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.
One of the most noteworthy lessons that the COVID-19 pandemic has offered us thus far is the realization of the urgent need for resilient infrastructure where the far-from-adequate infrastructure in many countries helped in exacerbating the situation during the early stages of the mass infection and contributed to the dilemmas resulting from such a pandemic. Besides this, our planet has paid a very high price for the issue of climate change over the past year where 2019, the last of the 2010- 2019 decade, was the second warmest year on record during the warmest decade ever recorded. This makes the call for sustainable solutions to mitigate against the impact of climate change a necessity. The widespread adoption of resilient infrastructure and solutions for the problem of climate change are among the notable Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN to be achieved by 2030. Against this background, this issue of our journal aims at discussing possible solutions and strategies that help structure the debate and push it towards the adoption of solutions that to achieve the aforementioned goals. This will be done through the discussion of related topics such as water pollution, environmentally sound technologies, greenhouse gas emissions, risks and challenges of climate change, and sustainable and resilient infrastructure. Through such a discussion, we aim to make a contribution to the efforts that attempt to inform the policymaking processes, design approaches and planning strategies through research-based evidence with a view to change them towards seeking a more sustainable, resilient and environmentally responsible future.