Sustainable Buildings and Cities

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: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 7493

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Canada Research Chair in Building Science, Professor - BeTOP Lab Director, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, ON, Canada
Interests: energy-efficient buildings; nearly zero-energy buildings; energy storage; advanced materials; nanotechnologies; phase change materials; climate change; resilient buildings
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is my great pleasure to invite you to submit your most recent research related to the promotion of sustainability in buildings and cities to this exciting Special Issue. The call for this Special Issue came from below in the direction of current study, as an avalanche of papers dealing with this topic have been submitted to Sustainability over the last few months. With the need to compile and present the recent research in this field evident, we were inspired to launch both this Special Issue and the WSF forum we will hold globally on September 14th, 2023.

International research has confirmed that the built environment is the most promising sector for a rapid transition to sustainability. In this scenario, many examples of sustainable urban environments show the advantages of sustainability. Meanwhile, an increasing demand for tools which are suitable for assessing built sustainability is recorded. The assessment of sustainability of the built environment is an essential step toward its promotion. However, large difficulties exist in creating useful and measurable assessment indicators. The possibility of assessing both products and processes for green buildings has been considered particularly important for a sector as inertial as that of the built environment.

Meanwhile, recent literature has discussed the importance of going beyond the sustainability assessment of single buildings and to enlarge the assessment scale to communities in a way that will cover all the different aspects of sustainability. In fact, a significant achievement in sustainability assessments has been the introduction of rating systems for urban design. These increase the assessment scale and allow for the consideration of aspects not accounted for at the building scale. Examples of some aspects of this are the flows and the synergies between initiatives within the built environment and the consequent social and economic effects of sustainability in the built environment. In this sense, the sustainability assessments of communities are proving to be much more than the summation of individual green elements as the scaling-up results in complex interactions. The need to go beyond the building-centric approach in sustainability assessments favours the discussion of new possible areas of sustainability assessment within the built environment.

In terms of the work we aim to host, it should seek to address a variety of questions, exemplified by the following:

Which are the recent targets (and indicators) proposed for sustainability assessment of buildings, neighbours and cities? Which are the characteristics of sustainability assessments of historical and existing buildings and cities? How should building assessments integrate and complement with community scale assessments of sustainability? How is material use optimization resolving the demand for energy saving targets in buildings?

These are just some of the questions that this Special Issue will try to address, but we aware that the theme for this Special Issue opens multi-scale and open-ended questions.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Sustainability.

Dr. Umberto Berardi
Guest Editor

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

  • green cities
  • sustainable buildings
  • zero-energy buildings

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 18975 KiB  
Article
Cultural Heritage Deterioration in the Historical Town ‘Thimi’
by Ram Shrestha, Zhongwei Shen and Kishan Datta Bhatta
Buildings 2024, 14(1), 244; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14010244 - 16 Jan 2024
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2562
Abstract
The gradual or rapid deterioration of cultural heritage buildings can be a source of the loss of heritage assets over time. Cultural heritage encompasses tangible and intangible aspects of a society’s heritage, including historical buildings, archaeological sites, artworks, artifacts, traditions, customs, and ethnic [...] Read more.
The gradual or rapid deterioration of cultural heritage buildings can be a source of the loss of heritage assets over time. Cultural heritage encompasses tangible and intangible aspects of a society’s heritage, including historical buildings, archaeological sites, artworks, artifacts, traditions, customs, and ethnic customs. This research paper investigated the causes and effects of the deterioration of the heritage system from the Madhyapur Thimi in Nepal. A case study of tangible heritage (Thimi settlement) and intangible heritage (Bisket Jatra—community celebrations—and Ritual Guthi—a local group formed to conduct cultural activities) helped to achieve the objectives of this study. The existing unique cultures from the Madhyapur Thimi, including the built culture, Guthi, Bisket Jatra, and Ritual Guthi area support the sustainable development of heritage structures to some extent. The cultural heritage is now at risk due to institutional inadequacies, economic and social issues, resource depletion, and natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes. Policy should be modified, and heritage should be conserved and maintained well for future generations to own it as an identity and pride of the Thimi community. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Buildings and Cities)
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24 pages, 12539 KiB  
Article
Spatial Characteristics and Influencing Factors of Multi-Scale Urban Living Space (ULS) Carbon Emissions in Tianjin, China
by Xiaoping Zhang, Qinghua Liao, Xunxi Yin, Zhaowei Yin and Qingqing Cao
Buildings 2023, 13(9), 2393; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13092393 - 21 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1109
Abstract
Urban living space (ULS) is known to be a significant contributor to carbon emissions. However, there is a lack of studies that have considered the impact of spatial organization indexes (SOIs) of various scales on urban living space carbon emissions (ULSCE), and so [...] Read more.
Urban living space (ULS) is known to be a significant contributor to carbon emissions. However, there is a lack of studies that have considered the impact of spatial organization indexes (SOIs) of various scales on urban living space carbon emissions (ULSCE), and so far, no definitive conclusions have been reached. To address this gap, taking Tianjin as an example, the measurement methods of ULSCE and SOI at different scales were proposed, and a random forest model was constructed to explore the effects of SOI on ULSCE. The results indicated that on the district scale, Beichen had the highest carbon emissions and absorption in 2021, with carbon emissions reaching 1.43 × 108 t and carbon absorption at 7.29 × 105 kg. In terms of area scale, the comprehensive service area had the highest carbon emissions at 3.57 × 108 t, accounting for 47.70%, while the green leisure area had the highest carbon absorption at 5.76 × 105 kg, accounting for 32.33%. At the block scale, the industrial block had the highest carbon emissions at 1.82 × 108 t, accounting for 54.02%, while the forest block had the highest carbon absorption at 1.25 × 106 kg, accounting for 91.33%. Each SOI had varying impacts, with the industrial land ratio (ILR) having the highest order of importance at the area scale, followed by road network density (RND), residential land ratio (RLR), bus station density (BSD), public service facilities land ratio (PLR), land mixing degree (LMD), open space ratio (OSR), and commercial land ratio (CLR). ILR, RND, and RLR were particularly important, each exceeding 10%, with importance values of 50.66%, 17.79%, and 13.17%, respectively. At the block scale, building area (BA) had the highest importance, followed by building density (BD), building height (BH), land area (LA), and floor area ratio (FAR). BA and BD were particularly important, with values of 27.31% and 21.73%, respectively. This study could serve as both theoretical and practical guidance for urban planning to aid the government in developing differentiated carbon emissions reduction strategies that can mitigate the heat island effect and promote low-carbon healthy urban planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Buildings and Cities)
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22 pages, 6533 KiB  
Article
The Spatiotemporal Variation Characteristics of Urban Sustainability Based on the SDGs in Yangtze River Delta, China
by Xue Fang, Xinyu Shi, Tyson Keen Phillips, Peng Du and Weijun Gao
Buildings 2023, 13(8), 1909; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13081909 - 27 Jul 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1407
Abstract
At present, most developing countries need to improve the quality of the built environment by means of large-scale infrastructure construction, thereby promoting rapid urbanization. The quality of the built environment (QU) and its environmental pressure (PU) have [...] Read more.
At present, most developing countries need to improve the quality of the built environment by means of large-scale infrastructure construction, thereby promoting rapid urbanization. The quality of the built environment (QU) and its environmental pressure (PU) have become our primary focus to achieve a globally acknowledged vision of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In this study, we proposed an overall workflow by combining the proven urban sustainability (SU) assessment tool with the evaluation process and the analysis of the spatiotemporal dimension to investigate the urban characteristics of the 41 cities in the Yangtze River Delta. Our results showed an upward trend of urban sustainability from 2010 to 2018, but there are still 19 cities with unsustainable urbanization processes. The megalopolis is rapidly progressing toward an imbalanced state. Specifically, the urban sustainability of the southern region performs better than the northern region, coastal cities perform better than the inland cities, and the regional peripheral cities perform better than the inner cities. Across the 41 cities in the delta, five different relational trends between QU and PU have been found to predict their future development. The results of this research will help decision-makers to coordinate the future development of regional integration between cities and to target the alleviation of the adverse chain reaction brought about by the situation of imbalance or further improving urban sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Buildings and Cities)
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18 pages, 1591 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of the Spatial Disparities in the Youth Suitability of Shenzhen Public Primary School Campuses
by Yixuan Li and Chengyu Chen
Buildings 2023, 13(5), 1306; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13051306 - 17 May 2023
Viewed by 1356
Abstract
This paper delves into the critical issue of youth suitability in the public primary school campuses in Shenzhen Central District, China. Youths constitute a crucial part of the urban population, contributing greatly to social wealth; thus, considering their needs and well-being is imperative [...] Read more.
This paper delves into the critical issue of youth suitability in the public primary school campuses in Shenzhen Central District, China. Youths constitute a crucial part of the urban population, contributing greatly to social wealth; thus, considering their needs and well-being is imperative in the urban planning and development process. The paper employs a comprehensive Python script tool, based on ArcGIS, that is augmented with an empirical investigation and data from the statistical yearbook in order to conduct a meticulous evaluation of the youth suitability of primary school campuses. The results of the study reveal spatial differences in the youth suitability of primary school campuses, with the suitability diminishing from the district’s inner areas to its outer regions. Additionally, the study unearths that primary school campuses in the Shenzhen Central District are generally stratified, and that the campus service space could be appropriately categorized into several groups based on the dual criteria of accessibility as well as youth suitability. Finally, this study provides illuminating decision-making suggestions for optimizing the youth suitability of primary school campuses in Shenzhen Central District, highlighting the crucial role of education policies, regional economic development, and campus infrastructure improvements in nurturing inclusive, vibrant, and sustainable urban environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Buildings and Cities)
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