Special Issue "Sustainable Regeneration of Degraded Urban Structures and Fabric"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 October 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Nađa Beretić
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Architecture, Design and Urban Planning (DADU), University of Sassari, Alghero, Italy
Interests: urban design; public space; participation; place theories; public art; cultural landscape and heritage
Prof. Dr. Arnaldo Cecchini
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Architecture, Design and Urban Planning (DADU), University of Sassari, Alghero, Italy
Interests: participation; urban models; walkability; healthy cities; right to the city
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Valentina Talu
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Chief Guest Editor
Department of Architecture, Design and Urban Planning (DADU), University of Sassari, Alghero, Italy
Interests: participatory design; policies for urban re-generation; design for promoting accessibility at various scales

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The Special Issue “Sustainable Regeneration of Degraded Urban Structures and Fabric” aims to investigate sustainable regeneration based on contemporary debate over the problem of rundown and unused buildings and spaces.

This issue will concentrate on interventions, tools, and techniques used for spatial transformations that are going beyond efforts to put uninhabited or degraded land and buildings to new uses. Furthermore, it will explore policy and the management of spatial transformation at the urban level.

In framing effective scholarship and the practice of urban regeneration, particular focus will be put on the use of tools and techniques that aid the study and interpretation of cities but that also serve as integral components of city management. Such tools and techniques of urban regeneration unlock the dynamics of community economies while advocating for environmental and social sustainability. Innovative ways of tackling the problem of degraded urban fabric are welcome, including interventions on publicly and privately owned buildings, facilities, and spaces.

Despite playing a crucial role in the design and planning of interventions, the factor of time often remains neglected. It is good to think of interventions that are distributed over time, modular, and as reversible as possible such that they allow temporary uses and easy changes in functions and uses – various experiments of tactical urbanism around the world are just an example of these possible actions.

Due to the relocations, conflicts, and economic crises the over last decades, numerous cities have experienced dramatic degradation of the urban fabric and, yet, in this issue, particular attention will be given to the sustainable regeneration of so-called “internal areas” and of inner peripheries.

The current pandemic requires a rethinking of the uses and functions of the city, of the territory and, therefore, of spatial organization as a whole. The pandemic has been properly defined as a syndemic, which implies that dealing with it means not only thinking about short and medium-term interventions but also about systemic actions that allow us to deal with different types of emergency together, starting from those caused by climate change as well as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In this context, the Special Issue is open for contributions that respond to the following questions:

  • What are the effects of urban regeneration intervention on the city as a polycentric socio-spatial system?
  • How does urban regeneration intervention support mitigation, resilience, and the antifragility of the city as a polycentric socio-spatial system?
  • What are the steps of a regeneration process that allow departing from rundown or unused buildings and facilities?
  • Which evaluation tools and decision support systems were used to implement urban regeneration intervention?
  • Which evaluation tools and decision support systems were used to implement urban regeneration intervention?
  • Does the policy support urban that departs from rundown and/or unused buildings and facilities? Which policy modifications are required for such an intervention?
  • Which participatory models were used to implement the urban regeneration project?

Dr. Valentina Talu
Dr. Nađa Beretić
Prof. Dr. Arnaldo Cecchini
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 regeneration
  • rundown and unused buildings, facilities, and spaces
  • sustainable urban models, tools, and techniques
  • urban policy
  • participation
  • temporary uses
  • syndemic
  • resilience and antifragility

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Article
Commercial Vacancy Prediction Using LSTM Neural Networks
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5400; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105400 - 12 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 556
Abstract
Previous studies on commercial vacancy have mostly focused on the survival rate of commercial buildings over a certain time frame and the cause of their closure, due to a lack of appropriate data. Based on a time-series of 2,940,000 individual commercial facility data, [...] Read more.
Previous studies on commercial vacancy have mostly focused on the survival rate of commercial buildings over a certain time frame and the cause of their closure, due to a lack of appropriate data. Based on a time-series of 2,940,000 individual commercial facility data, the main purpose of this research is two-fold: (1) to examine long short-term memory (LSTM) as a feasible option for predicting trends in commercial districts and (2) to identify the influence of each variable on prediction results for establishing evidence-based decision-making on the primary influences of commercial vacancy. The results indicate that LSTM can be useful in simulating commercial vacancy dynamics. Furthermore, sales, floating population, and franchise rate were found to be the main determinants for commercial vacancy. The results suggest that it is imperative to control the cannibalization of commercial districts and develop their competitiveness to retain a consistent floating population. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Regeneration of Degraded Urban Structures and Fabric)
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Article
A Methodological Approach on Disused Public Properties in the 15-Minute City Perspective
Sustainability 2021, 13(2), 593; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13020593 - 09 Jan 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2237
Abstract
Accessibility and Walkability represent, today, some of the most striking challenges contemporary cities are facing, particularly in light of the goals from UN Agenda 2030, aimed at a sustainable city, and particularly in terms of a livable, healthy and inclusive city. This can [...] Read more.
Accessibility and Walkability represent, today, some of the most striking challenges contemporary cities are facing, particularly in light of the goals from UN Agenda 2030, aimed at a sustainable city, and particularly in terms of a livable, healthy and inclusive city. This can be also performed thanks to a set of high quality public services and a set of important and central services and infrastructures. These principles, however, are constrained by an overall, general fragmentation affecting many urban areas, particularly as an outcome of the vehicular accessibility needs. Scholars have debated through the years on the nature of cities and on the preference for centrality of services compared to the distribution of services towards dispersed neighborhood units. Recently, a need for a wider, minimum set of services that is easily reachable to most citizens is filling the scholars and city mayors’ agendas in order to improve urban performances. This is also coupled with a huge surge in the heritage of abandoned urban items coming from previous periods of time and alternative uses. The aim of this research is to evaluate the role of abandoned urban assets—particularly big-size buildings and compounds and their areas—to facilitate the implementation of the concept of a 15-minute city, a city that is capable of granting a wider social equality and access to main urban services to citizens and city users. To do this, we developed a set of indexes, capable of detecting porosity, crossing and attractiveness. This latter index in particular represents a combined index that can be used to improve the accessibility of pedestrians in urban central locations. In the present research, we decided to limit the analysis to a subset of disused public buildings in the historic center of a sample city, as Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy). This was done in order to understand if and in which terms they can contribute, after their redevelopment, to the development of the 15-minute city, as well as reducing the “enclave–effect: they are, at present, playing in the historic urban fabric. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Regeneration of Degraded Urban Structures and Fabric)
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