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Special Issue "Towards True Smart and Green Cities?"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2015)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Thorsten Schuetze

SungKyunKwan University, Department of Architecture, Suwon, 440-746, Korea
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainable architecture and urbansim, zero emission buildings and districts, resource efficiency in architecture and planning, water sensitive urban design, resilient and climate responive design
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Hendrik Tieben

Hong Kong The Chinese University, School of Architecture, Hong Kong SAR, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: urban history; theory and design; sustainable development
Guest Editor
Dr. Lorenzo Chelleri

Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI), GSSI Cities, L'Aquila, 67100, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: city resilience metrics; climate change adaptation plans; urban resilience trade-offs; urban sustainability
Guest Editor
Dr. York Ostermeyer

Chalmers Tekniska Högskola (Chalmers University of Technology), Civil and Environmental Engineering, Gothenburg, 412 96, Sweden
Website | E-Mail
Interests: energy efficiency; LCA; building stock modelling; building processes; building market mechanisms; renewable energy; building materials
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Marc Wolfram

Yonsei University, Urban Planning and Engineering, Seoul, 120-749, Korea
Website | E-Mail
Interests: sustainability transitions and resilience of urban socio-technical and socio-ecological systems, urban planning; reflexive governance, social innovation, foresight

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Achieving sustainability and resilience of urban environments is a key challenge of our time. Limited availability of resources, as well as the need for adaptation to the effects of a changing climate and urban environments, are increasingly questioning the sustainability and resilience of urban environments and infrastructure systems.

The majority of the world’s cities are confronted with similar and comparable challenges, including, for instance, increases in resource consumption, mobility demand, pollution, urban sprawl, social inequities, erosion of fertile topsoil, and depletion of ecosystems. However, specific basic conditions, as well as the individual context and level of urbanization and development require specific approaches and strategies to achieve sustainable urban (re)development, resilience and to cope with the problems encountered with the implementation of such strategies.

On the one hand, during the last few decades, many different new approaches, methods, technologies and systems have been developed to facilitate the realization of sustainable and resilient urban environments. On the other hand, in practice such approaches and solutions are framed and conditioned by existing institutions and practices that imply various types of biases in the selection of means and ends.

Therefore, this Special Issue of Sustainability, “Towards True Smart and Green Cities?”, focuses on papers that critically discuss the question in how far current responses to the urban challenges outlined above contribute to the conception, construction, management, operation and maintenance of sustainable and resilient cities, considering both new urban developments and the transformation of existing urban environments. The responses analyzed may include strategies, approaches and methods in the fields of economy, ecology, sociology and culture, architectonic and urban design, technologies and systems for urban infrastructures, governance, planning, management, construction, marketing, quality assurance, as well as monitoring and maintenance.

The papers published in this Special Issue can be assigned to the following sub-themes:

A - True Smart and Green Urban Society

Keywords: Social responsibility, benefits redistribution, participation, integration, informal sector, communities and community based development, individualism and collectivism, political conditions, network society, green urban culture, generic city and identity, social inequalities, kampong, slums and squatters, historic urban core, cultural sustainability, social resilience, local wisdom, social justice.

B - True Smart and Green Urban Economies

Keywords: Economical life cycle analysis of buildings and/or infrastructures from neighborhood to city level, green urban economies, regional economy  and currencies, effects of globalization, social-economic resilience.

C - True Smart and Green Urban Planning and Governance

Keywords: urban governance, urban management, integrated urban planning, institutions, innovation, experimentation, learning, transdisciplinarity, stakeholder participation, tools and systems for the assessment and certification of sustainability aspects.

D - True Smart and Green Urban Design and Visions

Keywords: Designs, visions and practice examples of true smart and green landscape, architecture and urbanism; urban concepts and designs for new developments; regeneration and transformation of existing urban environments on different scales; plans and concepts for true smart and green urban (re)developments and redevelopments.

E - True Smart and Green Urban Technologies and Infrastructure Systems

Keywords: Smart infrastructures for telecommunication, urban mining, urban farming, technologies and systems for sustainable resource management aiming for zero emission (sustainable production and management of water, energy, waste), public health and air quality, smart individual and public transport systems, electric mobility, urban network, urban nodes, high-density.

Prof. Dr. Thorsten Schuetze
Prof. Dr. Hendrik Tieben
Dr. Lorenzo Chelleri
Dr. York Ostermeyer
Prof. Dr. Marc Wolfram
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

  • Social responsibility
  • benefits redistribution
  • participation, integration
  • informal sector
  • communities and community based development
  • individualism and collectivism
  • political conditions
  • network society
  • green urban culture
  • generic city and identity
  • social inequalities
  • kampong
  • slums and squatters
  • historic urban core
  • cultural sustainability
  • social resilience
  • local wisdom
  • social justice

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Life Cycle Assessment in Building: A Case Study on the Energy and Emissions Impact Related to the Choice of Housing Typologies and Construction Process in Spain
Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 287; doi:10.3390/su8030287
Received: 7 December 2015 / Revised: 13 March 2016 / Accepted: 15 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (5445 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
While there exists an international trend to develop zero or near zero emissions building solutions by 2020, and European governments continuously update their building regulations to optimize the building envelope and energy systems to achieve this during the building use stage, at least
[...] Read more.
While there exists an international trend to develop zero or near zero emissions building solutions by 2020, and European governments continuously update their building regulations to optimize the building envelope and energy systems to achieve this during the building use stage, at least in Spain the building regulations do not take into account the impact of emissions resulting from urbanization and construction activities prior to building use. This research studies in detail the entire emissions balance (and how it may be related to energy efficiency) in a newly built residential cluster project in Mancha Real (Jaén, Spain), and influences due to the choice of different urban typologies. For comparison, terraced housing and low-density, four-floor, multi-family housing alternatives have been studied. The present work assessed the life cycle of the building with the help of commercial software (CYPE), and the energy efficiency and emissions according to the legal regulations in Spain with the official software LIDER and CALENER VYP. After a careful choice of building and systems alternatives and their comparison, the study concludes that the major emissions impact and energy costs of urbanization and building activity occurs during construction, while later savings due to reductions in building use emissions are very modest in comparison. Therefore, deeper analysis is suggested to improve the efficiency of the construction process for a significantly reduced emission footprint on the urban environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessArticle A Comparative Study on Sustainability in Architectural Education in Asia—With a Focus on Professional Degree Curricula
Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 290; doi:10.3390/su8030290
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 9 March 2016 / Accepted: 15 March 2016 / Published: 22 March 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1036 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Architectural education is a key factor in the re-thinking of the whole industry toward a system of more sustainable buildings and cities. Asia is the continent with the highest population growth and the fastest urbanization rate on earth. It is necessary to educate
[...] Read more.
Architectural education is a key factor in the re-thinking of the whole industry toward a system of more sustainable buildings and cities. Asia is the continent with the highest population growth and the fastest urbanization rate on earth. It is necessary to educate professionals with a well-balanced and integrated knowledge of local issues and global standards. This paper focuses on education for sustainable architecture in Asian countries. This is an exploratory study, analyzing the curricula of 20 selected influential schools in 11 countries. Sustainability-related courses are identified, classified and summarized in qualitative tables (course matrix) and in quantitative graphs. The analysis helps to identify trends and regional or individual uniqueness. The results show that sustainability education is organized in very diverse ways, according to contents, intensity and sequence. The percentages of sustainable courses range from less than 5% to 25%. Technology-related courses are the most numerous and homogeneous. Sustainability design studios show the greatest variation, from zero to almost 100%. General theory courses help in dealing with sustainability issues through traditional and vernacular philosophies, technologies and strategies that are very adequate to their geographical and cultural settings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessArticle Are People Responsive to a More Sustainable, Decentralized, and User-Driven Management of Urban Metabolism?
Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 275; doi:10.3390/su8030275
Received: 27 October 2015 / Revised: 7 March 2016 / Accepted: 10 March 2016 / Published: 16 March 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (213 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Smart, green, and resilient city paradigms have been mainly promoted through top-down and technocratic approaches. However, based on the notion to return to “the right to the city”, emerging community-driven initiatives are providing self-managed infrastructures contributing to urban sustainability transitions. This paper explores
[...] Read more.
Smart, green, and resilient city paradigms have been mainly promoted through top-down and technocratic approaches. However, based on the notion to return to “the right to the city”, emerging community-driven initiatives are providing self-managed infrastructures contributing to urban sustainability transitions. This paper explores the relevance of the behavioral aspects of people-centered approaches in dealing with two different facets of urban metabolism: physical infrastructure (involvement with the management of decentralized infrastructures) and consumption patterns (involvement in proactive reduction of resources used). In the first case we assessed community perceptions about the roles, benefits, and willingness to proactively engage in the management of decentralized green infrastructures in Bogotá City, Colombia. For the second facet, we measured the effectiveness of change agents in re-shaping energy consumption decisions within urban social networks in South Africa and Saudi Arabia. This paper’s results show that pre-determined and standardized strategies do not guarantee positive, nor homogeneous, results in terms of meeting sustainability targets, or promoting community involvement. Hence, a better integration of people-centered and top-down approaches is needed through context-dependent policies, for enhancing both users’ appreciation of and commitment to urban metabolism participative management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessArticle Comparable Measures of Accessibility to Public Transport Using the General Transit Feed Specification
Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 224; doi:10.3390/su8030224
Received: 27 November 2015 / Revised: 16 February 2016 / Accepted: 19 February 2016 / Published: 1 March 2016
PDF Full-text (4810 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Public transport plays a critical role in the sustainability of urban settings. The mass mobility and quality of urban lives can be improved by establishing public transport networks that are accessible to pedestrians within a reasonable walking distance. Accessibility to public transport is
[...] Read more.
Public transport plays a critical role in the sustainability of urban settings. The mass mobility and quality of urban lives can be improved by establishing public transport networks that are accessible to pedestrians within a reasonable walking distance. Accessibility to public transport is characterized by the ease with which inhabitants can reach means of transportation such as buses or metros. By measuring the degree of accessibility to public transport networks using a common data format, a comparative study can be conducted between different cities or metropolitan areas with different public transit systems. The General Transit Feed Specification (GTFS) by Google Developers allows this by offering a common format based on text files and sharing the data set voluntarily produced and contributed by the public transit agencies of many participating cities around the world. This paper suggests a method to assess and compare public transit accessibility in different urban areas using the GTFS feed and demographic data. To demonstrate the value of the new method, six examples of metropolitan areas and their public transit accessibility are presented and compared. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessArticle Where’s Wally? In Search of Citizen Perspectives on the Smart City
Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 207; doi:10.3390/su8030207
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 6 February 2016 / Accepted: 13 February 2016 / Published: 26 February 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (212 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
This paper builds upon an earlier conference publication by the authors, offering contributions based on a systematic literature review and qualitative study. The paper begins by drawing attention to the paucity of “citizen”—more appropriately, “situated”—perspectives on what a smart city should and could
[...] Read more.
This paper builds upon an earlier conference publication by the authors, offering contributions based on a systematic literature review and qualitative study. The paper begins by drawing attention to the paucity of “citizen”—more appropriately, “situated”—perspectives on what a smart city should and could be. The paper then addresses that absence by detailing a research project that explored how people in London, Manchester, and Glasgow responded to the smart city concept. Participants were asked questions regarding their prior familiarity with the phrase “smart city”, their thoughts relating to what it means for a city to be smart, and what a “true” smart city might mean to them. The paper analyses and offers a synthesis of the responses collected throughout the research with the dominant rhetoric about smart cities, as identified through a recent systematic literature review, thereby providing a critical assessment of the values underlying the smart city. It aims to explore and present some of the expectations that citizens hold for their cities’ politicians, policy makers, planners, academics, and technology companies. We believe that these perspectives from citizens can be used to inform responsible development, spatially and socially inclusive technologies, and ultimately more resilient cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessArticle Sustainability of Social Housing in Asia: A Holistic Multi-Perspective Development Process for Bamboo-Based Construction in the Philippines
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 151; doi:10.3390/su8020151
Received: 30 November 2015 / Accepted: 26 January 2016 / Published: 6 February 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (10215 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper highlights the need for a more inclusive and sustainable development of social housing in rapidly developing countries of Asia, Latin America, and Africa. At the example of the Philippines, a multi-perspective development process for a bamboo-based building system is developed. Sustainability
[...] Read more.
This paper highlights the need for a more inclusive and sustainable development of social housing in rapidly developing countries of Asia, Latin America, and Africa. At the example of the Philippines, a multi-perspective development process for a bamboo-based building system is developed. Sustainability Assessment Criteria are defined through literature review, field observations and interviews with three stakeholder clusters: (1) Builders and users of traditional bamboo houses in the Philippines; (2) Stakeholders involved in using forest products for housing in other countries around the world; and (3) Stakeholders in the field of social housing in the Philippines. Through coding and sorting of data in a qualitative content analysis, 15 sustainability assessment criteria are identified clustered into the dimensions society, ecology, economy, governance, and technology. Guided by the sustainability criteria and four implementation strategies: (A) Research about and (B) Implementation of the building technology; (C) Participation and Capacity Building of Stakeholders; and (D) Sustainable Supply Chains, a strategic roadmap was created naming, in total, 28 action items. Through segmentation of the complex problem into these action items, the paper identifies one-dimensional methods leading to measurable, quantitative endpoints. In this way, qualitative stakeholder data is translated into quantitative methods, forming a pathway for a holistic assessment of the building technologies. A mid-point, multi-criteria, or pareto decision-making method comparing the 28 endpoints of the alternative to currently practiced conventional solutions is suggested as subject for further research. This framework paper is a contribution to how sustainable building practices can become more inclusive, incorporating the building stock of low-income dwellers. It bridges the gap between theoretical approach and practical applications of sustainability and underlines the strength of combining multi-dimensional development with stakeholder participation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessArticle True Green and Sustainable University Campuses? Toward a Clusters Approach
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 83; doi:10.3390/su8010083
Received: 29 November 2015 / Revised: 23 December 2015 / Accepted: 31 December 2015 / Published: 15 January 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2697 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Campus greening is often the first step universities take towards sustainability. However, the diffusion of sustainability reporting methodologies and rankings is still at an early stage, and is biased in mainly measuring energy efficiency indicators while omitting basic features enabling meaningful comparisons among
[...] Read more.
Campus greening is often the first step universities take towards sustainability. However, the diffusion of sustainability reporting methodologies and rankings is still at an early stage, and is biased in mainly measuring energy efficiency indicators while omitting basic features enabling meaningful comparisons among centers or addressing social (users) aspects related to long term sustainability transitions. This paper aims to introduce a critical perspective on sustainability university frameworks through: (i) a review of current Campus Sustainability Assessments (CSAs); (ii) performing and comparing the results obtained from the application of two internationally recognized CSAs (namely, Green Metric and ISCN) to two case studies (the Politecnico di Torino, in Italy, and the Hokkaido University, In Japan) and, finally, (iii) proposing a new CSA approach that encompasses clusters of homogeneous campus typologies for meaningful comparisons and university rankings. The proposed clusters regard universities’ morphological structures (campuses nested within city centers versus outside of a city compact ones), climatic zones and functions. At the micro scale, the paper introduces the need for indicators beyond measuring pure energy efficiency, but which are attentive to local and societal constraints and provide long-term tracking of outcomes. This, better than a sheer record of sustainability priority actions, can help in building homogenous university case studies to find similar and scalable success strategies and practices, and also in self-monitoring progress toward achieving truly sustainable university campuses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessArticle Urban Sustainability Versus Green-Washing—Fallacy and Reality of Urban Regeneration in Downtown Seoul
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 33; doi:10.3390/su8010033
Received: 24 November 2015 / Revised: 17 December 2015 / Accepted: 24 December 2015 / Published: 30 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3196 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper examines the planning paradigm shift related to the contested “urban renaissance” mega-project in Downtown Seoul (Korea). Similar to other global cities, over the last few decades, different mega-projects have been successfully implemented in Seoul. These projects have been considered engines for
[...] Read more.
This paper examines the planning paradigm shift related to the contested “urban renaissance” mega-project in Downtown Seoul (Korea). Similar to other global cities, over the last few decades, different mega-projects have been successfully implemented in Seoul. These projects have been considered engines for urban renewals and transformation. This paper builds on the analysis of the failure and re-framing planning strategy for the Green Corridor (GC) mega-project, part of the “Urban Renaissance Master Plan for Downtown Seoul”. The GC case reveals various critical insights for urban sustainability: (i) the current mega-projects’ sustainability fallacy, related to top-down, technocratic densification, and greening practices; and (ii) the untapped potential of Asian traditional and irregular small scale urban patterns, and their related socio-cultural value in addressing the renaissance of the long term urban sustainability. In particular, the discussed research findings point out that urban renaissance enabling sustainability principles requires integrated, small scale, incremental, and adaptive (stepwise) urban planning and design processes that go well beyond general strategies following the so-called “green growth” paradigm. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessArticle Assessment of Passive vs. Active Strategies for a School Building Design
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 15136-15151; doi:10.3390/su71115136
Received: 21 August 2015 / Revised: 3 November 2015 / Accepted: 6 November 2015 / Published: 16 November 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (9930 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents a simulation study to reduce heating and cooling energy demand of a school building in Seoul Metropolitan Area, Korea. The aim of this study was to estimate the impact of passive vs. active approaches on energy savings in buildings using
[...] Read more.
This paper presents a simulation study to reduce heating and cooling energy demand of a school building in Seoul Metropolitan Area, Korea. The aim of this study was to estimate the impact of passive vs. active approaches on energy savings in buildings using EnergyPlus simulation. By controlling lighting, the energy saving of the original school building design was found most significant, and increased by 32% when the design was improved. It is noteworthy that energy saving potential of each room varies significantly depending on the rooms’ thermal characteristics and orientation. Thus, the analysis of energy saving should be introduced at the individual space level, not at the whole building level. Additionally, the simulation studies should be involved for rational decision-making. Finally, it was concluded that priority should be given to passive building design strategies, such as building orientation, as well as control and utilization of solar radiation. These passive energy saving strategies are related to urban, architectural design, and engineering issues, and are more beneficial in terms of energy savings than active strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessArticle Comparative Analysis of Material Criteria in Neighborhood Sustainability Assessment Tools and Urban Design Guidelines: Cases of the UK, the US, Japan, and Korea
Sustainability 2015, 7(11), 14450-14487; doi:10.3390/su71114450
Received: 8 September 2015 / Revised: 6 October 2015 / Accepted: 22 October 2015 / Published: 28 October 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2691 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability assessment tools have been developed for building-scale sustainability since the 1990s. Several systems, such as BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology), LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and CASBEE (Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency), are widely used and
[...] Read more.
Sustainability assessment tools have been developed for building-scale sustainability since the 1990s. Several systems, such as BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology), LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and CASBEE (Comprehensive Assessment System for Built Environment Efficiency), are widely used and have been upgraded and adapted to large-scale development. BREEAM Communities, LEED Neighborhood Development and CASBEE for Urban Development have been implemented in the UK, the USA and Japan, respectively. As the notion of sustainable urban design has gained more significance, city governments have set their own guidelines for sustainable standards in urban design based on studies of sustainability assessment tools. This study focused on a comparative analysis of the material criteria embedded for sustainable urban design in BREEAM Communities, LEED-ND (Neighborhood Development) and CASBEE-UD (Urban Development), and the urban design guidelines recently issued in multiple cities, including London, New York, Tokyo, and Seoul. The top master plans and the supplementary guidelines were analyzed to investigate the detailed material criteria. The study examined the differences in the material assessment criteria, evaluation parameters, and descriptions of the neighborhood sustainability assessment tools and the urban design guidelines. The material criteria was investigated and discussed to summarize the current features and weaknesses as balanced material assessments for sustainable urban development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessArticle Quantitative Analysis of Urban Pluvial Flood Alleviation by Open Surface Water Systems in New Towns: Comparing Almere and Tianjin Eco-City
Sustainability 2015, 7(10), 13378-13398; doi:10.3390/su71013378
Received: 5 July 2015 / Revised: 13 September 2015 / Accepted: 22 September 2015 / Published: 29 September 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4423 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increased surface runoff generated in urban areas due to larger proportion of impervious surfaces has, in many cases, exceeded the capacity of urban drainage systems. In response to such challenge, this paper introduces the quantitative analysis of pluvial flood alleviation by open surface
[...] Read more.
Increased surface runoff generated in urban areas due to larger proportion of impervious surfaces has, in many cases, exceeded the capacity of urban drainage systems. In response to such challenge, this paper introduces the quantitative analysis of pluvial flood alleviation by open surface water systems in the case of Almere in the Netherlands and compares it with Tianjin Eco-City in China, with the aim of optimizing land use planning and urban design for new urban districts. The methodology is a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis. With the analytical tool of ArcGIS, the authors have investigated the influence of spatial distribution of surface water system on the reduction of pluvial flood risks. The conclusions include some preliminary principles: (1) a densely distributed surface water network is preferable; (2) areas farther away from water body require water sensitive spatial intervention; and (3) optimizing the allocation of different types of ground surface could contribute to pluvial flood alleviation. An alternative design proposal for a typical urban block in Tianjin Eco-City has been put forward to illustrate these principles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessArticle Designing an Optimal Subsidy Scheme to Reduce Emissions for a Competitive Urban Transport Market
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 11933-11948; doi:10.3390/su70911933
Received: 4 June 2015 / Revised: 12 August 2015 / Accepted: 18 August 2015 / Published: 27 August 2015
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1335 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the purpose of establishing an effective subsidy scheme to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, this paper proposes a two-stage game for a competitive urban transport market. In the first stage, the authority determines operating subsidies based on social welfare maximization. Observing the
[...] Read more.
With the purpose of establishing an effective subsidy scheme to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, this paper proposes a two-stage game for a competitive urban transport market. In the first stage, the authority determines operating subsidies based on social welfare maximization. Observing the predetermined subsidies, two transit operators set fares and frequencies to maximize their own profits at the second stage. The detailed analytical and numerical analyses demonstrate that of the three proposed subsidy schemes, the joint implementation of trip-based and frequency-related subsidies not only generates the largest welfare gains and makes competitive operators provide equilibrium fares and frequencies, which largely resemble first-best optimal levels but also greatly contributes to reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions on major urban transport corridors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessArticle Optimal Intra-Urban Hierarchy of Activity Centers—A Minimized Household Travel Energy Consumption Approach
Sustainability 2015, 7(9), 11838-11856; doi:10.3390/su70911838
Received: 2 July 2015 / Revised: 13 August 2015 / Accepted: 18 August 2015 / Published: 26 August 2015
PDF Full-text (1727 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
An intra-urban hierarchy of activity centers interconnected by non-motorized and public transportation is broadly believed to be the ideal urban spatial structure for sustainable cities. However, the proper hinterland area for centers at each level lacks empirical study. Based on the concentric structure
[...] Read more.
An intra-urban hierarchy of activity centers interconnected by non-motorized and public transportation is broadly believed to be the ideal urban spatial structure for sustainable cities. However, the proper hinterland area for centers at each level lacks empirical study. Based on the concentric structure of everyday travel distances, working centers, shopping centers, and neighborhood centers are extracted from corresponding types of POIs in 286 Chinese cities at the prefectural level and above. A U-shaped curve between Household Transportation Energy Consumption (HTEC) per capita and center density at each of the three levels has been found through regression analysis. An optimal intra-urban hierarchy of activity centers is suggested to construct energy-efficient cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)

Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Cities and Systemic Change for Sustainability: Prevailing Epistemologies and an Emerging Research Agenda
Sustainability 2016, 8(2), 144; doi:10.3390/su8020144
Received: 30 November 2015 / Revised: 18 January 2016 / Accepted: 22 January 2016 / Published: 4 February 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (549 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Cities are key for sustainability and the radical systemic changes required to enable equitable human development within planetary boundaries. Their particular role in this regard has become the subject of an emerging and highly interdisciplinary scientific debate. Drawing on a qualitative literature review,
[...] Read more.
Cities are key for sustainability and the radical systemic changes required to enable equitable human development within planetary boundaries. Their particular role in this regard has become the subject of an emerging and highly interdisciplinary scientific debate. Drawing on a qualitative literature review, this paper identifies and scrutinizes the principal fields involved, asking for their respective normative orientation, interdisciplinary constitution, theories and methods used, and empirical basis to provide orientations for future research. It recognizes four salient research epistemologies, each focusing on a distinct combination of drivers of change: (A) transforming urban metabolisms and political ecologies; (B) configuring urban innovation systems for green economies; (C) building adaptive urban communities and ecosystems; and (D) empowering urban grassroots niches and social innovation. The findings suggest that future research directed at cities and systemic change towards sustainability should (1) explore interrelations between the above epistemologies, using relational geography and governance theory as boundary areas; (2) conceive of cities as places shaped by and shaping interactions between multiple socio-technical and social-ecological systems; (3) focus on agency across systems and drivers of change, and develop corresponding approaches for intervention and experimentation; and (4) rebalance the empirical basis and methods employed, strengthening transdisciplinarity in particular. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
Open AccessReview How to Monitor Sustainable Mobility in Cities? Literature Review in the Frame of Creating a Set of Sustainable Mobility Indicators
Sustainability 2016, 8(1), 29; doi:10.3390/su8010029
Received: 30 October 2015 / Revised: 19 December 2015 / Accepted: 24 December 2015 / Published: 30 December 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (822 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The role of sustainable mobility and its impact on society and the environment is evident and recognized worldwide. Nevertheless, although there is a growing number of measures and projects that deal with sustainable mobility issues, it is not so easy to compare their
[...] Read more.
The role of sustainable mobility and its impact on society and the environment is evident and recognized worldwide. Nevertheless, although there is a growing number of measures and projects that deal with sustainable mobility issues, it is not so easy to compare their results and, so far, there is no globally applicable set of tools and indicators that ensure holistic evaluation and facilitate replicability of the best practices. In this paper, based on the extensive literature review, we give a systematic overview of relevant and scientifically sound indicators that cover different aspects of sustainable mobility that are applicable in different social and economic contexts around the world. Overall, 22 sustainable mobility indicators have been selected and an overview of the applied measures described across the literature review has been presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards True Smart and Green Cities?)
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