Research Topic

Sustainability Challenges for our Urban Futures

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About this Research Topic

Today, more than 50% of the human population lives in cities. This percentage is expected to rise to 70% by the year 2050. Urbanization has had great impact on improving quality of life, but it also poses pronounced challenges to planning and management of the built environment, urban services and economic ...

Today, more than 50% of the human population lives in cities. This percentage is expected to rise to 70% by the year 2050. Urbanization has had great impact on improving quality of life, but it also poses pronounced challenges to planning and management of the built environment, urban services and economic policy. The complex socioeconomic, political and biophysical drivers of urban growth results significant spatial heterogeneity in terms of culture, resource access, economic opportunity, and infrastructure. This heterogeneity reinforces inequalities in the provision of urban services, exposure to hazards, and biases in the responses from managers and infrastructure providers. In the literature regarding vulnerability, it has long been understood that risk (i.e., the probability that a potentially damaging event will occur) is a product of both environmental conditions and social processes that determine vulnerability. In cities, these social and political processes define the actions of governments and decision-makers, who in turn influence the creation of the built environment, socio-economic heterogeneity and the concomitant vulnerability to hydrological hazards.

In this Research Topic we will call for papers that provide novel ideas and empirical results on how decision-makers can better govern urbanization and urban wellbeing in the context of globalization, inequalities and climate change, where a multitude of biophysical and socio-political hazards come into play. We are particularly interested in methodological and empirical contributions that demonstrate how improved understanding of the mechanisms and functioning of social-ecological and technical coupling in the urban context can support an expanded range of decisions and planning strategies that have the potential for more sustainable, and more equitable pathways of urban life.


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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