Second law of thermodynamics and urban green infrastructure - A knowledge synthesis to address spatial planning strategies

  • Raffaele Pelorosso Tuscia University DAFNE – Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
  • Federica Gobattoni Tuscia University DAFNE – Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
  • Maria Nicolina Ripa Tuscia University DAFNE – Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
  • Antonio Leone Tuscia University DAFNE – Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences
Keywords: entropy, exergy, urban metabolism, urban planning, low-entropy city, ecosystem services


Planning of ecosystem services provided by the Urban Green Infrastructure (UGI) is a key issue for urban sustainability. Planning strategies driven by the second law of thermodynamics (SLT) are innovative approaches to sustainability but they are still in seminal phase. In this article, a coupled review of SLT within spatial planning is accomplished looking at the main applications in urban green infrastructure (UGI) planning. The work has supported the definition of a preliminary low-entropy UGI planning strategy (Pelorosso, Gobattoni, & Leone, 2017) but it also aims to contribute to the improvement and/or development of even more solid planning strategies based on SLT. In particular, a systemic review of UGI planning and thermodynamics has been carried out to identify all the occurrences to date in the scientific literature. Secondly, a scoping review of SLT-related concepts of exergy, entropy and urban metabolism is presented in order to investigate the main applications of, and gaps in, urban spatial planning. Results indicate that UGI and ecosystem service planning based on SLT is a relatively new field of research. Moreover, some general indications are derived for the development of spatial UGI planning strategies based on SLT.


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Author Biographies

Raffaele Pelorosso, Tuscia University DAFNE – Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences

Qualified as Associate Professor by National Scientific Qualification, in Urban and landscape planning and design (Disciplinary Sector 08/F1). Dr. Pelorosso has hold several Lectures in ecology, cartography, environmental and urban planning at the Tuscia University. Main research interests: urban storm water management and climate regulation by NBS; Low-Entropy Cities; planning of energy systems; landscape perception assessment and participatory planning; landscape dynamics assessment by historical maps and remote sensing data; management of abandoned; impact of agriculture on the water resources; urban green infrastructure connectivity. He is authors of more than 90 scientific works and peer reviewer for many international journals as: Land Use Policy, Landscape and Urban Planning, Environmental Management, European Planning studies, Habitat international, Sustainability.

Federica Gobattoni, Tuscia University DAFNE – Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences

Master Degree in Environmental Engineering at University of Perugia, PhD, she is a post-doctoral researcher and lecturer in landscape architecture and landscape planning at the Tuscia University. Her research activity is mainly concerned with landscape dynamics, environmental modelling in GIS environment, participatory planning, decision support systems for planning and management of urban and rural systems, development of mathematical models for landscape evolution and equilibrium scenarios assessment. Author of several scientific articles on the main international journals related to the landscape and urban planning and environmental management. She is peer reviewer for many international journals as Land Use Policy, Landscape and Urban Planning, Ecosystem Services.

Maria Nicolina Ripa, Tuscia University DAFNE – Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences

Associate professor of land planning at the Tuscia University. Her research activity is addressed to the planning and management of rural areas through the implementation of technologies for digital mapping and Geographic Information Systems and through the analysis of remote sensing images. She has focused on the following issues: evaluation of the environmental impacts of agricultural activities with particular reference to non point sources of pollution; landscape analysis, according to the principles of Landscape Ecology, aimed to the evaluation of biodiversity loss and the land use/land cover change; environmental monitoring and modelling. Prof. Maria Nicolina Ripa is author of more than 90 papers, on national and international journals and in acts of national and international conferences.

Antonio Leone, Tuscia University DAFNE – Department of Agricultural and Forestry Sciences

Full professor of Environmental and Territorial Engineering at the Tuscia University. Degree in Civil Engineering. Member of the Teaching College PhD “Land and Urban Planning” at Politecnico di Bari and “Environment and landscape design and planning” at Sapienza University of Rome. Participant and responsible in several projects financed by the European Union within 5th Framework Programme, Interreg IIIB Research Program, COST-actions, LIFE programme and other national and regional research programs (e.g. Nature 2000 sites). Member of Scientific International Committee for Metropolitan Strategic Master Plan “Terra di Bari”. Author of about 150 papers and scientific articles on the main international journals related to the management of the environment and landscape and to the engineering of the territory, for the most part of which he also carries out the activity of an anonymous reviewer.


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How to Cite
PelorossoR., GobattoniF., RipaM. N., & LeoneA. (2018). Second law of thermodynamics and urban green infrastructure - A knowledge synthesis to address spatial planning strategies. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 11(1), 27-50.