Social Acceptability

  • Glen Bramley
  • Caroline Brown
  • Nicola Dempsey
  • Sinead Power
  • David Watkins
Part of the Future City book series (FUCI, volume 2)


Urban forms cannot be considered ‘sustainable’ in the full sense if they are not acceptable to people as places to live, work and interact. This chapter focuses on the relationship between urban form and social sustainability, and has four main aims. First, drawing upon a wide-ranging literature we advance and clarify an understanding of social sustainability that allows us to explore possible links between social sustainability and urban form. There has hitherto been a lack of clear and agreed definitions for this concept and we hope our approach contributes to a better shared understanding. The second aim is to address ways of measuring social sustainability and testing/quantifying some of the hypothesized relationships between selected dimensions of social sustainability and urban form. The measures used draw primarily on the household survey of case study neighbourhoods, linked to urban form measures as described in  Chapter 2. The third aim of the chapter is to examine the empirical relationships between aspects of social sustainability and different aspects of urban form, particularly density, housing type and location. This analysis highlights the importance of controlling for exogenous and intervening variables, such as housing tenure and the social composition of neighbourhoods, in testing and calibrating these relationships. The final aim is to offer some more insights into how and why some urban forms may provide more beneficial social outcomes for different groups of people, based on qualitative focus group evidence.


Social Capital Local Service Urban Form Housing Tenure Social Sustainability 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Glen Bramley
    • 1
  • Caroline Brown
    • 2
  • Nicola Dempsey
    • 3
  • Sinead Power
    • 4
    • 5
  • David Watkins
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Research into Socially Inclusive Services (CRSIS), School of the Built EnvironmentHeriot-Watt UniversityEdinburghUK
  2. 2.CRSIS, School of the Built EnvironmentHeriot-Watt UniversityEdinburghUK
  3. 3.Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development, Oxford Brookes UniversityOxfordUK
  4. 4.Children, Young People and Social Care TeamScottish GovernmentEdinburghUK
  5. 5.School of the Built EnvironmentHeriot-Watt UniversityEdinburghUK

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