Sustainable cities and human settlements

In the US, land owners are liable for environmental impacts in relation to contaminated land. This Lexis Practice Advisor practice note explains what due diligence should be carried out in relation to the purchase of land/buildings to assess the environmental risk. Environmental due diligence advances SDG 3.9 to substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination, and generally supports SDG 11 Sustainable cities and SDG 15 Life on land.
The energy performance of buildings draw on a large body of operational data. Applying analytical tools, such as data mining technologies, enables high volumes of data to be examined and applied to be able to make improvements in energy performance. This paper highlights recent advances in the two main data mining tasks in the building field and clearly shows interconnectedness between SDG 11 Sustainable cities and communities and SDG 9 Industry, innovation and infrastructure.
Constructing and maintaining transportation infrastructure is very resource intensive and can have negative impacts on the environment. Reviewing geotechnical engineering in transport infrastructure highlights the transformation in the past twenty years to using more sophisticated technologies integrating sustainability principles. SDG target 11.2 aims to provide sustainable transport systems, which this article focuses on, in particular activities relevant to sustainable earthwork construction aimed at minimising the use of energy and production of CO2.
This paper discussed the main challenges and opportunities related to Active Distribution Networks (ADNs) control, with particular reference to voltage regulation and lines congestion management. Secondly it discusses the main principles and operation of the Grid Explicit Congestion Notification Mechanism (GECN). Examining ADNs improves understanding of SDG 7.
Physical inactivity kills more than 5 million people every year through its effects on multiple non-communicable diseases. As such, design of urban environments has the potential to contribute substantially to physical activity. This article documents how attributes of the urban environment are related to physical activity in an international sample of adults. The findings add strength to previous calls for policy changes in the urban planning, transport, and parks and recreation sectors to reduce the health burden of the global physical inactivity pandemic, directly supporting SDG 11 target 7.

Environmental Science & Policy, April 2016, Pages 123 - 130

‘Sustainability’ is strategically framed in the context of infrastructure governance in the Netherlands. The open-ended character of sustainability makes it a good discursive concept in governance of large-scale infrastructure projects. This paper discusses some of the implications of the dynamics of sustainability in today’s complex and multi-dimensional world of governance. Prioritising sustainability in infrastructure contributes to the advancement of SDG 9.1 to develop reliable and resilient infrastructure to support economic development and human well-being.
Public rental housing (PRH) projects are the mainstream of China's new affordable housing policies. This study proposes an assessment model of the integrated sustainability for PRH projects. Integration of sustainability in PRH projects like these can contribute to advancing SDG 11.3 to enhance sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries.
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.