Special Issue "Urban Green Infrastructure for Climate-Proof and Healthy Cities"

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 May 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Rosemarie Stangl
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Soil Bioengineering and Landscape Construction, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, 1180 Vienna, Austria
Interests: urban green infrastructure; nature-based solutions; integral rainwater management; soil and water bioengineering; vegetation technologies; landscape construction and design; natural hazard and risk mitigation; resilience research
Dr. Ulrike Pitha
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Soil Bioengineering and Landscape Construction, Department of Civil Engineering and Natural Hazards, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, 1180 Wien, Austria
Interests: urban green infrastructure; integral rainwater management; vegetation technologies; technical substrates; plant use
Ass. Prof. Dr. Daniela Haluza
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Medical University of Vienna, Institute of Environmental Health, Center for Public Health, Kinderspitalgasse 15, A-1090 Vienna, Austria
Interests: telehealth; environmental health; open innovation in science; health communication; preventive medicine; public health
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Ingrid Kaltenegger
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Joanneum Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH, A-8010 Graz, Austria
Interests: urban green infrastructure; urban sustainability; smart cities and smart regions; social dimension of sustainability; stakeholder involvement

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In the light of climate change adaptation, urban green (and blue) infrastructures are becoming increasingly recognized, referring to urban and settlement planning and the design of climate-adapted housings and buildings. Green and plant-based solutions (such as green roofing, green façading, street and open space greenery etc.) have become an issue in combatting urban heat and associated health stresses.

In 2013, the European Commission launched the Green Infrastructure Strategy, defining Green Infrastructure (GI) as a policy objective in order to preserve natural capital. To create and improve the knowledge base was one of the top concerns to enhance strategic developments for implementation. By using nature-based solutions, urban green infrastructure is intended to preserve and advance biodiversity and resilience in cities and peri-urban areas.

During the past seven years, activities, policies and research have multiplied, and an increasing number of studies have proven evidence on the positive impacts of urban green referring to indoor and outdoor microclimate and temperature control, energy consumption, noise reduction, fine-dust filtration and air quality improvement. Moreover, benefits from urban green on social, physical and psychological health and well-being are apparently associated and increasingly important for neighborhood improvement and district upgrades.

However, a deeper understanding of the complex interactions between urban green and human health and wellbeing is needed to develop objectives and interventions for green implementation and retrofit. The engagement of different scientific disciplines is key for improving current approaches and creating small-scale and larger-scale sustainable GI solutions.

This Special Issue focuses on urban green infrastructure for sustainable climate change adaptation and health and sociocultural improvement. It aims at advancing and sharing the current insights in the impact of urban green infrastructure on microclimate, energy demand, health and sociocultural structures and activities.

The purpose of this issue is to provide up-to-date knowledge in technologies, planning and implementation of urban green infrastructure in order to advance urban sustainability and secure healthy and climate-proof urban environments. It further addresses novel insights in related public health issues. There are still many challenges regarding practical, ethical, and legal concerns, and evidence-based approaches covering technical, natural-sciences, planning, governance and health aspects are scarce.

We invite authors to submit articles to this Special Issue on urban green infrastructure related to the broader spectrum of technical and natural, social and medical science and the evaluation of these aspects in urban and peri-urban settings. We welcome theoretical and empirical contributions as well as review articles, and the submission of research work by interdisciplinary teams and international groups is of significant interest.

The issue will therefore refer to and supplement the Special Issue Green Infrastructures and Climate Change and other previously published findings on the microclimatic and energy-related benefits that urban green infrastructure provides. Additionally, it will provide most current considerations on technology advancement and health and socio-cultural benefits for advancing planning and implementation strategies.

Prof. Dr. Rosemarie Stangl
Dr. Ulrike Pitha
Ass. Prof. Dr. Daniela Haluza
Dr. Ingrid Kaltenegger
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

  • green infrastructure
  • green-blue infrastructure
  • green retrofit
  • urban planning
  • climate change adaption
  • microclimatic improvement
  • health impact
  • public health
  • wellbeing
  • governance

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Water-Stressed Plants Do Not Cool: Leaf Surface Temperature of Living Wall Plants under Drought Stress
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3910; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073910 - 01 Apr 2021
Viewed by 585
Abstract
Urban green infrastructures offer thermal regulation to mitigate urban heat island effects. To gain a better understanding of the cooling ability of transpiring plants at the leaf level, we developed a method to measure the time series of thermal data with a miniaturized, [...] Read more.
Urban green infrastructures offer thermal regulation to mitigate urban heat island effects. To gain a better understanding of the cooling ability of transpiring plants at the leaf level, we developed a method to measure the time series of thermal data with a miniaturized, uncalibrated thermal infrared camera. We examined the canopy temperature of four characteristic living wall plants (Heuchera x cultorum, Bergenia cordifolia, Geranium sanguineum, and Brunnera macrophylla) under increasing drought stress and compared them with a well-watered control group. The method proved suitable to evaluate differences in canopy temperature between the different treatments. Leaf temperatures of water-stressed plants were 6 to 8 °C higher than those well-watered, with differences among species. In order to cool through transpiration, vegetation in green infrastructures must be sufficiently supplied with water. Thermal cameras were found to be useful to monitor vertical greening because leaf surface temperature is closely related to drought stress. The usage of thermal cameras mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles could be a rapid and easy monitoring system to cover large façades. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Green Infrastructure for Climate-Proof and Healthy Cities)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Green Infrastructures and the Consideration of Their Soil-Related Ecosystem Services in Urban Areas—A Systematic Literature Review
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3322; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063322 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 475
Abstract
Although urban soils are strongly influenced by human activities, they provide a wide range of Ecosystem Services (ES) as long as they are not sealed off. This is a major sustainability issue as the loss of soil functions directly impacts ES and further [...] Read more.
Although urban soils are strongly influenced by human activities, they provide a wide range of Ecosystem Services (ES) as long as they are not sealed off. This is a major sustainability issue as the loss of soil functions directly impacts ES and further on the possibility to adapt to the effects of the climate crisis. Green Infrastructure (GI) measures can be utilized to restore previously covered soil surfaces and compensate for lost soil functions. We conducted a systematic literature review to investigate the extent of peer-reviewed publications on GI measures in (peri-) urban areas covering soil-related ES. After identifying the relevant publications (n = 284), we generated an overview of the annual, spatial, and thematic distribution of the publications. Then, we employed an extended content analysis of the published focus topics to assess the representation of soil-related ES provided by GI. The content analysis revealed that the representation of soil-related ES in GI measures focused heavily on the contribution of soil to stormwater management. Detailed assessment of the interconnection of GI measures with key soil-related ES were missing. So far, the assessment of the loss of soil-related ES is not covered extensively in GI research publications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Green Infrastructure for Climate-Proof and Healthy Cities)
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