Special Issue "Sustainable Urban Surfaces"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Daniel Jato-Espino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Engineering, Science and Technology, Universidad Internacional de Valencia, 46002 Valencia, Spain
Interests: Water management; Multi-criteria decision-making; Stormwater modelling; Flood risk assessment; GIS; Environmental analysis; Urban drainage; Statistical testing; Sustainability indicators; Slope stability; Air quality; UHI effect
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Luis A. Sañudo-Fontaneda
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
GICONSIME Research Group, INDUROT Research Institute, Department of Construction and Manufacturing Engineering, University of Oviedo, Campus of Mieres, Gonzalo Gutierrez Quirós s/n, 33600 Mieres, Spain
Interests: sustainability; water management; stormwater engineering; teaching innovation; green infrastructure; sustainable drainage systems; civil engineering; biological and environmental engineering; sustainable construction; water analysis; environmental impact assessment; urbanism; land-use planning
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urban surfaces reflect the economic, environmental, and social idiosyncrasy of cities, playing a crucial role in the sustainable development of modern civilizations. Pavements and roofs cover about 30%–45% and 20%–25% of these urban surfaces, respectively. Therefore, their management provides an opportunity to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), since they can play a crucial role in ensuring the sustainability of urban areas against two of the greatest challenges in the coming years: urbanization and climate change.

The suitable management of pavements and roofs and other urban surfaces through the so-called urban ecosystem services (UES) is a branch of investigation that needs to be studied more in depth, since it can contribute to palliating these threats and providing multiple benefits in terms of sustainability according to the four categories into which they are divided: provisioning services (food, water, medicinal plants, and other resources), regulating services (focused on ensuring air and soil quality, preventing floods, and controlling diseases), habitat supporting services (safeguard of biodiversity), and cultural services (psychological and cognitive benefits such as recreation and aesthetics).

This Special Issue aims to produce knowledge about how urban surfaces, especially in the form of permeable pavements and green roofs for being the most complete and multifaceted types of urban landscape systems, can provide diverse UES and thus increase the sustainability of cities. Contributions concerning other nature-based Solutions (NBS) such as bioretention areas, filter drains, infiltration trenches or vegetated swales are also welcome. Therefore, investigations related to the multiple roles that can be played by these systems, including but not limited to stormwater management, materials and design, carbon capture, urban planning and regeneration, thermoregulation, biodiversity and agricultural productivity, thermal and acoustic control, aesthetics and recreation, and life cycle assessment or structural properties, are within the scope of this Special Issue.

Dr. Daniel Jato-Espino
Dr. Luis Angel Sañudo-Fontaneda
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

  • biodiversity
  • bioretention areas
  • climate change
  • ecosystem services
  • evapotranspiration
  • flood management
  • filter drains
  • green infrastructure
  • green roofs
  • infiltration trenches
  • life cycle assessment
  • low impact development
  • nature-based solutions
  • permeable pavements
  • recreational spaces
  • stakeholder perception
  • stormwater quality
  • structural and mechanical properties
  • sustainable materials
  • urban agriculture
  • urban heat island effect
  • urban planning and regeneration
  • vegetated swales

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Sustainable Urban Drainage Systems in Spain: A Diagnosis
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2791; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052791 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 507
Abstract
Sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) were almost unknown in Spain two decades ago; today, urban drainage in the country is transitioning towards a more sustainable and regenerative management in a global context where green policies are gaining prominence. This research establishes a diagnosis [...] Read more.
Sustainable urban drainage systems (SUDS) were almost unknown in Spain two decades ago; today, urban drainage in the country is transitioning towards a more sustainable and regenerative management in a global context where green policies are gaining prominence. This research establishes a diagnosis of SUDS in Spain and examines the extent to which the country is moving towards the new paradigm in three dimensions: (a) the governance and social perception of the community, (b) the regulative background, and (c) the implementation and the technical performance of SUDS. The diagnosis identifies barriers that hinder the change. Then, we define the challenges that Spain has to face to overcome obstacles that delay the transition. Barriers to the governance sphere are related to the lack of involvement, knowledge, and organisational responsibilities. Within the regulative framework, the absence of national standards hinders the general implementation at the national scale, although few regional and local authorities are taking steps in the right direction with their own regulations. From the technical perspective, SUDS performance within the Spanish context was determined, although some shortcomings are still to be investigated. Despite the slowdown caused by the hard recession periods and the more recent political instability, SUDS implementation in Spain is today a fact, and the country is close to reaching the stabilisation stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Surfaces)
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Article
Spatiotemporal Analysis of Water Resources in the Haridwar Region of Uttarakhand, India
Sustainability 2020, 12(20), 8449; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12208449 - 14 Oct 2020
Viewed by 574
Abstract
Watershed management plays a dynamic role in water resource engineering. Estimating surface runoff is an essential process of hydrology, since understanding the fundamental relationship between rainfall and runoff is useful for sustainable water resource management. To facilitate the assessment of this process, the [...] Read more.
Watershed management plays a dynamic role in water resource engineering. Estimating surface runoff is an essential process of hydrology, since understanding the fundamental relationship between rainfall and runoff is useful for sustainable water resource management. To facilitate the assessment of this process, the Natural Resource Conservation Service-Curve Number (NRCS-CN) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) were integrated. Furthermore, land use and soil maps were incorporated to estimate the temporal variability in surface runoff potential. The present study was performed on the Haridwar city, Uttarakhand, India for the years 1995, 2010 and 2018. In a context of climate change, the spatiotemporal analysis of hydro meteorological parameters is essential for estimating water availability. The study suggested that runoff increased approximately 48% from 1995 to 2010 and decreased nearly 71% from 2010 to 2018. In turn, the weighted curve number was found to be 69.24, 70.96 and 71.24 for 1995, 2010 and 2018, respectively. Additionally, a validation process with an annual water yield model was carried out to understand spatiotemporal variations and similarities. The study recommends adopting water harvesting techniques and strategies to fulfill regional water demands, since effective and sustainable approaches like these may assist in the simultaneous mitigation of disasters such as floods and droughts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Surfaces)
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Article
Impact of Green Roofs on Energy Demand for Cooling in Egyptian Buildings
Sustainability 2020, 12(14), 5729; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12145729 - 16 Jul 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 744
Abstract
Energy consumption for cooling purposes has increased significantly in recent years, mainly due to population growth, urbanization, and climate change consequences. The situation can be mitigated by passive climate solutions to reduce energy consumption in buildings. This study investigated the effectiveness of the [...] Read more.
Energy consumption for cooling purposes has increased significantly in recent years, mainly due to population growth, urbanization, and climate change consequences. The situation can be mitigated by passive climate solutions to reduce energy consumption in buildings. This study investigated the effectiveness of the green roof concept in reducing energy demand for cooling in different climatic regions. The impact of several types of green roofing of varying thermal conductivity and soil depth on energy consumption for cooling school buildings in Egypt was examined. In a co-simulation approach, the efficiency of the proposed green roof types was evaluated using the Design-Builder software, and a cost analysis was performed for the best options. The results showed that the proposed green roof types saved between 31.61 and 39.74% of energy, on average. A green roof featuring a roof soil depth of 0.1 m and 0.9 W/m-K thermal conductivity exhibited higher efficiency in reducing energy than the other options tested. The decrease in air temperature due to green roofs in hot arid areas, which exceeded an average of 4 °C, was greater than that in other regions that were not as hot. In conclusion, green roofs were shown to be efficient in reducing energy consumption as compared with traditional roofs, especially in hot arid climates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Surfaces)
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Article
Selection of Additives and Fibers for Improving the Mechanical and Safety Properties of Porous Concrete Pavements through Multi-Criteria Decision-Making Analysis
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2392; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062392 - 19 Mar 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 669
Abstract
Despite the number of environmental advantages that porous concrete (PC) pavements can provide, they are mainly used in light-traffic roads, parking lots and sidewalks due to their low mechanical strength. This research focuses on the common additives employed in PC pavements, according to [...] Read more.
Despite the number of environmental advantages that porous concrete (PC) pavements can provide, they are mainly used in light-traffic roads, parking lots and sidewalks due to their low mechanical strength. This research focuses on the common additives employed in PC pavements, according to a literature review, with the aim of increasing their mechanical strength while maintaining an acceptable infiltration capacity. The results demonstrated that the combination of superplasticizers and air-entraining additives can provide indirect tensile strength values over 2.50 MPa, with an infiltration capacity over 0.40 cm/s. In addition, polypropylene fibers were seen to provide very good safety properties, preserving some structural integrity in the case of failure. All mixtures studied obtained outstanding skid resistance results under both dry and wet conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Surfaces)
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Review

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Review
Using Recycled Aggregates from Construction and Demolition Waste in Unbound Layers of Pavements
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9386; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229386 - 11 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 596
Abstract
Pavements are an expensive part of transportation infrastructures, as their construction and maintenance require large amounts of resources and materials every year and all over the world. A sustainable solution for considering environmental concerns about roads and pavements, in general, is utilizing recycled [...] Read more.
Pavements are an expensive part of transportation infrastructures, as their construction and maintenance require large amounts of resources and materials every year and all over the world. A sustainable solution for considering environmental concerns about roads and pavements, in general, is utilizing recycled materials for their construction. This has been shown to lower the carbon footprint of the construction sector and to result in natural resource conservation, in reduction of harmful emissions and in minimization of overall costs for pavement construction and maintenance. One of the main groups of recycled materials which has attracted much attention since the end of the last century is construction and demolition waste aggregates (CDW). This paper reviews the completed studies referring to the use of the construction and demolition waste aggregates in unbound layers of pavements and compare the in-hand results from various engineering assessments of these aggregates and mixes. A number of tests and evaluations are applied in order to enhance the required quality and durability of the pavements under given traffic volumes traffic loads and climate actions. Today, unbound recycled aggregates (RA) are mainly used in the lower layers, such as subgrade, capping, sub-base and base, but in rural roads they can be adopted also for bound layers, towards the surface of the structure and may be constituents of bound layers and of novel surfacing applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Urban Surfaces)
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