SUSTAINABLE URBAN DESIGN RESEARCH GROUP
The impetus for this project emerged from the MA Urban Ecology module at UEL. Using the USGBC's standard for sustainable urban design, LEED ND as a teaching tool, we started by asking the question:
'How can a quantitative analysis of the city truly represent the complex challenge of sustainability?'
If LEED ND is considered as a static benchmark, then the answer is clearly that it cannot. A deeper understanding of the methodology, however reveals that it has inherent capacity to act as a framework for balancing qualitative and quantitative inputs. The system is in fact fundamentally dynamic and is readily adaptable to different circumstances or local priorities.
We are in the process of comparing these characteristics with other systems, to see how it could act as a framework to address particular challenges in the UK, Europe and globally.
This project is raising deeper questions about the ownership of knowledge in this field and who the arbiters of sustainability should be. We believe that this topic presents too complex a form of knowledge for any individual group to own. Instead, these systems have the potential to become open-source tools to enable developers, authorities and communities to debate how development should respond to each place.
The work to date has been funded by UEL, think place and Placepartner and we are currently bidding for funding to extend this work.
PRL is recognised as a Research Group of the Sustainability Research Institute at UEL and a part of the London Regional Centre for Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development (RCE ESD) as a specialist in Place-based education.
Place Research Lab Community Interest Company no. 7650531
|Place Research Lab was set up through
a collaboration between think place
and the University of East London as an
independent CIC to research a shared
field of interest