Special Issue "Urban Sustainability Futures"

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 April 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Mary J. Thornbush
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University, Ontario, Canada
Interests: smart cites and urban sustainability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The purpose of this Special Issue in the journal of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050) is to consider future ‘utopias’ for cities based on human impacts on the urban environment. Authors are asked to envision the optimal future relating to their areas of (urban) expertise and relate these to long-term (future) temporality. They are asked to contemplate the question: What would you change in the city if it helped to achieve sustainability? A wide range of topics can be encapsulated in this approach within the auspice of an integrated (environmental) sustainability. Other spatial scales can also be accommodated here based on multiscalar and integrated approaches; and cross-temporal approaches are also well-suited to this Special Issue. Submission types include original research articles (5000–7000 words) or comprehensive reviews (up to 8000–13,000 words).

Dr. Mary J. Thornbush
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. 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 futures
  • utopias
  • urban greening
  • sustainable cities
  • energy smart cities

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Achieving Sustainable Urban Development with an Ageing Population: An “Age-Friendly City and Community” Approach
Sustainability 2021, 13(15), 8614; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13158614 - 02 Aug 2021
Viewed by 703
Abstract
The ageing population tends to be seen as a burden of cities’ future development. Thus, the public funds for older residents’ wellbeing are at risk of being cut back under the economic austerity due to the prevalent neoliberalism policy atmosphere. However, some cities [...] Read more.
The ageing population tends to be seen as a burden of cities’ future development. Thus, the public funds for older residents’ wellbeing are at risk of being cut back under the economic austerity due to the prevalent neoliberalism policy atmosphere. However, some cities set good examples to turn their older citizens into active contributors to sustainable urban development (SUD) by developing age-friendly cities and communities (AFCC). Taking Hong Kong as an example, this study aims to raise a strategy for policymakers, especially at the municipal level, to incorporate the concept of AFCC in SUD. Data were retrieved for our analysis from a published report of the Hong Kong Public Policy Research Fund project. A total of 15 AFCC and SUD policy factors were identified by using factor analysis. The correlations between these policy factors were evaluated and visualised in a synergetic effect network. According to the network, this study indicates that developing the silver hair market can be a suitable entry point to realise SUD by adopting an AFCC development. Isolation prevention, social sustainability and low-energy-consumption development are the supportive policy factors for the silver hair market. Specifically, respect, discrimination prevention, communication and information, age-friendly facilities, environmental safety and public transportation accessibility are five AFCC policy factors incorporated in the policy integration to enhance older residents’ wellbeing further. This study is an innovative attempt to develop a comprehensive model for the synergy between sustainable urban development and an age-friendly city and community using a correlation network. This study also provides a reference for other city governments to respond to population ageing positively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Sustainability Futures)
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Article
Exploring Fruit Tree Species as Multifunctional Greenery: A Case of Its Distribution in Indonesian Cities
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7835; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13147835 - 13 Jul 2021
Viewed by 502
Abstract
Planting multifunctional trees (e.g., fruit species) in cities can promote genetic conservation, economic activity, ecosystem services, and social cohesion. However, in Indonesia, the relationship between the abundance of fruit tree species and different city characteristics, including their involvement in the national smart city [...] Read more.
Planting multifunctional trees (e.g., fruit species) in cities can promote genetic conservation, economic activity, ecosystem services, and social cohesion. However, in Indonesia, the relationship between the abundance of fruit tree species and different city characteristics, including their involvement in the national smart city project, is still unknown. In this study, published reports and field surveys were used to evaluate the fruit tree distribution and its relationship with the characteristics of 224 of 514 Indonesian cities in order to identify tree species for multifunctional city greenery. This is the first study on the distribution of fruit tree species at the national level. The study identified 151 fruit species of 90 genera and 40 families, including large-sized fruits, such as avocados, breadfruit, coconuts, durians, jackfruit, and mangos. On average, cities contained 54 tree species, of which 21 (38.9%) were fruit trees. These findings indicate that cities are important contributors to the genetic conservation of local fruit trees, which can be further evaluated as new city greenery. However, a city’s involvement in the smart city project bore no relationship (p > 0.05) with the number of identified fruit species. Conversely, non-fruit species tended to be more diverse in smart cities. Since the presence of fruit species is associated with the city population, geographic position, climate, altitude, and attitude towards the fragility of sustainable conservation, introducing and maintaining these species as city greenery requires advocacy to city stakeholders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Sustainability Futures)
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Article
A Conceptual Framework for Large-Scale Event Perception Evaluation with Spatial-Temporal Scales in Sustainable Smart Cities
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5658; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13105658 - 18 May 2021
Viewed by 643
Abstract
The harmony relationship between people and places is crucial for sustainable development. The smart sustainable city concept is widely based on making efforts to understand this relationship and create sustainable communities. The placemaking process is highly dependent on people’s perception of places, events [...] Read more.
The harmony relationship between people and places is crucial for sustainable development. The smart sustainable city concept is widely based on making efforts to understand this relationship and create sustainable communities. The placemaking process is highly dependent on people’s perception of places, events and situations in which they find themselves. Moreover, the greater the event scale, the more essential the research concentrated on them. A certain number of scientific papers have focused on the event management and event perception; however, there is still a research gap in works regarding sustainable development concepts. Thus, to fill this gap, the framework for large-scale event perception evaluation was created. Moreover, the cognitive map of large-scale event perception based on the Szczecin city citizens’ opinions was created. In order to acquire the opinions, a questionnaire with spatial–temporal measurement scales was applied. The representativeness estimation method, natural event ontology and framework for image interpretation were used for event segmentation. The storm phenomenon scenes were selected for picture measurement scale creation. The most significant factors of large-scale event perception were identified based on the questionnaire results. Finally, the cognitive map of global event perception factors is presented. By applying the analysis presented in this paper in various industries, relevant policies related to different dimensions of the citizens’ well-being could be created by governments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Sustainability Futures)
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Article
Spatial–Temporal Interaction Relationship between Ecosystem Services and Urbanization of Urban Agglomerations in the Transitional Zone of Three Natural Regions
Sustainability 2020, 12(23), 10211; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122310211 - 07 Dec 2020
Viewed by 605
Abstract
Clarifying the spatial interaction relationship between urbanization and multiple ecosystem services (ESs) is a prerequisite for reducing the impact of urbanization on the ecological environment and coordinating urbanization and ecological environmental protection. Urbanization is especially significant for ecologically fragile areas, where ecosystems are [...] Read more.
Clarifying the spatial interaction relationship between urbanization and multiple ecosystem services (ESs) is a prerequisite for reducing the impact of urbanization on the ecological environment and coordinating urbanization and ecological environmental protection. Urbanization is especially significant for ecologically fragile areas, where ecosystems are particularly sensitive to changes in urban patterns. This study considered the Lan–Xi (LX) urban agglomeration in three natural transitional regions using socio-economic, ecological environment, and other data, through a variety of methods, to supersede administrative boundaries and to explore the relationship between urbanization and ESs on a grid scale. The results revealed a significant negative spatial correlation between the levels of urbanization and comprehensive ESs, indicating that rapid urbanization has led to a decline in regional ESs. However, with the rapid urbanization trend from 2010 to 2018, the ESs in the LX region showed an upward trend because the implementation of ecological protection and restoration projects greatly offset the decline in ESs caused by urban expansion. We found a positive correlation between nutrient purification and the levels of urbanization among various ESs and four principal types of spatial–temporal interactions between ESs and urbanization levels. Among them, the high–high cluster areas occupied the smallest proportion, and the low–low cluster areas occupied the largest proportion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Sustainability Futures)
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Perspective
After the Contagion. Ghost City Centres: Closed “Smart” or Open Greener?
Sustainability 2021, 13(6), 3071; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13063071 - 11 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 692
Abstract
This paper has three main objectives. It traces the “closed” urban model of city development, critiques it at length, showing how it has led to an unsustainable dead-end, represented in post-Covid-19 “ghost town” status for many central cities, and proposes a new “open” [...] Read more.
This paper has three main objectives. It traces the “closed” urban model of city development, critiques it at length, showing how it has led to an unsustainable dead-end, represented in post-Covid-19 “ghost town” status for many central cities, and proposes a new “open” model of city design. This is avowedly an unsegregated and non-segmented utilisation of now often abandoned city-centre space in “open” forms favouring urban prairie, or more formalised urban parklands, interspersed with so-called “agritecture” in redundant high-rise buildings, shopping malls and parking lots. It favours sustainable theme-park models of family entertainment “experiences” all supported by sustainable hospitality, integrated mixed land uses and sustainable transportation. Consideration is given to likely financial resource issues but the dearth of current commercial investment opportunities from the old carbonised urban model, alongside public policy and consumer support for urban greening, are concluded to form a propitious post-coronavirus context for furthering the vision. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Sustainability Futures)
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