Special Issue "Sustainable Urban Water Landscapes and Blue-Green Infrastructure"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Maria Ignatieva
E-Mail
Guest Editor
University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Hwy, Crawley WA 6009, Australia; Swedish University of Agricultural Science, Almas Allé 8, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden
Interests: sustainable blue-green infrastructure; urban biodiversity and design; nature-based solutions
Prof. Dr. Dagmar Haase
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
Interests: urban ecosystem services; urbanization; green-blue infrastructure; social–ecological systems; nature-based solutions in cities; climate change in cities; human and nature health
Dr. Diana Dushkova
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany
Interests: urban landscape ecology; nature-based solutions; ecosystem services; urban green infrastructure; environmental health research

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue comprises selected papers from the conference “Towards Sustainable Urban Environment: Water Landscapes in the Time of Globalization” that will be held in St. Petersburg in June 2019. We also invite papers from outside of the conference. The questions which can be discussed range from urban hydrology and coastal urban ecosystems and their resilience to climate change to the design of sustainable waterfronts, restoration and conservation of urban rivers, lakes, streams, and marine ecosystems as well as innovative approaches, such as water-sensitive design and low-impact design that can help to create a new generation of sustainable urban landscapes. In addition to these questions, other areas could be covered—for example, integrated sustainable planning and design and management of blue-green infrastructure. We also welcome papers that analyze environmental and socioeconomic benefits of blue-green infrastructure and nature-based solutions promoting sustainable green and blue urban areas.

Prof. Dr. Maria Ignatieva
Prof. Dr. Dagmar Haase
Dr. Diana Dushkova
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 1800 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

  • Urban water landscapes
  • Sustainable blue-green infrastructure
  • Urbanization
  • Design
  • Sustainable waterfronts
  • Climate change
  • Coastal urban ecosystems
  • Restoration of urban water landscapes
  • Nature-based solutions
  • Coastal resilience

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Towards A Relational Model for Emerging Urban Nature Concepts: A Practical Application and an External Assessment in Landscape Planning Education
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2465; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062465 - 20 Mar 2020
Abstract
The increasing interest in urban nature and its connection to urban sustainability and resilience has promoted the generalized use of new concepts such as green infrastructure, ecosystem services and nature-based solutions. However, due to their heterogeneous origins and interpretations, the usage and understanding [...] Read more.
The increasing interest in urban nature and its connection to urban sustainability and resilience has promoted the generalized use of new concepts such as green infrastructure, ecosystem services and nature-based solutions. However, due to their heterogeneous origins and interpretations, the usage and understanding of these concepts may vary considerably between different academic and professional groups, affecting their coordinated and synergistic use in integrative planning education and emphasizing the need for the exploration of clearer syntaxes and articulations between them. Accordingly, the main aim of this research was to develop a relational model and to investigate, through an external evaluation process, the benefits that these types of models can provide in higher education and in professional practice. This article presents the background theory and process that led to the development of the relational model, the outcomes of its academic implementation and the results of the assessment of both the model and the students’ work by different types of planners, researchers and practitioners. The findings show the potential of the defined relational model to integrate different concepts operating in complex socio-ecological systems and the benefits of developing, testing and validating models by linking research, education and professional practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Water Landscapes and Blue-Green Infrastructure)
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Open AccessArticle
You Can’t See the Woods for the Trees: Invasive Acer negundo L. in Urban Riparian Forests Harms Biodiversity and Limits Recreation Activity
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5838; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205838 - 21 Oct 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Public access to high quality green environments has become a key issue for city managers and a matter of environmental justice. Urban pressures on ecosystem remnants may act to favor the expansion of some invasive species in cities. Whilst the negative impacts of [...] Read more.
Public access to high quality green environments has become a key issue for city managers and a matter of environmental justice. Urban pressures on ecosystem remnants may act to favor the expansion of some invasive species in cities. Whilst the negative impacts of invasive species on ecosystem function is well documented, little is known about how invasive species influence the use of green space by people. Here, we examined one of the few remnants of urban riparian forests in Europe, the Vistula river valley in Warsaw, which has recently become an attractive recreation site. Despite their high ecological value, the poplar and willow forests have been increasingly taken over by the invasive tree species Acer negundo. We examined the status of the invasion process and the relationship between recreational ecosystem services and the characteristics of the tree stands—tree species, tree density, and age and NDVI values. We found the willow forest to be more susceptible to invasion by A. negundo than the poplar forest, which was revealed in significantly higher share of the maple individuals and their greater volume per unit area. Ash-leaved maples also prevailed in numbers in younger stands (<10 years) than in older ones. The presence of A. negundo affected biodiversity, resulting in decreased undergrowth density and biodiversity expressed in number of species. The use intensity by the public, assessed on the basis of soil compaction of existing informal tracks, as revealed by GLM analysis, was related to volume of invasive maple and distance from the main track. This study highlights the need to integrate invasive species management into green infrastructure planning and management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Water Landscapes and Blue-Green Infrastructure)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Combining Marine Ecology and Economy to Roadmap the Integrated Coastal Management: A Systematic Literature Review
Sustainability 2019, 11(16), 4393; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11164393 - 14 Aug 2019
Cited by 3
Abstract
Integrated coastal management (ICM) relies on the inclusion of economic issues within marine ecology. To assess the progress of this integration, we applied topic modelling and network analysis to explore the pertinent literature (583 Isi-WoS, and 5459 Scopus papers). We classified the topics [...] Read more.
Integrated coastal management (ICM) relies on the inclusion of economic issues within marine ecology. To assess the progress of this integration, we applied topic modelling and network analysis to explore the pertinent literature (583 Isi-WoS, and 5459 Scopus papers). We classified the topics of interest (i.e., concepts, approaches, and sectors) that combined ecological and economic issues within marine science, we aggregated these topics in fields pertinent to ICM, and tracked the knowledge-exchange between these fields by using an information-flow network. Main findings were: (i) the high trans-disciplinary fashion of studies about marine protection and of those about commercial fisheries, (ii) the weak interaction between studies focusing on potential biohazards and those about environmental management, (iii) the isolation, in the overall information-flow, of studies about ecotourism and aquaculture. We included in a roadmap all the integration routes we detected within ICM, based on the combination of ecological and economic issues. We conclude that, to improve integration, ICM should: (i) Exploit marine protection as a bridge between ecological and economic concepts and approaches, and between maritime economy sectors, (ii) employ systems ecology to pursue trans-disciplinary investigations, (iii) complement systems ecology with citizen science by means of inclusive economic initiatives, such as ecotourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Water Landscapes and Blue-Green Infrastructure)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Title: Economy and ecology in a sustainable seascape: strengths and gaps in trans-domain integration

Authors: B. Hay Mele, L. Russo, D. D'Alelio

Abstract: Ecological and economical sciences contribute to defining sustainability criteria, since these scientific domains are reciprocally entangled by all fluxes linked to the exploitation of the sea’s resources at any level. At the same time, the sustainable use of the seascape, especially at the waterfront, that is more accessible to multiple sea-users, requires the integration of ecological and economical investigations within a coherent and unifying view, primarily by facilitating the transfer of knowledge among different sectors related to sea economy, marine ecology, or both. To evaluate the degree of conceptual integration between ecology and economy fields in coastal marine ecosystems, we applied systems science approaches (i.e., topic modelling and network analysis) and studied a significant subset of the pertinent scientific production (about 500 Isi-WoS papers, and about 5,000 Scopus papers). We classified topics of interest in the literature, explored their distribution among the papers, and evaluated the extent of complexity of trans-dominion integration. In the synthesis got herein, main strengths are: (i) the role of marine protected areas as a link between classical and ecologically-oriented economics themes and (ii) the evident social-ecological connotation of coastal fishery sectors. The main gaps are the widespread conceptual fragmentation between ecological and economical investigation in the seascape, e.g. the weak communication flow between coastal aquaculture implementation and bio-hazards monitoring along the coast, and the under-exploitation of eco-tourism as an integration node between ecology and economy-driven initiatives at the waterfront.

 

Title: Water Sensitive Design in Cities: Global Approach Versus Local Interpretation

Authors: M. Ignatieva1, D. Haase2, D. Dushkova3, I. Melnichuk4

Affiliations: 1University of Western Australia; 2Humboldt University, Berlin and Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ; 3Humboldt University Berlin and M. V. Lomonosov Moscow State University; 4St.Petersburg State Forest Technical University

Abstract: In times of urbanisation and a tremendous growth of urban areas and impermeable surfaces, there appears a new generation of ecological approaches to managing stormwater such as Low Impact Design (LID), Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems (SUDS) and Water Sensitive Urban Design (WSUD). The main goal of LIDs is to manage stormwater locally at place, to imitate natural water flows and cycles and provide multiple ecosystem services including biodiversity enhancement using native vegetation.  The key elements of such ecological devises are detention ponds, rain gardens, swales, permeable pavement and vegetated roofs. Landscape architects are widely involved in designing new places based on understanding and use of ecological and hydrological processes and, what is more, going for dynamic ecological aesthetics. Another important part of water-sensitive design is the restoration and protection of wetlands, which play a crucial role in regulating local as well as regional hydrological cycles and also influence the quality of urban ground waters.  New ecological water-sensitive designs can work in any urban environment; however, each case it should be adjusted according to particular climatic as well as economic and social context. This article provides a critical overview of principles and peculiarities of water- sensitive design approaches from Europe (Germany, Sweden, Finland and Russia), USA and Southern Hemisphere (New Zealand and Australia) based on realized case studies.

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