Phase II

Phase II - an integrated approach to sustainable urban redevelopment: Birmingham Eastside as a national demonstrator (November 2004 – December 2006)

Building on the successful delivery of Phase I, the primary aim of Phase II was to identify the sustainability and innovation choices available to decision-makers during the decision-making processes in a major redevelopment scheme, thereby defining barrier formation, and to audit the complex levels and scales of influence to reveal where and how barriers to implementing sustainability can be overcome.

In addition, Phase II aimed to establish a cross-cutting baseline dataset of developments in Eastside to rigorously measure change over time and the impact of particular decisions on the sustainability of the overall urban regeneration programme.

Objectives

  • To investigate how and where urban sustainability (environmental, social and economic) is conceived, developed and adopted or not adopted within the urban regeneration decision-making process. This will identify the alternative strategies that are available to the decision maker and the subsequent impact of these upon achieving sustainability
  • To identify when barriers to sustainability become apparent in the decision-making process and to identify ways of overcoming these barriers through lessons learnt from the current study
  • To investigate how the inherent complexity of the ‘three-pillars’ approach to sustainability (and the tensions apparent between the environmental, social and economic components) acts to generate barriers within that decision-making process and what impact this has on sustainability outcomes
  • To identify where ‘three-pillar’ sustainability innovations, either separately or collectively, can be incorporated most effectively into decision-making processes and how they can be realised to achieve sustainability objectives, and to make recommendations to this effect (i.e. to maximise the impact of enablers)
  • To deliver a comprehensive, longitudinal, and cross-cutting dataset on urban change in Eastside as the basis of a case history site to enable future research to investigate the complexity of achieving sustainability in live urban regeneration programmes

Findings

Phase II has set in place a robust conceptual framework and research network to produce further internationally-leading research. The very strong network of partnerships and contacts developed during Phases I and II has greatly enhanced the effectiveness of the project team, improved its outputs, and enhanced knowledge transfer.

Researchers have gained access to key decision-making forums in Eastside, have built strong links with key stakeholders in the area, and are firmly embedded in the policy agenda for Eastside. Of most importance here is the multi-disciplinary nature of the research team and the integrated approach that the team takes to the work, such that each member is actively involved in the work of the others. This is valuable in terms of Research Fellow (RF) training, but also greatly enhances the effectiveness with which the outputs are shaped and presented to the (necessarily multi-disciplinary) end users of the research. Other findings include:

  • Testing of a multidisciplinary tool, the Development Timeline Framework, which will be used to a large extent on the next phase
  • Mapping of existing land use, land ownership/tenure and urban condition of Eastside prior to major changes in the area
  • Biodiversity Audit
  • In-depth case study of the ongoing development of Warwick Bar and identification of key decision-makers involved in the process
  • The foundations for a zonal urban regeneration case study site were established, augmented by the creation of a study facility, with library and hot desking, which is available for researchers from SUE / IEP consortia to study the application of research to practice

See also