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Special Issue "Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Patricia Romero-Lankao

Urban Futures Program, Climate Science and Applications Program, Research Applications Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, 3450 Mitchell Lane, Boulder, CO, 80301, USA
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Phone: +1 303 497 8104
Fax: +1 303 497 8401
Interests: the dynamics of urbanization and urban areas shaping resource use, vulnerabilities, capacities and risk; and the dimensions of decision makers’ capacity to develop governance arrangements for effective mitigation and adaptation actions
Guest Editor
Dr. Olga Wilhelmi

GIS Program, Climate Science and Applications Program, Research Applications Laboratory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, 3450 Mitchell Lane, Boulder, CO, 80301, USA
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Phone: +1 303 497 8126
Fax: +1 303 497 8401
Interests: the intersection of GIS and atmospheric sciences; societal risk and vulnerability to extreme weather events and climate change; urban heat and human health.
Guest Editor
Dr. Mary Hayden

Weather, Climate and Health Program, Climate Science and Applications Program, National Center for Atmospheric Research, 3450 Mitchell Lane, Boulder, CO, 80301, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1 303 497 8116
Fax: +1 303 497 8401
Interests: the intersection of weather, climate and health, social mobilization, and population vulnerability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The question of how to change behaviors, infrastructures, cultures, and institutions to move toward the creation of more sustainable and resilient cities has received increased attention among scholars, decision makers, and global organizations (e.g., ICLEI, Rockefeller’s 100 Resilient Cities). However, while sustainability and resilience have become core issues for different strands of scholarship and communities of practice, strategies for bridging research and practice in our efforts to affect change towards more sustainable and resilient urban centers remain elusive. This Special Issue seeks to synthesize state-of the-art knowledge on theories and practices of urban sustainability and resilience. In particular, this Special Issue invites theoretical and empirical research articles that address the following questions: what are urban resilience and urban sustainability? How do these intersect, complement or contradict each other? What does it mean to have a city that is climate-resilient and sustainable? How one would measure urban resilience and sustainability? How does interdisciplinary research connect to policy-making to affect change towards sustainability and resilience in cities? How can resilience and sustainability be achieved in specific urban sectors, such as public health, water, and infrastructure?

Dr. Patricia Romero-Lankao
Dr. Olga Wilhelmi
Dr. Mary Hayden
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

  • urban resilience
  • urban sustainability
  • water
  • health
  • infrastructure
  • science-policy interface

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle The Challenges of Implementing Sustainable Development: The Case of Sofia’s Master Plan
Sustainability 2017, 9(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9010015
Received: 16 June 2016 / Revised: 1 December 2016 / Accepted: 8 December 2016 / Published: 23 December 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4436 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In this paper, we explore how master planning promotes and implements particular urban development patterns and, more generally, contributes to sustainability. Our goal is to understand the link between urban growth intentions articulated through the master planning process and realisation of its specific
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In this paper, we explore how master planning promotes and implements particular urban development patterns and, more generally, contributes to sustainability. Our goal is to understand the link between urban growth intentions articulated through the master planning process and realisation of its specific forms, e.g., monocentric or polycentric, compact or dispersed. As a case study, we examine the current General Urban Development Plan (GUDP) of the Bulgarian capital Sofia against the city’s actual development pattern. We observe that the primary goals of the GUDP are to promote a polycentric urban structure and low-density expansion, as well as preserve green edges. While the question of whether and how these goals reflect the sustainability ideal requires further consideration, there are some indications that Sofia’s GUDP may not be effective in encouraging sustainable forms of growth. Substantial inconsistencies exist between the plan’s overall goals and some of its measures and implementation tools. The results on the ground suggest that, despite the plan’s low-density aspirations, Sofia is becoming more compact and densified, while losing its green edges and failing to redirect growth to its northern territories where ample space and opportunities exist. We conclude that employing the achievements of research on sustainability and developing relevant implementation tools such as more effective zoning regulations and viable suburban transportation infrastructure are necessary for realising both the patterns proposed through master planning and achieving sustainable urban growth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle Urban Sustainability and Resilience: From Theory to Practice
Sustainability 2016, 8(12), 1224; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8121224
Received: 22 August 2016 / Revised: 14 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (539 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urbanization and urban areas are profoundly altering the relationship between society and the environment, and affecting cities’ sustainability and resilience in complex ways at alarming rates. Over the last decades, sustainability and resilience have become key concepts aimed at understanding existing urban dynamics
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Urbanization and urban areas are profoundly altering the relationship between society and the environment, and affecting cities’ sustainability and resilience in complex ways at alarming rates. Over the last decades, sustainability and resilience have become key concepts aimed at understanding existing urban dynamics and responding to the challenges of creating livable urban futures. Sustainability and resilience have also moved and are now core analytic and normative concepts for many scholars, transnational networks and urban communities of practice. Yet, even with this elevated scholarly attention, strategies for bridging between research and practice remain elusive, and efforts to understand and affect change towards more sustainable and resilient urban centers have often fallen short. This paper seeks to synthesize, from this issue’s papers and other strands of literature, the knowledge, theory and practice of urban sustainability and resilience. Specifically, we focus on what capacities urban actors draw on to create sustainability and resilience and how different definitions of these concepts intersect, complement, or contradict each other. We then examine the implications of those intersections and differences in the efforts by urban actors to enhance the capacity to change unsustainable trajectories and transform themselves, their communities, and their cities toward sustainable and resilient relationships with the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle The Urban Transition Performance of Resource-Based Cities in Northeast China
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1022; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8101022
Received: 21 July 2016 / Revised: 7 September 2016 / Accepted: 29 September 2016 / Published: 13 October 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2891 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Resource-based cities face unique challenges when undergoing urban transitions because their non-renewable resources will eventually be exhausted. In this article, we introduce a new method of evaluating the urban transition performance of resource-based cities from economic, social and eco-environmental perspectives. A total of
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Resource-based cities face unique challenges when undergoing urban transitions because their non-renewable resources will eventually be exhausted. In this article, we introduce a new method of evaluating the urban transition performance of resource-based cities from economic, social and eco-environmental perspectives. A total of 19 resource-based cities in Northeast China are studied from 2003 to 2012. The results show that resource-based cities in Jilin and Liaoning provinces performed better than those in Heilongjiang province. Liaoyuan, Songyuan and Baishan were ranked as the top three resource-based cities; and Jixi, Yichun and Heihe were ranked last. Multi-resource and petroleum resource-based cities performed better than coal and forestry resource-based cities. We also analyzed the factors influencing urban transition performance using the method of the geographic detector. We found that capital input, road density and location advantage had the greatest effects on urban transition performance, followed by urban scale, remaining resources and the level of sustainable development; supporting policies and labor input had the smallest effects. Based on these insights, we have formulated several recommendations to facilitate urban transitions in China’s resource-based cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle A Social-Ecological Framework for Urban Stewardship Network Research to Promote Sustainable and Resilient Cities
Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 956; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8090956
Received: 20 May 2016 / Revised: 16 August 2016 / Accepted: 14 September 2016 / Published: 20 September 2016
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (3428 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
To realize more sustainable and resilient urban social-ecological systems, there is great need for active engagement from diverse public agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, natural resource managers, scientists, and other actors. Cities present unique challenges and opportunities for sustainability and resilience, as issues and
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To realize more sustainable and resilient urban social-ecological systems, there is great need for active engagement from diverse public agencies, non-profit organizations, businesses, natural resource managers, scientists, and other actors. Cities present unique challenges and opportunities for sustainability and resilience, as issues and organizations are frequently intertwined in networks of relations. Understanding and leveraging the range of knowledge types, motivations, skills, and goals of diverse participants and their networks is fundamental to sustainable and resilient cities. As efforts to examine and understand urban stewardship networks continue to emerge, it is increasingly clear that there are no structured or systematic frameworks to guide the integration of social and ecological phenomena. Such a framework could facilitate planning new urban stewardship network research, and provide a basis for comparisons among cities and their urban stewardship networks. In this paper, we develop and present a social-ecological framework for examining and understanding urban stewardship networks. To illustrate this framework and provide examples of its prospective and evaluative utility, we use examples from the U.S. Forest Service’s Stewardship Mapping (STEW-MAP) network in the United States from Baltimore, MD, USA, New York City, NY, USA, San Juan, Puerto Rico, USA, and Seattle, WA, USA. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle Moving from Adaptive to Transformative Capacity: Building Foundations for Inclusive, Thriving, and Regenerative Urban Settlements
Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 955; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8090955
Received: 31 May 2016 / Revised: 29 July 2016 / Accepted: 15 August 2016 / Published: 20 September 2016
Cited by 12 | PDF Full-text (3216 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The commitment to understanding the implications of a 1.5 °C global temperature warming limit has contributed to a growing realisation that transformative adaptation is necessary to avoid catastrophic environmental and social consequences. This is particularly the case in urban settlements where disconnection from
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The commitment to understanding the implications of a 1.5 °C global temperature warming limit has contributed to a growing realisation that transformative adaptation is necessary to avoid catastrophic environmental and social consequences. This is particularly the case in urban settlements where disconnection from the systems that support life is pervasive and injustice and inequality play out daily. This paper argues that in order to transform towards thriving social-ecological systems, transformative capacity needs to be strengthened. The paper builds on the rich literature of adaptive capacity, alongside concepts of transformation that are drawn from resilience theory, organisational change, and developmental psychology. Reconnection to life-support systems, agency, and social cohesion are put forward as three foundational aspects of transformative capacity. A transdisciplinary case study of the FLOW programme in the Bergrivier Municipality, South Africa, is used to explore how transformative capacity has been built in practice. The case study explores an innovative programme that works with unemployed urban youth, alongside the exploration and introduction of a community currency in the informal business sector, and strengthening cross-scalar interaction between the local municipality and youth. The paper suggests that working across sectors and scales in a transdisciplinary manner is a challenging endeavour but necessary for building inclusive, thriving, and regenerative urban settlements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle Unpacking Resilience for Adaptation: Incorporating Practitioners’ Experiences through a Transdisciplinary Approach to the Case of Drought in Chile
Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 905; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8090905
Received: 30 May 2016 / Revised: 18 August 2016 / Accepted: 1 September 2016 / Published: 6 September 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2155 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Current debate on the implementation of resilience in addressing climatic impacts calls for more pragmatic means of reducing losses. In this study we aimed to generate context-specific knowledge about resilience factors for addressing the impacts of drought, with the expectation that bringing forth
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Current debate on the implementation of resilience in addressing climatic impacts calls for more pragmatic means of reducing losses. In this study we aimed to generate context-specific knowledge about resilience factors for addressing the impacts of drought, with the expectation that bringing forth experiential knowledge on how impacts were addressed in the past would shed light on what constitutes key resilience factors for practitioners working in urban contexts. The study was carried in three of the largest cities in Chile: Santiago, Concepción, and Valdivia. The analytical framework consists of urban and regional resilience incorporating transdisciplinary approaches applying the Resilience-Wheel tool, combined with participatory methods for the co-production of knowledge and qualitative content analysis of documents and workshops. Results show that key determinants of building resilience to drought were: improving education and access to information, enhancing preparedness, promoting technology transfer, reinforcing organizational linkages and collaboration, decentralizing governance, and encouraging citizen participation. The Resilience-Wheel was useful for navigating the conceptual complexity and diversity of perspectives inherent among social actors. The transdisciplinary approach allowed us to co-produce key knowledge that can be applied to build resilience in future, through a bottom-up approach that bridges the science–policy interface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle Urban Heat Stress Vulnerability in the U.S. Southwest: The Role of Sociotechnical Systems
Sustainability 2016, 8(9), 842; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8090842
Received: 18 May 2016 / Revised: 6 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 25 August 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (222 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Heat vulnerability of urban populations is becoming a major issue of concern with climate change, particularly in the cities of the Southwest United States. In this article we discuss the importance of understanding coupled social and technical systems, how they constitute one another,
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Heat vulnerability of urban populations is becoming a major issue of concern with climate change, particularly in the cities of the Southwest United States. In this article we discuss the importance of understanding coupled social and technical systems, how they constitute one another, and how they form the conditions and circumstances in which people experience heat. We discuss the particular situation of Los Angeles and Maricopa Counties, their urban form and the electric grid. We show how vulnerable populations are created by virtue of the age and construction of buildings, the morphology of roads and distribution of buildings on the landscape. Further, the regulatory infrastructure of electricity generation and distribution also contributes to creating differential vulnerability. We contribute to a better understanding of the importance of sociotechnical systems. Social infrastructure includes codes, conventions, rules and regulations; technical systems are the hard systems of pipes, wires, buildings, roads, and power plants. These interact to create lock-in that is an obstacle to addressing issues such as urban heat stress in a novel and equitable manner. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
Open AccessArticle Breaking Resilient Patterns of Inequality in Santiago de Chile: Challenges to Navigate towards a More Sustainable City
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 820; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080820
Received: 26 May 2016 / Revised: 14 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 19 August 2016
Cited by 6 | PDF Full-text (2683 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Resilience can have desirable and undesirable consequences. Thus, resilience should not be viewed as a normative desirable goal, but as a descriptor of complex systems dynamics. From this perspective, we apply resilience thinking concepts to assess the dynamics of inequality, spatial segregation, and
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Resilience can have desirable and undesirable consequences. Thus, resilience should not be viewed as a normative desirable goal, but as a descriptor of complex systems dynamics. From this perspective, we apply resilience thinking concepts to assess the dynamics of inequality, spatial segregation, and sustainability in Chile’s capital city of Santiago. Chile’s economy boosted since democracy was restored in 1990, but continuity of neoliberal reforms and transformations of Pinochet’s dictatorship (1973–1990) seem to have locked Chilean cities in resilient, albeit unsustainable, patterns of uneven development. Socio-economic data from Santiago shows highly resilient patterns of urban inequality and segregation from 1992 to 2009 despite democratic efforts, political agendas and discourses packed with calls for reducing poverty and inequality. We present a conceptual model based on the notion of stability landscapes to explore potential trade-offs between resilience and sustainable development. We mapped Santiago’s spatio-temporal inequality trends and explored if these patterns support an inequality-resilience stability landscape. Analysis of temporal and spatial distribution of development assets across four human development dimensions (i.e., income, education, health, democracy) revealed potential socio-political and spatial feedbacks supporting the resilience of inequality and segregation in Santiago. We argue that urban sustainability may require breaking this resilience, a process where bottom-up stressors such as social movements could play a key role. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle A Global Perspective on the Sustainable Performance of Urbanization
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 783; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080783
Received: 13 March 2016 / Revised: 26 July 2016 / Accepted: 5 August 2016 / Published: 11 August 2016
Cited by 16 | PDF Full-text (1063 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Urbanization, particularly in developing countries, is a major strategy for development. However, major concerns accompany it, such as air pollution, habitat destruction, and loss of arable land. In responding to these challenges, governments throughout the world have been implementing various policy mechanisms to
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Urbanization, particularly in developing countries, is a major strategy for development. However, major concerns accompany it, such as air pollution, habitat destruction, and loss of arable land. In responding to these challenges, governments throughout the world have been implementing various policy mechanisms to guide the practice of urbanization towards sustainable development. It appears that there is little research investigating the outcomes of those efforts in implementing sustainable urbanization strategies. This paper provides a profile of sustainable urbanization from a global perspective. Data used for this research cover 111 countries and are collected from the World Bank database and the United Nation database. A ranking list of sustainable performance of urbanization between these countries is produced and discussed. The study suggests that countries at different stages of urbanization have achieved different levels of sustainable performance. The research results provide significant references for future study in the field of urbanization from a global perspective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle Recognizing Stewardship Practices as Indicators of Social Resilience: In Living Memorials and in a Community Garden
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 775; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080775
Received: 1 June 2016 / Revised: 28 July 2016 / Accepted: 2 August 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (4498 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Resilience theory has received increased attention from researchers across a range of disciplines who have developed frameworks and articulated categories of indicators; however, there has been less discussion of how to recognize, and therefore support, social resilience at the community level, especially in
[...] Read more.
Resilience theory has received increased attention from researchers across a range of disciplines who have developed frameworks and articulated categories of indicators; however, there has been less discussion of how to recognize, and therefore support, social resilience at the community level, especially in urban areas. The value of urban environmental stewardship for supporting social-ecological functioning and improving quality of life in cities has been documented, but recognizing it as a strategy for strengthening social resilience to respond to future disturbances has not been fully explored. Here we address the question: How can social resilience indicators be operationalized as stewardship practices in an urban context? Using a deductive coding approach drawing upon existing resilience frameworks we analyze qualitative data from community managed-open spaces in the New York City area that have responded to various chronic presses and acute disturbances including a hurricane and a terrorist attack. In each case we identify and characterize the type of grounded, empirically observable stewardship practices that demonstrate the following indicators of social resilience at the community level: place attachment, social cohesion, social networks, and knowledge exchange and diversification. The process of operationalizing abstract indicators of social resilience has important implications for managers to support social (and ecological) resilience in the specific areas where stewardship takes place, as well as potentially having greater effects that bridge beyond the spatial and temporal boundaries of the site. We conclude by suggesting how researchers and practitioners might learn from our examples so they can recognize resilience in other sites in order to both inform research frameworks and strengthen practice and programming, while keeping larger institutional structures and context in mind. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle Towards an Urban Resilience Index: A Case Study in 50 Spanish Cities
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 774; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080774
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 30 July 2016 / Accepted: 4 August 2016 / Published: 9 August 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1725 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Urbanization is a major driver of land use change and global environmental decline. With accelerated urbanization worldwide, it is essential to put in place new policies to conserve urban ecosystems, species and the services these provide in order to secure more sustainable, resilient
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Urbanization is a major driver of land use change and global environmental decline. With accelerated urbanization worldwide, it is essential to put in place new policies to conserve urban ecosystems, species and the services these provide in order to secure more sustainable, resilient and livable cities for the 21st century. In urban planning, the concept of resilience has broadly replaced the word sustainability. In recent years, resilience indicators have been gradually developed, but few address urban resilience from a social-ecological systems perspective. We develop a methodological framework to measure urban resilience, define an urban resilience index and apply it to Spanish province capitals as a case study. Results show that most Spanish province capitals are far from being resilient. We conclude that increased efforts to measure urban resilience should be in place, and we offer the urban resilience index as a theoretical framework for measuring resilience in urban social-ecological systems that can be gradually improved as more data become available. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle Low Carbon Urban Transitioning in Shenzhen: A Multi-Level Environmental Governance Perspective
Sustainability 2016, 8(8), 720; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8080720
Received: 19 May 2016 / Revised: 15 July 2016 / Accepted: 26 July 2016 / Published: 29 July 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (924 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the world’s second largest economy, China ranks among the world’s top nations when it comes to carbon emission. Accordingly, its attitude towards climate change is closely followed by all parties concerned. There have been few studies on the role of environmental governance
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As the world’s second largest economy, China ranks among the world’s top nations when it comes to carbon emission. Accordingly, its attitude towards climate change is closely followed by all parties concerned. There have been few studies on the role of environmental governance in the transformation process to low-carbon, especially Chinese ones. This study analyzes the impact of government environmental regulation on the low-carbon city transformation process by adopting Shenzhen as the research object. One of the world’s youngest super cities, Shenzhen also happens to be the city with the lowest carbon emission intensity in China. The multi-level governance framework is a useful mechanism with which to gauge divisions of responsibility and resources. This paper uses multilevel environmental governance to explain the policy for dealing with the climate in the city of Shenzhen. Striving to explore green low-carbon development path for the whole country, Shenzhen provides practical experience for countries to cope with global climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle Comparing Conceptualizations of Urban Climate Resilience in Theory and Practice
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8070701
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 6 July 2016 / Accepted: 18 July 2016 / Published: 21 July 2016
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (2044 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
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In the face of climate change, scholars and policymakers are increasingly concerned with fostering “urban resilience”. This paper seeks to contribute towards a better understanding of synergies and differences in how academics and local decision-makers think about resilience in the context of climate
[...] Read more.
In the face of climate change, scholars and policymakers are increasingly concerned with fostering “urban resilience”. This paper seeks to contribute towards a better understanding of synergies and differences in how academics and local decision-makers think about resilience in the context of climate change. We compare definitions and characteristics of urban climate resilience in the academic literature with a survey of 134 local government representatives from across the U.S. Our analysis shows discrepancies in how academics and practitioners define and characterize urban climate resilience, most notably in their focus on either “bouncing back” or “bouncing forward” after a disturbance. Practitioners have diverse understandings of the concept, but tend to favor potentially problematic “bouncing back” or engineering-based definitions of resilience. While local government respondents confirm the importance of all 16 resilience characteristics we identified in the academic literature, coding practitioners’ free response definitions reveals that they rarely mention qualities commonly associated with resilience in the scholarly literature such as diversity, flexibility, and redundancy. These inconsistencies need to be resolved to ensure both the usability of climate resilience research and the effectiveness of resilience policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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Open AccessArticle Between Participation and Collective Action—From Occasional Liaisons towards Long-Term Co-Management for Urban Resilience
Sustainability 2016, 8(7), 664; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8070664
Received: 24 May 2016 / Revised: 20 June 2016 / Accepted: 6 July 2016 / Published: 13 July 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (920 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
For resilience building, cities need to foster learning and innovation processes among all actors in order to develop transformative capacities of urban governance regimes to manage extraordinary situations as well as continuous change. A close collaboration of urban governmental actors and citizens is,
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For resilience building, cities need to foster learning and innovation processes among all actors in order to develop transformative capacities of urban governance regimes to manage extraordinary situations as well as continuous change. A close collaboration of urban governmental actors and citizens is, therefore, of high importance. This paper explores two different discourses on urban governance: participation and self-organized collective action for the management of the commons. Both address the involvement of citizens into governance, albeit from different perspectives: on the one hand from the viewpoint of the government, selectively handing some of its power over to citizens, on the other hand from the perspective of citizens who self-organize for a collective management of urban commons. Based on experiences in the Austrian city of Korneuburg, it is argued that the collective action literature may help overcome some of the self-criticisms and shortcomings of the participation discourse. More specifically, Elinor Ostrom’s design principles for the management of the commons provide valuable input to overcome restrictions in thinking about citizen participation and to effectively design institutions for long-term urban co-management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resilience and Urban Sustainability: From Research to Practice)
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