Except Integrated Sustainability
Except Integrated sustainability.
Flourish in a changing world.
Multi-disciplinary consulting, innovation and development organization working on advanced sustainability projects around the globe.

Sustainable Urban Districts - 2015 Global Review - WWF

Project > New strategies from 11 exemplary settlements

This project arose from the joint desire of WWF and Lafarge to contribute original research to move the construction sector towards a sustainable future. We examined 11 exemplary urban districts and neighborhoods around the world from inception to inhabited, using a systemic and holistic perspective. We extracted the success and failure factors, and uncovered new strategies that accelerate sustainable development both on a project and building sector level.

The result is available in a comprehensively illustrated book, downloadable from this page, or read it online at ISSUU.

What did we find?

We found tangible conclusions for every of the 11 projects that help new settlements learn and improve. In the book, we extracted successful approaches that increase overall performance as well as sustainability performance.

We found that sustainability targets change the practice of urban development as well as the roles of contributors and beneficiaries. Implementing the lessons learned in these projects will significantly speed up new sustainable development projects around the world. In addition, we’ve found strategies to achieve improved performance in the construction industry globally.

The report

The report, downloadable below or read online at ISSUU, contains a wealth of examples, recommendations and leassons learned, on both a project level and a sector level, in two parts.

Part 1 is an overview of lessons and conclusions, covering among others:

  • How is sustainable urban development different?
  • A holistic design and 360 degree scope
  • Mind-shift: build to be resilient
  • Ambition setting
  • Business models
  • Work culture
  • Road map for Sector change
  • Performance monitoring

Part 2  documents -in detail- how the studied projects successfully apply the presented strategies. These projects serve as inspiration and proof that the suggested strategies lead to significantly improved performance levels.

Each project shows a schematic timeline of which parties had what responsibilities. These overviews show a 'blueprint' of the project's planning process and at-a-glance oversight of the character of each project.


Many thanks go to all the people who contributed to this research via interviews, access to the sites, materials, support, and research, among which:

  • Laila Petrie (WWF)
  • Vincent Mages (Lafarge)
  • François Baillon (FIDIC)
  • Vallishree Murthy (British Glass)
  • Clare Broadbent (World Steel)
  • Phillippe Fonta (WBCSD)
  • Soraya Smaoun (UNEP)
  • Curt Garrigan (UNEP)
  • Jean-Paul Jeanrenaud (WWF International)
  • Jennifer Meunier (WWF International)
  • Carina Borgstrom Hansson (WWF Sweden)


Media & Downloads

Reference Projects

RGD Building Portfolio Scan

Opportunities for sustainable redevelopment

The RGD manages and maintains all the real estate for the Dutch government. In such a large portfolio, a large number of buildings are suboptimally used. We developed a scan to analyze a specific object, identify potential beneficial uses and plot out a redevelopment plan.

... read more >

Growth-Planning Area Planning & Development

Next Generation Open Source City Planning - June 2009

Growth Planning introduces an entirely new approach to area planning and urban design. Rather than defining specific programmatic requirements, Growth Planning instead applies socio-economic impulses to the area within certain performance edge conditions. It revolutionzes the task of city design by requiring the urban fabric to organically respond to social and economic stimuli, and allows for increased value, quality, and development over time.

Born out of the necessity to start thinking differently about our built environment due to economic, social and environmental constraints, Except has worked on refining this new form of planning since 2005.

... read more >

Sustainable Schiebroek-Zuid

Redevelopment of post-war social housing

We developed a sustainabile conversion and development plan for the post-war social housing area Schiebroek-Zuid in Rotterdam.  The project provides a flexible and exemplary roadmap for converting the neighborhood into a self-sufficient and sustainable area. It applies innovative energy solutions, urban farming, social and economic programs, secondary currencies, and adaptive redevelopment strategies.

This project was commissioned by housing corporation Vestia and agricultural research network InnovatieNetwerk.

... read more >


Except Integrated Sustainability

Tom Bosschaert

Email  [javascript protected email address] [javascript protected email address]
Phone   +31 10 7370215

Client & Partners


  • Elias de Valk

    Industrial Ecologist
  • Matthew Fraser

    Industrial Ecologist, Designer
  • Michiel van der Vight

    Senior Associate
  • Rachel Visser

    Executive Assistant