The most sustainable urban community developments in the world... in theory

9 September 2014

University of Westminster flag

Boston Architectural College Sustainable Design Graduate Student writes on sustainable community development.

Marcella Whitfield, August 2014

As a society, we are still figuring out the best ways to lower the negative impact of our built environment. Alongside the attempts of developers, architects and engineers to lower environmental impacts, there is an ongoing debate about how ‘success’ in the field of sustainable community development should be prescriptively defined and framed at different scales. But I wondered if we could turn this (often rather theoretical) debate on its head. Rather than taking diverse intentions and goals as the starting point, I wanted to begin by directly comparing the actual performance of different developments in the real world, using whatever data was available. This, I hoped, would provide a clear steer on where specifically, in practice, we could find the most sustainable urban community developments in the world? By extension, these grounded findings would reveal which particular strategies and frameworks, or elements thereof, appear to lead most effectively to optimal outcomes.

Download the full paper: the most sustainable urban community developments in the world...in theory by Marcella Whitfield (PDF format).


About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 175-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.


For the media


For the media

Here we hope you find everything you will need to research, write and publish your story or blog post.

Press office

Please contact our press agency for any media enquiries regarding University of Westminster on

T: +44 (0)20 3697 4200
E: universityofwestminster@fourbroadgate.com