Highlights in Urban Studies 2018

Looking back at the past year to inspire the future: Springer's Editorial Team share a selection of the top downloaded books & articles in 2018, together with their outlook on 2019. 

Editor Juliana Pitanguy on Urban Studies in 2018

Juliana Pitanguy © SpringerWhat a year it has been for Urban Studies, Urban Geography and Urban Planning! The challenges cities face are more and more at the forefront of public debate. This is not merely by chance as more than 50% of the world’s population lives in cities and the tendency is for an increase in the move to urban areas. Governments see the need of dealing with urban problems, moving more thoughtfully than before towards renewable energies, the creation of resilient cities, and smart urban and regional planning.

The Special IPCC Report has marked 2018, stating that limiting global warming to 1.5°C will be a challenging task, but the effects of not doing so would be catastrophic and could result in greater heat waves, severe weather, the destruction of ecosystems and Arctic ice-free summers. Looking ahead... 

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Looking ahead, governments will have to think innovatively and avoid their dependency on fossil fuels. What has changed is the scale of the problem and the overall mindfulness about the necessity of tackling these issues. The hope is that it will lead to solutions to urbanization challenges in 2019 and thereafter.

Global attention to the topic in turn means that urban studies as a discipline is flourishing, and so are our urban studies activities. Springer launched a dedicated urban studies portal in 2018 which showcases titles, the monthly Editor’s Choice and interviews with experts in the field. We exhibited at the 2018 World Cities Summit in Singapore, a very important event gathering academics and industry, and we hosted the Springer Nature event on Sustainable Cities. On October 31st 2018, World Cities Day, we celebrated the program with a press release.

As for our series, The Urban Book Series was indexed by Scopus and published its 47th title: J.W.R. Whitehand and the Historico-geographical Approach to Urban Morphology. In 2019 we will celebrate 50 published volumes! The Cities and Nature series boasts an excellent new team of Editors: Peter Newman and Cheryl Desha who are already making the series an even greater success. We launched the Local and Urban Governance series with Prof. Carlos Nunes, and the Megacities and Megacity-Regions series.

As for individual titles, there were so many remarkable ones published in 2018, but to pinpoint a few: Segregation by Design, a unique book with conversations and essays from members of the community in St. Louis; The Governance of Smart Transportation Systems on smart mobility and the future of transportation; Urban Governance and Informal Settlements, a truly interesting book on the context of urban governance in Indonesia; and The Urban Garden City with an overview of gardens through history.  Among the open access books we published were Housing Estates in Europe and Innovation Capacity and the City.

2018 has been a very successful year – a big thanks to our authors and editors! In 2019, I would like to continue working closely with the community to grow a publishing program that is useful not only for academia, but also to government and professionals. The hope is that the research can be used as a reference guide for future decisions, creating resilient cities with efficient governments and with people at the core. My wish for 2019 is to innovate in the research we publish, and for that we count on our many authors.


Juliana Pitanguy is a Publishing Editor for Springer and based in the Dordrecht, Netherlands office. She manages Springer’s Urban Studies program.

10 Most Downloaded Journal Articles

For the most downloaded articles in the areas of Geography, Earth Sciences, Climate, Water and Environmental Sciences please visit our specialty highlight pages. Scroll down for more information.

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