This issue covers the topic of sustainable cities and communities: a topic that is given due importance as one of the Sustainable Development Goals. The sustainability of cities and communities is facilitated through a series of actions that aim at improving the quality of life for urban residents, protecting the world’s cultural and natural heritage, enhancing sustainable urbanization, and supporting underdeveloped countries in building resilient cities, among others. This journal issue shall comprise of a number of topics that fall under the umbrella of sustainable cities and communities, which would allow us to encourage the adoption of diverse solutions for sustainability issues and further contribute to the paradigm of sustainable cities and communities. Such issues include, but not limited to, the questions of housing, slums upgrading, sustainable planning, and waste management. These issues require urgent solutions as they pose imminent dangers such as the outgrowth of slums, uncontrollable increase in carbon footprint, shortage of affordable housing, and depletion of non-renewable energy that could be used in a balanced and controlled basket of energies. The urgency needed to address such issues in today’s societies requires the implementation of innovative measures in planning, design, construction and management of cities and their resources. This is an endeavour for which the accumulation of scientific research in the topic in question is an absolute necessity.
With the pressing need for holistic solutions that can help in overcoming the imminent environmental and resources crises, a call for the conservation of natural resources and sustainable strategies is needed. Sustainable strategies allow for the mitigation against the impact of climate change on the environment while, simultaneously, seeking the health and comfort of users. Another environmental issue that is worthy of the attention of the scientific research community is the reduction of resources consumption, through the implementation of sustainable development concepts and the use of renewable sources of energy generation. These two aforementioned paradigms are both intrinsic in nature and essential for the thriving of humanity. Hence, this issue aims at investigating sustainable strategies and approaches for the preservation of natural resources through a variety of case studies.
This issue illustrates, through cases studies, how strategies such as biomimicry, shading devices, rooftop photovoltaic systems among others, can be integrated into the design of both industrial and residential buildings. The aim of such strategies is to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions while making use of renewable solar energy in reducing our dependency on energy intensive active building services systems such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). The issue also discusses the conservation of the most important of natural resources: freshwater. It highlights the issue of water scarcity and proposes a schema for the positioning of freshwater research.
The need to conserve our natural resources is very crucial to the support of human life by maintaining an ecological balance and ensuring that future generations will be able to access those resources. The challenges that our natural environment is facing today, such as pollution, global warming and resource depletion need to be given their due attention.
Heritage buildings can be the subjects of sustainable design projects that achieve outstanding measures of sustainability and energy efficiency while not compromising the authenticity of the heritage value of the building.
Yet, while heritage conservation process is already an act of sustainable development that protects and preserves heritage buildings and their intangible values, Cultural Heritage Preservation is almost absent in the sustainable development goals agendas.
This ESSD issue aims to encourage further dialogue, critical reflection and cross-disciplinary collaboration by bringing together examples of interesting projects and research that could provide a practically grounded approach.
The issue also seeks to publish papers with case studies of contribution approaches that render cultural heritage, both physical and non-physical, a stimulus for sustainable development. We welcome papers from a wide range of regulations and specifically encourage research that embraces approaches that go beyond disciplinary boundaries. We are also very keen on experimental ways in which heritage can contribute to achieve Sustainable Development Goals.
IEREK is pleased to invite scholars, researchers, students (undergraduate/postgraduate) that propose interdisciplinary methods and/or concepts to the contribution of cultural heritage to other aspects of sustainable development.
Contribution of Heritage Conservation to Sustainable Development
Deadline to submit: 1 November 2019
For each and every person to share a vision that involves experiencing a healthy and happy life within the fair utilization of earth’s resources while allowing space for the wilderness as well as wildlife, people have to adopt the principles of sustainable living. In other words, it must involve ways of living that advance good health and well-being while limiting destruction of the natural environment and wildlife.
Sustainable living is based on four main pillars namely minimizing waste, limiting the use of Earth’s natural resources, wise use of the environment, and ensuring quality working/living environments.
The sustainability of one’s home depends as much (if not more) on its location as on how the house is built. When we are looking to buy land or to buy (or rent) a house, we should consider the sustainability criteria when comparing the locations of different properties.
Living in an environmentally sensible and sustainable location has numerous benefits. You can reap significant financial savings (e.g., by reducing the amount of driving you have to do; or by avoiding or minimizing the need to build new infrastructure or to do extensive site grading). Location efficiency can also yield broad, collective benefits for society and our shared environment, such as:
The world environmental problems have suffered from a prolonged period of seclusion in the eyes of the global community. Nevertheless; after the world has experienced a leap in various disciplines, preserving the environment has become a universal concern. Consequently, discussing the issue of “Innovative approaches towards preserving the environment” is a conversation of critical importance to alternate the societal way of thinking, moreover; shedding the light on the focal role of academic research is crucial to start reaching goals, instead of counting failures. The dire state of the world environmental problems demands innovative solutions that have the ability to tackle complex issues. The society is obligated to adopt dynamic approaches to successfully address the matters at hand. For instance, if we look closely at the topic of climate change, it is quite apparent that the issue needs to be examined from different angles, and inventive solutions need to surface. The preservation of the environment is every person’s concern as it impacts climate change, biodiversity, energy efficiency, renewable energy, recycling, land degradation, natural resources protection, natural disaster rates and agricultural production. In order to reach a permanent solution, a set of skills and modernized knowledge of multiple fields need to be put in action, such as behavioral science, community involvement, politics and economics. The execution of the answers to numerous environmental problems must be implemented through harmoniously coordinating the efforts of the participants with their different backgrounds. The bearing of these solutions through time has to be achieved through acknowledging the complexity of the issues and the readiness to change the current hierarchy of the environmental management. Although the environmental issues are measurable, researchers are always faced with some level of scientific uncertainty, in addition to the uncontrollable factor of the ever-changing nature of the climate. Hence, society needs to adopt a dynamic mindset to flourish in prosperity.
1. Climate change adaptation and natural disaster
2. Innovative concept in energy efficiency in all disciplines
3. New technology in recycling and renewable energy
4. Biodiversity, agricultural production and land degradation
5. Natural resources protection
6. Footprint and technology for behavioral changes
7. Community involvement in sustainable development
8. Green economics and politics
9. Improving water quality and the efficiency of the sustainable use of water in all sectors
10. Intelligent systems in areas and buildings in the application of new and renewable energy
11. Integrated management for facing disasters
12. Education, awareness, human abilities and corporate abilities for reducing climate change
13. Developing and upgrading poor districts and slums for sustainable development
14. Protecting and preserving the cultural and natural heritage in a sustainable urban design
15. Methods of providing sustainable, safe and affordable means of transportation and safety
16. Finding renewable energy and achieving sustainable development for human settlements
17. Developing legislation concerning the improvement of environment and sustainable urbanism
18. Biomedical engineering culture and its impact on urban sustainability
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Activating sustainability concept in practices is a critical issue that achieves sustainable development of the whole cities. The sustainable city is a rather recent concept, which has managed to gain increasing attention over the last decades, both through the international community and through grass root movements. This special issue on Improving Sustainability Concept: From Theories to Successful Practices aims to explore how the sustainable city can be translated from theory to practice. Upon discussing the topic of urban planning, participants take a close look at the matter of living in an eco-city, as the concept regards the integration of land-use and transportation systems which is a solution to improve the efficiency of cities. Paying close attention to this issue allows for a balance between land-use and the environment, accordingly, the spread of land can continue but not on the expense of greenhouse gas emissions. It is believed that this balance could be achieved by adopting a long-term political engagement plan as retrieved from the experience of the cities who implemented customized strategic plans. The conflicting interest of growth is found to be an obstacle when it comes to applying radial strategies. Subsequently, governments avoid adopting these concepts and would rather think of them as a constant process.
The following topics are a part of the raised discussion on the concept of sustainability, but it also includes different themes according to authors’ interests:
1. Sustainable urban design
2. Mobility in urban design
3. Energy consumption
4. Energy performance simulation in design process
5. Materials and technology
6. Life cycle assessment for materials
7. Occupancy comfort
8. Energy efficiency in (heating–cooling–lighting)
9. Waste and water recycling
10. Economic efficiency and life cycle cost in building
11. Nature and green building challenges
12. Ecological and cultural sensitivity
13. Planning coastal areas and waterfronts
14. Sustainability indices In Architecture
15. Green Facades
16. Protect and restore water resources
17. Promote sustainable and regenerative material resources cycles
18. Build a greener economy
19. Enhance social equity, environmental justice and community quality of life
20. Renewable energy harvesting and biophysical matrix
21. Renewable energy production at community scale
22. Public awareness and education on renewable energy
23. Governance and policy making for renewable energy
24. City infrastructures and renewable energy distribution