Sustainable cities and human settlements

Elsevier, Energy and Buildings, Volume 103, 15 September 2015
It is well known that there is a need to develop technologies to achieve thermal comfort in buildings lowering the cooling and heating demand. Research has shown that thermal energy storage (TES) is a way to do so, but also other purposes can be pursued when using TES in buildings, such as peak shaving or increase of energy efficiency in HVAC systems. This paper reviews TES in buildings using sensible, latent heat and thermochemical energy storage.
Urban green space, such as parks, forests, green roofs, streams, and community gardens, provides critical ecosystem services. Green space also promotes physical activity, psychological well-being, and the general public health of urban residents. This paper reviews the Anglo-American literature on urban green space, especially parks, and compares efforts to green US and Chinese cities. Most studies reveal that the distribution of such space often disproportionately benefits predominantly White and more affluent communities.
Recent research and professional interest in planning for sustainable and resilient cities emphasizes the assessment of a broad spectrum of urban ecosystem services. While such assessments are useful to establish specific benchmarks, and for measuring progress toward sustainability and resilience goals, they do not motivate, or support the innovations required to provide specific ecosystem services as an intentional part of routine urban and infrastructure development activity by municipalities and professionals.
Building toilets and getting people to use them is critical for public health. We deployed a political ecology approach specifically to identify the multi-scalar political, economic, and environmental factors influencing toilet adoption in rural India. The research used ethnographic and technical methods in rural villages of West Bengal and Himachal Pradesh over the period September 2012 to May 2013.
Elsevier, International Economics, Volume 134, August 2013
The economic crises seems blinding the governments and major economic actors toward environmental troubles. Nevertheless, the impacts of population growth and economic expansion have now the potential to disrupt important regulatory functions of global ecological systems. Green growth involves transforming the production and consumption processes in order to maintain or restore these regulatory functions of the planet's natural capital. It requires that environmental facto rs be treated as an essential factor of production and not merely an externality.
Elsevier, Transport Policy, Volume 20, March 2012
The late 1990s and early 2000s witnessed a growing interest amongst UK academics and policy makers in the issue of transport disadvantage and, more innovatively, how this might relate to growing concerns about the social exclusion of low income groups and communities. Studies (predominantly in the United Kingdom) began to make more explicit the links policy between poverty, transport disadvantage, access to key services and economic and social exclusion (see for example Church and Frost, 2000; .
This chapter supports SDGs 3, 11, and 16 by exploring ways of improving shelter provision for refugees through better coordination of humanitarian agencies, the development of minimum standards, and enhanced self-help housing strategies.
Urban forests are integral components of urban ecosystems, which could generate significant ecosystem services, such as offsetting carbon emission, removing air pollutants, regulating the microclimate, and recreation. These ecosystem services contribute to improving environmental quality, quality of life, and sustainable urban development. Despite a long history of inserting vegetation in human settlements in China, modern scientific study of this natural-cum-cultural resource did not start until the 1990s.

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