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The Territorial Sustainability Approach in the European and International Framework

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainability in Geographic Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021) | Viewed by 3431

Special Issue Editors

Department of Management and Law, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, 00133 Rome, Italy
Interests: climate change; green economy; territorial impact assessment; soft governance mechanism

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sustainable development considered in its economic, social, and environmental dimension has declined, at an international level, according to the 17 sustainable development goals (SDG), and at the European level, it is regarded as an essential element with respect to any choice of policy and territorial planning. However, territorial evidence shows that the same sustainability action can produce different effects depending on the territorial context (metropolitan city, internal area, cross-border area, etc.) where it will be implemented. Nevertheless, sustainable policy/planning choices (from an economic, social, and environmental point of view) may not be efficient if not territorialized. Thus, the need emerges to promote sustainability actions within the framework of new approaches integrated both on the side of the cities that assume the role of sustainability engines and on that of the companies called toward more and sustainable management and production choices in relation to the specific context in which they operate.

The choice between the possible sustainability actions to be implemented passes through a territorial impact assessment process that evaluates, in advance, the different impacts that the same policy generates in each context or geographical–functional specificity.

The purpose of this Special Issue is to collect contributions from different disciplines (geographic, corporate, legal, economic, etc.) to identify where convergences and nonconvergences occur. In particular, the objective is to examine the territorial impacts of the sustainability choices implemented in different geographical–functional contexts (urban, rural, metropolitan, mountain areas, etc.) in relation to business and production choices also conditioned by a legislative system in national contexts and regions with regard to the Europeanization process.

Relevant topics include but are not limited to the following areas:

  • Sustainability dimensions (economic, social, environmental);
  • Adaptation and mitigation to climate change (best practices, indicators, assessment);
  • Europeanization process;
  • Energy policy;
  • Smart cities
  • Sustainability risk assessment;
  • Sustainability management approach (matrix of sustainability, green marketing, reporting activities, etc.);
  • Innovation value and circular economy;
  • Sustainable procurement for the private and public sector;
  • Best practices of sustainable territorial operation management;
  • Sustainable Development and Global Value Chain.

Scholars from different fields are invited to present both theoretical and empirical research contributions on these issues. Interdisciplinary contributions are welcome both with a qualitative and a quantitative approach.

Papers selected for this Special Issue will be subject to a rigorous peer review procedure with the aim of a rapid and wide dissemination of research results, developments, and applications. 

Prof. Dr. Andrea Appolloni
Dr. Maria Coronato
Guest Editors

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.


  • sustainability policy choices
  • cities and enterprises as a motor of sustainable development
  • functional regions
  • sustainability in the SME activities
  • sustainable public procurement
  • green public procurement
  • circular economy for innovation

Published Papers (1 paper)

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21 pages, 2336 KiB  
Effectiveness of the Portugal 2020 Programme: A Study from the Citizens’ Perspective
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 5799; - 21 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2735
The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are the main instrument of the European Union (EU) Cohesion Policy to promote convergence, economic growth and reduce imbalances between EU members. The objectives of the 2014–2020 programming period follow the agenda of the Europe 2020 [...] Read more.
The European Structural and Investment Funds (ESIF) are the main instrument of the European Union (EU) Cohesion Policy to promote convergence, economic growth and reduce imbalances between EU members. The objectives of the 2014–2020 programming period follow the agenda of the Europe 2020 Strategy to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth of EU members. Since before joining the EU, in 1986, until the end of the Portugal 2020 Partnership Agreement (PT2020), Portugal will have received more than EUR 130 billion. Have the subsidies that Portugal has received been well applied? Our study fills a gap in the literature by portraying citizens’ perceptions about the effectiveness of EU funds for the development of the country and its regions. The study is quantitative in nature, and a non-probabilistic sample of 1119 participants answered our survey. A high proportion (76%) of the respondents considered that EU funds contributed to the development of the region where they live, although a significant percentage of the respondents (more than half) considered that there may be corruption in Portugal. The Portuguese also mentioned the existence of practices such as favouritism and lobbying regarding the approval of projects. Our findings are supported by the literature, which refers to “lost opportunities” in the inefficient application of ESIF, while recognising that EU funds have played a significant role in Portugal’s development over the last three decades. Full article
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