The evaluative framework for the sustainability of urban areas

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One reason for our current, unsustainable model of development is the way in which a large and increasing segment of the global population lives in urban areas. The related concentration of many environmental, social and economic issues urges for the adoption of an integrated, comprehensive approach to sustainable urban development. Following this approach, this research entails the development and test of a tool that urban planners could use to evaluate both the performances in terms of sustainability of their urban areas and the effects of their plans and policies on these performances. This tool, conceived to support and inform the policymaking processes of urban planning, is named the Evaluative Framework for the Sustainability of Urban Areas (EFSUA). The first explorative application of the framework to a case study involving two suburban districts of the city of Milan, in Italy, that are object of an ongoing renovation plan. The evaluations provided both information on the various issues affecting the two districts and an integrated prediction of the effects of the renovation plan. Moreover, the results of this first explorative application allowed the formulation of several policy recommendations and of some considerations about the potential and possible weaknesses of the EFSUA.
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