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Creation of local comprehensive sustainability framework for developing cities: A case study in the Iraqi capital Baghdad

Mohsin, Marwah 2019. Creation of local comprehensive sustainability framework for developing cities: A case study in the Iraqi capital Baghdad. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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Cities are responsible for a high percentage of CO2 emissions and environmental pollution. This is due to rapid urbanization, population growth, lack of environmental strategies, and increasing transport and energy demand. Thus, there is an essential need to adopt urban sustainability frameworks to guide future development combatting current and future environmental challenges. However, developing urban sustainability frameworks presents increasingly major challenges in developing countries, specifically in unstable regions, due to locality specific issues such as; lack of environmental strategy, increased transport and energy demand, population-inflation and housing deficit. Previous studies have developed sustainability frameworks based on the requirements of developed countries which are different from those of developing countries, in particular, those affected by harsh conditions such as wars. This study will focus on the development of a comprehensive sustainability framework for Iraq. Iraq has faced several decades of war and international sanctions, impacting its overall public services and utilities, socio-economy, and infrastructure. Thus, there are many local issues that must be considered. Additionally, it is vital to ensure public engagement and involvement in decision-making in any developments. This study has engaged with the Iraqi public, through an online survey, in order to investigate their role as a stakeholder and to; identify their priorities, gather their assessment of the current public services and utilities, and stimulate increased public awareness towards urban sustainable development goals. Informed by this survey, an expert consultation was conducted using the Delphi technique to identify the consituent indicators of the framework. Statistical analysis was then used to identify the significant differences between public perceptions and expert views. This revealed that there were 13 areas that showed significant differences in views and six areas that showed no differences in views. Thus, this demonstrates how the current international guidelines, such as BREEAM, LEED, CASBEE, and etc are not fully applicable for developing countries. In response to all these factors, this study has developed the Local Comprehensive Sustainability Framework (LCSF) to inform decision-makers and city developers on how to improve current and future city development in Baghdad, Iraq. v The key novelty of this framework is that most previous work has focused on the development of urban assessment frameworks, including only environmental, social, and economic indicators, while this study has also added additional indicators/strategies including future urban planning, future domestic criteria for low energy housing, and a set of urban sustainable development factors. This framework, in contrast to most existing work, is informed by the views of the public, a key difference from previous works that factor in only expert viewpoints. The LCSF has been validated using semi-structured interviews with 15 intraorgansational leaders in order to ensure it is suitable and applicable. The results showed that 12 out of 15 leaders highly recommended the adoption of the framework. This validation reported that the LCSF is an appropriate way to assess and solve multiple urban issues and local problems, in particular in the Iraqi capital Baghdad. The final step of the validation process was to demonstrate the framework to the Mayoralty of Baghdad. The Mayoralty considered the framework valid and forwarded it to policy-makers suggesting its adoption as a plan of action for current and new urban development projects in the Iraqi cities, specifically the capital Baghdad. The key contributions of this study are; (a) its methodological approach to investigating locality specific problems based on engagement with stakeholders, including public perceptions and an expert consultation, (b) the development of the LCSF, (c) engagement with intra-organsational leadership in order to validate the LCSF in politically-unstable countries and (d) use of a statistical method to show the significant differences between the public views and the experts' viewpoints in order to inform policy-makers before applying the LSCF.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Completion
Status: Unpublished
Schools: Engineering
Uncontrolled Keywords: Urban sustainability framework; Urban sustainable development; Public survey; Experts consultation; Intra-Organisational leadership; Statistical Methods.
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 16 February 2021
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2021 01:36

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