How does the planning system in the UK help to create a healthy, sustainable community?
Sustainable communities are directly facilitated by the types of constructions employed in a region. Building structures significantly promote sustainable communities since they consume a high percentage of communal dwellings. Furthermore, constructions mainly contribute to other issues like drainages, communal spaces, and air due to their means of construction. This study aims to assess the mechanisms employed in the architectural field in promoting sustainable communities by adopting appropriate policies that support sustainability in regions (Lee et al., 2013). Moreover, the study also comprises an evaluation of some of the employed mechanisms that assist in creating designs that support sustainable development in the state. In this study, a sustainable community refers to the concept of properly allocating, designing and structuring resources in an environment through mechanisms that support the current and future generations (DCLG, 2006).
One of the considered planning systems in the study is the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The researcher evaluates how the framework has assisted in the construction of buildings that support sustainability in the region. Therefore, the researcher has elaborated on some of the roles of architects in building sustainable structures in the United Kingdom (Richmond and Manokore, 2011).
The utilised data assessed in the research was based on the reports provided by authorities on the current rate of adoption of sustainable development in the communities. As realised in the research, the presence of sustainable development causes a direct consequence in creating sustainable communities. The main findings from the study show that the housing facilities that have complied with the green building have a higher likelihood of supporting sustainability in the regions in the present population as well as in the future.
The dynamics of urban growth have become very complex over the years. This aspect owes to the fact that the approach to planning and developing an area in relation to its surroundings has to consider the elements that improve the living conditions of people (Richmond and Manokore, 2011). The style promotes significant societal developments that attract and retain people in a particular region. This study uses a sustainable community to illustrate organized, constructed, or modified societies to promote sustainable living. Nonetheless, an increase in cultural differentiations in the structure of local communities living in areas such as cities and towns has triggered a requirement to advance traditional building techniques. The drivers of these approaches include reconsideration and redesigning the planning mechanisms to harmonise a region's natural environment and resources with the different needs and aspirations of the present society (Schlebusch and Cilliers, 2013).
The role of the Architecture, Building, and Planning course is to provide awareness concerning the ways through which professionals offer attractive, safe, and comfortable living places for people. Therefore, the concept of designing and creating sustainable communities is based on the ability of a given legislative region to persistently adjust through various approaches that assist in meeting social and economic requirements for the existing and future residents (Clark, 2009). As a result, the employed techniques contribute towards providing high-quality life and profitable opportunities. Today, it is an important area of study in the United Kingdom due to the current need to reconceptualise the constructed environments based on their effects on natural and social surroundings (Wells, 2014).
The analysis of this subject will assist in quality environmental moderation and adaptation to climate change, the provision of long-term security to important resources like water and energy, protection and restoration of the global biodiversity, cleansing of damaged ecosystems in the industrial period, nurturing of social equity and cohesion, as well as an enhancement of cultural diversification (Bonham-Carter, 2009). Architects must create sustainable communities as they directly influence their roles as citizens and professionals. The main implication of this area of expertise is that the professionals are expected to make, preserve, and advance the expected quality of a constructed area following specific conditions in each community. This aspect allows them to become sustainable members based on their responsibility as citizens in a community (Chansomsak and Vale, 2009). The structure for creating sustainable communities in the environment is represented in Figure 1 below.
Architectural Structure in Building Sustainable Community
Figure one illustrates the diverse inputs and expected outcomes that assist in developing sustainable communities. First, the illustration depicts that there exists a relationship between construction work and design and sustainability in communities. Some of the models addressed by the country’s planning system include the application of sustainable design approaches in the design and planning for communities, utilisation of participatory design and planning practices, as well as the facilitation of community designs, consultancy, technical help and criticism. Based on the presented model, two main advantages of sustainable communities are realised. They include reducing non-renewable inputs, pollution, and waste (Klein, 2011). As a result, local authorities have established policies that have vast significance in sustainable societies' future growth, especially those found in metropolitan regions.
Based on this study, the current standard planning system in the United Kingdom comprises three main branches, which include a framework of the development strategy, procedures of development administration, and the creation of an appeals system. Additionally, the government has set up a legislation program and national planning policy to guide advantageous sustainable development processes (Stoll et al., 2006).
The rise of regional development projects has led to increased environmental degradation levels. This aspect has come up because the utilized traditional mechanisms did not allocate for elements that properly control the type of buildings being constructed in a given area (Omer, 2008). This issue was further associated with the type of designs that were followed in the construction process. As a result, environments have become negatively affected by the outcomes. Some of the most common environmental deterioration results include pollution, unpredictable climatic conditions due to global warming, overpopulation, and the rise of accidents due to structural failures. These issues directly relate to limited consideration of the effects of putting a building in a given area (Akadiri, Chinyio and Olomolaiye, 2012).
Inadequate building policies in the past triggered irregularities in terms of the quality of a given structure. As a result, most buildings were subjected to either expensive repairs or other types of building hazards associated with poor planning. On the other hand, it was hard to determine the level of professionalism applied in laying out a structure (Global Sustainable Communities Handbook, 2014). These issues are a foundation for the importance of setting up systems that control the types and styles of structures built in a given area.
Improper building planning may result in negative social effects affecting people’s perspectives on a region. This aspect is mostly based on evaluating closely located structures that form a ghetto. Given that the constructors do not evaluate key issues such as proximity and boundaries, certain regions may have a wrong social image (Shams and Rahman, 2017). Some of the commonly associated perspectives are overpopulation and structural congestion. It is important to utilise a given design in a region to ensure the allocation and consideration of all the environmental elements (Keiner, 2006). Some of the mostly evaluated components include space, demographics, and access to materials.
The motivation for writing the research is based on presenting some of the techniques that professionals could use to ensure the building and design of environmentally friendly structures (Forum for the Future, 2007). As a result, the mentioned techniques should cause minimal harm to the surroundings. On the other hand, the study provides an analysis of the planning systems that support the creation of green buildings. Overall, the main intention is to demonstrate the connection between the planning systems and the designing and building of sustainable communities (Kuhlman and Farrington, 2010).
They involve the strategic frameworks created to supervise the proper design and creation of sustainable communities. As a result, policies are devised, and their implementation in creating good environments is supervised (Gerasimova, 2017). One of the popular planning systems used in the United Kingdom in the creation of sustainable community and development is the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The body supports crucial elements associated with building projects, such as the “green building” promotion in society (Giovannucci et al., 2012).
Nonetheless, the study further analyses other issues affecting sustainable building construction. The most common approach is the integration of the community in making comfortable and viable communities (Guinée et al., 2011). Some of the regions in the state have been affected by various problems, such as the presence of people with inadequate knowledge of practices that support sustainable development. As a result, the areas have become prone to problems such as sicknesses and the improper distribution of natural resources (Swart, Raskin and Robinson, 2004). It is important to recognise that the lack of proper design implementation in a given area leads to tertiary consequences such as hunger and sickness (Miller et al., 2014).
The study concentrates on evaluating the set policies used by organisations in planning for infrastructural development in the United Kingdom. The main area of evaluation is the NPPF which plays a big role in promoting sustainability measures, especially in construction. The construction work professionals utilise the standards in the framework to ensure that the type of development set up in the region would support sustainability. Again, the study is based on sustainable societies for several reasons. First, the term ‘sustainability’ in this context refers to a person’s ability to effectively utilise the available resources in a way that brings advantage to both the current population and future generations (Cohen, 2006). Therefore, the researcher considers the present measures that have assisted in promoting this possibility. The analysis presents the components of a sustainable community, starting with the least popular and extending to the one utilised by most professionals in the given field (Wan Alwi et al., 2014).
The first component of an ecological community is proper waste management. This issue significantly affects the demographics of urban centres compared to rural areas. The growth of an environment requires the involved subjects to take responsibility for the related issues. Therefore, land improvement requires the involved professional to provide effective mechanisms that ensure proper disposal of unwanted products (Linnenluecke and Griffiths, 2010). Nonetheless, the current community has witnessed various issues relating to this subject. For instance, over recent years, nations such as India have been accused of inappropriately disposing of waste generated from the structures. Improper disposal mechanisms include channelling dumping pipes to rivers and lakes (Newton et al., 2007). On the other hand, the scarcity of dustbins around the structures causes people to leave trash disposed of in the wrong areas alongside roads or within the living/playing environment. This aspect puts people at a high risk of contracting diseases (Beddington, 2011).
The other component of building and designing sustainable communities is the promotion of good climatic conditions within the environment. Based on this aspect, the researcher evaluates the contribution of buildings to the deterioration of atmospheric conditions. One of the major concerns is that buildings generate about 60% of the total gas emissions in the environment. As a result, the highest cause of gradual climate degradation is the presence of buildings. Structures are buildings used in industries that may trigger pollution on the land. Regarding sustainability, the study presents some techniques that would ensure that buildings provide healthy support to the existing environmental standards.
Overall, the purpose of conducting this research is to investigate the current and future mechanisms employed in promoting sustainability in the environment through infrastructural development. In essence, the study illuminates the importance of buildings to the environment in creating communities. It is also supposed to illustrate the role of architecture in developing communities.
The guideline of the research paper demonstrates that the planning systems have assisted in promoting civilised mechanisms that assist in constructing a sustainable society.
The researcher also analyses some of the mechanisms used by designers to ensure the achievement of sustainable communities.
The literature review in this study analyses the empirical studies and the major theories that assess the connection between planning systems (NPPF) and promoting sustainable development in construction. Moreover, the conducted analysis provides the measures applicable to determining community sustainability levels. The main structure involves establishing theoretical frameworks and evaluating the diverse issues that have contributed towards the development of sustainability in the environment.
Architecture plays a primary role in promoting sustainable communities. This aspect owes to the fact that most people must operate from constructed structures (Ragheb, El-Shimy and Ragheb, 2016). As a result, most of the existing vices in an area exist due to the presence of buildings. Some common negative environmental issues include air, water, and garbage pollution (‘Sustainability, Energy, and Architecture’, 2013). These conditions are facilitated by the presence of buildings and the applied designs. For instance, improper positioning of waste drainage pipes for a given building leads to the emergence of garbage or water contamination.
On the other hand, the approach architects take in designing and constructing a structure raises the question of location (Anthopoulos, 2015). As a result, some areas are perceived as overcrowded or underpopulated due to the present proximity of the structures. Therefore, experts must properly understand the relationship between buildings and the natural systems in the neighbouring environment (Banzhaf and Boyd, 2012). This section evaluates how designs and buildings have contributed towards promoting sustainable communities (‘Article Information 1993-2006’, 2006).
Various studies have shown that the chase for sustainability in the country has caused experts to reconceptualise the constructed areas based on their natural and social environments (Adams et al., 2016). The current world's main goals comprise mitigation and adaptation of climate change. This way, people have guaranteed security for long-term water and energy resources (Barozzi et al., 2016). As mentioned earlier, the idea of sustainability evaluates the existing relationship between economic growth, quality surroundings, and communal equity. Therefore, studies have shown that the related policies and plans should promote constant economic chances, enhance the fundamentals of an environment, and provide the required attention towards the communal well-being of the society to promote a balanced environment (Koziolek et al., 2013).
The set standards should ensure impartiality concerning generations, races, and genders. This aspect helps to ensure equality and simplified access to the current opportunities and facilities (Thompson, 2005). The main driver of sustainable development is the promotion of quality life. (Maywald and Riesser, 2016). Overall, the country’s administration and the established planning systems have significantly assisted in creating sustainable communities. Besides the utilisation of development towards the promotion of sustainability, various other mechanisms have been laid down to support viable communities in the region. The figure below summarises some of the effective sustainability mechanisms established in the nation as compiled by (School, no date)
mechanisms of building sustainable communities
Based on this research, the main features that make up a sustainable community include ecological protection, urban density and population increase of village centres, indigenous economy, viable transport, rational housing, a civilised society, water and sewage management, and the implementation of proper recycling mechanisms in a given region (Koziolek, 2011).
Sustainable societies usually endorse goals that promote respect for both natural surroundings and human nature. Therefore, besides utilising suitable technology, sustainable communities are expected to meet various goals (Phillips and Gardner, 2012). First, experts should place a high priority on the excellence of life. It, therefore, means that the implementation of proper strategies should promote the residents in the areas such as social, psychological, and economic ventures. Moreover, the ability to achieve an acceptable quality of life should be implemented in an equal, open, and democratic manner (Hahn and Figge, 2018).
Building and designing a sustainable society requires the residents to respect the natural surroundings. This concept suggests that a sustainable community should recognise its link with nature. Moreover, the employed strategies should present systems and elements that are essential to people’s wellbeing. The community should offer access to nature through the provision of metropolitan parks, open-space zones, and the creation of urban gardens (Gifford, 2012). Overall, a sustainable community comprises a proper understanding of the sensitive appearance of the natural versus the built environment. Experts develop sustainable societies by avoiding taking part in approaches that may negatively affect nature and the ecological situation (Avgeriou, Stal, and Hilliard, 2013).
The other goal of a sustainable community is a proper infusion of technology based on purpose. Integrating advanced technology should support providing healthy environments for the people (Azhar and Brown, 2009). This way, the employed mechanisms do not decrease the existing standards of the environment. Technology also plays a major role in the creation of a sustainable community. For instance, in creating and designing buildings, people have embraced technological capabilities such as an efficient evaluation mechanism that supports the growth of a viable community (Shrouf, Ordieres, and Miragliotta, 2014). On the other hand, it has helped to create a network among people, which assists in efficient communication between individuals to improve the environment.
Sustainable communities allow for proper stock-taking of the people living in a given community. It also evaluates natural and economic resources to ensure that all people have equal access to them (Venters et al., 2018). This mechanism is referred to as the optimisation of key environmental resources. The field experts must understand the finite availability of resources (Turner, 2010). Therefore, an efficient mechanism has to be employed to ensure that they last long while promoting the interests of the residents of a specific region. Planning systems in the country mainly ensure that they set up laws that govern the maximum utilisation of the resources without harming or weakening them (Toh, Nagel, and Oakden, 2009).
Another component of a sustainable community is recognising the importance of scale and capacity (Khasreen, Banfill, and Menzies, 2009). This element is set up to ensure that a region is not overdeveloped, overused, overbuilt, or overpopulated. The relevant experts take time to evaluate the signs that indicate the tension in the environment. This way, a critical understanding of a region's sustainability demands is gained (Specht et al., 2014).
Various researchers have indicated that the planning and design of environments are essential in building sustainable communities. Every citizen of the United Kingdom has the right access to healthy environments that support their wellbeing (Elrayies, 2018). The existence of a good environment has advantages for both current and future generations. It is through the provision of viable legislative measures that an area becomes prone to pollution and environmental degradation (ALwaer and Clements-Croome, 2010). On the other hand, the advantage of sustainable communities is that people gain more benefits by promoting justifiable economic and communal development.
One of the most popular approaches to building sustainability is known as place-making. The mechanism emphasises a bottom-up operation through the utilisation of community-scale planning (Pons, 2013). In this case, the environment appraisal experts operate with the goal of making a qualitatively liveable surrounding that adheres to sustainability standards (Pons et al., 2015). The general perspective is represented in the figure below.
Elements of Place-making Approach
Figure 3 provided above represents some of the crucial elements considered in the approach. The establishment of sustainable development has to comprise an investigation into each of the sections represented in the image (Ürge-Vorsatz et al., 2012). Nonetheless, the arrangement does not exactly represent an order of priority. Instead, it is a type of checklist used by people in society and experts to ensure that an initialised growth has to consider each of the set measures for creating a sustainable community. Again, the existence of planning systems through bodies like the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) enforces regulations which ensure that each of the present components is considered during the development of certain land (Boafo, Kim, and Kim, 2016).
The place-making technique was implemented to ensure that a region supports the liveability standards that execute diverse functions in a certain space. This step ensures the transformation of the regions from being places occupied by people to become healthy, liveable regions. Therefore, the main focus employed by the approach is the creation of areas where people can efficiently socialise and interact without the risk of being harmed. Moreover, it also suggests that individuals should have ample spaces that provide room for expansion and introduce economic practices that assist in promoting the wellbeing of the land (Wang et al., 2018).
The utilisation of this mechanism dictates that any regular space in a given region with a community should be developed through the use of various elements. This aspect is achieved through the implementation of a genius loci (Benke and Tomkins, 2017). As a result, the place becomes transformed and directed towards accommodating various functions and issues regarding the community. On the other hand, the residents begin to gain guaranteed ownership of the developed land (Zuo and Zhao, 2014).
The involvement of society in efficient land development allows citizens to provide inputs to the process. As a result, planners can choose to work with a process that connects their experience to their technical design expertise (Li, Yang, and Lam, 2013). The utilisation of this procedure assists the designers in discovering common interests and developing practical and creative solutions that build on the native characters and assets. Despite the environmental characteristics of a region, society should be a key source of information in planning and designing a specific region (Omer, 2008).
Participation is normally perceived as a mechanism for promoting interactive planning to create an active location (Boyle, 2005). The place-making approach is normally considered because it allows designers to integrate the community into the process of infrastructural development (Hee et al., 2015). As a result, more considerations are taken into account based on the diversification level of a given group. On the other hand, this process further contributes towards the complex participation of society members through the provision of differentiated inputs (Jrade and Jalaei, 2013). Community participation, therefore, plays a critical role in the organisation of sustainable communities as it comprises more sophisticated procedures such as the review and awareness of the issues that support viable environmental demands (Blengini and Di Carlo, 2010).
Additionally, it is crucial that the employed planning and design mechanisms harmonise a community's requirements. This state can only be achieved once the involved personnel consider the natural layout and resources available in an environment (Anderson, Wulfhorst, and Lang, 2015). This step provides the community with sustainable development that is appreciated by the community. Nonetheless, the design should provide an opportunity for continuous monitoring of the setup infrastructure (Dutil, Rousse, and Quesada, 2011). This approach ensures procedural transparency, as well as the regular maintenance of the environment based on the setup regulation by the present planning systems.
Besides the existing recognition of architects as designers and strategists, their actions in building a sustainable community are considered conventional practices (Development, 2010). Therefore, they are expected to develop techniques that promote sustainable development in different regions around the country (Business & Sustainable Development Commission, 2017). In the United Kingdom, the elements of sustainable communities are taught to these experts early in their professional course. As a result, the ability to implement viable plans that bring significant benefits to society is further perceived as part of professional ethics (The Royal Society, 2008).
Some of the steps that must be taken in designing and creating a sustainable community is gathering data about a community. This information normally includes present conditions, cultures, lifestyles, and information on the available natural resources (Loorbach, 2010). On the other hand, the professional should also pay attention to other factors, such as the presence of national heritage structures like museums and other tourism attraction structures. The collection of this type of data enables them to evaluate the viability of a project in a specific region (Giddings, Hopwood, and O’Brien, 2002).
Planning systems are the most influential and beneficial sections of authority bodies in English nations. This trait owes to the fact that they support the interests of the public. The presence of a planning system provides an opportunity to recognise developmental decisions that affect people's livelihoods (Nasibulina, 2017). It also ensures the evaluation of various areas like the environment and the economy. The government has gradually reformed the existing planning system by launching more strategic acts by utilising ministerial statements to update guidance practices (Friends of the Earth, 2012).
Based on this research, one of the major reforms implemented by the government based on the present planning system was the initialisation of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). The charter comprises a set of rationalised standards that favour sustainable development. The set laws in the context illustrate that planning applications should be provided to the relevant bodies to determine whether they meet an environmentally friendly development strategy (Byrd, 2007).
Architecture professionals achieve this outcome by ensuring sufficient land of the required type is present in the necessary places (Cullen, 2006). This way, the set building has the capability of supporting innovation as well as the productivity of the region. The plan should also provide room for increasing infrastructure within the chosen region.
The other goal is to support the creation of vibrant and healthy societies. This aim ensures that the set buildings and design provide room for the creation of a sufficient range of homes that meet the requirements of the current and future generations (Strange and Bayley, 2011). Architects achieve this step by fostering well-built homes in a securely constructed environment. A house built using a good planning strategy comprises the components such as efficient accessibility to services, the allocation of extra spaces that support communities’ health, and communal and cultural wellbeing (Van de Kerk and Manuel, 2008).
Today, the United Kingdom authorities require architects to make structures that are friendly to the natural surroundings. These buildings are expected to be green and have suitable adaptability to the environment. A green building is a term used to refer to structures that can effectively utilise energy, water, and other natural resources. The construction should further provide health protection to residents whilst improving their productivity (Ahmad, Soskolne, and Ahmed, 2012). Moreover, the utilised design should promote proper waste management, as well as the reduction of pollution and environmental degradation.
The UK planning system has embraced the concept of a green building based on the numerous advantages of the projects. Besides the positive impacts they bring to an environment, this type of structure allows the creation of quality working environments (Yılmaz and Bakış, 2015). As a result, this adoption has indirectly promoted work productivity within the buildings.
The regional planning body manages this section. The authorised personnel under this administration are responsible for drafting revisions for the Regional Spatial Strategy department. The completed drafts are then examined for public approval by the Secretary of State. It is important to note that the Regional Spatial Strategy is a statutory body that plays a significant role in creating development plans and strategies for a specific region. This body is further evaluated by another regulatory body known as the Regional Economic Strategy (RES).
Based on the presented reviews from diverse secondary sources on the employed mechanisms for promoting sustainability, the section has evaluated the different mechanisms that researchers have defined sustainability. Based on the provided findings, it was crucial to note that sustainability is also referenced as “green building”. Regarding the different approaches employed in promoting sustainability, it was crucial to note that different techniques have been utilised to promote development. Nonetheless, the approaches have not sufficiently covered sustainability because pollution continues to become a menace in the country. Therefore, the main research gap that has not been successfully addressed is the techniques that will assist in supporting future sustainability that aligns with supporting positive climate change and long-lasting community projects.
This section comprises the techniques that the researcher used to determine the topic's validity. The study intends to prove that the presence of planning systems has assisted in designing and creating sustainable communities (Sustainable Development Commission, 2005a). The researcher also intends to evaluate some of the ways people in the UK society consider developmental sustainability techniques for a region. Therefore, the section comprises various parts explaining the steps taken in assessing the subject concerning sustainability (The Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development, 2009).
It is important to consider that this study has mainly utilised data collected from secondary sources such as online platforms. This aspect owes to the fact that collecting primary data would be expensive and very difficult (UK Parliament, 2005). The researcher has to find professionals in the field 1who would be willing to provide input to the prepared questions. This method is prone to disadvantages, such as the willingness of the participants to provide relevant input based on the study (Young et al., 2010). In fact, given that many researchers have conducted studies in the field on diverse topics, the researcher can extract the relevant information that would assist in providing evidence-based support to the study (Haller, 2018).
The considered research approach for data collection was an online survey on gathered findings on the trends of sustainable communities in the United Kingdom. This process involved constructing a list of questions relating to sustainability assessment and sending them to the target audience for responses. The researcher utilised survey monkey as the main tool for performing the task. The target audience was mainly random people from the UK who with interest in the process of sustainable communities through development in the country. The table below represents the survey questions which have been conducted on the survey website.
Does sustainable development contribute towards creation of sustainable communities
Can the government sufficiently promoted the creation and design of sustainable communities
Does NPPF and other planning systems have significantly contributed towards the creation of sustainable communities
Does environmental design plays a significant role in the creation of sustainable communities
Have communities gained sufficient awareness about the design and creation of sustainable communities
Is it important for architectural designers to follow all the polices in creating sustainable communities
Are there sufficient planning systems that assist with creating and designing sustainable communities
Sustainability Survey Questions
On the other hand, the study has also utilised secondary academic materials to gather the required data for the study. Some of the chosen approaches included the use of deductive reasoning and an evaluation of completed literature reviews that offer input about trends in creating and designing sustainable communities in the UK. The main considerations, in this case, were journals, public government reports, research articles on sustainability, and websites. (Sustainable Development Commission, 2005b).
Utilising the online secondary sources review technique has various advantages for the researcher. First, this data collection method is cost-effective as the researcher only needs to analyse the available online content that provides the required information on the subject (White and Brown, 2010). On the other hand, data used in the technique is flexible based on the environment. The researcher can extract the data related to the study according to the chosen topic (UK NHS Sustainable Development Unit, 2009). However, this was an effective technique in the study as it allowed the researcher to combine the observation data collection approach in collecting the information necessary to support the study's topic (Mebratu, 1998).
Based on the structure of this study, the main focus is on the approaches UK planning systems use in creating and designing sustainable communities through architectural development. On the other hand, the study also assesses the impacts of the policies laid out in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) framework to promote sustainability in development. Therefore, the analysis of the subject would require a set of data that enables the attainment of data related to the population of constructions that followed NPPF guidelines and the implication of sustainability in communities through development. In essence, the utilised data will assist in revealing the impacts of depending upon sustainable building techniques as opposed to traditional mechanisms for building and design of constructions.
The approach for collecting the data constituted of the major steps. First, the process involved identifying the essential data that should be utilised in the research. This step was conducted independently before analyzing the ideal websites where the data would emanate. The next phase involved an examination of the diverse sources that provide relevant data efficient with the type of research. This step was achieved through the use of online search options like Google search (Munton and Collins, 1998). The online survey technique was conducted for two weeks, and the process began on the 8th to the 22nd of January 2020.
Green Building Distribution
The figure above represents the aspects the researcher considered in terms of their contributions to building a sustainable community. In essence, it was challenging to access data directly related to sustainability in communities regarding building and architecture.
The main theme of the research was the determination of the strategies used by architecture professionals in creating a sustainable community (Alwan, Jones, and Holgate, 2017). On the other hand, the researcher utilised the provided research question to find information related to the design and construction of sustainable communities (Jones et al., 2005). The procedure has utilised an observation of various elements that help to construct a sustainable community.
Regarding the design, the researcher first intended to evaluate the impending need for sustainable communities in the United Kingdom (Alwan, Jones, and Holgate, 2017). Therefore, they have evaluated the available online studies to extract the statistics found in the community that determine whether sustainability has been successfully achieved in construction fields (Getvoldsen et al., 2018). Moreover, the researcher evaluated how various elements have been implemented to construct sustainable communities (Alwan, Jones, and Holgate, 2017). Even though buildings and constructions form a major part of this study, the researcher pays keen attention to other parameters, such as the proximity of buildings and the living standards of the people occupying the places. This way, the researcher can determine the level of sustainability achieved in a society concerning the determining elements (Wezel et al., 2014).
A sustainable community comprises elements such as climatic conditions, communal access to important natural resources such as water, and the creation of health-safety buildings (Gregory, Vidic, and Dzombak, 2011). On the other hand, given that humans are social beings, constructions should have ample living spaces. In this case, the data collected in the research assist the researcher in finding out the rate at which sustainable communities have been embraced in different regions to promote green buildings and architectural structures around the country. Therefore, during the creation and design of buildings, the relevant authorities have to ensure that they have met the set standards (Moreno-Benito, Agnolucci, and Papageorgiou, 2017). In this case, the researcher has extracted numerical data in tables to determine the level of awareness in creating sustainable communities. Therefore, the researcher analysed buildings' contributions to creating sustainable communities (Meehan and Bryde, 2011).
The last part of the consideration in the design was the role of planning systems in forming sustainable communities. Based on this study, the researcher has mainly considered the NPPF as the primary planning system in architectural building and design that affects the creation of sustainable communities through embracing professional development. As mentioned earlier, stakeholders should follow policies and mechanisms to create long-lasting communities (Dempsey et al., 2011). The main aim of this framework is to ensure that people do not avoid living in a given region. Instead, they employ relevant mechanisms that ensure that the environmental conditions support their livelihood in the present and future. As a result, the framework elaborates on the building standards that may facilitate achieving sustainability in a given area (Sustainable Development Commission, 2005a). The researcher, therefore, evaluated the influence of the framework on the creation of a sustainable community. This way, the researcher has gathered relevant data that indicates the level of awareness of the policies based on the creation of sustainability (Dempsey, Brown, and Bramley, 2012).
The study utilised various types of analysis in the determination of the outcomes. First, the researcher has used the methodologies such as correlation regarding the numerical data (Amir et al., 2015). During data collection, the researcher extracted a table that provided diverse types of information depending on the type of research topic. Therefore, the researcher has utilised a mechanism such as correlation to determine various types of study implications (Amir et al., 2015). For instance, one of the determinations was the type of relationship that National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) standards have to the existence of sustainable development. This aspect was tested based on determining structures that have effectively utilised green housing techniques against an assessment of the ones with needs of approaching a similar approach.
On the other hand, the researcher also evaluates the level of awareness that professionals have in the creation of sustainable communities (Jones et al., 2005). In this case, the researcher has considered the types of studies carried out in the environment that indicate people’s connection to the presence of sustainable communities in the United Kingdom. Based on the provided data, the researcher determines this aspect by conducting a correlation between the Current local assessment of housing needs and the Proportion of local authority land area covered by green belt.
Overall, the researcher has mainly utilised numerical evaluation based on the data collected from different sources about the subject (Kulak, Graves, and Chatterton, 2013). This way, they have a clear perspective on the implications of the study subject on the environment. Nonetheless, the researcher has also evaluated findings by utilising diverse perspectives that were not initially allocated in past studies (Matarrita-Cascante, Brennan, and Luloff, 2010). For instance, the researcher has made a consideration concerning the influence of planning systems on the formation of sustainable communities. Again, the researcher has also analysed the relationship between sustainable development and the community (Strachan et al., 2015). This way, it was possible to determine the various factors that have contributed towards the establishment of sustainability in various national building sectors that are found in the state. Moreover, the researcher utilises the data to illustrate how it supports the existing techniques used in designing and creating long-lasting viable communities (Fraser et al., 2006).
Given that the data was obtained from secondary sources and is a qualitative study, the obtained outcomes were mainly based on the researcher’s professional evaluation of the information related to the research. Moreover, the researcher also demonstrates the connection between the empirical study conducted in the environment and the provided outcomes from the data collected (UK Department of Health, 2011). In essence, the researcher intends to prove that planning systems have established valuable mechanisms that could be used to form sustainable communities (Shove, 2012). Moreover, the researcher demonstrates that the architecture and building course promotes sustainability in a given environment. Therefore, this section comprises information about the identified results in various topics determined in the data collection process (Allwood et al., 2008).
Based on the data collected from various secondary sources and the tables representing the information, the researcher made various types of deductions (Jenks and Jones, 2010). First, the data in the following table represents information on the influence of NPPF on supporting sustainable development. The data was obtained from the UK data set site, which comprises information about carbon-related issues in the United Kingdom (Jeswani and Azapagic, 2016). It provides statistics on the housing plans implemented by different authorities in support of the region's green building and community sustainability (Oxford City Council).
Indicative assessment of housing need based on proposed formula, 2016-2026
Current local assessment of housing need, based on the most recent publicly available document
Proportion of local authority land area covered by green belt, national parks, areas of outstanding natural beauty or sites of special scientific interest
Local assessment of need (not available)
Barking & Dagenham
Local assessment of need (not available)
Basingstoke and Deane
Bath & North East Somerset
Blackburn with Darwen
Brighton & Hove
Green Building trend in the UK
The data represents various national authorities that supervise building and construction plans. Moreover, it also represents the number of housing plans that have succeeded due to following the correct policies set by the governing bodies (Ehnert et al., 2018). As a result, the communities that have been established based on the housing projects can support the nation's growth, as well as ensure globalisation of proper design and building standards that support setting up sustainable communities (Yigitcanlar and Kamruzzaman, 2018).
In an overview, the diagram below represents the current computation regarding the country’s status in adopting sustainable communities. The tabulation also advised the researcher to evaluate the stated hypothesis that the presence of planning systems has assisted in designing and creating sustainable communities. The various crucial indicators of sustainability in the United Kingdom are represented in figure 3 below.
The data shows that most of the employed mechanisms of building a harmonious society have mainly been concentrated in areas such as electricity, transportation, commercial & residential, and agriculture. Nonetheless, it is crucial to note that the residential areas have been allocated a lesser percentage than electricity and industry, which contribute to pollution. The researcher represented the data gathered by Harvey (2014).
Environmental Sustainability Indicators
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Based on an evaluation of various articles from different researchers, the adoption of sustainability in both development and community fields has significantly increased over the years. A recent government report in the country indicates that various bodies have been created to control and ensure that every construction professional follows the laid statutes for promoting sustainability in the community through development (Atmosphere, Climate & Environment Information Programme, 1952). These principles are highlighted within the environmental protection act that controls the rates of a building as well as the usage of natural resources.
One of the most common obstacles to promoting sustainability is the gradual population increase within urban centres. The implementation of sustainability has become negatively affected mostly in the cities. This condition owes to many people moving to urban regions for employment and a better livelihood. Nonetheless, the dense population has triggered a hardship in promoting sustainable communities and development. According to Dempsey, Brown and Bramley (2012), it isn't easy to promote sustainability in densely populated regions due to their rate of resource consumption. First, the presence of many people has led to the creation of more structures that would accommodate housing for the people dwelling in the region. According to statistics, people who move to work in the business zone areas have other residences on the city's outskirts. As a result, they hardly support the growth of sustainability within the city (Sandholz, 2017). Nonetheless, Martin et al.(2019) investigation showed that sustainable communities could be achieved in densely populated areas by applying other advanced measures.
A survey of different types of literature based on this agenda has shown that different researchers have reached similar conclusions about the characteristics of sustainability in communities. One of the common aspects is the support for green building strategies. In this case, diverse articles represent green building as the promotion of construction works through the observation of parameters like proximity between buildings, the installation of sustainable materials, especially n industries, as well as the utilisation of designs that are sensitive to issues such as drainage, carbon emissions as well as other types of waste release to the environment (Choi and Sirakaya, 2006). Ensuring that all constructions are based on these parameters indicates that sustainability is consistently being adopted within the country concerning development and communities.
In essence, the studies indicate that the promotion of sustainability in one environment promotes sustainability in the other. According to Ebner and Baumgartner (2006), the installation of sustainability in one area contributes to positive results. A good illustration is promoting sustainable development by utilising corporate social responsibility (CSR) in companies. Given the attention that has been put on the industries towards the promotion of green environments, one of the major techniques involves using corporate responsibilities. For instance, various companies in the UK have promoted sustainable living conditions for the communities by engaging in projects like installing lighting systems in the urban regions, which in turn promote the increase of business in the regions since people work at longer times compared to before. On the other hand, other activities include cleaning the city and installing waste disposals that prevent people from dumping waste products within their living areas.
The government of the United Kingdom has installed structures and policies that regulate the types of materials used for construction in the country. Professionals are encouraged to utilise environmentally friendly materials that will promote the implementation of sustainability in the communities through development. One of the techniques involves utilising decomposable materials like the switch from polythene papers to decomposable bags in the process of providing diverse installations in the regions. On the other hand, it is important for architects to not only provide waste disposal mechanisms but also promote sustainable techniques such as recycling and other methods to ensure sustainability in development and the community.
According to a survey in an interview conducted by Perdan, Jones and Azapagic (2017), despite people knowing the benefits of using green products as well as the installation of sustainability measures like proper construction designs, a significant population does not have the required knowledge on the aspects of sustainability in the United Kingdom.
As evident from the literature review, various scholarly efforts addressing sustainability have strongly focused on the issue of sustainability with regard to development and different communities found in the country. Nonetheless, very limited efforts have been implemented to assess the role of UK planning systems in promoting sustainable communities in the country through the use of proper construction procedures (Guide, 2010). The importance of this study is to analyse the prevailing association between planning systems such as the NPPF and the promotion of sustainability in communities through development (Design, 2004). A qualitative approach was utilised in the data collection procedure to assess National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) contributions in designing and creating sustainable communities. The gathered secondary data offers an evaluation of the current trend in adopting green buildings towards the formation of sustainability (Walker et al., 2010).
Based on the results gathered in the study, sustainability covers both development as well as society. Several researchers have established that the ability to achieve outcomes in one sector means that it is possible to achieve results in the other. In fact, development is one of the major considerations in forming a community (Clark, 2009). It, therefore, means that it is not possible to separate the two aspects in an evaluation process. Therefore, the data illustrates that most of the local regions around the country are highly populated and have the correct type of housing (Wu et al., 2015).
In this case, the researcher has mostly concentrated on the NPPF as the governing planning system (Wu et al., 2015). Moreover, the data also suggests that the involved experts, especially in the building and architecture, have the required knowledge on how to establish buildings that promote sustainable communities in the regions (DCLG, 2010).
Based on the presented outcomes from the online survey, it is possible to conclude that the regions have already embraced mechanisms that support the existence of sustainable communities (Davim, 2013). This information is achieved from the data based on the fact that the responses mainly support the regulations set up by the local authorities (St. Denis and Parker, 2009). This outcome is based on the fact that the experts followed the policies laid in the standard framework for buildings in the United Kingdom (Mileti and Henry, 1999).
Based on the standards, construction can only be set up in a given area if it meets various parameters. First, sufficient resources should permit the residents to preserve and consume them (Ramani et al., 2010). Moreover, the area should have ample space to place the buildings and promote proper living standards for the people (Ritchie, 2008). This type of formation ensures that people are protected from negative issues like health hazards due to poorly constructed buildings (Ritchie, 2008).
On the other hand, the policies also require the experts to consider other important factors whilst designing and constructing buildings(Gliessman, 2016). Various studies have shown that architectural engineers should also know that they are part of society (Shaw, Colley, and Connell, 2007). This aspect further requires an expert to evaluate the elements of a building, such as the number of occupants (Smith and Iversen, 2018). The policies also direct that buildings should follow certain standards while being created (Disalvo, Clement, and Pipek, 2012). Some of the most common characteristics to consider are the foundation, the proximity between one building and the other, the aeration, and
Based on the study of the policies, the main opposition to sustainable communities is the presence of pollution in a given area(DCLG, 2006). This issue can lead to the rise of problems like diseases and negative effects on the economic activities in an area (Nc State University, 2010). Once an area is densely populated, there is a rise in a competition that, in turn, leads to poor allocation of resources (Bibri and Krogstie, 2017).
In this case, the experts have considered a range of measures (Blechman, Davidson, and Kelly, 2017). First, they have considered creating economic activities such as tourism attraction centres that support the flow of income to the region (Clark, 2010). On the other hand, they have also considered the creation of better housing facilities that support the current and future generations (Blechman, Davidson, and Kelly, 2017).
The study aimed to evaluate how UK planning systems have promoted sustainable communities in the region. Based on the research, the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) framework provides the main policies that support sustainability in communities and development. Therefore, the study was able to cover the set objectives in the study which included:
It was established that the cooperation between the private and public planning bodies promoted the region's sustainability. For instance, the study has depicted how a case such as Association for Environment Conscious Building (AECB) has been at the forefront towards establishing sustainable buildings and communities in the UK through the private sector.
Regarding the administration of policies, the United Kingdom is bound to the European Union policy that caters for green building and communities in the country. For instance, in relation to architecture, new construction directives have been imposed under a managing body known as Energy Performance of Building Directives (EPBD). According to the new construction act, an obligatory certificate known as the Building Energy Rating system (BER) has to be provided for all constructions whose sizes are 1000m2 and above. This requirement aligns with the project's aim, which was to demonstrate how planning systems in the UK promote sustainability in the region.
Based on the provided study, it is crucial to provide further research on the policies that promote sustainable development and communities in the United Kingdom. The study has shown that the UK planning systems have established various regional sustainability mechanisms. Nonetheless, there is insufficient awareness of the guiding policies that would assist professionals and the government in promoting sustainability in the region (Maliene and Malys, 2009).
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