More needs to be done to avoid developers cutting corners if Birmingham's Eastside is to become a UK showcase, says a leading figure in construction.
Peter Braithwaite, an Arup director, was speaking at the Sustainable Urban Environment: Vision into Action Conference, held by the University of Birmingham at Millennium Point.
The conference brought together top academics from across the UK to speak on issues such as construction practices, transport planning and utilities.
Mr Braithwaite said that despite increased understanding within the business community, much of the sustainable economic, social and environmental principles incorporated into city masterplans, were lost as individual developers sought to cut costs.
"The problem is in our procurement system," he said. "We often see creeping erosion of sustainable principles caused by the desire to produce buildings at the lowest possible cost.
"Many of the principles of sustainability: energy efficiency, water recycling and the provision of alternative energy sources will provide long-term economic developments, but have high short-term capital costs."
Mr Braithwaite called for academics and researchers in the sector to act as watchdogs to ensure that sustainable principles were maintained.
"We need to get buy-in from developers on these issues," he added and pointed out they were beginning to think differently by working alongside the private sector."