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Special Issue "Natural Environment and Cultural Heritage in the City, A Sustainability Perspective"

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 (30 April 2021) | Viewed by 25890

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Jan K. Kazak
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Spatial Management, Wrocław University of Environmental and Life Sciences, Grunwaldzka 55, 50-357 Wrocław, Poland
Interests: sustainable cities and regions; adaptation to climate change; environmental impact assessment; natural resource management; resilience; urban design and planning
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Katarzyna Hodor
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Chair of Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Architecture Cracow, University of Technology, Warszawska 24, 31-155 Kraków, Poland
Interests: spatial analysis; urban planning; city planning; landscape architecture; protection heritage; landscape planning; landscaping; landscape; cultural landscapes; landscape design; landscape urbanism; landscape aesthetics; urbanism; heritage conservation; landscape history
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Magdalena Wilkosz-Mamcarczyk
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
Department of Land Management and Landscape Architecture, Faculty of Environmental Engineering and Land Surveying, University of Agriculture in Krakow, Balicka 253 c, 30-198 Kraków, Poland
Interests: suburbanization; semiurbanization processes; revitalization processes; garden art; urban design; planning; heritage; landscape; cultural landscapes; rural landscape
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The 21st century urges us to analyse urban problems and revise its components. Cities in the past followed various evolutionary paths depending on the level of development of the society, its ideology, or financial factors. The key was self-reliant and polycentric production, services, commerce, and finance. What is essential today in the effort to improve the quality of life and support residents throughout the transformation is activities aimed at implementing changes to create friendly and climate-neutral spaces. It is the city that is the focal point of human life on our planet and where critical ecological challenges lie.

All above mentioned issues require the involvement and lot of activities on the different levels. One of the leading Institution is ICOMOS which is very active on this area. They developed ‘ICOMOS SDGs Policy Guidance’ which is a main initiative in Sustainability.

The proposed topical scope combines two basic yet highly relevant issues that affect the cities today, the natural and urban environment viewed from various angles and through different relations. Both are investigated from distinctive perspectives, dedicated sciences: ecology and history, respectively, including heritage and monument conservation. Research focusing on urban and suburban zones will be rather interesting.

We propose a new research perspective. On the one hand, it takes advantage of ecological experience, and on the other, it explores historical and heritage conservation problems, to finally combine them using landscape research. We ponder the City, its ecology, past and modern culture, and particularly cultural heritage from the angle of research on the image, aesthetics, form, and function of the urbanscape.

In general, the topics of interest include the impact of concepts of urban ecological networks that provide not only a background for the structure but constituting a crucial city-forming factor. It seems vital to search for the right development directions and methods to be used to combine these values, and to propose a statutory and methodological footing for various locations. The cultural value, based on regional inputs through historical structures and components is an indisputable quality important for landscape conservation. Aesthetics, biodiversity, and selection of actions fit for the scale and type of problems are important focuses for research and development in the context of the cultural heritage of historical cities. The effort to combine ecological values with heritage resources to protect landscapes should be systemic to bear the fruit of their preservation for the next generations. We propose to determine guidelines aimed at developing procedural standards in individual groups.

Another essential matter will be the international exchange of views and research, which may improve relevant methods.

Dr. Jan K. Kazak
Dr. Katarzyna Hodor
Dr. Magdalena Wilkosz-Mamcarczyk
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 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 2000 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 ecology
  • urban metabolism
  • structures of cultural heritage
  • heritage relationships
  • historical greenery (gardens and parks)
  • urban ecological network solutions
  • urban ecosystems
  • urban–suburban relation
  • blue-green infrastructure
  • conservation activities in urban and suburban zones
  • urbanscape
  • suburban solutions
  • impact of historical conditions on the modern city
  • urban and suburban regionalism
  • urban and suburban biodiversity

Published Papers (23 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Natural Environment and Cultural Heritage in the City, a Sustainability Perspective
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7850; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13147850 - 14 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1056
Abstract
The 21st century urges us to analyze urban problems and revise its components [...] Full article
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Research

Jump to: Editorial

Article
Site-Specific Determinants and Remains of Medieval City Fortifications as the Potential for Creating Urban Greenery Systems Based on the Example of Historical Towns of the Opole Voivodeship
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7032; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137032 - 23 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 667
Abstract
The article discusses the natural and historic heritage of medieval towns in the Opole Silesia region in the context of their ability to take advantage of their potential for sustainable development, especially in tourism. The chosen environmental, urban, architectural, and landscape factors were [...] Read more.
The article discusses the natural and historic heritage of medieval towns in the Opole Silesia region in the context of their ability to take advantage of their potential for sustainable development, especially in tourism. The chosen environmental, urban, architectural, and landscape factors were compared through this aspect and subjected to a multidimensional comparative analysis. The research studies applied mostly archival materials, contemporary topographic maps, statistical data, and both landscape as well as urban field studies. As a result, the studies indicated that the natural conditions of the locations, the preservation level of the urban system along with its development trends, and the areas of the old fortifications with their accompanying greenery constitute these towns’ very value and identity. As they combine elements of nature and culture, they may serve as the basis for development of tourism, which is likely to contribute to the social and economic revitalization of the region itself. What may play a major role in the quest for sustainable development are the urban greenery systems to be designed based on former fortification areas, city greenery, and natural environmental resources, which have been integral elements of these towns over many past centuries. Full article
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Article
Assessment of Visual Values as a Tool Supporting the Design Decisions of the Cultural Park Protection Plan. The Case of Kazimierz and Stradom in Kraków
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 6990; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13136990 - 22 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 940
Abstract
Krakow is a city of high landscape values, which has found confirmation in the entry onto the UNESCO heritage list. Its cultural landscape requires protection and clarification within the context of intensive tourist use and a rapid pace of urban spatial development. For [...] Read more.
Krakow is a city of high landscape values, which has found confirmation in the entry onto the UNESCO heritage list. Its cultural landscape requires protection and clarification within the context of intensive tourist use and a rapid pace of urban spatial development. For preservation protection and restoration of landscape values, the city authorities undertook work on the creation of a Cultural Park in the Stradom and Kazimierz districts, providing a comprehensive, sustainable, and multidisciplinary approach to natural, cultural and visual values of the urban structure. The article presents the application of the method of research on visual values in order to protect individual scenic resources of the historical urban structure. It is one of the analytical studies of a comprehensive protection plan project. This project defines the scope, framework and methods of development and management of a Cultural Park. The task of the visual analysis was to identify, characterize and evaluate the visual resources. It created a visual framework for further development of the historical district while preserving its local spatial identity. The studies resulted in a division into zones according to their nature and intensity of activities as well as outlining protection zones and intervention zones adjusted to individual characteristics of those places. An original method combining achievements of the method of landscape and visual assessment (LVIA) as well as achievements of the Krakow School of Landscape Architecture (KSLA) in terms of cultural landscape assessment was used for the research. The applied method provided guidelines to support sustainable project decisions regarding further development of the district for the preservation of local spatial identity. Its universal character creates possibilities for its application into the plans of other Krakow districts and is intended to be applicable to both urban and rural structures. Full article
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Article
The Importance of Water and Climate-Related Aspects in the Quality of Urban Life Assessment
Sustainability 2021, 13(12), 6573; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13126573 - 09 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1076
Abstract
Global challenges such as urbanization, aging societies, climate change, and environmental and water crises are becoming increasingly important in terms of the impact they might have on the quality of life (QoL) in cities. Appraisal instruments for QoL assessment, such as rankings and [...] Read more.
Global challenges such as urbanization, aging societies, climate change, and environmental and water crises are becoming increasingly important in terms of the impact they might have on the quality of life (QoL) in cities. Appraisal instruments for QoL assessment, such as rankings and guides, should therefore include these aspects. The aim of this research was to verify the significance of water and climate-related aspects in assessment tools. A comparative analysis of 24 selected QoL assessment tools shows to what extent these aspects are included in the domains, criteria, and indicators proposed in the instruments. The method of verification is a comparison of the position of winning cities in QoL rankings and city resilience rankings. The results show that water and climate-related aspects are still underestimated in the QoL rankings and guides, and only a few cities with the highest quality of life ranked highly in sustainability and climate resiliency ratings. Our results suggest that the tools for the evaluation and comparison of cities need remodeling, taking into account the most important global risks and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in order to create aging-friendly and climate-neutral cities. Full article
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Article
Multi-Attribute Analysis of Contemporary Cultural Buildings in the Historic Urban Fabric as Sustainable Spaces—Krakow Case Study
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6126; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116126 - 28 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1173
Abstract
This study concerns contemporary cultural buildings in the historic city centre of Krakow, Poland, and their assessment in terms of sustainability. The paper aims to bridge a research gap in previous studies on pluralistic values and the impact of cultural heritage on sustainability. [...] Read more.
This study concerns contemporary cultural buildings in the historic city centre of Krakow, Poland, and their assessment in terms of sustainability. The paper aims to bridge a research gap in previous studies on pluralistic values and the impact of cultural heritage on sustainability. The comparative case study conducted in Krakow aims to evaluate the functioning and potential of the space towards achieving the following five goals: accessibility, conservation, mix of functions, aesthetics, comfort and sociability. The perception of these buildings and the public space around them by the city residents, as well as their operation during unexpected circumstances, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, were also evaluated. The author combined an on-site analysis, behavioural mapping and a survey. The results correlate the liveability and aesthetics of public spaces along with the amount and quality of greenery found there with the comfort of users and the popularity of particular places. This paper highlights how important it is to create cultural spaces in a historic city to develop a range of their activities linked to the surrounding public spaces and green areas. Activating cultural spaces and connecting them to sustainability goals is especially important when faced with declining tourism. Full article
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Article
Towards an Understanding of the Pre-War Landscape Transformations in the Face of Contemporary Urban Challenges on the Example of Gajowice in Wrocław
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 5962; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13115962 - 25 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 674
Abstract
This paper discusses the results of desk and field studies conducted in the Gajowice estate in Wrocław. The aim of the paper is to identify the original assumptions of the development of areas around multifamily buildings and to examine the process of their [...] Read more.
This paper discusses the results of desk and field studies conducted in the Gajowice estate in Wrocław. The aim of the paper is to identify the original assumptions of the development of areas around multifamily buildings and to examine the process of their transformation to the present day. The research hypothesis states that the used solutions would now be defined as green infrastructure or nature-based solutions. This was confirmed with the help of comparative cartographic studies. Research on the original land development of the interwar period allows for identifying the principles based not only on compositional aspects, but also the recognition of natural values in the variety of green forms used in a given area and the important role of trees with large target sizes, in addition to the principle of shaping the green system that permeates the urban tissue, creating ecological corridors and positively influencing the local climate. Thus, the historical development is in line with the contemporary postulates of climate resilient cities. Full article
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Article
Evolution of the Concept of Sensory Gardens in the Generally Accessible Space of a Large City: Analysis of Multiple Cases from Kraków (Poland) Using the Therapeutic Space Attribute Rating Method
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 5904; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13115904 - 24 May 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 907
Abstract
This paper presents a study on public gardens with sensory features located in Kraków (Poland). Data for the analysis of the facilities were obtained during site visits using observations. The paper uses a research method for the analysis of therapeutic outdoor areas in [...] Read more.
This paper presents a study on public gardens with sensory features located in Kraków (Poland). Data for the analysis of the facilities were obtained during site visits using observations. The paper uses a research method for the analysis of therapeutic outdoor areas in cities based on the evaluation of their attributes. This method makes it possible to characterise features of objects as well as their value. It is a practical tool, which enables an in-depth analysis of public spaces. The study showed that public gardens with sensory features located in Kraków have significant deficiencies, which make it impossible to fully exploit the potential of the sensory space. Full article
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Article
Strengthening Efforts to Protect and Safeguard the Industrial Cultural Heritage in Montilla-Moriles (PDO). Characterisation of Historic Wineries
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 5791; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13115791 - 21 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 805
Abstract
Industrial heritage is linked to the cultural processes that human society sets through the traces from the past. The conservation and dissemination of this industrial–cultural heritage are crucial for sustainable urban development, and positively influences the transition to resilient and sustainable cities. The [...] Read more.
Industrial heritage is linked to the cultural processes that human society sets through the traces from the past. The conservation and dissemination of this industrial–cultural heritage are crucial for sustainable urban development, and positively influences the transition to resilient and sustainable cities. The wine industry around Montilla has suffered as a result of a sharp reduction of the vineyard area in the last 25 years. Wineries, as one of the historic typologies of wine-making facilities in the Montilla-Moriles Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), as well as their materials and construction techniques, are a reference in the agricultural landscape of Montilla. Many historic wineries are the result of the abandonment and cessation of the wine industry. These buildings are linked to the agrarian activity in this area, mostly wine-making, although in some cases, they coexist with similar production processes, such as milling the fruit of the olive grove. This research characterises and analyses four historic wineries in the Montilla-Moriles PDO, which represent an example of architecture in the wine-making transformation during the 19th–20th centuries. This manuscript contributes to the attainment of some objectives set in one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), protecting and disseminating the industrial cultural heritage in Montilla-Moriles. Full article
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Article
Practical Functioning of a Sustainable Urban Complex with a Park—The Case Study of Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center in Athens
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5071; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095071 - 30 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1053
Abstract
Intensive urban development has created a shortage of urban green areas. The need to economically plan and use urban green spaces has fueled the redefinition of public spaces and parks so as to provide the residents with both recreation and relaxation facilities, as [...] Read more.
Intensive urban development has created a shortage of urban green areas. The need to economically plan and use urban green spaces has fueled the redefinition of public spaces and parks so as to provide the residents with both recreation and relaxation facilities, as well as a forum for contact with culture. This paper discusses the case of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Center (SNFCC) in the Kallithea district on the outskirts of Athens, near the Mediterranean Sea. It fills a gap in the research on the aspects of the practical functioning of such facilities. The methodology used in the research included an analysis of the literature, the SNFCC’s reports, and an in situ survey. The cultural center hosts a number of events aimed at promoting Greece’s natural and cultural heritage. The paper includes a detailed analysis of the events organized by the SNFCC in the period 2017–2020 and their immense impact on residents. The aim of the study is to show that the creation of the SNFCC with the park areas has functioned as a factor contributing to the improvement of the quality of urban space and the quality of life of the city’s inhabitants. The paper’s conclusions indicate that the sustainable SNFCC project, which fulfils the urban ecology criteria, has been very well received by the visitors—citizens and tourists alike. A program-centered innovation introduced by the SN Park has added great value to their lives. The project contributes to economic and cultural growth, as well as the protection and promotion of heritage. Full article
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Article
Intelligent Urban Planning and Ecological Urbanscape-Solutions for Sustainable Urban Development. Case Study of Wolfsburg
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4903; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094903 - 27 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1065
Abstract
Intelligent urban planning and ecological urbanism can be recognized as two of the key solutions to act against urban sprawl. This process is associated with suburbanization, blurring boundaries between the city and suburbs, and the undefined role of open and green spaces within [...] Read more.
Intelligent urban planning and ecological urbanism can be recognized as two of the key solutions to act against urban sprawl. This process is associated with suburbanization, blurring boundaries between the city and suburbs, and the undefined role of open and green spaces within new structures. It has been identified as the biggest and the most common problem worldwide. This non-central planning has a huge impact not only on economic aspects, but—most of all—on the ecological and landscaping balance within the urban area. This study covers not only the recognition of the outlined situation, but also a conceptual proposal to challenge the problems of urban sprawl. The city of Wolfsburg serves as a case study to which the tools of Ecological Urbanism and Intelligent Urbanism were applied. A corrective plan for the study area has been worked out, based on the main approaches in urban planning of the 21st century. The green transformation processes to achieve resiliency within urban areas are inevitable and will have to be conducted due to the rising number of the dwellers, steadily changing climate, and socio-economic conditions all over the world. The main solutions include mainly the system of green corridors, interconnectedness of open spaces, walkability with smart mobile options and social community as a nucleus of a local neighborhood. Full article
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Article
Do We Need a New Florence Charter? The Importance of Authenticity for the Maintenance of Historic Gardens and Other Historic Greenery Layouts in the Context of Source Research (Past) and Taking into Account the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Idea (Future)
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4900; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094900 - 27 Apr 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 743
Abstract
This year, 40 years have passed since the adoption of the basic document for the protection of historic gardens, i.e., the Florence Charter. During this time, its recommendations have been verified by both conservation and researchers’ actions, who in various environments discussed its [...] Read more.
This year, 40 years have passed since the adoption of the basic document for the protection of historic gardens, i.e., the Florence Charter. During this time, its recommendations have been verified by both conservation and researchers’ actions, who in various environments discussed its meaning as well as its essential shortcomings. Some of the provisions of the Charter were criticized in the context of the effects of their use, especially those relating to the issue of historic gardens fundamental protection, namely to authenticity in its various scopes with particular emphasis on the use of source research which raises many reservations for conservation actions. Moreover, their excessively superficial interpretation, which was demonstrated by the example of the most popular plant used in regular gardens, namely boxwood. This article presents and analyzes the most important theses of these discussions and the main axes of the dispute, dividing them into two parts, i.e., the first relating to authenticity and the other to the use of sources. On this basis, it was necessary to extend these considerations to all kinds of historic greenery. Attention was also paid to the meaning and scope of authenticity which changed along with the expansion of the semantic field in relation to heritage. Furthermore, the fact that since the adoption of the Florence Charter, some of the aspects of authenticity indicated in the article have been included in other documents developed under the auspices of ICOMOS, but usually relating to the heritage as a whole, sometimes considered regionally. Appendices contain the most important doctrinal documents referring separately to authenticity, meaning, as well as types and the scope of the usage of sources. This article presents new contexts in which authenticity connected with climate change and the postulates of the development doctrine should be considered. Additionally, the article indicates the need to extend the conditions in which to start considering the historical greenery areas, which should be treated as an element of green infrastructure. The article also points to the use of new techniques and tools in research on authenticity. The summary indicated the necessity to continue the discussion on aspects of authenticity in relation to historic greenery layouts. Taking into account all the above aspects and at the same time meeting the ICOMOS “Journeys for Authenticity” initiative, As part of the conclusions from the analyzes carried out in the article, a model of procedure was proposed. It aims to bring us closer to the preparation of a new document recommending the protection of historic greenery, addressing both critical comments about the present Florence Charta, as well as new challenges and opportunities. This model is shown by means of a diagram. Part of it is a set of themes around which around which the debate on the new Florence Charter could be launched. They were assigned to four panels, i.e., I. Historic greenery as an element of heritage: II. Authenticity of historic greenery complexes in research and conservation strategies; III. Authenticity of historic greenery complexes and sustainable development; IV. New techniques and tools in research on the authenticity of historic greenery layouts. Full article
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Article
Living Heritage in the Urban Landscape. Case Study of the Budapest World Heritage Site Andrássy Avenue
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 4699; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13094699 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 980
Abstract
Historic allées and urban avenues reflect a far-sighted and forward-thinking design attitude. These compositions are the living witnesses of olden times, suggesting permanence. However, the 20th century’s urban development severely damaged the environment, therefore hundred-year-old mature trees are relatively rare among city avenues’ [...] Read more.
Historic allées and urban avenues reflect a far-sighted and forward-thinking design attitude. These compositions are the living witnesses of olden times, suggesting permanence. However, the 20th century’s urban development severely damaged the environment, therefore hundred-year-old mature trees are relatively rare among city avenues’ stands. Due to the deteriorated habitat conditions, replantation may be necessary from time to time. However, there are a large number of replanted allées and urban avenues considered historical monuments, according to the relevant international literature in urban and living heritage’s preservation. The renewal often results in planting a different, urban tolerant taxon, as seen in several examples reviewed. Nevertheless, the allée remains an essential urban structural element, though often with a changed character. The Budapest Andrássy Avenue, a city and nature connection defined in the late 19th century’s urban landscape planning, aimed to offer a splendid link between city core and nature in Városliget Public Park. The 19–20th century’s history and urban development are well documented in Hungarian and several English publications, though current tree stock stand and linear urban green infrastructure as part of the urban landscape need a detailed survey. The site analyses ran in 2020–early 2021 created a basis for assessing the allées and the whole avenue as an urban ecosystem and a valuable case study of contemporary heritage protection problems. Andrassy Avenue, the unique urban fabric, architecture, and promenades have been a world heritage monument of cultural value since 2002. The allées became endangered despite reconstruction type maintenance efforts. The presented survey analyses the living heritage’s former renewal programs and underlines the necessity of new reconstruction concepts in urban heritage protection. We hypothesize that urban green infrastructure development, the main issue in the 21st century to improve the urban ecological system and human liveability, may support heritage protection. The Budapest World Heritage Site is worthwhile for a complex renewal where the urban green ecosystem supply and liveable, pedestrian-friendly urban open space system are at the forefront to recall the once glorious, socially and aesthetically attractive avenue. Full article
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Article
Correlation between Land Use and the Transformation of Rural Housing Model in the Coastal Region of Syria
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4357; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084357 - 14 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 815
Abstract
The phenomenon of urban sprawl has caused radical changes in the spatial structure of cities and rural areas all around the world. Syria is among the developing countries that have experienced this phenomenon. Some of the resulted processes of urban sprawl like urbanization [...] Read more.
The phenomenon of urban sprawl has caused radical changes in the spatial structure of cities and rural areas all around the world. Syria is among the developing countries that have experienced this phenomenon. Some of the resulted processes of urban sprawl like urbanization and counter-urbanization have had a clear impact on the land use and lifestyle in both cities and the countryside of different regions in Syria. This research focuses on the coastal region and the spatial changes that affected the nature of social life, such as the rapid growth of the population, the expansion of cities, and the new developments, which in turn have led to considerable changes in the relationship and scale of the house, garden, and landscape. The research studies the development of the rural housing model in the coastal region and its relation to the surrounding landscape. It tracks three phases of the housing unit’s development and conducts a comparative study on four villages using a questionnaire to evaluate the performance of those units. The results of this research show significant change in the relationship between rural and urban areas resulting from the new residential developments, as well as the relationship of land use and the historic plot structure and that of the garden and the house into the overall character of the landscape. Full article
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Article
Using Composition to Assess and Enhance Visual Values in Landscapes
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4185; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084185 - 09 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 920
Abstract
(1) The research presented in this paper aims to study the value attributed to a landscape composition’s visual elements and their overall influence on how they are perceived. The historical and contemporary visual approaches to a landscape constitute its background, for example, geographical, [...] Read more.
(1) The research presented in this paper aims to study the value attributed to a landscape composition’s visual elements and their overall influence on how they are perceived. The historical and contemporary visual approaches to a landscape constitute its background, for example, geographical, aesthetic, iconographic, phenomenological. (2) The visual assessment method elaborated by the Polish school of landscape architecture is used in the first part of this study. It is built of three steps with corresponding tools: landscape inventory, composition analysis, and evaluation. Moreover, an expert survey is used to complete the study. The work’s novelty is completing the visual approach with an expert inquiry, which aims to solve the subjectivity issue, an inherent visual evaluation controversy. The study area comprises urban and suburban locations from the agglomeration of Poznań, Poland. (3) The research results indicate the significant contribution of three visual elements to the positive assessment of landscape values: greenery, built heritage, and water. The importance of the composition is also demonstrated. (4) The main research findings show that visual evaluation tools should be implemented as part of sustainable spatial planning. Their implementation permits identifying the essential positive value in the existing landscape and creating guidelines for its preservation or enhancement. The article’s significance is the effect of proposing real and possible guidelines to improve the spatial planning policy, making landscape management more sustainable. Full article
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Article
The Greenery of Early Modernist Housing Estates: The 1919–1927 Wałbrzych Agglomeration
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3921; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073921 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 653
Abstract
Using the Wałbrzych agglomeration housing estates—once the most important mining and industrial region in Lower Silesia—as an example, this article illustrates the specific significance of the design of green spaces, including urban layouts, and the issue of protecting unique trees and green spaces [...] Read more.
Using the Wałbrzych agglomeration housing estates—once the most important mining and industrial region in Lower Silesia—as an example, this article illustrates the specific significance of the design of green spaces, including urban layouts, and the issue of protecting unique trees and green spaces in the concepts of estates from the early modernism period after the First World War in the years 1919–1927. This article tries to deepen the knowledge on the origins of the design solutions of public and private greenery systems while considering natural, landscape, and social needs. This study complements the information gathered so far in the field of forming green areas in modernist housing estates and highlights the importance of this issue in complex urban design. The Wałbrzych housing settlements are crucial because they were among the first of their kind, not only in Lower Silesia but also in the whole of the Weimar Republic. Based on literature and source studies, it was possible to reconstruct design ideas concerning the composition of green areas in most housing estates in the discussed area. The most interesting ones were presented and broken down into the landscape-related and functional aspects of the use of greenery in housing estates. This made it possible to select specific solutions applied by designers in order to indicate sources of inspiration and theoretically developed rules which then and now seem to be extremely adequate. Full article
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Article
City of Waste—Importance of Scale
Sustainability 2021, 13(7), 3909; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13073909 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 792
Abstract
By 2050, the world population is expected to reach 9.7 billion, almost 90% of which will live in urban areas. With such a fast growth in population and urbanization, it is anticipated that the annual waste generation will increase by 70% in comparison [...] Read more.
By 2050, the world population is expected to reach 9.7 billion, almost 90% of which will live in urban areas. With such a fast growth in population and urbanization, it is anticipated that the annual waste generation will increase by 70% in comparison with current levels, and will reach 3.40 billion tons in 2050. A key question regarding the sustainability of the planet is the effect of city size on waste production. Are larger cities more efficient at generating waste than smaller cities? Do larger cities show economies of scale over waste? This article examines the allometric relationship between the amount of municipal waste (total and per capita) and the populations, city area, density, and wealth of city residents. The scope of the research concerned 930 Polish cities. Using the allometric equation, the waste scaling factors were calculated for selected parameters, and the Hellwig method was used to optimize their selection for cities with more than 50,000 inhabitants. The calculations show that the parameter population (1.059) and then the city area (0.934) are important elements influencing the scaling of the amount of municipal waste in cities of all sizes, but none came close to the value of the animal metabolism model (0.75). In response to the question of whether larger cities show benefits from economies of scale, it should be stated that, for the model of city size in Poland, such a regularity does not exist. Full article
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Article
Baroque Origins of the Greenery of Urban Interiors in Lower Silesia and the Border Areas of the Former Neumark and Lusatia
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2623; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052623 - 01 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 864
Abstract
The article is the first attempt to gather information on the beginnings of using green elements in urban compositions in Lower Silesia and border areas, in the former Neumark and Lusatia. It presents Baroque urban arrangements with the use of green ground floors, [...] Read more.
The article is the first attempt to gather information on the beginnings of using green elements in urban compositions in Lower Silesia and border areas, in the former Neumark and Lusatia. It presents Baroque urban arrangements with the use of green ground floors, tree espaliers and avenues, from the earliest ones—occurring in the aftermath of the Thirty Years’ War—and the solutions applied in private municipalities in the Habsburg, Wettin, and Hohenzollern states, which were recovering from war damage, to urban developments at the end of that period, in the areas already under Prussian rule and its strict regulations. A comparison with the achievements of European urban planning in this field allows us to trace the paths of inspiration, but also to uncover some innovative achievements. Full article
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Article
Revitalization of Public Spaces in Cittaslow Towns: Recent Urban Redevelopment in Central Europe
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2564; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052564 - 27 Feb 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 1611
Abstract
Revitalization of cities varies depending on the scale of a city, type of challenges, and the socio-environmental context in each case. While revitalization projects carried out in globally known cities are well described, there is still a gap in characterizing revitalization processes that [...] Read more.
Revitalization of cities varies depending on the scale of a city, type of challenges, and the socio-environmental context in each case. While revitalization projects carried out in globally known cities are well described, there is still a gap in characterizing revitalization processes that aim to improve quality of life in smaller units like medium-sized towns. This paper fills this gap by the insight from 82 revitalization projects implemented in 14 towns of Warmia and Mazury region (Poland) which are associated in the Cittaslow movement. The study combines a quantitative assessment of statistical data describing these projects with their qualitative evaluation based on interviews with local experts. The results of conducted analyses show that socio-economic development plays a major role as, despite projects which directly refer to the social domain, social elements were found also in projects initially categorized as those targeted to architectural and spatial domains. On the other hand, the authors observed that environmental and ecological as well as cultural issues are treated unevenly or marginally in projects compared to social ones. Interviews with experts show that the least importance was assigned to cultural and historical domain. The obtained results might constitute important knowledge to understand the background of current revitalization processes outside of global metropolises to improve future mechanisms supporting urban renewal. Full article
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Article
Identification and Analysis of Problems in Selected European Historic Gardens during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1332; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031332 - 27 Jan 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1955
Abstract
The paper is based on a survey and investigates the functioning of historic gardens during the pandemic. The authors collected and analysed information on the impact of the pandemic on the behaviour of visitors, maintenance, and condition of cultural heritage assets, European historic [...] Read more.
The paper is based on a survey and investigates the functioning of historic gardens during the pandemic. The authors collected and analysed information on the impact of the pandemic on the behaviour of visitors, maintenance, and condition of cultural heritage assets, European historic gardens. Four aspects were considered particularly carefully: the situation of gardens during the COVID-19 pandemic, maintenance and care in gardens, virtual activity and communication, and financial consequences. The authors determined the conditions of the gardens and the problems they faced based on a survey completed by 23 managers of 31 historic gardens from June to August 2020 and then proposed a diagnosis. The paper presents the survey results. In general, visitor volumes tended to drop in 2020, which significantly affected gardens’ financial standing and contributed to workforce reductions. The garden condition and treatments were affected, as well. Reduced visitor volumes resulted in positive environmental changes. Among them were ecological succession, the stability of landscaped plants, increase in vegetation, improved biodiversity in the ground cover, and enhanced animal presence. Additional safety measures were implemented after the gardens were reopened to the public during the pandemic, mostly social distancing, and obligatory face masks. Less than half of the gardens had contingency plans, and 25% of the respondents were working to develop one. The analyses provided foundations to start working on a universal emergency strategy similar to procedures used for years for permanent collections at museums. Note that, being open public spaces and live museums, historic gardens were the first places reopened after the lockdown. Recommendations based on the study can contribute to the future safe functioning of historic gardens in other similar crises. The guidelines offer instructions, advice, and recommendations that form foundations of the development of a universal management model facilitating the preservation of historic gardens in good condition while exploiting their ecological potential. Full article
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Article
Urban Development and Population Pressure: The Case of Młynówka Królewska Park in Krakow, Poland
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1116; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031116 - 21 Jan 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 903
Abstract
Green areas are necessary components of contemporary cities. They have a positive impact on the climate, ecological balance and resilience of the city structure, and provide numerous benefits to inhabitants. However, progressing urbanisation and a rise in urban population leads to increasing pressure [...] Read more.
Green areas are necessary components of contemporary cities. They have a positive impact on the climate, ecological balance and resilience of the city structure, and provide numerous benefits to inhabitants. However, progressing urbanisation and a rise in urban population leads to increasing pressure on existing green spaces. Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, but especially over the past decade, the number of new developments in Krakow has been successively increasing. New multi- and single-family housing complexes are built not only in peripheral areas, but also as infilling and development of areas closer to the historical city centre. Simultaneously, the number of urban green spaces has increased only insignificantly. This paper analyses the example of Młynówka Królewska Park, located in the western part of Krakow, Poland. It focuses on city expansion processes and their relationship with public greenery. Furthermore, his study examines spatial and demographic issues that may have an impact on accessibility of the park area. The study was based on statistical data, analyses of recent planning documents, procedures and practices, as well as research performed in situ. The results indicate that the population pressure in the area under analysis changed significantly. According to the results, a correlation can be found between the latest urban development and population dynamics. Full article
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Article
New Housing Complexes in Post-Industrial Areas in City Centres in Poland Versus Cultural and Natural Heritage Protection—With a Particular Focus on Cracow
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 418; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010418 - 05 Jan 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1262
Abstract
The cityscape changes constantly, reflecting the socio-economic conditions of a given urbanised area—both globally and in any given country. Post-industrial buildings and complexes have been its important elements since the nineteenth century. At present, many of them are undergoing adaptive reuse. The oldest, [...] Read more.
The cityscape changes constantly, reflecting the socio-economic conditions of a given urbanised area—both globally and in any given country. Post-industrial buildings and complexes have been its important elements since the nineteenth century. At present, many of them are undergoing adaptive reuse. The oldest, which are parts of post-industrial heritage and define the local identity, are now located in city centres. Some are revitalised and often adapted into multi-family housing. This paper fills a gap in the research on revitalised areas in Polish city centres, especially the ones converted into housing. It notes the links between these projects with elements of urban green-blue infrastructure, as well as the methods of protection of the reused postindustrial heritage. Studies from 2000–2020 on Polish multi-family housing architecture prove that the quality of buildings and semi-public green spaces is becoming increasingly important to developers and buyers. Properly used and exposed post-industrial heritage can contribute to raising the attractiveness of such spaces. In combination with city greenery systems, they can form attractive townscape sequences, as proven by Cracow cases. The paper’s conclusions indicate that the preservation and exposition of post-industrial heritage in newly built housing complexes is affected by numerous factors. The most important of these are legal determinants based on both state-level and local law. Economic factors also play a major role, as they directly affect projects. The skills and talent of designers who can create unique proposals that expose surviving relicts and a given place’s genius loci even in the most restrictive of economic and legal conditions, are also not without significance. Full article
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Article
The Impact of Flood Risk on the Activity of the Residential Land Market in a Polish Cultural Heritage Town
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10098; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122310098 - 03 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1151
Abstract
The article attempts to determine the effect of perceived flood risk, based on identified flood hazard zones, on the level of activity in the market of land property designated for housing developments in the historical town of Sandomierz, Poland. The study employed graphical, [...] Read more.
The article attempts to determine the effect of perceived flood risk, based on identified flood hazard zones, on the level of activity in the market of land property designated for housing developments in the historical town of Sandomierz, Poland. The study employed graphical, analytical, quantitative methods, and spatial analyses with GIS tools. The proposed methodology, involving spatial interpolation of the phenomenon (Kernel Density Estimation (KDE) and Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW)) and an expert opinion survey, facilitates the assessment of the market activity in towns where transactions are scarce. Trade in property is lower in areas at risk of flooding than for the remaining parts of the town. The potential flood hazard zone affects both the activity of the property market and the average prices of land. The study demonstrated that both a flood and flood risk affect the levels of market activity and the prices of residential land. However, this impact differs at various times and locations and is greater immediately after a flood. Properties located in the most attractive location within an area are characterised by a greater sensitivity to this risk. Full article
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Article
Therapeutic Qualities and Sustainable Approach to Heritage of the City. The Coastal Strip in Gdańsk, Poland
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 9243; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12219243 - 06 Nov 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1007
Abstract
In this paper, the case of the Coastal Strip in Gdańsk is presented. Gdańsk has natural and cultural heritage of great value and is included on Tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage List as “Gdansk—Town of Memory and Freedom”. The Coastal Strip is [...] Read more.
In this paper, the case of the Coastal Strip in Gdańsk is presented. Gdańsk has natural and cultural heritage of great value and is included on Tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage List as “Gdansk—Town of Memory and Freedom”. The Coastal Strip is a rare example of landscape with natural dunes located within walking distance from densely populated residential districts. Therefore, the economic pressure for urban development is extremely strong. At the same time, the rise of social awareness about potential consequences of urbanization brought numerous efforts by local activists and researchers to prevent further development of the Coastal Strip. This study consisted of assessment of therapeutic qualities of The Coastal Strip using a conceptual framework—a universal standard for health promoting places. The results demonstrated that The Coastal Strip is a health-promoting place, thus adding new research-based evidence against plans for urban development of that area. Full article
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