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Is Private Sector Creating Sustainable Housing Developments within the UK?

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Section 1: Sustainability

Sustainability became a byword as the ecological environments of the earth’s wealth were shown to be depleting, and decision leaders wanted a shortcut to mask attempts to maintain the greatest possible continuation of human life.

Sustainability is therefore characterised in a number of forms and means, but the World Commission on Environment and Growth describes sustainability as a capacity to meet “the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs” (WCED, 1987). Various approaches are often used to assess the necessary approach to sustainability, like Wackernagel and Rees’ (1996) ecological footprint, which compares the sustainability of the region with the overall products, resources, resources and land it uses as necessary towards it carrying capacity.

Whitehead (2011) has suggested two models dependent on priority: balanced and hierarchical. The holistic sustainable model proposes an equitable treatment and a position for the ecological, social and economic powers, whereas the hierarchical model proposes a high priority for the ecological forces, accompanied by social and, lastly, economic forces (Appendix A & B).

Is Private Sector Creating Sustainable Housing Developments within the UK?

The biodiversity problem stemmed from the awareness that the natural world is readily manipulated for the gain of usage, but the strong economic production would not necessarily contribute to the potential regeneration of the damaged habitat back to its original state (Ayres, van den Bergh and Gowdy, 1998).

The discourse on sustainability started when major shifts in the natural world as well as the catastrophic impact of climate change development and use on habitat destruction and failure to fulfil basic human needs were understood. In 1987, the World Commission on sustainable development reported Our Common Future highlighting alternative paradigm for humanity to address environmental degradation and world poverty. Within the next twenty years sustainable development became a key policy objective for governments and international bodies, business and even individuals (Hobson, 2004).

References:
  • http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200506/cmselect/cmenvaud/779/779.pdf
  • Bishop, K. and Flynn, A. 1999. The National Assembly of Wales and the Promotion of Sustainable Development: Implications for collaborative government and governance. Public Policy and Administration 1999 14: 62 
  • Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1998), ‘Memorandum submitted by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee report on Greening Government’, House of Commons Paper HC5 17-II, Stationery Office, London.
  • Devon Sustainable Building Initiative. (2008). Sustainable Construction Policy at a national and regional level within the South West. Briefing Paper, October.  
  • Heseltine, M. (1991), The Environment Business, the Shell Lecture in association with The Green Alliance, 7 May.
  • Littlewood, S. and While, A. (1997), ‘A New Agenda for Governance? Agenda 21 and the Prospects for Holistic Local Decision Making’, Local Government Studies, Vol 23, No 4, pp.1 11-23.
  • Maliene, Vida  and Joseph Howe and Naglis Malys. 2008. Sustainable Communities: Affordable Housing and Socio-economic Relations. Local Economy 2008 23: 267
  • May P.J., Burby, R.J., Ericksen, N.J., Handmer, J.W., Dixon, J.E., Michaels, S. and Smith, D.I. (1996) Environmental Management and Governance, (London: Routledge).
  • Miller, V. 2007. Top 10 eco-buildings. 22 November. Guardian. Accessed from http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2007/nov/22/ethicalliving.renewableenergy
  • Porritt, J. The Standing of Sustainable Development in Government, November 2009; p. 10; Accessed May 2011 from http://www.jonathonporritt.com/pages/2009/11/the_standing_of_sustainable_ de.html
  • Prescott, J. (1997), quoted by Nick Raynsford MP in his address to the Royal Town Planning Institute National Planning Conference, 11 June 1997.
  • Reiche, D. 2009. Renewable Energy Policies on the Gulf countries: A case study of the carbon-neutral “Masdar City” in Abu Dhabi. Energy Policy.
  • Ross, A. Why Legislate for Sustainable Development? An Examination of Sustainable Development Provisions in UK and Scottish Statutes. J. Environ. Law 2008, 20, 35-68.
  • Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity. Global Biodiversity Outlook (GBO-2), 2006; Accessed May 2011 from: http://www.cbd.int/gbo2/
  • Secretary of State for Wales (1997a), A Voice for Wales, (Cardiff: The Stationery Office).
  • Sustainable Development Charter Group (1998), A Greener National Assembly for Wales, (Cardiff: Royal Society for the Protection of Birds).
  • Wackernagel, M. and Rees, W. 1996, ‘Ecological Footprints for Beginners’ in Wackernagel, M. and Rees, W., Our Ecological Footprint: Reducing human impact on the earth, New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, British Columbia, pp. 7-30.
  • Whitehead, I. 2011. Models of sustainability? A comparative analysis of ideal city planning in Saltaire and Masdar City. Geography, in the School of Geosciences, University of Sydney, Australia.
  • WWF; Zoological Society of London; Global Footprint Network. Living Planet Report 2008; p. 2; Accessed May 2011 from : http://www.panda.org/about_our_earth/all_publications/living_planet_ report/
  • Wyn Jones, G. (1998), ‘Sustainable Development’, in Osmond, J. (ed.), The National Assembly Agenda, (Cardiff: Institute for Welsh Affairs).

Appendix:

A: Balanced Sustainability Model

Is Private Sector Creating Sustainable Housing Developments within the UK?

Source: Whitehead, 2011

B: Hierarchical Sustainability Model

Is Private Sector Creating Sustainable Housing Developments within the UK?

Source: Whitehead, 2011

C: Proposed National Partnership for Sustainable Development

Is Private Sector Creating Sustainable Housing Developments within the UK?

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