Exploring the socio‐cultural sustainability of old and new housing: two cases from Jordan

Yahya Qtaishat, Stephen Emmitt, Kemi Adeyeye

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9 Citations (SciVal)
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Vernacular architecture serves as inspiration and learning material to create more impactful and meaningful contemporary building solutions. However, most research in this area focuses on the technical aspects of sustainability. There remains a gap in the sociocultural aspects of both contemporary and vernacular architecture. A coherent understanding of the indicators that inform this vernacular-inspired sustainable architecture is also still lacking. This study aimed to propose and categorize indicators of a theoretical eco-cultural sustainability framework and indicators. This was underpinned by a literature review of existing sustainability assessment frameworks and tools. A qualitative approach was used comprising 81 semi-structured interviews from two case study areas - historical and contemporary development, in Jordan. Framework and thematic analysis guided the analysis stage. Factors related to cultural appropriation were the most prioritised by participants and linked to sustainability. It was also found that due to its intangibility and complexity, most sustainability frameworks in the built environment only focus on the environmental criteria and have failed to integrate cultural indicators. Therefore, this study makes a significant theoretical and practical contribution in that it bridges this gap by proposing tangible metrics relating to intangible cultural factors so that this can be effectively incorporated into existing design assessment methods and tools.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102250
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
Early online date23 May 2020
Publication statusPublished - 31 Oct 2020


  • Eco-cultural design
  • Indicators
  • Sustainability assessment framework
  • Sustainable development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Transportation


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