sustainability-logo

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Soil Ecosystem Services, Land Planning, Landscape Design and Management

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Sustainability and Applications".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2020) | Viewed by 29657

Special Issue Editors

Department for Innovation in Biological, Agro-food and Forest Systems, Tuscia University, Via Santa Maria in Gradi, 4, 01100 Viterbo VT, Italy
Interests: agricultural landscape; biodiversity; cultural landscapes; ecosystem services; sustainable productions; resilient agro-ecosystems; urban agriculture

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biosciences and Territory, University of Molise, Via Francesco De Sanctis, 1, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
Interests: urban forest; landscape ecology; landscape planning; land management; forest management; environmental science
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Architecture and Design, Sapienza University of Rome, Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5, 00185 Roma RM, Italy
Interests: archaeological landscape; ecological landscape design; contemporary metropolis; urban project

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Council for Agricultural Research and Economics (CREA-AA) Agriculture and Environment, Via della Navicella, 2-4, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
Interests: soil fertility and healthiness; soil pollutants; wastes

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics and Law, University of Macerata, Via Armaroli 43, I-62100 Macerata, Italy
Interests: climate change; desertification; land-use; sustainable agriculture; urban sprawl; urban and rural geography
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The UN strategic objectives for sustainable development (Agenda 2030) identify sustainable management of terrestrial ecosystems and use of environmental resources as a priority of action, together with the design of resilient and endurable cities. These challenges depend on the relationship of man to land, as soil, a complex matrix of materials and organisms, a physical substrate, an ecological matrix, and a non-renewable resource. The quality of this relation depends on land use and planning as well as on environmental and landscape design. Soil is a system that supplies ecosystem services which are crucial for the survival and human life quality in contemporary habitats, providing food, hosting most of the biosphere, allowing carbon storage and mitigating the effects of climate change, ensuring the cycle of elements and water, preserving the historical and cultural values ​​of the places, and drawing the landscape. Many drivers threaten the functionality of the soil system, like sealing due to urbanization, the loss of biodiversity as a consequence of inappropriate agricultural or forestry uses, the contamination and desertification due to climate change, the erosion and consumption caused by hydrogeological instability. Counteracting the phenomena that irreversibly compromise soil fertility and productivity requires new interdisciplinary knowledge and innovative and integrated strategies for sustainable land use, sustainable planning, and an ecological landscape design in all environments from the natural and rural to peri-urban and urban ones.

In this context, this Special Issue of Sustainability aims to bring together multidisciplinary knowledge and cross-sectoral approaches for the maintenance of soil functionality and the provision of soil ecosystem services through a sustainable planning, design, and land use.

Studies are expected to address:

  • Innovative strategies for counteract soil degradation and recover soil functionality
  • agricultural and forestry system’s management for safeguarding soil resilience and prevent land degradation in natural, rural, and urban areas;
  • Innovative technologies and approaches for preserving soil biodiversity and healthiness;
  • Innovative concepts and approaches in landscape design in urban and rural areas;
  • Sustainable land use planning;
  • Mapping soil related ecosystem services;
  • Measure of the values of soil ecosystem services.
We believe that this Special Issue may allow to interconnect multidisciplinary knowledge in accordance with the complex nature of the soil system and the multifactorial matrix of the changing drivers, therefore providing systemic visions of problem solving. 

Prof. Rita Biasi
Prof. Marco Marchetti
Prof. Alessandra Capuano
Dr. Anna Benedetti
Dr. Luca Salvati
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. 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.

Keywords

  • ecological landscape design
  • forestry planning
  • landscape urbanism
  • phytoremediation
  • resilient agriculture
  • urban forestry
  • environmental planning
  • sustainable urban design
  • water-sensitive design

Published Papers (8 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Other

21 pages, 8568 KiB  
Article
The Productive Landscape in the Desert Margin for the Sustainable Development of Rural Settlements: An Innovative Greenbelt for Maranjab Desert in Iran
by Mahnaz Sarlak, Laura Valeria Ferretti and Rita Biasi
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2077; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13042077 - 15 Feb 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 3194
Abstract
About two billion rural individuals depend on agricultural systems associated with a high amount of risk and low levels of yield in the drylands of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Human activities, climate change and natural extreme events are the most important drivers [...] Read more.
About two billion rural individuals depend on agricultural systems associated with a high amount of risk and low levels of yield in the drylands of Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Human activities, climate change and natural extreme events are the most important drivers of desertification. This phenomenon has occurred in many regions of Iran, particularly in the villages in the periphery of the central desert of Iran, and has made living in the oases so difficult that the number of abandoned villages is increasing every year. Land abandonment and land-use change increase the risk of desertification. This study aims to respond to the research questions: (i) does the planning of green infrastructures on the desert margin affect the distribution and balance of the population? (ii) how should the green belt be designed to have the greatest impact on counteracting desertification?, and (iii) does the design of productive landscape provide the solution? Through a wide-ranging and comprehensive approach, this study develops different scenarios for designing a new form of green belt in order to sustainably manage the issues of environmental protection, agricultural tradition preservation and desertification counteraction. This study proposes a new-traditional greenbelt including small low-cost and low-tech projects adapted to rural scale. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 6417 KiB  
Article
Re-Inventing Water–Ground Relations in Landscape Architecture Projects
by Fabio Di Carlo, Alfonso Giancotti and Luca Reale
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10358; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410358 - 11 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 4788
Abstract
In recent decades, the relationship between soil and water has been at the center of many landscape architecture projects and, more in general, of urban transformation. With an ever-increasing recurrence, the interventions reflect on the positive effects of this dialectic, to the point [...] Read more.
In recent decades, the relationship between soil and water has been at the center of many landscape architecture projects and, more in general, of urban transformation. With an ever-increasing recurrence, the interventions reflect on the positive effects of this dialectic, to the point of making it the constitutive element, both in terms of morphologies and of the reciprocal conditions of quality and resilience, combining ecosystem effects and cultural values. This paper thus examines some cases where the use of these elements has assumed the role of “raw material” in those design processes where they are called to specifically question the relationship between nature and human settlements. Three case studies, which with different declinations represent turning points and paradigmatic passages in this context, are here analyzed: the Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam, the Cheong Gye Cheon canal in Seoul, and the Candlestick Park in the San Francisco Bay. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

25 pages, 9495 KiB  
Article
Soil and Water as Resources: How Landscape Architecture Reclaims Hydric Contaminated Soil for Public Uses in Urban Settlements
by Isotta Cortesi, Laura Valeria Ferretti and Federica Morgia
Sustainability 2020, 12(21), 8840; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12218840 - 24 Oct 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 5818
Abstract
Soil is one of the fundamental components for life on Earth, but today, as a consequence of humans’ unsustainable actions, soil is polluted, distressed and spoiled. In contemporary practice design, we recognize the importance of the soil quality to structure new discourses in [...] Read more.
Soil is one of the fundamental components for life on Earth, but today, as a consequence of humans’ unsustainable actions, soil is polluted, distressed and spoiled. In contemporary practice design, we recognize the importance of the soil quality to structure new discourses in landscape practice. The central role in this process is undoubtedly played by the value a healthy soil has for the community and for the environment. The strategic design of wet and hydric landscapes is certainly an essential aspect for the regular and exceptional management of the effects produced by pollution and climate change. The research develops the soil as a key subject in the landscape design, specifically in hydric environments where water represents an important factor. The essay is divided into three parts: resources and opportunities of disturbed wet soil, successfully built public space where soil remediation transformed heavy polluted industrial urban sites in fertile public ecosystems within the dense urban structures, and soil design as a domain of urban resilience. The landscape project as an integrated project has spread the seeds of a new approach to the consideration of the contemporary city in an ecological manner. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

22 pages, 4285 KiB  
Article
SiSMI Project–Technologies for the Improvement of Safety and the Reconstruction of Historic Centres in the Seismic Area of Central Italy
by Cristina Imbroglini, Lucina Caravaggi and Leone Spita
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 7852; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12197852 - 23 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1765
Abstract
The project SISMI-Tecnologie per il miglioramento della Sicurezza e la ricostruzione dei centri Storici in area sisMIca (technologies for the improvement of safety and the reconstruction of historic centres in the seismic area)–aims to provide tools and methods for risk reduction and seismic [...] Read more.
The project SISMI-Tecnologie per il miglioramento della Sicurezza e la ricostruzione dei centri Storici in area sisMIca (technologies for the improvement of safety and the reconstruction of historic centres in the seismic area)–aims to provide tools and methods for risk reduction and seismic improvement of Lazio’s cultural assets and centres, causing research, intervention policies, and planning to interact in order to support reconstruction choices and foster dialogue with local parties and enterprises. One of the SISMI project’s main elements of innovation consists of preparing modes of integration of knowledge and assessments relating to the various components of a territory’s vulnerability and seismic hazard that can be used in other seismic territories. SISMI project, tested in seismic territories of Central Italy, is a methodology of integrated, multidimensional, and transdisciplinary investigation, in the conviction that the safety of the territory and of historic and cultural assets is the result of a dynamic risk reduction process capable of guaranteeing and promoting the local communities’ resilience, in which both physical/structural and sociocultural elements collaborate. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

15 pages, 1514 KiB  
Article
New Forms of Land Grabbing Due to the Bioeconomy: The Case of Brazil
by Eva Cudlínová, Valny Giacomelli Sobrinho, Miloslav Lapka and Luca Salvati
Sustainability 2020, 12(8), 3395; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12083395 - 22 Apr 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4248
Abstract
The present study discusses new forms of land grabbing related to biofuel production in the light of bioeconomic development. With a specific focus on Brazil, this article debates whether biofuel production is associated with (i) an expansion of agricultural land use—regarded as a [...] Read more.
The present study discusses new forms of land grabbing related to biofuel production in the light of bioeconomic development. With a specific focus on Brazil, this article debates whether biofuel production is associated with (i) an expansion of agricultural land use—regarded as a process of unsustainable crop intensification or (ii) an increase in crop yield, driven by technical innovation with stable land use—intended as a form of sustainable intensification. We conclude that, in the case of Brazil, the current bioeconomy cannot be assumed to be environmentally sustainable. Starting from Brazil’s experience, the (apparent and latent) relationship between bioeconomy and land grabbing requires a refined investigation in both wealthier and emerging economies, with the aim of proposing effective strategies to achieve truly sustainable development in the primary sector. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

17 pages, 2152 KiB  
Article
Carbon Mineralization under Different Saline—Alkali Stress Conditions in Paddy Fields of Northeast China
by Sining Wang, Jie Tang, Zhaoyang Li, Yuqing Liu, Zihao Zhou, Jingjing Wang, Yunke Qu and Zhenxue Dai
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2921; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072921 - 06 Apr 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2793
Abstract
Soil organic carbon (SOC) mineralization (conversion of carbonaceous material to carbon dioxide) plays a central role in global carbon cycle. However, the effects of SOC mineralization under different saline–alkali stress conditions are poorly understood. In order to understand the carbon mineralization processes, four [...] Read more.
Soil organic carbon (SOC) mineralization (conversion of carbonaceous material to carbon dioxide) plays a central role in global carbon cycle. However, the effects of SOC mineralization under different saline–alkali stress conditions are poorly understood. In order to understand the carbon mineralization processes, four paddy fields with different saline and alkali degrees were chosen as the experimental samples and the soil CO2 emission fluxes at nine different time steps of the whole simulation experiment were observed. The physical and chemical properties of soils of four field conditions were compared for the dynamic changes of CO2 flux in the progress of paddy field cultivation simulations. The results showed that the first three fields (P1, P2, and P3) were weakly alkaline soils and the last one (P4) was strongly alkaline soil. The SOC content of each plot was significantly different and there was a near-surface enrichment, which was significantly negatively correlated with the degree of alkalization. The accumulation process of the SOC mineralization during the incubation time was consistent with the first-order kinetic model. In the initial stage of mineralization, the amount of CO2 released massively, and then the release intensity decreased rapidly. The mineralization rate decreased slowly with time and finally reached a minimum at the end of the incubation period. This study indicates that the SOC mineralization process is affected by a variety of factors. The main factors influencing SOC mineralization in the saline–alkaline soils are the exchangeable sodium percentage (ESP), followed by enzyme activities. Salinization of the soils inhibits the rate of soil carbon cycle, which has a greater impact on the carbon sequestration than on the carbon source process. The intensity and completeness of the SOC mineralization reactions increase with increasing SOC contents and decrease with increasing ESP levels. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Research

18 pages, 2614 KiB  
Commentary
Going toward Resilience? Town Planning, Peri-Urban Landscapes, and the Expansion of Athens, Greece
by Samaneh Sadat Nickayin, Antonio Tomao, Giovanni Quaranta, Luca Salvati and Antonio Gimenez Morera
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10471; https://doi.org/10.3390/su122410471 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3058
Abstract
The long-term expansion and the evolution of town planning of a contemporary European metropolis (Athens, Greece) has been analysed in this study in order to evaluate how sustainable urban growth has been taken into account in sequential strategic master plans. During the last [...] Read more.
The long-term expansion and the evolution of town planning of a contemporary European metropolis (Athens, Greece) has been analysed in this study in order to evaluate how sustainable urban growth has been taken into account in sequential strategic master plans. During the last decades, the mostly unplanned urban growth and massive housing construction have favoured a slow evolution towards a less compact and mono-centric spatial asset, typical of several Mediterranean cities. Despite efforts to guide urban growth, a series of structural challenges have remained: (i) a gap between planning and implementation; (ii) a gap between spatial planning and socio-economic planning; (iii) a relevant pressure on natural environment; (iv) a lack of participatory planning. In order to face these problems, current strategies for the city of Athens try to foster city resilience providing guidelines for more sustainable management of the built and natural landscape. In particular, the Resilience Strategy for 2030 proposes a list of actions to improve the well-being of citizens and to increase sustainability at the urban and territorial levels. A major role was given to the enhancement of the environmental quality of the metropolitan area and to the involvement of inhabitants in the various phases of decision-making. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 2005 KiB  
Commentary
A New ‘Lexicon’ of Land Degradation: Toward a Holistic Thinking for Complex Socioeconomic Issues
by Gianluca Egidi, Luca Salvati, Pavel Cudlin, Rosanna Salvia and Manuela Romagnoli
Sustainability 2020, 12(10), 4285; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12104285 - 23 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2956
Abstract
Land degradation is perceived worldwide as a key process of resource depletion, representing a paradigmatic issue in national and supra-national political agendas for the 21st century in both advanced and emerging economies. Trying to delineate a ‘new lexicon of land degradation’, the present [...] Read more.
Land degradation is perceived worldwide as a key process of resource depletion, representing a paradigmatic issue in national and supra-national political agendas for the 21st century in both advanced and emerging economies. Trying to delineate a ‘new lexicon of land degradation’, the present study contributes to a holistic thinking of driving forces in local communities and regional contexts through a refined analysis and discussion of (apparent and latent) factors of land degradation. Rethinking the importance of five notions (time, space, scale, systems, and response) having an intimate linkage with land degradation allows a refined understanding of socio-environmental dynamics and the most appropriate actions to combat (or mitigate) land resource depletion. The conclusions summarize the rationale proposed in this work, and provide a brief outlook on future research addressing land degradation, its drivers and consequences. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop