Special Issue "The Ecological Footprint Indicator as a Tool to Guide Sustainable Urban Planning"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 March 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Ivan Muñiz
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Applied Economics, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona (UAB), 08193 Barcelona, Spain
Interests: sustainable urban planning; ecological footprints; agglomeration economies; urban spatial structures
Dr. Carolina Rojas Quezada
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Investigadora Asociada Centro de Desarrollo Urbano Sustentable (CEDEUS), 7500000 Santiago, Chile
2. Instituto de Estudios Urbanos y Territoriales, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 7500000 Santiago, Chile
Interests: sustainability; mobility; carbon footprints

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is currently an intense debate about which urban models are more environmentally sustainable. This implies going beyond the management of local resources, focusing on the environmental impact on a global scale derived from the consumption patterns of the population living in cities. In this context, global environmental impact indicators such as the ecological footprint are needed. The ecological footprint measures the space necessary to supply resources and absorb the waste we generate. Various studies published during the last decade have explored the connection between the carbon footprint (the main component of the ecological footprint) and the different city models based on their size, density, mix, and spatial structure. These studies have placed special emphasis on housing and mobility—aspects that are clearly affected by the shape and spatial structure of cities. According to the compact city approach, cities can contain their footprint by betting on dense and compact urban fabrics since they allow less energy consumption in mobility and housing. In contrast to the compact city approach, the self-sufficient city approach is committed to decentralized urban systems that allow the consumption of resources and the generation of waste that is compatible with regional biocapacity. The estimation of ecological footprints makes it possible, among other things, to validate or refute the predictions derived from both approaches. This Special Issue addresses the issue of sustainable urbanism based on the measurement of ecological footprints examined from different disciplines such as geography, urban planning, ecological economics, or environmental studies. Topical areas include the estimation of ecological footprints of mobility and housing in cities; the study of the ecological footprint of different social groups depending on their economic capacity and other aspects; the calculation of bio-regional deficits; the estimation of the ecological footprint of food in urban, suburban, and rural environments; the cost–benefit analysis of various urban panning alternatives that consider the ecological footprint as indicator of environmental cost; and studies that arguably criticize the usefulness of the ecological footprint as relevant information for sustainable urban planning.

Dr. Ivan Muñiz
Dr. Carolina Rojas Quezada
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 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 2000 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.


  • ecological footprint
  • carbon footprint
  • COVID-19 impact
  • mobility
  • residential energy consumption

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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