Valuing sustainable neighbourhoods

Kay Saville-Smith, Moira Dwyer, Julie Warren.

This report uses Beacon’s Neighbourhood Sustainability Framework and data from Beacon’s National Survey of Neighbourhoods to value the opportunities presented by the data collected by the National Survey of people’s neighbourhood experiences and neighbourhood characteristics.

Overall, this research suggests that high density, mixed neighbourhoods show higher dollar sustainability values than low density, non-mixed use neighbourhoods. There is consequently, a broad alignment between value and prevailing planning views around the relationship between built environments, neighbourhoods and sustainability. Cities that are able to achieve a positive dollar sustainability value across the city are all cities that have inner city high and medium density areas. Where the city system is dominated by low density, non-mixed use neighbourhoods, the overall sustainability value of those cities’ neighbourhood built environment tends to generate net costs rather than net benefits.