Special Issue "Conservation of the Socio-Ecological Environment in Urban Areas: From Theoretical Investigations to Novel Technological Solutions"

A special issue of Conservation (ISSN 2673-7159).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Deborah Panepinto
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering (DIATI), Polytechnic of Turin, I-10129 Turin, Italy
Interests: air quality; climate change mitigation; odors; biomethane; health impact assessment; carbon footprint; waste management; wastewater treatment plants
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Marco Ravina
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Environment, Land and Infrastructure Engineering (DIATI), Polytechnic of Turin, I-10129 Turin, Italy
Interests: air quality; pollutant dispersion modelling; GHG emissions; odors; biomethane; health impact assessment; carbon footprint
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Marta Domini
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil, Environmental, Architectural Engineering and Mathematics (DICATAM), University of Brescia, 25123 Brescia, Italy
Interests: water, hygiene and sanitation in low-income contexts and humanitarian aid; sanitation planning; wastewater treatment; waste management; renewable energy
Dr. Vittorio Martone
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Cultures, Politics and Society, University of Turin, Turin 10153, Italy
Interests: environmental sociology; environmental policy; sustainability; green criminology; citizen participation; urban governance

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urban areas are complex systems in which multiple social, environmental and economical interactions coexist. All urban areas worldwide are facing great challenges for the conservation (or restoration) of their socio-environmental equilibria. Multiple factors are pushing the world population to concentrate in cities, causing profound transformations in social textures, and enormous changes in the exploitation and use of natural resources. The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 11 (Sustainable cities and communities) aims to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Social inequalities, environmental pollution and climate resilience are aspects that must be comprehensively addressed to achieve these sustainability goals.

This Special Issue of the journal Conservation welcomes interdisciplinary submissions (original research papers or reviews) that bring novel contributions to the analysis of the urban environment and related interactions at social, ecological and technological levels. The conservation of the urban environment means guaranteed adequate environmental quality (air, drinking water, etc.), services (open spaces, transportation, waste and wastewater management etc.), and housing. Moreover, climate change is bringing additional challenges to administrations, which must ensure measures for both preventing its impacts and protecting citizens and infrastructures.

The urban environment, providing a place for citizens to live, work and communicate, should be assessed from a human-centered perspective, including social equity, welfare, culture and heritage, social relations and education, with specific attention paid to poor and vulnerable groups. The vulnerability and resilience of different individuals and groups to a changing environment and climate need to be reflected in the urban governance and policies. Urbanization facilitates mobilization, because it creates the proximity of large masses of people, where rapid socio-technical innovations can produce social disorganization and disparity that facilitate social conflicts. In other words, the socio-political implications of the ecological crisis are most evident in urban contexts, both on a global and territorial scale. Mitigation and conservation policies, for instance, are overly complicated in countries associated with socio-economic vulnerability, where the effects of environmental degradation and global heating are already evident. On the other hand, in the most advanced countries, policies based on urban sustainability can produce profoundly unequal effects on urban inhabitants, especially around the distribution of environmental goods and burdens.

This Special Issue is open to theoretical investigations and modeling on the multidisciplinary interactions within the urban context, as well as experimental studies or virtuous experiences concerning the application of novel technological solutions, and their impact on the social sphere. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Modeling and theoretical investigations on human–technology–environment interactions;
  • Energy and environmental planning and design for urban areas;
  • Environmental management and human health interactions;
  • Technological solutions towards sustainability and resource consumption optimization, and their social acceptance;
  • Environmental and social sustainability and accessibility of public services;
  • Climate change adaptation actions, and their social acceptance;
  • Urban sustainable policies, inequalities, and environmental and social injustice;
  • Conservation, “greening” or “greenwashing”: policy/governance failure in relation to the environment, environmental deregulation and the privatization of commons.

Prof. Dr. Deborah Panepinto
Dr. Marco Ravina
Dr. Marta Domini
Dr. Vittorio Martone
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. Conservation 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.


  • sustainable cities
  • urban pollution
  • urban design
  • climate change adaptation
  • sanitation planning
  • environmental justice
  • urban governance

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Urbanization and Vulnerability of Architectural Heritage: The Case of Dar es Salaam CBD
Conservation 2021, 1(3), 216-227; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/conservation1030017 - 01 Aug 2021
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The architectural heritage present in Dar es Salaam Central Business District (CBD) spans across Arab, German, British, and post-colonial eras. The city is rich in buildings with combined architectural styles. Over the past few decades, Dar es Salaam has been experiencing considerable pressure [...] Read more.
The architectural heritage present in Dar es Salaam Central Business District (CBD) spans across Arab, German, British, and post-colonial eras. The city is rich in buildings with combined architectural styles. Over the past few decades, Dar es Salaam has been experiencing considerable pressure from urbanization. This has resulted in a boom of contemporary construction approaches, yet little concern has been given to the existing old buildings and historical fabric in general. Although urbanization is an unstoppable reality due to the forces it carries with it, it is necessary to find ways to strike a balance between urbanization and its impact on the original urban setting which is less explored in Dar es Salaam. This study investigated the relationship between urbanization and architectural heritage with the intention to balance the two, and set to answer questions about how the two can co-exist. Through a case study approach, changes such as physical transformation, elimination, and replacement of architectural heritage buildings were investigated and analyzed through maps, graphs, and charts. The results have indicated that the driving forces of urbanization such as population, policies, and economy have been influencing each other in physical transformation and demolition of architectural heritage buildings throughout the period between 1967 and 2020. The study suggests that activities such as ecotourism which will enhance social economic benefits should be promoted to support both the urbanization process and architectural heritage conservation. Full article
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