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      ASSESSING THE LINK BETWEEN PUBLIC OPINION AND SOCIAL SUSTAINABILITY IN BUILDING AND INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS

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          Abstract

          Increasing the use of social sustainability in the decision-making process for building and infrastructure projects requires that it be defined such that it can be evaluated objectively. One potential indicator of social sustainability in infrastructure projects is public opinion, which can provide a means to evaluate the level of social sustainability on a project based on personal values. Public opinion includes both support and opposition for a project. In this study, the causes or triggers for public opposition to a construction project are identified and then compared to principles of social sustainability to determine if they are related. Eight case study projects were used to identify common triggers of public opposition. The results suggest that common triggers of public opposition are related to land acquisition, escalating construction costs and the presence of endangered species on the project site. Eight of the twelve principles of social sustainability that were identified were determined to be related to public opposition. The results of this study suggest that public opposition could be used as a measure for some elements of social sustainability but that further research into other measures for social sustainability is necessary.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Sustainable construction: principles and a framework for attainment

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            Designing resilient, sustainable systems.

             Joseph Fiksel (2003)
            Pursuit of sustainable development requires a systems approach to the design of industrial product and service systems. Although many business enterprises have adopted sustainability goals, the actual development of sustainable systems remains challenging because of the broad range of economic, environmental and social factors that need to be considered across the system life cycle. Traditional systems engineering practices try to anticipate and resist disruptions but may be vulnerable to unforeseen factors. An alternative is to design systems with inherent "resilience" bytaking advantage of fundamental properties such as diversity, efficiency, adaptability, and cohesion. Previous work on sustainable design has focused largely upon ecological efficiency improvements. For example, companies have found that reducing material and energy intensity and converting wastes into valuable secondary products creates value for shareholders as well as for society at large. To encourage broader systems thinking, a design protocol is presented that involves the following steps: identifying system function and boundaries, establishing requirements, selecting appropriate technologies, developing a system design, evaluating anticipated performance, and devising a practical means for system deployment. The approach encourages explicit consideration of resilience in both engineered systems and the larger systems in which they are embedded.
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              Sustainability Assessment in the Construction Sector: Rating Systems and Rated Buildings

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                jgrb
                Journal of Green Building
                College Publishing
                1552-6100
                1943-4618
                1943-4618
                Summer 2015
                : 10
                : 3
                : 177-190
                Author notes

                1, 2. Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA

                Article
                jgb.10.3.177
                10.3992/jgb.10.3.177
                ©2015 by College Publishing. All rights reserved.
                Page count
                Pages: 14
                Product
                Categories
                RESEARCH ARTICLES

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