Call for Submissions: Rethinking Urban Population Density and Sustainable Cities



I am writing because Edgar Pieterse (from the African Center for Cities) and I are co-editing a special issue of “Rethinking Urban Population Density and Sustainable Cities” for the journal Sustainability. This made me think of all the excellent urban sustainability work happening at SCARP.


I would be grateful if you could pass this call for submissions on through your networks. We are particularly interested in submissions from emerging scholars and scholars addressing the issue from the perspective of urbanization in the global South.


We welcome papers that provoke/are critical of/problematize the relationship between urban population density and sustainability. More specifically, we want to encourage papers that are critical of what is often presented as a settled debate urban planning and policy circles: low urban population density or “sprawl” = bad, higher urban population density or “compactness” = good. (I do realize this is an oversimplification of this literature.)  


We welcome contributions, for example, that discuss density versus “overcrowding”; urban density and access to core services; and, obviously, we are thinking about how perceptions of urban density changes in the context of a contagious virus. 


I can imagine an interesting set of papers that look at urban population density and closely related issues from different geographic, historic, and cultural perspectives. And, from different urban sectoral perspectives, land use/urban form, transportation/mobility, housing, water and sanitation and so on. As well as, papers that are motivated by different outcomes, such as environmental sustainability, equity, and/or public health, would also be welcome. 


The deadline for submissions is February 21, 2021. 


One thing to note— Sustainability is a “full open access journal,” so authors have to pay an “article processing fee” of 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs), if accepted after peer review for publication. I hope this fee will not discourage people from submitting. 


I am happy to engage more with you or anyone interested in submitting a paper for review. Thank you for your help. Take care and be safe. 


Best regards,

Victoria A. Beard, Professor and Associate Dean for Research Initiatives
College of Architecture, Art, and Planning, Cornell University
Fellow, World Resource Institute, Washington, D.C.
Cell: 310.384.1624






Sunday, February 21, 2021