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Ecology of the Landscape Capital and Urban Capital

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (21 May 2024) | Viewed by 509

Special Issue Editor

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Guest Editor
Research Institute on Terrestrial Ecosystems (IRET-URT Lecce), National Research Council of Italy (CNR), Campus Ecotekne, 73100 Lecce, Italy
Interests: biodiversity; ecology; ecosystem services (ES); landscape and urban planning; strategic environmental assessment (SEA, Directive 2001/42/CE); geographic information systems (GIS)
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue aims to promote innovative research on the planning of green infrastructure and the impact assessment of ecosystem services by considering natural capital and human capital as components of an integrated part of an ecosystem, rather than as nested elements.

Land use change generated by human actions, such as through urbanization and agricultural use, leads to the simplification of biodiversity in the world, with an important loss of ecological biophysical structures and functions that support human well-being. Indeed, ecosystems provide important goods and services, defined as ecosystem services, that directly and indirectly are used by humans throughout our lives (De Groot et al., 2010).

Currently, there is a strong awareness of the need to develop human actions considering the carrying capacity of the ecosystems and the conservation of their ecological functions to support ecosystem services (Semeraro et al., 2021a). In this context, many European strategies and policies, such as Horizon 2020, the Biodiversity Strategy, and Climate adaptation strategies, promote the realization of green infrastructure and multifunction land use through the creation of natural and seminatural areas in landscapes and urban areas to support biodiversity networks and ecosystem service provisioning (COMM, 2013).

Many approaches to the assessment and planning of ecosystem services imply a separation between natural capital and the built capital of the landscape and urban areas without considering the added value generated by potential feedback or synergy between economic and social interest with ecological processes (Tan et al., 2020; Semeraro et al., 2021a). This can produce a gap between the realization of green infrastructure, ecological functions generated, and goods and services used by humans. Under these conditions, the landscape and urban system can be studied as a socioecological system characterized by the coevolution of ecological, economic, and social components, producing specific and distinctive features. Therefore, landscape evolution can be influenced by different values and the importance that humans give to biodiversity at a certain time, based on human needs, the manner that they use the goods and services, and their awareness of benefits (Semeraro et al., 2021b; 2021c;  Virapongse et al., 2016).

This Special Issue aims to address the integration of the concept of ecosystem services in landscape and urban planning, passing from the concept of "ecosystems in landscape and urban systems" to "landscape and urban systems as ecosystems", and implying a concept leap from "ecology in socioecological systems" to the "ecology of socioecological systems".


  1. De Groot, R.S.; Alkemade, R.; Braat, L.; Hein, L.; Willemen, L. Challenges in integrating the concept of ecosystem services and values in landscape planning, management and decision making. Ecol. Complex. 2010, 7, 260–272.
  1. European Commission (EC). Green Infrastructure (GI)—Enhancing Europe’s Natural Capital; Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions; European Commission: Brussels, Belgium, Brussels, 2013.
  1. Semeraro T.*, Radicchio R, Medagli P., Arzeni, A., Turco, A., Geneletti, D. Integration of Ecosystem Services in Strategic Environmental Assessment of a Peri-Urban Development Plan. Sustainability 2021a, 13, 122.
  1. Semeraro, T.; Gatto, E.; Buccolieri, R.; Catanzaro, V.; De Bellis, L.; Cotrozzi, L.; Lorenzini, G.; Vergine, M.; Luvisi, A. How Ecosystem Services Can Strengthen the Regeneration Policies for Monumental Olive Groves Destroyed by Xylella fastidiosa Bacterium in a Peri-Urban Area. Sustainability 2021b, 13, 8778.
  1. Semeraro, T.; Turco, A.; Arzeni, S.; La Gioia, G.; D’Armento, R.; Taurino, R.; Medagli, P. Habitat Restoration: An Applicative Approach to “Biodiversity Heritage Relicts” in Social-Ecological Systems. Land 2021c, 10, 898.
  1. Semeraro, T., Scarano, A., Santino, A., Emmanuel, R. An innovative approach to combine solar photovoltaic gardens with agricultural production and ecosystem services. Ecosystem Services 2022, 56, 101450.
  1. Virapongse, A.; Brooks, S.; Metcalf, E.C.; Zedalis, J.G.; Kliskey, A.; Alessa, L. A social-ecological systems approach for environmental management. J. Environ. Manag. 2016, 178, 83–9.
  1. Tan, P. Y., Zhang, J., Masoudi, M., Alemu, J. B., Edwards, P. J., Grêt-Regamey, A., Richards, D.r. et al. A conceptual framework to untangle the concept of urban ecosystem services. Landscape and Urban Planning 2020, 200, 103837.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Land.

Dr. Teodoro Semeraro
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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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.


  • biodiversity
  • ecosystem services
  • natural-based solution
  • green infrastructure
  • urban planning
  • landscape planning

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
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