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Special Issue "Livable Public Spaces and Sustainable Urban Regeneration"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Marichela Sepe
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
ISMED-CNR c/o Department of Architecture University of Naples Federico II – Via Forno Vecchio 36 – 80134 Napoli, Italy
Interests: urban regeneration; urban design and planning; livable public space; healthy city; placemaking; cultural heritage enhancement

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nowadays, a big challenge is to meet the demands of the different stakeholders in order to put in practice theoretical principles concerning livability.

Public space requires different approach according with social, physical, political or financial questions, which can weight in the urban design project not always in the same way. The general objective is to create public spaces which work better for people and are livable for all.

Many approaches to a livable design can be included in what can be defined as slow regeneration. Slow regeneration is a kind of sustainable regeneration which take into account the need of people first and is aimed at changing the places slowly in order to co-create the both new identity of place and its healthy use with and for people according with the times of participation.

To create both attractive and sustainable new areas, the contemporary projects of urban regeneration take into account questions both related to sustainability and livable public spaces, such as: accessibility, walking and cycling paths, comfortable and safer streets, and so on. However, climate change is requiring more attention to the both environmental and health issues.

Many questions remain though: how create public spaces and urban regeneration project which consider contemporaneously resilience, beauty and quality? What kind of characteristics a place should have to reach these objectives? These characteristics could be considered the same for everywhere or geography, identity and culture are further factors to consider in resilience questions?

This Special Issue will comprise a selection of papers presenting both original and innovative, and both theoretical and empirical contributions to the advancement in these fields.

The expect topics include: the role of public space in sustainable urban regeneration; theoretical aspects related to sustainability, livability and socialization in urban regeneration; best practices of urban regeneration with livable public space as an element of quality; sports and healthy activities in public spaces and urban regeneration areas; public space, climate change and resilient regeneration.

Prof. Marichela Sepe
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 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.

Keywords

  • livable public space
  • sustainable regeneration
  • healthy city
  • slow regeneration
  • resilience
  • adaptation
  • place identity
  • participation

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Article
Tactical Urbanism in Italy: From Grassroots to Institutional Tool—Assessing Value of Public Space Experiments
Sustainability 2021, 13(20), 11482; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011482 - 18 Oct 2021
Viewed by 545
Abstract
The paper aims to evaluate the value that the experimentation of tactical urban planning activities can assume for the city, through the critical account of some practices in three Italian cities of large (Milan), medium-large (Bari), and medium size (Taranto), which in recent [...] Read more.
The paper aims to evaluate the value that the experimentation of tactical urban planning activities can assume for the city, through the critical account of some practices in three Italian cities of large (Milan), medium-large (Bari), and medium size (Taranto), which in recent years, in some cases unknowingly, have experienced its effects, also forced by the thrust offered by the need to respond to the consequences of the pandemic. The authors reflect on how short-term interventions started by tactical urbanism movement are inspiring planning institutions to implement short-term place-making initiatives. The contribution moves within the context of new generation urban regeneration in which the transformation of existing spaces is a process of community reconstruction through the redevelopment of public spaces increasingly open to multiple and temporary uses. First through a process of rereading the state of the art of the project of public spaces in Italy and its transformation caused by the pandemic, then through a comparative look between the three case studies, conclusions are drawn on the urban value of the experiments conducted and, on their ability, to identify a new reference point for the sustainable urban regeneration of public spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livable Public Spaces and Sustainable Urban Regeneration)
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Article
From Comparative and Statistical Assessments of Liveability and Health Conditions of Districts in Hong Kong towards Future City Development
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8781; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13168781 - 05 Aug 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 812
Abstract
Liveability is an indispensable component in future city planning and is practically linked with the health status of individuals and communities. However, there was nor comprehensive and universal district-level framework for assessing liveability due to geospatial and social discrepancies among different countries. In [...] Read more.
Liveability is an indispensable component in future city planning and is practically linked with the health status of individuals and communities. However, there was nor comprehensive and universal district-level framework for assessing liveability due to geospatial and social discrepancies among different countries. In this study, using Hong Kong, a highly dense and international city as an example, the Liveability and Health Index (LHI-HK) consisting of 30 indicators was established, with 21 of them related to education, economy, housing, walkability/transport, environment, and health facilities aspects, while the health conditions of citizens in individual districts were examined by other 9 indicators. Respective scoring allocation was determined by statistical reasoning, and was applied to quantify the connections between liveability and health among the 18 districts of Hong Kong in both 2016 and 2019. Temporal changes of spatial features could be traced by this quantitative framework, and obvious correlations between liveability and health were attained, with R values of 0.496 and 0.518 in 2016 and 2019, and corresponding slopes of 0.80 and 0.88, respectively. Based on the statistical results, it was found that Sai Kung and Kwun Tong are the most and the least liveable district of Hong Kong in 2019. The LHI-HK index was well-validated by renowned AARP liveability index and The California Healthy Places Index (HPI), with R values of 0.90 and 0.70, and the potential uncertainties due to data projection were less than 2.5% for all districts, which implicates its relevancy and appropriateness in conducting similar spatial assessments in international cities. Further, both favorable and unfavorable spatial arrangements of each of the 3 district types in Hong Kong were identified, namely residential, commercial, and industrial districts. This opens new windows in enhancing liveability and health status within communities, with the aim of promoting the sustainability of cities in the long run. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livable Public Spaces and Sustainable Urban Regeneration)
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Article
Assessing Public Open Spaces: A Case of City Nagpur, India
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4997; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094997 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 778
Abstract
Major Indian cities have a lower public open space (POS)-capita ratio and do not meet national and international standards. Moreover, factors such as lack of design guidelines for POSs, limited funding, and lack of public participation have affected these limitedly available POSs and [...] Read more.
Major Indian cities have a lower public open space (POS)-capita ratio and do not meet national and international standards. Moreover, factors such as lack of design guidelines for POSs, limited funding, and lack of public participation have affected these limitedly available POSs and made them ineffective and incapable of meeting the contemporary needs of a diverse range of users. Therefore, it is essential to make them not only inclusive, user-friendly, attractive, and efficient, but also socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable in order to serve the various facilities and services at their optimum level. This study includes the assessment of two POSs to identify strengths and deficiencies that affect their character and use. These POSs are public parks, provide free access to users and are located in the city of Nagpur. For assessment, the study proposed the Public Open Space Index (POSI) that combines five aspects: Individual well-being, Inclusiveness, Engagement, Sustainable spaces, and Management.A mixed methods approach was considered for data collection, including a self-administered questionnaire survey and observations.According to the results, POSs have strengths in that they facilitate social cohesion, engagement, and basic facilities. POSs do not encourage equitable access and sustainable practices, which are considered deficiencies.The study helps planners, designers, and parenting authority to develop initiatives to make these limited POSs inclusive, functional, and sustainable. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livable Public Spaces and Sustainable Urban Regeneration)
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Article
Evaluating Ways to Form a Sense of Community in a Shrinking City: The Case of the Media Culture Center, Seocheon, South Korea
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3845; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073845 - 31 Mar 2021
Viewed by 469
Abstract
The objective of this study was to promote communal spirit through cultural space in a shrinking city. To achieve this, the study tracked the operation method of the Media Culture Center in Seocheon of South Korea; collected data by interviewing stakeholders, such as [...] Read more.
The objective of this study was to promote communal spirit through cultural space in a shrinking city. To achieve this, the study tracked the operation method of the Media Culture Center in Seocheon of South Korea; collected data by interviewing stakeholders, such as operators, participants, and residents; and analyzed the data using an open coding method. The results of this study showed that it was necessary to (1) provide appropriate services for the region, (2) support cultural activities aimed at common goals, and (3) serve as a stronghold for regional governance to promote communal spirit through a cultural space. The results suggested the following implications when forming communal spirit in a shrinking city. First, it is possible to form communal spirit in a shrinking city through a cultural space; operating a program that can help people overcome geographical limitations is necessary for this. Second, it requires experts who understand the region well and who derive residents’ participation and consent well as a facilitating factor in the formation of communal spirit. Third, since the common goal reinforces communal spirit, political support is needed to facilitate the community in participating in an event together. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livable Public Spaces and Sustainable Urban Regeneration)
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Article
Traditional versus Modern? Perceptions and Preferences of Urban Park Users in Iran
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2036; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042036 - 13 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 745
Abstract
This study involved four parks in Iran—two modern ones located in Tehran and two historical, traditional examples, one in Kashan and one in Esfahan—in order to ask what are the key factors contributing to the satisfaction of visitors to the two types of [...] Read more.
This study involved four parks in Iran—two modern ones located in Tehran and two historical, traditional examples, one in Kashan and one in Esfahan—in order to ask what are the key factors contributing to the satisfaction of visitors to the two types of park and also to compare user’s perceptions and values of the different types. An extensive questionnaire survey was conducted in each park, with a target of 300 responses, using a random sampling technique. Respondents were asked to rate the importance of a number of factors, while thinking about the park they were visiting, using a 5-point Likert scale. Descriptive and inferential statistical analysis was undertaken. The results of the scores revealed differences between the two types of park. A factor analysis of the pooled results revealed that the key aspects contributing to a visit were named as ‘having fun and enjoying oneself’, in a place with ‘no barriers to using the park’ and ‘leaving one’s cares behind’ followed by ‘relaxing in the presence of natural beauty’. A further Nonmetric Multidimensional Scaling analysis was undertaken to determine the main factors affecting the differences in preference for each type of park in relation to the key demographic variables. This revealed that the modern parks were preferred over the traditional ones for three significant sets of factors—recreation, accessibility and culture—and that there was a tendency for the historical parks to been favoured by more educated people. The conclusions are that the modern parks support the main preferred activities to support the quality of life of the population—not through their design per se but because they offer many more recreational opportunities. There is potential to include traditional elements such as water features more into parks. Park planners can take the findings and use them to help improve the quality of the parks over time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livable Public Spaces and Sustainable Urban Regeneration)
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Article
Analyzing the Relationships between Citizens’ Emotions and their Momentary Satisfaction in Urban Public Spaces
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 7921; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12197921 - 24 Sep 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1727
Abstract
It is recognized that the urban environment, and specifically better-experienced urban public space, contribute to people’s subjective well-being. However, research on people’s momentary subjective well-being (i.e., emotional state) in relation to the multiple aspects of urban public spaces is still limited. Therefore, the [...] Read more.
It is recognized that the urban environment, and specifically better-experienced urban public space, contribute to people’s subjective well-being. However, research on people’s momentary subjective well-being (i.e., emotional state) in relation to the multiple aspects of urban public spaces is still limited. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze people’s emotional state and how this is influenced by the momentary satisfaction with urban public spaces, and also controlling for personal and experience characteristics. Data of 1056 momentary experiences of 161 citizens regarding the urban public space in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, were collected by means of an experience sampling method (ESM). These data were analyzed using a mixed multinomial logit (MMNL) model for each dimension of people’s momentary subjective well-being (i.e., sense of security, comfort, happiness, and annoyance). Results of this study showed that people were happier when they were satisfied with the atmosphere of the public space and felt more secure, comfortable, and less annoyed when they were more satisfied with traffic safety. Results could be used by policymakers and urban planners to create inclusive urban public spaces where people have more positive experiences, which eventually could lead to happier, comfortable, more secure and less annoyed citizens. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livable Public Spaces and Sustainable Urban Regeneration)
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Article
Immersive Virtual Reality-Aided Conjoint Analysis of Urban Square Preference by Living Environment
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6440; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166440 - 10 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 847
Abstract
Though several studies have explored the ways in which people perceive the qualities of urban squares, the influence of living environments on such perceptions has received little attention. To fill this gap, this study examined differences in preferences for urban square design elements, [...] Read more.
Though several studies have explored the ways in which people perceive the qualities of urban squares, the influence of living environments on such perceptions has received little attention. To fill this gap, this study examined differences in preferences for urban square design elements, particularly, the ratio of the width of a public space to the height of the surrounding buildings (D/H ratio), square size, and façade details, among people with different living environments. Virtual reality simulation techniques were used in controlled experiments with 100 participants of various nationalities, mostly Koreans, and conjoint analysis was applied to determine what combination of design elements most influenced urban square preferences. Participants experienced eight virtual squares designed with different combinations of the three design elements and assessed them based on five indicators of the quality of urban squares. Among the three design elements, the D/H ratio most significantly influenced the perceptions of quality, regardless of participants’ living environments. We conclude that the level of experience in various urban environments may affect people’s familiarity with these environments and their spatial perception and preferences. We thus suggest that socio-cultural differences related to users’ living environments should receive more attention in urban design practice. We also demonstrate that the emerging combination of immersive virtual reality technology and conjoint analysis can function as a useful tool for urban design research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livable Public Spaces and Sustainable Urban Regeneration)
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Article
Transforming Housing to Commercial Use: A Case Study on Commercial Gentrification in Yeon-nam District, Seoul
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4322; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104322 - 25 May 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1349
Abstract
Commercial gentrification has had a significant impact on the urban environment, particularly in leading to the upscaling and expansion of food and beverage (F&B) commercial activities. F&B commercialization and proliferation has emerged from (a) the borders of newly provided urban open space and [...] Read more.
Commercial gentrification has had a significant impact on the urban environment, particularly in leading to the upscaling and expansion of food and beverage (F&B) commercial activities. F&B commercialization and proliferation has emerged from (a) the borders of newly provided urban open space and (b) seed points where small-sized commercial areas had already been formed. However, few studies have simultaneously explored the commercialization process of these different contextual sub-regions over a relatively long time period. This study of Yeon-nam district, Seoul, aims to demonstrate empirically (1) how the F&B commercial stores have been distributed over the past decade and (2) which of the factors that are the spreading center of the F&B store is the critical factor. Using kernel density estimation, the study discovered that the old–residential district has been entirely transformed to an F&B commercial district since the Gyeong-ui Line Forest Park opened in the district. Furthermore, through the analysis of standard deviational ellipses, we empirically verified that F&B commercialization was more substantial in the seed region. Based on the findings, policy recommendations for urban planning and design, especially urban gentrification management and regeneration, are provided. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livable Public Spaces and Sustainable Urban Regeneration)
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Article
Multi-Agent Simulation of Safe Livability and Sustainable Development in Cities
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 2070; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12052070 - 08 Mar 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1159
Abstract
Urban livability is an important factor affecting the sustainable development of modern cities. Safe livability is an important part of urban livability. In view of this, this paper takes security as an example, and based on the actual data of Futian District, Shenzhen [...] Read more.
Urban livability is an important factor affecting the sustainable development of modern cities. Safe livability is an important part of urban livability. In view of this, this paper takes security as an example, and based on the actual data of Futian District, Shenzhen City, China, establishes a multi-agent simulation model of urban safe livability. The dynamic interaction feedback mechanism between decision-making behaviors of residents and urban safe livability under the influence of environment and policies has been explored, and residents’ decision-making simulation of the change of urban safe livability is realized. Finally, the main factors influencing urban safe livability are summarized through simulation conclusions. The research can not only provide scientific suggestions for improving the safe livability of Shenzhen, it also provides strong support for the sustainable development of the city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livable Public Spaces and Sustainable Urban Regeneration)
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Article
Examining the Quasi-Public Spaces in Commercial Complexes
Sustainability 2020, 12(5), 1830; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12051830 - 29 Feb 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 965
Abstract
Commercial complexes are steadily expanding in size and function and plying roles as quasi-public spaces. This study investigated quasi-public spaces in contemporary commercial complexes by posting two questions: the physical features of quasi-public spaces in commercial complexes and how these characteristics promote sociability [...] Read more.
Commercial complexes are steadily expanding in size and function and plying roles as quasi-public spaces. This study investigated quasi-public spaces in contemporary commercial complexes by posting two questions: the physical features of quasi-public spaces in commercial complexes and how these characteristics promote sociability in commercial complexes? To answers these questions, a questionnaire survey was administered, and various observations were made in Intime City, Wanda Plaza and Western City Square, three prominent commercial complexes in Hangzhou City (Zhejiang Province, China), to enrich the analysis. Confirmatory factor analyses were used to examine the collected data. The results show that commercial complexes are also used as quasi-public spaces: they provide a more secure and well-maintained environment, playful conversations take place freely and democratically, promote socialization, and also increase consumption. In the existing literature, there is a dearth of theoretical and empirical studies on the emergence of quasi-public spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livable Public Spaces and Sustainable Urban Regeneration)
Article
Place Branding and Urban Regeneration as Dialectical Processes in Local Development Planning: A Case Study on the Western Visayas, Philippines
Sustainability 2020, 12(1), 369; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12010369 - 02 Jan 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1598
Abstract
Place branding is an emerging concept in urban regeneration strategies. To date, case studies on the link between place branding and urban regeneration have utilized ambiguous terminology and definitions, and often lack empirical and theoretical grounding. Available literature seldom considers the perspectives of [...] Read more.
Place branding is an emerging concept in urban regeneration strategies. To date, case studies on the link between place branding and urban regeneration have utilized ambiguous terminology and definitions, and often lack empirical and theoretical grounding. Available literature seldom considers the perspectives of government officials and experts, which are critical in terms of policy support and direction. In order to ensure the sustainability of place branding initiatives as core parts of urban regeneration, it will be necessary to engage local development stakeholders. Hence, this study frames place branding and urban regeneration within a dialectic process involving these key actors in the Western Visayas region of the Philippines. Our results indicate sporadic, but pragmatic, perceptions of place branding that are highly focused on slogans and logos. Moreover, the commonality between place promotion and cultural and historical preservation suggests a connection between place branding and urban regeneration. Specifically, flagship construction is the most favored place branding strategy, due to its high-weighted value in terms of applicability, sustainability, and the promotion of local development. The results of this study can serve as the groundwork for policies that will bring place branding and urban regeneration strategies into the mainstream of local development planning, with particular foci on how place branding can strengthen a place’s identity and establish sustainable regeneration strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Livable Public Spaces and Sustainable Urban Regeneration)
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