Sustainable cities and human settlements

Growing media (substrate) is a fundamental part of a green roof, providing water, nutrients and support to plants. However, little research has reviewed how it affects plant performances in different climatic regions. This study aims to analyse published research on green roof growing medium across world's climate zones. Findings are structured according to Köppen–Geiger climate classification, aiming to investigate the prevalence of research conducted in different climate zones. Results from full-scale studies and laboratory or greenhouse experiments were reviewed.
A number of property companies are going beyond traditional corporate responsibility to be net positive. Instead of opting for sustainability strategies that manage risk and reduce negative impacts, these companies are seeking to put back more into society, the environment and the global economy than they take out. Whilst the breadth and scope of these net positive commitments made by real estate leaders vary, there is enormous opportunity for this sector with sustainability and in supporting SDG 7 and 13.
Assuming communities in a city may formally express their aspirations for the future sustainability of their city, which technological innovations for changing the city's infrastructure and metabolism might they introduce today, as a first step towards realizing their distant aspirations? What is more, recognizing the diversity of aspirations that may never be reconciled into a consensus, might some innovations and policy interventions be nevertheless more privileged than others, in being non-foreclosing? How might we discover this?
Sustainability theory shows that the sustainability problem is a value orientation problem. In a recent study, Klaas van Egmond identified an underlying pattern of a crossed circle, representing affirmative and adversative value orientations, whose disintegration engenders unsustainable tendencies. This article explicates how Shakespeare's allegories invite to quests for ‘values worthy of pursuit’, grounded upon a similar immanent cyclical pattern of value orientations, moving from and to the centre of Shakespeare's works.
Thirty years of public health research have demonstrated that improved indoor environmental quality is associated with better health outcomes. Recent research has demonstrated an impact of the indoor environment on cognitive function. We recruited 109 participants from 10 high-performing buildings (i.e. buildings surpassing the ASHRAE Standard 62.1–2010 ventilation requirement and with low total volatile organic compound concentrations) in five U.S. cities. In each city, buildings were matched by week of assessment, tenant, type of worker and work functions.
Massive slums have become major features of cities in many low-income and middle-income countries. Here, in the first in a Series of two papers, we discuss why slums are unhealthy places with especially high risks of infection and injury. We show that children are especially vulnerable, and that the combination of malnutrition and recurrent diarrhoea leads to stunted growth and longer-term effects on cognitive development. We find that the scientific literature on slum health is underdeveloped in comparison to urban health, and poverty and health.
In the first paper in this Series we assessed theoretical and empirical evidence and concluded that the health of people living in slums is a function not only of poverty but of intimately shared physical and social environments. In this paper we extend the theory of so-called neighbourhood effects. Slums offer high returns on investment because beneficial effects are shared across many people in densely populated neighbourhoods. Neighbourhood effects also help explain how and why the benefits of interventions vary between slum and non-slum spaces and between slums.
Natural World Heritage Sites (NWHS), via their formal designation through the United Nations, are globally recognized as containing some of the Earth's most valuable natural assets. Understanding changes in their ecological condition is essential for their ongoing preservation. Here we use two newly available globally consistent data sets that assess changes in human pressure (Human Footprint) and forest loss (Global Forest Watch) over time across the global network of terrestrial NWHS.
Background Controversy exists about the differences in air pollution exposure and inhalation dose between mode of transport. We aimed to review air pollution exposure and inhaled dose according to mode of transport and pollutant and their effect in terms of years of life expectancy (YLE).