Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: System, control and sustainability : a concept of control in the local environment system
Author: Nabih, Wael Ezzat Said
ISNI:       0000 0004 2690 3566
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1999
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
The formal characteristics of built environments are generated and governed by a range of forces. Most significant among these are political and economic forces typically extended on any settlement from outside. Various authors (Mumford, Lozano, Lange) have recognised this in the context of large cities but such forces are also imposed upon smaller settlements. This is in effect a disempowerment of people in local environments and settlements in requiring that they realise their ways, norms and customs towards centrally derived criteria. The author strongly believes that external forces risk swamping and even obliterating the development of diverse local knowledge and their consequent transformation into local ideologies, technology and built form. This research is an attempt to form a theoretical understanding of a concept of control as seen in the local environment system. It defines forces and powers that shape local built environment. In so doing it tries to identify aspects and facets of this concept and attempts to establish a model that would explain it. This concept will help in gaining an understanding of the real forces shaping existing built form. While recognising the existence of such powers, it is vital that the built environment is seen as a process and not an end product. To do so is to understand it as a system of transformation, and to recognise the different configurations of systems and how they transform the built environment accordingly. Only within the context of systems thinking can power be understood to operate as an inherent characteristic of any system, where the internal order of control differs. While the research recognises the existence of different configurations of local control seen in settlement form, it defines two that exist today varyingly. Those governed and controlled centrally by the state exemplified by modern state developments; and those that are organic have a local hierarchical system of decision making and an internal system of norms, exemplified by vernacular organic built environments. It is also important to identify what define local control. The study proposes three functions of local control: local order system; economic activity; and knowledge and technology. These determine local parties and the powers they have to define the built environment. Observing these furthers an understanding of the concept and its internal mechanisms. To observe the theoretical framework of the thesis, a comparative study in two settlements is conducted: one where the state defines form; the other where built form is locally defined. The three functions of control are observed in terms of parties and powers, and through indicators derived during the theoretical discussions. In order to assess the effects of local control it is applied against sustainability, used as a measurement of quality in the environment, because of its ability to provide a wide array of parameters and because of its international acceptance. A list of indicators relating to sustainability are compiled and set against those of control observing the practical implications. Sustainability becomes a method to evaluate the effects of local internal control as opposed to central state control. In formulating and then observing this concept it will be possible to develop better practical applications and solve recurrent problems. It may also enable decision -makers to readdress development be altering local control patterns.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available