How does a sustainable city look like? Exploring public understanding of sustainable urban design using a mixed-methods approach

[Speaker] Bösehans, Gustav:1
1:University of Bath (United Kingdom)

The new urbanism movement has repeatedly stressed the importance of dimensions such as density, land use or street connectivity to sustainable urban design. However, only little is known about lay people's conception of sustainable urban design. The latter may be particularly important to understand as the urban environment should be designed with peoples' needs and wants in mind. As a result, the present study set out to investigate lay people's conception of sustainable urban design components by playing the iconic urban simulation game Sim City 4. In a within-subjects design, participants were asked to create both the least and the most sustainable city they could imagine, whilst expressing their thought process in a think-aloud protocol that was recorded. This allowed for sustainable urban design features, as viewed from a public perspective, to be identified. Qualitative analysis of the results suggested potentially important areas for consideration in the urban design process.
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