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Topical Collection "Social Sustainability and New Urban Residential Spaces"

A topical collection in Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This collection belongs to the section "Geography and Sustainability".

Editors

Dr. Iqbal Hamiduddin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, Central House WC1H 0NN, UK
Interests: housing; transport; neighbourhoods; sustainability
Dr. M. Reza Shirazi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of the Built environment, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford OX3 0BP, UK
Interests: social sustainability; neighbourhood development; urban justice
Dr. Daniel Fitzpatrick
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Bartlett School of Planning, University College London, Central House, WC1H 0NN, UK
Interests: housing; community; cooperatives; sustainability

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue will focus on social sustainability at a granular level in new residential developments. In particular, the collection will attempt to draw together and compare outcomes and experiences from a range of residential development models from a variety of different geographical settings—from community-focused housing developments in Europe and across countries of the Global North, to the new residential spaces associated with rapid urbanisation across cities of the Global South.

Although there has been a significant surge of interest in the field in recent years, Social Sustainability remains, as many commentators have noted, an under-developed domain that remains sparsely represented in the literature and underappreciated as a policy objective, particularly at the ‘micro’ level of the specific residential scheme or street. This situation relates to the continuation of an acknowledged definitional ‘slipperiness’ and a disposition towards considering social sustainability at the macro-scale of the city or meso-scale of the urban district. However, the onset of Covid-19 has renewed interest in processes integral to social sustainability, including social equality, community cohesion, and social capital.

This Special Issue is global in its geographical scope, but focusses primarily on social sustainability and its contributory factors and processes in the urban domain. We welcome a thematic range of contributions that develop and strengthen the conceptual basis of social sustainability, case studies that explore and evaluate social sustainability outcomes from different urban residential settings, and reflective articles that reflect on future directions and developmental priorities of the field.

In summary, this collection aims to carry forward the recent conceptual development of social sustainability (c.f. Shirazi & Keivani, 2019; Shirazi & Keivani, 2017) and fine-grained case study analysis of social sustainability local outcomes (Hamiduddin & Adelfio, 2019; Hamiduddin, 2015) as well as to review the experiences of new residential models that aim to promote social sustainability (Sendra and Fitzpatrick, 2020; Fitzpatrick, 2018). As this Special Issue will form the first of its kind focussing on social sustainability outcomes at a granular level, we anticipate that it will form a substantial and timely contribution to the literature on the topic.

Dr. Iqbal Hamiduddin
Dr. M. Reza Shirazi
Dr. Daniel Fitzpatrick
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 collection 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

  • social sustainability
  • residential design
  • housing
  • neighbourhoods
  • community
  • cohesion
  • inclusion
  • equality

Published Papers (10 papers)

2022

Jump to: 2021

Article
Tenure-Based Housing Spatial Patterns and Residential Segregation in Guangzhou under the Background of Housing Market Reform
Sustainability 2022, 14(8), 4567; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14084567 - 11 Apr 2022
Viewed by 420
Abstract
China’s urban housing distribution system has been transformed from a redistribution system to a market-oriented distribution system, which has profoundly affected the ways and opportunities for urban residents to obtain housing resources and has triggered a large-scale reconstruction of urban residential social space. [...] Read more.
China’s urban housing distribution system has been transformed from a redistribution system to a market-oriented distribution system, which has profoundly affected the ways and opportunities for urban residents to obtain housing resources and has triggered a large-scale reconstruction of urban residential social space. Based on the national 5th and 6th census data of Guangzhou, this paper analyzes the spatial patterns of housing tenure and tenure-based residential segregation in 2000 and 2010 with the research aim of analyzing the internal logic of urban housing distribution and residential segregation in urban China using Guangzhou as an example. The study finds that the home ownership rate in Guangzhou dropped from 62.31% in 2000 to 49.72% in 2010, with the percentage of social housing particularly low. The index of evenness and concentration is used to analyze tenure-based residential segregation. The results show that the tenure-based residential segregation index in 2000 and 2010 is between 0.4 and 0.6, which implies that residential segregation is basically moderate and that social housing is more segregated than open market housing. On the whole, market mechanisms have gradually played a fundamental role in tenure-based residential restructuring and segregation since 2000, and governmental and institutional factors also significantly influence such elements. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2022

Article
Co-Producing a Social Impact Assessment with Affected Communities: Evaluating the Social Sustainability of Redevelopment Schemes
Sustainability 2021, 13(23), 13381; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132313381 - 03 Dec 2021
Viewed by 808
Abstract
This paper explores the role of social impact assessment (SIA) as a tool to evaluate the social sustainability of council estate redevelopment or regeneration. The paper first revises the evolution of the concept of SIA in recent years, arguing that it should be [...] Read more.
This paper explores the role of social impact assessment (SIA) as a tool to evaluate the social sustainability of council estate redevelopment or regeneration. The paper first revises the evolution of the concept of SIA in recent years, arguing that it should be included as a core part of the planning approval process to enhance community-centred planning decision-making practices, as claimed by the Just Space network in London. To contribute to this argument, the paper explores how to co-produce an SIA with those communities that are potentially affected by the scheme. We use as a case study William Dunbar and William Saville houses, two housing blocks located in South Kilburn Estate, London Borough of Brent, which are planned to be demolished as part of a large estate redevelopment scheme. The paper uses a diversity of participatory action research methods to co-produce an SIA with residents from the two housing blocks. From the experience of co-producing an SIA with residents, the paper comes out with three sets of findings and contributions. Firstly, the paper provides findings on the impact that demolishing the homes and re-housing residents would have on residents. Secondly, from these findings, the paper contributes to the argument that SIA should be incorporated into the planning system, but they should be co-produced with residents and carefully applied rather than becoming another box-ticking exercise. Thirdly, the paper provides very relevant methodological contributions on how to co-produce the SIA with those potentially affected. Full article
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Article
Understanding the Market for Eco Self-Build Community Housing
Sustainability 2021, 13(21), 11823; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132111823 - 27 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 854
Abstract
This paper evaluates the potential of eco self-build community (ESBC) housing to act as a socially and environmentally sustainable housing solution that can address the demand for self-build and community housing whilst supporting the UK’s 2050 net-zero-carbon commitment. This model of housing is [...] Read more.
This paper evaluates the potential of eco self-build community (ESBC) housing to act as a socially and environmentally sustainable housing solution that can address the demand for self-build and community housing whilst supporting the UK’s 2050 net-zero-carbon commitment. This model of housing is being piloted through schemes such as the Water Lilies project, an upcoming ESBC scheme providing self-finish houses and custom-build flats. The research aims to gain a broad understanding of the market for ESBC housing by analysing the data from people who registered interest in a plot or home and comparing this with data from a similar survey targeted at the market for conventional self-build and custom-build housing. The key findings are that: (1) the ESBC housing market is largely open to more than one build method, but with a greater preference for purchasing a completed home and self-finish than self-build, compared to the conventional market for self-build and custom-build that is primarily interested in self-build; (2) the ESBC housing market is looking for a variety of home sizes, though predominantly 2 and 3 bedrooms, that could be provided through houses and flats, compared to the conventional market for self-build and custom-build that is mostly seeking larger houses on single plots; (3) the most important housing aspects to the ESBC housing market are ‘green lifestyle’, ‘style and construction quality’, and ‘community spirit’, which differ to the conventional self-build and custom-build market, where they are ‘construction quality’, ‘internal appearance/layout’ and ‘location’; (4) living in a sustainable home is important to the market for conventional self-build and custom-build housing and on average, they would be willing to pay 27% more for a highly sustainable home than the average UK new build. The main drivers are that people want to reduce their environmental impact and reduce their home running costs. A key overall conclusion of the study is that a distinct market exists for ESBC schemes, where the priorities of prospective homeowners differ to those from the more general self-build market. For ESBC schemes, the provision of eco-housing and a sense of community are key priorities, whereas for the more general self-build market, location and the need to tailor the house design to the owner’s unique aesthetic and lifestyle preferences tend to be the most important factors. This paper discusses the implications of these findings and identifies opportunities for scaling up the delivery of ESBC housing. Full article
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Article
Social Sustainability and Ulaanbaatar’s ‘Ger Districts’: Access and Mobility Issues and Opportunities
Sustainability 2021, 13(20), 11470; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011470 - 17 Oct 2021
Viewed by 685
Abstract
This paper explores the concept of social sustainability in Ulaanbaatar’s ger districts in relation to access and mobility. Although ger districts are well-established in Mongolian culture as ephemeral encampments with transient residents, contemporary ger districts have become large and permanent residential districts that [...] Read more.
This paper explores the concept of social sustainability in Ulaanbaatar’s ger districts in relation to access and mobility. Although ger districts are well-established in Mongolian culture as ephemeral encampments with transient residents, contemporary ger districts have become large and permanent residential districts that are now home to an estimated one-third of the country’s population. The more recent growth of the ger districts has taken place in three decades since Mongolia embraced market-based liberal economics, coinciding with waves of socially and economically-motivated urbanisation. More recently, difficult environmental conditions in rural Mongolia have created new waves of migration. The unfolding situation means that the ger districts have grown with little of the forward planning present in other built areas of the city. In turn, this has led to significant imbalances in the provision of transport services into the ger districts and the problems of access and mobility that this paper has highlighted. This paper has identified community-based local transport and delivery services as one potential means for addressing existing access and mobility shortcomings. Such approaches could provide temporary or complementary services alongside other public policy approaches. Full article
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Article
‘A Slow Build-Up of a History of Kindness’: Exploring the Potential of Community-Led Housing in Alleviating Loneliness
Sustainability 2021, 13(20), 11323; https://doi.org/10.3390/su132011323 - 13 Oct 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 782
Abstract
This article explores the potential of community-led housing (CLH) in combatting loneliness, and represents a mixed-methods research project carried out from just before the beginning of the pandemic, through 2020. Methods comprised a nationwide quantitative online survey of members of CLH groups (N [...] Read more.
This article explores the potential of community-led housing (CLH) in combatting loneliness, and represents a mixed-methods research project carried out from just before the beginning of the pandemic, through 2020. Methods comprised a nationwide quantitative online survey of members of CLH groups (N = 221 respondents from England and Wales), followed by five case studies of communities representing a range of different CLH models. This qualitative element comprised participant observation, and semi-structured interviews at each group. The article also considers data from a smaller research project carried out by the same team in July 2020, that aimed to capture the experience of the pandemic for CLH groups, and comprising an online questionnaire followed by 18 semi-structured interviews. We conclude that members of CLH projects are measurably less lonely than those with comparable levels of social connection in wider society, and that such benefits are achieved through combinations of multiple different elements that include physical design, social design and through social processes. Notably, not all aspects of communities that contribute positively are a result of explicit intentionality, albeit the concept is considered key to at least one of the models. Full article
Article
Uncovering Social Sustainability in Housing Systems through the Lens of Institutional Capital: A Study of Two Housing Alliances in Vienna, Austria
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9726; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179726 - 30 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 916
Abstract
This paper analyzes social sustainability in the context of urban housing through the lens of institutional capital. It examines how civil society housing actors co-construct bottom-linked governance arrangements by interacting endogenously with peers and exogenously with institutional actors, such as public housing agencies [...] Read more.
This paper analyzes social sustainability in the context of urban housing through the lens of institutional capital. It examines how civil society housing actors co-construct bottom-linked governance arrangements by interacting endogenously with peers and exogenously with institutional actors, such as public housing agencies and elected officials, in order to steer, as housing alliances, socially sustainable residential developments. The paper thus offers an answer to the following two research questions: (1) What are internal governance features that characterize such civil society housing alliances? (2) What are their strategies of interaction with institutional actors in order to promote social sustainability and thus counter exclusionary patterns in urban housing systems? Empirical evidences are drawn from two civil society housing alliances in Austria, ‘BAWO’ (a national alliance of homelessness NGOs) and the ‘Initiative Collaborative Building & Living’. During three research stays in Vienna between 2014 and 2020, data was collected through semi-structured interviews and focus groups with leaders and members of housing alliances, interviews with key institutional stakeholders and web research. By reflecting on the institutional and relational character of the two housing alliances and digging out their potential and limitations in promoting different elements of social sustainability, our paper concludes that social sustainability in housing systems can be realized when it is set as a societal ambition sufficiently politicized by major parties involved in housing systems (housing alliances, governmental authorities of all ideological backgrounds, large non-profit housing developers) that collectively guarantee housing affordability and socio-spatial equity for all. Full article
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Article
The Interplay between Urban Densification and Place Change in Tehran; Implications for Place-Based Social Sustainability
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9636; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179636 - 27 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 687
Abstract
Recent scholarship on urban social sustainability has redirected its attention to the role of place-based theories and practices in achieving and sustaining social outcomes. The notion of place and its centrality in everyday life of urban citizens could be used as an anchor [...] Read more.
Recent scholarship on urban social sustainability has redirected its attention to the role of place-based theories and practices in achieving and sustaining social outcomes. The notion of place and its centrality in everyday life of urban citizens could be used as an anchor point to study urbanisation processes and rapid urban changes. This paper employs a place-based framework of urban social sustainability in parallel to a framework of ‘place transformation’ to examine the consequences of soft densification on place attachment at the neighbourhood level in Tehran, Iran. Through analysing sixteen semi-structured interviews with residents, this paper argues that the temporal element of soft densification makes it a place undermining process, eradicating individual and collective place memory through resetting the time of the place. Moreover, the findings highlighted parallel trajectories in the meanings associated to place by residents which underscore the contradiction between ‘lived space’ and ‘conceived space’. Furthermore, it was found that loss of place attachment due to urban densification commonly leads to passive modes of response such changing lifestyle and daily routines, and voluntary relocating to adapt to the new socio-spatial order. Full article
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Article
Planning for Urban Social Sustainability: Towards a Human-Centred Operational Approach
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 9083; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13169083 - 13 Aug 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1322
Abstract
In Europe, growing concerns about social segregation and social stability have pushed calls to make cities ‘inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’ higher on policy agendas. However, how to approach such generic policy objectives and operationalise them for planning practices is still largely unclear. [...] Read more.
In Europe, growing concerns about social segregation and social stability have pushed calls to make cities ‘inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’ higher on policy agendas. However, how to approach such generic policy objectives and operationalise them for planning practices is still largely unclear. This article makes a conceptual contribution to the operational understanding of social sustainability in urban planning practices. The article argues that, between theoretical concept and operational forms, different evaluative approaches towards social sustainability may be taken. Evaluating three dimensions of policy operationalisations in The Netherlands, we argue that Amartya Sen’s capability approach provides a promising conceptual framework for operationalising social sustainability in cities in Europe and beyond. We compare capabilities with a more commonly applied resource-based conception to show that the former is more accurate and potentially more effective, because it shifts the evaluative space of social sustainability from means (i.e., urban resources) to ends: the eventual well-being of urban citizens. Full article
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Article
The Relationship between Neighborhood Characteristics and Homicide in Karachi, Pakistan
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5520; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105520 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1887
Abstract
The geographical concentration of criminal violence is closely associated with the social, demographic, and economic structural characteristics of neighborhoods. However, few studies have investigated homicide patterns and their relationships with neighborhoods in South Asian cities. In this study, the spatial and temporal patterns [...] Read more.
The geographical concentration of criminal violence is closely associated with the social, demographic, and economic structural characteristics of neighborhoods. However, few studies have investigated homicide patterns and their relationships with neighborhoods in South Asian cities. In this study, the spatial and temporal patterns of homicide incidences in Karachi from 2009 to 2018 were analyzed using the local indicators of spatial association (LISA) method. Generalized linear modeling (GLM) and geographically weighted Poisson regression (GWPR) methods were implemented to examine the relationship between influential factors and the number of homicides during the 2009–2018 period. The results demonstrate that the homicide hotspot or clustered areas with high homicide counts expanded from 2009 to 2013 and decreased from 2013 to 2018. The number of homicides in the 2017–2018 period had a positive relationship with the percentage of the population speaking Balochi. The unplanned areas with low-density residential land use were associated with low homicide counts, and the areas patrolled by police forces had a significant negative relationship with the occurrence of homicide. The GWPR models effectively characterized the varying relationships between homicide and explanatory variables across the study area. The spatio-temporal analysis methods can be adapted to explore violent crime in other cities with a similar social context. Full article
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Article
Social Sustainability of Compact Neighbourhoods Evidence from London and Berlin
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2340; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042340 - 22 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1341
Abstract
This article revisits social sustainability of compact urban neighbourhoods based on first-hand evidence from four case studies in London and Berlin. It suggests a working definition for socially sustainable neighbourhoods, develops a tripartite integrative evaluation framework for measuring social sustainability of urban neighbourhoods, [...] Read more.
This article revisits social sustainability of compact urban neighbourhoods based on first-hand evidence from four case studies in London and Berlin. It suggests a working definition for socially sustainable neighbourhoods, develops a tripartite integrative evaluation framework for measuring social sustainability of urban neighbourhoods, and applies it to four case studies in London and Berlin. Findings of this research are in line with some dominant arguments made in favour of social sustainability of compact urban form, but challenges some others. Research findings suggest that compact urban form is not an urban orthodoxy, but has multiple and contrasting social meanings and perceptions in different contexts and places. Full article
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