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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/E021956/1
Title: An Integrated Approach to Sustainable Urban Redevelopment: Birmingham Eastside as a National and International Demonstrator
Principal Investigator: Coles, Professor R
Other Investigators:
Jankovic, Professor L
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Advantage West Midlands Arup Group Ltd BCSD (UK)
Birmingham City Council Building Research Establishment (BRE) Carbon Trust
Government Office ISIS MADE
MARTINEAU JOHNSON Royal Institute of British Architects South East England Regional Assembly
Department: Birmingham Institute of Art and Design
Organisation: Birmingham City University
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 November 2006 Ends: 30 April 2008 Value (£): 111,907
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Construction Ops & Management Ground Engineering
Urban & Land Management
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Construction Environment
Transport Systems and Vehicles Water
Related Grants:
EP/E021603/1 EP/E025579/1
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The aim of the Sustainable Eastside Project is to explore how sustainability is addressed in the regeneration decision-making process, and to assess the sustainability performance of completed development schemes in Birmingham Eastside against stated sustainability credentials and aspirations. The incorporation of sustainability into an urban regeneration program, such as Birmingham Eastside, appears best conceptualised as a complex decision-making process carried out by stakeholders who are embedded within the development process. The barriers to and enablers of sustainability (as identified in Phase I of this project) appear at various moments or locations within this complex. The timing and context of decisions are critical (examined in Phase II), and can cause path-dependency which then limits how sustainability features in final development plans. In Phases I & II, the research set in place a framework of cross-disciplinary knowledge and key partnerships; highlighted the importance of coherent integration of the three pillars of sustainability to enable the complexity of achieving urban sustainability to be sufficiently grappled with; gained access to key decision-making forums in Eastside; built strong links with key stakeholders in the area; and firmly integrated into the policy agenda for Eastside. In addition, researchers are working to establish a cross-cutting baseline dataset of developments in Eastside rigorously to measure change over time and the impact of particular decisions on the sustainability of the overall urban regeneration programme. In so doing the foundations for a zonal urban regeneration case study site are being established, augmented by the creation of a study facility, with library and hot desking, now available for researchers from SUE / IEP consortia, to study the application of research to practice. The emerging findings of Phase II have allowed researchers to develop a series of hypotheses about the timing of decisions for sustainability in a range of decision-making forums, and the extent to which path-dependency becomes problematic. In Phase III, a suite of innovative analytical tools will be employed to elucidate further the complexities and interactions of the key elements of the sustainability vision for Eastside. First, a Development Timeline Framework (DTF), a multi-disciplinary tool that makes explicit the path dependency of decisions toward achieving sustainability goals, and the conflicts and synergies between different sustainability objectives, will be used as the basis for further research. Second, a cross-cutting Sustainability Checklist (SC) applied to the DTF will allow each researcher to analyse the impact of timing and context of decisions for each sustainability element (e.g. biodiversity, public participation, space utilisation, local sourcing, and recycling). Third, an Industrial Ecology (IE) analysis will follow particular resources (e.g. water, aggregates) thus highlighting their interdependence, while a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) approach will enable assessment of the socio-cultural aspects of sustainability (not covered by the IE approach). This suite of tools underpins the delivery of the work package aims. This analysis will be undertaken on a case history site basis, using development sites within Eastside that are all currently 'live,' each site representing a different conceptualisation of sustainability. This provides a unique opportunity to evaluate the specific impact of early thinking about sustainability in the planning and design stages, and the impact of this timing and path-dependency on sustainability performance in the final built form.
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Organisation Website: http://www.bcu.ac.uk