Special Issue "Nature & Culture for Cities and Territories"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Stella Sofia Kyvelou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics and Regional Development, Panteion University of Social and Political Sciences, 17671 Athens, Greece
Interests: urban geography; territorial development; sustainable spatial and urban planning; ecosystems thinking; eco-urbanism; urban design; built heritage; marine/maritime spatial planning; underwater cultural heritage
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Rich natural and cultural heritage is a defining element of place identity. It brings communities together and builds a shared understanding of the places we live in. It is also a very useful territorial resource, a key component of the territorial capital of cities and regions that can enhance social cohesion, employment, and economic growth, as well as stimulate place-based policies. The Special Issue will reflect on the place that cultural and natural heritage occupy both in our lives and for territorial development, as well as on the need to protect such unique values for future generations. It will be structured around the idea that nature and culture are an indivisible whole, meaning that natural and cultural heritage should be recognized, understood, planned, and managed together. This may also be a driver of the efficiency of place-based policies. In this context, the natural and cultural attractiveness of cities and territories, and the achievements of culturally and naturally creative cities, territories, nations, and industries can be addressed in this Special Issue. Nature- and culture-based solutions are often less costly, more resilient, and more effective in the long term; they can create jobs and economic growth; and they can promote the sustainability and frugality of cities and territories. Thus, papers on innovative nature- and culture-based solutions for cities and territories will be welcome. The Issue is mostly interested in presenting spatial strategies for built heritage and resilient traditional settlements.

Dr. Stella Sofia Kyvelou
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

  • nature
  • culture
  • cities
  • territories
  • built heritage
  • place-based policies
  • urban and territorial attractiveness
  • urban resilience

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
The Network of Protected Areas (NPA) as an Instrument to Implement Cross-Border Public Services
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(3), 97; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci3030097 - 03 Sep 2019
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1443
Abstract
Polycentric development, territorial cohesion, and territorial diversity are some of the main principles supported at the European level for reducing regional disparities and for making territories more resilient and diversified, which strengthens the competitiveness of Europe in the global economy. This research article, [...] Read more.
Polycentric development, territorial cohesion, and territorial diversity are some of the main principles supported at the European level for reducing regional disparities and for making territories more resilient and diversified, which strengthens the competitiveness of Europe in the global economy. This research article, starting from the final results of the ESPON Linking Networks of Protected Areas to Territorial Development (LinkPAs) project, considers that the protected areas (PAs) are a territorial unit able to connect—in a polycentric approach—the different territorial aspects (economic, social, environmental) present in an area to implement cross-border public services (CPS) to share in a larger territorial context through a network of protected areas (NPA). Toward this aim, this paper suggests applying the NPA management model developed in the ESPON LinkPAs project to CPS to assess if a soft governance mechanism is able to efficiently and sustainably manage the CPS. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature & Culture for Cities and Territories)
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Article
Landscape as Connecting Link of Nature and Culture: Spatial Planning Policy Implications in Greece
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(3), 81; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci3030081 - 27 Jul 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1843
Abstract
The research paper investigates the diverse understandings of “landscape”, along with demonstrating the modes of contribution of the European Landscape Convention (ELC) of the Council of Europe (CE) in influencing national spatial planning systems. The paper, interested in considering the efficiency of landscape [...] Read more.
The research paper investigates the diverse understandings of “landscape”, along with demonstrating the modes of contribution of the European Landscape Convention (ELC) of the Council of Europe (CE) in influencing national spatial planning systems. The paper, interested in considering the efficiency of landscape policy from a territorial perspective, briefly outlines the perception and understanding of landscape as connecting link of nature and culture and conducts a literature review with the aim to support the prospect of a «European model of landscape planning». Lastly, it critically examines the approach to landscape planning and management by the Greek state, revealing the catalytic role of the Council of Europe (CE) in activating the dimension of landscape in Greece, in a mutualistic perspective between environmental policy and spatial planning, mainly through strategic spatial planning tools (i.e., the Regional Spatial Plans, RSPs). The results point out that (a) the ELC gave new impetus to spatial planning in Greece, providing the tool to manage and coordinate landscape policy, positively influencing the evolving spatial planning paradigm; (b) the decentralized approach adopted, identified landscapes of particular value at a regional level, so as to be given priority in terms of the implementation of coordinated governance arrangements and management actions. However, the implementation of landscape policy continues to rely on the underlying spatial planning level (Local Spatial Plans, Special Spatial Plans) and a general conclusion is that both on land and on sea, it depends on the incorporation of evolutionary trends in planning including an evolutionary perspective for landscape itself, viewed as a complex social-ecological system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature & Culture for Cities and Territories)
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Review

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Review
Towards Psychosocial Well-Being in Historic Urban Landscapes: The Contribution of Cultural Memory
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(4), 59; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci4040059 - 09 Nov 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 799
Abstract
A crucial element in the human search for well-being is achieving a sense of identity within, and belonging to, the landscape in which we live. Landscape should be understood as not only the visible environment but the affective values we attach to it [...] Read more.
A crucial element in the human search for well-being is achieving a sense of identity within, and belonging to, the landscape in which we live. Landscape should be understood as not only the visible environment but the affective values we attach to it and how we shape it in our mind’s eye. These inner reflections of our landscapes constitute one of our richest archives, in particular, in terms of creating and passing down to future generations our cultural memories. The current paper is a review of literature on the concepts of urban heritage conservation, and, in particular, the development of the historic urban landscape (HUL) approach, with reference to the role and contribution of cultural memory and its presence in the urban landscape. We also investigate how the notions of place attachment and identity interrelate with cultural memory to elucidate how such interrelations can contribute to human psychosocial well-being and quality of life (QOL). This review points to the neglected role of cultural memory in the maintenance of psychosocial well-being in HULs, a topic which requires further research to deepen our understanding about its importance in urban environments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature & Culture for Cities and Territories)
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Review
Seeing the Forest for the Trees: A Review-Based Framework for Better Harmonization of Timber Production, Biodiversity, and Recreation in Boreal Urban Forests
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(4), 113; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci3040113 - 13 Dec 2019
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 860
Abstract
Forested lands serve multiple needs, and the priorities that go into balancing the competing demands can vary over time. In addition to being the source of timber and other natural resources, forested lands provide a number of other services such as biodiversity conservation [...] Read more.
Forested lands serve multiple needs, and the priorities that go into balancing the competing demands can vary over time. In addition to being the source of timber and other natural resources, forested lands provide a number of other services such as biodiversity conservation and opportunities for outdoor recreation. While allocations that enhance conservation and recreation can involve expenses and lost revenue, mechanisms exist to provide landowners with incentives to make such contributions. Here, we review the literature and present a conceptual framework that can help landowners envision possible contributions towards bolstering outdoor recreation opportunities on their lands. The framework classifies forests within a simple conceptual space defined by two axes: (1) the spectrum of intensity of recreational use, and (2) the level of economic contribution required by landowners to meet recreational demands of visitors to their lands. The resulting matrix consists of four broad categories that can be used in forest management zoning as seen from an outdoor recreation perspective: general and special considerations for recreational opportunities and biodiversity, wilderness and nature reserves, and service areas. These categories have different tolerances for active silviculture and require shifting harvest practices spatially within the forest property. While timber revenues may decrease with shifting allocations, other sources of revenue may open up. With an increasingly urban population and rising demands for natural resources, it is prudent for landowners and land use planners to consider zoning their properties to better handle potential conflicts. The framework presented here provides a simple, structured approach to visualize future challenges and opportunities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature & Culture for Cities and Territories)
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Other

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Case Report
Built Cultural Heritage Recording and Evaluation in the Traditional Settlement of Siatista in Greece: Functional and Institutional Proposals for Conservation
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(3), 95; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci3030095 - 26 Aug 2019
Viewed by 1576
Abstract
This case report explores the town of Siatista (located in the Western Macedonia Region—Greece), which is designated as a “traditional settlement”. The paper argues that, despite the relevant legislation that designated 400 settlements in Greece as “traditional settlements” and put them under protection, [...] Read more.
This case report explores the town of Siatista (located in the Western Macedonia Region—Greece), which is designated as a “traditional settlement”. The paper argues that, despite the relevant legislation that designated 400 settlements in Greece as “traditional settlements” and put them under protection, Siatista has no delimited traditional section. Through the years, new house typologies, demolitions, and alterations of its urban form have appeared, and Siatista has lost its identity. Having as an ultimate goal to identify proper planning guidelines and regulations for the preservation of Siatista’s built heritage, the methodology used in the paper includes the following steps: (a) recording and codification of the key legislation for the protection of Siatista, including the official urban plans (and their revisions); (b) identification and mapping of the urban form and spatial characteristics of Siatista (existing land uses, house typology, etc.); (c) identification of the alterations of the urban form and the demolitions, mainly with the use of aerial photos (1960–2014); and (d) creation of a map presenting the remaining built heritage per degree of evaluation. Following the analysis of the existing situation and the identification of the key challenges, the paper ends by defining and delimitating the well-preserved section of the town (proposing stricter rules and regulations for its preservation). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature & Culture for Cities and Territories)
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