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Social sustainability and future communities

  1. SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY & FUTURE COMMUNITIES: Moving from concept to practice in the UK Presentation to AiCe-BS 2012 Conference Saffron Woodcraft 31 October 2012
  2. 1.  Social sustainability as an emerging planning practice in UK / Europe 2.  Is it good to be socially sustainable? 3.  Measuring social sustainability: an experimental framework
  3. Social Life is a new organization with a long-heritage of work on communities, planning & placemaking.
  4. 200 years of large-scale planned new communities in the UK but still relatively little known about what makes places thrive.
  6. Is emerging work on social sustainability in “the grey area between academic, policy and practice discourse”? Davoudi et al., 2012. Resilience: A Bridging Concept or a Dead End? Planning Theory & Practice, 13 (2)
  7. What is social sustainability? •  Social = ‘relating to society or its organization’ •  Sustainable = ‘able to maintained at a certain rate or level’ Source: Oxford Dictionaries, 2012.
  8. Multiple and conflicting interpretations •  Equality, democracy and social justice (Sachs 1999; Agyeman 2008) •  Underdevelopment, basic needs, stronger environmental ethics (Vallance et al., 2011) •  Social capital, human capital, wellbeing – relationship to place & urban development (Colantonio & Dixon 2010; Dempsey et al., 2011; Weingaertner & Moburg 2011; Murphy 2012; Magee et al., 2012) •  Preservation of social values, cultural traditions and ways of life (Barbier 1987; Koning 2002; Vallance et al., 2011)
  9. “ … [social sustainability] is a concept in chaos, and we argue that this severely compromises its utility and importance.” Vallance et al., 2011. What is social sustainability? A clarification of concepts. Geoforum, 42.
  10. Green Cities, Growing Cities, Just Cities The planners triangle Source: Campbell, The triangle of conflicting goals for planning, and the three associated conflicts. Figure 1. S., 1996. Green Cities, Growing Cities, Just Cities? Urban Planning and the Contradictions of Sustainable Development. Journal of the American Planning Association, 62 (3). Planners define themselves, implicitly, by where they stand on the triangle. The elusive ideal of sustainable development leads one to the center.
  11. “Lexicon of austerity” & social unrest?
  12. Social sustainability as planning practice •  Planning to support: –  Social capital –  Wellbeing –  Voice and empowerment •  Must be related to social and spatial justice in built environment
  13. Debate in planning practice: “… arguably creates a space for innovation and change that we have not seen for decades.” Bertolini et al., 2011. Planning and the Recession. Planning Theory & Practice, 12 (3)
  15. Critical questions 1.  What is the purpose of social sustainability? 2.  Who and what is being sustained? 3.  Why and at what cost? 4.  Is sustainability what is needed? 5.  How to translate concepts to practice without losing integrity?
  17. Social sustainability as a planning framework Source: Social Life, Design for Social Sustainability: a practical framework for building communities, 2012.
  18. Table 1: Urban social sustainability: contributory factors, Dempsey et al., 2009. Source: Dempsey, N. et al., (2011). The social dimension of sustainable development: Defining urban social sustainability.
  19. Review of existing frameworks
  20. Measurement framework for Berkeley
  21. Social sustainability indicators •  Three dimensions, 13 indicators, underpinned by 45 questions •  Majority of questions from nationally recognised surveys or industry frameworks •  Small number of created questions
  22. scale national datasets that captured key issues within these two dimensions (datasets used were the Understanding Society Survey, the Taking Part Survey, the Crime Survey for England and Wales, and the Citizenship Survey). A number of questions were created for the social and cultural life dimension where appropriate questions did not already exist. TABLE 2: NATIONAL SURVEYS INCLUDED IN THE ANALYSIS Data sources British Household Panel Survey/Understanding Society (BHPS/US) • Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER), 1996 to present • 100,000 individuals in 40,000 British households • Data used from 2008-2009 Innovation Panel Waves 1-2 Taking Part (TP) • Department of Culture, Media and Sport, 2005 to present • 14,000 participants • Data taken from 2010-2011 survey Crime Survey for England and Wales (formerly British Crime Survey (BCS) • Home Office,1986 to present • 51,000 participants • Data taken from 2010-2011 survey Citizenship Survey (CS) • Department for Communities and Local Government, 2001 to 2011 (biannual to 2007, annual 2008 to 2011) • 11,000 participants • Data taken from 2009-2010 survey
  23. Data analysis The •  Data from residents survey Hamptons benchmarked against national data OAC & statistically tested categories •  Benchmarked against national psycho-geographic categorisations (OACs) •  Only results that had statistical significance reported •  Site survey data assessed against industry standards •  Created questions assessed separately
  24. Empire Square, Bermondsey 567 homes, 30% affordable, completed 2007
  25. •  Pic and v short description Imperial Wharf, Fulham 1,428 homes, 47% affordable, completion 2013
  26. Knowle •  Pic and v short description Knowle Village, Hampshire 701 homes, 31% affordable, completed 2012
  27. The Hamptons, Worcester Park 645 homes, 33% affordable, completed 2012
  28. Resident responses
  29. The Hamptons
  30. Lessons from the work •  Private vs public sector accountability •  Analysis of underlying factors •  Contextual, qualitative work •  Snapshot vs longitudinal data •  Mixed methods and data sources •  Scope
  31. Challenges and future work •  Social sustainability is complex and context specific •  Requires serious consideration of how social justice & equality translate to the built environment •  More work is needed to understand what social sustainability means at neighbourhood level to ensure the policy agenda doesn’t overtake the research agenda