Design and application of a Sustainable Urban Surface Rating System (SURSIST)
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AuthorJato Espino, Daniel; Ebenezer, Yiwo; Rodríguez Hernández, Jorge; Canteras Jordana, Juan Carlos
Urban surfaces reflect the economic, environmental and social idiosyncrasy of cities, playing a crucial role in the sustainable development of modern civilizations. Thus, the planning and efficient management of the skin of urban areas provides an opportunity to facilitate the fulfilment of the needs of present and future generations. However, there is a lack of specific tools to evaluate the contribution of these surfaces to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is the current framework adopted by the United Nations to measure progress towards sustainability. Consequently, this paper describes the design and application of a Sustainable Urban Surface Rating System (SURSIST) aimed at producing a composite sustainability index to measure the contribution of the land cover of entire cities to meeting the SDGs. SURSIST was based on a series of indicators proposed in accordance to the targets forming the SDGs, which were processed by combining CORINE Land Cover (CLC) maps with the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) and the Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution (TOPSIS). The application of SURSIST to the Spanish cities of Santander and Valencia during the time period from 1990 to 2006 demonstrated the progressive decrease in sustainability experienced by their urban surfaces due to the increased presence of impermeable covers. The replacement of a moderate part of the built-up area present in both cities in 2006 by greenspace proved to be a solution for recovering the degree of sustainability lost from 1990.