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Special Issue "Sustainable Cities"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2014)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Peter Newman (Website)

Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, Curtin University, GPO Box U1987, Perth, 6845, Australia
Phone: +61 8 9266 9032
Fax: +61 8 9266 9031
Interests: liveable cities; sustainable transport; urban metabolism; biophillic cities; urban policy and practice; urban regeneration; green infrastructures; resilience

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Rio+20 UN conference has highlighted that there is still life and vitality in the concept of sustainability. The greatest frontier remains how to bring this idea into mainstream practice in our cities. The growth of cities and their consumption of the earth's resources must become a critical focus for policy and practice or the issues of climate change, oil vulnerability, water and biodiversity will become too hard.  But sustainability demands that solutions to these issues are done in a way that not only is more cost effective but it helps to create more opportunities for people to improve their quality of life. This special issue of Sustainability is seeking papers that can demonstrate how these environmental, economic and social goals can be achieved synergistically and can be applied in practice now. It is seeking papers on these solutions from a variety of city types across the globe.

Prof. Dr. Peter Newman
Guets Editor

Submission

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. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as 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 refereed through a 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 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • sustainable cities
  • urban metabolism
  • green urbanism
  • biophillic cities
  • urban regeneration
  • sustainable transport
  • localised energy
  • green economy
  • resilience

Published Papers (19 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle A Monetary Measure of Inclusive Goods: The Concept of Deliberative Appraisal in the Context of Urban Agriculture
Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 9007-9026; doi:10.3390/su6129007
Received: 30 June 2014 / Revised: 23 October 2014 / Accepted: 1 December 2014 / Published: 5 December 2014
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (952 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the major U.S. and European cities (e.g., Detroit, Seattle, San Francisco, London, Paris, etc.) that since 2007 have been feeling the effects of the international economic crisis, regeneration processes have been set up thanks, among other things, to the synergic [...] Read more.
In the major U.S. and European cities (e.g., Detroit, Seattle, San Francisco, London, Paris, etc.) that since 2007 have been feeling the effects of the international economic crisis, regeneration processes have been set up thanks, among other things, to the synergic impact generated by urban agriculture (UA). There are numerous and greatly varied effects, linked to localization, that are consistent with the paradigm of sustainable development, although the sporadic, spontaneous, and discontinued nature of UA conditions its capacity to strongly influence an entire community. With a view to enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of urban agriculture, and to facilitating its planning, this study puts forward the implementation of an organized and multifunctional agro-urban system. The consent of the population involved is vital for the creation and implementation of the system, therefore ascertaining not only the existence but also the level of social appreciation of this resource is of paramount importance. With the aim of providing a suitable methodology for ascertaining the social appreciation of the stakeholders in the agro-urban system, the paper puts forward a deliberative monetary appraisal that combines an economic valuation based on hypothetic scenarios with direct, inclusive, and dialogic approaches. In this paper we present: (1) a general overview of the main characteristics of urban agriculture and related problems; (2) the principal methodological elements for defining and planning an agro-urban system; and (3) guidelines for a deliberative appraisal procedure related to an agro-urban system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Residents’ Household Solid Waste (HSW) Source Separation Activity: A Case Study of Suzhou, China
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 6446-6466; doi:10.3390/su6096446
Received: 29 June 2014 / Revised: 4 September 2014 / Accepted: 9 September 2014 / Published: 25 September 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (824 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Though the Suzhou government has provided household solid waste (HSW) source separation since 2000, the program remains largely ineffective. Between January and March 2014, the authors conducted an intercept survey in five different community groups in Suzhou, and 505 valid surveys were [...] Read more.
Though the Suzhou government has provided household solid waste (HSW) source separation since 2000, the program remains largely ineffective. Between January and March 2014, the authors conducted an intercept survey in five different community groups in Suzhou, and 505 valid surveys were completed. Based on the survey, the authors used an ordered probit regression to study residents’ HSW source separation activities for both Suzhou and for the five community groups. Results showed that 43% of the respondents in Suzhou thought they knew how to source separate HSW, and 29% of them have source separated HSW accurately. The results also found that the current HSW source separation pilot program in Suzhou is valid, as HSW source separation facilities and residents’ separation behavior both became better and better along with the program implementation. The main determinants of residents’ HSW source separation behavior are residents’ age, HSW source separation facilities and government preferential policies. The accessibility to waste management service is particularly important. Attitudes and willingness do not have significant impacts on residents’ HSW source separation behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Leadership in Sustainability: Creating an Interface between Creativity and Leadership Theory in Dealing with “Wicked Problems”
Sustainability 2014, 6(9), 5955-5967; doi:10.3390/su6095955
Received: 30 July 2014 / Revised: 29 August 2014 / Accepted: 1 September 2014 / Published: 4 September 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1583 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Fundamental to Leadership in Sustainability, a course in the Masters in Sustainability and Climate Policy (coursework) offered through Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, is that the complexity, flexibility and vitality of sustainability are precisely why sustainability practitioners commit themselves to finding [...] Read more.
Fundamental to Leadership in Sustainability, a course in the Masters in Sustainability and Climate Policy (coursework) offered through Curtin University Sustainability Policy (CUSP) Institute, is that the complexity, flexibility and vitality of sustainability are precisely why sustainability practitioners commit themselves to finding new and innovative solutions to complex problems. The course asks the student to “think differently” and to engage in debate that inspires and encourages creative thinking strategies for the planning and development of our cities and communities. This paper details what the course is about, how it is structured and what the connections are between creativity, sustainability and theories of leadership, arguing that strong and resilient leadership requires thinking differently in order to deal with “wicked problems” associated with sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Changing Urban Form and Transport CO2 Emissions: An Empirical Analysis of Beijing, China
Sustainability 2014, 6(7), 4558-4579; doi:10.3390/su6074558
Received: 19 May 2014 / Revised: 30 June 2014 / Accepted: 14 July 2014 / Published: 22 July 2014
Cited by 8 | PDF Full-text (5934 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Decentralization development and changing urban form will increase the mobility and contribute to global CO2 emissions, in particular for developing countries which are experiencing rapid economic growth and urban expansion. In this paper, an integrated analytical framework, which can quantify the [...] Read more.
Decentralization development and changing urban form will increase the mobility and contribute to global CO2 emissions, in particular for developing countries which are experiencing rapid economic growth and urban expansion. In this paper, an integrated analytical framework, which can quantify the impact of changing urban form on commuting CO2 emissions, is presented. This framework simultaneously considers two emission dependent factors, commuting demand and modal share based on the concept of excess commuting and accessibility analysis, and ensures its applicability to other cities where the detailed individual travel data is not available. A case study of Beijing from 2000 to 2009 is used to illustrate this framework. The findings suggest that changing urban form in Beijing did have a significant impact on commuting CO2 emission increase. Changing to a more decentralized urban form in Beijing had a larger impact on commuting distance and increased usage of cars, which resulted in a significant rise in CO2 emissions. There is a larger space and an urgent need for commuting CO2 emission reduction, in 2009 in Beijing, by planning and by strategic measures in order to promote sustainable transport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
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Open AccessArticle Simulating Urban Growth Using the SLEUTH Model in a Coastal Peri-Urban District in China
Sustainability 2014, 6(6), 3899-3914; doi:10.3390/su6063899
Received: 8 April 2014 / Revised: 15 May 2014 / Accepted: 9 June 2014 / Published: 18 June 2014
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1462 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
China’s southeast coastal areas have witnessed rapid growth in the last two decades, owing mostly to their economic and social attractions. In this paper, we chose Jimei, a coastal peri-urban district of Xiamen city on the southeast coast of China, as a [...] Read more.
China’s southeast coastal areas have witnessed rapid growth in the last two decades, owing mostly to their economic and social attractions. In this paper, we chose Jimei, a coastal peri-urban district of Xiamen city on the southeast coast of China, as a study area to explore the district’s growth dynamics, to predict future sprawl during the next decade and to provide a basis for urban planning. The SLEUTH urban growth model was calibrated against historical data derived from a series of Landsat TM 5 satellite images taken between 1992 and 2007. A Lee-Sallee value of 0.48 was calculated for the district, which is a satisfactory result compared with related studies. Five coefficients of urban growth, diffusion, spread, breed, slope resistance and road gravity had values of 25, 68, 86, 24 and 23, respectively, in 2007. The growth coefficients (i.e., urban character) can capture urban growth characteristics in Jimei district. The urban DNA revealed that, over the study period, urban growth in the district was dominated both by urbanization through establishment of new urban centers, and by expansion outward from existing urban centers. In contrast to interior cities, in which expansions are dramatically shaped by actual road patterns, urban expansion in the district was likely constrained by the nearby coastline. Future urban growth patterns were predicted to 2020 assuming three different development scenarios. The first scenario simulated a continuation of historical urban growth without changing current conditions. The second scenario projected managed growth in which urban growth is limited by a layer with areas excluded from urbanization, which is the future development plan for Jimei district and Xiamen city. The third scenario depicted a growth with maximum protection in which growth was allowed to continue, similar to the second scenario, but with lower diffusion and spread coefficients applied to the growth pattern. The third scenario demonstrated that valuable land could be saved, which is the most desirable outcome for Jimei urban development. The study showed that SLEUTH can be an extremely useful tool for coastal city managers to explore the likely outcomes of their city development plans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Measuring and Analysis of Urban Competitiveness of Chinese Provincial Capitals in 2010 under the Constraints of Major Function-Oriented Zoning Utilizing Spatial Analysis
Sustainability 2014, 6(6), 3374-3399; doi:10.3390/su6063374
Received: 8 April 2014 / Revised: 10 May 2014 / Accepted: 15 May 2014 / Published: 28 May 2014
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (2511 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban competitiveness aids local development by encouraging the exploitation of opportunities for economic development and by enhancing overall performance. Previous studies have evaluated urban competitiveness primarily from an economic perspective and few studies have considered locational conditions as factors that might influence [...] Read more.
Urban competitiveness aids local development by encouraging the exploitation of opportunities for economic development and by enhancing overall performance. Previous studies have evaluated urban competitiveness primarily from an economic perspective and few studies have considered locational conditions as factors that might influence local industrialization and urbanization. In response to the publishing of a national plan for the development of major function-oriented zones (MFOZs) in 2010, the present essay employs MFOZs as constraints to enable a balanced and comprehensive study of urban competitiveness that includes four dimensions of competitiveness: Economic, social-cultural, environmental, and locational (accessibility and hypsography). A four-level hierarchical indicator system and an entropy weighting method were used to assess the urban competitiveness of 31 Chinese provincial capitals based on a spatial analysis of data acquired in 2010 using Geographic Information System technology. The results reveal the overall ranking of provincial capitals in terms of urban competitiveness and their performances with respect to the four dimensions of competitiveness. Unlike previous studies, this analysis was performed by overlaying the strategy of the national MFOZ with the urban competitiveness rankings. The development orientation of each provincial city is discussed according to its characteristics of urban competitiveness under the conditions of a MFOZ. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Development Compromise[d] in the Planning of Metro Vancouver’s Agricultural Lands—the Jackson Farm Case
Sustainability 2013, 5(11), 4843-4869; doi:10.3390/su5114843
Received: 13 August 2013 / Revised: 24 September 2013 / Accepted: 28 October 2013 / Published: 12 November 2013
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1520 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This research provides analysis of the case of the Jackson Farm development application, embedded within the particular dynamics of the municipal, regional, and provincial sustainability land use policy culture of the Metro Vancouver region, in Canada. Within a culture of appreciation of [...] Read more.
This research provides analysis of the case of the Jackson Farm development application, embedded within the particular dynamics of the municipal, regional, and provincial sustainability land use policy culture of the Metro Vancouver region, in Canada. Within a culture of appreciation of the increasing need for sustainability in land use policy, including the protection of agricultural lands at the provincial level through the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), to urban intensification and protection of the green zone at the regional scale, lies a political conflict that comes into focus in individual land use decisions, within municipalities struggling for autonomy. This case is neither driven strictly by “the politics of the highest bidder” nor by policy failure; the case of the Jackson Farm is instead a case of the challenges of implementing inter-governmental coordination and collaborative governance in a context of both significant sustainability policy and urban growth. The process can be seen to follow an ecological modernization agenda, seeking “win–win” alternatives rather than recognizing that typical compromises, over time, may tip the direction of development away from sustainability policy goals. Understanding the twists, turns, and eventual compromise reached in the case of the Jackson Farm brings to light the implications of the shift in the regional planning culture which may necessitate a less flexible, more structured prioritization of competing goals within plans and policies in order to meet sustainability goals. We highlight this, and present an alternative implementation process within the existing policy regime with potential to aid the specific goal of agricultural land protection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Biophilic Cities Are Sustainable, Resilient Cities
Sustainability 2013, 5(8), 3328-3345; doi:10.3390/su5083328
Received: 5 June 2013 / Revised: 12 July 2013 / Accepted: 16 July 2013 / Published: 5 August 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (649 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a growing recognition of the need for daily contact with nature, to live happy, productive, meaningful lives. Recent attention to biophilic design among architects and designers acknowledges this power of nature. However, in an increasingly urban planet, more attention needs [...] Read more.
There is a growing recognition of the need for daily contact with nature, to live happy, productive, meaningful lives. Recent attention to biophilic design among architects and designers acknowledges this power of nature. However, in an increasingly urban planet, more attention needs to be aimed at the urban scales, at planning for and moving towards what the authors call “biophilic cities”. Biophilic cities are cities that provide close and daily contact with nature, nearby nature, but also seek to foster an awareness of and caring for this nature. Biophilic cities, it is argued here, are also sustainable and resilient cities. Achieving the conditions of a biophilic city will go far in helping to foster social and landscape resilience, in the face of climate change, natural disasters and economic uncertainty and various other shocks that cities will face in the future. The paper identifies key pathways by which biophilic urbanism enhances resilience, and while some are well-established relationships, others are more tentative and suggest future research and testing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Understanding Resilient Urban Futures: A Systemic Modelling Approach
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 3202-3223; doi:10.3390/su5073202
Received: 20 May 2013 / Revised: 13 July 2013 / Accepted: 15 July 2013 / Published: 23 July 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (1799 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The resilience of cities in response to natural disasters and long-term climate change has emerged as a focus of academic and policy attention. In particular, how to understand the interconnectedness of urban and natural systems is a key issue. This paper introduces [...] Read more.
The resilience of cities in response to natural disasters and long-term climate change has emerged as a focus of academic and policy attention. In particular, how to understand the interconnectedness of urban and natural systems is a key issue. This paper introduces an urban model that can be used to evaluate city resilience outcomes under different policy scenarios. The model is the Wellington Integrated Land Use-Transport-Environment Model (WILUTE). It considers the city (i.e., Wellington) as a complex system characterized by interactions between a variety of internal urban processes (social, economic and physical) and the natural environment. It is focused on exploring the dynamic relations between human activities (the geographic distribution of housing and employment, infrastructure layout, traffic flows and energy consumption), environmental effects (carbon emissions, influences on local natural and ecological systems) and potential natural disasters (e.g., inundation due to sea level rise and storm events) faced under different policy scenarios. The model gives insights that are potentially useful for policy to enhance the city’s resilience, by modelling outcomes, such as the potential for reduction in transportation energy use, and changes in the vulnerability of the city’s housing stock and transport system to sea level rise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Low-Carbon Sustainable Precincts: An Australian Perspective
Sustainability 2013, 5(6), 2305-2326; doi:10.3390/su5062305
Received: 29 March 2013 / Revised: 9 May 2013 / Accepted: 20 May 2013 / Published: 24 May 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (866 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Australia’s urban built environment contributes significantly to the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions; therefore, encouraging urban development to pursue low-carbon outcomes will aid in reducing carbon in the overall economy. Cities and urban areas are configured in precincts, which have been identified as [...] Read more.
Australia’s urban built environment contributes significantly to the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions; therefore, encouraging urban development to pursue low-carbon outcomes will aid in reducing carbon in the overall economy. Cities and urban areas are configured in precincts, which have been identified as an ideal scale for low-carbon technologies that address energy, water and waste. Even though new governance models and systems are being created to enable low-carbon precincts to operate with a degree of independence within a broader centralised utility structure, greater effort is required to refocus governance on this smaller scale of delivery. Furthermore, at this time, no consistent carbon accounting framework is in place to measure emissions or emission reductions at this scale, thereby limiting the ability to acknowledge or reward progressive, sustainable low-carbon developments. To respond to this situation, a framework is proposed that could form both the basis of a carbon certification scheme for the built environment and provide a platform for generating carbon credits from urban development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle The Role of Deliberative Collaborative Governance in Achieving Sustainable Cities
Sustainability 2013, 5(6), 2343-2366; doi:10.3390/su5062343
Received: 22 April 2013 / Revised: 10 May 2013 / Accepted: 17 May 2013 / Published: 24 May 2013
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (108 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability issues involve complex interactions between social, economic, and environmental factors that are often viewed quite differently by disparate stakeholder groups. Issues of non-sustainability are wicked problems that have many, often obscure causes, and for which there is no single, straightforward solution. [...] Read more.
Sustainability issues involve complex interactions between social, economic, and environmental factors that are often viewed quite differently by disparate stakeholder groups. Issues of non-sustainability are wicked problems that have many, often obscure causes, and for which there is no single, straightforward solution. Furthermore, the concept of sustainability is itself contested. For example there are disputes over whether a strong or weak interpretation of sustainability should be adopted. In cities, as elsewhere, sustainability therefore requires discursive plurality and multiple sites of action. It is the thesis of this paper that effective problem solving, decision-making and enacting of a sustainability agenda require deliberative collaborative governance (DCG), a logical hybrid of the closely related fields of deliberative democracy and collaborative governance. We provide a provisional typology of different modes of deliberative collaborative governance, explaining each with a sustainability example, with a particular focus on DCG initiatives for planning in Western Australia. It is argued that the lens provided by such a typology can help us to understand the factors likely to promote better resolution of wicked problems and increased sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Towards Sustainable Cities: Extending Resilience with Insights from Vulnerability and Transition Theory
Sustainability 2013, 5(5), 2108-2128; doi:10.3390/su5052108
Received: 1 March 2013 / Revised: 6 May 2013 / Accepted: 7 May 2013 / Published: 8 May 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (640 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Cities at all stages of development need to provide jobs, food and services for their people. There is no formula that can unilaterally be applied in all urban environments to achieve this. The complex interaction of social, economic and ecological cycles within [...] Read more.
Cities at all stages of development need to provide jobs, food and services for their people. There is no formula that can unilaterally be applied in all urban environments to achieve this. The complex interaction of social, economic and ecological cycles within cities makes it impossible to predict outcomes. Resilience theory, with its engineering, multi-equilibria and socio-ecological approaches, provides some of the foundations for understanding the full range of the complex social and ecological interactions that underpin sustainable cities. It is proposed that these insights could be extended by a sharper focus on the social and technological innovation that has traditionally been the emphasis of vulnerability and transition theories respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability and Interest Group Participation in City Politics
Sustainability 2013, 5(5), 2077-2097; doi:10.3390/su5052077
Received: 1 February 2013 / Revised: 28 April 2013 / Accepted: 30 April 2013 / Published: 7 May 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (601 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many cities across the United States have embraced programs aimed at achieving greater sustainability. This may seem surprising, particularly since adopting aggressive environmental protection programs is regarded by some as inimical to economic development. An alternative perspective is that in the modern [...] Read more.
Many cities across the United States have embraced programs aimed at achieving greater sustainability. This may seem surprising, particularly since adopting aggressive environmental protection programs is regarded by some as inimical to economic development. An alternative perspective is that in the modern city sustainability can be part of an economic development strategy. What is largely missing from the literature on sustainable cities’ policies and programs is systematic analysis of the political dynamics that seem to affect support for, and adoption and implementation of, local sustainability policies. To explore the actual behavior of cities with respect to sustainability and economic development policies, two original databases on 50 large U.S. cities are used. One source of data is composed of survey responses from city councilors, agency administrators, and leaders of local advocacy groups in each of these cities. The second database contains information as to what these 50 cities actually do in terms of sustainable programs and policies. In testing a series of hypotheses, findings suggest that: a high number of programs aimed at achieving sustainability is linked to the inclusion of environmental advocacy groups; that this relationship is not compromised by business advocacy; and that inclusion of environmental groups in policymaking seems to be supported, rather than impeded, by high rates of economic growth by the cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle A Framework of Adaptive Risk Governance for Urban Planning
Sustainability 2013, 5(5), 2036-2059; doi:10.3390/su5052036
Received: 21 January 2013 / Revised: 7 April 2013 / Accepted: 22 April 2013 / Published: 6 May 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (780 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The notion “risk governance” refers to an integrated concept on how to deal with public risks in general, and so-called complex, ambiguous and uncertain risks in particular. These ideas have been informed by interdisciplinary research drawing from sociological and psychological research on [...] Read more.
The notion “risk governance” refers to an integrated concept on how to deal with public risks in general, and so-called complex, ambiguous and uncertain risks in particular. These ideas have been informed by interdisciplinary research drawing from sociological and psychological research on risk, Science and Technology Studies (STS) and research by policy scientists and legal scholars. The notion of risk governance pertains to the many ways in which many actors, individuals and institutions, public and private, deal with risks. It includes formal institutions and regimes and informal arrangements. The paper will first develop an adaptive and integrative framework of risk governance and applies this model to the risks of urban planning. After a short summary of the roots of risk governance, key concepts, such as simple, uncertain, complex and ambiguous risks, will be discussed. The main emphasis will be on each of the five phases of risk governance: pre-assessment, interdisciplinary assessment, risk evaluation, risk management and risk communication. The paper will explain how these phases of risk governance can be applied to the area of urban planning and improve the dynamic sustainability of cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Accounting for the Ecological Footprint of Materials in Consumer Goods at the Urban Scale
Sustainability 2013, 5(5), 1960-1973; doi:10.3390/su5051960
Received: 6 February 2013 / Revised: 13 April 2013 / Accepted: 26 April 2013 / Published: 2 May 2013
Cited by 10 | PDF Full-text (602 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Ecological footprint analysis (EFA) can be used by cities to account for their on-going demands on global renewable resources. To date, EFA has not been fully implemented as an urban policy and planning tool in part due to limitations of local data [...] Read more.
Ecological footprint analysis (EFA) can be used by cities to account for their on-going demands on global renewable resources. To date, EFA has not been fully implemented as an urban policy and planning tool in part due to limitations of local data availability. In this paper we focus on the material consumption component of the urban ecological footprint and identify the ‘component, solid waste life cycle assessment approach’ as one that overcomes data limitations by using data many cities regularly collect: municipal, solid waste composition data which serves as a proxy for material consumption. The approach requires energy use and/or carbon dioxide emissions data from process LCA studies as well as agricultural and forest land data for calculation of a material’s ecological footprint conversion value. We reviewed the process LCA literature for twelve materials commonly consumed in cities and determined ecological footprint conversion values for each. We found a limited number of original LCA studies but were able to generate a range of values for each material. Our set of values highlights the importance for cities to identify both the quantities consumed and per unit production impacts of a material. Some materials like textiles and aluminum have high ecological footprints but make up relatively smaller proportions of urban waste streams than products like paper and diapers. Local government use of the solid waste LCA approach helps to clearly identify the ecological loads associated with the waste they manage on behalf of their residents. This direct connection can be used to communicate to citizens about stewardship, recycling and ecologically responsible consumption choices that contribute to urban sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Transport Pathways for Light Duty Vehicles: Towards a 2° Scenario
Sustainability 2013, 5(5), 1863-1874; doi:10.3390/su5051863
Received: 1 February 2013 / Revised: 19 March 2013 / Accepted: 3 April 2013 / Published: 29 April 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (758 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The transport sector is the second largest and one of the fastest growing energy end-use sectors, representing 24% of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. The International Energy Agency has developed scenarios for the transport sector within the overall concept of mitigation pathways [...] Read more.
The transport sector is the second largest and one of the fastest growing energy end-use sectors, representing 24% of global energy-related greenhouse gas emissions. The International Energy Agency has developed scenarios for the transport sector within the overall concept of mitigation pathways that would be required to limit global warming to 2 °C. This paper builds on these scenarios and illustrates various passenger travel-related strategies for achieving a 2° transport scenario, in particular looking at how much technology improvement is needed in the light of different changes in travel and modal shares in OECD and non-OECD countries. It finds that an integrated approach using all feasible policy options is likely to deliver the required emission reductions at least cost, and that stronger travel-related measures result in significantly lower technological requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
Open AccessArticle Sustainable Urban (re-)Development with Building Integrated Energy, Water and Waste Systems
Sustainability 2013, 5(3), 1114-1127; doi:10.3390/su5031114
Received: 4 January 2013 / Revised: 15 February 2013 / Accepted: 28 February 2013 / Published: 7 March 2013
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (602 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The construction and service of urban infrastructure systems and buildings involves immense resource consumption. Cities are responsible for the largest component of global energy, water, and food consumption as well as related sewage and organic waste production. Due to ongoing global urbanization, [...] Read more.
The construction and service of urban infrastructure systems and buildings involves immense resource consumption. Cities are responsible for the largest component of global energy, water, and food consumption as well as related sewage and organic waste production. Due to ongoing global urbanization, in which the largest sector of the global population lives in cities which are already built, global level strategies need to be developed that facilitate both the sustainable construction of new cities and the re-development of existing urban environments. A very promising approach in this regard is the decentralization and building integration of environmentally sound infrastructure systems for integrated resource management. This paper discusses such new and innovative building services engineering systems, which could contribute to increased energy efficiency, resource productivity, and urban resilience. Applied research and development projects in Germany, which are based on integrated system approaches for the integrated and environmentally sound management of energy, water and organic waste, are used as examples. The findings are especially promising and can be used to stimulate further research and development, including economical aspects which are crucial for sustainable urban (re-)development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)

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Open AccessReview Sustainability Challenges from Climate Change and Air Conditioning Use in Urban Areas
Sustainability 2013, 5(7), 3116-3128; doi:10.3390/su5073116
Received: 17 May 2013 / Revised: 5 July 2013 / Accepted: 10 July 2013 / Published: 19 July 2013
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (636 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Global climate change increases heat loads in urban areas causing health and productivity risks for millions of people. Inhabitants in tropical and subtropical urban areas are at especial risk due to high population density, already high temperatures, and temperature increases due to [...] Read more.
Global climate change increases heat loads in urban areas causing health and productivity risks for millions of people. Inhabitants in tropical and subtropical urban areas are at especial risk due to high population density, already high temperatures, and temperature increases due to climate change. Air conditioning is growing rapidly, especially in South and South-East Asia due to income growth and the need to protect from high heat exposures. Studies have linked increased total hourly electricity use to outdoor temperatures and humidity; modeled future predictions when facing additional heat due to climate change, related air conditioning with increased street level heat and estimated future air conditioning use in major urban areas. However, global and localized studies linking climate variables with air conditioning alone are lacking. More research and detailed data is needed looking at the effects of increasing air conditioning use, electricity consumption, climate change and interactions with the urban heat island effect. Climate change mitigation, for example using renewable energy sources, particularly photovoltaic electricity generation, to power air conditioning, and other sustainable methods to reduce heat exposure are needed to make future urban areas more climate resilient. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)
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Open AccessCase Report Measuring Compact Urban Form: A Case of Nagpur City, India
Sustainability 2014, 6(7), 4246-4272; doi:10.3390/su6074246
Received: 23 March 2014 / Revised: 29 May 2014 / Accepted: 6 June 2014 / Published: 9 July 2014
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Abstract
The compact city concept is adopted in city planning policies of many developed countries for the following benefits: efficient use of land while curtailing sprawl, reduction in transport network and reliance on mass transport, a socially interactive environment with vibrancy of activities, [...] Read more.
The compact city concept is adopted in city planning policies of many developed countries for the following benefits: efficient use of land while curtailing sprawl, reduction in transport network and reliance on mass transport, a socially interactive environment with vibrancy of activities, economic viability, etc. However, it is still debated whether the cities in developing countries like India, which are already dense, will really benefit from the compact city form. Measuring urban form and compactness of these cities becomes more important for understanding the spatial urban structure to intervene accordingly for sustainable urban development. This paper explores various parameters and dimensions of measurement of compactness. Urban form characteristics and their indicators are derived for the study of Nagpur city, India. This study is an attempt to measure the urban form to derive the benefits of compactness. The study indicates that Nagpur city, inherently has a compact form, but may disperse in near future; and there is a need to implement policies to retain its compact character to achieve sustainable urban development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities)

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