The implications for neighbourhood social sustainability of the governance process in the provision of local facilities : case studies in Aleppo, Syria
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Providing local facilities is one of the important aspects of planning sustainable neighbourhoods, while governance process is a key factor for achieving sustainable development. This research is concerned to establish the relationship between the governance process for the provision of local facilities and neighbourhood social sustainability in Syria. The research adopts a case study approach, choosing three relatively new neighbourhoods in Aleppo/Syria as case studies for their distinctive characteristics, and applies two analytical frameworks to examine the impact of local facilities on social sustainability at the neighbourhood level as a process and as an outcome. The governance process for providing local facilities is analysed, focusing on actors, roles, relationships, rules, resources and rationalities. The impact of this provision on neighbourhood social sustainability is analysed, focusing on accessibility, travel mode, social interaction, safety and security, and sense of place. On the one hand, findings from the research reveal poor implementation of local facilities, which turn out quite different from what is specified in plans. The status of local facilities is due mainly to the governance processes for providing them being hampered by many challenges. These include the state continually attempting to control the provision process yet failing to deliver adequately, and the weak formal participation of the market and civil society in the governance process. On the other hand, the findings also reveal the limited potential of the local facilities provided to enhance social sustainability at the neighbourhood level in the three case study neighbourhoods which is attributable mainly to their poor provision. The research thus supports the view of governance process as a key element of sustainable development and specifically of social sustainability. It concludes that improvement of the governance process of delivering local facilities is a must if social sustainability at the neighbourhood level is to be improved.