Sustainable Urbanism in the Context of Global and Regional Disruptions

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309). This special issue belongs to the section "Architectural Design, Urban Science, and Real Estate".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2024 | Viewed by 15727

Image courtesy of Saleh Almogrbe, PhD student at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1XQ, UK
Interests: sustainable urban planning; urban regeneration; evaluation and reuse of urban built and industrial heritage; nature-based solutions; urban parks, green areas, and food production
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Guest Editor
Department of Architecture, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1XQ, UK
Interests: urban design–theory, education, practice; urban morphology; resilient design; environment relationships

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Guest Editor
Faculty of Architecture, University of Belgrade, 11120 Belgrade, Serbia
Interests: responsible architectural and urban design; heritage and sustainability; eco-friendly design strategies; well-being and city development; architecture and nature in cities

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Guest Editor
Department of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Northumbria at Newcastle, Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK
Interests: architecture and urban pedagogy; sustainable urbanism; emerging cities; urban space assessment; urbanism in the global south; inclusivity in the urban environment; human–environment interactions
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue on “Sustainable Urbanism in the Context of Global and Regional Disruptions” aims to publish research outcomes that address the emerging themes related to recent environmental, social, and economic disruptions worldwide in both urbanised and urbanising regions. As the need for stronger self-reliance of cities in terms of food and energy is evident, papers that explore how that can be achieved, including the related environmental, social and cultural implications, are of interest. Papers on possible new theoretical, methodological, and practical approaches, including transdisciplinary collaborations, to the prevention of such events and remediation of their consequences are invited.

Prof. Dr. Branka Dimitrijevic
Dr. Ombretta Romice
Dr. Ana Nikezić
Prof. Dr. Ashraf Salama
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 submissions that pass pre-check are 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. Buildings 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 2600 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

  • city life and global and regional disruptions
  • self-reliance of cities
  • de-globalisation of urban design
  • improving the liveability of cities
  • urban food and energy
  • transdisciplinary urban planning
  • urban lifestyles and social well-being

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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29 pages, 15971 KiB  
Article
People–Place Narratives as Knowledge Typologies for Social Sustainability: Cases from Urban Contexts in the Global South
by Ashraf M. Salama, Madhavi P. Patil, Amira N. Elsemellawy, Huyam H. Abudib, Noor A. Almansor, Laura MacLean and Kristijn van Riel
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 1001; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14041001 - 4 Apr 2024
Viewed by 984
Abstract
In the dynamic interplay between people and their physical environments, the Global South stands as a mosaic undergoing a multitude of transformative influences in architecture and urbanism, within which examining social sustainability becomes imperative. While the prevailing attention remains on environmental and economic [...] Read more.
In the dynamic interplay between people and their physical environments, the Global South stands as a mosaic undergoing a multitude of transformative influences in architecture and urbanism, within which examining social sustainability becomes imperative. While the prevailing attention remains on environmental and economic sustainability, this study addresses a persistent gap in the urban literature by focusing on the dynamic and manifold nature of social sustainability. Positioning itself within the context of sustainable development, the study links the pursuit of social aspects of sustainability with selected unique urban contexts from the Global South. Five cases, including Alexandria (Egypt), Tripoli (Libya), Basra (Iraq), Lilongwe (Malawi), and Accra (Ghana), are discussed through multi-layered investigations which involve attitude surveys, interviews, focus groups, participatory systematic observations, and behavioral mapping, engaging directly with inhabitants and stakeholders. Uncovering people–place narratives in the identified contexts, the cases are developed into five knowledge typologies that serve as practical tools for planning and design decision-making, policy formulation, and academic discourse. Discussions are conceived to demonstrate the transformative role people–place narratives play in fostering a more sustainable and equitable urban future. Conclusions are drawn to offer practical insights for stakeholders involved in various capacities in shaping the urban landscape of the Global South. Full article
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19 pages, 4041 KiB  
Article
The Green Dimension of a Compact City: Temperature Changes in the Urban Area of Banja Luka
by Una Okilj, Malina Čvoro, Saša Čvoro and Zoran Uljarević
Buildings 2023, 13(8), 1947; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13081947 - 31 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1024
Abstract
Responsible and rational urban planning is reflected in an integral and multidimensional approach to city development. Contemporary theories of sustainable and resilient urban planning support a clear vision and strategy for city development, emphasizing its identity, specifics, and values. Through its vision and [...] Read more.
Responsible and rational urban planning is reflected in an integral and multidimensional approach to city development. Contemporary theories of sustainable and resilient urban planning support a clear vision and strategy for city development, emphasizing its identity, specifics, and values. Through its vision and action plans, the city of Banja Luka protects its default identity as a green city while recognizing the current development trend toward a compact city. The paper deals with two theories: green and compact cities, both motivated by ecological and energy planning. The paper aims to show the importance of the green dimension of a compact city and the adoption of the principles of compactness in the green city in order to examine its contribution through synergistic action. Through the comparative analysis of the green structure change toward a compact urban area and temperature rise in the last fifty years and on different scales, it is possible to question the set green goals and effects of environmental urban (non) planning. Full article
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15 pages, 14884 KiB  
Article
Can Technology Reinforce Cogency of the Architectural Argument: Trial and Error Approach
by Jelena Atanacković Jeličić, Milan R. Rapaić, Igor Maraš, Erne Tot and Dejan Ecet
Buildings 2023, 13(7), 1866; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13071866 - 23 Jul 2023
Viewed by 976
Abstract
The main question proposed in this research is whether different types of organizational approaches could help in shortening the response time needed to analyze advanced design solutions in accordance with the changed circumstances. Approaches that we are considering have been adapted from rapidly [...] Read more.
The main question proposed in this research is whether different types of organizational approaches could help in shortening the response time needed to analyze advanced design solutions in accordance with the changed circumstances. Approaches that we are considering have been adapted from rapidly changing disciplines—such as the IT industry, and software engineering. This paradigm allows for architectural programming to obtain different positions in the timeline of project planning and realization. We proposed a novel methodology of architectural design and project management as an instrument inspired by the Agile Manifesto and some of its instantiations, most notably by the Scrum framework. This research shows that application of the proposed framework significantly shortens the design process and facilitates the involvement of a larger number of authors within the same project team. This study focused on the specific case of architectural competitions. However, the results showed that the same framework could be applied in a broader design context, details of which have been left for future considerations. Full article
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26 pages, 3588 KiB  
Article
A Validated Framework for Characterising Informal Settlements: Two Cases from Greater Cairo, Egypt
by Asser Bakhaty, Ashraf M. Salama and Branka Dimitrijević
Buildings 2023, 13(5), 1263; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13051263 - 11 May 2023
Viewed by 3174
Abstract
There have been significant research studies on informal settlements within various disciplines including sociology, economy, politics, governance, and urbanism. However, little is known about the complexity and dynamism of informal settlements. The purpose of this study is to develop a framework for understanding [...] Read more.
There have been significant research studies on informal settlements within various disciplines including sociology, economy, politics, governance, and urbanism. However, little is known about the complexity and dynamism of informal settlements. The purpose of this study is to develop a framework for understanding the multiplicity of factors influencing the formation and transformation of informal settlements. It examines and validates various intricacies characterising informal settlements in three ways. First, informal settlement characteristics and their relationships are explored. Second, growth and transformation variables are examined. Third, qualities of the informal urban form and those that relate to sustainability are juxtaposed. Utilising two case studies from Greater Cairo, a qualitative approach is adopted including a critical analysis of the literature, interviews with experts and academics, and field observations. Through a comprehensive investigation of informal settlements, two deductions were made: First, the critical physical, social, and economic characteristics that influence their growth were identified. Second, the unique correlations between these characteristics were established and verified by the two case studies. The correlations assist in establishing the logic and dynamics of the informal settlements that can then be applied to develop intervention strategies. In addition, the inferred informal urban form can be considered as a sustainable urban form tailored for further analyses of informal settlements of cities of the global south. Full article
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25 pages, 1047 KiB  
Article
Introducing Matrix for the Reprogramming of Mass Housing Neighbourhoods (MHN) Based on EU Design Taxonomy: The Observatory Case of Serbia
by Aleksandra Milovanović, Ana Nikezić and Jelena Ristić Trajković
Buildings 2023, 13(3), 723; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13030723 - 9 Mar 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1769
Abstract
This article addresses the contemporary framework of housing at the EU level in the era of the ‘Housing at the Centre’ approach. More specifically, the research focuses on mass housing neighbourhoods (MHN) as the leading pattern of urban transformation in European cities in [...] Read more.
This article addresses the contemporary framework of housing at the EU level in the era of the ‘Housing at the Centre’ approach. More specifically, the research focuses on mass housing neighbourhoods (MHN) as the leading pattern of urban transformation in European cities in the second half of the 20th century, with the intention being to decode the possibilities for its rehabilitation in line with integrated approaches. The article combines (1) a review-based and systematically-oriented approach, in order to provide a state of the art of EU design taxonomy related to the housing issue, and, more specifically, related to MHN, with (2) a comparative study between EU and national design taxonomies, in order to address their conditionality and possible mismatches. The research considers design taxonomy to gain a more comprehensive insight into the content and coherence between programme values and the relevant EU documents (declarations, statements, policy positions, resolutions, reports, communications, charters, action plans, opinions) related to the housing issue, or broader urban issues that include housing as the scope of observation. The taxonomy enables a conceptual methodological framework for a systematic, consistent, and complete description of key research relations. Accordingly, the specific objective of this article is to establish an evaluation framework for reprogramming of MHN based on the EU design taxonomy through (1) the development of the programming matrix for evaluation, which corresponds to the value-based architectural programming model; and (2) introducing Serbian national design taxonomy, in order to demonstrate the anticipation of design values based on the EU taxonomy within the local context. The results indicate the need to examine and test regulatory experimental settings through middle-out approaches, whose central research perspective will be built parallel and coherently through bottom-up inputs, created as the result of collaborative approaches at the community level, and top-down inputs which are the result of the strategic framework established in relation to priorities at the European level. Full article
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Review

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22 pages, 5084 KiB  
Review
Systematic Review of Socially Sustainable and Community Regeneration: Research Traits, Focal Points, and Future Trajectories
by Jiawei Hu, Jinliu Chen, Pengcheng Li, Jianxiong Yan and Haoqi Wang
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 881; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14040881 - 25 Mar 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 788
Abstract
Accelerated urbanization has led to regional disruptions and exacerbated imbalances in spatial quality, social cohesion, and inequalities. Urban regeneration, as a mitigating strategy for these disruptions, faces significant social challenges, particularly at the community scale. This study addresses the existing research gap by [...] Read more.
Accelerated urbanization has led to regional disruptions and exacerbated imbalances in spatial quality, social cohesion, and inequalities. Urban regeneration, as a mitigating strategy for these disruptions, faces significant social challenges, particularly at the community scale. This study addresses the existing research gap by comprehensively reviewing community regeneration (CR) from a socially sustainable perspective (SSP). Utilizing VOSviewer software, we synthesize and categorize relevant research trends and methods spanning from 2006 to 2023, retrieving 213 coded articles among 5002 relevant documents from Web of Science bibliometric datasets. The study explores the implementation trajectory of CR, considering novel scenario demands, emerging technologies, and new development paradigms and approaches. It delves into human-centric approaches to enhance the quality of life, precision, and diversification of community engagement and cultivate a sense of community equity and belonging. Moreover, the findings highlight densification as a synergistic and adaptive strategy for current regeneration actions. This scientometric review leverages new tools and innovative approaches for regeneration policy and planning decision-making, ultimately contributing to the improvement of livability. The study provides valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities associated with socially sustainable CR, offering a foundation for future research, and guiding practical urban planning and design interventions. Full article
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22 pages, 321 KiB  
Review
Navigating Uncertainties in the Built Environment: Reevaluating Antifragile Planning in the Anthropocene through a Posthumanist Lens
by Stefan Janković
Buildings 2024, 14(4), 857; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14040857 - 22 Mar 2024
Viewed by 680
Abstract
Within the vast landscape of the Built Environment, where challenges of uncertainty abound, this paper ventures into a detailed exploration of antifragile planning. Antifragility, a concept rooted in the capacity of systems to not only withstand but also thrive in the face of [...] Read more.
Within the vast landscape of the Built Environment, where challenges of uncertainty abound, this paper ventures into a detailed exploration of antifragile planning. Antifragility, a concept rooted in the capacity of systems to not only withstand but also thrive in the face of volatility, stands as a beacon of resilience amidst the uncertainties of the Anthropocene. The paper offers a systematic examination of antifragile planning, specifically by concentrating on uncertainty as one of its key theoretical tenets and by exploring the implications of these principles within the context of the Anthropocene. After offering a systematic and comprehensive review of the literature, the analysis delves into several important themes in antifragile planning, including the recognition of limited predictive reliability, critiques of conventional responses to shocks such as urban resilience and smart cities, and the strategic elimination of potential fragilizers through a unique planning methodology. Furthermore, the paper discusses three key arguments challenging the efficacy of antifragility: the systemic approach, the classification of responses to perturbations, and the validity of adaptivity and optionality theses. Specifically, the gaps identified in the antifragile planning methodology reveal its shortcomings in addressing the complexity of cities, its failure to recognize the variety of responses to shocks and perturbations, and its neglect of broader urban relationalities, especially in relation to climate-induced uncertainty. Thus, it is asserted that antifragility remains urbocentric. For these reasons, the paper contends that rectifying the gaps detected in antifragility is necessary to address the uncertainty of the Anthropocene. By aligning largely with emerging posthumanist planning strategies, the paper emphasizes the significance of adopting a proactive approach that goes beyond merely suppressing natural events. This approach involves fostering urban intelligence, contextualizing urban materialities within broader planetary dynamics, and embracing exploratory design strategies that prioritize both the ethical and aesthetic dimensions of planning. Full article
12 pages, 619 KiB  
Review
The Importance of Urban Green Spaces in Enhancing Holistic Health and Sustainable Well-Being for People with Disabilities: A Narrative Review
by Pattamon Selanon and Warawoot Chuangchai
Buildings 2023, 13(8), 2100; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13082100 - 19 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 5076
Abstract
Urban green spaces have been increasingly evidenced to not only improve human health (both body and mind) and well-being but also promote a sustainable way of living for citizens as well as cities. These positive health and sustainable advantages have even greater impacts [...] Read more.
Urban green spaces have been increasingly evidenced to not only improve human health (both body and mind) and well-being but also promote a sustainable way of living for citizens as well as cities. These positive health and sustainable advantages have even greater impacts when applied to people with disabilities, which can ultimately evaluate their quality of life in the long run. Unfortunately, people with disabilities receive less attention and tend to be disregarded in terms of equal access to public facilities, health-related services, and opportunities in society. Therefore, this article emphasizes the value of having green spaces within cities and acknowledges how people with disabilities gain the benefits through active and passive methods as well as direct and indirect means at the global, population, and individual levels. With that, this article argues that urban green spaces or the development of sustainable urbanism must prioritize and include people with disabilities in the planning process, as this inclusive population has the greatest potential for advancing public resources (e.g., environmentally, socially, and economically) and moving cities closer to being truly sustainable. Full article
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