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Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 12539-12563; doi:10.3390/su70912539

Sustainable Urban Development Calls for Responsibility through Life Cycle Management

Department of Real Estate, Planning and Geoinformatics, Aalto University School of Engineering, Real Estate Business, Espoo 02150, Finland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Gayle C. Avery
Received: 19 August 2015 / Revised: 7 September 2015 / Accepted: 9 September 2015 / Published: 11 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Leadership and Management)
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Urban development bestows a great opportunity to increase sustainability in the built environment as cities are responsible for the majority of environmental impacts. However, the urban development process is fragmented and sub-optimization leads to unsustainable life cycle outcomes. The purpose of this study is to examine the urban development process from a life cycle perspective and identify how different actors understand life cycle management. By utilizing an inductive qualitative research design, 38 in-depth thematic interviews were conducted within the Finnish urban development industry including a case study and independent interviews from different phases of the urban development life cycle. The theoretical perspective is a combination of the ecosystem construct and life cycle management. Results show that there is no clear responsible actor for life cycle management in urban development. All actors claim that there is value to be added, mostly in economic, but also environmental and social terms. This study reveals that investors should be the responsible actor in the urban development process. By claiming responsibility and focusing on life cycle leadership we can improve sustainability in urban development, and respond to the urban sustainability challenge, thus improving the quality of life and welfare in our urban society. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban development; urban sustainability; life cycle management; sustainability; life cycle assessment; life cycle approach urban development; urban sustainability; life cycle management; sustainability; life cycle assessment; life cycle approach

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ristimäki, M.; Junnila, S. Sustainable Urban Development Calls for Responsibility through Life Cycle Management. Sustainability 2015, 7, 12539-12563.

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