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Environmental Sustainability, Urban Planning, and Quality of Urban Life

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Health, Well-Being and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2022) | Viewed by 15944

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Technical University of Liberec, 461 17 Liberec, Czech Republic
Interests: social geography; quality of life; satisfaction with life; well-being; happiness
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

One of the most serious changes we are currently experiencing is climate change, manifested not only in the notorious melting of glaciers but also severe droughts in some regions and devastating floods almost all over the world. Natural disasters in the form of prolonged droughts, floods, forest fires, amongst others have always been a part of human history, but today they differ in intensity and number; now, they affect virtually every country. In the search for solutions to this situation, one of the findings is that an effort must be made towards environmental sustainability in the form of maintaining the status quo in the first place and improving it in the steps that follow. Cities present another large change. The population of cities worldwide has exceeded 50%; in some countries, the urban population represents more than 90%. At the beginning of the 20th century, the capitals of developed countries were the largest cities in the world. Nowadays, the largest cities are in developing countries and China, with the exception of Tokyo. Megalopolises and metropolitan areas of millions of cities are a new phenomenon. The role of urban planners and local politicians is to improve the quality of life, but the current hedonic form of quality of life is not sustainable. This Special Issue focuses on three factors—environmental sustainability, urban planning, quality of urban life and the processes amongst them. We consider the concepts of environmental sustainability and quality of urban life together with urban planning as a set of urban–technical–economic–social processes as key drivers of the current development of cities. We warmly welcome papers aimed at conceptualising, analysing, and measuring two or all of these factors. We also warmly welcome papers focusing on the relationships between two of these factors or the relationships of all three. We are looking forward to theoretical papers and application-oriented papers on environmental sustainability in urban planning, the impact of environmental sustainability on the quality of life and on measuring the quality of urban life as an expression of residents' satisfaction with city life. We are open to research in terms of our focus on border issues such as environmental justice, urbanisation, deurbanisation, urban sprawl, urban liveability, quality of urban life in cities of different size categories or quality of urban life in socially excluded parts of cities.

Dr. František Murgaš
Guest Editor

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 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.

Keywords

  • sustainability
  • environmental sustainability
  • environmental science
  • environmental ethics
  • environmental quality
  • city
  • urban planning
  • urban place
  • urban space
  • urban landscape
  • urbanisation
  • deurbanisation
  • urban sprawl
  • walkability
  • place
  • quality of life
  • quality of urban life
  • quality of place
  • satisfaction with life
  • well-being
  • ill-being
  • happiness
  • liveability
  • global liveability index

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 669 KiB  
Article
Is the Size of the City Important for the Quality of Urban Life? Comparison of a Small and a Large City
by Lucia Petrikovičová, Victoria Kurilenko, Amantius Akimjak, Beáta Akimjaková, Peter Majda, Anton Ďatelinka, Yulia Biryukova, Ľubomír Hlad, Peter Kondrla, Daliborka Maryanovich, Lyubov Ippolitova, Marie Roubalová and Jozef Petrikovič
Sustainability 2022, 14(23), 15589; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142315589 - 23 Nov 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2206
Abstract
In the recent past, the question of determining the optimal city size in relation to the quality of urban life (QoUL) was raised of city inhabitants. This article has evaluated the correlation of the QoUL index in cities in relation to the number [...] Read more.
In the recent past, the question of determining the optimal city size in relation to the quality of urban life (QoUL) was raised of city inhabitants. This article has evaluated the correlation of the QoUL index in cities in relation to the number of inhabitants. We also deal with selected variables for which we assume a relationship with QoUL. The authors who calculated the indices of the quality of urban life equated the quality of life with its objective dimension considered as the quality of the place. It turned out that growth in the number of inhabitants of Slovak cities did not correlate with improving quality of life. Our article examined QoUL in two different countries on a scale of 0–10 through questionnaires. The obtained values are a subjective assessment. From a global point of view, one city is small and the other is big. The small city achieved better results in international rankings of quality of life, and it was assumed that this fact would also be reflected in the quantification of the quality of urban life. One hypothesis was that a small city will achieve better urban life quality values than a large city. The paper presents the results of measurement and correlation. Full article
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24 pages, 3726 KiB  
Article
Living on the Edge: Comparing the Quality of Life Transformation of Local Communities Induced by New Town Development in Different Peri-Urban Areas
by Rahmat Aris Pratomo, D. Ary A. Samsura and Erwin van der Krabben
Sustainability 2022, 14(20), 13435; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142013435 - 18 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2895
Abstract
Peri-urban development has both potential and consequences. It has consequences in terms of changes in the condition of livelihood assets and quality of life (QoL) of local communities, while it has benefits because it generates new urban activities. In theory, these impacts vary [...] Read more.
Peri-urban development has both potential and consequences. It has consequences in terms of changes in the condition of livelihood assets and quality of life (QoL) of local communities, while it has benefits because it generates new urban activities. In theory, these impacts vary in significance for peri-urban with diverse characteristics. Therefore, this research aims to investigate and compare the impact of new town development on local communities in various peri-urban areas. Ample attention is given to two new town development projects: Metro Tanjung Bunga (MTB) in a coastal area and Kota Baru Parahyangan (KBP) in an inland area of Indonesia. There were 150 respondents involved from 13 kampungs (enclaves). The research begins with a qualitative descriptive analysis to determine the impact of development and continues with a t-test to validate and compare the magnitude of the impact in the two peri-urban areas. The findings show that the development of the new towns has resulted in a decrease in livelihood assets and community QoL levels. An intriguing finding also demonstrates that the two peri-urban areas have significantly different development impacts: coastal peri-urban communities experienced a more significant decrease in QoL than non-coastal peri-urban communities. This research would enrich the discussions about peri-urban transformation, effects of the process on local communities and sustainability of these effects in developing countries. Full article
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16 pages, 303 KiB  
Article
Well-Being in the Time of Corona: Associations of Nearby Greenery with Mental Well-Being during COVID-19 in The Netherlands
by Ralitsa Shentova, Sjerp de Vries and Jana Verboom
Sustainability 2022, 14(16), 10256; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141610256 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 2102
Abstract
Nature’s mental health benefits are well-established in the literature, but there is little research on which types and characteristics of urban greenery are most relevant for mental well-being in general, and during the COVID-19 pandemic in particular. This study examined the link between [...] Read more.
Nature’s mental health benefits are well-established in the literature, but there is little research on which types and characteristics of urban greenery are most relevant for mental well-being in general, and during the COVID-19 pandemic in particular. This study examined the link between having a (green) garden or a green view from the main window of the home, as well as the perceived quantity and quality of neighbourhood green areas and streetscape greenery, and the self-reported change in mental well-being since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Adults residing in the Netherlands (N = 521, 67% female) completed an online survey in December 2020 and January 2021. It included items on the frequency of contact with the aforementioned outdoor spaces, as well as their quantity, natural features, and quality. Hierarchical regression analyses revealed that the quantity of the greenery mattered, but the quality was more strongly associated with well-being. In particular, well-maintained, attractive, and varied streetscape greenery was just as relevant as a garden with diverse plants. This beneficial association between streetscape greenery and mental well-being was stronger for female participants. Understanding the benefits of the different types and characteristics of urban greenery, and who they are most relevant for, can assist policymakers and planners in designing cities that promote health and resilience. Full article
19 pages, 6534 KiB  
Article
Issue-Based Complexity: Digitally Supported Negotiation in Geodesign Linking Planning and Implementation
by Shlomit Flint Ashery and Carl Steinitz
Sustainability 2022, 14(15), 9073; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14159073 - 25 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1451
Abstract
Research regarding the complex issues in planning negotiation is sparse. This article aims to shed light on the characteristics of “the negotiation issue” in planning and how to deal with negotiation-related complexity towards planning implementation. It conceptualizes processes of negotiation that are represented/implemented [...] Read more.
Research regarding the complex issues in planning negotiation is sparse. This article aims to shed light on the characteristics of “the negotiation issue” in planning and how to deal with negotiation-related complexity towards planning implementation. It conceptualizes processes of negotiation that are represented/implemented via graphic and geographic elements, where the topology is a crucial factor. Our case study of the CAMKOX corridor at UCL’s geodesign workshop provides new insights into the potential of digital negotiations for assessing the characteristics of planning negotiation issues and their associated complexity drivers to enhance the quality of spatiality. The findings provide a detailed description of issue-based planning complexity. A shift of focus away from the products of planning to the negotiation process—as the most important consideration in planning—opens the possibility of implementing “shared” interventions on which there is consensus. Full article
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18 pages, 689 KiB  
Article
Urban-Rural Dichotomy of Quality of Life
by František Petrovič and Patrik Maturkanič
Sustainability 2022, 14(14), 8658; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14148658 - 15 Jul 2022
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 2827
Abstract
This paper is focused on the urban-rural dichotomy as one of the dichotomies of quality of life (QOL). The first objective is to find out whether the quality of urban life, or the quality of rural life, is higher in Czechia. The hypothesis [...] Read more.
This paper is focused on the urban-rural dichotomy as one of the dichotomies of quality of life (QOL). The first objective is to find out whether the quality of urban life, or the quality of rural life, is higher in Czechia. The hypothesis assumes that the quality of urban life is higher. The second objective is to identify predictors of QOL and compare values for the residents of cities and villages. In the Theoretical Background section, we discuss cities and urban life, plus villages and rural life. In the QOL section, we explore the quality of urban and rural life in Czechia, and give examples of QOL measurements in Czech municipalities. In the Measurement and Findings section we measure QOL with a subjective indicator on the Cantril scale, and derive findings from these measurements. The correlations between QOL and other variables yield very strong predictors of both urban and rural quality of life. The measurements also yielded two “by products”: The first was the finding that women’s measured values are, except for women’s quality of city life, higher than the measured values of men. The second was the finding that the combination of quality of place and quality of the environment, which we named ‘geographical matter’, was rated higher by the respondents than the combination of QOL and happiness, which we named ‘psychological matter’. Full article
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16 pages, 3739 KiB  
Article
Effects of Creating Street Greenery in Urban Pedestrian Roads on Microclimates and Particulate Matter Concentrations
by Suk Jin Jung and Seonghwan Yoon
Sustainability 2022, 14(13), 7887; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14137887 - 28 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1658
Abstract
Urbanization can increase artificial coverage rates and emissions by causing increases in traffic, which represents a serious health risk to pedestrians. To create pedestrian-friendly environments in urban canyons, this study examined their microclimates and air quality; methods to improve the pedestrian environment were [...] Read more.
Urbanization can increase artificial coverage rates and emissions by causing increases in traffic, which represents a serious health risk to pedestrians. To create pedestrian-friendly environments in urban canyons, this study examined their microclimates and air quality; methods to improve the pedestrian environment were also explored, based on the current street green space practices in Seoul, Korea. Under these current standards, the physiologically equivalent temperature (PET) of the pedestrian roads was predicted to decrease by 1.29–1.44 °C, but this was insufficient to adjust the thermal stress level. The air temperature of the pedestrian road declined slightly; fine dust concentrations increased, and ozone concentrations decreased. The effects of increasing the planting occupancy on the pedestrian environment were then simulated, which resulted in decreases in PET of 3.04–3.49 °C, depending on the floor area ratio, thereby effectively lowering the thermal stress stage. The particulate matter concentrations increased, however, and the air quality deteriorated. Therefore, street greenery planning alone cannot sufficiently improve both the microclimate and air quality of urban pedestrian roads. Thus, it is necessary to plan street greenery spaces in parallel with measures to improve air quality. Full article
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22 pages, 5439 KiB  
Article
Application Studies for the Implementation of the Sustainability Charter in the Metropolitan City of Genoa
by Francesca Pirlone, Ilenia Spadaro, Cristiana Arzà, Giovanna Lonati and Piero Garibaldi
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4721; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084721 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1734
Abstract
Starting from Agenda 2030 and existing tools in the field of sustainability, this research defines the guidelines for a new Sustainability Charter created for a metropolitan-level city. These guidelines are then applied to the case study of the metropolitan city of Genoa. The [...] Read more.
Starting from Agenda 2030 and existing tools in the field of sustainability, this research defines the guidelines for a new Sustainability Charter created for a metropolitan-level city. These guidelines are then applied to the case study of the metropolitan city of Genoa. The paper reports, therefore, application studies for the implementation of the Sustainability Charter in the metropolitan city of Genoa. Funded by the Ministry of the Environment and the Protection of Territory and Sea, the Sustainability Charter of the Metropolitan City of Genoa, which we present here, is developed as part of “Agenda 2030, the Sustainable Metropolitan Agenda of the Metropolitan City of Genoa: moving towards sustainable metropolitan spaces”. This research has led to the implementation of a concrete product the entire citizenship can benefit from. The new proposed tool is oriented towards the application of sustainability in urban planning and management in order to reduce environmental impacts and promote a proper and better quality of life: a driving force for sustainable urban development. Sustainability as a tool to safeguard the cultural and environmental heritage and the economic system, which can represent a new opportunity for the development of competitiveness, innovation and employment. Full article
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