Planners and policy makers strive for communities to be planned, built, or modified to promote sustainable living. Sustainable communities create places where people want to live and work, now and in the future. They meet the diverse needs of existing and future residents, are sensitive to their environment, and contribute to a high quality of life.
Interrelated topics of research under this theme include sharing cities, communities, architecture and urban design, social housing, sustainable tourism, heritage-led resilience, social and spatial justice, culture and identity, urban-rural linkage and development.
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Dr Lakshmi Priya Rajendran, Senior Research Fellow in Future Cities, from the Department of Engineering & the Built Environment, recently attended the 3rd International Sustainable Ecological Engineering Design for Society (SEEDS) Conference, at Leeds Beckett University, presenting her winning paper entitled ‘Integrating Cultural Ecosystem Services (CUES) in Green Infrastructure (GI) development for enabling well-being in urban environment’.
The paper focuses on an innovative approach of integrating CUES in GI development to enable sustainable and healthy cities. Due to prolific urbanization, green infrastructures in cities are under immense pressure limiting their potential both in providing environmental sustainability and ecosystem services to urban communities. There is an urgent need for exploring innovative strategies for pressurized urban areas in effectively providing ecosystem services to promote health and well-being in cities.
Lakshmi’s paper examines the potential of largely neglected everyday loose spaces in urban environment that can be developed into a network of active green pockets. As the loose spaces are both inherently and implicitly connected to the everyday urban geographies, with appropriate planning and design, they can also become successful multifunctional social amenity spaces.
This research offers critical socio-spatial insights for architects, urban planners, engineers, urban designers and policy makers in developing GI in cities which not only focus on urban sustainability but also to enable health and wellbeing
Lakshmi’s paper was highly commended by the awarding body.
This article originally appeared in the January 2018 issue of 'First', our Faculty Research Newsletter.
Mahdizadeh, S. and Rajendran, L.P, 2018. A renewed approach to conservation policy of Historical Gardens in Iran. Landscape Research, Landscape Research Group Taylor and Francis (Routledge).
Rajendran, L.P., 2016. Incidental spaces as a potential for creating a sense of place and identity in urban environment, Proceedings of the ICE – Urban Design and Planning, ICE Publishing, London. ISSN 1755-0793 | E-ISSN 1755-0807 doi: 10.1680/jurdp.15.00028.
Rajendran, L.P., 2018 An interdisciplinary socio-spatial approach towards studying identity constructions in multicultural urban spaces. In: Xingjian Liu and Xinyue, eds. Human Dynamics in Social and Physical Spaces, Springer Publishing (peer reviewed) (Forthcoming, 2018).
Emerging Identities in the Futures of Place: Media, Space and Culture, In: L.P. Rajendran, N.D. Odeleye, eds. Springer Series: Adaptive Environments. (Forthcoming, 2019).