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A framework model for assessing sustainability impacts of urban development

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/09/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Accounting Forum
Issue number3
Volume33
Number of pages16
Pages (from-to)209-224
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Urban man-made assets have impacts not just on those who develop, build and operate them, but on people who may be quite remote from them. For example, the impact of a building on greenhouse gas emissions arising from fossil fuel use, pollution caused by travel to work patterns and employment opportunities provided by urban developments may be far removed from their immediate locality. There is a growing recognition of the need to internalize these external costs and benefits in accountancy frameworks, drawing on experiences in accounting for sustainable development. This desire, however, presents major challenges in identifying, evaluating and allocating the external environmental, social and economic costs and benefits of an urban environment. This paper reports on the development of an Urban Development Sustainability Assessment Model (UD-SAM) which allows decision makers to identify sustainability indicators (economic, environmental and social) and which may lead to more holistic evaluation of the sustainability impact of elements of the urban environment. The UD-SAM builds on a sustainability assessment model (SAM) developed originally in the oil industry. This paper describes how SAM has been tailored for the construction industry and urban sustainability assessment, and how a set of generic sustainable development indicators have been identified and validated by stakeholders.