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Special Issue "Sustainable Buildings and Cities"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Green Building".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2023 | Viewed by 607

Special Issue Editor

Canada Research Chair in Building Science, Professor - BeTOP Lab Director, Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, Toronto Metropolitan University, Toronto, ON, Canada
Interests: energy-efficient buildings; nearly zero-energy buildings; energy storage; advanced materials; nanotechnologies; phase change materials; climate change; resilient buildings
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is my great pleasure to invite you to submit your most recent research related to the promotion of sustainability in buildings and cities to this exciting Special Issue. The call for this Special Issue came from below in the direction of current study, as an avalanche of papers dealing with this topic have been submitted to Sustainability over the last few months. With the need to compile and present the recent research in this field evident, we were inspired to launch both this Special Issue and the WSF forum we will hold globally on September 14th, 2023.

International research has confirmed that the built environment is the most promising sector for a rapid transition to sustainability. In this scenario, many examples of sustainable urban environments show the advantages of sustainability. Meanwhile, an increasing demand for tools which are suitable for assessing built sustainability is recorded. The assessment of sustainability of the built environment is an essential step toward its promotion. However, large difficulties exist in creating useful and measurable assessment indicators. The possibility of assessing both products and processes for green buildings has been considered particularly important for a sector as inertial as that of the built environment.

Meanwhile, recent literature has discussed the importance of going beyond the sustainability assessment of single buildings and to enlarge the assessment scale to communities in a way that will cover all the different aspects of sustainability. In fact, a significant achievement in sustainability assessments has been the introduction of rating systems for urban design. These increase the assessment scale and allow for the consideration of aspects not accounted for at the building scale. Examples of some aspects of this are the flows and the synergies between initiatives within the built environment and the consequent social and economic effects of sustainability in the built environment. In this sense, the sustainability assessments of communities are proving to be much more than the summation of individual green elements as the scaling-up results in complex interactions. The need to go beyond the building-centric approach in sustainability assessments favours the discussion of new possible areas of sustainability assessment within the built environment.

In terms of the work we aim to host, it should seek to address a variety of questions, exemplified by the following:

Which are the recent targets (and indicators) proposed for sustainability assessment of buildings, neighbours and cities? Which are the characteristics of sustainability assessments of historical and existing buildings and cities? How should building assessments integrate and complement with community scale assessments of sustainability? How is material use optimization resolving the demand for energy saving targets in buildings?

These are just some of the questions that this Special Issue will try to address, but we aware that the theme for this Special Issue opens multi-scale and open-ended questions.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Buildings.

Dr. Umberto Berardi
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at 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. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 2400 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.


  • green cities
  • sustainable buildings
  • zero-energy buildings

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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