Exploring the key indicators of Social Impact Assessment for Sponge-City PPPs: Sustainable Development Perspective

Wei Li, Jiyue Guo, Jingfeng Yuan, Henry Liu, David J. Edwards

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Abstract

Sponge city (SPC) is currently being promoted as an initiative under the principle of sustainable development to solve the urban water crisis across China. Moreover, with the introduction of public‒private partnerships (PPPs) in SPC development, the public concern regarding SPC PPPs has increased in terms of their more sophisticated outcomes and greater social impacts than general urban development. Thus, to develop an effective set of SIA key indicators for SPC PPPs, this study uses social impact theory (SIT) to explore in greater detail the influencing mechanism for the social impact assessment (SIA) conceptual model proposed in the authors’ previous studies. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) was applied to examine whether the hypothesized relationships in the influencing mechanism fit the empirical data, and to further consolidate the SIA key indicators. Based on a survey questionnaire and CFA results, a verified and refined SIA framework using 23 key indicators and five corresponding dimensions was proposed, particularly within the context of SPC PPPs. Implications generated from the CFA were discussed to improve the comprehensive performance of sponge-city PPPs. These 23 key indicators and the clarification their relationships to the respective SIA dimensions and to the overall SIA results can be a useful tool for enhancing the social benefits of SPC PPPs. Moreover, this study also provides governments with insights into enabling a low impact and sustainable development of infrastructures within urban areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalBuildings
Volume12
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Aug 2022

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