A summary of the final Delphi round to all the experts who completed all the raunds of research. In this group of experts from 26 european countries have been part even an representative from our center: Luiza Hoxhaj, european expert on regional and local development. (Our extras)
In the period of May to October 2015 a large group of urban sustainability experts from 26 European countries participated in a European Urban Sustainability Delphi study that consisted of three rounds of data-collection. The objective of the study was to find out which components these experts find most relevant for defining and measuring ‘Urban Sustainability’ in a European context. In the third and final round experts were invited to select the 5 most relevant components.
The results are as follows:
Component name Number of times chosen % of experts(no=72)
Air quality 33 46%
Governance 29 40%
Energy consumption 29 40%
Non –car transportation infrstr 24 33%
CO2 emissions 23 32%
Inequality 23 32%
Green Spaces 23 32%
Health 18 25%
Climate resilience 18 25%
Solide waste 16 22%
Civic engagenmet 13 18%
Local resources 12 17%
Biodiversity 12 17%
Education 10 14%
Employment 9 13%
Water usage 9 13%
Economic productivity 8 11%
Smart infrastructure 8 11%
Waste water tratement 8 11%
Housing 7 10%
Noise Pollution 6 8%
Safety 5 7%
Urban Microclimate 5 7%
Entrepreneurship 4 6%
Cultural capacity 4 6%
Bussines climate 3 4%
International embeddedness 1 1%
Experts were also invited to explain their selection. A summary of the explanations provided for the ten components that were most often selected, is provided below.
The air quality in a city is relevant for the health, well-being, and quality of life of its inhabitants. Furthermore, the component is related to many other aspects of urban sustainability, such as biodiversity, green spaces, and CO2 emissions.
As a potential driver of change the city government determines the extent of a city's sustainable development. It can support a sustainable development among others by adapting legislation, providing resources, involving stakeholders, and planning/managing a development strategy.
Energy is needed to sustain life and its use impacts the environment. A city's energy consumption is related to various environmental issues, such as CO2 emissions, climate change, and the use of natural resources. A city's energy consumption also determines its self-sufficiency and dependency on non-renewable energy. Renewable energy consumption is crucial for a sustainable urban development.
Non-car transportation infrastructure:
A non-car transportation infrastructure reduces the use and negative impacts of cars and improves the sustainability of urban mobility. A non-car transportation infrastructure improves the (urban) environment in terms of among others (air) pollution, CO2 emissions, energy and resource consumption, noise pollution, congestion, quality of life, and space use.
CO2 emissions affect climate change and have an impact on the environment as a whole. Cities (as emitters of high levels of CO2) need to mitigate and fight climate change. CO2 emissions are also related to other urban sustainability issues, such as energy consumption, transportation, as well as inhabitant's health and quality of life.
As a social aspect of sustainability, inequality is often neglected. Inequality creates many social problems like social exclusion as well as tensions and conflicts between different groups of people. A sustainable, functioning, and inclusive city needs to provide for all its inhabitants, among others by sharing benefits and offering equal opportunities.
Green spaces improve a city's general quality of life as well as the (psychological) well-being of its inhabitants. They provide many benefits to a city in terms of among others biodiversity, air quality, health, and urban microclimate. Green spaces are also important for recreation, relaxation, and meeting other people. Finally, green spaces support and raise people's awareness regarding environmental topics.
Author: Jurian Meijering (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Research Methodology Group, Wageningen University
A sustainable and healthy city needs to have healthy inhabitants. The health of a city's inhabitants reflects the quality of the urban environment in terms of among others air quality and urban design. Healthy inhabitants contribute to a city's economic, environmental, and social (sustainable) development.
Climate change is the biggest challenge and threat cities need to deal with. Cities need to be climate resilient if they want to be sustainable and prosper. They need to be resilient to the effects of climate change such as floods and droughts.
The amount of waste that is produced and recycled within a city is linked to other sustainability challenges such as resource consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and climate change. It also provides information about a city's resource efficiency and sustainability awareness. It is important to recycle and re-use solid waste (in the form of energy or material) as well as to involve a city's inhabitants in this process.
Author: Jurian Meijering , Research Methodology Group, Wageningen University