Factors and priorities for assessing sustainability of regional shopping centres in the UK

H. Alwaer, M. Sibley, J. Lewis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since the mid-1990s, the growing importance of sustainabillty has stimulated the development of a number of tools using sustainability indicators (SIs). SIs aim to track progress and thus lead to active choices and changes related to the built environment. Regional shopping centres in the UK consist of a complex amalgam of energy consumption, existing buildings and transport systems. No systems at present address the issue of sustainability for regional shopping centres, taking into consideration their whole life span. This paper defines the potential problem of complexity and subjectivity in selecting effective SIs. Such complexity occurs when stakeholders try to determine the most appropriate indicators for such projects. The paper presents a review of sustainability issues related to these centres and a pilot-study investigating the problems of complexity and subjectivity. The study is based upon a survey of selected stakeholders on their perceptions and values of selected SIs. It is concluded that the selection process is largely dependent on who is carrying out the evaluation, and thus results in a subjective context. Finally, the paper raises questions for future research into the complexity of selecting manageable and measurable sustainability indicators for regional shopping centres. © 2008 University of Sydney. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-402
Number of pages11
JournalArchitectural Science Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • Regional shopping centres
  • Sustainability indicators
  • Sustainable development
  • Time and spatial scales


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