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Special Issue "Healthy and Sustainable Cities by Day and Night. The Future of Research-Based Practice."

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 3002

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Karolina M. Zielinska-Dabkowska
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Architecture, Gdansk University of Technology, Narutowicza 11/12, 80-233 Gdansk, Poland
Interests: daylight; light and health; artificial lighting; light and environment; light pollution; artificial light at nigh; human centric lighting; media facades; led adverting; led screens; smart city; led technology; led; biophilic design

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Recent months have shown that globally, the vast majority of urban settings lack fundamental elements that could improve the physical health and mental wellbeing of city inhabitants during the COVID-19 pandemic and widespread lockdowns.

As our cities become denser to accommodate the increase in population, far too many people experience the long-term consequences of densification.

These include extreme temperature conditions such as urban heat island, a significant decrease in contact with blue-green infrastructures, as well as reduced exposure to daylight through the day, coupled with an increase in exposure to light pollution at night.

The significant and rapid transformation witnessed today, in the way we design, build, and maintain our urban spaces, requires adequate improvement strategies for their integration into Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) during and after the COVID-19 pandemic.

Access to natural and man-made landscapes, natural light and darkness at night seems to be just as important as access to unpolluted water, food, and air. Every human being should have a right to them, regardless of age, gender, race, religion or economic status.

So, how do we address this oversight and instigate a call to action that allows us to effectively transition to healthy and sustainable cities and communities?

In the context of this Special Issue, the editor encourages submissions that explore mitigation strategies in three areas connected to this topic: (1) the identification of contemporary issues resulting from health, ecology, environmental protection, and sustainable development; (2)  the development and application of new, sustainable building technologies (3) and the need for intradisciplinary research-based practice and collaboration.

Examples of case studies to promote better design and monitoring solutions to meet these urgent human and environmental challenges facing our world are encouraged as well.

Dr. Karolina M. Zielinska-Dabkowska
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. 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

  • green infrastructure
  • blue infrastructure
  • access to daylight
  • access to darkness
  • light pollution
  • environmental protection
  • ecology
  • health
  • climate change
  • urbanization
  • sustainable development goals
  • sustainable building technologies
  • policies and laws relating to sustainability
  • COVID-19

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Looking Up to the Stars. A Call for Action to Save New Zealand’s Dark Skies for Future Generations to Come
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13472; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313472 - 06 Dec 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1522
Abstract
The rapid development of technology coupled with humanity’s desire to reach beyond terra firma, has resulted in more than 60 years of Outer Space activities. Although the exploration of space has provided many advantages and benefits to society so far, including vast, new [...] Read more.
The rapid development of technology coupled with humanity’s desire to reach beyond terra firma, has resulted in more than 60 years of Outer Space activities. Although the exploration of space has provided many advantages and benefits to society so far, including vast, new information that has greatly added to our understanding of our planet and beyond, unfortunately, mankind’s footprint has negative aspects that need to be minimised as much as possible. In recent decades, a major worldwide problem has emerged in regard to the significant increase in light pollution from ground-based illuminations, as well as a lack of proper regulatory frameworks to mitigate the issue in order to protect the night sky and astronomical research. More recently, due to the escalating demand of air space for microsatellites and the rapid development of these new space technologies, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), a new problem has arisen connected to visual light pollution (VLP). New Zealand has been especially affected, as, because of its dark skies, it has the third highest number of astronomical observatories in the world. The aim of this research is to identify critical areas for broader investigation; an action plan to improve the impact of new technologies is urgently required, not only at a national level but also worldwide. This is crucial in order to preserve humanity’s right to access the night sky and to also enable continual professional and amateur night-time observations for the present and the future, as well as for New Zealand to become a Dark Sky Nation. Full article
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Article
Exploring the Institutional and Bottom-Up Actions for Urban Air Quality Improvement: Case Studies in Antwerp and Gdańsk
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11790; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111790 - 25 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 844
Abstract
The article presents the results of qualitative studies concerning the presence of air quality management in the process of urban planning and in the public discourse in Antwerp, Belgium, and Gdańsk, Poland. We focused on the way urban planners, environmental experts, and stakeholders [...] Read more.
The article presents the results of qualitative studies concerning the presence of air quality management in the process of urban planning and in the public discourse in Antwerp, Belgium, and Gdańsk, Poland. We focused on the way urban planners, environmental experts, and stakeholders perceive the problem of air pollution, especially with respect to urban development policy, and whether they consider it one of the major factors determining the quality of the urban built environment. The analysis was empirically based on free, partially structured interviews with experts. With that aim, we referred to certain assumptions of the multidimensional concept of environmental protection and integrated urban planning, highlighting the knowledge gained through interview analysis, literature review, and comparative case study research. The approach brings to light the difference between the perceived and measured air quality and to what extent it is affected by the spatial conditions. The research reveals how the range of perceptions of air pollution is embedded in several sociological, urban planning, and cultural perspectives and how these perceptions differ between the different profiles of the stakeholders and experts. Full article
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