|Ph.D Student||Hazan Gilad|
|Subject||Evaluation of Sustainable Development in Plans:|
Theory, Practice, Method
|Department||Department of Architecture and Town Planning||Supervisor||Professor Pnina Plaut|
|Full Thesis text - in Hebrew|
Sustainable development is often considered as the new mission of spatial planning. To serve as a clear and sound guiding of planning, it should rely upon plan evaluation: a systematic procedure for the evaluation of alternatives, policies, means prior to implementation. However, Suitability of available evaluation methods for assessing sustainable development has not been studied. This research seeks to fill this gap by exploring how evaluation of sustainable development functions at both theoretical and practical levels.
At the theoretical level, it is concluded that available evaluation methods are unsuitable for sustainable development. While sustainable development calls for sound integration of manifold aspects, the available methods are designed for a simplistic zero-sum ruling between plan alternatives and often fail to analyze the spatial relations between different thematic aspects. Although planning for sustainable development is typically continuous and dynamic, the available evaluation methods encourage one-time implementation of plan evaluation. An empirical investigation among professional planners using an international survey (N= 292) found that some key theoretical shortcomings are intuitively recognized. Planners often abandon the classic evaluation in favor of qualitative evaluation and public participation, and often use informal evaluation practices that are vary considerably from formal literature. Analysis by Structural Equation Modeling showed that this use of evaluation was significantly stronger among planners who found sustainable development as more demanding, but also suggests that this evaluation fails to provide effective support for advancing sustainable development.
This research seeks to fill some of these gaps by developing a conceptual framework called: HELP-SD - Heuristic Evaluation and Learning Process for Sustainable Development. It is designed to overcome current weaknesses of plan evaluation, by generating a continuous, adaptive process, during which evaluation is implemented repeatedly. The HELP-SD functions as a 'reflector'. Different possibilities to adjust the evaluated plan are suggested and assessed during the time-span of the plan. For future implementation of the HELP-SD, operational tools were developed. One of these tools, spatial profiles, was demonstrated with the participation of planners for evaluation of key aspects in the new outline plan of Jerusalem. Spatial profiles are types of subareas in the study area; each is defined by a unique set of attributes. It was found that maps of spatial profiles can provide valuable insights for planners, allowing the identification of multiple problems and opportunities in different parts of the evaluated plan, and accordingly can lead to more focused and effective intervention for sustainable development.