Environmental Engineering Reference
Moreover, European research programs are also widespread, in which the
qualitative requirements of the sustainable city are identified and related to both
the environmental and socio-economic dimensions 3. The applications that can be
associated with this type of vision are those that study the ecosystem in the city
or the city as an ecosystem . In other studies, the concept of energy is intro-
duced in transformation processes in our cities [3, 4], territories, and landscapes
, investigating places and constructing devices for novel project scenarios in
which energy awareness can generate new attitudes and behaviors .
The relationship between ecological and social design has also been looked
at . Attempts to define sustainability in more dimensions have been pro-
duced by Roberto Camagni  and Gianfranco Bologna [9, 10]. Additional
examinations have been calibrated on the city—intended as the place of com-
plexity-through the general theory of systems , which allows for an under-
standing of the current city in its parts, relationships, and laws, while trying to
define what constitutes the DNA of the urban organism 4 . These approaches
are all characterized by an attempt to broach the confines between different
disciplinary sectors, but not yet between scientific knowledge and other types
of interpretation by “city users” (citizens, professionals, public administra-
tors). Finally, some authors have stressed a transdisciplinary approach in their
research based on the search for key elements in the quality of life in cities, to
be obtained by confronting experts of different disciplines with political and
social actors .
In the international arena, the availability of sustainability indicator sys-
tems has felt significant impulses from the research of the United Nations
Commission on Sustainable Development, the World Bank, and the United
Nations Human Settlements Programme. Other studies have looked at the local
scale of sustainability 5 . Next to sets of indicators that look mostly at single
aspects in the urban ecosystem, such as atmospheric pollution, mobility, build-
ing, the ecological requalification of green spaces, and land use containment,
other aggregate sets have been identified, as well as indices that condense
more indicators, for example, the global warming potential or the LEED
2009 for Neighborhood Development Rating System developed for the
3 The author is referring to European research programs like ECO-City.
4 For further information: McLoughlin JB (1973) Guida e controllo del processo di mutamento.
La pianificazione fisica come controllo dei sistemi complessi. In: McLoughlin JB (ed) La pianifi-
cazione urbana e regionale. Marsilio, Padua; Papa R (1992) La città funzionale. In: Beguinot C
and Cardarelli U (eds) Città Cablata e nuova architettura, CNR-I.Pi.G.E.T., DiPiST University of
Naples “Federico II”; Papa R, Gargiulo C (1993) Caos e caos: la città come fenomeno in
Proceedings from the International Congress for the 21 st Century - An Encyclopedia and a Project,
Napoli Hotel Vesuvio-Paris, Palais des Congrès, 22 June 1992, DiPiST University of Naples
“Federico II” and IPiGET CNR; Papa R et al (1995) La città come sistema dinamicamente com-
plesso. In: Bertuglia CS, Fuccella R, Sartorio GL (eds) La città come sistema complesso in crisi
strutturale-strumenti e tecniche per il governo metropolitano. Giuffrè, Rome.
5 See, in particular, the indicators used within the United Nations Local Agenda 21 Programme for
Sustainable Development or the European Common Indicators.