Special Issue "Eco-Urbanism"

A special issue of Urban Science (ISSN 2413-8851).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Ayyoob Sharifi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation (IDEC), Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan
Interests: eco-urbanism; sustainability assessment; urban resilience; urban carbon management; neighborhood sustainability; smart cities
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The focus of this Special Issue is on eco-urbanism. The origin of eco-urbanism is traced back to the long-standing efforts, by many prominent scholars, such as Patrick Geddes, Ebenezer Howard, and Ian McHarg, to advance theories about building cities in harmony with nature. Over the past two decades, eco-urbanism has gained significant traction and its scope is broadened to cover multiple dimensions of sustainable development. During the same period, the concept has guided development of many programs and initiatives such as eco-cities, eco-districts, éco-quartiers, eco-garden cities, green cities, ubiquitous cities, and smart eco-cities. These initiatives are implemented in different scales, ranging from blocks, to neighborhoods, to cities.

Through investment in eco-urban initiatives, planners and policy makers intend to develop smart and innovative solutions to confront significant challenges posed by rapid urbanization and climate change. In the era of Anthropocene, characterized by high levels of dynamism and uncertainty, the ultimate goal of eco-urbanism is to provide socio-economic, institutional, and technical solutions for transition towards resilience and sustainability. Specific objectives are to reduce ecological footprint of cities, to foster development of near self-contained and near zero-carbon communities, to promote resource efficiency and circular economy, to foster social and environmental justice, to improve well-being of citizens, to facilitate education for sustainable development (by functioning as living labs), and to enhance urban resilience.  

This Special Issue of Urban Science aims to offer a platform for advancing our understanding of the theory and practice of eco-urbanism and examining the extent to which the above-mentioned goals and objectives have been achieved. With concept of smart cities gaining momentum, it is also aimed to find out if possible improvements can be achieved by integrating these two concepts. We encourage researchers and practitioners to submit original research articles, case studies, reviews, critical perspectives, and viewpoint articles on topics, including, but not limited to:

  • The evolution and future of eco-urbanism;
  • Social, economic, environmental and institutional dimensions of eco-urbanism;
  • Eco-urbanism and urban resilience;
  • Eco-urbanism and Sustainable Development Goals;
  • Eco-urbanism and social and environmental justice;
  • Eco-urbanism and climate change mitigation and adaptation;
  • Urban green infrastructure;
  • Practical examples and best practice insights;
  • IoT- and AI- enabled smart eco-urbanism;
  • Key performance indicators and assessment methods;
  • Opportunities and challenges for promoting eco-urbanism;
  • Social, institutional and technological transformations needed for promoting smart eco-urbanism.

Dr. Ayyoob Sharifi
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. Urban Science is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly 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 1000 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

  • resilience
  • sustainability
  • eco-urbanism
  • eco-cities
  • eco-districts
  • green urbanism
  • nature-based solutions
  • smart cities
  • smart eco-urbanism
  • low-carbon cities

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Article
Urban Form Resilience: A Comparative Analysis of Traditional, Semi-Planned, and Planned Neighborhoods in Shiraz, Iran
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci5010018 - 01 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1314
Abstract
As cities are exposed to a portfolio of risks, the concept of resilience has risen to prominence over the past two decades. Consequently, a large volume of research has been published on different aspects of urban resilience. However, urban form resilience is still [...] Read more.
As cities are exposed to a portfolio of risks, the concept of resilience has risen to prominence over the past two decades. Consequently, a large volume of research has been published on different aspects of urban resilience. However, urban form resilience is still relatively understudied. As a step toward filling this gap, this study examines resilience of nine selected neighborhoods from Shiraz, an old Iranian city. The selected cases represent three different urban form patterns, namely, traditional, semi-planned, and planned. Different indicators related to the physical configuration of lots, blocks, open and green spaces, and street networks are used to examine resilience of each neighborhood to three major stressors, namely, earthquakes, extreme heat events, and floods. Additionally, a combination of Shannon entropy and the VIKOR (VlseKriterijumska Optimizcija I Kaompromisno Resenje in Serbian) method is used to rank the resilience of each neighborhood to each of the three stressors. Results show that, overall, the physical form of the planned neighborhoods is more conducive to urban resilience. In contrast, the urban form of traditional neighborhoods was found to be less resilient. There were, however, some variations depending on the type of stressor considered. The paper concludes by emphasizing the need to consider social and economic factors in future studies of urban form resilience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-Urbanism)
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Article
Urban Transport and Eco-Urbanism: A Global Comparative Study of Cities with a Special Focus on Five Larger Swedish Urban Regions
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010025 - 27 Feb 2019
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1970
Abstract
Urban transport is critical in shaping the form and function of cities, particularly the level of automobile dependence and sustainability. This paper presents a detailed study of the urban transport eco-urbanism characteristics of the Stockholm, Malmö, Göteborg, Linköping, and Helsingborg urban regions in [...] Read more.
Urban transport is critical in shaping the form and function of cities, particularly the level of automobile dependence and sustainability. This paper presents a detailed study of the urban transport eco-urbanism characteristics of the Stockholm, Malmö, Göteborg, Linköping, and Helsingborg urban regions in southern Sweden. It compares these cities to those in the USA, Australia, Canada, and two large wealthy Asian cities (Singapore and Hong Kong). It finds that while density is critical in determining many features of eco-urbanism, especially mobility patterns and particularly how much public transport, walking, and cycling are used, Swedish cities maintain healthy levels of all these more sustainable modes and only moderate levels of car use, while having less than half the density of other European cities. Swedish settlement patterns and urban transport policies mean they also enjoy, globally, the lowest level of transport emissions and transport deaths per capita and similar levels of energy use in private passenger transport as other European cities, and a fraction of that used in lower density North American and Australian cities. Swedish urban public transport systems are generally well provided for and form an integral part of the way their cities function, considering their lower densities. Their use of walking and cycling is high, though not as high as in other European cities and together with public transport cater for nearly 50% of the total daily trip making, compared to auto-dependent regions with between about 75% and 85% car trips. The paper explores these and other patterns in some detail. It provides a clear depiction of the strengths and weaknesses of Swedish cities in urban transport, some key policy directions to improve them and posits possible explanations for some of the atypical patterns observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-Urbanism)
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Case Report
Smart Eco-City Strategies and Solutions for Sustainability: The Cases of Royal Seaport, Stockholm, and Western Harbor, Malmö, Sweden
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010011 - 03 Mar 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2793
Abstract
Sustainable urbanism is seen today as one of the keys towards unlocking the quest for a sustainable society. As a central paradigm of sustainable urbanism, the eco-city is promoted by global and local policies as one of the preferred responses to the challenges [...] Read more.
Sustainable urbanism is seen today as one of the keys towards unlocking the quest for a sustainable society. As a central paradigm of sustainable urbanism, the eco-city is promoted by global and local policies as one of the preferred responses to the challenges of sustainable development. It is argued that eco-city strategies are expected to deliver positive outcomes in terms of providing healthy and livable human environments in conjunction with minimal demand on resources and thus minimal environmental impacts. As such, it is pertinent to examine how the eco-city model and especially its three sustainability dimensions is practiced and justified in urban planning and development at the local level. This is motivated by the increased interest in developing sustainable urban districts. In this light, this study seeks to answer the following two questions: What are the key strategies of the eco-city district model, and in what ways do they mutually complement one another in terms of producing the expected tripartite value of sustainability? To what extent does the eco-city district model support and contribute to the environmental, economic, and social goals of sustainability? To illuminate the phenomenon of the eco-city district accordingly, a descriptive case study is adopted as a qualitative research methodology, where the empirical basis is mainly formed by urban planning and development documents in two eco-city districts—Royal Seaport, Stockholm, and Western Harbor, Malmö, Sweden—in combination with qualitative interview data, secondary data, and scientific literature. This study shows that the eco-city district models of SRS and Western Harbor involve mainly design and technology, supported with behavioral change, as key strategies and solutions for achieving urban sustainability. Design encompasses greening, passive solar houses, sustainable transportation, mixed land use, and diversity. And technology comprises green technologies, energy efficiency technologies, and waste management systems. Design contributes to the three goals of sustainability, and technology contributes mostly to the environmental and economic goals of sustainability. Behavioral change is associated with sustainable travel, waste separation, and energy consumption. Moreover, at the core of the eco-city district model is the clear synergy between the underlying strategies in terms of their cooperation to produce combined effects greater than the sum of their separate effects with respect to the benefits of sustainability. Further, this study demonstrates that while the environmental, economic, and social goals of sustainability are represented in eco-city district strategies on a discursive level, institutionalized planning practices show that the environmental goals remain at the core of planning, while the economic and social goals still play second fiddle. Nevertheless, new measures have recently been implemented in Western Harbor that are expected to strengthen their influence over urban development practices, whereas the Royal Seaport program mainly focuses on the environmental and some economic aspects, which is a shortcoming that should be recognized and dealt with. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-Urbanism)
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