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Special Issue "Anthropocene or Urbanocene? The Need of a New Theory of Global Sustaianbility, including Urban Metabolism"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2021) | Viewed by 8904

Special Issue Editors

Laboratorio per la Pianificazione Territoriale e Ambientale (LAPTA), Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania, Viale S. Sofia 64, 95123 Catania, Italy
Interests: urban planning and sustainability; environmental management; environmental impact assessment; climate change; spatial analyses; ecosystem services
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Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Scientists from many fields are using the term "Anthropocene" to describe the geological epoch in which we are living. Such a period should be characterised by the influence of humans on the Earth, a total dominium of the specie on the planet that have not ever be seen before. If this epoch started with the agricultural revolution, with the development of writing skills, or with the industrial revolution, or even with the great acceleration of the late XX Century, it is still argument of debate. But it is probable that the transition to a new epoch was a large process started a long time ago. During this time, the life of the human race has changed and it characterizes today by the specific environment where it takes place: cities. So, some authors started using a new definition to refer to our times: the "Urbanocene". This Special Issue will explore the new challenges that we are facing, in an always more urbanized world that is claiming for sustainability as well for economic growth. Cities are the icebergs of development: the places where most energy is consumed and heat transferred to the environment. Cities are also the places in which more than the half of humanity is living: undoubtedly our goals as a society are the result of the benefits offered by such kind of emergent complex system.

This Special Issue is linked to a symposium co-organized by the guest editors, tacking place in July 2019 during the International Landscape Ecology Association Conference in Milano, Italy.

Contributors from different fields are invited to submit their articles to the SI, on the specific topics (not limited to) proposed in the follow:

  • Cities’ metabolism
  • Anthropocene
  • Urban ecosystems
  • Sustainableplanning
  • Simulation of fluxes at city and neighbour scale
  • Urban-rural dichotomy
  • Energy-water-food nexus

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Massimo Palme
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Daniele La Rosa
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2400 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.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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33 pages, 435 KiB  
Around the Anthropocene in Eighty Names—Considering the Urbanocene Proposition
Sustainability 2020, 12(11), 4458; - 31 May 2020
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 7155
There are now at least 80–90 proposed alternatives to the term “the Anthropocene”, following critique mainly from the social sciences. The most popular seem to be Moore’s Capitalocene and Haraway’s Chthulucene, but there are others, such as: Hornborg’s Technocene, Mann’s Homogenocene, Wilson’s Eremocene, [...] Read more.
There are now at least 80–90 proposed alternatives to the term “the Anthropocene”, following critique mainly from the social sciences. The most popular seem to be Moore’s Capitalocene and Haraway’s Chthulucene, but there are others, such as: Hornborg’s Technocene, Mann’s Homogenocene, Wilson’s Eremocene, Stiegler’s neganthropocene, Parikka’s Anthrobscene… Furthermore, similar recognitions and critiques have been made in urban studies (Urban Age, Planetary Urbanization…). What should we make of this multiplicity? Those propositions are approached here from the philosophical and cultural studies perspectives, in the spirit of Galison’s trading zones and Bal’s travelling concepts. They are treated with engaged pluralism (introduced through geography and urban studies) and, because of their eschatological dimension, with (secular) negative theology. The Urbanocene is also outlined using Nowak’s ontological imagination. None of the propositions are sufficient on their own. Most contribute to a better understanding of the Anthropocene. Those concerning the role of cities and urbanization (Astycene, Urbanocene, Urbicene, Metropocene) are insufficient. This entails that there is a need for an Urbanocene proposition to be formulated. This proposition draft is briefly outlined here by linking an example of exceeded planetary boundaries (levels of phosphorus and nitrogen) with urbanization, drawing on the works of Mumford and Gandy. Full article
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