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Management Approaches to Improve Sustainability in Urban Systems

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2021) | Viewed by 19489

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 València, Valencia, Spain
Interests: fluid mechanics; computational fluid dynamics; environment sustainability;numerical modeling; CFD simulation; water quality; numerical simulation; modeling and simulation environmental; impact assessment; energy systems; energy demand; energetic implications in engineering facilities; renewable energy sources
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Guest Editor
Department of Hydraulic and Environmental Engineering, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 Valencia, Spain
Interests: renewable energies; clean energies; sustainability; hydropower systems; zero-energy buildings; simulated modelling; optimization procedure; sustainable development
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Currently, the industrial processes are focused on improving efficiency. This improvement is mainly focused on reducing of the energy, and increasing the use of renewable resources. Nevertheless, the sustainability concept is quite well known, and its definition considers also the need for reducing the use of the non-renewable resources and the emissions. However, the sustainability is a complex concept and it can be defined as a development that satisfies the needs of the present generation, but considering the future population needs. To do so, all systems, and especially urban systems should be improving their managements to reach the demand’s satisfaction and not compromising the sustainability.

If this is considered, the interaction analysis between processes are interesting and very important in any real situation. For example, some of them can be:  the industrial processes and contaminants dispersion, the reduction of leakages in water systems, improving the efficiency energy, the proposal of methodologies to reduce the pathogen intrusion in infrastructures, the resilience analysis of systems in order to improve the answer of the processes when there are extraordinary situations, among others.

Therefore, the proposal the methodologies and/or algorithms, which improve the sustainability indicators of the processes are interesting in order to increase the quality of systems as well as the users’ satisfaction.

In this frame, this Special Issue aims to propose a collection of worthy studies that combine the aforementioned concepts dealing with:

  • methodologies and/or case studies concerning sustainable building;
  • methodologies and/or case studies concerning the optimization of industrial processes, which consider the resilience of the infrastructures
  • methodologies and/or case studies concerning the energy efficiency and use of resources (i.e., water, raw material)
  • methodologies and/or case studies concerning the analysis and optimization of energy consumption in buildings and/or infrastructures
  • numerical/experimental studies considering the implication of the current processes in the decrease of the sustainability in our cities.

Prof. Dr. Petra Amparo López Jiménez
Prof. Dr. Modesto Pérez-Sánchez
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 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
  • Resilience
  • Optimization of industrial processes
  • Urban systems
  • Efficiency improvement
  • Sustainability Indicators
  • Optimization modelling

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

24 pages, 5859 KiB  
Article
Mitigating Polluted Runoff from Industrial Estates by SUDS Retrofits: Case Studies of Problems and Solutions Co-Designed with a Participatory Approach
by Vladimir Krivtsov, Brian J. D’Arcy, Alejandro Escribano Sevilla, Scott Arthur and Chris Semple
Sustainability 2021, 13(22), 12357; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132212357 - 9 Nov 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2505
Abstract
Contaminated runoff from industrial estates is a significant cause of poor quality in receiving watercourses. Pollution risk begins at each of the industrial premises, presenting different environmental risks which require individual treatment and contingency plans. This is best achieved using SUDS technology, which [...] Read more.
Contaminated runoff from industrial estates is a significant cause of poor quality in receiving watercourses. Pollution risk begins at each of the industrial premises, presenting different environmental risks which require individual treatment and contingency plans. This is best achieved using SUDS technology, which adds green infrastructure with passive drainage features to the existing drainage and treatment systems, designed to capture the pollutants present in runoff at source on individual sites, for conveyance and on a regional basis serving the whole estate. Here, we develop a multistage investigative framework structured to facilitate the search for relevant solutions and optimization of their design. This paper presents the results of the awareness survey, identifies barriers and opportunities, and reports on case studies dealing with potential SUDS retrofits at industrial facilities, assessing the existing control measures and the scope for new ones with the aim of improving pollution management. The feasibility of SUDS components was assessed with respect to their functional characteristics, economic costs, and logistical constraints. Lack of knowledge related to SUDS and pollution prevention legislation was identified as the major barrier to retrofits, which should be addressed through educational measures. Although comprehensive SUDS retrofits could be prohibitive in cost for small and medium-sized companies, partial and affordable retrofit solutions can be easily implemented to achieve the environmental benefits sought. In addition to the improvements in water quality and alleviation of flood risk, the introduction of Blue-Green Infrastructure will bring about further multiple benefits related to such ecosystem services as the amelioration of the local climate, reduction of noise, improvements in air quality, enhancement of the local biodiversity, and positive effects for the human well-being and mental health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Approaches to Improve Sustainability in Urban Systems)
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20 pages, 922 KiB  
Article
Energy Self-Sufficiency Aiming for Sustainable Wastewater Systems: Are All Options Being Explored?
by Rosa M. Llácer-Iglesias, P. Amparo López-Jiménez and Modesto Pérez-Sánchez
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5537; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105537 - 15 May 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4206
Abstract
In upcoming years, water demand is expected to boost worldwide, and with that, wastewater generation and the required energy for treatment. Provided that efficiency measures should be implemented at first instance, developments of renewable energy technologies are needed to improve sustainability at wastewater [...] Read more.
In upcoming years, water demand is expected to boost worldwide, and with that, wastewater generation and the required energy for treatment. Provided that efficiency measures should be implemented at first instance, developments of renewable energy technologies are needed to improve sustainability at wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Based on theoretical analyses of literature data, this article presents a novel perspective of the role that hydropower could play in that energy framework. This research applied a new approach compared to previous studies, considering the introduction of sustainability aspects in the decision-making process, other than economic feasibility. With that aim, a broad search of real case studies was conducted, and suitable Key Performance Indicators based on the energy self-sufficiency concept were selected and applied to the identified cases. The findings suggest that there is not a rule of thumb to determine feasibility for hydropower installation and this technology might deserve more attention. This new perspective can help to raise awareness among policy makers, decision managers, or plant operators, of the possibilities hydropower could offer to the wastewater industry in the pathway towards more sustainable systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Approaches to Improve Sustainability in Urban Systems)
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15 pages, 12516 KiB  
Article
Wind–Water Experimental Analysis of Small SC-Darrieus Turbine: An Approach for Energy Production in Urban Systems
by Ahmed Gharib-Yosry, Eduardo Blanco-Marigorta, Aitor Fernández-Jiménez, Rodolfo Espina-Valdés and Eduardo Álvarez-Álvarez
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5256; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13095256 - 8 May 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2453
Abstract
Smart cities have a significant impact on the future of renewable energies as terms such as sustainability and energy saving steadily become more common. In this regard, both wind and hydrokinetic compact-size turbines can play important roles in urban communities by providing energy [...] Read more.
Smart cities have a significant impact on the future of renewable energies as terms such as sustainability and energy saving steadily become more common. In this regard, both wind and hydrokinetic compact-size turbines can play important roles in urban communities by providing energy to nearby consumption points in an environmentally suitable manner. To evaluate the operation of a Darrieus turbine rotor as a wind or hydro microgenerator, a series of wind tunnel and water current flume tests were performed. Power and characteristic curves were obtained for all test conditions. In the wind tests, all curves seemed to be identical, which means that the turbine rotor works properly under open-field conditions. Two blockage correction equations were applied to the water channel tests that were performed under blockage values ranging from 0.2 to 0.35 to estimate the operational behavior in open water. Finally, it has been demonstrated that, with the condition of maintaining the Reynolds number between experiments in the wind tunnel and water flume, the turbine wind characteristics represents the its operation in open-water conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Approaches to Improve Sustainability in Urban Systems)
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16 pages, 4641 KiB  
Article
Influence of Blue-Green and Grey Infrastructure Combinations on Natural and Human-Derived Capital in Urban Drainage Planning
by Sikhululekile Ncube and Scott Arthur
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2571; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052571 - 27 Feb 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 4937
Abstract
The natural capital and ecosystem services concepts describe the multiple benefits people get from nature. Urbanisation has been identified as one of the key factors influencing the decline of natural capital globally. Urbanisation has also been associated with a recent increase in urban [...] Read more.
The natural capital and ecosystem services concepts describe the multiple benefits people get from nature. Urbanisation has been identified as one of the key factors influencing the decline of natural capital globally. Urbanisation has also been associated with a recent increase in urban flooding incidents in most cities globally. While the understanding of blue-green infrastructure in urban drainage is well established, little is said about its influence on natural capital. This study utilises the Natural Capital Planning Tool, Benefits Evaluation of Sustainable Drainage Systems tool and expert stakeholder interviews to assess the influence of blue-green and grey infrastructure as adaptation pathways in urban drainage, on natural capital and ecosystem services, and to determine how these contribute to other forms of human-derived capital. Key findings show that blue-green options can enhance natural capital and ecosystem services such as amenity value while also contributing to social and human capital. Although the assessed blue-green options contribute to regulating ecosystem services such as floods regulation, their most significant contribution is in cultural ecosystem services, especially amenity value. It is concluded that incorporating blue-green infrastructure in urban drainage adaptive approaches can mitigate natural capital losses and contribute to other forms of capital crucial for human well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Approaches to Improve Sustainability in Urban Systems)
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20 pages, 2169 KiB  
Article
Using Machine Learning Tools to Classify Sustainability Levels in the Development of Urban Ecosystems
by Nidia Isabel Molina-Gómez, Karen Rodríguez-Rojas, Dayam Calderón-Rivera, José Luis Díaz-Arévalo and P. Amparo López-Jiménez
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3326; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083326 - 20 Apr 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4119
Abstract
Different studies have been carried out to evaluate the progress made by countries and cities towards achieving sustainability to compare its evolution. However, the micro-territorial level, which encompasses a community perspective, has not been examined through a comprehensive forecasting method of sustainability categories [...] Read more.
Different studies have been carried out to evaluate the progress made by countries and cities towards achieving sustainability to compare its evolution. However, the micro-territorial level, which encompasses a community perspective, has not been examined through a comprehensive forecasting method of sustainability categories with machine learning tools. This study aims to establish a method to forecast the sustainability levels of an urban ecosystem through supervised modeling. To this end, it was necessary to establish a set of indicators that characterize the dimensions of sustainable development, consistent with the Sustainable Development Goals. Using the data normalization technique to process the information and combining it in different dimensions made it possible to identify the sustainability level of the urban zone for each year from 2009 to 2017. The resulting information was the basis for the supervised classification. It was found that the sustainability level in the micro-territory has been improving from a low level in 2009, which increased to a medium level in the subsequent years. Forecasts of the sustainability levels of the zone were possible by using decision trees, neural networks, and support vector machines, in which 70% of the data were used to train the machine learning tools, with the remaining 30% used for validation. According to the performance metrics, decision trees outperformed the other two tools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management Approaches to Improve Sustainability in Urban Systems)
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