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Urban Microclimate and Air Quality as Drivers of Urban Design

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 (31 December 2021) | Viewed by 2391

Special Issue Editors

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Guest Editor
National Research Council, Institute of Bioeconomy (CNR IBE), 50019 Sesto Fiorentino, Florence, Italy
Interests: urban microclimate; outdoor thermal comfort; urban green space

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Guest Editor
Department of Environmental, Geoinformatic and Urban Planning Sciences, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, Beer-Sheva 84105, Israel
Interests: urban design; microclimate; green infrastructure
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Anthropogenic activities are dramatically impacting the quality of our environment in multiple and varied ways—and this is especially the case in cities where more than 50% of the global population now lives.

Factors such as the sealing of soil, the contamination of water and air, and the emission of atmospheric greenhouse gases are combining to make the urban environment less livable. Efforts to better understand these problems have been intensifying within the scientific community, with a broad array of research studies focusing on various topics related to environmental quality and human health, including the urban heat island, outdoor thermal comfort, and urban air quality. These phenomena have been analyzed at varying degrees of resolution, from the microscale to the city level, and using different approaches such as field monitoring, remote sensing, and simulation models.

The knowledge generated by such analyses can provide useful support for formulating and implementing urban planning and design strategies that properly address these issues. Unfortunately, however, these diverse aspects of urbanization are rarely integrated in a systematic way in the actual development process. Both academicians and public administrators are responsible for this gap, as scientists fail to produce information that is comprehensible for policy makers, and practitioners are not encouraged to take these issues into account when facing difficult urban planning and design decisions.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the consequential changes that modern society is undergoing have called into question the extent of our collective environmental resilience—making it clearer than ever that scientific knowledge must be integrated in decision-making processes if we hope to sustain a viable urban lifestyle.

This Special Issue aims to collect works that improve on this knowledge, and enrich our common understanding of how urban design can positively or negatively affect the quality of the urban environment. The focus is on outdoor thermal comfort and air quality, with emphasis placed on studies showing how research can be integrated into the design process and how policies can enhance the environmental effectiveness of concrete urban interventions.

Dr. Luciano Massetti
Prof. Dr. David Pearlmutter
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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 2400 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.


  • urban design
  • urban heat island
  • air quality
  • outdoor thermal comfort
  • urban green space
  • urban canyon
  • anthropogenic emissions
  • modelling
  • environmental monitoring

Published Papers (1 paper)

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14 pages, 451 KiB  
Quantifying the Health and Wealth Benefits of Reducing Point Source Pollution: The Case of the Sugar Industry in Pakistan
by Sanaullah Panezai, Ubaid Ali, Alam Zeb, Muhammad Rafiq, Ayat Ullah and Shahab E. Saqib
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13252; - 30 Nov 2021
Viewed by 1604
Air pollution is among the major causes of death and disease all around the globe. The prime impact of ambient air pollution is on the lungs through the respiratory system. This study aims to estimate the health cost due to air pollution from [...] Read more.
Air pollution is among the major causes of death and disease all around the globe. The prime impact of ambient air pollution is on the lungs through the respiratory system. This study aims to estimate the health cost due to air pollution from a Sugar Mill in the Mardan district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. To determine the impact of pollution on respiratory illness, primary data were collected from 1141 individuals from 200 households living within a 3 km radius of the mill. The Household Production Method was used to drive the reduced-form Dose–Response Function and the Mitigation Cost Function for assessing the impact of pollution on health and then estimating the monetary cost associated with mitigating such illnesses. The results indicate that about 60% of the respondents living in the surrounding area of the mill suffered from different respiratory illnesses. The study estimates that by reducing the suspended particulate matter (SPM) level by 50%, the expected annual welfare gains to an individual living within a 3 km radius of the mill are US $20.21. The whole community residing within a 3 km radius of the mill will enjoy an estimated welfare gain of PKR. 70.67 million (US $0.511 million). If the pollution standard limits prescribed by the World Health Organization are followed, the expected monetary benefits to all the individuals living within a 3 km radius of the mill are PKR. 114.48 million (US $0.27 million) annually. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Microclimate and Air Quality as Drivers of Urban Design)
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