Sustainable buildings for healthier cities: assessing the co-benefits of green buildings in Japan

2017-10-01
Balaban, Osman
Puppim De Oliveira, Jose Antonio
High concentrations of people and economic activities in urban areas have strengthened the links between cities, health and the environment. Cities are not only responsible for environmental and health problems but also they hold the key for a greener economy and a sustainable future. Urban built environment is a policy field where appropriate policies and actions could yield significant human and ecological benefits. Among different elements of urban built environment, buildings deserve particular attention due to their large contribution to environmental and health problems. The concept of sustainable (green) building is a recent response to address the problems that stem from the building sector. However, the widespread implementation of the concept is hindered by significant challenges. This paper argues that manifestation of multiple benefits that sustainable buildings deliver could help overcome some of these challenges. The paper presents the extent to which green buildings could generate co-benefits, and underlines the opportunities and barriers to push green building agenda forward.