Keywords: built environment, infrastructure development, sustainability appraisal, strategic environmental assessment, SEA, conceptual framework, integrated approach, tiered appraisal, ecological footprint, decision making, sustainable planning, sustainable design, large–scale development projects, metropolitan development projects, sustainable development
Sustainable planning and design of large–scale metropolitan development projects
Actors in the built environment are increasingly considering environmental issues alongside functional and economic aspects of development projects. However, to date in Australia and internationally, there have been few practical examples of integrated applications of sustainability principles in the built environment across all lifecycle phases. In response to this gap, this paper proposes a conceptual framework based on the principal that early intervention is the most cost–effective and efficient means of implementing effective strategies for sustainability. A strategic environmental assessment (SEA) approach is forwarded as an umbrella analytical framework, assembled from analytical methods which are strategically 'tiered' to inform stages of the project decision–making process. Practically applied and timed accordingly, the framework can allow assessments to be targeted towards appropriate decision making levels and enable better decision–making and more efficient resource allocation for major infrastructure development projects.