Defence of dissertation in the field of real estate economics, Anahita, Rashidfarokhi, M.Sc. (Tech)

Sustainability in the built environment — what is it?
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The public examination of the doctoral dissertation of Anahita, Rashidfarokhi, M.Sc. (Tech.), will be held on 25 February 2019 at 10.00 at the Aalto University School of Engineering. The title of the dissertation is Sustainability language in operation of different built environment settings – perceptions, actions and motivations. Field of the dissertation is real estate economics.

The dissertation studied the manifestation of sustainability in the operation of the built environment sector. The focus of the dissertation is on actors’ perceptions and actions regarding of sustainability and the driving forces behind it in the operating field of the built environment sector.

The findings show that perceptions of the private and public actors concerning sustainability is different and argue that they should be treated and evaluated differently. The findings also suggest that the concept of sustainability is still nascent and evolves along with society.

As societal change continues, rigid sustainability approaches are outdated one after another. Therefore, this dissertation calls that the emphasis should be put on the development of adaptive approaches to changing conditions. To do this, processes in which a change of society and systems is stimulated should be further explored and studied. Therefore, it can be concluded that integration of sustainability and its assessment is not only a scientific or technical process but also social, cultural and political.

This research is important, as it helps the scientific community to understand how and why diverse actors perceive sustainability differently. In addition, it demonstrates an approach by which actors’ concerns can be contextualised for the integration and assessment of sustainability at the policy level. This would increase the social sustainability of the decision-making processes and improve the legitimacy of built environment sustainability strategies.

Opponent: Professor Sara Wilkinson, University of Technology Sydney, Australia

Supervisor: Professor Kauko Viitanen, Aalto University School of Engineering, Department of Built Environment

Electronic dissertation: h

Doctoral candidate’s contact information: Anahita Rashidfarokhi, Department of Built Environment, [email protected]

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