Eleni Tracada
University of Derby
Faculty of Arts, Design and Technology

We are very pleased that we have been able to reach our purpose to publish a new series of very interesting papers that are relevant to our principles and practices of Biourbanism.
The contributions of the authors for the second issue have been conscientiously selected in order to initiate discussions on themes or issues that do not only relate to urban growth, but also to technological advancements enabling several contemporary cities to achieve almost full sustainable status (or, at least, assisting modern societies and local communities in their struggle to prevail against current rapid and volatile climate changes globally).

In his paper Towards sustainability: Self-organising communities, Juan Diego Pérez Téllez, a new researcher, introduces self-organising processes of urban communities in Spain supported by a variety of functional elements in micro scale through physical interactive elements for social collaboration. The author looks at proactive involvement of self-organised communities in the dynamic development of the socio-cultural heritage as controlled context for the evolution of modern urban systems. His approach is based on the geometrical linkage through permeable membranes of neighbourhoods, fractal interfaces of urban fabric and structures that support a hierarchical organisation of geometrically arranged urban components able to provide large scale coherence. A case study on Andalusia’s so-called casa de vecinos and patio town housing, given the distinctive morphological aspects and social development from past to present times and its relevant contribution to the contemporary urban fabric within a city, shows that still common uses of patio spaces shared by more than one neighbours may perform as fractal elements favouring complexity in human interactions and thus guaranteeing long-lasting urban coherence.

In the second paper with the title Studying Ten Principles of the Wholeness Theory Established By Christopher Alexander in Jamshidieh Park Design in Tehran, Iran, Aida Jadidi, an independent scholar, tries to understand re-uses of green areas for public use according to long-established formation of important nodal points/centres within natural environment; these important core areas may still support and complement each other to form wholeness (a self-balanced system). If some of these elements disappear during redesigning processes of green park areas, as it happened in Jamshidieh Park, a failure occurs, so that users should find themselves alienated. Thus, unbalanced core parts of a green park become unfavourable places to be, in spite the efforts to imitate nature in design.

In their paper Performance of underground dams as a solution for sustainable management of drought, Mir Masoud Kheirkhah Zarkesh, Delnaz Ata & Azadeh Jamshidi present the advantages of underground dams as valuable resources to provide not only water in rural agricultural areas, but also drinking water in costal urban areas. Their paper offers the opportunity for us to consider that, even the simplest technology to preserve water supplies nowadays can be proved an invaluable one and especially in costal areas that are so close to sea water or in areas with high temperatures in which water supplies may dry out very fast.

In his Sustainable Architecture: Utopia or Feasible Reality?, Dr. Zaheer Allam reflects upon issues relate on Sustainable Architecture as a contemporary discipline to be taught in order to train architects who will be brave enough to face the idea of acquiring a common view about sustainability; they should act as human beings to deliver more, when they share a common view to work for the greater good for an organization and have a common goal to serve communities of people. Dr. Allam proposes that a shared set of norms and values on sustainability may provide architects involved with a common language to understand events. Thus, they should be able to communicate easily with experts and communities at the same time to develop a desirable sustainable future for all.

In their Application of compensatory methods in industrial development site selection, Besat Emami, Farzad Taghizadeh & Elnaz Neinavaz discuss Site selection of industrial developments for establishment of coke making plant, using one of the relatively new compensatory decision-making methods; spatial analytical hierarchy process (S-AHP); the obtained results suggested that the application of compensatory methods used can be considered an appropriate powerful tool in decision making in practical and scientific terms. It could be considered as a very useful tool today where trends suggest that industrial development sites are often situated in wrong areas in proximity of urban areas or far away from them by spoiling green belts.

In Joseph Akinlabi Fadamiro’s paper with the title Affective correlates of landscapes for passive recreation in institutional campuses, Ogbomoso, Nigeria, the author suggests that statistical results of the data obtained and analysed have showed that landscape elements for passive recreation have physical qualities that are attractable to human beings to evoke affective responses and also the two groups of variables are positively correlated. In this study the author argues in favour of passive recreation through the outdoor landscape design of work environments and in conclusion suggests an approach to selecting elements for built landscape that will enhance suitable effects for passive recreation of human beings/users of institutional campuses.

Once again it has been a great pleasure to act as Editor in Chief of this issue and I should like to thank all the authors who have taken the time and effort to produce the published papers. However, I should also like to thank those authors who submitted papers, which did not attain the review process before the publication deadline. We are looking forward to seeing also these papers published in one of our next issues in which the papers should be considered as relevant to the specific theme proposed and discussed accordingly by our scientific committee.
I am also convinced that all issues raised by the papers included in this current issue will create a fruitful and interesting debate again. Therefore, I should encourage all readers and scholars to participate in additional discussions and contribute actively by writing their thoughts and findings in more papers in the near future. We are strongly encouraging research developments in the discipline of Biourbanism and we believe that this could only take place whenever constructive scientific and philosophical debates appear at any time worldwide.

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