A critical discussion of the BREEAM Communities method as applied to Chinese eco-village assessment

Chenxi Liu, Fan Wang, Fionn MacKillop

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15 Citations (Scopus)
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Rural revitalisation in China is drawing increasing attention, especially from the central government. It is considered crucial for solving various sustainability problems caused by the extensive and fast urbanisation, including the loss of young residents and an ageing population resulting in the underuse of rural land resources. As demonstrated through a range of frameworks and assessment methods for design and evaluation, eco-village development can be a valid approach to address rural issues in China, particularly for “top-down” projects. However, the existing international and domestic assessment methods cannot evaluate eco-village developments broadly in China due to the limitations of inappropriate assessment criteria, rating system, and indicators, especially for those bottom-up projects. After analysing both the process and results of the assessment when the BREEAM Communities method is applied to three bottom-up development eco-villages in China, this paper highlights three major limitations of the assessment and suggests four key elements in a new assessment method for both the top-down and bottom-up projects in China. The suggestions could guide developing the method which becomes more comprehensive and adaptable to local social, cultural, economic and environmental conditions for future eco-village developments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102172
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Early online date1 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2020


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