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Special Issue "Urban Regeneration and Sustainability"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2015)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Ken Tamminga (Website)

Department of Landscape Architecture, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA
Phone: 814-863-2377

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This issue of Sustainability focuses on regeneration research being put into action across a continuum of urban systems and spatial scales. Sustainability concerns in the city tend to arise from a combination of dysfunction in particular sectors, and a severing of life-sustaining flows between those sectors and associated realms. Framing effective scholarship and practice of sustainability-inducing regeneration, thus, requires a clear understanding of part-whole relations. Like the member of a body, any part (neighborhood, precinct) and subsystem (infrastructure, ecosystem, institution) of a city may falter. At times, enlightened tinkering is all that’s needed to re-set to a sustainable trajectory. In other instances, there’s little left to work with or the problems are more complex, calling for special effort. Generally, a shift toward sustainability occurs when the regenerative intervention catalyzes integrity and functionality in the part, while strengthening connections between that part and whole of the city.

Successful applied research in regeneration will tend to be broadly ecological, requiring a collaboration of scientific rigor, strategic creativity, and willful action and monitoring. We are interested in a range of manuscripts that are consistent with this understanding. Applied urban regeneration theory and well-documented project precedents would be most suitable. Papers addressing regeneration as catalyst of sustainable livelihood and environmental form in stressed communities are especially welcome. Taken as a compilation, this issue hopes to show that regeneration that integrates social, economic, technological, infrastructural and ecological dimensions will advance both the scholarship and tangible goal of sustainable neighborhoods and metropolises.

Prof. Ken Tamminga
Guest Editor

Keywords

  • urban regeneration
  • sustainable social-ecological systems
  • catalytic policy and design
  • ecosystem services
  • adaptibility and resilience

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Management of Stakeholders in Urban Regeneration Projects. Case Study: Baia-Mare, Transylvania
Sustainability 2016, 8(3), 238; doi:10.3390/su8030238
Received: 20 December 2015 / Revised: 25 February 2016 / Accepted: 29 February 2016 / Published: 7 March 2016
PDF Full-text (3956 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The process of regeneration of abandoned areas or deteriorated structures in the cities of Romania has become a strategy of urban-integrated development. Conversions and/or regeneration of facilities in the form of assets, with different destinations, are part of the new trend of [...] Read more.
The process of regeneration of abandoned areas or deteriorated structures in the cities of Romania has become a strategy of urban-integrated development. Conversions and/or regeneration of facilities in the form of assets, with different destinations, are part of the new trend of urban regeneration and a strategy used to attract investment capital. The disappearance of mining industry sites in Maramures County, Romania, has allowed the expansion and planning of new spaces for public use and/or semipublic, and most cities have opened new development perspectives. The study is based on empirical research conducted on the brownfields of Baia-Mare City. This research investigates how stakeholders of an urban regeneration project can be more actively involved in the decision-making processes with regard to the strategic elements of the renewal project of Cuprom, as a former mining industry area. This research contributes to the development of the investigation of new types of knowledge of stakeholder analysis and improves the available practices for stakeholder salience. Social networks created and consolidated by stakeholders of an urban regeneration project are the object of analysis, evaluation, and monitoring of the equilibrium between project management and grant of resources and capital. This paper studies the salience of stakeholders of the SEPA-CUPROM project from Baia-Mare using the social networking approach. Visualization by graphical methods of social networking analysis is a useful instrument in the decision-making process of brownfield projects as part of sustainable strategies in Romania. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Regeneration and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Field and Evaluation Methods Used to Test the Performance of a Stormceptor® Class 1 Stormwater Treatment Device in Australia
Sustainability 2015, 7(12), 16311-16323; doi:10.3390/su71215817
Received: 22 October 2015 / Revised: 29 November 2015 / Accepted: 3 December 2015 / Published: 8 December 2015
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2151 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Field testing of a proprietary stormwater treatment device was undertaken over 14 months at a site located in Nambour, South East Queensland. Testing was undertaken to evaluate the pollution removal performance of a Stormceptor® treatment train for removing total suspended solids [...] Read more.
Field testing of a proprietary stormwater treatment device was undertaken over 14 months at a site located in Nambour, South East Queensland. Testing was undertaken to evaluate the pollution removal performance of a Stormceptor® treatment train for removing total suspended solids (TSS), total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorous (TP) from stormwater runoff. Water quality sampling was undertaken using natural rainfall events complying with an a priori sampling protocol. More than 59 rain events were monitored, of which 18 were found to comply with the accepted sampling protocol. The efficiency ratios (ER) observed for the treatment device were found to be 83% for TSS, 11% for TP and 23% for TN. Although adequately removing TSS, additional system components, such as engineered filters, would be required to satisfy minimum local pollution removal regulations. The results of dry weather sampling tests did not conclusively demonstrate that pollutants were exported between storm events or that pollution concentrations increased significantly over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Regeneration and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle A Method for Gauging Landscape Change as a Prelude to Urban Watershed Regeneration: The Case of the Carioca River, Rio de Janeiro
Sustainability 2012, 4(9), 2054-2098; doi:10.3390/su4092054
Received: 25 June 2012 / Revised: 13 August 2012 / Accepted: 13 August 2012 / Published: 31 August 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (6587 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Natural systems undergo processes, flows, and rhythms that differ from those of urban sociocultural systems. While the former takes place over eras or many generations, the latter may occur within years or even months. Natural systems change includes no principle of intentional [...] Read more.
Natural systems undergo processes, flows, and rhythms that differ from those of urban sociocultural systems. While the former takes place over eras or many generations, the latter may occur within years or even months. Natural systems change includes no principle of intentional progress or enhancement of complexity. In contrast, sociocultural systems change occurs through inherited characteristics, learning, and cultural transmission [1]. Both are dynamic, heterogeneous, and vulnerable to regime shifts, and are inextricably linked. The interrelations among natural and anthropogenic factors affecting sustainability vary spatially and temporally. This paper focuses on landscape changes along the Carioca River valley in Rio de Janeiro, located in the Brazilian Neotropical Southeastern Region, and its implications for local urban sustainability. The study incorporates a transdisciplinary approach that integrates landscape ecology and urban morphology methodologies to gauge landscape change and assess social-ecological systems dynamics. The methodology includes a variety of landscape change assessments; including on-site landscape ecological, landscape morphology, biological and urbanistic surveys, to gauge urban watershed quality. It presents an adapted inventory for assessment of urban tropical rivers, Neotropical Urban Stream Visual Assessment Protocol (NUSVAP), and correlates the level of stream and rainforest integrity to local urban environmental patterns and processes. How can urban regional land managers, planners and communities work together to promote shifts toward more desirable configurations and processes? An understanding of the transient behavior of social-ecological systems and how they respond to change and disturbance is fundamental to building appropriate management strategies and fostering resilience, regenerative capacity, and sustainable development in urban watersheds. The sociocultural patterns, processes and dynamics of Rio’s hillsides suggest that increasing the multifunctionality, flexibility, adaptability and connectivity of open spaces may influence carrying, adaptive and regenerative capacities of urban landscape systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Regeneration and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Identification and Induction of Human, Social, and Cultural Capitals through an Experimental Approach to Stormwater Management
Sustainability 2012, 4(8), 1669-1682; doi:10.3390/su4081669
Received: 26 June 2012 / Revised: 20 July 2012 / Accepted: 26 July 2012 / Published: 6 August 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (1506 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Correction
Abstract
Decentralized stormwater management is based on the dispersal of stormwater management practices (SWMP) throughout a watershed to manage stormwater runoff volume and potentially restore natural hydrologic processes. This approach to stormwater management is increasingly popular but faces constraints related to land access [...] Read more.
Decentralized stormwater management is based on the dispersal of stormwater management practices (SWMP) throughout a watershed to manage stormwater runoff volume and potentially restore natural hydrologic processes. This approach to stormwater management is increasingly popular but faces constraints related to land access and citizen engagement. We tested a novel method of environmental management through citizen-based stormwater management on suburban private land. After a nominal induction of human capital through an education campaign, two successive (2007, 2008) reverse auctions engaged residents to voluntarily bid on installation of SWMPs on their property. Cumulatively, 81 rain gardens and 165 rain barrels were installed on approximately one-third of the 350 eligible residential properties in the watershed, resulting in an estimated 360 m3 increase in stormwater detention capacity. One surprising result was the abundance of zero dollar bids, indicating even a limited-effort human capital campaign was sufficient to enroll many participants. In addition, we used statistical methods to illustrate the significant role of social capital in forming clusters of adjacent properties that participated in bidding. This indicated that as participants shared their experiences, neighbors may have become more willing to trust the program and enroll. Significant agglomerations of participating properties may indicate a shift in neighborhood culture regarding stormwater management with positive implications for watershed health through the sustained induction of alternate capitals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Regeneration and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The Ganges and the GAP: An Assessment of Efforts to Clean a Sacred River
Sustainability 2012, 4(8), 1647-1668; doi:10.3390/su4081647
Received: 2 June 2012 / Revised: 16 July 2012 / Accepted: 18 July 2012 / Published: 27 July 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (1403 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For centuries, the Ganges River in India has been the locus of sacred rites for the Hindus. The religious significance of the Ganges is physically manifested in ghats (stepped landings) that form the land-water interface. Besides serving as a site for religious [...] Read more.
For centuries, the Ganges River in India has been the locus of sacred rites for the Hindus. The religious significance of the Ganges is physically manifested in ghats (stepped landings) that form the land-water interface. Besides serving as a site for religious bathing and cremation, the ghats are also tied to people’s livelihoods and are an inseparable part of their daily lives. Today, the increasingly urbanized Ganges basin sustains more than 40 percent of India’s population. At the same time, industrialization and the pressures of a growing population along its banks have contributed to alarming levels of pollution in the river. In 1985, the federal government of India launched the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) with the primary objective of cleaning the river. However, characterized by centralized planning and control with little public participation, the GAP had limited impact. In 2011, the government launched yet another clean up program—the National Ganga River Basin Project—with support from the World Bank. In this paper, we take a closer look at the programs to highlight the tenuous relationship between the need for ‘efficient’ management of environmental problems and public participation. Can public participation fit into the technocratic model that is often adopted by environmental programs? What approaches to participation kindle authorship and empowerment among those who share a deep relationship with the river and the ghats? Can religious practices be accommodated within scientific frameworks of adaptive management and resilience? We argue that rethinking the relationship between pollution control programs and participation is crucial for any effort to clean the Ganges, restore its waterfront, and catalyze broader regeneration in the Ganges basin. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Regeneration and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Sustainable Urban Regeneration Based on Energy Balance
Sustainability 2012, 4(7), 1488-1509; doi:10.3390/su4071488
Received: 21 May 2012 / Revised: 26 June 2012 / Accepted: 27 June 2012 / Published: 10 July 2012
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (754 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, results are reported of a technology assessment of the use and integration of decentralized energy systems and storage devices in an urban renewal area. First the general context of a different approach based on 'rethinking' and the incorporation of [...] Read more.
In this paper, results are reported of a technology assessment of the use and integration of decentralized energy systems and storage devices in an urban renewal area. First the general context of a different approach based on 'rethinking' and the incorporation of ongoing integration of coming economical and environmental interests on infrastructure, in relation to the sustainable urban development and regeneration from the perspective of the tripod people, technology and design is elaborated. However, this is at different scales, starting mainly from the perspective of the urban dynamics. This approach includes a renewed look at the ‘urban metabolism’ and the role of environmental technology, urban ecology and environment behavior focus. Second, the potential benefits of strategic and balanced introduction and use of decentralized devices and electric vehicles (EVs), and attached generation based on renewables are investigated in more detail in the case study of the ‘Merwe-Vierhaven’ area (MW4) in the Rotterdam city port in the Netherlands. In order to optimize the energy balance of this urban renewal area, it is found to be impossible to do this by tuning the energy consumption. It is more effective to change the energy mix and related infrastructures. However, the problem in existing urban areas is that often these areas are restricted to a few energy sources due to lack of available space for integration. Besides this, energy consumption in most cases is relatively concentrated in (existing) urban areas. This limits the potential of sustainable urban regeneration based on decentralized systems, because there is no balanced choice regarding the energy mix based on renewables and system optimization. Possible solutions to obtain a balanced energy profile can come from either the choice to not provide all energy locally, or by adding different types of storage devices to the systems. The use of energy balance based on renewables as a guiding principle, as elaborated in the MW4 case study, is a new approach in the field. It may enhance existing communities, and in some cases result in both the saving and demolition of parts of neighborhoods, which were not foreseen, while at the same time direct introduction of flexible appliances within the energy system for (temporary) storage. It is concluded that the best achievable energy balance in the MW4 area consists of an elaboration in which a smart grid is able to shift the load of flexible devices and charge EVs via smart charging while energy generation is based upon the renewables biomass, wind, tides and the sun. The introduction of new sustainable technologies makes a protected environment for development evident. As for system configuration, the choices arise mainly from technical and social optimisation. In fact, the social, or user-related criteria will be decisive for enduring sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Regeneration and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle The New Ecology of Vacancy: Rethinking Land Use in Shrinking Cities
Sustainability 2012, 4(6), 1154-1172; doi:10.3390/su4061154
Received: 15 February 2012 / Revised: 17 May 2012 / Accepted: 18 May 2012 / Published: 5 June 2012
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1278 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban environments are in continual transition. Yet, as many cities continue to grow and develop in ways deemed typical or standard, these transitions can be difficult to acknowledge. Narratives of continued growth and permanence become accepted and expected while the understanding of [...] Read more.
Urban environments are in continual transition. Yet, as many cities continue to grow and develop in ways deemed typical or standard, these transitions can be difficult to acknowledge. Narratives of continued growth and permanence become accepted and expected while the understanding of urban dynamics becomes lost. In many parts of the world, the shrinking cities phenomenon has given rise to a new awareness of urban transition that provides a laboratory of new conditions at the intersection of urbanism and ecology. With property vacancy rates easily exceeding 50% in certain locations, cities in the American Rust Belt look more like successional woodlands than bustling metropolises, yet these cities still contain significant numbers of urban residents. A central question that arises from this phenomenon is: how can vacant land, through the provision of ecosystem services, become a resource as opposed to a liability? This paper looks to recent studies in urban ecology as a lens for understanding the land use potential of shrinking cities, while discussing unconventional solutions for sustainable development of urban land. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Regeneration and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle Sticks and Stones: The Impact of the Definitions of Brownfield in Policies on Socio-Economic Sustainability
Sustainability 2012, 4(5), 840-862; doi:10.3390/su4050840
Received: 15 February 2012 / Revised: 19 April 2012 / Accepted: 24 April 2012 / Published: 3 May 2012
Cited by 9 | PDF Full-text (494 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Many countries encourage brownfield regeneration as a means of sustainable development but define “brownfield” differently. Specifically, the definitions of brownfield in the regeneration policies of countries with higher population densities usually promote recycling land that is previously developed, whether or not there [...] Read more.
Many countries encourage brownfield regeneration as a means of sustainable development but define “brownfield” differently. Specifically, the definitions of brownfield in the regeneration policies of countries with higher population densities usually promote recycling land that is previously developed, whether or not there is chemical contamination. Further, the de facto definition of brownfield used by the UK government focuses on previously developed land that is unused or underused. The ANOVA in this study revealed that local authorities in England (n = 296) with higher percentages of derelict and vacant land tended to be more deprived based on the English Indices of Multiple Deprivation, which evaluate deprivation from the aspects of income, employment, health, education, housing, crime, and living environment. However, the percentage of previously developed land in use but with further development potential had no significant effect on the deprivation conditions. The Blair-Brown Government (1997~2010) encouraged more than 60% of new dwellings to be established on the previously developed land in England. The analyses in this study showed that this target, combined with the definition of brownfield in the policy, may have facilitated higher densities of residential development on previously developed land but without addressing the deprivation problems. These observations indicate that a definition of brownfield in regeneration policies should focus on previously developed land that is now vacant or derelict if land recycling is to contribute to sustainable communities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Regeneration and Sustainability)
Open AccessArticle Urban Densification and Recreational Quality of Public Urban Green Spaces—A Viennese Case Study
Sustainability 2012, 4(4), 703-720; doi:10.3390/su4040703
Received: 17 February 2012 / Revised: 10 April 2012 / Accepted: 11 April 2012 / Published: 19 April 2012
Cited by 14 | PDF Full-text (889 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Public urban green spaces play an important role in urban sustainability. These places should provide high-quality recreation experiences for the urban residents. However, they are often overused. The Wienerberg area in the south of Vienna, Austria, was transformed from a waste disposal [...] Read more.
Public urban green spaces play an important role in urban sustainability. These places should provide high-quality recreation experiences for the urban residents. However, they are often overused. The Wienerberg area in the south of Vienna, Austria, was transformed from a waste disposal site into a natural recreation area. During the past years, intensive settlement densification processes have taken place, resulting in a doubling of the local population living within a few minutes walking distance. An on-site survey among green space visitors (N = 231) revealed that the majority of them considered the area to be overcrowded on Sundays/holidays and reported a perceived increase in visitor numbers during the past years. Visitors with more past experience, as well as those who have perceived an increase in visitor numbers during recent years, reported higher crowding perceptions. A significant proportion of them try to avoid these crowds, relying on behavioral coping strategies, such as inter-area displacement. While urban regeneration has provided an attractive recreation area, urban densification around the green space appears to have reduced its recreational quality. Monitoring recreation quality indicators, such as crowding perceptions, seems to be useful for sustainable urban green space management and city planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Regeneration and Sustainability)

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