Journal of Sustainability Research (Open access journal of Hapres)

special issue: “Sustainable Architecture and Urban Design: Alternative Theories for Qualitative Comparisons”

Since the turn of the century, theories and practices of sustainable architecture and urban design have been characterized by increasingly normative grids, such as standards, checklists, certifications, etc. As imperative as these normative grids are for ensuring a certain level of sustainability in the built environment, they may inadvertently avert the virtues of creative design practices to mere risk management exercises.

This is in clear contrast to the pioneering environmental design of the 1960s, when the search for holistic approaches gave rise to a spectrum of methodological experimentations, both in the field of design processes (design methodologies) and environmental studies. The formation of the Environmental Design Research Association (EDRA) in 1968 was an outcome of this search for qualitative as well as quantitative methodologies in the design disciplines. In the 1970s, environmentalism started to shift towards an ecological ideology soon dominated by technical solutions and the search for eco-efficiency. Systematically developed throughout the 1980s and 1990s, this technological emphasis for measurable efficiency started to reveal its limitations. Facing a problematic integration of cultural and social dimensions, this dominant approach founded on the management of eco-performances revealed a counterproductive hyper-technological paradigm for the design disciplines and their theoretical frameworks (Vesely, 2004; Perez-Gomez, 1983).

Numerous scholars now underline that these missing inter-subjective dimensions may be compromising the very idea of a holistic environmentalism in various realms of knowledge and action (Kagan, 2010; McLennan, 2004). Such is the case in the design disciplines, where a series of ethical issues are being identified at varying scales (Fisher, 2008). In the past twenty years, theoretical frameworks have induced or supported the normative rather than systemic methods to sustainable design. The more comparative and qualitative evaluative approaches that have been established in professional practice—design committees, collective judgment, competition juries—are still being overlooked by scholars as the foundation of evaluation and judgment. Furthermore, even if authors have sought to reveal critical theories for these dominant discourses, occurrences have been rare.

We believe it is now time to step back and rethink these dominant paradigms in order to provide new theoretical frameworks and methodologies for sustainable architecture and urban design. This special issue calls for the renewal of theories and hypotheses opening on a broadened evaluative and comparative framework. We welcome papers in the following three themes:




Professor Carmela Cucuzzella
Professor Jean-Pierre Chupin

Guest Editors

sustainable architecture  sustainable urban design. comparative analysis qualitative-quantitative divide evaluation judgment

Submission Deadline: 30 April 2020

Nathalie Roy, Minister of Culture and Communications and Minister Responsible for the French Language, and Andrée Laforest, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Announce the Beginning of the Work to Provide Québec with a Strategy Quebecois architecture. To this end, the Ministry of Culture and Communications (MCC) has invited the Ordre des architectes du Québec (OAQ) and a committee of experts to collaborate in the development of this first strategy.

The Québec Architecture Strategy will place citizens at the heart of the debate and will aim at adopting best practices in state-led projects and introducing incentives in the projects it subsidizes. It will meet the needs of Quebeckers through a contribution of architecture to Quebec identity, making culture a fundamental element of the quality of our living environments and the vitality of our communities. This strategy will ensure greater quality and sustainability of the projects, consistent with the principles of sustainable development. In addition, it will contribute to people’s sense of belonging, the international attractiveness of the territory and the prospects for economic growth and tourism promotion.

The participatory process established will involve the community as a stakeholder and benefit from the reflections of the process that the OAQ had previously carried out leading to the tabling of the White Paper for a Québec architecture policy. In addition, the MCC and the OAQ have set up an advisory committee involving all those challenged by this approach. These experts, organizations and partners will be consulted in the coming months (see list in appendix). The municipal community is invited to participate in this project. The government wishes to hear from it for its unique expertise in order to feed the Québec Strategy for Architecture. The cities of Quebec and Montreal will be particularly challenged in particular by virtue of their respective status as capital and metropolis.

The development of the Québec Architecture Strategy corresponds to Measure 19 of the Government Action Plan for Culture 2018-2023. (Excerpt from press release)

Read the full press release of the Ministry of Culture and Communications.

March 28, 2019: Lucie Palombi received the scientific prize, the public prize and the prize for the best summary of the Symposium Perspectives 360 organized by the Association of Higher Cycles of the Faculty of Planning for the presentation of her doctoral project in 6 minutes. The funds were donated by the Ivanhoé Cambridge Observatory.

October 25, 2019: On the occasion of the launching ceremony of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada Festival, Lucie Palombi was awarded a $ 5,000 scholarship for the writing of a 1000-word essay.

His text takes the form of a letter to Le Corbusier. She writes that the descriptions of her travel diary inspired her, as did descriptions of North America in the 19th century, Paris in the 20th century, and the gardens of Versailles from various authors she read over the years. years. These readings led her to ask “Can we carve the world with words and paper? The journeys described in places far removed by reading have allowed him to understand that “stories, real or fantasized, give meaning to the most silent places”. Jury Comment: The text is intelligent and original in form and content, and is beautifully written. It reveals a new analytical mind, able to contribute to the discipline in thought and action.