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Consensus-based urban sustainability framework for Iraqi cities: a case study in Baghdad

Mohsin, Marwah M., Beach, Thomas ORCID: and Kwan, Alan ORCID: 2020. Consensus-based urban sustainability framework for Iraqi cities: a case study in Baghdad. Heliyon 6 (12) , e05348. 10.1016/j.heliyon.2020.e05348

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The paper proposes a comprehensive sustainability framework for urban development projects in hot, dry developing regions. Such a framework is required due to the lack of knowledge in these regions of issues including population-inflation, traffic congestion, environmental pollution, water shortages and high energy consumption. Iraq is one such developing country having a hot, dry, semi-arid climate with unique socio-cultural factors which have been impacted by four decades of war. New development projects are underway but scant attention has been paid to sustainability, specifically in cities e.g. Baghdad. This framework has been developed using expert consultations to reach a consensus on its dimensions, three in total: the use of satellite cities around existing cities for various purposes (residential, industrial, commercial and administrative) with the creation of a green belt, the determination of criteria for future domestic energy projects, e.g. the minimum energy requirements for an average Iraqi family and on-site renewable sources such as solar energy, and the application of a set of urban sustainable development factors to improve the quality of services and human well-being. This study presents, for the first time, a comprehensive sustainability framework for a country that has suffered several decades of wars and international sanctions. This framework was subsequently validated using semi structured interviews with 15 local intra-organizational leaders. The key findings of this paper based on this validation show that 12 out of 15 intra-organizational leaders highly recommended the adoption of the developed framework, highlighting their level of understanding, accepting, feasibility and challenging, and their future scope to develop this framework in order to enhance the quality of life at the city scale. Moreover, the leaders of the Mayoralty of Baghdad emphasised to adopt the developed framework in order to mitigate the current and future challenges of the capital Baghdad, including housing deficit, traffic problems, economical issues, and environmental pollution. The key contributions of this study is its investigation of locality-specific issues in war-torn countries such as Iraq, specifically this includes; (a) analyzing locality-specific problems based on engagement with stakeholders, and the general public, (b) proposing a framework to solve multiple problems, including lack of environmental strategies, traffic congestion, housing deficit, rapid urbanization and population growth and, (c) validation of the framework through engagement with intra-organsational leadership in different ministries and organizations like, ministry of housing and construction, Mayoralty of Baghdad, ministry of water resources, UN-HABITIAT program in Iraq, ministry of electricity, National consultation engineering committee, and etc.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 2405-8440
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 May 2021
Date of Acceptance: 22 October 2020
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 08:54

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