Temporary urban regeneration: a systematic approach for a multi-system life cycle assessment
Alhamdan, Ziyad Saleh
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This research attempts to evaluate temporary urban regeneration potential by integrating two systems that make up an interim intervention which addresses an observed problem. The research proposes a systematic approach for a multi-system life cycle assessment model which lays out the process of working with two separate systems to provide a pathway for temporary urban development strategies. To achieve this, the research starts with identifying parameters of temporary urban regeneration through a systematic review of the literature. Key parameters are categorized based on objectives, indicators, as well as, physical characteristics of the literature explored case studies. Then, the findings are utilized to guide the proposed model of connecting two given systems to assess their joint impacts on a temporary urban regeneration system. The proposed MSLCA framework utilizes a holistic modeling structure with a process to integrate and analyze separate systems and quantify results for overall sustainability performance. Finally, the model is used to evaluate a case study involving two systems that address observed problems and provide urban services. The results explore the environmental impacts of the proposed intervention and highlight the effects of individual components on both systems. Through the implementation of the model, decisions on temporary urban intervention are guided by hotspots in the results. The findings reveal an opportunity for future research to expand the model's application to other processes and further its scope beyond environmental indicators. Subsequent studies can investigate opportunities for a holistic approach that includes economic and social aspects.
General Audience Abstract
The way we live in cities is heavily influenced by how they are planned. Improvident city planning could deny residents opportunities to enjoy some basic urban amenities. These problems could be self-induced as they are often a result of planning, policies, or personal habits and choice. Planners, urban designers, and regulators are constantly experimenting with different tools of urban regeneration to rediscover genuine urban experiences. This research sets out to investigate opportunities for temporary urban interventions on vacant lands in the city of Riyadh through repurposing idle shipping containers as a tool. This is to address the issues of a lack of urban services within residential subdivisions in the city, the high prevalence of vacant lands, and a wide availability of decommissioned shipping containers. The use of shipping containers for non-cargo purposes has seen an increased interest among architects and designers for their versatility and accessibility. Empty container accumulation is often a result of an unbalanced trading system which is mainly an issue of import-based countries. Therefore, the upcycling potential of intermodal containers can extend their life cycles and take advantage of their structure. It also maximizes the environmental returns of their raw materials. Through such processes of circular economy, potential waste objects can be repurposed as resources into usable structures and thus avoids the use and extraction of new raw materials. It is generally thought that the repurposing of shipping containers into building structures introduces environmental advantages when compared to traditional construction. Similarly, vacant lands are a valuable and well-established resource that can provide the setting for temporary urban interventions. Finding a joint productive use of these systems is at the center of this research as it attempts to assess the urban regeneration value of their merged utility during their idle stage. This helps address a key challenge that most urban area suffers from which is the lack of easily accessible and timely deployable temporary urban intervention to serve a particular use. This research aims to create a model that evaluates the lifecycles of temporary uses based on the joint intersection of contributing systems. The proposed Multi-System Life Cycle Assessment (MSLCA) model is to be applied to assess temporary urban regeneration interventions and help make decisions regarding appropriate approaches. The goal of the model is to propose a value-based approach based on characteristics from two systems. The resulting MSLCA model answers questions on how to apply LCA processes to a transitional intervention with new processes. In doing so, it highlights parameters for systems integration and processes for planning appropriate scenarios for urban interventions. It also highlights the need for unique system boundaries and specifies approaches for system assessment and interpretation. Finally, it provides broader impact categories beyond environmental impacts to consider specific economic and social indicators.
- Doctoral Dissertations