Towards digitisation of socially sustainable neighbourhood design
Other conference contribution, 2020

In the built environment, digital tools for performance assessment considerably shorten the feedback loop in an iterative design process. However, these digital tools focus on the economic and environmental dimensions and do not extend to the social dimension in the same way. Our research aims to develop digital tools to integrate Social Sustainability in the digital design process on the neighbourhood level.
In this project, we evaluate academic literature on Social Sustainability through Conceptual framework analysis. First, we map the data sources and categorize them. Second, we identify and name the concepts found in the search. Third, we deconstruct and re-categorize the concepts. Finally, we integrate the concepts to form the theoretical basis of our solution.
We find that the contributing factors that create contention in discussing social sustainability are both intrinsic and extrinsic to Social Sustainability. There is a disconnect between the theory and policy recommendations of social sustainability in the built environment. The practical challenges for the development of a digital design tool are primarily in resolving differences in stakeholder value systems and subsequently the priorities of social issues to stakeholders, and the technical issues we observe are on the quantification of qualitative indicators of social sustainability and availability of data. Drawing from these results, we propose guidelines for the development of digital tools for architects and planners working to promote social sustainability on a neighbourhood scale.

digital tools

neighbourhood planning

social sustainability


Sanjay Somanath

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Alexander Hollberg

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Building Technology

Liane Thuvander

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, Architectural theory and methods

Act Sustainable Research Conference
Gothenburg, Sweden,

Subject Categories

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Information Systemes, Social aspects

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