Special Issue "Benefits and Co-benefits of Natural and Built Environment Requalification and Conservation Strategies: Advances in Multidisciplinary Valuation Approaches and Assessment Models"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Tourism, Culture, and Heritage".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Marta Bottero
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Interuniversity Department of regional urban studies and planning, Politecnico di Torino, 10125 Torino, Italy
Interests: sustainability assessment; multiple criteria decision analysis (mcda); environmental impact assessment (eia); strategic environmental assessment (sea); indicators and indexes; projects/plans/programmes; evaluation methods
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Chiara D’Alpaos
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Environmental and Architectural Engineering, University of Padova, Padova 35131, Italy
Interests: environmental and energy economics; investment decisions under uncertainty and dynamic stochastic optimization; regulation and management of public utilities; public procurement and efficient auction mechanisms; public policy valuations and multicriteria decision aiding
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Francesca Abastante
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Interuniversity Department of regional urban studies and planning, Politecnico di Torino, Torino, 10125, Italy
Interests: multi criteria decision aiding; Decision-making processes; uncertainty; sustainability assessment; urban policies development; decision support systems; indicators of sustainable development

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

There is an increasing interest in the co-benefit concept, which has been recently adopted to define any positive impact or effect of a policy, program or project exceeding the primary project goal (IPCC, 2014). Urban and rural requalification and conservation projects and strategies generate a series of indirect and/or intangible benefits which may contribute to environmental, economic, and social improvement and positively impact individuals’ health and well-being.

Due to the worldwide relevance of co-benefits, there is an urgent need for innovative and robust models and tools to assess their value and to account in detail for the complexity of those co-benefits which are produced in urban and territorial transformations, as there are calls for them being fully included in public (and private) decision-making processes.

In this respect, over the last decade, a significant strand of literature has focused on the analysis and implementation of well-established valuation approaches and methods traditionally adopted in the evaluation of non-market goods and non-market effects, which in turn are grounded on individuals’ stated or revealed preferences to assess the monetary value of co-benefits associated with, e.g., policies aimed at mitigation of climate change effects and/or improvement in health and well-being of individuals and society. Simultaneously, many contributions in literature have investigated qualitative and multicriteria valuation approaches of externalities, which lead to significant advances in modeling and real world applications.

This Special Issue aims to stimulate the debate on co-benefit valuation approaches and contribute to the proposal of advanced valuation and assessment models of natural and environmental resources and cultural goods, specifically related (but not limited) to:

  • Stated preference methods (contingent valuation, conjoint choice analysis, etc.);
  • Revealed preference methods (spatial hedonic regressions, travel cost method, production functions, etc.);
  • Benefit and value transfer approaches;
  • Multicriteria approaches.

Relevant topics include also cost–benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis of investments in:

  • Building energy retrofit;
  • Cultural heritage conservation and valorization;
  • Urban regeneration;
  • Abandoned urban areas requalification.

References

IPCC (2014). Climate Change 2014: Mitigation of Climate Change. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. New York: Cambridge University Press.

Prof. Dr. Marta Bottero
Prof. Dr. Chiara D’Alpaos
Dr. Francesca Abastante
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

  • co-benefit
  • stated preference methods
  • revealed preference methods
  • multicriteria approaches
  • energy retrofit
  • cultural heritage
  • urban regeneration

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
The Valuation of Ecosystem Services in the Venice Lagoon: A Multicriteria Approach
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9485; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179485 - 24 Aug 2021
Viewed by 535
Abstract
Coastal ecosystems are among the most economically valuable and highly threatened on Earth; they provide valuable ecosystem services (ESs) but are severely exposed to climate changes and human pressure. Although the preservation of coastal ecosystems is of the utmost importance, it is often [...] Read more.
Coastal ecosystems are among the most economically valuable and highly threatened on Earth; they provide valuable ecosystem services (ESs) but are severely exposed to climate changes and human pressure. Although the preservation of coastal ecosystems is of the utmost importance, it is often sub-optimally pursued by Governments and Societies because of the high costs involved. We consider salt-marsh ecosystems in the Venice Lagoon as an example of a threatened landscape, calling for innovative, integrated management strategies, and propose an application-driven methodological framework to support policymakers in the identification of cost-effective incentive policies to ecosystem preservation. By combining group decision-making and Value-Focused-Thinking approaches, we provide a multiple-criteria decision model, based on pairwise comparisons, to identify which ESs are top-priority policy targets according to a cost-effective perspective. We implemented an online Delphi survey process and interviewed a pool of experts who identified “recreation and tourism”, “coastal protection from flooding”, “carbon storage”, “biodiversity and landscape”, and “nursery habitats for fisheries” as the five most relevant ESs for the Venice Lagoon taking into consideration the Environmental, Economic, and Social perspectives. Our results suggest that the Environmental perspective is the most important criteria, whereas “biodiversity and landscape” is acknowledged as the most important ES. Full article
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Article
Sponsorship’s Financial Sustainability for Cultural Conservation and Enhancement Strategies: An Innovative Model for Sponsees and Sponsors
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9070; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169070 - 13 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 244
Abstract
The topic of the paper is sponsorship for the requalification/conservation of historical-architectural heritage. In the literature, there are many models for evaluating the financial efficiency of sponsorship from the point of view of the sponsor (mostly in the sports field), but none of [...] Read more.
The topic of the paper is sponsorship for the requalification/conservation of historical-architectural heritage. In the literature, there are many models for evaluating the financial efficiency of sponsorship from the point of view of the sponsor (mostly in the sports field), but none of these jointly support both the sponsor and the sponsee in the selection of financially sustainable cultural sponsorships. Trying to reduce this gap, an innovative model is proposed for estimating the profitability of cultural sponsorship. The model consists of three phases. In the first, which consists of the financial analysis of the investment for the sponsee, the minimum amount that the sponsee can request from the sponsor is established. The second phase analyzes the financial performance of potential sponsors, estimating the optimal sponsorship budget that maximizes profits. In the final phase, where the results of the two analyses are compared, the sponsee eventually reformulates his offer and decides which company to sign the contract with. The model is tested through a case study: the sponsorship of the restoration of the Don Tullio Fountain in Salerno (Italy). It is assumed that two companies are interested in sponsorship. The results show that the investment is financially sustainable for both companies. Full article
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Article
Assessment of Landscape Co-Benefits in Natura 2000 Site Management Plans
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5707; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105707 - 19 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 446
Abstract
The concept of co-benefits developed in the context of climate change policies can be extended to the strategies aimed at protecting natural resources. A co-effects-based policy approach proposes a multidimensionality capable of strengthening its effectiveness and supporting a co-generative development model aimed at [...] Read more.
The concept of co-benefits developed in the context of climate change policies can be extended to the strategies aimed at protecting natural resources. A co-effects-based policy approach proposes a multidimensionality capable of strengthening its effectiveness and supporting a co-generative development model aimed at promoting virtuous forms of territorial capital valorisation. The study aimed to evaluate the landscape co-benefits generated by the Natura 2000 networks, achieving a measure of efficiency of the policies and performance of the Management Plan, with reference to the “Timpa di Acireale” site. CVM and TCM were used for the estimation of landscape co-benefits. For the evaluation of the efficiency of the policies and the performance of the Plan, some economic-financial criteria were implemented. With reference to the user-citizen, the local tourist and the supralocal tourist, flows of annual co-benefits of EUR 754,764, EUR 99,678.12 and EUR 2276.39, respectively, were estimated. The analyses of the efficiency of the policies and the performance of the Plan provided sufficient results. In conclusion, the lack of an adequate level of infrastructure for all users’ profiles reduces the ability to generate co-benefits for the users themselves and more significantly for tourists in a territory with a strong tourism vocation. Full article
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Article
Pursuing the SDG11 Targets: The Role of the Sustainability Protocols
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3858; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073858 - 31 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 643
Abstract
This paper is built on the following research questions: (i) What are the direct/indirect relationships between Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG11) and sustainability protocols? (ii) Could the sustainability protocols constitute a solution towards the achievement of SDG11? We underline that, on the one [...] Read more.
This paper is built on the following research questions: (i) What are the direct/indirect relationships between Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG11) and sustainability protocols? (ii) Could the sustainability protocols constitute a solution towards the achievement of SDG11? We underline that, on the one hand, the SDGs are guidelines to support the development of sustainable policies and thus address all elements that may affect them, and on the other hand, sustainability protocols are assessment tools to promote sustainability-conscious design while remaining focused on the built environment. In the Italian regulatory context, the paper highlights how this difference in terms of focus and scale means that they only overlap and mutually reinforce each other with regard to certain aspects, more related to energy and air pollution issues and less to the social aspects of sustainability. Even if there is not always a direct relationship between the evaluation criteria of the protocols and the indicators of SDG11, it is possible to conclude that the sustainability protocols can facilitate the achievement of the SDG11 targets, acting as a key for the implementation of sustainable cities and helping in structuring the process leading to sustainability in a broader framework. Full article
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Article
Adaptive Reuse of a Historic Building by Introducing New Functions: A Scenario Evaluation Based on Participatory MCA Applied to a Former Carthusian Monastery in Tuscany, Italy
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2335; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042335 - 21 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 847
Abstract
The lack of financial resources and the constraints about interventions are threatening the survival of built heritage and the multiple benefits it can provide. In time, the role of building conservation has changed from preservation to being part of a sustainable strategy where [...] Read more.
The lack of financial resources and the constraints about interventions are threatening the survival of built heritage and the multiple benefits it can provide. In time, the role of building conservation has changed from preservation to being part of a sustainable strategy where adaptive reuse may allow to protect built heritage, while promoting it as a resource. This paper presents the results of a multicriteria analysis applied to the case study of Certosa di Pisa in Calci (Tuscany), a former Carthusian Monastery currently run as a publicly owned museum center. Based on information gathered from literature and the involvement of the two main stakeholders, a SWOT analysis was performed to identify three scenarios in which new functions were introduced with the aim to cover restoration and maintenance costs. Scenarios were compared by using a participatory MCA, taking into account not only economic performances but also cultural, territorial integration and restoration co-impacts. Results show that it is possible to reach economic sustainability while conserving heritage values, but several criticalities may hinder the process. Conclusions discuss the suitability of the method in identifying sustainable reuse solutions and highlight the role of governance bodies and the problems related to their public and/or private composition. Full article
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Article
Assessing Social Sustainability for Achieving Sustainable Architecture
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010142 - 25 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1387
Abstract
Sustainability is an inherent urban and architectural problem. It is simultaneously characterized by many different dimensions, pursuing heterogeneous and often conflicting objectives. To help address these complexities in a structured way, this paper illustrates an integrated assessment framework to tackle social sustainability, in [...] Read more.
Sustainability is an inherent urban and architectural problem. It is simultaneously characterized by many different dimensions, pursuing heterogeneous and often conflicting objectives. To help address these complexities in a structured way, this paper illustrates an integrated assessment framework to tackle social sustainability, in order to support the decision-making process towards sustainable architecture. This integrated decision support framework was applied to a case study concerning a new cultural centre at the Politecnico di Torino in Italy. The aim of this paper is to propose a decision support methodological framework for the analysis, graphical visualization and evaluation of social sustainability of architectural projects. It combines three methods: first, Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) analysis, to get a guided understanding of the project and detect the best design strategies; second, the Stakeholder Analysis (SA), to develop a strategic view of the actors involved; third, the Social Return of the Investment (SROI) as a methodological tool for social impact assessment. This framework, presented through the discussion of some project solutions, helps us to analyse the architectural material effect of social sustainability and answer the question: Are we investing properly and creating spaces sufficiently functional to build better conditions for our community and our city? Full article
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