Special Issue "Urban Planning and Social Well-being"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 1 October 2020.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Montserrat Pallares-Barbera
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Geography Department, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Campus de la UAB, C/ Fortuna S/N, 08193 Cerdanyola, Barcelona, Spain
Interests: urban planning; economic geography; quality of life

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

I would like to invite you to submit your latest research in this special issue of Sustainability. Urban planning and social well-being is a challenging topic and stimulating real problem to be solved. It is also a polyhedral theme that requires the attention of all of us. We need different disciplines, cross disciplinary studies, adventurist ideas towards the future of sustainable urban planning that implicates the well-being of urban population.

Hundreds of cities are planned or built in the world. Cities are places with concentrated people with complex problems of livability related with density and climate changing conditions. Cities are spaces where the rise of inequality is clearer than in any other places. Dealing with environment, there is no doubt that cities concentrate enormous amount of waste, enormous amount of emissions; but, otherwise, cities and urbanization provides a more efficient way to live. Concentrating people in space allows delivering services at scale with fewer resources, concentrating recycling and reusing. Besides, there are enormous innovations coming from cities. Unfortunately, that’s not been the model of urban growth; it has been about consumption increasing, areas of disparity where the social fabric has been cut off and the greenery is inexistent. The modern environmental approach demonstrated little capacity to problem solving.

Changes are in order mainly to dramatically reduce cities’ dependency on fossil fuels, boost the deployment of renewable energies, reintroduce water to the hydrological cycle and make sewage reprocessing. To transform cities into livable habitats a common goal should engage citizens, governments and public and private sectors. Cities and urban areas are major contributors to diminishing the natural capital of the planet and eroding its resilience. Nevertheless, sustainable urbanization has the potential to help in a new era of well-being, resource efficiency and economic growth.

According to UN, addressing the impacts of climate change in urban places is a strategic issue that requires a comprehensive and sustainable approach. Building cities resilience is about building the right kind of infrastructure, to make sure that people are in places which are not more vulnerable, and are not in fragile areas, ensuring people’s access to essential services. It is about insuring people living in urban areas the capacity to deal with emerging problems of air and water pollution and a multitude of other environmental challenges. Consequently, rethinking about the model, the benefits of urbanization can be used as a wealth of resources much more efficiently.

Therefore, this Special Issue provides a forum to discuss and identify new trends and developments in urban planning and social well-being, with an emphasis on sustainability.

Prof. Dr. Montserrat Pallares-Barbera
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 1800 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 planning and sustainable solutions
  • Quality of life and urban sustainability
  • Health and well-being in urban spaces
  • Urban planning tools for well-being and energy savings
  • Urban modelling and simulations

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Integrating GIS Accessibility and Location-Allocation Models with Multicriteria Decision Analysis for Evaluating Quality of Life in Buraidah City, KSA
Sustainability 2020, 12(4), 1412; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12041412 (registering DOI) - 14 Feb 2020
Abstract
The present study was aimed at evaluating the quality of life in the districts of Buraidah city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, based on provided services in terms of distance and time parameters. This was [...] Read more.
The present study was aimed at evaluating the quality of life in the districts of Buraidah city in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, based on provided services in terms of distance and time parameters. This was achieved by integrating Geographic Information System (GIS)-based network analysis and multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) techniques. The service area analysis technique of the GIS Network Analysis tools was applied to the available services in the districts of Buraidah city. Twelve services were investigated with regard to their coverage within 5, 10, and 15 minutes of travel time: universities, high schools, middle schools, elementary schools, hospitals, health centers, ambulance facilities, government services, religious services, security services, sports services, and recreational services. GIS-based multicriteria decision analysis (GIS-MCDA) was implemented in the study to obtain a spatial suitability map of the standard of living quality in the various districts in Buraidah city. The analytic hierarchy process (AHP) technique was used to determine the criteria weights. The location-allocation model was used in the study as well for suggestions of new service locations to improve the spatial distribution of services and enhance the quality of life in the districts. The results of the final suitability map to determine districts with the best standard of living according to the provided services show that the living standards in the city are very good, with very high and high levels in around 51 districts, representing 72.9% (449,235 people), and about 19 districts with moderate, low, and very low levels, representing 27.1% (56,765 people). Narrowing the quality of life gap and improving spatial planning requires correcting the current deficiency in services, which is estimated in this study to be 16 services: one high school, one elementary school, one middle school, two universities, one sports service, two security services, two courts, two hospitals, one health center, one park, and two ambulance facilities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Planning and Social Well-being)
Open AccessArticle
Framework Conditions and Strategies for Pop-Up Environments in Urban Planning
Sustainability 2019, 11(24), 7204; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11247204 - 16 Dec 2019
Abstract
Urban strategies and the way cities are planned have changed throughout history, adapting to the needs of the inhabitants, infrastructure requirements, and advances in technology. Uses and customs of people and cities are changing and can evolve much faster than in the past, [...] Read more.
Urban strategies and the way cities are planned have changed throughout history, adapting to the needs of the inhabitants, infrastructure requirements, and advances in technology. Uses and customs of people and cities are changing and can evolve much faster than in the past, with the result that urban planning is often too slow to adequately meet the current needs of society. In this context, the development of pop-up environments for temporary developments could be a solution to meet the needs of flexibility, adaptation, and resilience of a city. This allows the urban planner to consider systems from a short-term perspective, fulfilling current needs without compromising the development of potentially different activities in the future. The purpose of this research work is to outline the general requirements of pop-up environments in urban developments that allow for adequate integration into urban planning strategies. Based on an extensive evaluation of the existing literature and a series of case studies, the paper analyzes the key elements that define the framework conditions of urban planning strategies for temporary developments that generate a positive impact on the overall urban system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Planning and Social Well-being)
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Open AccessArticle
Interrelations between the Media and Architecture: Contribution to Sustainable Development and the Conservation of Urban Spaces
Sustainability 2019, 11(20), 5631; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11205631 - 12 Oct 2019
Abstract
The pace of architectural construction in the Western world today involves exploitation of environmental and natural resources that is unsustainable in the long term. The purpose of this article is to introduce a line of research on urban and industrial architecture, its use [...] Read more.
The pace of architectural construction in the Western world today involves exploitation of environmental and natural resources that is unsustainable in the long term. The purpose of this article is to introduce a line of research on urban and industrial architecture, its use and its ultimate purpose in terms of social development and sustainability. We offer an overview of the main architectural movements that advocate the rational use of resources and of existing urban architectural constructions, and we explore the role of governments and the media in the use of architectural spaces. Various cases are considered, mostly in Spain, of derelict architectural spaces which, thanks to interventions by artists or major brands, have been given new uses with a view to contributing to a more sustainable world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Planning and Social Well-being)
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