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Urban Sci., Volume 4, Issue 2 (June 2020) – 16 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Transit-oriented development (TOD) has become a leading model of urban planning worldwide that promises to meet a broad range of local and regional objectives. This article discusses the policymakers’ hope and critics’ concern for the implementation of a newly started TOD project in Rosengård—a segregated, low-income neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden, through a mixed qualitative–quantitative method. The study illustrates that the area has gradually entered into a transit-induced gentrification process as well as some controversial evidence of the affordability paradox of TOD. The results also challenge the ability of TOD in physical planning to mitigate the current socioeconomic segregation in Rosengård. View this paper
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18 pages, 8385 KiB  
Article
Simplified Numerical Model for Analyzing the Effects of the Urban Heat Island upon Low-Rise Buildings by Using a Free-License Thermal Simulation Program
by Ivan Oropeza-Perez
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4020030 - 25 Jun 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3696
Abstract
In this document, the thermal effect of a heat island upon an urban area and its surrounding low-rise buildings is analyzed with the building thermal simulation program EnergyPlus and its EnergyPlus weather files (EPW). By using a top-down approach, a simplified numerical model [...] Read more.
In this document, the thermal effect of a heat island upon an urban area and its surrounding low-rise buildings is analyzed with the building thermal simulation program EnergyPlus and its EnergyPlus weather files (EPW). By using a top-down approach, a simplified numerical model is developed, which is used to simulate the urban heat island effect, and that deals with the performance of various cooling methods according to the physical, urban, and climatic characteristics of the urban site. The calculated results of outdoor air temperature considering the heat island effect achieve good agreement with the already-published results. Then, different methods of shading and cooling, varying physical values such as urban thermal transmittance, and urban thermal absorption are applied in order to find the most influencing feature upon the indoor temperature drop into a simulation loop. With this, it is found that a maximum average decrease of indoor temperature of 5.1 °C can be achieved. Furthermore, carrying out a sensitivity analysis, it is found that the albedo of both building surface and urban layout is the most influencing parameter onto the indoor thermal comfort. With this, it is expected to have a reliable model that helps to understand the urban heat island effect in a simple and cheap manner and in terms of the indoor thermal comfort of its surrounding buildings. Full article
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11 pages, 235 KiB  
Article
Family Income and Gang Presence in the Neighborhood: Diminished Returns of Black Families
by Shervin Assari, Shanika Boyce, Cleopatra H. Caldwell, Mohsen Bazargan and Ron Mincy
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4020029 - 24 Jun 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 4340
Abstract
Background: Based on the Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs) framework, indicators of high socioeconomic status, such as higher family income, show weaker protective effects on various developmental, behavioral, and health outcomes for Black than White families. As a result of these MDRs, Black families [...] Read more.
Background: Based on the Minorities’ Diminished Returns (MDRs) framework, indicators of high socioeconomic status, such as higher family income, show weaker protective effects on various developmental, behavioral, and health outcomes for Black than White families. As a result of these MDRs, Black families who access education and income still report high levels of depression, smoking, obesity, and chronic disease. Limited knowledge exists on MDRs of income on neighborhood quality. Aims: Built on the MDRs framework, this study tested the hypothesis of whether the effect of family income and maternal education at birth on neighborhood gang presence varies between Black and White families. The hypotheses were that: (1) higher income families would report lower gang presence in their neighborhood, and (2) compared to Whites, Blacks would show weaker protective effects of family income on gang presence in their neighborhood. Methods: The Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study is a 15-year follow up study of a random sample of births in cities with larger than 200,000 population. Two thousand nine hundred and nineteen White or Black families were included and were followed from birth of their child for 15 years. The predictors were family income and maternal education at birth, treated as categorical variables. The outcome was gang presence in the neighborhood at age 15. Logistic regression was used for data analysis. Results: Higher maternal education at birth was inversely associated with gang presence in the neighborhoods, while family income at birth did not show an effect on reducing gang presence in the neighborhood at age 15. Family income at birth and race interact, suggesting that the association between family income at birth and gang presence in the neighborhood at age 15 was weaker for Black than White families. Our race-stratified models also showed an inverse effect of family income at birth on gang presence in the neighborhood at age 15 in White but not Black families. Conclusions: Diminished returns of family income at birth on neighborhood safety and social disorder may be a mechanism that contributes to racial health disparities in higher socioeconomic status and also poor outcomes for Black families across socioeconomic status (SES) levels. That is, a smaller protective effect of family income on changing the real lives of Black compared to White families may be one of the mechanisms by which health is worse than expected in Black families, across the entire SES spectrum. The health, behavioral, and developmental disparities are not only due to the racial gap in SES but also diminishing returns of socioeconomic status indicators such as family income for racial minorities. Research should study contextual and structural factors that reduce Black families’ ability to mobilize their human capital and secure health outcomes in urban settings. Full article
17 pages, 2131 KiB  
Article
Multi-Domain Design Structure Matrix Approach Applied to Urban System Modeling
by Peter Hoffmann, Yutaka Nomaguchi, Keishiro Hara, Kana Sawai, Ingenuin Gasser, Myriam Albrecht, Benjamin Bechtel, Jana Fischereit, Kikuo Fujita, Philine Gaffron, Anne Caroline Krefis, Markus Quante, Jürgen Scheffran, Katharina Heinke Schlünzen and Malte von Szombathely
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4020028 - 21 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 5996
Abstract
Modeling the urban system for urban health and well-being with the aim of finding ways to optimize the well-being of urban dwellers is a complex task. Different modeling approaches that consider specific parts of the urban system, e.g., environmental stressors, urban society, and [...] Read more.
Modeling the urban system for urban health and well-being with the aim of finding ways to optimize the well-being of urban dwellers is a complex task. Different modeling approaches that consider specific parts of the urban system, e.g., environmental stressors, urban society, and urban morphology, need to be integrated. The conceptual model of health-related urban well-being (UrbWellth) has been constructed to provide a structure for an integrated modeling framework. However, interfaces between the different modeling approaches were not sufficiently identified until now. The challenge to specify and operationalize these interfaces is met by using the Design Structure Matrix (DSM) concept, which is widely used in design engineering. It is used here to identify necessary interfaces within the urban system by determining the relevant interface variables and processes. The conceptual model for UrbWellth is used to construct a DSM. The results of a clustering of this UrbWellth-based DSM reveal that the structure of the conceptual model is indeed suitable to serve as a basis for an integrated model. Further, a Multi-Domain DSM (MDDSM), which is an extension of the DSM based on expert knowledge from individual modelers, identified the interface variables for the integrated model components as well as the processes for which different modeling approaches need to be coordinated. Moreover, the approach based on MDDSM identified processes that are not yet covered by the available modeling approaches. Full article
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18 pages, 4203 KiB  
Article
The “Paris-End” of Town? Deriving Urban Typologies Using Three Imagery Types
by Kerry A. Nice, Jason Thompson, Jasper S. Wijnands, Gideon D. P. A. Aschwanden and Mark Stevenson
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4020027 - 27 May 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4459
Abstract
Urban typologies allow areas to be categorised according to form and the social, demographic, and political uses of the areas. The use of these typologies and finding similarities and dissimilarities between cities enables better targeted interventions for improved health, transport, and environmental outcomes [...] Read more.
Urban typologies allow areas to be categorised according to form and the social, demographic, and political uses of the areas. The use of these typologies and finding similarities and dissimilarities between cities enables better targeted interventions for improved health, transport, and environmental outcomes in urban areas. A better understanding of local contexts can also assist in applying lessons learned from other cities. Constructing urban typologies at a global scale through traditional methods, such as functional or network analysis, requires the collection of data across multiple political districts, which can be inconsistent and then require a level of subjective classification. To overcome these limitations, we use neural networks to analyse millions of images of urban form (consisting of street view, satellite imagery, and street maps) to find shared characteristics between the largest 1692 cities in the world. The comparison city of Paris is used as an exemplar and we perform a case study using two Australian cities, Melbourne and Sydney, to determine if a “Paris-end” of town exists or can be found in these cities using these three big data imagery sets. The results show specific advantages and disadvantages of each type of imagery in constructing urban typologies. Neural networks trained with map imagery will be highly influenced by the structural mix of roads, public transport, and green and blue space. Satellite imagery captures a combination of both urban form and decorative and natural details. The use of street view imagery emphasises the features of a human-scaled visual geography of streetscapes. However, for both satellite and street view imagery to be highly effective, a reduction in scale and more aggressive pre-processing might be required in order to reduce detail and create greater abstraction in the imagery. Full article
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18 pages, 7524 KiB  
Article
Biometric Pilot-Studies Reveal the Arrangement and Shape of Windows on a Traditional Façade to be Implicitly “Engaging”, Whereas Contemporary Façades are Not
by Nikos A. Salingaros and Ann Sussman
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4020026 - 18 May 2020
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 7441
Abstract
The human brain evolved to implicitly approach or avoid objects in its surroundings. Requisite for survival, this behavior happens without conscious awareness or control, honed over 60 million years of primate evolution. Biometric technologies, including eye tracking, reveal these unconscious behaviors at work [...] Read more.
The human brain evolved to implicitly approach or avoid objects in its surroundings. Requisite for survival, this behavior happens without conscious awareness or control, honed over 60 million years of primate evolution. Biometric technologies, including eye tracking, reveal these unconscious behaviors at work and allow us to predict the initial response of a design experience. This paper shows how a biometric tool, 3M-VAS (Visual Attention Software), can be effectively used in architecture. This tool aggregates 30 years of eye-tracking data, and is commonly applied in website and signage design. A pilot-study uses simplified drawings of building elevations to show 3M-VAS’s predictive power in revealing implicit human responses of engagement and disengagement to buildings. The implications on the impact of a structure in creating the public realm suggest recommendations for approving new architecture. Full article
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15 pages, 1621 KiB  
Article
Air Change in Low and High-Rise Apartments
by Yonghang Lai, Ian A. Ridley and Peter Brimblecombe
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4020025 - 13 May 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3246
Abstract
Air exchange in tall apartment buildings is critical in controlling indoor environments in urban settings. Airtightness is relevant to energy efficiency, thermal comfort and air quality experienced by urban dwellers who spend much of their time indoors. While many air change measurements have [...] Read more.
Air exchange in tall apartment buildings is critical in controlling indoor environments in urban settings. Airtightness is relevant to energy efficiency, thermal comfort and air quality experienced by urban dwellers who spend much of their time indoors. While many air change measurements have been made in residential homes, fewer are available for high-rise apartments. The blower-door and CO2 exchange methods were used to measure air change in some Hong Kong apartment buildings, for comparison with those from other parts of the world. Hong Kong apartments are often small and typical rented apartments show a median of seven air changes per hour under a 50 Pa pressure difference, similar to Mediterranean houses, though much greater than the airtight buildings of Northern Europe. Extrapolation of blower-door measurements made at 50 Pa to the natural pressure difference measured for individual Hong Kong apartments provides an approximation (within 8%) of the natural air change rate measured with a tracer. Air flow is a function of the pressure difference ∆Pnf and the exponent n was found close to the typical 0.6. There was a positive relationship between air permeability and construction age, but some of this also seems to reflect varying levels of maintenance by the building management companies. The median exchange in the apartments under naturally ventilated conditions was 0.26 h−1, not atypical of some houses on the US West Coast. Full article
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18 pages, 1439 KiB  
Review
Multi-Level Climate Governance in Bangladesh via Climate Change Mainstreaming: Lessons for Local Climate Action in Dhaka City
by Md. Nawrose Fatemi, Seth Asare Okyere, Stephen Kofi Diko and Michihiro Kita
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(2), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4020024 - 7 May 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 5708
Abstract
Over the last three decades, Bangladesh has implemented various initiatives to address different climate change impacts. In a multi-level governance arrangement, addressing climate change impacts is often constrained by climate change mainstreaming. In Bangladesh, a crucial question that arises is how mitigation and [...] Read more.
Over the last three decades, Bangladesh has implemented various initiatives to address different climate change impacts. In a multi-level governance arrangement, addressing climate change impacts is often constrained by climate change mainstreaming. In Bangladesh, a crucial question that arises is how mitigation and adaptation efforts are addressed at both national and sub-national levels. This paper examines the integration of climate change issues into national, sectoral, and city development plans with a particular focus on Dhaka using a framework developed based on the United Nations Development Program’s (UNDP) climate change mainstreaming guidelines for national development processes. The review finds evidence that mainstreaming of climate change is strong in national and sectoral development plans and has been incremental since 2002. However, climate change mainstreaming in Dhaka city development plans is moderate, especially in terms of climate risk and opportunity assessment, institutional arrangement, and capacity building for climate action. To augment existing efforts at mainstreaming at the sub-national level, the paper suggests the need to build sub-national level climate capacity with particular attention to institutional coordination and cooperation among agencies at different levels of development planning and to establish a national financing arrangement that allows sub-national agencies to harness climate finance. Full article
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23 pages, 7584 KiB  
Article
Morphology of Urban Villages in China: A Case Study of Dayuan Village in Guangzhou
by Yuan Gao, Sina Shahab and Negar Ahmadpoor
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4020023 - 7 May 2020
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 8285
Abstract
Urban villages play an important role in providing affordable housing to urban migrants in Chinese cities. They are considered as supplementary to the dual rural-urban system in China. Of central importance to studying urban villages is how the morphology of these informal settlements [...] Read more.
Urban villages play an important role in providing affordable housing to urban migrants in Chinese cities. They are considered as supplementary to the dual rural-urban system in China. Of central importance to studying urban villages is how the morphology of these informal settlements affects urban life. It is essential for urban planners and designers to examine the morphology of urban villages. This paper, therefore, investigates the morphology of urban villages using the case study of Dayuan Village in Guangzhou, China. The morphology of this urban village is tested against four main elements of urban morphology: urban density, accessibility, functional mix, and urban interface. Our results revealed that the type of street within the urban village has considerable influence on accessibility, functional mix, and urban interface. Regarding urban density, our results show that buildings’ height is not influenced by the centrality of buildings nor land value; however, it is likely that it is affected by planning agreements between the village committee and the local government. Land coverage does not comply with the planning regulation for residential districts. Regarding accessibility analysis, the number of entrances to streets is influenced by the type of street under analysis. The distribution of different types of functional mix is also affected by the type of street within the urban village. The buildings with a mix of ‘live/visit’ are concentrated along the formal streets and primary inner streets. The mono-functional use of ‘live’ and the bi-functional mix of ‘live/work’ are mostly located in the secondary inner streets. Regarding urban interface, our results demonstrate that the formal streets have an interface with considerable porosity, and that this can contribute to the livelihood of the immediate area. Full article
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14 pages, 5006 KiB  
Article
Long Live the Heritage of Petroleum—Discoveries of Former Oil Sites in the Port City of Dunkirk
by Stephan J. Hauser
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(2), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4020022 - 1 May 2020
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 4011
Abstract
In the early days of the petroleum industry, oil infrastructure had a short lifespan. Individuals were creating their own company and competing with others, without the financial means of current great companies. Many oil facilities were established in port cities like Dunkirk, because [...] Read more.
In the early days of the petroleum industry, oil infrastructure had a short lifespan. Individuals were creating their own company and competing with others, without the financial means of current great companies. Many oil facilities were established in port cities like Dunkirk, because they were the entrance gates to many nations. In the case of Dunkirk, many former oil sites became houses and schools in the current urban tissue, and official records lost track of many others. The limited data available on official records to inform the people on the pollution of their soil is a threat to their safety and health, and an obstacle for the planning strategies of public authorities. The analysis of archival documents, past and present aerial pictures, paintings and mapping techniques related to geographic information systems (GIS) can reveal lost industrial sites, and thus indicate potential pollution. This paper investigates the oil history of Dunkirk as a background for its petroleum history and its transferability to other petroleum related cities. A cross analysis of sources will attempt to complete French files and locate oil sites. The objective is to illustrate the transformation of former oil sites, and why the current land use is often not compatible with its history. Full article
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32 pages, 3617 KiB  
Article
Towards an Integrated Methodology for Model and Variable Selection Using Count Data: An Application to Micro-Retail Distribution in Urban Studies
by Alessandro Araldi
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4020021 - 28 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2839
Abstract
Over the last two decades, a growing number of works in urban studies have revealed how micro-retail distribution is significantly related to specific properties of the urban built environment. While a wide variety of urban form measures have been investigated using sophisticated analytical [...] Read more.
Over the last two decades, a growing number of works in urban studies have revealed how micro-retail distribution is significantly related to specific properties of the urban built environment. While a wide variety of urban form measures have been investigated using sophisticated analytical approaches, the same attention has not equally been found in statistical procedures. Several essential features of micro-retail statistical distribution and modelling assumptions are frequently overlooked, compromising the statistical robustness of outcomes. In this work we focus on four main aspects: (i) the discrete, non-negative and highly skewed nature of store distribution; (ii) its zero-inflation; (iii) assessment of the contextual effect; and (iv) the multicollinearity generated by the inclusion of highly related urban descriptors. To overcome these limitations, we propose an integrated methodological framework for both modelling and variable selection assessment based on generalized linear models (GLMs) and elastic-net (Enet) penalized regression (PR), respectively. The procedure is tested via a real case study of the French Riviera, which is described using a large dataset of 105 street-based urban form measures. The outcomes of this procedure show the superiority of the zero-inflate negative binomial count regression approach. A restricted number of urban form properties are found to be related to the micro-retail distribution depending on the specific scale and morphological context under analysis. Full article
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22 pages, 3233 KiB  
Article
Contradictions of Transit-Oriented Development in Low-Income Neighborhoods: The Case Study of Rosengård in Malmö, Sweden
by Laleh Derakhti and Guy Baeten
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(2), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4020020 - 25 Apr 2020
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 6175
Abstract
Transit-oriented development (TOD) has become a leading model of urban planning worldwide that promises to meet a broad range of local and regional objectives: improving mobility, expanding ridership, attracting investment, reducing urban poverty, improving quality of life, making affordable housing and fostering urban [...] Read more.
Transit-oriented development (TOD) has become a leading model of urban planning worldwide that promises to meet a broad range of local and regional objectives: improving mobility, expanding ridership, attracting investment, reducing urban poverty, improving quality of life, making affordable housing and fostering urban integration. At the same time, the implementation of TOD in many cities has raised concerns about gentrification, displacement, re-segregation, and more polarization. This article aims to shed light on these issues by bringing together previously disparate literature that mentions these contradictions and discusses policymakers’ hopes and critics’ concern for the implementation of a newly started TOD project in a universal housing system in Rosengård—a segregated, low-income neighborhood in Malmö, Sweden. Although policy advocates view the project as a significant development strategy for a more sustainable Malmö, there are also real concerns about gentrification and the potential displacement of low-income residents. Furthermore, the mixed-methods study showes how integration might be achieved, but concerns have arisen about the possible exclusion of the current low-income residents, which brings up issues of inequality, representation of poverty, and marginalization. Full article
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19 pages, 5016 KiB  
Article
Validity of Reference Time Intervals in Noise Indicators for Aircraft Noise Policy in Vietnam
by Thu Lan Nguyen, Ichiro Yamada, Takashi Yano, Koichi Makino and Masaharu Ohya
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(2), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4020019 - 20 Apr 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2955
Abstract
Many decibel-based noise indicators are used in noise policy to evaluate aircraft sound in the environment. Among those, day–evening–night-weighted sound pressure level ( L den ), day–night-weighted sound pressure level ( L dn ), and nighttime average sound pressure level ( [...] Read more.
Many decibel-based noise indicators are used in noise policy to evaluate aircraft sound in the environment. Among those, day–evening–night-weighted sound pressure level ( L den ), day–night-weighted sound pressure level ( L dn ), and nighttime average sound pressure level ( L night ) are the most widely used. However, the designation of reference time intervals (e.g., day, evening, and night) differs depending on the country’s lifestyle and culture. A dataset—extracted from socio-acoustic surveys conducted in Vietnam (2005–2019)—was analyzed to investigate temporal patterns of the Vietnamese lifestyle and changes in L den , L dn , and L night when temporal interval segmentations in these indicators were adjusted. Traffic congestion hours, go-to-bed time, and wake-up time in southern Vietnam were approximately one hour later than those in northern and central Vietnam. Further, a small-scale and Internet-based questionnaire survey on Vietnamese life rhythms was conducted to examine Vietnamese people’s daily behaviors. These data were compared with the relevant data of Japanese individuals, extracted from the Survey on Time Use and Leisure Activities of Japan. Differences in sleeping times and mealtimes were found between Japanese and Vietnamese data. We suggest an appropriate reference time interval for aircraft noise policy in Vietnam, referring to the current national and international noise standards and regulations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Urban Acoustic Environments)
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15 pages, 3804 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Sustainability Development in Urban Areas of Morocco
by Lahouari Bounoua, Najlaa Fathi, Meryem El Berkaoui, Laila El Ghazouani and Mohammed Messouli
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(2), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4020018 - 14 Apr 2020
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 6662
Abstract
In Morocco, the last census counted 70% of houses in cities, with seven cities accounting for 25% of the total population and 41% of the urban population. This paper questioned the sustainability indicator in Moroccan cities using a novel methodology based on Earth [...] Read more.
In Morocco, the last census counted 70% of houses in cities, with seven cities accounting for 25% of the total population and 41% of the urban population. This paper questioned the sustainability indicator in Moroccan cities using a novel methodology based on Earth observations and census data. We estimated the indicator for the 25 largest urban areas between 2003 and 2013. A stratification based on urbanization fractions allowed for the definition and comparison of hierarchically ordered zones consistent across urban areas and scales. We found no systematic pattern of growth between cities. However, three categories of development were identified: a group of large cities with an indicator less than unity and land consumption commensurate to population growth, a group of medium-sized cities trending moderately towards unsustainability with an indicator between one and two, and a group including small cities with significant departure from sustainability. The disparate sustainability levels between urban areas appear to be related to the rapid economic growth, typical of an emerging economy. Our results indicate a continuous population growth pushing outwards the perimeters of existing urban areas. Unless regulated, land consumption is increasing faster than the population in most parts of Morocco, in line with global trends. Full article
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17 pages, 6644 KiB  
Article
Christopher Alexander and the Inadequacy of Genius in the Architecture of the Coming Age
by Duo Dickinson
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4020017 - 13 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 8255
Abstract
There are only two ways of looking at any design problem despite all the elaborations evolved from these two paths. Either a designer directs an outcome and creates a product, or a solution is derived from a process involving the people and circumstances [...] Read more.
There are only two ways of looking at any design problem despite all the elaborations evolved from these two paths. Either a designer directs an outcome and creates a product, or a solution is derived from a process involving the people and circumstances of the problem. The first way is object focused and is celebrated in architectural criticism and journalism. It is the way of the salvational Genius, whose personal insight pierces all preconceptions and launches into innovation. This operational model is called the architectural canon. The second way, working through a process, is how the rest of us grapple with any issue. The power of Christopher Alexander’s life is not about the distillation of a personal perspective (the profession’s stereotypical Genius model) but his vital focus is on the second way a design is created. Alexander is a polymath, open to a process using human criteria and universal opportunities that can discern and convey the way to create. His life efforts show the future of the practice of architecture in a world soon overwhelmed by technology. Alexander’s “15 Fundamental Properties of Wholeness” describes criteria in architecture—but also in the ways designs can evolve in the wholistic realities of any creation. The Building Beauty Program Alexander helped create responds to the present dysfunctional model of architectural education that often ignores these simple verities in favor of following the architectural canon. Meaning in any creation comes from connection to the world around it. A visceral, essential, human response in design is not anti-intellectual, because it can be understood and taught. No matter what its validity is today, the Genius model of advocating a design savior is being replaced by the coming explosion of technology. What remains after that explosion is all we humans, and we are all polymaths. We see, hear, think, and offer what the technology cannot. Therein lies the meaning of Christopher Alexander’s extraordinary life’s mission. Full article
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17 pages, 1172 KiB  
Article
The Evolution and Adaptive Governance of the 22@ Innovation District in Barcelona
by Alberto Gianoli and Riccardo Palazzolo Henkes
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(2), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4020016 - 11 Apr 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 5006
Abstract
The paper analyzes the prominent 22@ Innovation District project, which was initiated at the beginning of the 2000s by the city of Barcelona to regenerate part of the Poblenou district, a former industrial area. The goal was to create an innovation district able [...] Read more.
The paper analyzes the prominent 22@ Innovation District project, which was initiated at the beginning of the 2000s by the city of Barcelona to regenerate part of the Poblenou district, a former industrial area. The goal was to create an innovation district able to generate economic activity and employment by focusing on knowledge economy and new technologies. The innovative features of the project emphasize the uncertainty and the need to adapt to new technologies and their economic and social influence in urban regeneration projects. The paper uses the adaptive governance framework to analyze how the dynamic process of urban regeneration and creation of an innovation district has been able to adapt to internal and external changes of political, economic and technological nature. Adaptive governance has been conceptualized by focusing on three key aspects (i.e., level of complexity, conflict and uncertainty) and three main actions (i.e., anticipate, learn and adapt) that have been considered in the case study. These elements emphasize the need for bridging organizations that are able to work cross-level and cross-scale. The article shows the suitability of adaptive governance systems in urban regeneration projects, aiming to combine top-down and bottom-up initiatives within a comprehensive strategy. Full article
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21 pages, 3399 KiB  
Article
Cooperation, Proximity, and Social Innovation: Three Ingredients for Industrial Medium-Sized Towns’ Renewal?
by Marjolaine Gros-Balthazard and Magali Talandier
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(2), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4020015 - 4 Apr 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3588
Abstract
Over several decades, medium-sized industrial towns have suffered from a combination of economic and political processes: Deindustrialization, metropolization, and withdrawal of public services. After two decades in which they have been somewhat neglected (in favor of metropolises), there have recently been State and [...] Read more.
Over several decades, medium-sized industrial towns have suffered from a combination of economic and political processes: Deindustrialization, metropolization, and withdrawal of public services. After two decades in which they have been somewhat neglected (in favor of metropolises), there have recently been State and European public policies aimed at them. Medium-sized cities are not homogeneous and present several trajectories. Based on quantitative approach in France, we highlight the very diverse socio-economic dynamics of French medium-sized industrial towns. Thus, far from widespread decline or shrinking dynamics, some of these cities are experiencing an economic rebound. This is the case of Romans-sur-Isère, a medium-sized town located in the south-east of France. Focusing our qualitative analyze on this city, we try to understand this type of process. In this medium-sized town, former capital of the shoe industry, local stakeholders, private, and public try to support a productive renewal. The results of our case study highlight the role that cooperation, spatial and organizational proximity, and social innovation could play in the renewal of productive economy in medium-sized industrial towns. Even if the economic situation remains difficult for many medium-sized cities in France as in Europe, we argue that they could have a productive future making and ultimately take advantages of their “medium-sized” attributes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Futures of Small Industrial Towns)
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