Abstract for: Green Building Policy and Real Estate Development: A Causal Mapping Study Derived from Qualitative Data
Policymakers in the U.S. have taken steps to slow climate change, and significant policy activity has taken place at the local level with a focus on the built environment. An investigation of the dynamics which influence business responses to sustainable building policy is timely as regulatory changes oriented toward resiliency of the built environment are under consideration by cities and states. This paper presents the results of a study of the dynamics of public policy and corporate decision-making and action. Qualitative data drawn from interviews with professionals in corporate decision-making roles suggests that green building policy change is a mechanism which ignites forces driving practice changes across a production ecosystem of companies linked by business relationships. Causal maps derived from qualitative data reveals the perceptions of real estate developers and describe the dynamics of a complex ecosystem including policy, market and project forces. Policy-oriented practice change is driven initially by two sets of forces – those of public interests as expressed through policy, and those of the marketplace understood in terms of supply and demand. The propagation of these forces through a production ecosystem is studied at three levels – the cause and effects as perceived by developers, the behaviors as described by developers, and the interpretations and responses to specific types of climate change regulation.