WIT Press

Urban facilities management: a systemic process for achieving urban sustainability


Free (open access)


Volume 12 (2017), Issue 3



Page Range

446 - 456

Paper DOI



WIT Press




With cities at the forefront of the challenge of achieving global sustainability, a key concern for urban management bodies is to identify ways to promote sustainable development at the urban and suburban level. Assessment mechanisms have dominated this field for the past two decades, and sustainable community assessment tools (SCATs) are fast becoming the principal framework adopted by urban planners and developers to drive sustainability. This paper investigates the efficacy and applicability of this approach to urban sustainability. The study aims to establish that the deployment of a management platform, founded in the principles of facilities management (FM), can provide better mechanisms to facilitate the process of achieving urban sustainability. The data were collected by means of survey interviews with key stakeholders who consisted of two main categories: participants from private and public sector engaged in the management and development of sustainable cities. Secondly, developers of the tools were interviewed. The tools evaluated include: LEED for Neighbourhood Development (LEED-ND), BREEAM Communities (BREEAM-C), CASBEE for Urban Development (CASBEE- UD), and Green Star Communities (GSC). It was found that the prescriptive and outcomes-based nature of assessment tools do not adequately accommodate institutional and social imperatives of urban sustainability. Additionally, a need for more a robust procedural framework to manage relationships between the various relevant professionals and interest groups was highlighted. This would provide a unified method to facilitate the achievement of urban sustainability. The paper concludes that urban sustainability needs to draw upon the management principles of FM to facilitate more comprehensive development and assessment relevant to the needs of a specific locale. Without a process-oriented method such as this, cities will continue to fall short of their sustainable imperatives.


process-oriented sustainability, sustainability assessment, sustainable community assessment tools, sustainable community development, urban facilities management, urban management, urban sustainability.