The establishment of a framework for evaluating the sustainability of integrated residential development projects

Koopman, Robin (2012-12)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2012.


The sustainability of a human settlement is a multidimensional problem, dealing not only with settlement spatial or housing dimensions, but also with spatial characteristics, geographic location, environmental considerations, economic viability, institutional capacity, human development, and social relationships and aspirations. With the ability to address spatial restructuring, effect integration and optimise the use of infrastructure, the South African government, through its New Comprehensive Plan for the Creation of Sustainable Human Settlements, promulgated in 2004, has identified integrated residential development, essentially comprising medium-density mixeduse housing opportunities, as the core contributor to the creation of sustainable human settlements. Through its land release programmes, government seeks to stimulate the development of integrated and sustainable human settlements. The evaluation criteria applied in the assessment of development proposals however differ between the various spheres of government. The criteria evaluating the inherent sustainability of a development proposal have not been evident in the literature review of the advertised proposals. With no overall assessment framework in place to assess the overall sustainability of integrated residential development projects, there has been an evident lack of consistency in the evaluation of such proposals. Furthermore, the lack of consistency and the lack of a consistently applied evaluation framework does not allow for adequate monitoring and evaluation after development. The aim of this investigation was to facilitate the development of an appropriate and adaptable framework that can guide government in evaluating an integrated residential development proposal in terms of its sustainability and the extent to which it endeavours to achieve government’s desired outcomes. An empirical study was conducted through evaluation research and comparative studies to investigate the indicators informing the creation of sustainable and integrated residential developments. Primary data were acquired through questionnaires to targeted public and private sector stakeholders involved in integrated residential developments, and were supplemented by a literature review on the aspects informing the sustainability of housing development. The research found that there is a lack of consistency and integration in the evaluation of proposals for integrated residential developments. Similarly, the key aspects and means of measuring sustainability were found not to be integrated into the evaluation process. The degree to which a development proposal was considered to be sustainable therefore is, and will remain, unknown until it is researched. Without the ability to measure the level of perceived sustainability pre- and post-implementation of development proposals, and with cognizance of the newness of integrated residential developments as a housing model, it is doubtful whether there will be progress towards the realisation of ideal sustainable human settlements. To facilitate the realisation of sustainable human settlements, the proposed framework seeks to establish a consistent means of evaluating an integrated residential development proposal pre- and post-development.

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