Sustainable urban environments and future scenarios

Silvio Caputo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The debate on sustainability and the built environment is currently very active, with several developed and developing countries attempting to encapsulate sustainable principles in planning policies and building regulations. Arguably, many pathways are being explored, corresponding to different applications of sustainability theories, different visions of the city, different building technologies recommended. In particular, many endeavours aimed at revitalising cities to make them better places to live have high sustainability claims. Will such claims hold over a long-term perspective? At the heart of sustainability is the notion of the future and of a positive legacy left to future generations. However, in this dynamic society in which global and local conditions are in constant evolution, the durability of the built environment requires a high degree of adaptation to a future which is unknown and difficult to predict. The four-year UK Research Council-funded project ‘Urban Futures’ ( attempts to question current strategies for sustainable
urban regeneration in the face of long-term futures, detect their vulnerable aspects, and build a methodology to establish conditions to optimise adaptation and therefore resilience. Key to this investigation is the definition of a range of future scenarios considering a time horizon of forty years, against which regeneration case studies are tested to detect their future level of performance. In particular, the strand of research documented here looks at spatial configurations and their environmental, social, and economic effectiveness by using appraising case studies. This paper illustrates the findings of the first case study analysis: Masshouse, Birmingham.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSB11 Helsinki Proceeding: World Sustainable Building Conference
Publication statusPublished - 2011
EventWorld Sustainable Building Conference - Helsinki, Finland
Duration: 18 Oct 201121 Oct 2011


ConferenceWorld Sustainable Building Conference


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