by Tom Bosschaert

Jan. 30, 2015

Tom Bosschaert

This project arose from the common desire of WWF and Lafarge to contribute original research to move the construction sector towards a sustainable future. We examined 11 exemplary urban districts and neighborhoods, from inception to habitation, and a systemic and holistic perspective. We identified areas of success and failure and uncovered new strategies to accelerate sustainable development on both a project and building sector level.

What did we find?

We found tangible conclusions for each of the 11 projects that help new settlements learn and improve. In the book, we extracted successful approaches that increase overall performance and sustainability performance.

We found that sustainability targets change the practice of urban development and the roles of contributors and beneficiaries. Implementing the lessons learned in these projects will significantly speed up new sustainable development projects worldwide. In addition, we've found strategies to achieve improved performance in the construction industry across the globe.

Overview of the main observations

The report and its findings

The results are available in a comprehensively illustrated book, readable online at ISSUU.

The report contains a wealth of examples, recommendations and lessons learned on both a project level and a sector level and is conveyed in two seperate parts.

Part 1
is an overview of lessons and conclusions, covering among others:

  • How is sustainable urban development different?
  • A holistic design and 360-degree scope
  • Mind-shift: build to be resilient
  • Ambition setting
  • Business models
  • Work culture
  • Road map for Sector change
  • Performance monitoring
Key Moments

Part 2  details how the projects successfully apply the presented strategies. These projects inspire and prove that the suggested strategies significantly improve performance.

Each project shows a schematic timeline of which parties had what responsibilities. These overviews show a 'blueprint' of the project's planning process and reveal oversight in the character of each project.


Many thanks go to those who contributed to this research via interviews, site access, materials, support, and research.

  • Laila Petrie (WWF)
  • Vincent Mages (Lafarge)
  • François Baillon (FIDIC)
  • Vallishree Murthy (British Glass)
  • Clare Broadbent (World Steel)
  • Phillippe Fonta (WBCSD)
  • Soraya Smaoun (UNEP)
  • Curt Garrigan (UNEP)
  • Jean-Paul Jeanrenaud (WWF International)
  • Jennifer Meunier (WWF International)
  • Carina Borgstrom Hansson (WWF Sweden)

Jan. 30, 2015

Client & Partners

Project team

  • Tom Bosschaert


  • Elias de Valk

    Industrial Ecologist
    Except Integrated Sustainability

  • Matthew Fraser

    Industrial Ecologist, Designer
    Except Integrated Sustainability

  • Michiel van der Vight

    Senior Associate
    Except Integrated Sustainability

  • Laila Petrie

    Project Lead

  • Vincent Mages

    Sponsor Partner

  • Rachael Visser

    Executive Assistant


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