Exploring Social Sustainability in the Built Environment

Cheng Siew Goh, Jia Ning Ting, Arun Bajracharya

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Following the establishment of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, sustainability has been given increasing attention in the agenda of the built environment. Sustainability embraces three key elements, i.e., environment, economy and society. However, the social dimension receives the least attention and is largely overlooked compared to the environmental and economic sustainability. To bridge the gap, this paper will examine the various dimensions of social sustainability involved in the built environment and identify perceptions of construction stakeholders towards social sustainability. Social sustainability is closely linked to human well-being, quality of life, and inclusiveness and these are the pivotal factors in ensuring a healthy, safe and resilient built environment. Sustainable buildings require close interactions between humans and buildings to optimize the values of the designed functions. By intertwining with social sustainability, the performance of a sustainable built environment can be significantly improved. This could contribute to the attainment of environmental and economic sustainability by engaging stakeholders since the project's inception. This paper contributes to the body of knowledge of social sustainability and increases stakeholders’ awareness of social sustainability. The research outcomes help promote a more balanced development within the sustainable built environment practice, with more integrated and concerted efforts of developing social sustainability for community benefits.
Original languageEnglish
Article number010
JournalAdvances in Environmental and Engineering Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2023


  • Social sustainability
  • built environment
  • sustainable construction
  • social dimensions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction


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