Understanding demolition

Research output: Contribution to journalEditorialScientific

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Abstract

This special issue explores when, why, and how demolition occurs with the aim to understand its environmental, socio-economic and cultural drivers and consequences in policy and practice alike. Based on previous research, demolition is known to have many adverse effects. The potential for avoiding building replacement (demolition and subsequent new build) and favouring retention is also in this special issue’s interest. The papers in the issue contribute insights from different scales, from the level of a building to that of a city. As a whole, the articles touch upon all types of impacts, i.e. environmental, economic, and socio-cultural aspects. Eight case studies from various contexts, mainly Europe but also the US and Australia, contribute novel methods, findings, and policy insights. This editorial sets the need and background for research into demolition, classifies the included papers to three categories, explains their contributions to research and practice, and outlines outstanding research gaps and agenda for further research. The papers are categorised as: (1) drivers and policies on demolition vs. retention; (2) environmental and social impact assessment on building level; and (3) practical demolition decision-making. The contributions suggest, among other findings, positive environmental impacts from building retention as opposed to demolition, and discuss how policy designs from the city to the building level can either encourage or discourage retention. Due to its implications, many of which remain understudied, demolition and its alternatives should gain importance on research, design, planning, construction and real estate agendas in the years to come.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)927-937
Number of pages11
JournalBuildings and Cities
Volume4
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 6 Nov 2023
Publication typeB1 Journal article

Keywords

  • building stock
  • cities
  • construction industry
  • demolition
  • life cycle assessment
  • planning
  • preservation
  • real estate
  • renovation
  • replacement
  • resource efficiency
  • retention

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