Loughborough University
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Investigating the interplay of sustainability and resilience of the built environment

posted on 2020-10-09, 08:40 authored by Elisabeth Marlow
Why are we not living in an urban environment that is sustainable and resilient? To find a response, this thesis considers the interplay of sustainability and resilience from their conceptual interpretations, measurement frameworks and application in the decision-making of the urban built environment. A multitude of challenges were presented and original thought was required to overcome them. To understand how the sustainability and resilience agendas intersect to influence decisions in cities has needed a broad methodological approach and diverse research design.
Theoretical literature on sustainability and resilience has been thematically reviewed to consider how both agendas relate to one another and found them to be generally mutually supportive. Three city case studies in the USA have been generated to provide descriptive context to consider the cities’ decision pathways of policy, planning and design. Constructed from semi-structured interviews with built environment professionals has given decision-making insight and practice knowledge. Discursive interpretations, political and habitual behaviours and a foundation of Realpolitik have emerged as research outcomes.
Given the urgency of current global conditions, it is critical that better decisions are made to enable real change in the policies of the urban environments and facilitate the best of sustainability and resilience practice to become normal practice. Explanations have been provided by the use of decision-making interplay timelines and the cross case analysis provides patterns for consideration.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


Loughborough University

Rights holder

© Elisabeth C. Marlow

Publication date



A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


  • en


K. Chmutina ; A.R.J. Dainty

Qualification name

  • PhD

Qualification level

  • Doctoral

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