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Special Issue "People and the City: Real Estate-Scape as a Sustainable Citizenship Project"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (26 March 2023) | Viewed by 2361

Special Issue Editors

Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania, Via S. Sofia, 54, Catania, Italy
Interests: project and planning valuation; cultural heritage valuation; urban equalization; environmental assessment; damage appraisal; real estate analysis and appraisal
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania, 95125 Catania, Italy
Interests: environmental economics; real estate economics; urban economics; urban and land management; urban and land sustainability; cultural resources valuation; multiple criteria decision analysis (MCDA); datamining; GIS
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The previous SI, entitled "Real Estate Landscape: Accounting, Appraisal and Assessment" was an opportunity to broaden knowledge and consolidate awareness of the relationship between the multiple concrete urban values and their abstract monetary measures, with specific reference to the to the real estate capital asset value.
The contributors proposed critical reflections and solicitations that highlighted the (often asymmetrical) relationship between the forms of real estate capital and the social and environmental characteristics of the physical and relational city space.
The extensive analysis of the literature, and the applications proposed in the previous SI laid the foundations for characterising now the "real estate-scape" as the ethical and aesthetic dimension of the "human city" that is the aggregation of people  and hopes (resources and opportunity) as condition for the rebirth of a common vision.
The market has traditionally been seen as the place for the meeting of supply and demand, in the proper sense, and of people with different instances and values, in the broader sense. More generally, it is the space of social communication by means of the language of money.
Language allows speakers to select, identify, and exchange concrete concepts for abstract words, thus giving shape to linguistic communities. Likewise, money allows social communities to select, identify, and exchange economic goods: through the recursive exchange of real estate capital assets, the monetary language gives economic identity and space-time continuity to the settled communities.
The asymmetries of communication, due to the multiple ambiguities of language, have made it necessary the formalization of the grammars as well as the right to education. Similarly, sharing the language, its rules, and the opportunities associated with its correct use has been considered both as an individual resource and as a public necessity.
Furthermore, the affirmation and refinement of rhetoric, the strengthening of the mass media, and the need to create consensus have generated mismatches of knowledge and awareness that have made it necessary to create educational and cultural institutions aimed at sharing correct information.
The evolution of the settled communities has been affected by the structural scarcity of valuable soils compared to the growing demand for them. Such phenomena over time consolidated the prevalence of the reasons for urban income over the fairness instances of the communities themselves, triggering processes of self-valorisation of real estate capital assets in the face of monetary inflation. The consequent negative social effects have been faced by creating public institutions and setting up fiscal equity measures aimed at reducing social polarisation drifts.
Based on these premises, this Special Issue aims to stimulate further reflection on the "real estate-scape" in the climate of the current "age of changes" concerning new and different relationships between state and market, accumulated and redistributed wealth, public and private sphere.
This prospect involves the constructive role of the value judgment in the reform of the home-city-landscape system in view of the civil and moral progress of the urban communities coping with environmental threats that are increasingly less predictable as well as more and more insidious.

Prof. Dr. Salvatore Giuffrida
Prof. Dr. Maria Rosa Trovato
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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  • real estate capital asset
  • urban/human landscape
  • housing market
  • money language
  • economic communication
  • urban/environmental policies

Published Papers (1 paper)

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34 pages, 10173 KiB  
Environmental Identities and the Sustainable City. The Green Roof Prospect for the Ecological Transition
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12005; - 22 Sep 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1589
This research deals with the issue of the recovery of the historic urban fabric with a view towards ecological transition, nowadays considered the preferable direction of sustainability for the reform of the house–city–landscape system. The massive incentives provided by the Italian government for [...] Read more.
This research deals with the issue of the recovery of the historic urban fabric with a view towards ecological transition, nowadays considered the preferable direction of sustainability for the reform of the house–city–landscape system. The massive incentives provided by the Italian government for sustainable building, in view of the post-pandemic economic recovery, risk being reduced to mere support for the real estate sector, which turns the financial transfer from the public into an increase in asset value for the private sector. Such an incentive system could contradict the original function of the city, which is to be the privileged place for social communication and the creation of the identity of settled communities. A process of property development that disregards the distribution of income favors the most valuable property, thus increasing the socioeconomic distance between centrality and marginality. The latter is a condition that often characterizes the parts of the historic city affected by extensive phenomena of physical and functional obsolescence of the built heritage, and it is less capable of attracting public funding. The increase of building decay and social filtering-down accelerates the loss and involution of neighborhood identities; the latter constitutes the psycho-social energy that helps preserve the physical, functional and anthropological integrity of the city, due to the differences that make its parts recognizable. This study, with reference to a neighborhood in the historic city of Syracuse (Italy), proposes a model of analysis, evaluation and planning of interventions on the buildings’ roofs, aimed at defining the best strategy for ecological–environmental regeneration. The model presented allows one to generate a multiplicity of alternative strategies that combine different uses of roofs: from the most sustainable green roofs, but that are less cost-effective from the identity and landscape point of view; to the most efficient photovoltaic roofs from the energy–environmental point of view; and up to the most cost-effective ones, the vertical extensions with an increase in building volume. The proposed tool is an inter-scalar multidimensional valuation model that connects the multiple eco-socio-systemic attitudes of individual buildings to the landscape, identity, energy–environmental and economic overall dimensions of the urban fabric and allows one to define and compare multiple alternative recovery hypotheses, evaluating their potential impacts on the built environment. The model allows the formation of 100 different strategies, which are internally coherent and differently satisfy the above four perspectives, and it provides the preferable ones for each of the five approaches practiced. The best strategy characterizes most green roofs, 427 out of 1075 building units, 277 blue roofs, 121 green–blue roofs and 46 grey roofs. Full article
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