Can the development processes which include ecological assessment undertaken on a number of medium to large mixed use precincts be translated into an integrated management, planning and design process based framework? A framework aimed at helping the Development Industry, its clients, stakeholders and many professional advisers particularly the Development Manager, achieve goals brought on by ever increasing „sustainability‟ demands and actual delivery pressures. Could it also break the malaise known as the „Circle of Blame‟ by filling a crucial gap in the pre development point of delivery currently found at the level of precincts. Would it help in overcoming the many economic, social and technical barriers that presently prevent the industry delivering sustainable projects as a norm rather than the exception? Finally is it possible for the framework to be used in gaining the sought after recognition and possible reward for best practice ecological performances by those involved in pursuing innovative development processes when seeking to deliver sustainable development agendas?
To respond to these and other questions likely to result from such an undertaking a major research methodology being employed is the use of actual primary case studies. These reflect the total development process at various stages of its cycle. Review of their processes and extensive documentation, analysis of the information and data collected from members of their development teams, participation in team meetings and a large number of site visits, interviews with key stakeholders are the range of sources engaged with to unlock crucial insights into the goals, aims and objectives of the parties involved and of the developments themselves. These studies are supported by a widespread range of similar undertakings selected from a number of international research sources.
A further area of critical interest is the use of third party assessment and certification models and tools employed on many new developments to assess the sustainability and ecological performance outcomes of the resultant planning, design and operational management of the resultant precinct. The technical reports flowing from these accreditation bodies provide considerable insights into the delivery of sustainable development. Of interest were the results from several workshops held in Australia, the UK, Singapore and China that not only tested the understanding of the models and tools but also offered an opportunity of recording views and attitudes towards them and their use.
Of major importance regarding the possible outcomes and findings of this research is how best to deliver sustainable development agendas on these precincts. Will the proposed framework provide the necessary process based program and overall inputs to result in a consistent means to delivery sustainability and the highly prized „Quality of Life‟ along with breaking the „Circle of Blame‟. Concurrently what measures are needed to overcome themany barriers particularly the high degree of fragmentation that besets the Development Industry and the allied Construction Industry. Linked to this will be the crucially important findings regarding who is best versed to provide the leadership stewardship needed to take on the challenge. Is one profession best equipped to become the Champion of sustainable development delivery? This finding leads inevitably into questioning existing education provision and its integration of sustainability with existing technical and management provision. A final finding revolves around the issue of are the existing participants equipped to overcome the many vested interests in maintaining the status quo. If not how must the Industry respond to reconcile pressures for it to engage in a more equitable use of the finite resources being utilized to meet the growing demand for development.