Making smarter, more sustainable cities

Park life. Taken in liberty State Park NJ summer 2018

— By Rossella Rebecchi

Solutions for tomorrow, today

The OECD predicts nine billion people will live in cities by 2100. Sustainable alternatives to fossil energy, cleaner production processes, healthier air and the reduction of ground-level ozone and emissions are now the urgent goals of urban environments worldwide — alternatives that the new journal Frontiers in Sustainable Cities aims to explore and share.

Better living, better planet

Specialty Chief Editor James Evans, Professor of Human Geography at the University of Manchester points to the pressing need to meet these challenges. “Politicians, communities and businesses increasingly agree that problems like air quality, poor health and climate change need to be addressed in cities. They also largely agree on what the solutions are, as many of them have been successfully trialed.  The problem is that change is not happening at anywhere near the scale and pace required. I would like to see this journal push the boundaries of how we understand and promote cities of all types around the world.”

Professors Kinney and Vardoulakis, Chief Editors for Health and Cities highlight “non-communicable diseases including heart disease and diabetes are more and more preponderant in cities due to pollution and behavioral factors such as sedentary lifestyles and poor diet. But cities also have the potential to improve global health by providing improved access to health care, employment and education. Climate change can also be mitigated through more energy efficient, greener and more compact cities.”

Frontiers in Sustainable Cities, a new journal

Frontiers in Sustainable Cities brings together some of the most cutting-edge research on our planet’s urban future from economics, public health, ecology and natural sciences, to sociology, energy engineering and architecture.

The journal features three specialties led by five of the most influential researchers in their fields:

Inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary collaboration

“Urban sustainability is by definition a highly interdisciplinary topic. Cities are complex phenomena made up of institutions, communities, buildings, infrastructure and ecosystems, while sustainability is about understanding economic, social and environmental processes. One of the biggest challenges for urban sustainability researchers involves bringing together the range of expertise and methods that are required,” says Professor Evans.

“It’s impossible to enjoy healthy food without investing resources in cleaner production. It’s also impossible to have a stable and happy community without ensuring equitable access to basic resources. As a consequence, the way we manage our resources is likely to affect (and be affected by) education, democracy, stability, sense of belonging, and fair interaction with surrounding areas and populations,” says Sergio Ulgiati, Professor of Life Cyle Assessment and General System Theory.

Open Access: a crucial piece of the Urban Revolution puzzle

To accelerate the potential of research to propel change in urban environments to make them fit for the future, making findings available to all is critical. The journal is set to expand into more specialties which will be available soon including on social inclusion, sustainable infrastructures, urban smart technologies and much more.

Frontiers in Sustainable Cities is now open for submissions and welcomes high-quality articles and Research Topic proposals on sustainable urban environments.

Three Research Topics are currently open for submissions:

Platform Urbanism and the Governance of Cities led by James Evans, Bas Van Heur and Andy Karvonen

Urban Metabolism Options and Trends, between growth and degrowth led by Sergio Ulgiati and Amalia Zucaro

Reciprocal impacts: Human Behaviour and Urban Resilience led by Elise Amel and John Fraser

To stay up-to-date, follow Frontiers in Sustainable Cities on Twitter and sign up to article alerts to receive the latest research directly to your inbox.

Frontiers journals lead in citations and rank in top Impact Factor and CiteScore percentiles. See full analysis

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