Sustainability: is it too late?

Main Article Content

Alessandro Sgobbo


UPLanD intend to promote an interdisciplinary approach to town and regional planning, landscape and environmental design as an effective form of the governance - sustainable and eco-efficient - of processes for the protection, enhancement and development of urban contexts. The first issue of third Volume of UPLanD intended to dwell on the subject of resources’ conservation considering that after an era of irresponsible use and that of ideological conservation is the time for an overall rethinking of the strategies with which sustainability is pursued. Because if it is impossible to continue to waste resources, it is often too late to simply protect what is left. Soil, landscape, water, air, biodiversity, climate: in many areas of the planet the level of compromise is such that only a virtuous process of regeneration can bring the system back to a condition of “sustainable” equilibrium. Furthermore the fact that 54% of world population already live in cities and by 2050 two more billion inhabitants will be added, shape this issue in a predominantly urban dimension.
Lack of sustainability generates many consequences. Among these, climate change is perhaps the most relevant. Cities, besides contributing to the causes of climate change, suffer its negative effects, with strong impacts on the quality of life of inhabitants. It is here, in fact, that the hazards resulting from the phenomenon, given the high levels of vulnerability and exposure, generate the most significant risks.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
SgobboA. (2018). Sustainability: is it too late?. UPLanD - Journal of Urban Planning, Landscape & Environmental Design, 3(1), 141-154.


Arcidiacono, A., Pareglio, S., & Salata, S. (2012). La limitazione del consumo di suolo alla scala comu-nale. 1. Orientamenti esistenti di limitazione del consumo di suolo. In Arcidiacono, A. & Di Simine, D. (Eds.), Centro di Ricerca sui Consumi di Suolo - Rapporto 2012 (pp.283-288). Roma, IT: INU Edizioni.

Arnbjerg-Nielsen, K., Willems, P., Olsson, J., Beecham, S., Pathirana, A., Gregersen, I. B., ... & Nguyen, V. T. V. (2013). Impacts of climate change on rain-fall extremes and urban drainage systems: a review. Water Science and Technol-ogy, 68(1), 16-28.

Bacci, M. L. (2017). A concise history of world population. Hoboken, US: John Wiley & Sons

Bencardino, M. (2015). Consumo di suolo e sprawl urbano. Bollettino della Società Geografica Italiana, 8, 217-237.

Bernhofer, C., Franke, J., Goldberg, V., Seegert, J., & Kuchler, W, (2006). Re-gional Climate Change. To be included in Future Flood Risk Analisis?. In J. Schanze, E. Zeman & J. Marsalek (Eds.), Flood Risk Management: Hazards, Vul-nerability and Mitigation Measures (pp. 93-96). Dordrecht, NL: Springer.

Bullard, N. (2011). It's Too Late for Sustainability. What we need is system change. Development, 54(2), 141-142. doi: 10.1057/dev.2011.29

Burt, T., Boardman, J., Foster, I., & Howden, N. (2015). More rain, less soil: long‐term changes in rainfall intensity with climate change. Earth Surface Pro-cesses and Landforms, 41(4), 563-566

Coppola, E. (2012). Densification versus urban sprawl. Tema. Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Envi-ronment, 5(1), 131-144.

Coppola, E. (2016). Infrastrutture sostenibili urbane. Roma, IT: INU Edizioni.

Dore, M. H. (2005). Climate change and changes in global precipitation pat-terns: what do we know?. Environment international, 31(8), 1167-1181.

Foster, J. (2014). After sustainability: Denial, hope, retrieval. Abingdon, UK: Routledge.

Goodland, R. (1995). The concept of environmental sustainability. Annual review of ecology and sys-tematics, 26(1), 1-24.

Heinz, B., Birk, S., Liedl, R., Geyer, T., Straub, K. L., Andresen, J., ... & Kappler, A. (2009). Water quality deterioration at a karst spring (Gallusquelle, Germany) due to combined sewer overflow: evidence of bacterial and micro-pollutant con-tamination. Environmental Geology, 57(4), 797-808.

IPCC (2014). Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability. Part A: Global and Sectoral Aspects. Contribution of Working Group II to the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Cam-bridge, UK & New York, US: Cambridge University Press.

Kates, R. W., Clark, W. C., Corell, R., Hall, J. M., Jaeger, C. C., Lowe, I., ... & Faucheux, S. (2001). Sustainability science. Science, 292(5517), 641-642. doi: 10.1126/science.1059386

Kuhlman, T., & Farrington, J. (2010). What is sustainability?. Sustainability, 2(11), 3436-3448. doi: 10.3390/su2113436

Losasso, M. (2016). Historical contexts and contemporary design: technological innovation between memory and modification. TECHNE-Journal of Technology for Architecture and Environment, 12, 6-10. doi: 10.13128/Techne-19325

Lucchi, E., & Pracchi, V. (2013). Efficienza energetica e patrimonio costruito: La sfida del miglioramen-to delle prestazioni nell’edilizia storica. Sant’Arcangelo di Romagna, IT: Maggioli Editore.

Mirhosseini, G., Srivastava, P., & Stefanova, L. (2013). The impact of climate change on rainfall Intensity–Duration–Frequency (IDF) curves in Alabama. Re-gional Environmental Change, 13(1), 25-33. doi: 10.1007/s10113-012-0375-5

Moccia, F.D. & Sgobbo, A. (2013). La polarizzazione metropolitana. L'evoluzione della rete della gran-de distribuzione verso un sistema policentrico sostenibile. Napoli, IT: Liguori.

Moccia, F.D., & Coppola, E. (2009). Densificazione e new towns. Urbanistica Informazioni, 227.

Moccia, F.D., & Sgobbo, A. (2016). Flood hazard: planning approach to risk mi-tigation and periphery rehabilitation. In S. Syngellakis (Ed.), Management of Na-tural Disasters (pp. 129-144). Southampton, UK: WIT Press. doi: 10.2495/978-1-84566-229-5/012

Moccia, F.D., & Sgobbo, A. (2017). La Città Metropolitana di Napoli. In: G. De Luca & F.D. Moccia. (Eds.), Pianificare le città metropolitane in Italia. Interpretazioni, approcci, prospettive (pp. 289-326). Roma,IT: INU Edizioni.

Passerat, J., Ouattara, N. K., Mouchel, J. M., Rocher, V., & Servais, P. (2011). Impact of an intense combined sewer overflow event on the microbiological water quality of the Seine River. Water research, 45(2), 893-903.

Porporato, A., Daly, E., & Rodriguez-Iturbe, I. (2004). Soil water balance and ecosystem response to climate change. The American Naturalist, 164(5), 625-632.

Reale, L. (2011). Densità città residenza: Tecniche di densificazione e strategie anti-sprawl. Roma, IT: Gangemi Editore.

Romano, B., Zullo, B., Ciabò, S., Fiorini, L., & Marucci, A. (2015). Geografie e modelli di 50 anni di consumo di suolo in Italia. Scienze e ricerche, 6, 17-28.

Samir, K. C., & Lutz, W. (2017). The human core of the shared socioeconomic pathways: Population scenarios by age, sex and level of education for all countries to 2100. Global Environmental Chan-ge, 42, 181-192. doi: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2014.06.004

Sgobbo, A. (2014). Le politiche di leva fiscale per la sicurezza e sostenibilità della città. Urbanistica In-formazioni, 255, 100-101.

Sgobbo, A. (2016). La città che si sgretola: nelle politiche urbane ed economiche le risorse per un’efficace manutenzione. BDC. Bollettino Del Centro Calza Bini, 16(1), 155-175. doi: 10.6092/2284-4732/4121

Sgobbo, A. (2016). Mixed Results in the Early Experience of a Place-based European Union Former Program Implemented in Campania. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 223, 225-230. doi: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2016.05.354

Sgobbo, A. (2017). Eco-social innovation for efficient urban metabolisms. TECHNE Journal of Technology for Architec-ture and Environment, 14, 337-344. doi: 10.13128/Techne-20812

Sgobbo, A. (2018). The Value of Water: an Opportunity for the Eco-Social Regeneration of Mediterra-nean Metro¬politan Areas. In F. Calabrò, L. Della Spina, C. Bevilacqua (Eds), New Metropolitan Per-spectives. Local Knowledge and Innovation Dynamics Towards Territory Attractiveness Through the Implementation of Horizon/E2020/Agen¬da2030. vol 2 (pp. 505-512). Cham, CH: Springer. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-92102-0_53

Sgobbo, A. (2018). Water Sensitive Urban Planning. Approach and opportunities in Mediterranean metropolitan areas. Rome, IT: INU Edizioni.

Sgobbo, A., & Moccia, F. D. (2016). Synergetic Temporary Use for the Enhancement of Historic Cen-ters: The Pilot Project for the Naples Waterfront. TECHNE Journal of Technology for Architecture and Environment, 12, 253-260. doi:10.13128/Techne-19360

Shuster, W. D., Bonta, J., Thurston, H., Warnemuende, E., & Smith, D. R. (2005). Impacts of impervious surface on watershed hydrology: a review. Urban Water Journal, 2(4), 263-275.

United Nations, DESA, Population Division (2017). World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision, Key Findings and Advance Tables. Working Paper No. ESA/P/WP/248

United Nations, DESA, Population Division (2018). 2018 revision of World Urbanization Prospects.

Yilmaz, A. G., Hossain, I., & Perera, B. J. C. (2014). Effect of climate change and variability on extreme rainfall intensity-frequency-duration relationships: a case study of Melbourne. Hydrology and Earth System Sciences, 18(10), 4065.

Yung, E. H., & Chan, E. H. (2012). Implementation challenges to the adaptive reuse of heritage build-ings: Towards the goals of sustainable, low carbon cities. Habitat International, 36(3), 352-361. doi: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2011.11.001

Zhou, Q., Mikkelsen, P. S., Halsnæs, K., & Arnbjerg-Nielsen, K. (2012). Frame-work for economic pluvial flood risk assessment considering climate change ef-fects and adaptation benefits. Journal of Hydrology, 414, 539-549. doi: 10.1016/j.jhydrol.2011.11.031