This study evaluated the actual environmental behaviours in an eco-development case study in the UK, which was designed to enable more sustainable lifestyles. Data analysis was based on the resident responses to a development-wide questionnaire survey (n = 89), household interviews (n = 12) and waste measurements. Reported energy- and water-saving behaviours were fairly common. The mean waste recycling rates (45% to 60%) were similar to local and national averages, and were below the target of 80%. The mean rates of purchasing organic food (37%), growing food (31%) and meat consumption (in 36% of all meals) indicated that the food behaviours were not more pro-environmental. Car-based modes of transportation were used for 71% of all the reported trips on average, which was higher than the national average, and the target of 55%. Despite these reported behaviours, most of the residents regarded their new lifestyles as more sustainable. This was related to the notion of energy efficiency and low-carbon technologies, rather than changes in behaviour. The findings of this study and similar studies indicated that enabling environmental behaviours in new developments is challenging. New policies need to be more holistic and support the delivery of not only well-performing buildings, but also developments that make sustainable urban living a reality.
School of Architecture
Year of publication: 2022Date of RADAR deposit: 2022-04-07