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Vision for sustainable urban habitats receives national recognition

24 October 2012

Press Office

Seminal research paper wins major prize

A ground-breaking research paper by a University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) academic which examines the development of sustainable urban habitats has been recognised by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) at the prestigious ICE Publishing Awards 2012.

And at the recent awards’ ceremony in London, Alan Derbyshire, Senior Lecturer in Design from the School of Art, Design and Performance, was presented with the Reed and Mallik Medal for his thought provoking paper entitled: ‘Sustainable urban habitats: design intentions to practical implementation’.

Each year ICE Publishing acknowledges the best work published in its journals. Awards are presented to authors from both industry and academia that have produced work judged by their peers to be of exceptional quality and benefit to the civil engineering community.

“It’s a fantastic honour to have been recognised in this way as I’m extremely passionate about sustainable landscape developments in an urban context."

Alan’s paper reviews the current approaches of architects, designers and planners to the development of sustainable urban habitats, and identifies the limitations of current sustainable design practice.

The UCLan academic said: “It’s a fantastic honour to have been recognised in this way as I’m extremely passionate about sustainable landscape developments in an urban context.

“My paper concludes there needs to be a move away from the ‘play it safe’ approach to the design of public spaces structurally and aesthetically. The challenge facing the built environment professions is to substitute rhetoric with practical actions.”

"This is a very interesting cross-cutting paper that unites a philosophical/phenomenological appreciation of place to practical matters of ecology/habitat and design of the built environment."

Commenting on Alan’s paper the ICE Awards for Papers Panel said: “This is a very interesting cross-cutting paper that unites a philosophical/phenomenological appreciation of place to practical matters of ecology/habitat and design of the built environment.

“This should enrich the conceptual basis of place-making and 'green' design for planners and designers, by suggesting integration of place-based and sustainability considerations. The paper is well written, structured and illustrated.”

Alan’s background was originally 3D Design and through his professional practice he became involved in projects connected with the urban landscape. He is currently involved in research investigating the use of vernacular architecture and ecology in the Boka Kotorska region of Montenegro as the inspiration for a more sustainable urban form.

Alan’s paper is free to view on ICE Virtual Library.