Sustainable cities and human settlements

Studies of waste-to-energy systems have applied a varying range of indicators to assess their sustainability. Through a literature review, this research aims to develop a framework of sustainability indicators that can serve as a reference for future research in waste-to-energy systems. Utilising this framework could helpd to advance SDG 7.2 to increase the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix.
Achieving SDG 11 will require new technologies and innovations to be deployed in the real-estate sector. Already blockchain and artificial intelligence form the foundations of smart buildings, using data on residents' personal preferences to be able to improve efficiency and comfort. This article explores the different technologies and innovations that provide significant untapped potential in the real estate sector.

Energy and Buildings, Volume 116, 15 March 2016, Pages 703-708

The smart grid's components
Target 11.6 aims to reduce the environmental impact of cities. Technological advances in electric power grid infrastructure, the smart grid, means a greener, more efficient and more adaptable grid. The relationship with the building and the community is explored in this paper to provide a contemporary look at the current state of the art in the potential of buildings and communities to be integrated in smart grids as well as to discuss the still-open research issues in this field.

Building and Environment, Volume 97, 15 February 2016, Pages 196-202

Heat map of simulated annual heating demand for South Boston using UMI (a) and daily gas and electricity demand profiles for the highlighted building in South Boston (b).
Targets to reduce GHG emissions in cities require significant political willpower. Transportation and industrial activity have varying contributing factors to GHG in cities, while emissions from buildings is always a key contributor. Understanding building emissions is important in achieving SDG 11 and SDG 13. This article reviews both individual building energy models and regional and country-level building stock models as a way of analysing the energy performance of neighbourhoods.
Key strategies to low energy buildings
The behaviour of a building's occupant has a significant impact on the energy consumption of that building. Behaviour patterns of building occupants are uncertain but social scientists have been studying behaviour patterns for decades. Drawing on this research, this paper explores advances and obstacles in modelling occupant behaviour and the impact this can have on measuring energy consumption. Target 11.6 is concerned with reducing the adverse impacts of cities, therefore understanding and being able to predict occupant behaviour will play an important role in achieving this target.
Membrane (bio)fouling is a major problem in separation and purification processes. This paper highlights recent advances in the design and development of highly resistant thin film composite membranes through surface modification. This is particularly relevant to SDG 6 (ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all) and the related innovations in design make this relevant for SDG 9 (build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation) as well.

Sustainable Materials and Technologies, Volume 9, 2016, Pages 10-40

The aim of the study was to revise the current literature concerning the application of low-cost adsorbents for wastewater treatment highlighting, systematically, both adsorbents characteristics and adsorption capacities. This is particularly relevant to address SDG 6 - Clean water and sanitation.
Granite Powder (GP) and Iron Powder (IP) are industrial byproducts generated from the granite polishing and milling industry in powder form respectively. These byproducts are left largely unused and are hazardous materials to human health because they are airborne and can be easily inhaled. This study, as well as studies in other countries, have shown the viability of producing concrete with granite powder and iron powder byproducts. This supports the advancement of SDG 9 and SDG 11.

Sustainable Cities and Society, Volume 19, December 2015, Pages 200-206

The growth in the world's population has both created and increased the size of existing mega cities. The raised temperatures of these cities, known as urban heat islands, contribute to increased pollution and health-related problems. SDG 11 aims to target urban populations - making their lives healthier and cities more sustainable. The studies of mitigation strategies in this article reveal areas of weakness in modeling designs and prediction stages to advance knowledge on SDG 11 and SDG 3.

Energy and Buildings, Volume 103, 15 September 2015, Pages 414-419

Thermal Energy Storage (TES) is a proven way to improve the energy efficiency of a building, which also has economic benefits. Given target 11.6 aims to reduce environmental impacts of cities, it is important to explore ways in which buildings can become more energy efficient. This article reviews both active and passive storage systems.