirements and specifications, all of which potentially compromise creativity and innovation in urban design. Approaches that measure performance are accused of belying the nature of places as messy, plural, organic, accidental and emotive; trying to find a formula that works may tick boxes, but it risks creating soulless spaces, oppressing innovation and incorporation of inappropriate design elements. This paper argues that sustainability assessment methods do have something to contribute to creativity and innovation in urban design precisely because they encourage engagement with challenging and often complex societal priorities. Through interviews with built environment professionals and a critical examination of sustainability assessment methods, the authors suggest that such methods can promote creativity and innovation if they engage competently with sustainability, work at a scale that allows for both breadth and depth (typically greater than the building scale) and incorporate in their design a set of eight key characteristics designed to promote creativity and innovation.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number1300034
Pages (from-to)30-41
Number of pages11
JournalInstitution of Civil Engineers. Proceedings. Urban Design and Planning
Volume168
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2015

Keywords

  • structures & design, design methods & aids, town and city planning, sustainability, sustainability assessment methods