Special Issue "Decipher the Present to Shape the Future- Rethinking the Urban–Rural Nexus"
A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2017)
Landscapes are often intended as the product of collective actions; social and cultural practices coupled with physical processes that resulted in shaping the territorial base on which these exert and evolve. The environmental consequences of human activities on the Earth’s climate and ecosystem are now evident and (almost) undeniable, and the human-induced burden on our planet’s resilience roots substantially in inefficient synergies of anthropogenic activities settled in urban and rural landscapes. These frequently deal with landscape management, food production and supply, natural resources exploitation and demand, distribution of services, etc. The United Nations had these issues clearly in mind when brainstorming about the necessity to modify modern development paradigms, social and cultural practices, and production and consumption systems in order to achieve improved sustainability and reduced inequalities in landscape and resource management. In fact, one of the five UN founding paradigms that build upon the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and used for the re-definition of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030 reads: “We are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations”. In the past few decades, improving efficiency was often observed and interpreted through technical-reductionist lenses, thus the agenda to improve sustainability was mainly railed linearly from rising awareness and identifying climate-environmental harms, through assessing business as usual expected future and estimating potential outcomes of specific counter-actions, to informing and supporting policy making in reaching certain goals or target. Although this sort of research is fundamental to clearly portrait dimensions and magnitude of the impacts of anthropogenic activities on climate and environment, it was not capable of grasping the mutual influences of physical and societal processes shaping landscapes. As a consequence, sustainability goals were not achieved in the presumed time and the update from MDGS to SDGs was necessary. Thus, accounting societal and physical processes responsible for the inefficient synergy affecting the urban-rural system is yet fundamental. Hence, in order to reach sustainability goals new research paradigms and scientific approaches are needed to decipher thoroughly the urban–rural nexus and to elaborate proficient policy and common actions. The scope of this Special Issue is on interdisciplinary research focusing on sustainable/unsustainable development practices shaping urban and rural environments; this collection aim at targeting papers that couple the observation and description of specific problems with the proposition of potential answers. Thus, we aim not solely at scientific works describing unsustainable and irresponsible development practices, but we are specifically interested in manuscripts attempting to elaborate possible solutions, proposing alternatives, envisioning innovative and original framework for informing and supporting policy making and societal action.
Suitable topics include any application or methodology investigating future sustainability. The following list aims at giving a representative although not exhaustive overview of potential topics:
- Tools-based informed policy making
- Advancements in governance and societies
- LUCC modelling
- Spatial Multi Criteria Analysis, Geo-Statistical analysis, Spatial econometrics
- Socio-Ecological systems
- Societal structure and participatory activism
- Urban and rural development, regional studies
Dr. Federico Martellozzo
Prof. Beniamino Murgante
Manuscript Submission Information
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