Improving the sustainable retirement village framework: From theory to practice

Xin Hu*, Bo Xia, Heap Yih Chong, Martin Skitmore, Laurie Buys

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
89 Downloads (Pure)


The retirement village industry is currently facing a sustainability challenge. In response to this, developing sustainable retirement villages is becoming popular in practice, and a sustainable retirement village framework had been developed to facilitate the trend. However, this framework is more theoretical than practical, as its development lacks the input of industry practices. In response, this study aims to improve the theoretical framework by incorporating industry practices into it. Inductive content analysis is adopted to identify the sustainable practices of village development and operation in eight retirement villages in Queensland, Australia, from which the sustainability features and sustainability dimensions of retirement villages are identified. The theoretical framework is improved by adding the identified sustainable practices, sustainability features, sustainability dimensions, and their interactions. In total, 109 sustainable practices are identified, which leads to the determination of 26 sustainability features and 3 sustainability dimensions. Of these sustainability features, 15 are newly added to the theoretical framework. All the sustainable practices are linked to the sustainability features of each sustainability dimension to illustrate the industry's best practices. The improved framework is an advancement on the existing theoretical framework and deepens the stakeholders’ understanding of sustainable retirement villages based on the lessons learnt from industry practices. It additionally offers practical implications for the future delivery of sustainable retirement villages, and the sustainability of village projects can be assessed and benchmarked against the framework.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119290
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Early online date14 Nov 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2020
Externally publishedYes


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