Aims & Scope

Photo: Dennis Hill
Photo: Dennis Hill

Buildings and Cities is an international, open access, peer-reviewed, academic journal publishing high-quality research and analysis on the interplay between the different scales of the built environment: buildings, blocks, neighbourhoods, cities, national building stocks and infrastructures.

The journal focuses on built environment policy, practices and outcomes and the range of economic, environmental, political, social and technological issues occurring over the full life cycle.

It provides a platform for new ideas, innovative approaches and research-based insights that can help improve the built environment.

Buildings & Cities aims to make research accessible and relevant to academics, policymakers, practitioners, clients, and occupants.

Buildings & Cities' wide scope embraces:

  • SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS (SDGs) & CLIMATE CHANGE: making cities, neighbourhoods and buildings inclusive, safe and resilient. Interactions with and impacts on: ecologies, biodiversity and ecosystem services; resource usage (land, water, air, energy, materials / mass flows); climate change (mitigation and adaptation, e.g. planning, design, management); transitions to low-carbon societies; carbon accounting / budgets; sustainable development (social, economic, environmental and natural capitals); regenerative development; circular economy, longevity and obsolescence; public health and wellbeing; public space and social inclusion; participatory planning and management; affordable housing; informal settlements; social justice (housing, rights to the city, land tenure, land use and value); resilience and long-term planning; urban development and land-use; urban density; urban morphology; spatial analysis; urban microclimates; rapid urbanisation; migration; links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas.
  • ENERGY: energy and urban morphology, energy performance, energy policy, energy demand, energy behaviours, energy efficiency, exergy, mass retrofits, energy and carbon metrics, zero carbon buildings, embodied energy, energy epidemiology, renewable energy, energy storage, energy transitions, space heating, space cooling, district heating, energy retrofits, control systems.
  • POLICY: urban governance; land use; density; resource consumption; well-being and public health; formulation and evaluation of public and institutional policies for buildings, neighbourhoods and cities; economic, environmental and social analysis of policies and regulations; policy outcomes; enforcement strategies; real estate market mechanisms; value capture; ‘big data’; research and innovation capabilities; knowledge and technology transfer; organisational structures and networks; (stakeholder) institutions and institutional change; engagement processes; building regulations, alternative regulatory strategies for climate and energy issues
  • PRACTICE, PERFORMANCE, OUTCOMES & IMPACTS: design, technical, social, organisational, and economic aspects of usability (fitness and adaptability); the performance and evaluation of urban areas, neighbourhoods and buildings; feedback loops; information access / sharing, including BIM, PoE and BPE data; the broad value and impacts of buildings, neighbourhoods, cities. Exploring the agency, capabilities, motivations and influence of public leaders, clients, professionals, urban citizens / inhabitants and others on decisions and outcomes over the project lifecycle. Professionalism, ethics, changing roles, professional services firms, public sector capabilities.
  • SOCIETAL DEMANDS & CAPABILITIES: Defining and exploring the changing demands and aspirations on urban and architectural development; understanding citizens/inhabitants’ desires, needs and behaviours; stakeholder participation, contractual agency, social justice/equity; value measurement and appropriation; performance of buildings and cities (as products and services); digital society: sensing, monitoring, control, AI and consumer services; stewardship and protection of societal interests; demographic changes, migration and urbanisation strategies.

Papers are published in the following formats:

  • Research articles (up to 8,000 words) present the latest research
  • Synthesis articles (up to 8,500 words) critically review the state of knowledge in key areas of interest
  • Methods articles (up to 5,000 words) describe the development of innovative research methods and practices; new ways of understanding research
  • Replication articles (up to 4,000 words) test previous findings and validate existing data sets. This can report on "failure" results. Registered reports are a submission option for replication studies, with peer review of the research design prior to the data collection.
  • Policy Analysis articles (up to 3,000 words) put forward evidence-based analysis of particular policy approaches
  • Briefing Notes (up to 2,500 words) make research results and their implications on key built environment topics accessible to the end users of research: policymakers, practitioners, clients or occupants.

Peer Review Statement

All manuscript submissions are subject to initial appraisal by the Editors, and, if found suitable for further consideration, to double-blind peer review by independent, anonymous expert referees.  Further changes may be required in response to the reviewer’s comments and suggestions.  In all instances the Editor’s decision on publication is final.

Transparency, Open Data & Ethics

Authors of published research must comply with BUILDINGS & CITIES’ approach to standards of transparency.  These include:

  • Citation standards: Authors are required to provide appropriate citation for others’ intellectual content, data and materials following this journal's author guidelines
  • Data transparency:Data must be posted to a trusted repository.  Exceptions must be identified at article submission.
  • Analytic methods: Methods (including code / algorithms) must be posted to a trusted repository. Exceptions must be identified at article submission.
  • Design & analysis transparency: Journal requires adherence to design transparency standards for review and publication.
  • Study & analysis preregistration:Authors must state whether preregistration of study or analytical procedure exists and, if so, where to access it.
  • Ethics: The research conforms with international human rights and ethical requirements of relevant research bodies, professional institutions and the author's organisation.

Latest Peer-Reviewed Journal Content

Journal Content

Implications of urban expansion: land, planning and housing in Lagos
B Oyalowo

Technological fascination and reluctance: gendered practices in the smart home
L K Aagaard & L V Madsen

Attuning smart home scripts to household and energy care
D Chambers

Modern methods of construction: reflections on the current research agenda [editorial]
S D Green

Masculine roles and practices in homes with photovoltaic systems
M Mechlenborg & K Gram-Hanssen

Brokering Gender Empowerment in Energy Access in the Global South
A Schiffer, M Greene, R Khalid, C Foulds, C A Vidal, M Chatterjee, S Dhar-Bhattacharjee, N Edomah, O Sule, D Palit & A N Yesutanbul

Housing adaptability: new research, emerging practices and challenges [editorial]
S Pelsmakers & E Warwick

Living in an Active Home: household dynamics and unintended consequences
F Shirani, K O’Sullivan, K Henwood, R Hale & N Pidgeon

Institutionalisation of urban climate adaptation: three municipal experiences in Spain
M Olazabal & V Castán Broto

Energy housekeeping: intersections of gender, domestic labour and technologies
R Martin

Speculation beyond technology: building scenarios through storytelling
R M Dowsett, M S Green & C F Harty

Professional judgement: an institutional logic approach to contractor tender pricing
D Jefferies & L Schweber

Emerging technologies’ impacts on ‘man caves’ and their energy demand
Y Strengers, K Dahlgren & L Nicholls

The gender of smart charging
S Pink

Fire performance and regulatory considerations with modern methods of construction
B J Meacham

Who cares? How care practices uphold the decentralised energy order
K Lucas-Healey, H Ransan- Cooper, H Temby & A W Russell

Alternatives to air-conditioning: policies, design, technologies, behaviours [editorial]
B Ford, D Mumovic & R Rawal

Benchmarking energy performance: indicators and models for Dutch housing associations
H S van der Bent, H J Visscher, A Meijer & N Mouter

Emissions from a net-zero building in India: life cycle assessment
M Jain & R Rawal

Lack of adaptability in Brazilian social housing: impacts on residents
S B Villa, P B Vasconcellos, K C R de Bortoli & L B de Araujo

Participation in domestic energy retrofit programmes: key spatio- temporal drivers
E Mohareb, A Gillich & D Bristow

Embodied carbon of concrete in buildings, Part 2: are the messages accurate?
A Moncaster, T Malmqvist, T Forman, F Pomponi & J Anderson

An alternative approach to delivering safe, sustainable surgical theatre environments
C A Short, A W Woods, L Drumright, R Zia & N Mingotti

Adapting owner-occupied dwellings in the UK: lessons for the future
T Hipwood

Integrating low energy cooling & ventilation strategies in Indian residences
M J Cook, Y Shukla, R Rawal, C Angelopoulos, L Caruggi-De-Faria, D Loveday, E Spentzou, & J Patel

Balconies as adaptable spaces in apartment housing
T Peters & S Masoudinejad

See all

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Clothing: The First Layer of Personal Comfort

Alongside personal comfort systems (PCS) devices, clothing is another key site for (re)design in a body-centred personal comfort paradigm. Janine Morley (Lancaster University) explains how clothing and PCS could transform how thermal comfort is achieved whilst delivering energy savings and, potentially, increased satisfaction.

Can Personal Carbon Allowances Help Cities Reach Their Climate Targets?

Many cities throughout the world have set carbon and / or energy targets including renewable energy production and emissions reduction goals. Despite the commitment to take action, cities do not directly control the majority of the uses of energy or consumption-related sources of carbon emissions within their boundaries. Could a focus on household energy use, personal travel and consumption of material goods help to achieve this transition at city level? Tina Fawcett (University of Oxford), Kerry Constabile (University of Oxford) and Yael Parag (Reichman University) consider whether and how cities could harness personal carbon allowances in a practical manner.