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Frontiers in Sustainable Cities
Number of Followers: 2  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2624-9634
Published by Frontiers Media Homepage  [96 journals]
  • The Trajectory of the Landscape and Functionality of Urban Watercourses: A
           Study of Lavras City, Brazil

    • Authors: Rafael de Brito Sousa, Patrícia Duarte de Oliveira Paiva, Michele Valquíra dos Reis, Nathalie Carcaud
      Abstract: The growth of the urban population promotes a strong pressure to occupy open spaces in urban center, including around watercourses. Canalization and drainage techniques favored urban expansion and occupation of these spaces. In long term, this has not been efficient, since it is not a sustainable decision, mainly in view of the challenges provided by climate change. The purpose of this work was to analyze the modification of the landscape and multifunctionality of the urban watercourses in relation to socioeconomic and environmental scope of the evolution of an urban area using Lavras city, Brazil, as model. For that, city's hydrographic grid was drawn from the digital elevation model (DEM) corrected by manual vectorization after field visits and analysis of high-resolution images. To understand natural and sociocultural evolution processes, a compilation of geo-historical information about the origin and formation of the city was made using Patchwork Quilt methodology. To understand the actions and perceptions of different actors from urban watercourses in Lavras, questionnaires were applied to the population, and interviews were directed to the public and private managers. It was observed that the watercourses and their surroundings lost a large part of their natural, social, and economic functions, after the 1980s, only having a drainage function. The areas in expansion prioritize the natural function preservation but lack the incentive to implement the other functions such as social and economic. With the economic valuation of land, the implementation of green and blue infrastructure has not yet been prioritized. Even with the legislation that provides multifunctional uses for rivers and their banks, the urban watercourses from Lavras remained largely monofunctional. This did not contribute to increasing the city's green areas and the reintegration of watercourses into the urban landscape. The population values the water present in the urban landscape and yearns for multifunctional solutions such as green areas and urban gardens. Public and private actors recognize the lack of clarity in the legislation, and in the definition of concepts and techniques to be adopted. Multifunctional solutions can be in favor of reconciling different interests, promoting the reintegration of rivers into the urban landscape.
      PubDate: 2022-06-23T00:00:00Z
       
  • Re-powering the Nature-Intensive Systems: Insights From Linking
           Nature-Based Solutions and Energy Transition

    • Authors: Sina Razzaghi Asl
      Abstract: Nature-based and energy transition strategies are amongst most considerable solutions that are gaining popularity in recent years, especially in global north. This review provides a new approach to link these apparently independent concepts to highlight the potentials of coupled systems. Exploring common boundary concepts such as energy infrastructure, natural capital, land sink, ecosystem services etc. in both energy and environmental geography fields can facilitate our understanding toward potential contributions of nature-based solutions and energy transition for efficiency and sustainability goals. The results of this review can help to further develop robust coupled systems to deal with urban societal and environmental challenges such as land and energy scarcity. This review presents a variety of theoretical foundations and the rationales behind nature-based solutions and energy transition including socio-technical transitions, socio-ecological-technological, land-energy transition, and circular economy scholarships. Finally, by proposing future research directions, the role of each boundary concept in coupled NbS-ET systems is shown.
      PubDate: 2022-06-22T00:00:00Z
       
  • Post-conflict Urban Renewal as an Ethnocratic Regime Practice: Racialized
           Governance of Redevelopment in Diyarbakir, Turkey

    • Authors: Deniz Ay, Kaner Atakan Turker
      Abstract: This paper explores the governance of a state-led urban renewal project in a politically contested area in the aftermath of a major armed conflict. Building on the ethnocratic regime theory, we explore the governance of the urban renewal process in the historic district of Suriçi by focusing on the political, spatial, and governmental underpinnings of displacement and dispossession in the context of the unresolved “Kurdish Question” of Turkey. We argue that this exclusionary and state-led urban renewal project is shaped around the ethnocratic state interests with limited real estate returns that aims to sanitize and dehistoricize the historic core of Diyarbakir given its political and socioeconomic significance for the Kurdish Movement. The rhetorical formation of a “renewed” historic core epitomizes the racialized governance that intensifies the race-class realities sitting at the center of the decades-old ethnic conflict in Turkey. The central government authority's use of gentrification in practice illustrates the ethnocratic regime's spatial, political, and economic repercussions for the Kurdish population as the country's largest ethnic minority. Suriçi‘s redevelopment illustrates that ethnocratic regime practices coexist with a democratic façade and militarization activates an ethnocratic urban regime. Our findings contribute to the literature on space and power by illustrating the incompleteness and paradoxical elements of settler-colonial urbanism.
      PubDate: 2022-06-20T00:00:00Z
       
  • Studying Sharp Changes of Urban Landscape: Concession Within Agricultural,
           Hydraulic, and Maritime Public Domain in Kelibia City, Northern Tunisia

    • Authors: Zeineb Kassouk, Hela Hammami, Haithem Ismail
      Abstract: Coastal cities are desirable places to live and work which results in ongoing and increasing urbanization. In southern Mediterranean countries, coastal urbanization often occurs on croplands. This expansion is frequently on most productive croplands and emerges as an important sustainability concern. The aim of this study is to quantify urban growth over lands in Kelibia city, a coastal region in Tunisia that is one of the most threatened Mediterranean regions. We describe the changes in urban structures during the period of 2012–2016 by using Multi dates Pleiades images and using Otsu binary and sample-based Edge segmentation. Otsu segmentation showed higher accuracy than Edge segmentation method. Based on Otsu binary maps, urban areas were quantified in two dates. The results illustrated a dramatic increase of urban areas at the expense of agricultural land, maritime public domain (MPD) and hydraulic public domain (HPD). Analysis of parameters for urban sprawl quantification evaluated a sharp increase of urbanization rate, intensity, and dynamic degree. FRAGSTAT metrics described the change of landscape structure due to the increase of fragmentation pace, compactness degree, shape complexity, and proximity reduction. This significant urban change in extent and structure during a short temporal scale could be considered as a serious issue. For this reason, the implementation of systematic strategies for urban monitoring requires citizen awareness, law enforcement, and scientific supervision to mitigate land consumption, reduce flooding vulnerability, and to control the environmental impacts of urbanization.
      PubDate: 2022-06-16T00:00:00Z
       
  • Principles and Design Scenarios for Sustainable Urban Food Logistics

    • Authors: Christoph Tochtrop, Manuel W. Bickel, Lena Hennes, Melanie Speck, Christa Liedtke
      Abstract: Food and nutrition systems are linked to all Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which makes their transition toward social-ecological behavior patterns crucial for an overarching sustainability transformation. The perspective of (urban) logistics is of special interest. It couples the production and consumption physically and virtually. In this context, we shed light on the design of the turnover point of food in urban areas from the supply chain toward consumers and contribute to an overarching systemic perspective toward establishing a sustainable multilevel food system. We describe current patterns in urban food systems and propose several principles for sustainable design of (urban) food systems based on concepts such as (regional) collaboration and food literacy. Using these principles, we provide four design scenarios that concretely imagine future urban food consumption and production patterns titled “slow stock supply service, ” “deliver into the daily walk, ” “central district food depot, ” “super food action place.” With this work we provide a starting for reflecting whether certain combinations of principles actually lead to patterns of daily life that are feasible, acceptable, or desirable. Moreover, we provide an initial qualitative assessment to stimulate further research that explores scenario pathways and incorporates additional indicators regarding the impact on social-ecological. We open up various research questions with regard to the overarching question of how urban food logistics should be designed to be consistent with the SDGs.
      PubDate: 2022-06-15T00:00:00Z
       
  • Best of Both Worlds' The Potentials and Challenges of Implementing
           Sustainable and Smart Urban Mobility

    • Authors: Carolin Schröder
      Abstract: In recent years, many academic and technical discussions about cities have been shaped by two topics: sustainability and smartness. While these two areas are evolving, there are definitely common grounds to be found in discourses on sustainability and smartness. First of all, this is the realization that any comprehensive transformation of long-term, complex processes requires governance and integration of topics and institutions, and second, that there can be no uniform approach to successfully becoming more sustainable or smarter. However, different directions of development can be identified that may—or may not—go together. Urban mobility has to deal with different definitions of and approaches to sustainability and smartness too. A specific format developed during the transdisciplinary project “Neue Mobilität Berlin” (New Mobility Berlin, http://neue-mobilitaet.berlin/) addresses these questions. Research results suggest, for one, that there are very practical technical issues that complicate a transition from existing mobility systems toward more sustainable and smart ones. For another, the results suggest that a comprehensive sustainable and smart urban mobility system will need more integration and coordination. This contribution takes off from project findings and discusses implications for the implementations of and discourses on smart and sustainable urban mobility.
      PubDate: 2022-06-15T00:00:00Z
       
  • Corrigendum: Covid-19 Lockdown in Spring 2020 in France Provided
           

    • Authors: Lucie Adélaïde, Sylvia Medina, Vérène Wagner, Perrine de Crouy-Chanel, Elsa Real, Augustin Colette, Florian Couvidat, Bertrand Bessagnet, Maxime Alter, Amélie Durou, Sabine Host, Marion Hulin, Magali Corso, Mathilde Pascal
      PubDate: 2022-06-13T00:00:00Z
       
  • Local Food Systems: Making Visible the Invisible Through Urban Agroecology

    • Authors: Walter Alberto Pengue
      Abstract: The world is going through the second wave of urbanization. Although cities still occupy a relatively small area, they are the main consumers of natural resources, energy and water. And in general, they depend for their food, on resources from outside. The economic and bioecological crisis such as the economic one, the social one, pandemics, war or clime change, have faced cities with unexpected problems but also with new perspectives. Likewise, the advance of industrial agriculture nearby urban areas generates other types of impacts. The intensive use of agrochemicals and synthetic fertilizers, especially in developing countries but also in developed countries, impacts the socio-environmental health of urbanites. Making visible the invisible and the immeasurable—through tools such as ecological economics–puts under a comprehensive umbrella, a set of ecological, social and economic aspects that urban societies had not perceived until now such as greening of cities, the recovery of ecosystem services and restoration of “brown lands” or the relevance of food self-sufficiency production. Urban agroecology plays a significant role to reach these ones and begins to be a real possibility to build local food systems and new ways of consumption and networks. This is a particular contribution in times of crises.
      PubDate: 2022-06-10T00:00:00Z
       
  • Geospatial Approaches to Model Renewable Energy Requirements of the New
           Capital City of Indonesia

    • Authors: Walter Timo de Vries, Marc Schrey
      Abstract: Predicting how a planned city will develop and expand after its construction, and which resources, such as energy, the city will need over time is only possible if one can rely on similar examples and reliable models. Given the existing spatial plans for the design of the new capital city of Indonesia, there is a need to develop and compare city development scenarios–in spatial expansion, population size, resource, energy and food requirements. A combination of various geospatial data approaches can address this knowledge and assessment gap. This article investigates spatial expansion, forest encroachment and sustainable energy infrastructure requirements using open access geodata and models. The hypothesis is that the constitution of the new capital city of Indonesia can rely on existing energy infrastructures but may also need to rely on additional resources. The research approach was to collect and integrate different types of geospatial data related to land use, terrain characteristics and population growth assumptions and connect these to both urban growth models and predictions and energy. This relied on land use change methodologies and urban growth models to simulate and predict spatial effects, with ca particular focus on the expansion of energy requirements. The choice to focus on energy requirements additionally required a comparison of different kinds of energy sources, such as solar and wind energy. The conclusion is that all design and expansion scenarios indicate a possible spatial conflict between locating sustainable energy production facilities with maintaining ecologically sensitive areas. A possible solution is to make use of existing mining infrastructures to enhance sustainable energy production and to make use of dual land and water solar energy systems.
      PubDate: 2022-05-31T00:00:00Z
       
  • Contours of Urban Violence and Insecurity: Digital Media Technologies and
           Mitigation of Urban Violence Among Undocumented African Migrants in South
           Africa

    • Authors: Thabiso Muswede
      Abstract: This is a qualitative exploratory investigation into the use of digital media technologies in the mitigation of security concerns among undocumented migrants in the informal settlements within urban South Africa. The article acknowledges that adaptation of migrants in new environments is generally compounded by a myriad of challenges most of which are linked to lack of access to government systems and social capital or survival networks. This is particularly applicable to the urban settings where rampant violent crime and insecurity concerns are often laced with outbursts of xenophobia, which contribute to further uncertainties among migrants. Extensive literature review and social media theory are used to explore the potential for digital media tools to mitigate violence and insecurity among migrants. A piloted in-depth interview was used to collect data from undocumented immigrants based on a snowballed sample to saturation levels. Data were analyzed thematically to generate themes from which study findings were derived. Study findings show that, undocumented migrants suffer inexplicable barrages of social injustice due to violent crime and other insecurity concerns largely because they are scared to report cases to law enforcement agents, who in turn arrest them for being illegal in the country. Subsequently, the advent of digital and social media platforms, particularly WhatsApp helps them to create a survival network that provides a sense of security and to foster collaborations that deal with their safety concerns, uncertainty, and support for victims of violent crime.
      PubDate: 2022-05-30T00:00:00Z
       
  • Participatory Governance of Culture and Cultural Heritage: Policy, Legal,
           Economic Insights From Italy

    • Authors: Christian Iaione, Elena De Nictolis, Maria Elena Santagati
      Abstract: The topic of participatory governance of cultural heritage (hereinafter PGCH) is increasingly at the core of the debate on the policy approach to cultural heritage in Europe. This paper aims at offering an innovative approach to this topic by bringing a multi-actor, commons-based governance model, whereby it is often stated that PGCH may well be implemented by entrusting local communities with the restoration and valorization of cultural heritage. We argue that this model is best realized through a public-private-community partnership (PPCP) employing a diversity of legal tools. The article sketches out the legal background underpinning PGCH, provides an overview of its conceptualization in the academic debate and looks at the main policy initiatives adopted at the European and Italian domestic level. The article goes on focusing on commons-oriented case-studies of PGCH, adopting a qualitative methodology: the experimental process of the Co-Roma social partnership (Rome); the Faro Heritage Community Friends of Molo San Vincenzo (Naples); the Royal Estate of Carditello (San Tammaro); the Catacombs in Rione Sanità (Naples). Finally, the article raises some reflections and comments on the peculiarity of the PPCP model and its criticalities. The main argument we advance is that a commons-inspired, multi-actor governance model is a way to implement the vision entrenched by the European Union and the Council of Europe for supporting PGCH. This approach to PGCH may contribute to develop a sustainable and inclusive governance model, adaptive to the local needs.
      PubDate: 2022-05-26T00:00:00Z
       
  • Do High-Speed Rails Improve the Allocation Level of Medical Resources'

    • Authors: Hong Wu, Xingbo Rong, Mengfan Zhao
      Abstract: Transportation is an important factor that affects social public health and basic services. The opening of high-speed rails also has an impact on China's urban medical and other basic health services. Based on the panel data of 280 cities at the prefecture level and above in China from 2008 to 2018, this study uses a multi-period difference-in-difference model to explore the impact of opening high-speed rails on the level of urban medical resources, and uses the mediation effect model to analyze its path of influence. The empirical results show that opening high-speed rails has significantly increased the level of medical resources in the city, and the impact has a time lag of about 3 years. Second, government actions are one of the mechanisms by which the opening of high-speed rails affect the level of medical resources. Finally, there is regional heterogeneity in the impact of high-speed rails opening on medical resources. The opening of high-speed rails has a stronger role in promoting the level of medical resources in eastern cities and provincial capitals of China. The conclusion of this study has certain policy significance for improving the social and economic welfare of HSR and promoting the rational allocation of medical resources.
      PubDate: 2022-05-26T00:00:00Z
       
  • The United States Urban Hierarchy: An Update

    • Authors: Daniel A. Griffith
      Abstract: The sole well-recognized United States (US) urban hierarchy articulation essentially is outdated, even though selected recent work seeks to upgrade it. The primary goal of this paper is to update it in a definitive and comprehensive fashion. This paper describes the conceptual framework underlying such observed orderings, itemizes certain strengths and weaknesses of the existing articulation, and then posits a justifiable renovated US urban hierarchy. Next, recapped analyses expose both contiguity and urban hierarchy spatial autocorrelation components of the upper tiers of the 2020 US metropolitan area population rank size distribution. Noteworthy is that these descriptions entail positive-negative spatial autocorrelation mixtures. Inventoried output from the research efforts leading to this paper includes: a contemporary US urban hierarchy articulation that should prove serviceable for at least the next few decades; and, an apparatus providing a practical contribution for improving cultural, environmental, and social aspects of systems of cities through, for example, better cost containment and more efficient/effective delivery of urban public health services and utilization/consumption. The Earth's scientists need this category of tool to incorporate into methodology combating negative effects of globalization that materialize via spatial diffusion.
      PubDate: 2022-05-23T00:00:00Z
       
  • Activity Spaces and Big Data Sources in Segregation Research: A
           Methodological Review

    • Authors: Kerli Müürisepp, Olle Järv, Tiit Tammaru, Tuuli Toivonen
      Abstract: The activity space approach is increasingly mobilized in spatial segregation research to broaden its scope from residential neighborhoods to other socio-spatial contexts of people. Activity space segregation research is an emerging field, characterized by quick adaptation of novel data sources and interdisciplinary methodologies. In this article, we present a methodological review of activity space segregation research by identifying approaches, methods and data sources applied. First, our review highlights that the activity space approach enables segregation to be studied from the perspectives of people, places and mobility flows. Second, the results reveal that both traditional data sources and novel big data sources are valuable for studying activity space segregation. While traditional sources provide rich background information on people for examining the social dimension of segregation, big data sources bring opportunities to address temporality, and increase the spatial extent and resolution of analysis. Hence, big data sources have an important role in mediating the conceptual change from a residential neighborhood-based to an activity space-based approach to segregation. Still, scholars should address carefully the challenges and uncertainties that big data entail for segregation studies. Finally, we propose a framework for a three-step methodological workflow for activity space segregation analysis, and outline future research avenues to move toward more conceptual clarity, integrated analysis framework and methodological rigor.
      PubDate: 2022-05-23T00:00:00Z
       
  • The Political Exploitation and Human (In) Security of Illegal Street
           Vendors in the Post-colonial Urban Informal Sector of Harare in Zimbabwe

    • Authors: Enock Ndawana
      Abstract: This article examines the complexities around urban informality, in particular illegal street vending in post-colonial Harare in Zimbabwe from 2000 to 2021. It focuses on the positions of the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front party and the Movement for Democratic Change opposition political party regarding illegal street vending. The study acknowledges the role played by the broader macro-economic environment in initiating and sustaining informal trading practices in the City of Harare but establishes the link between illegal street vending and politics and the concomitant effects on human security. Among others, it uses Ananya Roy's ideas about how the state “makes and unmakes” informality and primary and secondary sources of data to mainly argue that the political exploitation of the illegal street vending activities in Harare has detrimental effects on both urban governance and human security. The article concludes that illegal street vending is an integral part of urban societies in Africa and beyond serving different needs in the local economy. Consequently, the politicization and human (in) security of the illegal street vendors in Harare can partly be mitigated when formal employment is generated and political parties stop interfering in the running of the city for the furtherance of their selfish agendas.
      PubDate: 2022-05-23T00:00:00Z
       
  • Spatial Regression in the Presence of a Hierarchical Transportation
           Network: Application to Land Price Analysis

    • Authors: Daisuke Murakami, Hajime Seya
      Abstract: Transportation networks have a hierarchical structure, and the spatial scale of their impact on urban growth differs depending on the hierarchy. However, in empirical analyses of the impacts that transportation has on land use and prices, such hierarchy is often examined using dummy variables, and the network dependence and heterogeneity of impacts are often ignored. Thus, this study develops a spatial regression method that considers not only spatial dependence, but also network dependence within a hierarchical transportation network. This method was developed by extending the random effects eigenvector spatial filtering approach. Subsequently, it was applied to a pre-existing analysis that focused on the impacts that high-speed rail (HSR) had on residential land prices in Japan over the last 30 years. The results of the analysis suggested that HSR lines had hierarchical effects on residential land prices. The results also provide interesting insight into the ongoing problem of Japanese urban hierarchy; that is, the excessive concentration of population and industry in the Tokyo metropolitan area.
      PubDate: 2022-05-23T00:00:00Z
       
  • Causality Between Urbanization and Economic Growth: Evidence From the
           Indian States

    • Authors: Abdul Shaban, Karima Kourtit, Peter Nijkamp
      Abstract: There is an abundance of studies on the urban-rural dichotomy. In the mainstream economic and regional science literature, the urban centers have usually been described as growth machines, growth poles, or growth foci, and urbanization as a driver of economic growth. It is commonly assumed that the assemblage of factors of production in urban centers will create economies of scale, and that economic growth will trickle down from these centers to the periphery. Most of these studies hypothesize a mono-directional causal relationship between urbanization and economic growth. However, there are ample possibilities of reverse causalities in regions where the propulsive powers of urban centers are weaker and where social overhead capital (SOC) is not adequately developed in non-urban regions. In this situation, even minor economic changes in non-urban economies will cause the growth of the urban population. The present paper attempts to examine the relationship between urbanization and economic growth in India at the state level during 1971–2020 by employing a bootstrap panel Granger causality test. It is found that in India the majority of the states display a unidirectional Granger causality from economic growth to urbanization. This finding indicates not only a lower propulsive power of urban centers, but also an unbalanced development of SOC between urban centers and rural areas, hence causing a migration of people to cities with a rise in their income in order to take advantage of the urban facilities.
      PubDate: 2022-05-20T00:00:00Z
       
  • “Making Slow Path”. The Arts-Based Event
           “Gebermte” as an Act of Commoning

    • Authors: Sofia Saavedra Bruno, Lavinia Isan, Wossen Gebreyohannes Balcha, Pieter Van den Broeck
      Abstract: This paper explores the transformative potential of Commoning for establishing an urban governance arrangement of an inter-municipal slow path connection located on a former railway embankment—the “Berm” in Mortsel, in the Province of Antwerp, Belgium. To do so, this paper makes use of French pragmatist sociology, namely the “Théorie des Cités (TdC)”, and proposes what we term a “TdC plus” (TdC+), which enhances the TdC with insights from personal psychology, interpersonal interactions and socio-institutional dynamics; the TdC+ also incorporates features of the Landed Commons (Grand Principles of the Landed Commons) into the TdC's approach of common good and operationalises it from an Action research perspective. The paper focuses on the transformative potential of “Gebermte 2019”, an arts-based local initiative aiming to support the establishment of a slow path on the Berm. It illustrates how small scale actions, such as citizens' cultural activities (considered as embedded in processes involving multiple actors over an extended period of time), can be instrumental in empowering civil society groups and help overcome conflict and foster collaboration. It explores the role of supralocal urban governance arrangements in making local initiatives more effective.
      PubDate: 2022-05-18T00:00:00Z
       
  • True Reduction in the Air Pollution Levels in the Community of Madrid
           During the COVID-19 Lockdown

    • Authors: Jose María Cordero, Adolfo Narros, Rafael Borge
      Abstract: The coronavirus disease (COVID) lockdown was implemented in 2020, which included harsh restrictions on the amount of traffic. As a consequence, a low-emission scenario that could only be simulated before, actually occurred. This constituted a unique and valuable opportunity to study the effect of air quality pollutant concentrations. Although a direct comparison between the observed measured values given by reference air quality stations (AQSs) and values from before the COVID lockdown provides an idea of the pollution reduction, it cannot be separated from the meteorology, and hence, those studies could be misleading. This study used the approach of modeling a normal business day using both air quality and meteorological data from 2017 to 2019 to train machine-learning models to be able to predict what concentration of the three most concerning pollutants (NO2, O3, and PM10) would be given by the meteorological conditions and the time of the year. The XGBoost and LightGBM gradient boosting decision tree-based models were applied to the time series recorded in Madrid and used to predict the expected concentrations in 2020 if no restrictions had been made. The predictions could then be compared to the real observed AQS data to determine the meteorological normalized reductions. The results showed around a 60% reduction in the NO2 at the three types of AQSs (traffic, suburban, and background) during the most restrictive months of the pandemic. The O3 concentration showed a different behavior depending on the type of AQS, pointing to changes in the regime of other pollutants, such as VOCs. The PM10 was the most difficult case to analyze because of its dependence on external transport phenomena, which were difficult to consider in the models. A set of CTM simulations should be done in the future to assess the O3-VOCs-NOx chemistry.
      PubDate: 2022-05-18T00:00:00Z
       
  • We Have Sent Ourselves to Iceland (With Apologies to Iceland): Changing
           the Academy From Internally-Driven to Externally Partnered

    • Authors: Gerald G. Singh
      Abstract: In Brave New World, Aldus Huxley presented a dystopic vision of the world where global despotic power was maintained, in part, through isolating academics in Iceland. Current academic accountability is based on notions of excellence that reflect prestige. In governing itself based on excellence, I argue academia has metaphorically sent itself to Iceland, which has consequences for the relevance of academia toward sustainable development. Internally-driven academies are facing their own sustainability issues, as more students are trained for too-few professor positions, and must find work in other fields with inadequate training. Academic measures of excellence attempt to reflect merit but perpetuate pre-conceived notions of prestige, which is discriminatory, contributes to intellectual gate-keeping, and distracts from research rigor and policy relevance. Measures of excellence fail to translate to real-world impact in three important ways: academic reviews that accounts for prestige lead to poor and biased predictions of outcomes of research projects; prestigious individuals are not more reliable experts than less prestigious individuals (and may be more overconfident); prestigious institutions are not more likely to contribute to sustainable development outcomes than less prestigious institutions. It is time to drop academic notions of excellence and turn toward external partnerships, where academic institutions can focus more on real-world impact, train students for diverse careers, and allow academic research to focus on quality over quantity. For academia to be relevant to society, and to serve people graduating academic institutions, academia must proactively leave Iceland and rejoin the rest of the world.
      PubDate: 2022-05-17T00:00:00Z
       
 
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