Measuring residential sustainability performance: an indexing approach
This research investigates the environmental impacts of urban development by developing a parcel-level sustainability assessment tool to guide sustainable urban development. The paper introduces a GIS-based model called the ‘micro-level urban-ecosystem sustainability index (MUSIX)’, which has been designed as a policy-making support tool to highlight key environmental issues at a micro-level, concentrating specifically on residential developments. The model has been tested in a comparative study of Angora Evleri (Angora Houses, Turkey) and East Killara (Australia). Despite certain limitations in its implementation, the results of the study demonstrate that a parcel-based spatial analysis can be used as a tool to identify problems in current local policies and to suggest ways to improve their efficiency. As a future research direction, MUSIX could be combined with a new module for the evaluation of alternative development scenarios. By producing accessible, accurate and easily combined parcel-level data, planners, governments and other actors could benefit from the model outputs in many ways during the decision-making process.