Special Issue "Urban Green and Blue Infrastructure: Current Issues, Challenges, and Opportunities"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Water Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Anne WM Ng
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Guest Editor
College of Engineering, IT & Environment, Charles Darwin University, Darwin 0810, Australia
Interests: green infrastructure; urban heat island; smart and sustainable buildings; green buildings; water resources management; eco system services (ESS); green walls; green roof; river water quality modelling
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Nitin Muttil
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Engineering and Science, Victoria University, Melbourne 8001, Australia
Interests: water-sensitive urban design; urban water management; smart and livable cities; climate change impacts on water resources
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Muhammad Atiq Ur Rehman Tariq
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With the effects of climate change becoming both more prominent and more noticeable, extreme rainfall events are becoming an inevitable reality. Additionally, in recent years, recorded data have shown that cities around the world will experience more heat waves. Such frequent events will increase the risk of hospitalisation for more people, which will obviously have a huge impact on existing hospital systems.

In order to mitigate the above problems, many applications of various green and/or blue infrastructure strategies have become more popular. However, these strategies come with many challenges and issues that limit their ability to mitigate the urban heat island effect and reduce heat stress, improve stormwater management, retard runoff attenuation, and enhance livability and wellbeing. These challenges include but are not limited to maintenance and costs (both long-term and short-term), implicit government support and regulations, safety of roof structural design and construction, roof leakage, clear standards and guidelines, and climate tolerate vegetation. 

This Special Issue aims to share research findings from experts around the world on the applications of green and/or blue infrastructure to improve livability, mitigate the urban heat island (UHI), and reduce flooding. More specifically, the issue’s focus is on the challenges and issues that hinder the success of using green and/or blue infrastructure. This submission is not limited to the following:

  • Lessons learnt in various aspects in design, construct, and maintenance of green roofs, green walls, cool roofs and wetlands/pond;
  • Enhancement of livability using green and/or blue infrastructure;
  • Water sensitive urban design strategies;
  • Government policies and regulations on green and/or blue infrastructure.

Dr. Anne WM Ng
Dr. Nitin Muttil
Dr. Muhammad Atiq Ur Rehman Tariq
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. Water 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 2200 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 heat island
  • stormwater management
  • green infrastructures
  • liveability
  • green roofs
  • green walls

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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Article
Culex Mosquitoes at Stormwater Control Measures and Combined Sewer Overflow Outfalls after Heavy Rainfall
Water 2022, 14(1), 31; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/w14010031 - 23 Dec 2021
Viewed by 425
Abstract
Mosquito borne diseases are increasingly problematic as climate change continues to alter patterns of precipitation, flooding, and temperatures that may favor mosquito habitats. Stormwater control measures (SCMs), ecologically sustainable methods of stormwater management, may have varying impacts on Culex mosquitoes, such as in [...] Read more.
Mosquito borne diseases are increasingly problematic as climate change continues to alter patterns of precipitation, flooding, and temperatures that may favor mosquito habitats. Stormwater control measures (SCMs), ecologically sustainable methods of stormwater management, may have varying impacts on Culex mosquitoes, such as in areas with combined sewer overflows (CSOs). We studied spatial and temporal associations of SCMs and Culex mosquito counts surrounding the SCMs, stratifying our examination amongst those that do/do not use pooling and/or vegetation, as well as surrounding CSO outfalls after heavy rainfall (≥95th percentile) during summer 2018. Results indicate Culex mosquito counts after heavy rainfall were not significantly different at SCMs that use vegetation and/or ponding from at those that do not. We also found a 35.5% reduction in the increase of Culex mosquitoes the day of, and 77.0% reduction 7–8 days after, heavy rainfall at CSO outfalls treated with medium SCM density compared to those without SCMs. Our results suggest that SCMs may be associated with a reduction in the increase of Culex mosquitoes at the CSO outfalls after heavy rainfall. More research is needed to study how the impacts of SCMs on mosquito populations may affect human health. Full article
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Review

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Review
Quantifying the Benefits and Ecosystem Services Provided by Green Roofs—A Review
Water 2022, 14(1), 68; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/w14010068 - 31 Dec 2021
Viewed by 205
Abstract
Water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) has been widely used in cities to mitigate the negative consequences of urbanization and climate change. One of the WSUD strategies that is becoming popular is green roofs (GR) which offer a wide range of ecosystem services. Research on [...] Read more.
Water-sensitive urban design (WSUD) has been widely used in cities to mitigate the negative consequences of urbanization and climate change. One of the WSUD strategies that is becoming popular is green roofs (GR) which offer a wide range of ecosystem services. Research on this WSUD strategy has been continuously increasing in terms of both quantity and quality. This paper presents a comprehensive review quantifying the benefits of GRs in papers published since 2010. More precisely, this review aims to provide up-to-date information about each GR benefit and how they have improved over the last decade. In agreement with previous reviews, extensive GRs were considerably researched, as compared to very limited studies on intensive and semi-intensive GRs. Each GR ecosystem service was specifically quantified, and an imbalance of GR research focus was identified, wherein urban heat- and runoff-related benefits were outstandingly popular when compared to other benefits. The results also highlight the recent introduction of hybrid GRs, which demonstrated improvements in GR performance. Furthermore, limitations of GRs, obstacles to their uptake, and inconsistent research findings were also identified in this review. Accordingly, opportunities for future research were pointed out in this review. This paper also recommends future studies to improve upon well-known GR benefits by exploring and applying more innovative GR construction techniques and materials. At the same time, further studies need to be undertaken on inadequately studied GR benefits, such as reduced noise and air pollution. In spite of the existence of reliable modelling tools, their application to study the effects of large-scale implementations of GRs has been restricted. Insufficient information from such research is likely to restrict large-scale implementations of GRs. As a result, further studies are required to transform the GR concept into one of the widely accepted and implemented WSUD strategies. Full article
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Review
Urban Wetlands: A Review on Ecological and Cultural Values
Water 2021, 13(22), 3301; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/w13223301 - 22 Nov 2021
Viewed by 556
Abstract
Wetlands are a critical part of natural environments that offer a wide range of ecosystem services. In urban areas, wetlands contribute to the livability of cities through improving the water quality, carbon sequestration, providing habitats for wildlife species, reducing the effects of urban [...] Read more.
Wetlands are a critical part of natural environments that offer a wide range of ecosystem services. In urban areas, wetlands contribute to the livability of cities through improving the water quality, carbon sequestration, providing habitats for wildlife species, reducing the effects of urban heat islands, and creating recreation opportunities. However, maintaining wetlands in urban areas faces many challenges, such as the reduction of hydrological functions, changed water regimes due to barriers, contamination by wastewater, habitat loss due to land-use change, and loss of biodiversity due to the entry of alien species. In this article, we review the theoretical background of wetlands in urban areas through the existing studies in the literature. We provide knowledge on urban wetlands and highlight the benefits of these wetlands in urban areas. These benefits include sustainability, biodiversity, urban heat islands, social perception, and recreation values. We also summarize the objectives, methodologies, and findings of the reviewed articles in five tables. In addition, we summarize the critical research gaps addressed in the reviewed articles. Our review study addresses the research gaps by performing a rigorous analysis to identify significant open research challenges, showing the path toward future research in the field. We further discuss and highlight the role of policymakers and stakeholders in preserving wetlands and finally present our conclusions. Full article
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Review
Green Infrastructure as an Urban Heat Island Mitigation Strategy—A Review
Water 2020, 12(12), 3577; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/w12123577 - 20 Dec 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1779
Abstract
Research on urban heat mitigation has been growing in recent years with many of the studies focusing on green infrastructure (GI) as a strategy to mitigate the adverse effects of an urban heat island (UHI). This paper aims at presenting a review of [...] Read more.
Research on urban heat mitigation has been growing in recent years with many of the studies focusing on green infrastructure (GI) as a strategy to mitigate the adverse effects of an urban heat island (UHI). This paper aims at presenting a review of the range of findings from GI research for urban heat mitigation through a review of scientific articles published during the years 2009–2020. This research includes a review of the different types of GI and its contribution for urban heat mitigation and human thermal comfort. In addition to analysing different mitigation strategies, numerical simulation tools that are commonly used are also reviewed. It is seen that ENVI-met is one of the modelling tools that is considered as a reliable to simulate different mitigation strategies and hence has been widely used in the recent past. Considering its popularity in urban microclimate studies, this article also provides a review of ENVI-met simulation results that were reported in the reviewed papers. It was observed that the majority of the research was conducted on a limited spatial scale and focused on temperature and human thermal comfort. Full article
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Review
Approaches to Multi-Objective Optimization and Assessment of Green Infrastructure and Their Multi-Functional Effectiveness: A Review
Water 2020, 12(10), 2714; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/w12102714 - 28 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1098
Abstract
Green infrastructure (GI) is a contemporary area of research worldwide, with the implementation of the findings alleviating issues globally. As a supplement and alternative to gray infrastructure, GI has multiple integrated benefits. Multi-objective GI optimization seeks to provide maximum integrated benefits. The purpose [...] Read more.
Green infrastructure (GI) is a contemporary area of research worldwide, with the implementation of the findings alleviating issues globally. As a supplement and alternative to gray infrastructure, GI has multiple integrated benefits. Multi-objective GI optimization seeks to provide maximum integrated benefits. The purpose of this review is to highlight the integrated multifunctional effectiveness of GI and to summarize its multi-objective optimization methodology. Here, the multifunctional effectiveness of GI in hydrology, energy, climate, environment, ecology, and humanities as well as their interrelationships are summarized. Then, the main components of GI multi-objective optimization including the spatial scale application, optimization objectives, decision variables, optimization methods and optimization procedure as well as their relationships and mathematical representation are examined. However, certain challenges still exist. There is no consensus on how to measure and optimize the integrated multi-functional effectiveness of GI. Future research directions such as enhancing integrated multi-objective assessment and optimization, improving life cycle analysis and life cycle cost, integrating benefits of GI based on future uncertainties and developing integrated green–gray infrastructure are discussed. This is vital for improving its integrated multifunctional effectiveness and the final decision-making of stakeholders. Full article
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