Sustainable cities and human settlements

Background: Ambient air pollution is a major environmental cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. Cities are generally hotspots for air pollution and disease. However, the exact extent of the health effects of air pollution at the city level is still largely unknown. We aimed to estimate the proportion of annual preventable deaths due to air pollution in almost 1000 cities in Europe.
The climate emergency and population growth are challenging water security and sustainable urban design in cities worldwide. Sustainable urban development is crucial to minimise pressures on the natural environment and on existing urban infrastructure systems, including water, energy, and land. These pressures are particularly evident in London, which is considered highly vulnerable to water shortages and floods and where there has been a historical shortage of housing. However, the impacts of urban growth on environmental management and protection are complex and difficult to evaluate.
Electric vehicles (EVs) are widely regarded as the key to finally making private mobility clean, yet virtually no research is being conducted on their potential contribution to the expansion of impervious surfaces. This study aims to start a discussion on the topic by exploring three relevant issues: the impact of EVs’ operating costs on urban size, the space requirements of charging facilities, the land demand of energy production through renewables.
The COVID-19 pandemic has stalled and rolled back progress on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Ecosystem services (ESs), defined as the contributions of ecosystems to human well-being, underpin the achievement of SDGs. To promote SDG achievement in post-pandemic era, we teased out the links between ESs and SDGs while examining the impact of COVID-19. We found that ESs benefited all SDGs, yet man-made pressures led to degradation of ecosystems and their services. There is broad consensus that the virus lurks in degraded ecosystems and generates spillover due to human interference.
This study presents a critical review analysis of greenery systems research through a bibliometric approach. The purpose of this study is to provide a holistic overview by (i) the development of the field; (ii) the research trends and the main issues; and (iii) the main gaps still observed in the literature. Therefore, this paper provides the past, the present and the potential future of this scientific topic and serves as an orientation and guide for researchers who aim for a better understanding of the main progress and gaps.
Building and Environment will host a series of free webinars on COVID-19 Control. The second webinar of the series will feature 2 presentations from experts in the field on the following topics: COVID-19 and indoor and outdoor sports, presented by Bert Blocken, Professor of Civil Engineering, Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands & KU Leuven, Belgium. Efficient reduction of airborne transmission by advanced ventilation, presented by Arsen K. Melikov, Professor of Ventilation and Air Distribution, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark.
These are uncertain times in the Anthropocene, where the health and resilience of all urban inhabitants should be key themes for cities striving for sustainability. To this end, local councils in Australia are applying digital technologies with increasing complexity as components of their urban forest management. This paper applies a more-than-human lens to analyse Australian local council urban forest policies, documents and project information for their inclusion and application of digital technologies.
Buildings consume vast amounts of energy and pollute the environment in various ways. Façade is a part of building's architecture that can play a significant role in reducing energy consumption, as well as alleviating its negative environmental effects. Although using smart materials in buildings' facades can help dramatically to attain the mentioned goals, very limited studies have been conducted regarding the mentioned issues. Moreover, existing studies have investigated only a few number of smart materials simultaneously.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Volume 26, December 2020
Food waste valorization is a hot topic due to the cornucopia of waste generated and the ensuing detrimental environmental effects. Food is lost or wasted in a variety of means on its way from field to mouth. Once deemed inedible, it is considered a waste, but it still contains first-rate organic material that can be processed and used to create a host of new products, chemicals, or energy. Upgrading food wastes can be performed in a variety of processes.
Deterioration of water quality due to economic development, climate change and other factors has become a challenge to human beings and the ecosystem. Most countries have recognized this problem and have resorted to actions for improving water quality. However, the effect on water quality improvements due to these actions is uncertain due to the plausibility of multiple scenarios like climate change scenarios and socio- economic scenarios.

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