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MPhil in Engineering for Sustainable Development

global challenges, engineering solutions

Eco Towns as Drivers for low carbon future: Dunsfold Park

Kanchan Sharma

Eco Towns as Drivers for low carbon future: Dunsfold Park

This research is analysing the outlook of the construction industry in U.K. that whether the eco towns can be the drivers for low carbon future or not.

The U.K. government has special concern for Eco towns in today’s scenario, as per the Eco Prospectus published by Local and Community Govt. Eco towns are the combined response to the three challenges of Climate change, need for more sustainable living for the future generations and need for massive increase in housing demands in the future across the country. Thus planning and designing for such Eco towns is preference for all the Local Councils, Authorities and thus for Developers and Planning Consultancies to meet the regulations.

Planning and Urban Design are the basic tools to shape the future cities and towns. Thus, design can be used as tool to reduce the carbon emissions in the communities The concept of Eco towns is not new; it emerged from past concepts like garden cities and neighbourhoods. The concept of ‘Garden cities’ (Cities in harmony with environment and nature) and then neighbourhood concept i.e. ‘self sufficient communities’ with decentralised facilities to have work area relationship became the core principles for planning and urban design. Then the new towns were built with emphasis on new generation with cars, new technology, wide roads and big parking lots with green area around it for the leisure.  In today’s scenario, the requirements are very different but aim is same. So those principles are being reused in one or other way with new name of Eco towns.

The market perception about the concept of eco town is taken through different surveys among the general professionals and practitioners in the field. Then a ‘10-point framework’ has been worked out for eco-towns.

Then this framework is analysed for the case study of Dunsfold Park to prove/criticise its status of sustainable community.


Course Overview


The need to engage in better problem definition through careful dialogue with all stakeholder groups and a proper recognition of context.


An ability to work with specialists from other disciplines and professional groups acknowledging that technical innovation and business skills also must be understood, nurtured and combined as precursors to the successful implementation of sustainable solutions.


An understanding of mechanisms for managing change in organisations so future engineers are equipped to play a leadership role.


An awareness of a range of assessment frameworks, sustainability metrics and methodologies such as Life Cycle Analysis, Systems Dynamics, Multi-Criteria Decision making and Impact Assessment.