How to Measure Sustainable Housing: A Proposal for an Indicator-Based Assessment Tool

Adamec, J., Janoušková, S., Hák, T. (2021) Sustainability, 13(3), 1152

Housing drives urban development and has a significant potential for contributing to sustainability. However, ample sustainability indicator sets fail to include relevant indicators of sustainable housing-assessment seems to be an underdeveloped topic. We chose the United Nations Geneva Charter on Sustainable Housing as a conceptual foundation for the proposed assessment tool. It addresses recent challenges by four defining principles and related rationales, thus forming a theoretical basis of sustainable housing. We applied both theoretical research (desk-top analysis) and qualitative research (an expert panel) to develop a comprehensive framework for sustainable housing and complemented it with relevant indicators. The proposed housing sustainability assessment tool (HSAT) explicitly advocates a holistic approach that seeks to balance the environmental, social, economic and institutional dimensions of sustainability; simultaneously, it includes an integrated concept of the building-community-locality. Hence, this article does not seek to redefine the sustainable housing definition or concept but to contribute to the development of a highly relevant indicator-based system for its assessment. This will ensure that correct and unambiguous messages are sent not only to policymakers but also investors, urban planners and finally also the citizens-the housing clients.


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