Special Issue "Assessing The New Urban Agenda"

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 2019).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. John Rennie Short
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Public Policy, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD 21250, USA
Interests: cities; urban environmental issues; geopolitics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue comprises papers that analyze the major global initiative on urban sustainability. At Habitat III in Quito in 2016, the UN adopted a New Urban Agenda to guide sustainable urban development across the globe for the next twenty years. The agenda offers guidelines for local fiscal systems, urban planning and services and infrastructure. It implies a commitment to democracy and equity. The New Urban Agenda built on Goal 11 of Sustainable Cities and Communities announced in the 2015 Sustainable Development Goals. Papers covered in this special issue will address the technical, administrative, social and environmental consequences of the New Urban Agenda. What are the mechanism used to achieve the goals and what are the possible sources of failure and success? Papers can also discuss examples of implementation, critiques of methods and underlying ideologies. Papers that focus on specific themes and/or specific cities will be particularly suitable. The Special Issue will act as a primer for those wanting to understand the origins and significance of the New Urban Agenda, its basic tenets, its relevance and assessments of likely success. Papers selected for this special issue are subject to a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments and applications.

Prof. Dr. John Rennie Short
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 1700 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

  • New urban agenda
  • Sustainable development goals
  • Sustainable development goal 11
  • Habitat III
  • National urban planning
  • Urbanization and development
  • Sustainable urbanization
  • Implementing urban sustainability

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Assessing and Representing Livability through the Analysis of Residential Preference
Sustainability 2019, 11(18), 4934; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11184934 - 10 Sep 2019
Abstract
Livability reflects the quality of the person–environment relationship, namely how well the built environment or the available services in a city fulfill the residents’ needs and expectations. We argue that livability assessment can aid the implementation of certain New Urban Agenda (NUA) goals [...] Read more.
Livability reflects the quality of the person–environment relationship, namely how well the built environment or the available services in a city fulfill the residents’ needs and expectations. We argue that livability assessment can aid the implementation of certain New Urban Agenda (NUA) goals by providing a flexible way to assess urban environments and their quality. However, a reliable and transferable assessment framework requires the key elements of livability to be defined in such a way that measurable factors adequately represent the person–environment relationship. As an innovative approach, we determined key livability elements accordingly and asked over 400 residents worldwide to evaluate their urban environments using these parameters. Thereby, we could calibrate the livability assessment workflow by including personal aspects and identifying the most relevant livability factors through an ordinal regression analysis. Next, we performed relational-statistical learning in order to define the individual and combined contribution of these statistically significant factors to the overall livability of a place. We found that urban form and mobility-related factors tend to have the highest influence on residential satisfaction. Finally, we tested the robustness of the assessment by using geospatial analysis to model the livability for the city of Vienna, Austria. We concluded that the workflow allows for a reliable livability assessment and for further utilization in urban planning, improving urban quality by going beyond simple city rankings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing The New Urban Agenda)
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Open AccessArticle
How Does the New Urban Agenda Align with Comprehensive Planning in U.S. Cities? A Case Study of Asheville, North Carolina
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4590; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124590 - 04 Dec 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Despite growing interests in sustainable urban development, planning lacks unifying themes or directives for achieving sustainability in cities. While professional rating systems provide some guidance, they can be context-specific by country and may at best target weak sustainability as their intended outcome. The [...] Read more.
Despite growing interests in sustainable urban development, planning lacks unifying themes or directives for achieving sustainability in cities. While professional rating systems provide some guidance, they can be context-specific by country and may at best target weak sustainability as their intended outcome. The United Nations’ New Urban Agenda attempts to offer a singular vision for urban sustainability, and its language appears flexible enough to apply across contexts. In this research, we explore the extent that emergent themes from the New Urban Agenda can guide urban planning for sustainability, specifically in the United States (U.S.). We develop inductive codes from the New Urban Agenda and compare these emergent themes to the content of Asheville, North Carolina’s (U.S.) comprehensive plan, Living Asheville as well as to the STAR Community rating system (Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating Communities). We ask how well the New Urban Agenda can align with conventional U.S. planning processes and whether it offers value beyond the contributions of industry-standard practices like STAR Communities. We find that the New Urban Agenda voices common urban sustainability goals while making some new contributions, particularly in areas such as equity and governance. We conclude that in contexts like the U.S., the New Urban Agenda might be best carried out by integrating it into already existing frameworks like STAR, which have already been widely implemented. These conclusions are based on a reading of one case study city, and future research should analyze and compare themes of the New Urban Agenda and STAR and analyze case studies of multiple certified cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing The New Urban Agenda)
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Open AccessArticle
An Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) Approach for Sustainable Assessment of Economy-Based and Community-Based Urban Regeneration: The Case of South Korea
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4456; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124456 - 27 Nov 2018
Cited by 3
Abstract
This paper uses South Korean cases to develop an indicator-oriented approach for evaluating the outcome of urban regeneration projects, focusing on the difference between economy-based and community-based urban regeneration projects. By identifying differences in the assessment indicators and weights of two types of [...] Read more.
This paper uses South Korean cases to develop an indicator-oriented approach for evaluating the outcome of urban regeneration projects, focusing on the difference between economy-based and community-based urban regeneration projects. By identifying differences in the assessment indicators and weights of two types of urban regeneration projects, we can more successfully recognize a sustainable way to implement economy-based urban regeneration projects. The results of hierarchical assessment models show the differences in critical indicators related to economy-based and community-based urban regeneration projects. Economy-based urban regeneration projects should not only aim to revitalize local economies but also be evaluated using employment- and economic-related indicators, which should receive more weight than indicators concerning community-based regeneration. In this sense, our results suggest that different evaluation and monitoring systems must be developed to separately assess these two types of urban regeneration projects, as approximately 500 urban regeneration new deal projects are being carried out in Korea. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing The New Urban Agenda)
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Open AccessArticle
A Comparative Analysis of Global Datasets and Initiatives for Urban Health and Sustainability
Sustainability 2018, 10(10), 3636; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103636 - 11 Oct 2018
Abstract
Globally, urban populations are growing rapidly, and in most cases their demands for resources are beyond current limits of sustainability. Cities are therefore critical for achieving national and international sustainability objectives, such as greenhouse gas reduction. Improving sustainability may also provide opportunities for [...] Read more.
Globally, urban populations are growing rapidly, and in most cases their demands for resources are beyond current limits of sustainability. Cities are therefore critical for achieving national and international sustainability objectives, such as greenhouse gas reduction. Improving sustainability may also provide opportunities for urban population health co-benefits by reducing unhealthy exposures and behaviours. However, there is currently sparse empirical evidence on the degree to which city characteristics are associated with variations in health-related exposures, behaviours and sustainability. This paper examines the feasibility of aggregating empirical data relating to sustainability and health for global cities. An initial scoping review of existing English-language datasets and networks is performed. Resulting datasets are analysed for data types, collection method, and the distribution of contributing cities across climates, population sizes, and wealth. The review indicates datasets are populated using inconsistent methodologies and metrics and have poor overlap of cities between them. Data and organisations tend to be biased towards larger and wealthier cities, and concentrated in Europe and North America. Therefore, despite vast amounts of available data, limitations of reliability, representativeness, and disparate sources mean researchers are faced with significant obstacles when aggregating data to analyse the sustainability and health of globally representative samples of cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing The New Urban Agenda)
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Open AccessArticle
Applying the SDGs to Cities: Business as Usual or a New Dawn?
Sustainability 2018, 10(9), 3201; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10093201 - 07 Sep 2018
Cited by 9
Abstract
With growing urbanisation the sustainability of cities has become increasingly important. Although cities have been using indicators for a long time it is only in the last decades that attempts have been made to collate indicators into sets that reflect the many different [...] Read more.
With growing urbanisation the sustainability of cities has become increasingly important. Although cities have been using indicators for a long time it is only in the last decades that attempts have been made to collate indicators into sets that reflect the many different aspects required to assess the sustainability of a city. The aim of this paper is to review the evolution of indicators for monitoring sustainable urban development in order to understand how ‘new’ the indicators suggested by the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are for cities and the challenges they may face in using them. The review reveals that previous indicator sets emphasised environmental sustainability, health and economic growth. It is also shown that indicator sets that pre-date the SDGs lacked dimensions such as gender equality and reduced inequalities. In all, the SDG indicators provide the possibility of a more balanced and integrated approach to urban sustainability monitoring. At the same time, further research is needed to understand how to adapt the SDGs, targets and indicators to specific urban contexts. Challenges of local application include their large number, their generic characteristics and the need to complement them with specific indicators that are more relevant at the city level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Assessing The New Urban Agenda)
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