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Special Issue "Urban Pathways: Transition towards Low-Carbon, Sustainable Cities in Emerging Economies"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2017

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Mr. Oliver Lah

Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Döppersberg 19, 42103 Wuppertal, Germany
Website1 | Website2 | E-Mail
Interests: climate change; political science; international cooperation
Guest Editor
Prof. Ralph Sims

Massey University, Tennent Dr, Palmerston North 4474, New Zealand
Website | E-Mail
Interests: climate policy; sector integration; energy; transport
Guest Editor
Prof. Shobhakar Dhakal

Asian Institute of Technology (AIT), 58 Moo 9,Paholyothin Highway Klong Luang, Pathumthani 12120, Thailand
Website | E-Mail
Interests: cities and climate change; energy; regional integration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urbanization is increasing rapidly, particularly in emerging economies. While an enabler of economic growth, one of the consequences of unplanned urbanization is highly inefficient urban services, in particular, energy, transport, and waste management. Cities currently account for about 70 percent of energy consumption and energy related greenhouse gas emissions. Hence, the integration of urban energy, transport, and resource sectors in the delivery on the NDCs is vital for the success of global climate change mitigation efforts. This is a vital objective of the New Urban Agenda, and this Special Issue will aim to help in bringing together climate change and urban development objectives, by exploring the links between urban and national actions. This Special Issue will build directly on the commitments delivered by countries as part of the UNFCCC and Habitat III processes. The Special Issue will outline key issues and barriers and showcase local implementation concepts from key emerging economies. Papers should include aspects of the political, technological, socio-economic, and financial viability of sustainable development solutions in emerging economies.  

Mr. Oliver Lah
Prof. Ralph Sims
Prof. Shobhakar Dhakal
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • climate action
  • urbanizations
  • emerging economies
  • policy processes

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Continuity and Change: Dealing with Political Volatility to Advance Climate Change Mitigation Strategies—Examples from the Transport Sector
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 959; doi:10.3390/su9060959
Received: 23 March 2017 / Revised: 23 May 2017 / Accepted: 31 May 2017 / Published: 6 June 2017
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As the recent withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement has shown, political volatility directly affects climate change mitigation policies, in particular in sectors, such as transport associated with long-term investments by individuals (vehicles) and by local and national governments (urban
[...] Read more.
As the recent withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement has shown, political volatility directly affects climate change mitigation policies, in particular in sectors, such as transport associated with long-term investments by individuals (vehicles) and by local and national governments (urban form and transport infrastructure and services). There is a large potential for cost-effective solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to improve the sustainability of the transport sector that is yet unexploited. Considering the cost-effectiveness and the potential for co-benefits, it is hard to understand why efficiency gains and CO2 emission reductions in the transport sector are still lagging behind this potential. Particularly interesting is the fact that there is substantial difference among countries with relatively similar economic performances in the development of their transport CO2 emissions over the past thirty years despite the fact that these countries had relatively similar access to efficient technologies and vehicles. This study aims to explore some well-established political science theories on the particular example of climate change mitigation in the transport sector in order to identify some of the factors that could help explain the variations in success of policies and strategies in this sector. The analysis suggests that institutional arrangements that contribute to consensus building in the political process provide a high level of political and policy stability which is vital to long-term changes in energy end-use sectors that rely on long-term investments. However, there is no direct correlation between institutional structures, e.g., corporatism and success in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector. Environmental objectives need to be built into the consensus-based policy structure before actual policy progress can be observed. This usually takes longer in consensus democracies than in politically more agile majoritarian policy environments, but the policy stability that builds on corporatist institutional structures is likely to experience changes over a longer-term, in this case to a shift towards low-carbon transport that endures. Full article

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