Assessment of the environmental quality of neighbourhoods in the context of sustainable development: case of the Plain West in Annaba, Algeria


This work is a part of the current issues related to environment and sustainable urban development concerns. It focuses on the assessment of the environmental quality of a residential neighbourhood of Plain West in Algeria by a shared diagnosis method for sustainable development “HQDIL” and the indicator repository “INDI”, whose objective is to contribute to a better performance, and improve the environmental quality in the neighbourhoods of emerging countries. This assessment targets four main parameters, namely energy, water, mobility, and landscape and visual quality. The analysis results indicate that the major problems observed in the neighbourhood are primarily related to these parameters. Specific measures and actions are conducted in order to master the current situation of the neighbourhood, such as improving energy and water resources management, and promoting alternative and sustainable modes of urban mobility, by the use of decision support tools. The application of a holistic method that includes both subjective and objective aspects is necessary to determine the advantages and the dysfunctions of neighbourhoods. These can lead stakeholders to better understand their projects. Nevertheless, some limitations are observed concerning the values of references which are not adapted to the local context. That makes it indisputable to establish an evaluation referential for Algeria, and involve a sustainable urban development policy and collaboration between all the people concerned, encouraging participation and communication, and improving legislative texts.

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  1. 1.

    Involvement of all relevant actors of the neighbourhood (inhabitants, users, managers, elected officials, technicians…) in a process of participation and communication, by establishing a common language on a possible situation.

  2. 2.

    Economic efficiency, social equity, environmental efficiency, long term principle, principle of globality, and governance.

  3. 3.

    This study focuses on four main targets: Energy, Water, Landscape and Visual Quality, and Mobility.

  4. 4.

    This field includes building and space housing, facilities and services and the different industrial and tertiary activities with economic, industrial, or commercial vocation.

  5. 5.

    This element includes all the parts of the neighbourhood which are not built even if they are not really natural such as public spaces, green spaces, landscaped and all the natural areas, these spaces are separate from housing and their private green spaces. They are essentially public open spaces.

  6. 6.

    The INDI model is a simple assessment tool developed from the ISDIS system of sustainable development indicators.

  7. 7.

    In this paper, the choice was made on the Plain West neighbourhoods because it provides a breadth of data and reliable information.

  8. 8.

    Study carried out by the Office of Studies of MILA, Algeria, was charged by the development of the land occupation plan (P.O.S.) Plain West, 2004.

  9. 9.

    According to Patera and Cristeab (2016), numerous functional definitions of sustainability have been analysed by many authors. Based on an analysis, critical conclusions sustainability is generally correlated with the concept of “sustainable development” and cover its environment, economy and social aspects, which led to the overuse of the term, to vagueness and a strong ambiguity.

  10. 10.

    These benchmark values and these functions were dealt and validated by the HQE²R working group on the basis of a study initiated by Catherine Charlot-Valdieu (CSTB) and Philippe Outrequin (La Calade).

  11. 11.

    Worldwide, there are hundreds of sustainable building rating and certification systems that are designed for different types of projects. These systems include performance evaluation, energy systems design, life-cycle assessment, life-cycle costing, indoor environmental quality assessments, and more. The current era of rating tools commenced in 1990 with the introduction of the BREEAM (Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method) developed in the UK in 1990, followed by the French system, HQE (High Environmental Quality)—1996, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design)—USA 1998, CASBEE (Comprehensive Assessment System for Building Environmental Efficiency)—Japan, 2001…, etc. The cost of the certification is established from a marking scheme taking into account the characteristics of project.

  12. 12.

    A survey carried out in 2017 by authors, on the perception of the environmental quality of the living environment by population (a representative sample with several themes). Questions regarding energy management question the vigilance of users towards the use of artificial lighting, appliances and office equipment (reflex to extinguish when it is not necessary) and the adopted measures of saving energy.

  13. 13.

    Rainwater harvesting is the process of collecting rainwater from an impervious surface and directing it to a location where it shall be used or stored for later use.

  14. 14.

    A permeable pavement (also called porous or pervious) is a paving material which allows water to infiltrate and be conveyed through its material matrix, open joints or voids.



Multidisciplinary Assessment and Environmental Requalification of neighbourhoods


Life-cycle assessment


Assessment of the quality of public spaces


Heritage and resources, local environmental quality, diversity, integration and social link


INDIcator impacts


Director plan of management and urban planning


Plan of ground occupation


Sustainable renovation of buildings towards sustainable neighbourhoods


Integrated sustainable development indicators system


Urban Director Plan


New urban housing zones


Sustainable development


National Agency for the Promotion and Rationalization of the Use of Energy


Light-emitting diode


Algerian Water Company


National Society for Electricity and Gas


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The authors would like to thank Catherine Charlot-Valdieu (Economist specialist in eco-neighbourhood design and assessment and President at Suden Association for the promotion of sustainable urban development) and Philippe Outrequin (PhD in economics, expert on energy issues and sustainable urban development and Author of “La Calade”, a consultancy and help desk in sustainable development and energy strategy) for their support and contributions with assessment tools.

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Correspondence to Fatima Chaguetmi.

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Appendix: Supplementary data

Appendix: Supplementary data

The following Tables 4 and 5 are the supplementary data related to this article.

Table 4 Measures of the targets and objectives of the Plain West neighbourhood by INDI-RU 2005 repository
Table 5 Legend of “Benchmark” for qualitative values (supplementary data for Table 2)

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Chaguetmi, F., Derradji, M. Assessment of the environmental quality of neighbourhoods in the context of sustainable development: case of the Plain West in Annaba, Algeria. Environ Dev Sustain 22, 4563–4588 (2020).

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  • Environmental quality
  • Assessment
  • Plain West neighbourhood
  • HQDIL method
  • Sustainable development