The research method is divided into the following key components shown on the left
navigation panel, which relate to the following research objectives.
- Develop a way of analysing the sustainability of land use and transport
options at both the city-region scale down to the neighbourhood scale, and understand
how the interaction between these different scales affects sustainability.
The options represent generic Urban Patterns combined with appropriate
transport policies. Currently outer-city areas (which includes
suburbs, urban fringes, out-of-town developments and satellite settlements) have
generally received less attention in spatial planning and urban design research.
However, these areas are where most people live and where most new development is
taking place. A unique feature of SOLUTIONS research is that it aims to understand
the extent to which the sustainability of the design of cities at the Strategic Design
scale and the Local Design (neighbourhood) scale are interdependent.
This is achieved by carrying out the research within the frame work of strategic
land use - transport
computer models, and the development of equivalent
'Microsimulation' models at the local scale.
For example, a particular type of local design such as a 'permeable' grid pattern
may work well for a high density 'compact city' by increasing
Accessibility for walking and cycling, but it may not be
the most suitable local design for a more dispersed city, where travel distances
are longer. The research will test these different combinations of strategic and
local designs and input the results into the Assessment process to identify the most
- Develop a framework to assess the sustainability of
these options against environmental, social and economic indicators using inputs
from a range of stakeholders.
The criteria list should be comprehensive enough to cover the main factors that
affect the sustainability of the options whilst minimising double-counting of the
impacts of the options. These criteria are compared and traded off within an assessment
framework. This is likely to be carried out using analytical hierarchy method.
- Recommend sustainable land use and transport strategies for the outer city
The aim is to identify robust options that are generally score well in the assessment
for the value judgements of a wide range of stakeholders. In addition, the recommended
strategies need to be robust for an uncertain future, assessed by sensitivity tests
the options for future scenarios such as, changes in vehicle fuel technology, and
changes in economy growth.
- Identify factors that influence the sustainability of outer city areas.
The research method is based on
case study cities with the aim of understanding how the sustainability
of particular combinations of strategic and local designs depend on characteristics
of cities such as its size, form, and socioeconomic profile. The aim is to analyse
the results in detail to identify the key factors that influence sustainability
and how these relate to the characteristics of a particular city and suburban area.
This may reveal findings that are transferable to other cities.
best practice guidelines for the planning and design of sustainable land use
and transport for outer city areas.
Click here to view how the SOLUTIONS research programme
has been structured into work packages.