E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "A Contextual and Dynamic Understanding of Sustainable Urbanisation"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Philipp Aerni

Director, Center for Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability (CCRS), University of Zurich, Zähringerstrasse 24, CH-8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +41-(0)44-634-40-60
Fax: +41-(0)44-634-49-00
Interests: technological change; sustainable development; environmental policy; innovation for development; entrepreneurship; migration; public private partnerships
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Amy Glasmeier

Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 9-525 floor (building 9; office in commons), Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1-617-324-6565
Interests: economic geography; global energy economy; path dependence and technological lock-in; regional planning and development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

By 2030, sixty percent of the world’s population is projected to live in cities. The majority of this growth in urban areas is expected to occur in cities in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The transition from rural to urban life styles is likely to increase household consumption and will require massive investments in urban infrastructure.

How will society cope with this process of transformation without causing social exclusion and environmental harm? The answer is to see cities not just as centers of consumption, but as platforms for sustainable change that create new forms of collaboration and innovation to address environment, social and economic challenges. To capture the full potential of cities and their hinterlands requires an understanding of sustainability in society, a vision that captures the importance of context and time.

In this issue we focus on the role of knowledge creation and innovation as drivers of sustainable urban change. These drivers have the potential to de-couple economic growth and affluence from increasing energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, waste production and exploitation of natural resources.

 

Dr. Philipp Aerni
Prof. Dr. Amy Glasmeier
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.

Keywords

  • Urbanization
  • Contextual Understanding
  • Rural-Urban Linkages
  • Smart Cities
  • Technological Change
  • Urban Planning and Development

Published Papers (5 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-5
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessCommunication Thinking about Smart Cities: The Travels of a Policy Idea that Promises a Great Deal, but So Far Has Delivered Modest Results
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1122; doi:10.3390/su8111122
Received: 21 August 2016 / Revised: 2 October 2016 / Accepted: 21 October 2016 / Published: 1 November 2016
PDF Full-text (200 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This communication explores the unique challenge of contemporary urban problems and the technologies that vendors have to solve them. An acknowledged gap exists between widely referenced technologies that city managers utilize to optimize scheduled operations and those that reflect the capability of spontaneity
[...] Read more.
This communication explores the unique challenge of contemporary urban problems and the technologies that vendors have to solve them. An acknowledged gap exists between widely referenced technologies that city managers utilize to optimize scheduled operations and those that reflect the capability of spontaneity in search of nuance–laden solutions to problems related to the reflexivity of entire systems. With regulation, the first issue type succumbs to rehearsed preparation whereas the second hinges on extemporaneous practice. One is susceptible to ready-made technology applications while the other requires systemic deconstruction and solution-seeking redesign. Research suggests that smart city vendors are expertly configured to address the former, but less adept at and even ill-configured to react to and address the latter. Departures from status quo responses to systemic problems depend on formalizing metrics that enable city monitoring and data collection to assess “smart investments”, regardless of the size of the intervention, and to anticipate the need for designs that preserve the individuality of urban settings as they undergo the transformation to become “smart”. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Contextual and Dynamic Understanding of Sustainable Urbanisation)
Open AccessArticle Underground Potential for Urban Sustainability: Mapping Resources and Their Interactions with the Deep City Method
Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 830; doi:10.3390/su8090830
Received: 13 June 2016 / Revised: 16 August 2016 / Accepted: 16 August 2016 / Published: 25 August 2016
PDF Full-text (3702 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the process of urban growth, the underground is often only addressed once all surface alternatives have been exhausted. Experience shows that this can lead to unforeseen conflicts (e.g., subsidence, groundwater pollution) and to lost opportunities (e.g., combined geothermal systems and building foundations
[...] Read more.
In the process of urban growth, the underground is often only addressed once all surface alternatives have been exhausted. Experience shows that this can lead to unforeseen conflicts (e.g., subsidence, groundwater pollution) and to lost opportunities (e.g., combined geothermal systems and building foundations or recycling of excavation materials). One challenge is how the underground potentials are assessed by urban actors; data collection, analysis and visualization for the different resources are often conducted in separate disciplinary corners and administrative divisions. This paper presents a mapping method developed within the Deep City project at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) and its application to San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio is interesting in its lack of major underground infrastructure and its few means and political support for short-term underground development. We will specifically look at the production of a series of interaction maps, an original mapping strategy that is complementary to the resource potential maps we have produced in prior work. After situating this research within larger theoretical and philosophical questions, we will show how mapping the combined potentiality of underground resources can serve as a compass for future interdisciplinary discussions that address the urban underground as a source of opportunity, rather than as an afterthought. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Contextual and Dynamic Understanding of Sustainable Urbanisation)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Coping with Migration-Induced Urban Growth: Addressing the Blind Spot of UN Habitat
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 800; doi:10.3390/su8080800
Received: 19 June 2016 / Revised: 4 August 2016 / Accepted: 8 August 2016 / Published: 16 August 2016
PDF Full-text (386 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The demography of cities in the 21st century will be shaped, to a large extent, by migration. This paper argues that the rights-based approach to urban policy advocated in the preparatory work of Habitat III, the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban
[...] Read more.
The demography of cities in the 21st century will be shaped, to a large extent, by migration. This paper argues that the rights-based approach to urban policy advocated in the preparatory work of Habitat III, the UN Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development to be held in October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador, may not be conducive to this goal. The approach lacks a contextual and dynamic understanding of urbanization. It implicitly assumes that a growing and expansive urban economy would primarily benefit the rich and harm the poor. The resulting containment policies to stop “urban sprawl” and defend “the right to the city” can, however, be counterproductive if adopted in cities in less developed countries (LDCs) that grow fast due to internal migration. Attempts to limit urban growth may merely lead to more informal settlements, less affordable housing, and increasing costs of doing business. In other words, it may benefit the rich and harm the poor. LDCs should, therefore, refrain from adopting defensive urban policies mostly advocated by more developed countries (MDCs) and, instead, plan for sustainable urban expansion designed to improve access to essential urban services and to create a level playing field for newcomers in business. In this context, urban policies may build upon the basic insights of the late urbanist Jane Jacobs. She recognized that the vital function of cities is to provide affordable infrastructure and an institutional environment that enable migrants and other marginal urban communities to contribute to urban prosperity and problem-solving with their skills, networks, and entrepreneurial minds. The resulting social and economic empowerment increases access to essential human rights and ensures that cities become more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Contextual and Dynamic Understanding of Sustainable Urbanisation)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Rural–Urban Linkages and Sustainable Regional Development: The Role of Entrepreneurs in Linking Peripheries and Centers
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 745; doi:10.3390/su8080745
Received: 2 June 2016 / Revised: 25 July 2016 / Accepted: 26 July 2016 / Published: 3 August 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1980 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban and rural areas differ in economic, social and environmental terms. Due to the diverging dynamics in urban and rural areas, the social and economic distance between them might increase in the future even more. Rural entrepreneurs with linkages to urban areas are
[...] Read more.
Urban and rural areas differ in economic, social and environmental terms. Due to the diverging dynamics in urban and rural areas, the social and economic distance between them might increase in the future even more. Rural entrepreneurs with linkages to urban areas are able to bridge the rural–urban divide by accessing some of the urban features, such as knowledge and markets, while at the same time profiting from the advantages of their peripheral location. This paper highlights exploratory results from qualitative interviews with rural entrepreneurs, and we illustrate entrepreneurial linkages to urban centers. The interview data show that rural entrepreneurs with rural–urban linkages develop sensibility for core market demands and trends, they valuate rural assets, and they combine rural and urban sources of knowledge for innovation. Through their entrepreneurial activity, rural entrepreneurs with linkages to urban areas might constitute an opposite force to polarizing concentration of economic activities in cities. Hence, rural entrepreneurs with urban linkages might contribute to sustainable economic relationships between urban and rural areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Contextual and Dynamic Understanding of Sustainable Urbanisation)
Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Towards “Sustainable” Sanitation: Challenges and Opportunities in Urban Areas
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1289; doi:10.3390/su8121289
Received: 8 June 2016 / Revised: 1 December 2016 / Accepted: 2 December 2016 / Published: 8 December 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1191 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
While sanitation is fundamental for health and wellbeing, cities of all sizes face growing challenges in providing safe, affordable and functional sanitation systems that are also sustainable. Factors such as limited political will, inadequate technical, financial and institutional capacities and failure to integrate
[...] Read more.
While sanitation is fundamental for health and wellbeing, cities of all sizes face growing challenges in providing safe, affordable and functional sanitation systems that are also sustainable. Factors such as limited political will, inadequate technical, financial and institutional capacities and failure to integrate safe sanitation systems into broader urban development have led to a persistence of unsustainable systems and missed opportunities to tackle overlapping and interacting urban challenges. This paper reviews challenges associated with providing sanitation systems in urban areas and explores ways to promote sustainable sanitation in cities. It focuses on opportunities to stimulate sustainable sanitation approaches from a resource recovery perspective, generating added value to society while protecting human and ecosystem health. We show how, if integrated within urban development, sustainable sanitation has great potential to catalyse action and contribute to multiple sustainable development goals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Contextual and Dynamic Understanding of Sustainable Urbanisation)
Figures

Figure 1

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Sustainability Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
E-Mail: 
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Sustainability Edit a special issue Review for Sustainability
loading...
Back to Top