Special Issue "Integral and Sustainable Urban Policies"

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 November 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Clemente J. Navarro Yáñez
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The Urban Governance Lab, Pablo de Olavide University, Sevilla, 41013, Spain
Interests: urban policy and governance; comparative analysis
Prof. Dr. María Jesús Rodríguez-García
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
The Urban Governance Lab, Pablo de Olavide University, Sevilla, 41013, Spain
Interests: local welfare policies; social cohesion; comparative analysis

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urban policy oriented to promote integral and sustainable urban development is an increasingly important policy domain in international and national agendas. The complexity of urban problems means policies should combine the action from different policy sectors, in order to promote comprehensive policy agendas, the participation of different kind of institutional and non-institutional actors to enhance multi-level governance processes, and the active involvement of local actors and citizens to produce an effective incorporation of local needs and demands.

These orientations are shaping a general policy frame for urban policies, the so-called ‘integral strategy’, as shown in The New Urban Agenda or Sustainable Development Goals. Nevertheless, its design, implementation process, and impact could be different according to several factors: the institutional frame existing in each country defining the role and capabilities of municipalities (the local government system), the existence and character of specific national or regional policies oriented to promote urban development, the main socio-economic, civic and cultural traits of local communities, or the capabilities and previous experiences of local governments and administrations.

This Special Issue is devoted to the analysis of this policy frame from a comparative perspective. Proposals should analyse the design, implementation and impact of this kind of urban policy. In particular, comparisons between applications in different socio-spatial contexts (countries, municipalities, neighbourhoods) are welcome, regardless of the comparative research methodology applied (qualitative, quantitative, mixed-methods, etc.)

Prof. Dr. Clemente J. Navarro Yáñez
Prof. Dr. María Jesús Rodríguez-García
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. 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.

Keywords

  • Urban policies
  • Comparative analysis
  • Policy analysis and evaluation
  • Social cohesion
  • Sustainable urban development

Published Papers (7 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Article
European Integral Urban Policies from a Gender Perspective. Gender-Sensitive Measures, Transversality and Gender Approaches
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9543; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179543 - 25 Aug 2021
Viewed by 323
Abstract
Integrated policy strategies represent an increasingly popular approach in urban development and gender policies. This article analyses the integration between integral urban policies and gender mainstreaming in the European Union. A specific analytical proposal is elaborated and applied to urban policies promoted by [...] Read more.
Integrated policy strategies represent an increasingly popular approach in urban development and gender policies. This article analyses the integration between integral urban policies and gender mainstreaming in the European Union. A specific analytical proposal is elaborated and applied to urban policies promoted by the EU in Spain between 1994 and 2013. The Comparative Urban Policy Portfolio Analysis is used to study the inclusion of gender-sensitive policy measures in local project portfolios, their transversality across policy sectors, and the relevance of two main approaches to analyse them. The results show that integral urban development programmes have incorporated gender-sensitive policy measures. Results also show a low level of transversality focused mainly on social integration, although they combine objectives focused on a women-centred approach to classical areas of gender inequality affecting women, i.e., employment, education, health, and a gender approach focused on new welfare challenges linked to care and defamilisation. These results show the relevance of analysing gender approaches included in integral urban policies to comprehend the character of their gender mainstreaming and their potential effects on more gender-equal cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integral and Sustainable Urban Policies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Area-Based Policies and Potential Health Benefits: A Quasi-Experimental Cohort Study in Vulnerable Urban Areas of Andalusia (Spain)
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8169; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158169 - 21 Jul 2021
Viewed by 513
Abstract
Area-based policies (ABIs) aim to improve the quality of life and health of residents in socio-economically disadvantaged areas of cities. Although health impact evaluations of ABIs have proliferated in the last decade, several weaknesses have been identified in these evaluations. Inspired by the [...] Read more.
Area-based policies (ABIs) aim to improve the quality of life and health of residents in socio-economically disadvantaged areas of cities. Although health impact evaluations of ABIs have proliferated in the last decade, several weaknesses have been identified in these evaluations. Inspired by the propositions of the fundamental cause theory (FCT), this paper attempts to address some of these weaknesses by investigating the possible impacts of different combinations of ABIs on premature mortality in vulnerable urban areas of Andalusia (Spain). We conducted a quasi-experimental cohort study, based on the longitudinal statistics on survival and longevity of a population aged 40–70 during the period from 2002 to 2016. Hazard ratios for individuals living in targeted areas relative to control areas were estimated using quasi-Poisson regressions, and the impact was evaluated using a difference-in-difference approach. Most of the ABIs studied do not seem to generate a visible impact on premature mortality. However, the combination of ARB and URBAN interventions is associated with a significant decrease in preventable and all-cause mortality in the targeted versus control areas. The flexible resources proposed by FCT can operate at both the contextual and individual levels, since more comprehensive interventions seem to contribute to achieving health impacts on vulnerable populations. Future evaluations should consider the nature of the intervened areas themselves in relation to the dynamics of the city and the degree of comprehensiveness of the policies, to elucidate what may constitute “fundamental interventions” to reduce health disparities between urban places. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integral and Sustainable Urban Policies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Impacts of Area-Based Policies on Essential Retail in Vulnerable Areas
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 8023; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13148023 - 19 Jul 2021
Viewed by 497
Abstract
Since the 1990s, urban regeneration has emerged as the main initiative of the European Territorial Development Strategy. A series of integrated urban regeneration policies have subsequently been implemented to redress the socio-territorial imbalance in urban areas by improving the structure of opportunities available [...] Read more.
Since the 1990s, urban regeneration has emerged as the main initiative of the European Territorial Development Strategy. A series of integrated urban regeneration policies have subsequently been implemented to redress the socio-territorial imbalance in urban areas by improving the structure of opportunities available to inhabitants. The aim of the current paper is to evaluate the effect of such policies of proximity on the “essential retail trade” in neighborhoods in Andalusia. A quasi-experimental methodology was applied using the Difference in Differences (DiD) technique in order to ascertain the changes attributed to the intervention of the projects. In addition, change trends were analyzed using repeat measurements models for each calculated indicator and in the different considered contexts. The findings show an increase in the density and diversity of essential retail businesses in experimental and control areas. We found that in general, intervention had no significant effect on essential retail trade. However, the results do indicate that the impact of these plans is conditioned by the possible effect of different contexts and their specific dynamics (historical districts of large cities or towns on the one hand or peripheral suburbs on the other). The study may contribute to improving the design of integrated policies by controlling for the specificities of urban areas targeted by intervention. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integral and Sustainable Urban Policies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Overcoming Socio-Economic Problems in Crisis Areas through Revitalization of Cittaslow Towns. Evidence from North-East Poland
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7984; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13147984 - 16 Jul 2021
Viewed by 490
Abstract
The revitalization of small towns is connected with an attempt to find multidirectional solutions to numerous social, economic and spatial problems. It is possible to remove degraded areas and areas with a high risk of social exclusion through coordinated and skillfully planned activities [...] Read more.
The revitalization of small towns is connected with an attempt to find multidirectional solutions to numerous social, economic and spatial problems. It is possible to remove degraded areas and areas with a high risk of social exclusion through coordinated and skillfully planned activities consisting of corrective interventions within these areas and, indirectly, in the whole structure of a small town. There are many studies on improving the quality of life of inhabitants at risk of exclusion in large cities. At the same time, there is a gap in the analyses of this phenomenon in small towns. In this article, we present the results of our observations on changes in the quality and living conditions of residents as a result of social projects implemented as part of the revitalization of marginalized areas in cities associated with the Cittaslow movement. The starting point is to identify the main socioeconomic problems and relate them to the effects of the revitalization activities carried out under the Supralocal Revitalization Program (SLRP). The study analyzed all projects that were a response to social problems in fourteen cities in the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship (Poland). It was based on a quantitative assessment of the selected socioeconomic indicators and a qualitative assessment based on interviews with local experts. The results of the research indicate a reduction in unemployment in all the cities covered by the study. On the other hand, the results of the expert interview show that it is not directly influenced by the implemented revitalization projects. According to experts, after revitalization, the crime rate decreased insignificantly and the educational and professional involvement of residents from marginalized areas is still low. The results may give rise to the creation of scenarios to deal with the socioeconomic problems of the analyzed examples and recommendations for the revitalization of other Cittaslow towns in the region as well as small towns in Europe and the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integral and Sustainable Urban Policies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
The Effectiveness of Integral Urban Strategies: Policy Theory and Target Scale. The European URBAN I Initiative and Employment
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6251; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13116251 - 01 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 721
Abstract
Integrated urban development strategies are shaping a new policy frame to cope with the complexity of urban problems. This implies multi-level policy mixes involving multiple goals, the collaboration between different actors, and policy theories based on complementarity between different policy tools (and their [...] Read more.
Integrated urban development strategies are shaping a new policy frame to cope with the complexity of urban problems. This implies multi-level policy mixes involving multiple goals, the collaboration between different actors, and policy theories based on complementarity between different policy tools (and their causal processes). As in other policies, the third aspect has been less analysed. This article studied the theory behind policy mixes developed in the European Union URBAN I Initiative framework and the effects on its employment inclusion goal. The policy theory suggests complementary effects between policy actions oriented toward economic activities and those oriented at increasing employment skills to, in turn, increase residents’ inclusion in the labour market. The quasi-experimental approach applied at the neighbourhood level in Spain showed a moderate influence on employment among the youngest age cohorts and a more evident impact on business density. Nevertheless, evidence concerning the complementarity between actions oriented at improving labour market demand and labour market supply in targeted neighbourhoods suggested in the program theory is less convincing. This exercise showed the methodological challenges in assessing the effectiveness of integral urban initiatives and offered some suggestions regarding the policy theory behind them through a European Union case. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integral and Sustainable Urban Policies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Assessment of the Governance Dimension in the Frame of the 2030 Agenda: Evidence from 100 Spanish Cities
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5519; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105519 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 520
Abstract
The 2030 Agenda highlights the importance of governance to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). However, we observe that there is an underestimation of the governance dimension in the SDG indices. The reasons are twofold. Firstly, indices assign a lower weight to governance compared [...] Read more.
The 2030 Agenda highlights the importance of governance to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). However, we observe that there is an underestimation of the governance dimension in the SDG indices. The reasons are twofold. Firstly, indices assign a lower weight to governance compared to the other dimensions of sustainability. Secondly, most governance indicators do not measure the relational dynamics that underlie sustainable development policies. The aim of this study is thus to provide alternative methods for a more accurate assessment of the governance dimension in the frame of the 2030 Agenda. With this purpose, we examine the performance of 100 Spanish cities on the SDGs included in the first report elaborated by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Spain in 2018. Using this data, we first develop a methodology to rebalance the current underestimation of the governance dimension, comparing its impact on the SDG performance of these cities. Secondly, we build a new indicator of ‘Strategic Culture’ to get a more accurate measure of governance in urban contexts. As a result, the study validates the proposed methods and provides evidence that better performance on sustainable development is favored by the implementation of strategic planning processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integral and Sustainable Urban Policies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Bohemian Cultural Scenes and Creative Development of Chinese Cities: An Analysis of 65 Cities Using Cultural Amenity Data
Sustainability 2021, 13(9), 5260; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13095260 - 08 May 2021
Viewed by 481
Abstract
There has been a cultural turn in urban development, as an increasing number of scholars are stressing the importance of culture in urban research and policy agendas. Specifically, the bohemian cultural scene could drive an integral cultural policy approach between the cultural scenes [...] Read more.
There has been a cultural turn in urban development, as an increasing number of scholars are stressing the importance of culture in urban research and policy agendas. Specifically, the bohemian cultural scene could drive an integral cultural policy approach between the cultural scenes city and the creative city approach. Based on amenities data from 65 major Chinese cities, this paper investigates the relationship between bohemian cultural scenes and creative development of Chinese cities as well as regional differences using tree-based model, ordinary least squares (OLS) and truncated regression, and provides conceptual and quantitative support for a bohemian cultural scenes policy. Factor analysis suggests the bohemian cultural scene in Chinese cities consists of two dimensions: self-expression and charisma. According to regression results, bohemian scenes significantly promote urban creative development; specifically, charisma has a stronger impact on urban creativity than self-expression. There are also significant regional differences: northern and eastern cities should focus on the development of the charismatic dimension, creative subjects should adjust away from prudent industriousness and practice dynamic experimentalism; whereas southern cities should focus on the self-expressive dimension, and continue to promote tolerance, inclusivity and expressive practice. Finally, the bohemian scenes policy demands an integral policy approach sensitive to the existing socioeconomic context: policymakers should incorporate specific amenities into existing qualities of local spaces and cultural consumption to stimulate creative development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Integral and Sustainable Urban Policies)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop