Special Issue "Achieving Sustainable and Resilient Urban Development: Effective Governance, Policy and Practice"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Extraordinary Prof. Bharat Dahiya
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Research Center for Sustainable Development and Innovation, School of Global Studies, Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand
2. School of Public Leadership, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, Western Cape, South Africa
Interests: Sustainable urban development; inclusive urban upgrading; urban and territorial planning; city development strategies; urban environment; urban ecology; climate change and resilient cities; urban commons; cultural landscapes; urban landscapes and heritage; urban youth; public-private and multi-stakeholder partnerships; capacity development; urban management; collaborative urban governance; smart cities; metropolitan development and governance
Dr. Jonathan Parkinson
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Cities and Resilient Development, IMC Worldwide Ltd, Redhill, UK
Interests: Integrated urban water management; sanitation and waste management; municipal services and resilient infrastructure; strategic planning and institutional development; public-private partnerships; financing and market-based programming

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Cities are the nexus of economic growth, demographic expansion, social inequality, and growing carbon emissions and pollution [1-3], and they act as urban commons [4]. Environmental degradation, the worsening impacts of global warming, climate change, and the natural hazards and disaster risks expose urban vulnerability and ‘hot spots’ [5-6]. In response to these challenges, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (including the SDGs), the New Urban Agenda, the Paris Agenda, the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction underline the importance of integrated approaches towards achieving sustainability and resilience [7-11]. These goals focus on improving the circular economy, environment, and equity and social inclusion, and require the design and implementation of innovative, smart, and green solutions [12]. We consider ‘smart’ not necessarily to be high-tech but to be related to the development and application of technological and other solutions that are appropriate and affordable within the context in which they are proposed and applied [13]. 

Within this context, the overarching scope of this Special Issue, “Achieving Sustainable and Resilient Urban Development: Effective Governance, Policy and Practice,” offers an interdisciplinary platform to explore, present, and discuss new knowledge from around the world. We invite submissions that assess and analyze not only the latest advances towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goal 11 on inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable cities and human settlements [14], but also on smart, healthy and liveable cities. Within the currently evolving context of global pandemic, we invite papers that envision cities of the future in the post Covid-19 world [15], with an accent on improved foresight, planning, policy and decision-making. We particularly welcome contributions that examine and/or review the latest findings and progress made with regard to the various dimensions of sustainable and resilient urban development.

References:

  1. Haase, D.; Guneralp, B.; Dahiya, B.; Bai, X.; Elmqvist, T. (2018) ‘Global Urbanization: Perspectives and Trends’, In T. Elmqvist, X. Bai, N. Frantzeskaki, C. Griffith, D. Maddox, T. McPhearson, S. Parnell, P. Romero-Lankao, D. Simon, and M. Watkins (Eds.) Urban Planet: Knowledge Towards Sustainable Cities, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp.19-44. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316647554.003
  2. UN-HABITAT (2016) World Cities Report 2016—Urbanization and Development: Emerging Futures. UN-HABITAT: Nairobi. ISBN 9789211327083.
  3. Keivani, R. (2010) A review of the main challenges to urban sustainability, International Journal of Urban Sustainable Development, 1:1-2, 5-16. https://doi.org/10.1080/19463131003704213
  4. Foster, Sheila and Iaione, Christian (2016) The City as a Commons. 34 Yale Law & Policy Review. 281. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2653084 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2653084
  5. UNDRR (2019) Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction. United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR): Geneva. eISBN 9789210041805.
  6. Jackson RB; Le Quéré C; Andrew RM; Canadell JG; Korsbakken JI; Liu Z; Peters GP; Zheng B; Friedlingstein P (2019) Global Energy Growth Is Outpacing Decarbonization. A special report for the United Nations Climate Action Summit September 2019. Global Carbon Project, International Project Office, Canberra Australia.
  7. United Nations (2015) Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. A/RES/70/1. Available at: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld/publication
  8. United Nations (2017) New Urban Agenda. New York, NY: United Nations. Available at: http://habitat3.org/wp-content/uploads/NUA-English.pdf
  9. UNFCCC (2015) Paris Agreement. FCCC/CP/2015/L.9/Rev1. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Available at: http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2015/cop21/eng/l09r01.pdf
  10. United Nations (2015) Addis Ababa Action Agenda of the Third International Conference on Financing for Development. A/RES/69/313. Available at: https://www.un.org/esa/ffd/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/AAAA_Outcome.pdf
  11. UNDRR (2015) Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030. United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR): Geneva. Retrieved from https://www.preventionweb.net/files/43291_sendaiframeworkfordrren.pdf
  12. Sandhu, S.C.; Naik Singru, R.; Bachmann, J.; Vaideeswaran, S.; Arnoux, P. (2016) GrEEEn Solutions for Livable Cities; Asian Development Bank: Mandaluyong City, Philippines; ISBN 978-92-9257-350-8 (Print), 978-92-9257-351-5 (e-ISBN).
  13. Vinod Kumar T.M.; Dahiya B. (2017) Smart Economy in Smart Cities. In: Vinod Kumar T. (eds) Smart Economy in Smart Cities. Advances in 21st Century Human Settlements. Springer, Singapore, pp. 3-76. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-10-1610-3_1
  14. United Nations (2020) Goal 11: Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Available at: https://www.un.org/sustainabledevelopment/cities/
  15. Le Quéré, C., Jackson, R.B., Jones, M.W. et al. (2020) Temporary reduction in daily global CO2 emissions during the COVID-19 forced confinement. Nature Climate Change. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-020-0797-x

Extraordinary Prof. Bharat Dahiya
Dr. Jonathan Parkinson
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 1900 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

  • Sustainable urban development
  • Urban resilience
  • SDG 11
  • Urban commons
  • Inclusive urban development
  • Urban infrastructure and services
  • Strategic, physical and action planning
  • Urban poverty
  • Participatory urban upgrading
  • Collaborative urban governance
  • Multi-stakeholder and public-private partnerships
  • Effective urban management
  • Urban policy and practice
  • Placemaking
  • Liveable cities
  • Green growth
  • Environmental Health
  • Circular Economy
  • Disaster risk reduction
  • Peri-urban issues
  • Smart cities
  • Urban and territorial planning
  • Southern and northern urban perspectives
  • Migration and urban growth
  • Urban geography
  • Urban toolkits

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Complex Relationship between Capacity and Infrastructure Project Delivery: The Case of the Indian National Urban Renewal Mission
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9356; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169356 - 20 Aug 2021
Viewed by 340
Abstract
Capacity development (CD) interventions are becoming a vital component of development projects. However, there is a lack of information about the relationships between capacity and project delivery. This paper presents the results of a study of how CD was applied to one of [...] Read more.
Capacity development (CD) interventions are becoming a vital component of development projects. However, there is a lack of information about the relationships between capacity and project delivery. This paper presents the results of a study of how CD was applied to one of India’s largest urban infrastructure programs. While the Indian government considered a lack of capacity to be the main problem in project delivery, there is little evidence that explains the relationships between capacity and project delivery. This study analyzes the content of 58 interviews with project engineers, managers, and administrators about the hurdles they experienced at each stage of project delivery and seeks to understand these hurdles through the lens of CD. The study identifies the influence of capacity factors on project delivery and the converse influence of project performance and outcomes on CD. Ultimately, this study reveals the complex two-way interactions between capacity and project delivery. Full article
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Article
The Neighborhood Effects of a Place-Based Policy—Causal Evidence from Atlanta’s Economic Development Priority Areas
Sustainability 2021, 13(12), 6808; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13126808 - 16 Jun 2021
Viewed by 339
Abstract
Place-based policies refer to government efforts to enhance the economic performance of an area within its jurisdiction. Applying various difference in differences strategies, this study evaluates the neighborhood effects of a place-based policy—the Economic Development Priority Areas (EDPA) of Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Since [...] Read more.
Place-based policies refer to government efforts to enhance the economic performance of an area within its jurisdiction. Applying various difference in differences strategies, this study evaluates the neighborhood effects of a place-based policy—the Economic Development Priority Areas (EDPA) of Atlanta, Georgia, USA. Since the census block groups are locally defined and the boundaries may change over time, we defined the neighborhoods by creating a set of 0.25-mile- diameter circles evenly distributed across Atlanta, and used the created buffers as the comparison unit. The empirical estimates showed that EDPA designation significantly reduced poverty rate and increased housing price of EDPA neighborhoods but had no beneficial effects on population size and employment rate. The heterogeneous analysis with respect to different initial economic status of the neighborhoods showed a relative larger and significant effect of EDPA designation on low-income neighborhoods. The increasing labor demand induced by EDPA designation in low-income neighborhoods attracted more population to migrate in and put upward pressure on housing prices. The estimation results are robust when replacing the 0.25-mile-diameter circle neighborhoods with 0.5-mile-diameter circle neighborhoods. Although we found some positive effects of the EDPA program in Atlanta, it would be misguided to assume similar effects occur in other areas implementing place-based policies. Full article
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Article
Examining the Use of Serious Games for Enhancing Community Resilience to Climate Risks in Thailand
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4420; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084420 - 15 Apr 2021
Viewed by 602
Abstract
This paper presents the ‘Kin Dee You Dee’ (Thai for ‘Eat well, live well’) toolkit, which comprises three sets of serious games aimed at facilitating discussions and transformative learning on resilience to urban low-income communities. The first stage of the toolkit creates awareness [...] Read more.
This paper presents the ‘Kin Dee You Dee’ (Thai for ‘Eat well, live well’) toolkit, which comprises three sets of serious games aimed at facilitating discussions and transformative learning on resilience to urban low-income communities. The first stage of the toolkit creates awareness of key concepts related to resilience, the second stage allows participants to map individual and community assets and identify risks associated with them, and the final stage encourages participants to reflect upon potential threats and to create a strategic plan in response. The study examines the toolkit’s potential in increasing meaningful community engagement and participation, and enhancing disaster risk awareness through the application of the toolkit in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region and Udon Thani province, which are areas that are highly exposed to climate risks. This paper presents the concepts, development and application of the ‘Kin Dee You Dee’ toolkit, concluding that it is a useful tool that can allow policymakers and other involved stakeholders in city development projects to engage with communities and increase risk awareness. Full article
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Article
Does One Decade of Urban Policy for the Shrinking City Make Visible Progress in Urban Re-Urbanization? A Case Study of Bytom, Poland
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4408; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084408 - 15 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 501
Abstract
Planning and managing the declining fortunes of shrinking cities are essential in shaping urban policy in post-industrial urban societies, especially in Central and Eastern European states. Many studies emphasize city management and redevelopment as important policy constituencies for driving revitalization. However, there is [...] Read more.
Planning and managing the declining fortunes of shrinking cities are essential in shaping urban policy in post-industrial urban societies, especially in Central and Eastern European states. Many studies emphasize city management and redevelopment as important policy constituencies for driving revitalization. However, there is still a lack of knowledge about policy-making and the underlying political and socio-economic disagreements that impact successful measures to reverse urbanization and regenerate post-industrial cities. This paper provides a case of urban policy-making for Bytom—a severely shrinking city in southern Poland. This article aims to clarify the mismatch between the city’s policy and the socio-economic situation Bytom after 2010. This discrepancy could have weakened effective policy to address shrinkage and revitalization. Statistical and cartographic methods (choropleth maps) helped analyze the socio-economic changes in Bytom and its shrinking. The issues related to the city’s policy were based primarily on free-form interviews and the analysis of municipal and regional documents concerning Bytom. The conducted research shows the need for concerted and coordinated policy direction that considers the real possibilities of implementing pro-development projects. Such expectations also result from the opinions of local communities. Finding a compromise between the idea of active support for projects implemented in a shrinking city and an appropriate urban policy is expected. Such an approach also requires further strengthening of social and economic participation in local and regional governance. Full article
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Article
Migrants’ Narratives on Urban Governance: A Case from Kolkata, a City of the Global South
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 1009; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13021009 - 19 Jan 2021
Viewed by 823
Abstract
The paper aims to reveal the politics of urban governance and the associated impact on the lives of disenfranchised migrants. It critically explores the urban governance structure and the nature of practices involved in the cycle of settlement, eviction, resistance and resettlement. The [...] Read more.
The paper aims to reveal the politics of urban governance and the associated impact on the lives of disenfranchised migrants. It critically explores the urban governance structure and the nature of practices involved in the cycle of settlement, eviction, resistance and resettlement. The case of Nonadanga, located at the urban margin of Kolkata, India, was explored for this purpose. An ethnographic methodology comprising observation, semi-structured interviews and oral history was adopted for the research. Twelve squatter dwellers and four experts working in Nonadanga and Kolkata were interviewed for this purpose. A three-step data analysis comprising a narrative approach, thematic network analysis and validation was adopted. A critical review of inclusive practices, together with ethnographic survey findings, demonstrates that migrants live in a condition the paper calls “partial rights”, which is a manifestation of the dialectics of inclusiveness practiced by the urban governance structure and derived from the interaction between urban governance structure and migrants’ agency. By analyzing past development trends, the paper outlines possible future scenarios for migrants’ living conditions and discusses their impact on achieving the targeted Sustainable Development Goal 11 for inclusive cities by 2030. Full article
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Article
Building Local Institutional Capacities for Urban Flood Adaptation: Lessons from the Water as Leverage Program in Semarang, Indonesia
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10104; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310104 - 03 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 949
Abstract
Cities in Southeast Asia face various institutional barriers to cope with climate and water-related challenges. Several international programs for urban flood resilience therefore stress the importance of local institutional capacity building in initiating and delivering flood adaptation solutions. However, research to provide insights [...] Read more.
Cities in Southeast Asia face various institutional barriers to cope with climate and water-related challenges. Several international programs for urban flood resilience therefore stress the importance of local institutional capacity building in initiating and delivering flood adaptation solutions. However, research to provide insights and recommendations into whether and how such international resilience programs could enable the building of local institutional capacities remains scarce. To bridge this gap, this paper presents an analytical framework to study institutional capacity building by international resilience programs, focusing on intellectual, social and political capital. The central case is the development and implementation of the Water as Leverage (WaL) program in Semarang, Indonesia. Our main results show that this program was able to stimulate the integration of knowledge, building of local coalitions and creation of adaptation narratives, which contributed to developing six strategic climate resilience proposals. This paper reflects on institutional strengths and weaknesses, and concludes that although the WaL program introduced an innovative approach for collaboration between international experts, urban designers and local stakeholders, sustaining momentum for the reflexive learning process, involving city-based NGOs and establishing formal links with decision makers were key challenges that hindered the development of institutional capacities to implement the developed proposals. Full article
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Review

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Review
Transformation towards Risk-Sensitive Urban Development: A Systematic Review of the Issues and Challenges
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10631; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910631 - 24 Sep 2021
Viewed by 580
Abstract
Risk-sensitive urban development is an innovative planning approach that can transform the way cities are built in order to face the uncertainties that arise from climate-induced disaster risks. However, the potential to initiate such a transformative approach has not materialized because of the [...] Read more.
Risk-sensitive urban development is an innovative planning approach that can transform the way cities are built in order to face the uncertainties that arise from climate-induced disaster risks. However, the potential to initiate such a transformative approach has not materialized because of the many underlying issues that need to be understood properly. Therefore, this study conducted a systematic review to gather empirical evidence on the issues and challenges in implementing risk-sensitive urban development. The study identified forty-six issues and challenges under seven key themes that need addressing in order to facilitate the desirable transition: trade-offs, governance, fragmentation and silos, capacity, design and development, data, and funding. The issues and challenges that exist under trade-offs for negotiating solutions for risk-sensitive urban development and the governance of multiple stakeholders were identified as the top two areas that need attention in facilitating the desirable transition. This study also revealed that important information, such as scientific information, hazard and risk information, temporal and spatial information, and critical local details are not being produced and shared between stakeholders in decision-making. A profound participatory process that involves all the stakeholders in the decision-making process was identified as the pathway to ensure equitable outcomes in risk-sensitive urban development. Full article
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Other

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Systematic Review
Mapping Participatory Methods in the Urban Development Process: A Systematic Review and Case-Based Evidence Analysis
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8992; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13168992 - 11 Aug 2021
Viewed by 513
Abstract
Despite the fact that vulnerable communities are the most affected by unplanned cities, considerably less attention has been given to involving them in urban development in order to ensure equitable outcomes. In this regard, there is an urgent need for governments to introduce [...] Read more.
Despite the fact that vulnerable communities are the most affected by unplanned cities, considerably less attention has been given to involving them in urban development in order to ensure equitable outcomes. In this regard, there is an urgent need for governments to introduce and enforce processes that allow citizens, including vulnerable communities, to participate in development planning and policymaking. However, at present, there is a lack of guidance for practitioners regarding the definition of a clear purpose of community engagement and the selection of appropriate participatory methods to fulfil the set purpose. This study provides a thorough account of the participatory methods that can be used to achieve various engagement goals throughout the urban development process. This structured literature review used 71 reports published from 2000 to 2020. The review revealed 34 participatory methods, wherein most of the methods are devoted to informing, consulting and involving communities, whilst only a few methods are available for interactive public participation that supports true collaboration and empowerment. The study identified 12 purposes of community engagement in urban development, and mapped the 34 participatory methods for achieving them. The analysed case studies showed that the current community engagement practices are mainly in the pre-design and briefing stages of the urban development processes, and that most projects are aiming to achieve the ‘inform’ and ‘consult’ levels of engagement, with a few aiming to achieve the ‘involve’ and ‘collaborate’ levels. This study shows that community engagement is often overlooked during the professional design, development and post-development phases. The paper presents an onion model which can be used by practitioners to choose appropriate participatory methods based on the intended urban development phase, the engagement level and the purpose of the community engagement. Full article
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