The editors of Town Planning Review have chosen ‘Measuring Sustainabilityby Professor Michael Neuman and Stuart Churchill, as the best paper in Volume 86 Issue four for 2015. 

Professor Neuman will be joining the University’s Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment as Professor of Sustainable Urbanism in early 2017.

The winning paper outlines how urban development projects, industrial production, resource extraction and infrastructure management are all processes which adhere to fundamental laws of nature. Professor Neuman and Churchill argue that these laws need to be considered in the calculation of the degree of sustainability of any of those processes.

Speaking about the paper, Dr Neuman said:

“Planning for sustainability has been high on many agendas for quite a while, yet no rigorous mathematical models had been developed to measure scientifically whether a process was sustainable or not.  In response, our model incorporates two scientific laws that up to now had been overlooked — the second law of thermodynamics and rate process theory — to provide a sound basis to measure sustainability.  This allows the development of strategies, projects, and processes that can make them better capable to be truly sustainable”.

Professor Neuman will be joining the University of Westminster from Sydney, Australia where he was Professor of Sustainable Urbanism in the University of New South Wales. Professor Neuman was previously Associate Professor of Urban Planning at Texas A&M University, where he was founding Chair of the Sustainable Urbanism Program, former director of the Master of Urban Planning program, and founder of the Barcelona Semester Abroad program. He is founding principal of the Michael Neuman Consultancy.

‘Measuring Sustainability’ by Michael Neuman and Stuart Churchill is available to read online for a limited time.

Town Planning Review, as the world’s oldest urban planning journal, is a leading forum for scholarship between researchers and students, policy analysts and practitioners. This is Professor Neuman’s second award for best article in this journal, the first in 2011 for “Ildefons Cerdà and the Future of Spatial Planning”.

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