Sustainable Tropical Cities: A Scoping Review of Multidisciplinary Methods for Urban Planning




sustainable cities, practical methods, multidisciplinary approaches, sustainable urban development, urban sustainability assessment, tropical cities


Most studies of urban sustainability are characterised by traditional approaches focusing on environmental aspects. These studies often neglect the influence of issues such as governance, society, culture, and geography. Multidisciplinary contributions remain poorly understood in this field, although evidence suggests that regional, geographical and socio-cultural factors are essential in shaping sustainable urban planning. Following Arksey and O'Malley’s (2005) scoping approach to literature reviews, this article provides a mapping technique and a scoping review to show the extent and nature of applied methodologies in the field of urban sustainability. The paper finds that there is a global need for sustainable urban planning through innovative multidisciplinary approaches. The paper calls for an accelerated knowledge creation in the field of urban development based on climate-classifications, socio-economic information, and locational characteristics. It particularly notes the need for research in the Tropics where distinct socio-economic dynamics and climate conditions have specific impacts on sustainable urban planning.

Author Biography

Taha Chaiechi, James Cook University, Australia

Dr Taha Chaiechi is Associate Professor of Economics in the College of Business, Law and Governance where she is also Australia Director, Centre for International Trade and Business in Asia (CITBA). Currently Taha is serving James Cook University as Expert Member on the Academic Board. Previously she has contributed to the governance and the Teaching & Learning profile of the College in different capacities. She is also Associate Editor-in-Chief, Bulletin of Applied Economics (ABDC ranked). Taha is an expert in systematic modelling of dynamic relationships between economic, environmental and social variables. Her research attitude is holistic and inspired by issues in climate change and natural disasters, and their impacts on different economic sectors such as health, tourism, environment, energy, and cities. At the core of her research philosophy is sustainable development, and she uses the 2030 Agenda as a malleable guide throughout her research. Taha’s multidisciplinary research approach has resulted in numerous collaborative projects over a broad spectrum of research topics, with the intention to enhance methodological approaches that are especially suitable for sustainability analysis.   


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How to Cite

Chaiechi, T. (2020). Sustainable Tropical Cities: A Scoping Review of Multidisciplinary Methods for Urban Planning. ETropic: Electronic Journal of Studies in the Tropics, 19(2), 25–51.