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Urban Sci., Volume 7, Issue 1 (March 2023) – 32 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Managing social–ecological systems that benefit both people and nature is the central challenge of natural resource management. Integrating multiple perspectives into decision making adds flexibility to social–ecological systems by reducing rigidity and promoting adaptability. We assessed expert perceptions of the structure, content, and function of the Puget Sound USA stormwater social-ecological system. Our analyses revealed differences between genders as well as between managers and scientists in how experts characterized the system and the way it functions. This work reveals that addressing complex environmental issues requires embracing the varied perspectives of diverse actors in social–ecological systems. View this paper
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17 pages, 6234 KiB  
Article
Impact of Tourist Areas on the Electrical Grid: A Case Study of the Southern Dominican Republic
by Miguel Aybar-Mejía, Randy Andrés, Alam Cabral-Soto, Carlos Montás, Wilmer-Johann Núñez-García, Elvin Arnaldo Jiménez Matos, Giuseppe Sbriz-Zeitun and Deyslen Mariano-Hernández
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010032 - 13 Mar 2023
Viewed by 2002
Abstract
The growing integration of tourist areas and complexes increases the demand for electrical power systems. This increased demand may represent a vulnerability to voltage and frequency stability in electrical grids, where these parameters are essential for an optimal and continuous supply of electrical [...] Read more.
The growing integration of tourist areas and complexes increases the demand for electrical power systems. This increased demand may represent a vulnerability to voltage and frequency stability in electrical grids, where these parameters are essential for an optimal and continuous supply of electrical energy. The Dominican Republic has begun a tourist expansion process in areas that were previously not commercially exploited. Based on the factors mentioned above, this article’s objective was to analyze the impact caused by the increase in electricity demand due to the tourism sector, using the Enriquillo Region of the Dominican Republic as a case study. The impacts of this expansion on the voltage profiles and the system’s frequency were determined. The methodology consisted of obtaining information on the mathematical model of the system to evaluate the expansion plan for the study period and the projection of the demand of the grid. The complete system was modeled with this information, including expansion and possible renewable generators. Finally, the flow of charges was measured, and dynamic analysis was carried out. The quasi-dynamic and RMS/EMT simulations were carried out in the DIgSILENT software for this investigation. The results showed that the electrical system benefits stability and national standards. This is because the transmission lines reduced their loading by approximately 2.99% in 2032. As the years of study passed and the system load increased, the voltage in the bars of the 138 kV systems and generators did not exceed the range of ±5% established in the technical regulations of the Dominican electricity market. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Agenda)
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32 pages, 30387 KiB  
Article
Ecomindsponge: A Novel Perspective on Human Psychology and Behavior in the Ecosystem
by Minh-Hoang Nguyen, Tam-Tri Le and Quan-Hoang Vuong
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010031 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 4070
Abstract
Modern society faces major environmental problems, but there are many difficulties in studying the nature–human relationship from an integral psychosocial perspective. We propose the ecomind sponge conceptual framework, based on the mindsponge theory of information processing. We present a systematic method to examine [...] Read more.
Modern society faces major environmental problems, but there are many difficulties in studying the nature–human relationship from an integral psychosocial perspective. We propose the ecomind sponge conceptual framework, based on the mindsponge theory of information processing. We present a systematic method to examine the nature–human relationship with conceptual frameworks of system boundaries, selective exchange, and adaptive optimization. The theoretical mechanisms were constructed based on principles and new evidence in natural sciences. The core mechanism of ecomindsponge is the subjective sphere of influence, which is the limited mental representation of information received from and processed based on the objective sphere of influence–actual interactions in reality. The subjective sphere is the sum of two sub-spheres: influencing (proactive) and being influenced (reactive). Maladaptation in thinking and behavior of the mind as an information collection-cum-processor results from the deviation of the subjective sphere from reality, which includes two main types: “stupidity” and “delusion”. Using Bayesian Mindsponge Framework (BMF) analytics on a dataset of 535 urban residents, we provide consistent statistical evidence on the proposed properties of subjective spheres. The dynamic framework of ecomindsponge can be used flexibly and practically for environmental research as well as other psychosocial fields. Full article
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10 pages, 267 KiB  
Opinion
Towards a New Urban Health Science
by Franz W Gatzweiler, Saroj Jayasinghe, José G Siri and Jason Corburn
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010030 - 24 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3165
Abstract
The intensity and range of health challenges that people in cities are facing has increased in recent years. This is due in part to a failure to adequately adapt and respond to emergent and expanding global systemic risks, but also to a still-limited [...] Read more.
The intensity and range of health challenges that people in cities are facing has increased in recent years. This is due in part to a failure to adequately adapt and respond to emergent and expanding global systemic risks, but also to a still-limited understanding of the profound impacts of complexity on urban health. While complexity science is increasingly embraced by the health and urban sciences, it has yet to be functionally incorporated into urban health research, policy, and practice. Accelerating urbanization in a context of escalating environmental constraints will require deeper engagement with complexity, yet also, paradoxically, much swifter, more effective, and more risk-averse decision-making. Meeting these demands will require adopting a science, policy and practice style which is integrative, inclusive, collaborative, systemic, fast, and frugal. We propose transformational shifts in scientific methodology, epistemological and ontological stances, types of rationality, and governance to shift researchers, policymakers, practitioners, and citizens towards a new, complexity-informed science of urban health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Agenda)
21 pages, 10971 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Development in Algeria’s Urban Areas: Population Growth and Land Consumption
by Lahouari Bounoua, Nora Bachir, Hanane Souidi, Hicham Bahi, Souad Lagmiri, Mohamed Yacoubi Khebiza, Joseph Nigro and Kurt Thome
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010029 - 23 Feb 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3436
Abstract
We analyzed the urban development sustainability in five major urban areas of Algeria by the standard of the UN Sustainability Development Goal indicator SDG 11.3.1, which focuses on the ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate. We utilized the annual global [...] Read more.
We analyzed the urban development sustainability in five major urban areas of Algeria by the standard of the UN Sustainability Development Goal indicator SDG 11.3.1, which focuses on the ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate. We utilized the annual global artificial impervious area (GAIA) dataset to characterize land-use and population data from the two censuses carried out by the National Office of Statistics (ONS) for 2008 and 2018. We discuss the prevailing relationship between urban land consumption rate and population growth rate at the smallest territorial and population census unit scale. We confirm that the indicator SDG 11.3.1 is nonlinear and that while, for example, the wilaya of Tlemcen as a whole appears to be on a sustainable path, twenty-one of its communes are not. We found that overall, and for most of its communes, the wilaya of Oran seems to have an urban land use commensurable to its population growth, but in the wilaya of Algiers, out of fifty-seven communes, only fourteen have a tendency towards sustainable development. However, the latter wilaya hosts the country’s capital and includes government buildings that are uninhabited but are accounted for as land consumed, and as such, the relationship between urban land consumption and population growth is biased. The wilaya of Annaba showed large discrepancies in terms of land use and population growth rates, and the evolution of these quantities is not homogenous across communes and not sustainable. In the Saharan wilaya of Ghardaia, the development is not homogeneous in all communes, with smaller communes undergoing buildup increases of more than 150% over the decade. Finally, in all communes where population growth exceeded urban land growth, there will be overcrowding, an aspect neither the SDG 11.3.1 nor the impervious surface per capita indicator captures. This result, in addition to other limitations, makes SDG 11.3.1 incomplete for the determination of the sustainable development in urban areas. Full article
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5 pages, 228 KiB  
Editorial
Smart City and Well-Being: Opinions by the Guest Editors
by Antonella Arghittu, Ginevra Balletto and Marco Dettori
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010028 - 22 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1452
Abstract
As with technology, the concept of the Smart City has evolved over time in line with digitisation processes and the changing needs of cities and their inhabitants [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Smart City and Well-Being)
11 pages, 3079 KiB  
Article
Waste Removal Efficiencies of Floating Macrophytes for Restoration of Polluted Stream: An Experimental Analysis
by Bharati Mahajan, Sameer Shastri and Shreenivas Londhe
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010027 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1582
Abstract
Freshwater sources are affected by a diverse range of pollutants, which increases the demand for effective remediation. Aquatic phytoremediation is a nature-based solution. It has the potential to provide efficient, adaptable, and multi-targeted treatment of polluted waters. The aim of this research is [...] Read more.
Freshwater sources are affected by a diverse range of pollutants, which increases the demand for effective remediation. Aquatic phytoremediation is a nature-based solution. It has the potential to provide efficient, adaptable, and multi-targeted treatment of polluted waters. The aim of this research is to evaluate non-mechanized, low-cost onsite treatment of waste water intrusions. It includes an experimental set up with three replicates. Each consists of a modified flow pattern under outdoor conditions. Experimental set up A and B were provided with macrophytes, water lettuce and duckweed, respectively, with plant coverage at 50% and 90%. Experimental set up C was a controlled set up without macrophytes. The highest removal of BOD, COD and Total solids by using water lettuce were observed to be 89%, 77% and 38.5%, respectively. By using duckweed, the highest removal of BOD, COD and Total solids were observed at 88%, 66% and 27.59%, respectively. Removal was also observed in Set up C for BOD, COD and Total solids; its efficiency was 48%, 47% and 25%, respectively. Set up A can be recommended for treating wastewater intrusion, so that wastewater will purify to a to satisfactory to disposal standard level before mixing in river water. The area available in the stream itself can be used as a treatment zone. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Resources and Environment)
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15 pages, 885 KiB  
Article
Urban Ageing Welfare Leaking and Remedy Strategies in Macau
by Xin Wang, Kang-Lin Peng and Ting Meng
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010026 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2303
Abstract
The world is experiencing population ageing, which will extend to the future across the world. The ageing population is sure to impact a country’s welfare policy and economy. Macau is a special administrative region (SAR) of China with a long-life expectancy and a [...] Read more.
The world is experiencing population ageing, which will extend to the future across the world. The ageing population is sure to impact a country’s welfare policy and economy. Macau is a special administrative region (SAR) of China with a long-life expectancy and a decreasing reproduction rate, making the population ageing particularly obvious. This study adopts a mixed methods approach to analyze the relationship between the ageing population, pension recipients, and pension payments to suggest the pension system and welfare leaking strategies of Macau SAR. The Granger causality test and focus group were conducted to test and discuss the ageing population, pension recipients, and pension payments. Results show that the ageing population positively affects pension payments. The ageing recipients are not corresponding to the ageing population and payments show welfare leakage. Suggestions are offered accordingly for a welfare policy to offer remedy strategies and reform the pension system. Full article
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18 pages, 1327 KiB  
Article
Smartphone App Usage Patterns for Trip Planning Purposes and Stated Impacts in the City of Bhopal, India
by Kushagra Sinha and Sanjay Gupta
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010025 - 16 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1875
Abstract
With the considerable growth in the information and communication technology (ICT), several smartphone-based mobility platforms have already sprung up and they have the potential of transforming the mobility ecosystem completely. However, there is close to no knowledge available about how ICT-based smartphone apps [...] Read more.
With the considerable growth in the information and communication technology (ICT), several smartphone-based mobility platforms have already sprung up and they have the potential of transforming the mobility ecosystem completely. However, there is close to no knowledge available about how ICT-based smartphone apps meant for day-to-day trip planning tasks are being used across various user groups and how they influence travel outcomes, especially in Indian cities. Therefore, this study is an effort to close this gap by gathering data from the city of Bhopal and carrying out an exploratory statistical analysis on the usage of smartphone apps for different types of trip planning purposes, as well as their influence on travel outcomes. The study provides empirical evidence of relationships between smartphone app usage for trip planning (such as departure time, destination selection, mode selection, route selection, communicating and coordinating trips, and performing tasks online rather than visiting) and the resulting travel outcomes, such as kilometres travelled by vehicle (for purposes, such as work/education, shopping, and recreation), social gatherings, new destinations, and group trips. The chi-square test has been used to test and interpret several socioeconomic variables that could influence this relationship, such as gender, age, income, etc. The study’s findings provide important behavioural insights that may be useful in policy discussions. Full article
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16 pages, 3527 KiB  
Article
Possible Scenarios for a Micro-Watershed Based on Level of Urbanization: Using Flood Design to Advance Ecohydrological Principles
by David Campos-Delgado, Carlos Renato Ramos-Palacios, Alicia Anahí Cisneros-Vidales and Marcos Algara-Siller
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010024 - 15 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1671
Abstract
Traditional urban schemes that incorporate extended impervious areas can increase surface run-off. Therefore, urban growth that considers eco-hydrological principles can foster sustainability in cities. This work projected three possible urban development patterns for San Luis Potosi’s micro-watershed, characterized by flood design estimations and [...] Read more.
Traditional urban schemes that incorporate extended impervious areas can increase surface run-off. Therefore, urban growth that considers eco-hydrological principles can foster sustainability in cities. This work projected three possible urban development patterns for San Luis Potosi’s micro-watershed, characterized by flood design estimations and different urban densities considerations. The selected micro-watershed is located in the western periphery of the city, which is in the process of being urbanized. As the study site is in a semi-arid region where data are scarce, this research used the rational method and the software Rhinoceros for modeling urban scenarios. Models included criteria that allow for comparing a traditional urbanization perspective of what is expected (without green areas) with alternatives that consider green areas as well as different urban densities and that favor eco-hydrological principles. The high urban-density (green area) scenario shows a sustainable alternative for the micro-watershed by which eco-hydrological principles are fostered, as well as an alternative to high urban density without undermining real-estate profitability. Although calculations could be strengthened by using more local data, the results provide insights for urban planners and developers on the sustainable transformation of the micro-watershed. Full article
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22 pages, 11459 KiB  
Article
Density and Urban Resilience, Cross-Section Analysis in an Iranian Metropolis Context
by Alireza Dehghani, Mehdi Alidadi and Ali Soltani
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010023 - 13 Feb 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2011
Abstract
While there is a large body of research on sustainable development and urban resilience, the interaction between urban densification and urban resilience remains understudied. This study aims to investigate several facets of urban resilience and densification before analyzing their mutual relationship. Focusing on [...] Read more.
While there is a large body of research on sustainable development and urban resilience, the interaction between urban densification and urban resilience remains understudied. This study aims to investigate several facets of urban resilience and densification before analyzing their mutual relationship. Focusing on ecological, social, economic, and physical elements of urban resilience on the one hand and population density, residential density, built-up area ratio (BAR), and parcel density on the other, a combination of spatial and quantitative methodologies is applied. Our empirical investigation revealed that the spatial distribution of all resilience indicators is varied. In other words, the cumulative form of urban resilience indicators has a different significance than the individual version. Similarly, different types of density have varying orientations and degrees of connection with measures of resilience that should be evaluated in empirical investigations. In addition, our research revealed that density has a stronger relationship with social and physical resilience than with ecological and economic resilience. The findings drawn from this research have the potential to inform the design of secure, resilient cities across a range of spatial dimensions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Resilience of Interdependent Urban Systems)
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15 pages, 1588 KiB  
Article
Interaction between Development Intensity: An Evaluation of Alternative Spatial Weight Matrices
by Manman Li, Mengying Cui and David Levinson
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010022 - 09 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1223
Abstract
This paper investigates the spatial dependency of job and worker densities for the Minneapolis–St. Paul (Twin Cities) metropolitan area using census block level data from 2002 to 2017. A spatial weight matrix is proposed, considering the statistical expression of data, referred to as [...] Read more.
This paper investigates the spatial dependency of job and worker densities for the Minneapolis–St. Paul (Twin Cities) metropolitan area using census block level data from 2002 to 2017. A spatial weight matrix is proposed, considering the statistical expression of data, referred to as the correlation matrix, which detects the variations of dependencies among spatial units in both direction and level. The superior performance of the correlation matrix is demonstrated through a series of spatial regression models to predict land use patterns, in comparison with the conventionally used adjacency matrix as well as the accessibility matrix. Full article
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13 pages, 5310 KiB  
Article
An Application of the Node–Place Model to Explore the Land Use–Transport Development Dynamics of the I-287 Corridor
by Amirhossein Baghestani, Shirin Najafabadi, Azarakhsh Salem, Ziqi Jiang, Mohammad Tayarani and Oliver Gao
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010021 - 08 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2497
Abstract
A sustainable development plan should identify future urban development sites to maintain a balanced condition between transportation systems and land use. Most commonly used for Transit Oriented Development (TOD), the node–place model checks the balance between transportation systems and land use. While previous [...] Read more.
A sustainable development plan should identify future urban development sites to maintain a balanced condition between transportation systems and land use. Most commonly used for Transit Oriented Development (TOD), the node–place model checks the balance between transportation systems and land use. While previous node–place research focused mostly on rail transportation, this research focuses on highway accessibility to assess future growth and urban development. To gain insight into the development dynamics, the node–place model is utilized with a focus on the I-287 Corridor located in New York, U.S. The node function describes the transport activity and connectedness of the area to other places of interest, which measures the accessibility of the locations, the type of connections, and the number of directions connected. In addition, population, number of workers in the labor force, and degree of a functional mix are also considered for place values. According to the results, four exits are in balanced areas with stable traffic and customer flow support and strong support from local government departments. This case study contributes to a deeper understanding and evaluation of highway accessibility and provides an exciting assessment tool for sustainable development planning. While node–place models cannot predict development, they can be used to understand development dynamics better. Full article
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19 pages, 3532 KiB  
Article
Household-Level Strategies to Tackle Plastic Waste Pollution in a Transitional Country
by Quy Van Khuc, Thao Dang, Mai Tran, Dinh Tien Nguyen, Thuy Nguyen, Phu Pham and Trung Tran
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010020 - 06 Feb 2023
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 5193
Abstract
As one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, Vietnam is tackling environmental pollution, particularly plastic waste. This study contributes to the literature on environmental culture and practical solutions by better understanding households’ behaviours and motivations for (i) sorting waste, (ii) contributing to the environmental [...] Read more.
As one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, Vietnam is tackling environmental pollution, particularly plastic waste. This study contributes to the literature on environmental culture and practical solutions by better understanding households’ behaviours and motivations for (i) sorting waste, (ii) contributing to the environmental fund and (iii) relocating. The questionnaire-based interview method was used to randomly collect information from 730 households in 25 provinces in Vietnam during February 2022. Bayesian regression models, coupled with the mindsponge mechanism, were applied to analyse the data. The results showed that people’s strategies and responses to plastic waste pollution vary: 38.63% of respondents were sorting waste at home, 74.25% of households agreed to contribute to the environmental fund, and 23.56% had a plan to relocate for a better living place. The households’ strategies and intentions were driven by several structural and contextual factors such as age of household head, income, care about the environment, and the perceived effects of polluted waste. More importantly, communication was a robust variable in sorting waste decisions, which suggested that better communication would help increase people’s awareness and real actions in reducing plastic waste and ultimately improving the environment. These findings will benefit the ongoing green economy, circular economy, and green growth transition toward more sustainable development, particularly in developing and fast-population-growing countries. Full article
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11 pages, 2994 KiB  
Case Report
The MOVING GROUND Project: A Nature-Positive Case Study
by Nicholas Anastasopoulos, Penelope Iliaskou and Mariela Nestora
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010019 - 06 Feb 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1961
Abstract
This paper is a report on the year-long MOVING GROUND project (MG), initiated by the Isadora and Raymond Duncan Dance Research Center (DDRC). The Duncan Dance Research Center sets out to address climate change issues interweaving the social, physical, and artistic spheres by [...] Read more.
This paper is a report on the year-long MOVING GROUND project (MG), initiated by the Isadora and Raymond Duncan Dance Research Center (DDRC). The Duncan Dance Research Center sets out to address climate change issues interweaving the social, physical, and artistic spheres by introducing the concept of a garden both literally and metaphorically to inspire the artistic community and shift mindsets of the local community. By a gradual transformation of its grounds, infrastructure, and social fabric, the long-term goal of the DDRC is to function as a tangible model that can be experienced and replicated as a whole or in parts in the city or elsewhere. The paper discusses the goals, methodologies and strategies introduced during the project aiming towards the regenerative transformation of the institution that drew inspiration from permaculture principles, nature-based solutions and a net-positive design perspective. The paper also discusses the novel experimentation of applying permaculture principles to artistic creation and practices. The paper concludes with a reflection of the outcomes and an assessment of the goals it set out to achieve. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-Positive Design and Development)
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18 pages, 2667 KiB  
Article
Are Central Banks’ Monetary Policies the Future of Housing Affordability Solutions
by Chung Yim Yiu
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010018 - 02 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3489
Abstract
Housing affordability is one of the major social problems in many countries, with some advocates urging governments to provide more accessible mortgages to facilitate more homeownership. However, in recent decades more and more evidence has shown that unaffordable housing is the consequence of [...] Read more.
Housing affordability is one of the major social problems in many countries, with some advocates urging governments to provide more accessible mortgages to facilitate more homeownership. However, in recent decades more and more evidence has shown that unaffordable housing is the consequence of monetary policy. Most of the previous empirical studies have been based on econometric analyses, which make it hard to eliminate potential endogeneity biases. This cross-country study exploited the two global interest rate shocks as quasi-experiments to test the impacts and causality of monetary policy (taking real interest rates as a proxy) on house prices. Global central banks’ synchronized reduction in interest rates after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and then the global synchronized increase in interest rates after the global inflation crisis in 2022 provided both a treatment and a treatment reversal to test the monetary policy hypothesis. The stylized facts vividly reveal the negative association between interest rate changes and house price changes in many countries. This study further conducted a ten-country panel regression analysis to test the hypothesis. The results confirmed that, after controlling for GDP growth and unemployment factors, the change in real interest rate imposed a negative effect on house price growth rates. The key practical implication of this study pinpoints the mal-prescription of harnessing monetary policy to solve housing affordability issues, as it can distort housing market dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Urban Transport and Urban Real Estate)
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20 pages, 4972 KiB  
Article
An Urban Density-Based Runoff Simulation Framework to Envisage Flood Resilience of Cities
by Naduni Wijayawardana, Chethika Abenayake, Amila Jayasinghe and Nuwan Dias
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010017 - 31 Jan 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2110
Abstract
Assessing the influence of urban density on surface runoff volume is vital for guiding the built-form expansions toward flood-resilient cities. This paper attempts to develop a spatial simulation framework to assess the impact of urban density on the level of surface runoff (SR), [...] Read more.
Assessing the influence of urban density on surface runoff volume is vital for guiding the built-form expansions toward flood-resilient cities. This paper attempts to develop a spatial simulation framework to assess the impact of urban density on the level of surface runoff (SR), at the scale of the micro-watershed. This paper proposes a spatial simulation framework that comprehensively captures the influence of urban density dynamics over surface runoff. The simulation model consists of 13 proxies of urban density that are identified through a systematic literature review. The model is formulated through three case applications in Colombo, Sri Lanka; and validated statistically and empirically with reference to flooding events that occurred in 2021–2022. The possible planning interventions for reducing urban flooding are analyzed through an AI-based application of Decision Tree Analysis. The model results indicated that impervious coverage, open space ratio, and road density have the most significant impact on surface runoff volumes in selected micro-watersheds. The decision-making process for planning the built environment for reducing urban flooding is demonstrated by three possible density control options with a prediction accuracy of 98.7%, 94.8%, and 93.5% respectively. This contributes a novel framework to capture the density dynamics of built form in surface runoff simulations by three density areas (3Ds): density, diversity, and design; and to demonstrate the decision-making process for controlling the density of built form in reducing urban flooding. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Agenda)
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12 pages, 249 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Local Transit Systems on Vulnerable Populations in Michigan
by Zeenat Kotval-K, Annabelle Wilkinson, Andy Brush and Eva Kassens-Noor
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010016 - 31 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1644
Abstract
Residents in small urban and rural areas frequently depend on unreliable personal transportation to maintain their lifestyle and get to essential destinations within their society. Especially, vulnerable populations, such as seniors and low-income residents, have lower access to personal vehicles and therefore are [...] Read more.
Residents in small urban and rural areas frequently depend on unreliable personal transportation to maintain their lifestyle and get to essential destinations within their society. Especially, vulnerable populations, such as seniors and low-income residents, have lower access to personal vehicles and therefore are mobility-challenged. Being challenged in terms of mobility has effects on the health of the population concerned as this constraint not only limits economic activity that leads to perpetuation of lower means and poverty but also social activity that leads to physical and mental isolation. In a study of Michigan public and nonprofit transit systems, the customer satisfaction, particularly of vulnerable populations, with transit services is analyzed through on-board intercept surveys. Results illustrate the significance of employment, age, income, disability, and demand-response services in public transit planning and ultimately public health. Full article
17 pages, 1809 KiB  
Article
Uncovering the Socioeconomic Structure of Spatial and Social Interactions in Cities
by Maxime Lenormand and Horacio Samaniego
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010015 - 30 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1973
Abstract
The relationship between urban mobility, social networks, and socioeconomic status is complex and difficult to apprehend, notably due to the lack of data. Here we use mobile phone data to analyze the socioeconomic structure of spatial and social interaction in the Chilean urban [...] Read more.
The relationship between urban mobility, social networks, and socioeconomic status is complex and difficult to apprehend, notably due to the lack of data. Here we use mobile phone data to analyze the socioeconomic structure of spatial and social interaction in the Chilean urban system. Based on the concept of spatial and social events, we develop a methodology to assess the level of spatial and social interactions between locations according to their socioeconomic status. We demonstrate that people with the same socioeconomic status preferentially interact with locations and people with a similar socioeconomic status. We also show that this proximity varies similarly for both spatial and social interactions during the course of the week. Finally, we highlight that these preferential interactions appear to hold when considering city–city interactions. Full article
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17 pages, 2959 KiB  
Article
Mental Models for Assessing Impacts of Stormwater on Urban Social–Ecological Systems
by Caitlyn B. O’Connor and Phillip S. Levin
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010014 - 30 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1862
Abstract
Managing social–ecological systems that benefit both humans and nature is the central challenge of natural resource management. Integrating multiple perspectives into decision-making adds flexibility to social–ecological systems by reducing rigidity and promoting adaptability. Our objective was to assess expert perceptions of the structure, [...] Read more.
Managing social–ecological systems that benefit both humans and nature is the central challenge of natural resource management. Integrating multiple perspectives into decision-making adds flexibility to social–ecological systems by reducing rigidity and promoting adaptability. Our objective was to assess expert perceptions of the structure, content, and function of the Puget Sound stormwater social–ecological system. We interviewed Puget Sound stormwater experts to document their mental models of the system and compared the network structure of expert maps. We also assessed differences among experts in the components of the social–ecological system which were included in mental models. Our analyses revealed differences between genders, as well as between managers, in how experts characterized the system. Notably, female participants tended to characterize the social–ecological system as one in which there were many system drivers generating multiple impacts across the system. The mental models of the scientists tended to include more resource units than those of the managers, which focused more on governance compared to those of the scientists. Finally, we incorporated the diverse input from mangers and scientists to create a single mental model to represent a consensus on the Puget Sound stormwater social–ecological system. This work highlights the fact that addressing the stormwater problem requires that we embrace the varied perspectives of scientists, managers, and stakeholders. We contend that incorporating the diverse perspectives of experts within the context of social–ecological systems provides a promising path towards a lasting and durable recovery for the ecosystem. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Agenda)
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17 pages, 3540 KiB  
Article
Improving Energy Literacy to Facilitate Energy Transition and Nurture Environmental Culture in Vietnam
by Quy Van Khuc, Mai Tran, Thuy Nguyen, Nguyen An Thinh, Thao Dang, Dang Trung Tuyen, Phu Pham and Luu Quoc Dat
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010013 - 23 Jan 2023
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 4443
Abstract
Concern about energy depletion has risen because of industrialization and consumerism, pushing a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. To this end, every group within society, especially the youth, should be made responsible for confronting and/or mitigating environmental problems. This study [...] Read more.
Concern about energy depletion has risen because of industrialization and consumerism, pushing a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources. To this end, every group within society, especially the youth, should be made responsible for confronting and/or mitigating environmental problems. This study advances the understanding of young adults’ intentions to learn about energy conservation and its influencing factors, as well as contributes to the literature on environmental management and environmental culture and development. We used a systematic random sample technique to conduct a large-scale online survey with 1454 students from 48 different Vietnamese universities and employed Bayesian regression model to analyze the data. The initial research indicates that young adults are highly concerned about the environment, but more work has to be done to turn perceptions into actions. The majority of respondents—nearly 83%—want to increase their energy-saving knowledge, and around 50% are interested in enrolling in an energy course. Their decision regarding participation in an energy course is largely influenced by their perception and income. Women were more inclined to take energy-saving courses, and people who lived in rural areas had a stronger desire to increase their knowledge. Our research has various policy implications for promoting energy transformation and/or nurturing environmental cultures associated with environmental education improvement in Vietnam and beyond. Full article
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24 pages, 12847 KiB  
Article
Urban Design Solutions for the Environmental Requalification of Informal Neighbourhoods: The George Dimitrov Neighbourhood, Maputo
by Hazrat Bilale Salamagy, Fernando Brandão Alves and Clara Pimenta do Vale
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010012 - 20 Jan 2023
Viewed by 2844
Abstract
The current dimension of informal settlements in Maputo requires the definition of action models framed by empirical evidence, taking advantage of pre-existing socio-spatial and environmental conditions to define physical interventions through sustainable urban design strategies, with a view to their physical (and socio-economic) [...] Read more.
The current dimension of informal settlements in Maputo requires the definition of action models framed by empirical evidence, taking advantage of pre-existing socio-spatial and environmental conditions to define physical interventions through sustainable urban design strategies, with a view to their physical (and socio-economic) upgrading. Thus, this paper highlights the potential of urban design in the environmentally sustainable upgrading of Maputo’s informal neighbourhoods. This article aimed to develop sustainable and resilient urban design proposals and identify strategies capable of guiding the future process of physical territorial transformation towards a more sustainable model. Methodologically, a literature review was undertaken for the purpose of understanding the issues related to the theme and the general characteristics of informal neighbourhoods, as well as for exploring a case study: the George Dimitrov Neighbourhood. It was concluded that the current fabric of informal settlements possesses physical characteristics which facilitate the application of sustainable and responsive urban design strategies for the requalification of these deprived areas. Despite the marked difference between the spatial configurations of informal neighbourhoods and those of formal cities, it is possible to increase the level of resilience and sustainability of informal settlements through surgical and deep solutions, anchored on the particularities of the existing fabric. Full article
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25 pages, 6167 KiB  
Article
Relation between PM2.5 and O3 over Different Urban Environmental Regimes in India
by Rahul Kant Yadav, Harish Gadhavi, Akanksha Arora, Krishna Kumar Mohbey, Sunil Kumar, Shyam Lal and Chinmay Mallik
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010009 - 17 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3284
Abstract
Atmospheric ozone (O3) concentration is impacted by a number of factors, such as the amount of solar radiation, the composition of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and hydrocarbons, the transport of pollutants and the amount of particulate matter in the atmosphere. The oxidative [...] Read more.
Atmospheric ozone (O3) concentration is impacted by a number of factors, such as the amount of solar radiation, the composition of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and hydrocarbons, the transport of pollutants and the amount of particulate matter in the atmosphere. The oxidative potential of the atmosphere and the formation of secondary organic aerosols (SOAs) as a result of atmospheric oxidation are influenced by the prevalent O3 concentration. The formation of secondary aerosols from O3 depends on several meteorological, environmental and chemical factors. The relationship between PM2.5 and O3 in different urban environmental regimes of India is investigated in this study during the summer and winter seasons. A relationship between PM2.5 and O3 has been established for many meteorological and chemical variables, such as RH, WS, T and NOx, for the selected study locations. During the winter season, the correlation between PM2.5 and O3 was found to be negative for Delhi and Bengaluru, whereas it was positive in Ahmedabad. The city of Bengaluru was seen to have a positive correlation between PM2.5 and O3 during summer, coinciding with the transport of marine air masses with high RH and low wind speed (as evident from FLEXPART simulations), leading to the formation of SOAs. Further, O3 concentrations are predicted using a Recurrent Neural Network (RNN) model based on the relation obtained between PM2.5 and O3 for the summer season using NOx, T, RH, WS and PM2.5 as inputs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Climate Change Management and Society)
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12 pages, 462 KiB  
Review
Future Options Redundancy Planning: Designing Multiple Pathways to Resilience in Urban and Landscape Systems Facing Complex Change
by David J. Brunckhorst and E. Jamie Trammell
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010011 - 17 Jan 2023
Viewed by 2471
Abstract
Urban systems include complex interactions and interdependencies with adjoining landscapes and regions. The pressures of change are complex, constant, and increasing. Declining biodiversity, ecosystem function, social institutions, and climate change underwrite serious sustainability challenges across urban, peri-urban, and ‘natural’ landscapes. Urban and other [...] Read more.
Urban systems include complex interactions and interdependencies with adjoining landscapes and regions. The pressures of change are complex, constant, and increasing. Declining biodiversity, ecosystem function, social institutions, and climate change underwrite serious sustainability challenges across urban, peri-urban, and ‘natural’ landscapes. Urban and other human ‘development’ often results in environmental damage that drives the need for ecological regeneration and restoration. Integration of interdisciplinary urban sciences and landscape sciences can guide the design of regenerative pathways and nature-positive sustainability. Social perceptions, however, tend to promote a cast-back view that favors the old ‘locked-in’ policy that attempts to restore ‘what was’ the former environment or ecosystem. Often, however, these are no longer suitable to the circumstances and future pressures of change. If urban design and planning disciplines are to help society anticipate change, we need to move from primarily deterministic approaches to those that probabilistically explore trajectories to future landscapes. Urban science and landscape design can now provide future regenerative capacity for resilient and continuous adaptation. Ongoing sustainability requires urban and landscape designs that provide ongoing anticipatory, restorative, nature-positive capacity in the context of future change and pressures. Complexity, connectivity, and redundancy are important system attributes of social-ecological systems creating adaptive capabilities. A diversity of plausible future social-ecological system responses provide several response options and redundancy, with multiple pathways to alternative sustainable futures, enhancing our adaptive capacity. A diversity of feasible responses increases the likelihood of sustaining ecological processes under changing conditions. We propose Future Options Redundancy (FOR) plans as a useful tool for nature-positive design. FOR plans are a variety of possible pathways and alternative futures defined using the characteristics of a social-ecological landscape context. Foresight design capabilities recognize in advance, the accumulating circumstances, along with policy and design opportunities for social-ecological system transformation options in urban-landscape spaces, that are nature-positive—the mark of a sustainable regenerative society. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature-Positive Design and Development)
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4 pages, 194 KiB  
Editorial
Acknowledgment to the Reviewers of Urban Science in 2022
by Urban Science Editorial Office
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010010 - 17 Jan 2023
Viewed by 1033
Abstract
High-quality academic publishing is built on rigorous peer review [...] Full article
20 pages, 8747 KiB  
Article
Impact of Topography on Rural Cycling Patterns: Case Study of Bugesera District, Rwanda
by Jean-Claude Baraka Munyaka, Jérôme Chenal, Alexis Gatoni Sebarenzi, Rim Mrani and Akuto Akpedze Konou
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010008 - 13 Jan 2023
Viewed by 2032
Abstract
Rural mobility in Africa is an under-researched issue. Rural communities have often suffered from reduced mobility that has hampered their access to essential services and facilities such as education, health care, food, and clean water. In many rural communities, a more affordable mobility [...] Read more.
Rural mobility in Africa is an under-researched issue. Rural communities have often suffered from reduced mobility that has hampered their access to essential services and facilities such as education, health care, food, and clean water. In many rural communities, a more affordable mobility option, such as non-motorized mobility (cycling and walking), is the preferred way for people to travel. Apart from its well-known advantages, little is known about the impact of topography and routes on the mobility options adopted by rural communities. Therefore, this study aims to use Digital Elevation Models (DEMs) to analyze the impact of topography and routes on rural mobility patterns at the level of formal and informal cycle track networks in the Bugesera District, focusing on the Nyamata and Mayange sectors, Rwanda. This study used GPS devices given to 50 participants to collect mobility patterns in the two previously mentioned sectors. Then, the study imposed a 30-m buffer on the official road networks of Rwanda collected by the Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA). These data were joined to GPS tracks to highlight official and unofficial roads (tracks that did not fall within the 30-m buffer). In addition, Digital Elevation Models were applied to analyze the SRTM (30 m resolution) and ALOS PALSAR (12.5 m resolution) elevation data of the Bugesera region. The findings revealed an elevation range of 1333 to 1535 for SRTM and 1323 to 1641 for ALOS PALSAR. The study calculated the slope to find the slope percentage (m) and length (m). The findings from the DEMs and the slope calculation revealed that Bugesera has a relatively flat surface, favorable for cycling. The slope percentage was further classified into five levels of slope ranging from steep to very steep. And the Van Zuidam classification results confirmed that Bugesera has “a flat or nearly flat surface, without significant denudation processes”. With a favorable topography and a higher bicycle ownership ratio, residents of the Bugesera district favor cycling in their daily activities more than any district in Rwanda. Cycling in Nyamata or Mayange links residents to areas with higher social, educational, administrative, and economic activities. Full article
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18 pages, 5633 KiB  
Article
Urban Resilience and Climate Change: Developing a Multidimensional Index to Adapt against Climate Change in the Iranian Capital City of Tehran
by Azadeh Jamali, Maryam Robati, Hanieh Nikoomaram, Forough Farsad and Hossein Aghamohammadi
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010007 - 12 Jan 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2835
Abstract
Urban resilience studies have increased during recent years due to the significance of climate change as an alarming issue in centralized and highly populated cities where urban functionalities are disintegrated. Towards this aim, an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) was enrolled to streamline the [...] Read more.
Urban resilience studies have increased during recent years due to the significance of climate change as an alarming issue in centralized and highly populated cities where urban functionalities are disintegrated. Towards this aim, an Exploratory Factor Analysis (EFA) was enrolled to streamline the urban resilience to climate change over the 22 districts in Tehran after assessing the resilience objectivity. Based on the results, the city coverage was classified into best (41%), moderate (15%), low (14%), and least resilient (30%). In addition, the urban municipal districts were classified into five functional zones including Wellbeing-wealth (WWZ), Ecological Conservation (ECZ), Core (CZ), Downtown (DZ), and Neutral Zone (NZ) after evaluating the concept of urban functionality in the resilience framework. The results indicated that the socio-cultural component is considered as the fundamental necessity, along with eco-environmental and economic components in capacity building to urban climate resilience. In fact, more than half of the Tehran coverage is regarded as resilient. Thus, the rest should be prioritized, despite the need to inspire from top-ranked districts, especially D4. However, downtown and neutral zones, especially D9 and D21, which account for up to 12% of the least resilient areas, should be evaluated seriously. Finally, the robustness of the proposed methodology was compared to the studies addressing the same concept, and we offer some preparatory and adaptive measures for urban planners and policymakers. Full article
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29 pages, 3946 KiB  
Article
Do Socially Vulnerable Urban Populations Have Access to Walkable, Transit-Accessible Neighborhoods? A Nationwide Analysis of Large U.S. Metropolitan Areas
by Bradley Bereitschaft
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010006 - 11 Jan 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 4811
Abstract
Walkable and transit-accessible neighborhoods that may offer residents numerous health, social, and economic benefits are, in many places, becoming increasingly exclusive. This equity-mapping analysis sought to determine whether socially vulnerable (SV) populations within America’s largest (pop. ≥ 500 k) metropolitan areas have equitable [...] Read more.
Walkable and transit-accessible neighborhoods that may offer residents numerous health, social, and economic benefits are, in many places, becoming increasingly exclusive. This equity-mapping analysis sought to determine whether socially vulnerable (SV) populations within America’s largest (pop. ≥ 500 k) metropolitan areas have equitable access to walkable and transit-accessible neighborhoods. The results suggest an equitable overlap between high-SV and highly walkable neighborhoods in many cities, yet there was significant variability in both the availability and equity in accessibility of these neighborhoods to SV populations. Concerningly, high-SV populations living in more walkable neighborhoods are also likely to contend with higher levels of personal crime (i.e., homicide, rape, robbery, assault), poorer-performing schools, and lower transit accessibility. While the primary challenge in some cities, including many in the South and Southeast, is a general lack of walkable and transit-accessible neighborhoods, in others a dearth of affordable housing is likely the main barrier to ensuring broad and equitable accessibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Walkable Metropolis: Opportunities and Challenges in the 21st Century)
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24 pages, 8078 KiB  
Article
Are Soil and Geology Characteristics Considered in Urban Planning? An Empirical Study in Izmir (Türkiye)
by Stefano Salata and Taygun Uzelli
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010005 - 29 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2351
Abstract
It is well acknowledged that sustainable soil management can play a crucial role in reducing the vulnerability of urban areas, but are soil characteristics properly evaluated in the decision-making process concerning urbanization? Within this work, we conducted an analysis of the land-use change [...] Read more.
It is well acknowledged that sustainable soil management can play a crucial role in reducing the vulnerability of urban areas, but are soil characteristics properly evaluated in the decision-making process concerning urbanization? Within this work, we conducted an analysis of the land-use change trends in the city of Izmir (Turkey). We made an extended and detailed analysis of the urbanization processes between 2012 and 2018 in a geographic information system environment (Esri ArcGIS 10.8.1 and ArcGIS Pro 3.0). Then, we superimposed by spatial overlay different soil characteristics: land capability, hydraulic conductibility, soil groups, and fault lines. We discovered that although there is a joint agreement on soil and its geological importance in reducing urban vulnerabilities to flooding, urban heat islands, agricultural production, or earthquakes, there is scarce knowledge of its characteristics to inform land-use planning. This work sheds some light on how newly developed areas are planned without proper consideration of soil properties, following a fuzzy and irrational logic in their distribution. Results encourage the utilization and inclusion of soil knowledge to support the decision-making process concerning urban transformation to achieve more resilient and less vulnerable urban systems. Full article
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18 pages, 811 KiB  
Article
Management Strategies in the Comprehensive Rehabilitation of the Historic Centers of Quito and Havana
by Juan Carlos Martínez Serra and Enrique Fernández-Vivancos González
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010004 - 26 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2224
Abstract
Historical centers are structural elements in contemporary cities which preserve identity and collective memory. Despite being lubricants of social cohesion, intense processes of urban growth, fragmentation, and degradation put these city centers at great risk. Thus, they have been considered priority spaces in [...] Read more.
Historical centers are structural elements in contemporary cities which preserve identity and collective memory. Despite being lubricants of social cohesion, intense processes of urban growth, fragmentation, and degradation put these city centers at great risk. Thus, they have been considered priority spaces in public renewal policies affected by inaccurate interventions which must contend with changing and complex realities in the Latin American and Caribbean contexts. This article approaches the main management strategies used in the comprehensive urban rehabilitation of historical centers through critical and comparative analysis of the historic centers of Quito and Old Havana, which are two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The study ultimately aims to determine the main successes and failures of the management strategies used and proposes measures to support decision-making processes, optimizing the type of urban intervention employed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Urban Conservation)
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17 pages, 4351 KiB  
Article
An Analysis of Urban Ethnic Inclusion of Master Plans—In the Case of Kabul City, Afghanistan
by Fakhrullah Sarwari and Hiroko Ono
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010003 - 25 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3379
Abstract
This study examines the history of master planning in Kabul city and how the government approaches segregation through urban planning. There are five master plans made for Kabul city, starting in 1964, with the others being conceived in 1970, 1978, 2011, and 2018. [...] Read more.
This study examines the history of master planning in Kabul city and how the government approaches segregation through urban planning. There are five master plans made for Kabul city, starting in 1964, with the others being conceived in 1970, 1978, 2011, and 2018. The civil war exacerbated the ethnic segmentation in Kabul city. The city is ethnically divided mainly among the different ethnicities of Pashtun, Tajik, and Hazara, which live in three different zones. The urban planning literature and master plans for Kabul city are surveyed, starting from the 1960s with the first master plan to the 2018 Kabul urban design framework. The first three master plans were designed on technical rather than communitive rationalities, with authoritarian planning. However, the fourth master plan of 2011 was developed through engagement with citizens and addressed the ethnic segregation in the city in abstract ways. The fifth masterplan, Kabul urban design framework, was a step backward in participatory planning; it also ignored the ethnic segmentation in the city by unequally distributing the future economic zones, administrative and facilities hubs. The past master plans have ignored the ethnic segregation of the city; there is no detailed plan on how the city will approach segregation through urban planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Agenda)
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