Toward Equitable, Low-Carbon, and Liveable Cities: Quantitation, Effects Analysis, and Optimization of the Indoor and Outdoor Built Environment

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309). This special issue belongs to the section "Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (22 April 2024) | Viewed by 3945

Special Issue Editors

1. School of Architecture and Art, Central South University, Changsha 410082, China
2. Department of Urban Planning and Design, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
Interests: urban vitality; urban heat island; air quality; the application of the geographical open data in urban and environmental studies
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Urban Planning and Design, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong 999077, China
Interests: urban economics; air pollution; urban heat island; climate change
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

With rapid urbanization and soaring energy consumption worldwide, severe urban problems, including environmental degradation, climate change, social inequality, and adverse health outcomes, have received growing attention from researchers, policymakers, as well as the general public. Against this background, efforts have been made in the fields of urban planning, architecture, and construction to assess and analyze the impacts and drivings forces of urban environmental and social issues such as indoor and outdoor air pollution, carbon emissions, urban heat islands (UHI) effect, and environmental injustice. However, existing studies on such topics are often conducted based on conventional datasets with constrained spatial-temporal extents, limiting the potential applicability of their results.

Recently, the increasing availability of fine-scale geospatial data (e.g., remote/social sensing data) and smart technologies (e.g., wearable devices and computer vision), combined with novel analytical approaches, has largely overcome the limits presented in conventional studies and created new opportunities to address urban issues related to environmental and social sustainability. This special issue aims to offer a platform for sharing up-to-date knowledge on promoting equitable, low-carbon, and liveable cities from the perspective of new quantitation, effects analysis, and optimization of the building environment. The findings are expected to carry rich policy or practice implications for sustainable urban planning strategies and green building technologies.

Specifically, we aim to collect high-standard original theoretical or empirical research, case studies, and review papers with potential topics including but not limited to 1)The relationship between urban geometry/form and building sector energy consumption; 2) Carbon emission reduction strategies in the building sector (construction, operation, and demolition); 3) 3D urban/building morphology and UHI effect; 4) The outdoor and indoor building environment and their health and environmental effect; 5) The spatial characteristics and human perception of the built environment and associated environmental justice.

Dr. Anqi Zhang
Dr. Yifu Ou
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • building environment
  • quantification
  • environmental effect
  • carbon emission
  • air pollution
  • urban heat islands
  • environmental justice
  • indoor and outdoor environment

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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18 pages, 27411 KiB  
Article
Understanding Urban Residents’ Walking Exercise Preferences: An Empirical Study Using Street View Images and Trajectory Data
by Jiawei Zhu, Bo Li, Hao Ouyang, Yuhan Wang and Ziyue Bai
Buildings 2024, 14(2), 549; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14020549 - 19 Feb 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 781
Abstract
Walking exercise is a prevalent physical activity in urban areas, with streetscapes playing a significant role in shaping preferences. Understanding this influence is essential for creating urban environments conducive to walking exercise and improving residents’ quality of life. In this study, we utilize [...] Read more.
Walking exercise is a prevalent physical activity in urban areas, with streetscapes playing a significant role in shaping preferences. Understanding this influence is essential for creating urban environments conducive to walking exercise and improving residents’ quality of life. In this study, we utilize scenic beauty estimation and deep learning methods, leveraging street view images and walking exercise trajectories to analyze this influence from a human-centric perspective. We begin by generating sampling points along streets covered by trajectories and acquiring street view images. Subsequently, we apply a deep learning model to segment the images, yielding six visual indicators. Additionally, we use scenic beauty estimation to derive the seventh visual indicator. Finally, we match these indicators with trajectory data to implement preference analysis. The main findings are: (1) preferences for walking and running exercises differ on multiple indicators; (2) there are gender distinctions, with males preferring openness and females prioritizing enclosed spaces; (3) age plays a role, with those aged 30–40 preferring openness and those aged 40–50 preferring enclosed spaces; (4) preferences for different indicators vary over time and across different locations. These insights can inform policymakers in tailoring urban planning and design to specific population segments and promoting sustainable residential landscapes. Full article
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13 pages, 1840 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Building Environment and Urban Green Space Features on Urban Air Quality: Focusing on Interaction Effects and Nonlinearity
by Binsheng Wu and Chunqing Liu
Buildings 2023, 13(12), 3111; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13123111 - 15 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1589
Abstract
Air pollution is a rising environmental concern that has detrimental effects on human health and the environment. Building environment and urban green space features play a crucial role in the dispersion and accumulation of air pollutants. This study examines the impacts of building [...] Read more.
Air pollution is a rising environmental concern that has detrimental effects on human health and the environment. Building environment and urban green space features play a crucial role in the dispersion and accumulation of air pollutants. This study examines the impacts of building environment and urban green space on air pollution levels in the highly urbanized city of Hong Kong, focusing on their interaction effects and potential nonlinearity. For the analysis, this paper investigates how building density, building height, building types, urban green space size, and number of urban green space clusters, as well as their interplays, impact PM2.5 concentrations using high-resolution, satellite-based PM2.5 grids coupled with spatial analysis techniques. The findings reveal that a unit increase in the size of urban green space and the standard deviation of building height contribute to a 0.0004 and a 0.0154 reduction in PM levels, respectively. In contrast, air pollution levels are found to be positively associated with building density (0.1117), scatteredness of urban green space (0.0003), and share of commercial buildings (1.0158). Moreover, it has been found that building height presents a U-shape relationship with PM2.5 concentrations. Finally, the negative association between the size of urban green space and air pollution levels tends to be enlarged in districts with more low-rise buildings. This study conveys important building environment and urban green space planning implications. Full article
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Review

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33 pages, 982 KiB  
Review
Walking Behavior of Older Adults and Air Pollution: The Contribution of the Built Environment
by Mohammad Paydar, Asal Kamani Fard and Soheil Sabri
Buildings 2023, 13(12), 3135; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13123135 - 18 Dec 2023
Viewed by 975
Abstract
Although an increase in walking is recommended to improve physical activity and public health, especially among older adults, the frequency of outdoor pedestrian activities, including walking, should be reduced when there is increased air pollution. There is limited understanding of the inter-relationships between [...] Read more.
Although an increase in walking is recommended to improve physical activity and public health, especially among older adults, the frequency of outdoor pedestrian activities, including walking, should be reduced when there is increased air pollution. There is limited understanding of the inter-relationships between two research fields, namely, older adults walking behavior and air pollution. This study investigates these factors and identifies their relationships with associated built environment factors. More than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles that met the selection criteria were analyzed. The factors pertaining to air pollution in the built environment were classified based on the scale of the urban environment. Comparing the built environment factors related to both fields of study, several common features such as the type of street enclosure (urban spatial), sky view factor (urban spatial), percentage of front gardens (urban design), and land use patterns were identified. Furthermore, we found that it is important to understand how the subjective/objective measures of the urban-design-related factors identified on the street are linked to air pollution at both street and neighborhood scales. A wide range of urban vegetation factors (pattern, size, and density) in both fields of study at a street scale were also identified. These inter-relationships need to be examined by future studies to get a clearer picture of the factors which might improve walking behavior among older adults while reducing the air pollution in urban environments. Full article
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