Projects / Programmes source: ARIS

Sustainable development of urban ecosystems

Research activity

Code Science Field Subfield
6.12.02  Humanities  Geography  Social geography 

Code Science Field
S240  Social sciences  Town and country planning 
sustainable development of cities and towns, research methodology, indicators of sustainable development, typology of cities and towns and urban areas, quality of living environment, planning of sustainable development, Slovenia
Evaluation (rules)
source: COBISS
Researchers (8)
no. Code Name and surname Research area Role Period No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  15403  PhD Dejan Cigale  Geography  Researcher  2007 - 2009 
2.  16049  PhD Barbara Lampič  Humanities  Researcher  2007 - 2009 
3.  19338  PhD Irena Mrak  Control and care of the environment  Researcher  2008 - 2009 
4.  16377  MSc Nataša Pichler-Milanovič  Geography  Researcher  2007 - 2008 
5.  03912  PhD Dušan Plut  Humanities  Head  2007 - 2009 
6.  14635  PhD Dejan Rebernik  Geography  Researcher  2007 - 2009 
7.  04291  PhD Metka Špes  Geography  Researcher  2007 - 2009 
8.  22693  PhD Katja Vintar Mally  Geography  Researcher  2007 - 2009 
Organisations (1)
no. Code Research organisation City Registration number No. of publicationsNo. of publications
1.  0581  University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Arts  Ljubljana  1627058  15 
In the introduction sustainable development of urban settlement acknowledges triple extension of requirements. The fundamental starting point is a search for balance, equilibration between environmental, economic and social goals of development of settlements, optimization of demands and interests. According to the challenging (and acute) problems of future urban development in the European Union and in Slovenia, the main goals of the proposed research project are set to: • analyze and evaluate indicators of sustainable development, used in previous comparable foreign and domestic research work. • form an internationally comparable methodology for evaluating the level of urban sustainability. • analyze the implementation of sustainable development in all Slovenian cities, using the evaluation of all three indicator groups. • propose a typology of cities according to their sustainability level. • study in greater detail the sustainability of selected cities, which represent individual types (also by using additional "qualitative" indicators). Scientific relevance of the results of the proposed research lies with the following characteristics of the research project: • New, holistic approach to the study of sustainable development of towns in Slovenia, which will take into account different relevant factors (e.g. size of towns, their functions, different city types, etc.). • Establishment of methodology for the analysis and evaluation of different facets of the development of cities/city areas/urban ecosystems. • Research on sustainable development of urban ecosystems will be the first comprehensive research of this sort in Slovenia. The research will develop also new methodological approaches in the field of city planning and development in combination with topics of spatial development and quality of living. Research is related to numerous international projects with similar topic in which the members of the project team participated as partners or consultants. All these studies were focused on the situation in wider European space (and thus, of necessity, were generalized) and did not take into account specific situation in Slovenia (or other countries). Also they covered only some segments of sustainable development. Especially environmental dimension was often studied only superficially. • Contribution to better understanding of cities, their functioning and city-forming processes. • Expected results will represent – especially from the methodological perspective – useful basis for future applied research of small and medium-sized towns. • Scientific relevance of the results of the proposed research coincides with the goals of international guidelines for the development of "sustainable settlements".
Significance for science
Fundamental project »The sustainable development of urban ecosystems« represents the first such research in Slovenia, introducing new methodological approaches in urban planning and development, connected with the sustainable development issues. The new, integral approach in sustainable urban development encounters the varies town sizes as well as their functions, various typologies ect. On the other hand it enables the forming of methodology to analyze and evaluate various aspects of urban ecosystems development. In theoretical-methodological and therefore scientific aspect the project results are introducing major novelties in the following fields: • The definition of urban system understanding - the understanding of the city as an open ecosystem; • The integral assessment of urban systems sustainable development – the integral geographic model of sustainable spatial research; • The city typology based on the combination of various criteria and the sorting of cities according to individual types regarding the central functions, demographic and economic development. The project represents an important contribution to better and especially different comprehension of their functioning as well as forming. Through this new opportunities as well as approaches to integral sustainable spatial planning the biggest conflicts of interests are being recognized. From the aspect of spatial recognition the important finding is that the cities need to be researched as materially and energetically opened systems with global, regional as well as local impacts. The conducted research is showing that from the sustainable point of view the impacts of various urban patterns as well as urban flows are poorly researched and usually useless for urban ecosystems. Therefore we have focused into new methodology enabling the integral and thorough research of urban cities metabolism. Through the project we have managed to form a matrix formation in order to reach an objective assessment and comparison of recent as well as future planned negative environmental impact. For small towns a selection of three groups of criteria has been made in order to follow the changes in quality of living as well as in quality of urban ecosystems themselves. Therefore the already established research model of environmental quality (DPSIR model) has been updated by two new methodological fields: the research of specific environmental vulnerability (self purifying, therefore neutralization and regeneration capability) of environmental components as well as the typology and assessment of crucial environmental degradation forms. The integral geographic model of sustainable spatial development research was upgraded by the empirical test in the case of Ljubljana. The wider use of upgraded scientific-research model is expected for various other cities and towns.
Significance for the country
The empiric project results are confirming the presumption that urban development in Slovenia is usually not directed in the sense of strengthened and polycentric based settlement pattern. The research has revealed the crucial fields of unsustainable urban development. The urban ecosystems analysis in Slovenia is very important for the spatial development of the country - especially the final part of the research that encounters testing of methodology of evaluation of the sustainable development rate in the case of Ljubljana. The City Municipality of Ljubljana has already used the results in the strategic spatial documents on the local level, as well as in professional documentation which represent a base for the development plans on the regional level (i.e. the regional spatial development of wider city area and the region), as well as a direction for local implementation documents in the field of future urban sprawl. The City Municipality of Ljubljana has financially supported the publishing of the monograph (Plut, 2008). Certain results have already been published in scientific papers of the project team members (Urbani Izziv, Dela, Geografski Vestnik, Razprave Filozofske fakultete); there are still some papers ready to be published or are already in print. The outcomes of this research project will support the prepositions to implement the strategic development aims of Slovenia- the economic, social, environmental, spatial but most importantly they will give directions for managing and spatial planning which will ensure the effective and attractive urban areas. The cities are actually recognized as development centers of wider, urban regions and as centers of strengthened polycentric development that is understood as the condition for accordant regional development. In the long run the project results will contribute to the implementation of sustainable development as well indirectly it will influence the higher competitiveness, economic and social cohesiveness at local, regional and state level. The methodology and results of the research are already included into university program of geography (Department of Geography, Faculty of Arts, University of Ljubljana) in the courses “Environmental protection”, “Urban Geography” and “Regional planning”. The Bologna reform enables the results to be included into two new courses - “Geography of the sustainable development” and “Human Ecology”.
Most important scientific results Annual report 2008, final report, complete report on dLib.si
Most important socioeconomically and culturally relevant results Annual report 2008, final report, complete report on dLib.si
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