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Cities are characterized by a high concentration of people and economic activities, including tourism. From historic, to business, to sun and beach, the tourism sector is responsible for 8-10% of overall CO2 emissions, and tourism emissions are expected to increase by 4% every year. The coastal or continental urban concentration of tourist cities can enhance the efficient management of goods and services, but puts great pressure on natural resources, the environment and energy consumption. One of the consequences of urbanization is the increase in temperature due to soil sealing and the use of materials that retain thermal radiation. This is one reason why almost 50% of hotels’ energy use is due to air conditioning. This effect is known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI), which can impact urban agglomerations as resorts have a high impervious area.

At the city level, the UHI effect has implications for both buildings and public space. At the buildings’ level, an increase in energy spending is expected with indoor air-cooling systems. To improve the energy efficiency of buildings, reducing electricity consumption can be achieved by installing solar panels and/or green roofs on rooftops. At the public space level, the UHI results in thermal discomfort. To mitigate UHI, the promotion of green infrastructures like urban parks, green corridors or tree lines, among others, results in surfaces with greater albedo, more humidity, less wind, and more comfortable sites.

The adoption of green solutions contributes to the transition towards a sustainable tourism paradigm, through the mitigation of the combined effect of urbanization and climate change in urban tourist areas. These areas face two types of problems. On the one hand, the fact that they are urban areas with a large part of their soil sealed makes them vulnerable to meteorological effects such as heat islands or floods. On the other hand, they suffer from increased problems in their management given the strong tourist pressure they are subject to. In fact, in cities with high tourist activity, urban pressures on the territory are increased, overloading local infrastructures, with negative repercussions on the residents' quality of life, but also compromising the visitor's experience. The adoption of green solutions like solar panels, green roofs and green spaces are essential for promoting energy efficiency and UHI reduction.

This Research Topic intends to present original and multi-disciplinary approaches concerning the contribution of green solutions to energy efficiency. These solutions are essential to the reduction of operation costs in the tourism industry, and heat stress mitigation in urban tourist areas, which is paramount to the thermal comfort and well-being of tourists. Authors are invited to explore how solutions based on solar technology and green infrastructures like trees, parks, green roofs, and natural areas, can be part of a strategy for the development of sustainable urban environments under tourist pressure. Contributions concerning the existing synergies between different green solutions, how their implementation can contribute to resource-efficient tourist urban areas, the sustainable development challenges, and the social and economic barriers towards its adoption, are welcomed.

Keywords: solar energy, green roofs, natural areas, mitigation, sustainability, climate change, UHI, heat stress, energy efficiency, tourist areas, tourism, urban tourist areas, urban tourism


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Cities are characterized by a high concentration of people and economic activities, including tourism. From historic, to business, to sun and beach, the tourism sector is responsible for 8-10% of overall CO2 emissions, and tourism emissions are expected to increase by 4% every year. The coastal or continental urban concentration of tourist cities can enhance the efficient management of goods and services, but puts great pressure on natural resources, the environment and energy consumption. One of the consequences of urbanization is the increase in temperature due to soil sealing and the use of materials that retain thermal radiation. This is one reason why almost 50% of hotels’ energy use is due to air conditioning. This effect is known as the Urban Heat Island (UHI), which can impact urban agglomerations as resorts have a high impervious area.

At the city level, the UHI effect has implications for both buildings and public space. At the buildings’ level, an increase in energy spending is expected with indoor air-cooling systems. To improve the energy efficiency of buildings, reducing electricity consumption can be achieved by installing solar panels and/or green roofs on rooftops. At the public space level, the UHI results in thermal discomfort. To mitigate UHI, the promotion of green infrastructures like urban parks, green corridors or tree lines, among others, results in surfaces with greater albedo, more humidity, less wind, and more comfortable sites.

The adoption of green solutions contributes to the transition towards a sustainable tourism paradigm, through the mitigation of the combined effect of urbanization and climate change in urban tourist areas. These areas face two types of problems. On the one hand, the fact that they are urban areas with a large part of their soil sealed makes them vulnerable to meteorological effects such as heat islands or floods. On the other hand, they suffer from increased problems in their management given the strong tourist pressure they are subject to. In fact, in cities with high tourist activity, urban pressures on the territory are increased, overloading local infrastructures, with negative repercussions on the residents' quality of life, but also compromising the visitor's experience. The adoption of green solutions like solar panels, green roofs and green spaces are essential for promoting energy efficiency and UHI reduction.

This Research Topic intends to present original and multi-disciplinary approaches concerning the contribution of green solutions to energy efficiency. These solutions are essential to the reduction of operation costs in the tourism industry, and heat stress mitigation in urban tourist areas, which is paramount to the thermal comfort and well-being of tourists. Authors are invited to explore how solutions based on solar technology and green infrastructures like trees, parks, green roofs, and natural areas, can be part of a strategy for the development of sustainable urban environments under tourist pressure. Contributions concerning the existing synergies between different green solutions, how their implementation can contribute to resource-efficient tourist urban areas, the sustainable development challenges, and the social and economic barriers towards its adoption, are welcomed.

Keywords: solar energy, green roofs, natural areas, mitigation, sustainability, climate change, UHI, heat stress, energy efficiency, tourist areas, tourism, urban tourist areas, urban tourism


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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