Special Issue "Sustainable Buildings in Sustainable Cities: A Reciprocal Relation"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Alexander Koutamanis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Architecture & the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands
Interests: information; affordances; design; management
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues, 

Each discipline sees the city differently. Some see it as a municipal organization; others, as a collection of buildings and other structures; others yet, as interconnected networks; and some, as an ecosystem or an assemblage. Most of these perspectives are legitimate and reasonable but may also restrict reasoning about the city to certain abstraction levels or aspects only, ultimately failing to serve the goals we set of the city in our highly dynamic and complex times.

In this issue, we focus on the relation between buildings and the city with respect to sustainability, and suggest that the city is more than the collection of its buildings. This does not refer only to parts of the city that may remain vague or hidden from this perspective, such as the infrastructure that connects buildings to each other or the utilities that ensure their satisfactory performance,. It also includes relations between buildings and the conceptual or physical formation of parts of the city, and the resulting reciprocal relation between what we consider to be a building and a city.

For sustainability, this relation entails a better understanding of how the performance of each building contributes to the sustainability of the city and how the city constrains the form and performance of a building. There are many physical and conceptual structures underlying the relation between building and city that remain relatively underexplored, including the role of building codes and planning regulations. One should also consider the scale and scope of sustainability measures and improvements in the context of cities that comprise buildings that may remain in existence for the foreseeable future. Moreover, next to sustainability, both authorities and citizens have other concerns, too, which may cause interference, for example, a high demand for comfortable housing in already-dense urban centers.

The main contribution of this issue, therefore, is not to propose easy solutions based on questionable hypotheses but to analyze the existing situation and probable development of cities towards a better understanding of how buildings and cities relate to each other, and of the possibilities and limitations that must be either respected or adapted in order to make more positive steps in the direction of a sustainable future.

Dr. Alexander Koutamanis
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 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.


  • city
  • building
  • scale
  • relation
  • infrastructure
  • building codes
  • planning regulations
  • performance
  • constraints

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Sustainable Buildings in Sustainable Cities: A Reciprocal Relation
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3077; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13063077 - 11 Mar 2021
Viewed by 384
It appears that each discipline views cities differently, through different perspectives, abstractions and metaphors [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Buildings in Sustainable Cities: A Reciprocal Relation)
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