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Urban Sci., Volume 8, Issue 2 (June 2024) – 32 articles

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18 pages, 8347 KiB  
Article
New Year Fireworks Influence on Air Quality in Case of Stagnant Foggy Conditions
by Audrė Kalinauskaitė, Lina Davulienė, Julija Pauraite, Agnė Minderytė and Steigvilė Byčenkienė
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 54; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020054 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 349
Abstract
Urban science plays a pivotal role in understanding the complex interactions between fireworks, air quality, and urban environments. Dense firework smoke worsens air quality and poses a health hazard to the public. In this study, we show a situation where extremely foggy meteorological [...] Read more.
Urban science plays a pivotal role in understanding the complex interactions between fireworks, air quality, and urban environments. Dense firework smoke worsens air quality and poses a health hazard to the public. In this study, we show a situation where extremely foggy meteorological conditions coincided with intense anthropogenic emissions, including fireworks, in an urban area. For the first time, the chemical composition and sources of non-refractory submicron aerosol (NR-PM1) in outdoor and indoor air were characterized in Vilnius (Lithuania) using an aerosol chemical speciation monitor (ACSM) and Positive Matrix Factorization for the period before the fireworks, on New Year’s Eve, and after the fireworks in 2020/2021; thus, typical changes were assessed. Due to stagnant weather conditions and increased traffic, the highest concentrations of black carbon (BC) (13.8 μg/m3) were observed before the fireworks display. The contribution of organic (Org) fraction to the total NR-PM1 mass concentration, in the comparison of the values of a typical night and New Year’s Eve (from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m.), increased from 43% to 70% and from 47% to 60% in outdoor and indoor air, respectively. Biomass-burning organic aerosol (BBOA, 48% (44%)) and hydrocarbon-like organic aerosol (HOA, 35% (21%)) dominated the organic fraction indoors and outdoors, respectively. HOA was likely linked to increased traffic during the event, while BBOA may have been related to domestic heating and fireworks. Full article
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15 pages, 1355 KiB  
Article
Building Urban Climate Resilience: Assessing Awareness, Perception, and Willingness regarding Nature-Based Solutions and Climate Change among Stakeholders in Iligan City, Philippines
by Audrey Rose A. Velayo, Peter D. Suson, Maricar M. Aguilos and Hernando P. Bacosa
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020053 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 517
Abstract
Iligan City has been the heart of major industries in steel, cement, and hydropower and is one of the highly urbanized coastal cities in Mindanao, Philippines. Due to its geological state, environmental challenges like flooding, natural disasters, and environmental degradation have been experienced [...] Read more.
Iligan City has been the heart of major industries in steel, cement, and hydropower and is one of the highly urbanized coastal cities in Mindanao, Philippines. Due to its geological state, environmental challenges like flooding, natural disasters, and environmental degradation have been experienced by the city. With the climate crisis, these risks are being magnified. Recently, nature-based solutions (NBS) have gained significant attention worldwide, viewed as a key solution to the consequences of climate change. Yet implementation of strategies and policies regarding NBS, especially in developing countries, has received poor attention. Hence, this study aims to assess the awareness and perceptions of stakeholders in Iligan City regarding climate change, NBS, and willingness to engage in actions involving NBS. Stakeholder mapping and surveys were conducted through purposive sampling. A total of 187 respondents were interviewed from different sectors (LGUs, NGOs, the private sector, and academia) in Iligan City. Results revealed significant differences in awareness and perceptions across the distinct socio-economic backgrounds of stakeholders, where respondents with higher education and income have greater levels of awareness, perception, and willingness. The study recommends future targeted approaches and increased campaigns for climate change and sustainable solutions such as integrating NBS in adaptation strategies and mitigation plans to foster multi-level stakeholder collaboration. Full article
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33 pages, 2629 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Sustainable Mobility Initiatives Developed in Montevideo, Uruguay
by Sergio Nesmachnow and Silvina Hipogrosso
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 52; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020052 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 532
Abstract
This article presents an assessment of sustainable mobility initiatives developed in Montevideo, Uruguay, in the period from 2020 to 2023. The significance of sustainable mobility is underscored due to its far-reaching implications for the environment, energy efficiency, and the overall quality of life [...] Read more.
This article presents an assessment of sustainable mobility initiatives developed in Montevideo, Uruguay, in the period from 2020 to 2023. The significance of sustainable mobility is underscored due to its far-reaching implications for the environment, energy efficiency, and the overall quality of life of citizens. This study focuses on crucial aspects of four initiatives deployed in Montevideo in 2020–2023: electric mobility solutions using scooters, the development of infrastructure and services for urban cycling, the development of electric public transportation, and private electric transportation. Important results are obtained and commented on for each of the studied initiatives, regarding efficiency, environmental impact, accessibility, the quality of the service, and other relevant indicators. Based on the analysis, valuable knowledge is acquired to guide the future development of efficient and sustainable transportation modes in Montevideo, Uruguay. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Agenda)
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14 pages, 694 KiB  
Article
Research on Port Risk Assessment Based on Various Meteorological Disasters
by Tianni Wang, Zongjie Ding, Mark Ching-Pong Poo and Yui-Yip Lau
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020051 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 322
Abstract
Within the framework of economic globalisation, ports serve as critical junctures in international trade and play a vital role. However, as infrastructure is closely linked to the natural environment, ports are highly susceptible to the impacts of meteorological disasters. Therefore, a comprehensive assessment [...] Read more.
Within the framework of economic globalisation, ports serve as critical junctures in international trade and play a vital role. However, as infrastructure is closely linked to the natural environment, ports are highly susceptible to the impacts of meteorological disasters. Therefore, a comprehensive assessment of the risks posed by meteorological hazards to ports, establishing corresponding early warning mechanisms, and adopting reasonable response and recovery strategies, is paramount in ensuring the safe operation of ports and maintaining the stability of international trade. This study has comprehensively analysed historical data and identified the pre-established loss stratification system, improving the theoretical construct of “expected loss”. Additionally, this research has innovatively integrated the idea of preventative factors aligned with risk indicators. A quantitative algorithm was used to factor in the preventative factors within the computational procedure, deriving the weights pertinent to each risk indicator. This research aimed to reduce the subjectivity inherent in the weighting assignment process through such an approach, thereby enhancing disaster risk assessment’s scientific rigour and reliability. Moreover, it underscores the critical role of adaptive urban planning in enhancing the resilience of crucial economic nodes like ports, thereby contributing to the broader objectives of sustainable urban development. Full article
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22 pages, 2326 KiB  
Article
Multidimensional Evaluation Framework for Assessing Cultural Heritage Adaptive Reuse Projects: The Case of the Seminary in Sant’Agata de’ Goti (Italy)
by Mariarosaria Angrisano, Francesca Nocca and Anna Scotto Di Santolo
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020050 - 13 May 2024
Viewed by 318
Abstract
As climate change accelerates, urban areas are becoming increasingly inhospitable, with rising heat island effects and overall unhealthy environmental conditions. In this context, historic villages, due to their proximity to nature and lower population density, can represent a valuable alternative to unsustainable urban [...] Read more.
As climate change accelerates, urban areas are becoming increasingly inhospitable, with rising heat island effects and overall unhealthy environmental conditions. In this context, historic villages, due to their proximity to nature and lower population density, can represent a valuable alternative to unsustainable urban areas, providing better quality of life (i.e., through healthier environment, better work–life balance). They are “populated” by historic buildings characterized by high cultural value but are often in a state of abandonment. Nowadays, the adaptive reuse of cultural heritage represents an efficient strategy to adapt it to new needs/requirements and, at the same time, to preserve its historical and intrinsic values for present and future generations. In this framework, this study proposes a multidimensional evaluation framework for assessing cultural heritage adaptive reuse projects, covering all sustainability dimensions and capturing both tangible and intangible values. This framework, consisting of multiple criteria and multidimensional indicators, has been applied to evaluate alternative scenarios related to the regeneration of the abandoned Seminary in Sant’Agata de’ Goti (historic village), Benevento, Italy. In particular, three different scenarios have been evaluated by the SOCRATES (SOcial multi Criteria Assessment of European policies) method, a multicriteria decision method developed by the Joint Research Center (JRC) of the European Commission. Full article
(This article belongs to the Collection Urban Conservation)
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21 pages, 749 KiB  
Systematic Review
Evaluating the Environmental Impact of Anthropogenic Activities on Human Health: A Systematic Review
by Luigi Cofone, Marise Sabato, Enrico Di Rosa, Chiara Colombo and Lorenzo Paglione
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020049 - 11 May 2024
Viewed by 377
Abstract
Due to major global urbanisation, a careful evaluation of plans (town planning and mobility) and projects (industrial and development) is required in order to measure their impact on health and environmental matrices. In Italy, Legislative Decree No 152/06 introduced two procedures: the EIA [...] Read more.
Due to major global urbanisation, a careful evaluation of plans (town planning and mobility) and projects (industrial and development) is required in order to measure their impact on health and environmental matrices. In Italy, Legislative Decree No 152/06 introduced two procedures: the EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) and SIA (Strategic Impact Assessment). Their focus, however, does not consider human health. Recently, the Integrated Environmental and Health Impact Assessment (IEHIA) was introduced; this defines the parameters necessary to provide an EIA that includes human health as a factor. This systematic review was conducted, including both the population impacted by new facilities and the method used to define their impact. Our database search produced 724 articles, of which 33 were eligible. Studies included landfill plans, manufacturing industries, mobility policies, energy production, and the environmental health of an area. All studies show how an approach encompassing multiple parameters can analyse the impact of a new facility in a comprehensive manner. This review shows that the use of health-related environmental impact parameters is essential for the integration of a project into a community, and can allow a wider understanding of the possible impacts on human health, both direct and indirect. Full article
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19 pages, 8020 KiB  
Article
Driving Domain Classification Based on Kernel Density Estimation of Urban Land Use and Road Network Scaling Models
by Gerrit Brandes, Christian Sieg, Marcel Sander and Roman Henze
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020048 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 486
Abstract
Current research on automated driving systems focuses on Level 4 automated driving (AD) in specific operational design Domains (ODD). Measurement data from customer fleet operation are commonly used to extract scenarios and ODD features (road infrastructure, etc.) for the testing of AD functions. [...] Read more.
Current research on automated driving systems focuses on Level 4 automated driving (AD) in specific operational design Domains (ODD). Measurement data from customer fleet operation are commonly used to extract scenarios and ODD features (road infrastructure, etc.) for the testing of AD functions. To ensure data relevance for the vehicle use case, driving domain classification of the data is required. Generally, classification into urban, extra-urban and highway domains provides data with similar ODD features. Highway classification can be implemented using global navigation satellite system coordinates of the driving route, map-matching algorithms, and road classes stored in digital maps. However, the distinction between urban and extra-urban driving domains is more complex, as settlement taxonomies and administrative-level hierarchies are not globally consistent. Therefore, this paper presents a map-based method for driving domain classification. First, potential urban areas (PUA) are identified based on urban land-use density, which is determined based on land-use categories from OpenStreetMap (OSM) and then spatially smoothed by kernel density estimation. Subsequently, two road network scaling models are used to distinguish between urban and extra-urban domains for the PUA. Finally, statistics of ODD feature distribution are analysed for the classified urban and extra-urban areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Urban Land Use and Spatial Analysis)
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17 pages, 14934 KiB  
Article
Exploring the Relationship between the Dynamics of the Urban–Rural Interface and Regional Development in a Post-Socialist Transition
by Ioan Ianoș, Radu-Matei Cocheci and Alexandru-Ionuț Petrișor
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020047 - 9 May 2024
Viewed by 596
Abstract
This study offers, by an empirical analysis, another perspective on post-socialist development, highlighting the role of the urban–rural interface in regional dynamics. The current literature on the relationships between both issues is not too rich and our paper analyzes the relationships between core [...] Read more.
This study offers, by an empirical analysis, another perspective on post-socialist development, highlighting the role of the urban–rural interface in regional dynamics. The current literature on the relationships between both issues is not too rich and our paper analyzes the relationships between core cities, their peri-urban areas, and their regions, through a comparative overview of their growth over the last three decades. Romania, as a special case study for a contradictory transition, due to the great step from a drastic dictatorial regime to a democracy and a market economy, is a good example to test these complex relationships. Considering the new development trend at the urban–rural interfaces, our key idea was to depict their contribution to regional development (NUTS 3) compared to city cores. The second question was how this differentiated contribution can be measured, using the simplest tool. The starting point was the fact that population dynamics reflect all changes in the city core and at the urban–rural interface, and less so at a regional level. Consequently, we selected the dynamics of the number of inhabitants for the first two, as well as the dynamics of GDP per capita at the regional level. We found higher and significant correlations between GDP per capita and urban–rural interfaces, but no significant correlations in the case of city cores. Our conclusion is that, in the transition period, the dynamics of urban–rural interfaces influenced more regional development dynamics, than those of city cores. This means that urban–rural interfaces amplify the development coming from cities, adding their own contribution and then dissipating it regionally. Future research should identify what the urban–rural interface offers to regions, in addition to the city core. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural–Urban Transformation and Regional Development)
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19 pages, 3560 KiB  
Article
Functional or Neglected Border Regions? Analysis of the Integrated Development Plans of Borderland Municipalities in South Africa
by Thato L. Maila and Klára Czimre
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020046 - 7 May 2024
Viewed by 485
Abstract
The mainstream approach of regional integration impact assessments is mainly limited to assessing cross-border development projects/programmes. There is still a lack of critical assessment of how stakeholders at different institutional levels conceptualise the border. Local (municipal) strategic plans provide a reflection of the [...] Read more.
The mainstream approach of regional integration impact assessments is mainly limited to assessing cross-border development projects/programmes. There is still a lack of critical assessment of how stakeholders at different institutional levels conceptualise the border. Local (municipal) strategic plans provide a reflection of the spatial imaginaries of stakeholders, perception planners, institutional power structures, and, to some extent meaning of the border to the local people. Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) in South Africa were adopted as an important development planning strategy in the post-apartheid era. IDPs of 49 borderland municipalities were systematically reviewed using the Key-Word-in-Context (KWIC) content analysis technique of the keyword ‘border’ to determine the importance of state borders in light of regional integration. Border security and management is one of the most common themes associated with the border. This suggested that borders were mainly perceived as threats and barely considered as a potential resource for cross-border cooperation or integration. Full article
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29 pages, 4148 KiB  
Review
Decoding Near Synonyms in Pedestrianization Research: A Numerical Analysis and Summative Approach
by Hisham Abusaada and Abeer Elshater
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020045 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 755
Abstract
Pedestrianization is a significant discourse focus within urban planning and design research. However, the need for more clarity from the inconsistent use of near-synonym concepts or terms necessitates attention. This review article addresses this issue through a comprehensive analysis of synonym proliferation in [...] Read more.
Pedestrianization is a significant discourse focus within urban planning and design research. However, the need for more clarity from the inconsistent use of near-synonym concepts or terms necessitates attention. This review article addresses this issue through a comprehensive analysis of synonym proliferation in pedestrian research, culminating in developing a robust “near synonymous toolkit” and “synonym selection framework”. Employing a linear snowball sampling technique, numerical analysis, and a qualitative content analysis-based summative approach, we examined sixteen peer-reviewed articles from 11 scientific journals. Through systematic classification based on consistency and variability, the summative review identifies three primary groups of near synonyms: dominant and widely utilized conceptual or terminological near synonymy in pedestrianization in the urban planning and design literature, near synonyms directly associated with a pedestrian, pedestrianize, and those indirectly linked to another conceptual or terminological synonymy. Further analysis delves into the nature of near-synonym concepts or terms, revealing three discernible patterns: the use of distinct, precise concepts or terms with near-synonym meanings, similar concepts or terms conveying divergent meanings, and the juxtaposition of unrelated vocabulary lacking semantic resemblance. These insights illuminate semantic relationships within the studied vocabulary, underscoring the importance of addressing inconsistency for clarity, precision, and coherence in scientific discourse. By offering practical guidance through the proposed framework, this study empowers academic researchers to navigate synonym selection adeptly, thereby enhancing the caliber of scholarly writing in urban planning and design. Full article
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17 pages, 7550 KiB  
Article
Principles of Sustainable Development of Georesources as a Way to Reduce Urban Vulnerability
by Cheynesh Kongar-Syuryun, Roman Klyuev, Vladimir Golik, Armine Oganesyan, Danila Solovykh, Marat Khayrutdinov and Danila Adigamov
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020044 - 6 May 2024
Viewed by 752
Abstract
Humanity development is associated with higher spiritual and social behaviour and financial shape, which is an undeniable factor of urbanisation. Previously, in areas of georesource concentration, cities and settlements were formed with people exploiting these georesources. However, imperfect technologies lead to rapid depletion [...] Read more.
Humanity development is associated with higher spiritual and social behaviour and financial shape, which is an undeniable factor of urbanisation. Previously, in areas of georesource concentration, cities and settlements were formed with people exploiting these georesources. However, imperfect technologies lead to rapid depletion of reserves and industrial and environmental disasters, which affect the vulnerability of cities and the people living in them. The analysis of applied technologies has demonstrated that potash extraction is accompanied by a low recovery ratio, high mine accidents, and environmental problems. The principles of sustainable development of geo-resources for the creation of mining technologies that ensure industrial safety, environmental sustainability, and extending the life of the mining enterprise to save working places will reduce the vulnerability of cities. This article proposes the use of the room-and-pillar mining method with the replacement of natural supports with artificial ones. Three-stage stoping with backfill is considered. Numerical modelling has shown stabilisation of mining and geomechanical processes, which confirms the prospectivity of the method with backfill. For these purposes, this research presents a new backfill composition based on local industrial waste. Schemes of backfill preparation and feeding into the mined-out space are proposed. The proposed technology, based on the principles of sustainable development of georesources, is the foundation for an economically profitable, environmentally friendly, and socially responsible mining enterprise. The implementation of the principles of sustainable development of georesources will allow for the preservation of cities and reduce their vulnerability. Full article
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17 pages, 19155 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Urban Resilience: Strategic Management and Action Plans for Cyclonic Events through Socially Constructed Risk Processes
by Raúl Pérez-Arévalo, Juan Jiménez-Caldera, José Luis Serrano-Montes, Jesús Rodrigo-Comino, Kevin Therán-Nieto and Andrés Caballero-Calvo
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020043 - 1 May 2024
Viewed by 767
Abstract
Cities will face increasing challenges due to the impacts of global climate change, particularly in the form of cyclonic events, necessitating a deeper understanding and the establishment of effective response mechanisms at both institutional and citizen levels. In this research, we tested the [...] Read more.
Cities will face increasing challenges due to the impacts of global climate change, particularly in the form of cyclonic events, necessitating a deeper understanding and the establishment of effective response mechanisms at both institutional and citizen levels. In this research, we tested the efficiency of crowdsourcing in fostering participatory resilience and improving urban management. The main aim was to design novel and accurate proactive response strategies and mitigate the adverse effects of cyclonic wind events through volunteerism, citizen science, and urban science. To achieve this goal, as a case study, the municipality of Soledad, Colombia was used. This research employed a two-phase methodological approach: (i) initially evaluating the spatial distribution of emergency response resources, and (ii) developing a geo-referenced survey to map, systematize, and categorize data and outcomes. A total of three hundred and seventy-eight residents across five neighborhoods in Soledad, which have experienced a high frequency of atmospheric wind phenomena over the past two decades, were surveyed. The results indicate that the crowdsourcing mechanism effectively enhanced the empirical understanding of atmospheric wind events in Soledad, facilitating the establishment of a geo-referenced volunteer network for real-time responses. Additionally, this study shed light on previously undocumented challenges, in terms of reducing the number of people affected, and the actions that would lead to improved urban development to reduce the impacts of cyclonic events, emphasizing the significance of citizen science in the social construction of risk and disaster risk reduction (DDR) efforts. Full article
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20 pages, 927 KiB  
Review
Changing Conditions: Global Warming-Related Hazards and Vulnerable Rural Populations in Mediterranean Europe
by Sandra Graus, Tiago Miguel Ferreira, Graça Vasconcelos and Javier Ortega
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020042 - 25 Apr 2024
Viewed by 708
Abstract
Human-induced climate change has profound effects on extreme events, particularly those linked to global warming, such as heatwaves, droughts, and wildfires. These events disrupt ecosystems, emphasizing the imperative to understand the interactions among them to gauge the risks faced by vulnerable communities. Vulnerability [...] Read more.
Human-induced climate change has profound effects on extreme events, particularly those linked to global warming, such as heatwaves, droughts, and wildfires. These events disrupt ecosystems, emphasizing the imperative to understand the interactions among them to gauge the risks faced by vulnerable communities. Vulnerability levels vary primarily based on a community’s resources. Rural areas, especially in the Mediterranean region of Europe, are experiencing acute depopulation, creating a complex situation affecting various aspects of society, from economic declines to cultural heritage loss. Population decline in rural regions weakens resources, leading to the abandonment of built environments, fostering desertification, and elevating the risk of wildfires. Communities undergoing this deterioration process become exceptionally vulnerable, especially when dealing with and recovering from extreme natural phenomena. This review offers insights into the dynamics of these hazards and the predominant challenges in rural areas. By focusing on a topic that has received limited attention, the aim is to inform future research initiatives, ultimately improving risk assessment and mitigation strategies for these vulnerable communities. Full article
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17 pages, 1977 KiB  
Review
From Block to City Scale: Greenery’s Contribution to Cooling the Urban Environment
by Jesús Abelardo Licón-Portillo, Karen Estrella Martínez-Torres, Peter Chung-Alonso and Eduardo Florencio Herrera Peraza
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020041 - 25 Apr 2024
Viewed by 655
Abstract
Urban greenery is a strategy to improve the thermal environment in urban areas affected by heat islands and global warming. These phenomena can harm the citizens’ quality of life. Researchers have investigated the thermal benefits of urban vegetation, but only a few have [...] Read more.
Urban greenery is a strategy to improve the thermal environment in urban areas affected by heat islands and global warming. These phenomena can harm the citizens’ quality of life. Researchers have investigated the thermal benefits of urban vegetation, but only a few have explored its complexities across diverse urban scales. Understanding these variations is critical for precise analysis, customized solutions, efficient resource allocation, and enhancing urban living quality while promoting sustainability and climate resilience. This paper reviews 250 scientific articles about the relationship between greenspace and the urban thermal environment published between 2010 and 2023 through urban scales. It summarizes the parameters and findings of greenery’s contribution to cooling the urban environment. The data reveal that most studies concentrated on the block scale, public open spaces, neighborhoods, parks, grouped vegetation, mixed arrangements, high vegetation, spatial parameters, and the use of air temperature data to report their findings. The cooling-effect evidence shows that the block scale has an average mitigation range of 0.7–2.7 °C, the neighborhood scale of 1.1–2.9 °C, and the city scale of 0.5–2.2 °C. Furthermore, it is critical to define reliable research methods and perform thorough software validation to assess model performance and establish guidelines for urban-landscape design accurately. Full article
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18 pages, 2875 KiB  
Article
Spatio–Temporal Dynamic Characteristics and Driving Mechanisms of Urban Compactness in Central China
by Wenqin Ren, Linggui Wei, Xinhai Lu, Jinlong Xu and Yun Qin
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020040 - 24 Apr 2024
Viewed by 595
Abstract
As a result of rapid urbanization in China, the spatial restructuring of towns and cities has significantly impacted urban compactness. The study of the spatio–temporal characteristics and driving mechanisms of urban compactness in central China is a strategic imperative and conducive to promoting [...] Read more.
As a result of rapid urbanization in China, the spatial restructuring of towns and cities has significantly impacted urban compactness. The study of the spatio–temporal characteristics and driving mechanisms of urban compactness in central China is a strategic imperative and conducive to promoting regional sustainable development that is based on easing the contradiction between land resource supply and demand and reducing energy consumption. Therefore, this study focused on 80 prefecture-level cities in central China, utilizing barycenter model and GTWR model, among others, to analyze the spatio–temporal evolution pattern of urban compactness from 2006 to 2020 and its driving factors, with the aim of uncovering the intrinsic mechanisms behind enhancing urban compactness in the area. The results show the follows: (1) The urban compactness in central China has generally shown an upward trend, with a pronounced spatial clustering around provincial capital cities and the spatial changes in compactness predominantly concentrated in the north–south direction. (2) Various factors have influenced urban compactness, where government intervention and population aggregation present as bi-directional driving factors, while the effective use of land resources and high-quality industrial development, among others, present as positive driving factors. The spatio–temporal heterogeneity and agglomeration features of each driving factor are significant. (3) Further analysis indicates that the effective use of land resources is the primary factor in enhancing urban compactness, followed by technology. Therefore, we should adhere to the concept of compact cities and gradually promote the compactness of cities in central China based on the impact of the driving factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Urban Land Use and Spatial Analysis)
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22 pages, 1041 KiB  
Article
Contribution of the Cultural and Creative Industries to Regional Development and Revitalization: A European Perspective
by Dimitrios Kalfas, Stavros Kalogiannidis, Vasilios Ambas and Fotios Chatzitheodoridis
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020039 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 984
Abstract
Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) have emerged as powerful drivers of regional development and revitalization in Europe in recent years. This study explores the impact of CCIs on European regions, focusing on their economic, social, and cultural contributions. Drawing on extensive literature review [...] Read more.
Cultural and Creative Industries (CCIs) have emerged as powerful drivers of regional development and revitalization in Europe in recent years. This study explores the impact of CCIs on European regions, focusing on their economic, social, and cultural contributions. Drawing on extensive literature review and empirical research, this study examines the role of CCIs in job creation, GDP growth, innovation, social cohesion, cultural identity, urban regeneration, and the revitalization of declining areas. Data were collected using questionnaires distributed to 345 key players in the Cultural and Creative Industry of Greece. The findings reveal that CCIs significantly enhance job opportunities in European regions, with 74.4% of participants acknowledging their role in reducing unemployment and underemployment. Moreover, 71.4% recognized the substantial contribution of CCIs to regional GDP, highlighting that their economic importance is comparable to traditional industries. CCIs are seen as catalysts for social cohesion and cultural identity, as 75.6% of respondents attested to their role in uniting diverse communities. These results emphasize the sensitivity of CCIs to the existing cultural and historical context of these areas. Furthermore, this study identifies outcomes of regional development and revitalization, including improved education facilities (21.7%), preservation of regional cultural heritage (14.6%), and enhanced business relations (26.7%). Regression analysis demonstrated a strong association between CCIs and regional development and revitalization. This study provides comprehensive insights into the contributions of CCIs to regional development and revitalization in Europe. Policymakers, practitioners, and stakeholders can use these findings to harness the full potential of CCIs for sustainable and inclusive regional development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Rural–Urban Transformation and Regional Development)
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16 pages, 1514 KiB  
Review
The Ontology of Urban Governance: A Framework for Pathways to Sustainable Urban Transition
by Susanna Ghosh Mitra, Ajay Chandra and Arkalgud Ramaprasad
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020038 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 781
Abstract
Evidence on urban governance has expanded but is fragmented and inadequate. It fails to articulate the complexity of urban governance in a way that would facilitate effective urban transitions. Using a conceptual-cognitive lens, this article describes a method to move away from governance [...] Read more.
Evidence on urban governance has expanded but is fragmented and inadequate. It fails to articulate the complexity of urban governance in a way that would facilitate effective urban transitions. Using a conceptual-cognitive lens, this article describes a method to move away from governance solutions based on functional silos to those based on multidimensional, sustainable systems. Based on a combination of concepts from public policy, governance, public administration, and urban service management, it frames the problem of urban governance as a comprehensive conceptual-cognitive map of the domain. The study validates the framework through expert feedback and the mapping of the literature on urban governance in India between 2018 and 2020. The monad map and theme map emphasise the ontology’s applicability as a methodological tool for evidence generation. The analysis reveals a need to reconfigure urban governance pathways to work towards a sustainable future. The article concludes by offering new conceptual constructs of governance pathways to enhance the policies and practices that shape such transitions. Full article
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17 pages, 3055 KiB  
Article
Total Suspended Particulate Matter (TSP)-Bound Carbonaceous Components in a Roadside Area in Eastern Indonesia
by Muhammad Amin, Andi Annisa Tenri Ramadhani, Rasdiana Zakaria, Zarah Arwieny Hanami, Rahmi Mulia Putri, Worradorn Phairuang, Mitsuhiko Hata and Masami Furuuchi
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020037 - 22 Apr 2024
Viewed by 613
Abstract
To evaluate carbonaceous components in the ambient air in the eastern region of Indonesia, 35 Total Suspended Particulate Matter (TSP) samples were collected on four characteristic roadsides on Sultan Alauddin Street, in Makassar City, using a high-volume air sampler. The average TSP concentration [...] Read more.
To evaluate carbonaceous components in the ambient air in the eastern region of Indonesia, 35 Total Suspended Particulate Matter (TSP) samples were collected on four characteristic roadsides on Sultan Alauddin Street, in Makassar City, using a high-volume air sampler. The average TSP concentration was 279.7 μg/m3, which exceeded both the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) of Indonesia and the World Health Organization (WHO) standards. The highest concentration reached 838.6 μg/m3 in the GR (gravel) site, which had the highest number of vehicles and was near a U-turn. TSP concentration was higher during peak hours (morning and late afternoon) than off-peak hours (noon). The main component of the total carbon (TC) fraction was organic carbon (OC), which showed a strong correlation with elemental carbon (EC) (r values for the morning, noon, and late afternoon were 0.89, 0.87, and 0.97, respectively), indicating that the carbon components were derived from common sources. TSP had a strong correlation with carbon components, except for char-EC. OC vs. soot-EC and EC vs. soot-EC also correlated well, suggesting the dominant influence of vehicle exhaust emissions. Non-exhaust emissions had a slight influence during peak hours, particularly at the GR site. Full article
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25 pages, 11328 KiB  
Article
Transport Accessibility of Urban Districts in Megapolis: Insights from Moscow
by Tatiana Petrova and Andrey Grunin
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020036 - 18 Apr 2024
Viewed by 704
Abstract
(1) Background: As global urbanization accelerates, effective mobility in metropolitan areas becomes crucial. City transportation systems, often congested, have diverse transit modes and numerous access points. Our study focuses on the transportation accessibility of the various districts within Moscow, a city with a [...] Read more.
(1) Background: As global urbanization accelerates, effective mobility in metropolitan areas becomes crucial. City transportation systems, often congested, have diverse transit modes and numerous access points. Our study focuses on the transportation accessibility of the various districts within Moscow, a city with a population of over 12 million and covering approximately 900 square kilometers. (2) Methods: The city was divided into 2 km-by-2 km squares, and we used both personal and public transportation data. This allowed us to analyze spatiotemporal mobility patterns, calculating travel times and distances between these defined centroids. Our assessment not only considered transportation to key hubs, such as major train stations, airports, and the city center, but also weighed the integral interconnectedness of individual districts. Various time frames, including morning and evening peak hours and quieter weekend periods, were used. (3) Results: The study pinpointed the most and least convenient districts for various transit options across the city. Our findings underscore the intricacies of daily commuting patterns in Moscow, highlighting bottlenecks and areas for potential infrastructure enhancement. (4) Conclusions: Using Moscow’s case, we demonstrated the methodology to better understand and improve strategic urban planning and intelligent mobility solutions, aiming to bolster transportation accessibility. Full article
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15 pages, 5403 KiB  
Article
GIS-Based Model Parameter Enhancement for Urban Water Utility Networks
by Péter Orgoványi and Tamás Karches
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020035 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 774
Abstract
Water utilities are like arteries for the urban environment and, in order to satisfy water demand, extensive design and operation work applying modeling tools is required. An effective tool can be operated but only if the input, such as real-world consumption data, is [...] Read more.
Water utilities are like arteries for the urban environment and, in order to satisfy water demand, extensive design and operation work applying modeling tools is required. An effective tool can be operated but only if the input, such as real-world consumption data, is built into the system. This study aims to present a GIS-based technique to align the consumption data to a simplified network topology. This study investigates four distinct methods, revealing noteworthy outcomes. The geocoding of consumption locations facilitates their seamless integration with model nodes through geospatial methods. Additionally, effective water consumption allocation is achieved by delineating influence ranges around each node. When comparing the zoning based on the street approach and the arithmetic average with the benchmark manual range of influence approach, substantial errors appear of approximately 190% and 230%, respectively. Addressing the impracticality of the manual method, especially for larger networks, this study advocates for the use of Thiessen polygons to delineate influence areas. In conclusion, this study presents a holistic approach to aligning consumption data with simplified network topologies for enhanced water utility modeling. Full article
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21 pages, 24060 KiB  
Article
Assessment of the State of the Landscaping System in the City of Aktobe, the Republic of Kazakhstan, under Conditions of Man-Made Load Using Remote Sensing
by Altynbek Khamit, Nurlygul Utarbayeva, Gulnur Shumakova, Murat Makhambetov, Akzhunus Abdullina and Aigul Sergeyeva
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020034 - 17 Apr 2024
Viewed by 653
Abstract
The growth of a city causes a complex of problems related to the increase in the pollution of the urban environment and the shortcomings in its improvement. The territory of the modern city is characterized by the highest man-made loads on the natural [...] Read more.
The growth of a city causes a complex of problems related to the increase in the pollution of the urban environment and the shortcomings in its improvement. The territory of the modern city is characterized by the highest man-made loads on the natural environment. The main problems are the low level of green areas, as well as the reduction in trees in many areas, which does not allow the city residents to live comfortably. Currently, Earth remote sensing methods using the vegetation index (NDVI) are one of the dominant means of assessing the condition. In this regard, the purpose of this study is to assess the ecological condition of the green zone in the city of Aktobe. To solve this problem, complex assessment was carried out, including statistical data analysis and the processing of satellite images by calculation of the NDVI for green areas and their mapping. The article analysis lies in the field of development and landscaping of the urban environment of Aktobe. A description of the current state of the system of green areas in the city was provided. On the basis of the data of remote sensing of the earth, the spatial features of the separate classes of the total phytomass of green plants within the city of Aktobe and the spatial features of the territorial zones of the city were determined during the differentiation of green plantings. A study of the dynamics of changes in the vegetation cover index (NDVI) during 2010, 2016, and 2023 allowed us to identify trends in the development of green spaces and their changes over time due to city growth and other factors. The data obtained as a result of the research can be used in the justification of urban planning decisions, landscape planning of the ecological infrastructure of the city, and optimization of landscaping systems. Full article
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25 pages, 5022 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Urban Design Model for Residential Neighborhoods Utilizing Sustainability Assessment-Based Approach
by Diana Enab, Zahraa Zawawi and Sameh Monna
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020033 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1477
Abstract
The sustainable urban design of residential neighborhoods plays an important role in the efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals and alleviate the effects of climate change. This paper aims to develop a model for the sustainable urban design of residential neighborhoods, taking [...] Read more.
The sustainable urban design of residential neighborhoods plays an important role in the efforts to achieve the sustainable development goals and alleviate the effects of climate change. This paper aims to develop a model for the sustainable urban design of residential neighborhoods, taking into account the local condition in Palestinian territories. This model is built on various international neighborhood sustainability assessment (NSA) tools, based on the review of existing assessment tools, to study the sustainability status of Palestinian neighborhoods, and to develop a sustainable indicator model for local sustainable neighborhood assessment. Computer tools like Urbano and GIS tools as well as qualitative assessment methods are used. Results from the case study showed that the satisfaction of the preferred location indicator was not sufficient to maintain its sustainability. The assessment of measured indicators found that weaknesses were almost double the count of the satisfactory indicator. Moreover, some indicators from the (NSA) tools were partially or completely met, and some gaps appeared because of the lack of strengths in the selected indicators of the international tools when used for local social, ecological and governmental aspects, and there are issues in the inclusion of economic and environmental elements in current urban configurations. The proposed local model offers valuable insights for local governments, municipalities, and construction developers. Full article
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19 pages, 14505 KiB  
Article
Do It Yourself! Collaborative Processes for Inclusive Design and Capacity Building in Louisiana (USA)
by Federica Paragliola, Gabriella Esposito De Vita, Brad Deal, Marina Rigillo, Pasquale De Paola and Carmelina Bevilacqua
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020032 - 16 Apr 2024
Viewed by 715
Abstract
This paper delves into integrating technological and social innovations in design through a community-oriented, resilient approach, emphasizing care and sustainability. It explores resource management’s application to the local environment and education, focusing on adaptable spaces, active collaboration, and innovative solutions for environmental and [...] Read more.
This paper delves into integrating technological and social innovations in design through a community-oriented, resilient approach, emphasizing care and sustainability. It explores resource management’s application to the local environment and education, focusing on adaptable spaces, active collaboration, and innovative solutions for environmental and social challenges. Developed within the EU Marie Curie-funded TREnD project, it combines ‘transition’ and ‘resilience-building’ processes, framing co-creation solutions and tailored innovation policies. The research group conducted theoretical and empirical research in the EU and USA, introducing a place-sensitive approach in managing transition through technological diversification. A case study in Ruston (LA, USA), Camp Alabama, exemplifies inclusive design through circular design and low-tech construction, creating adaptable pavilions for the community. Collaborating with MedCamps of Louisiana, the project designs a shared and inclusive space within budget constraints, emphasizing the pivotal role of architecture in advancing community well-being. Employing a bottom-up approach, the practice engages users, students, teachers, and local stakeholders in co-design, resulting in a people-based citadel of care. Outcomes feature high-design technological projects produced through a “low-tech” approach, allowing adaptability in urban regeneration. The 2023 project received awards, showcasing progress and the potential for replication through standardized methodology. Additional outcomes include educational benefits, training architects for societal needs, and regenerating urban areas by exploiting local resources. Full article
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27 pages, 61369 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Pollution on Cultural Heritage in the Historic Centre of Porto, Portugal
by Fátima Matos Silva, Marta Arreiol and Ana Fragata
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020031 - 11 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1276
Abstract
Pollution is a constant threat to cultural heritage, mainly affecting its constituent materials, and it is urgent to implement mitigation and adaptation measures to prevent pollution. The city of Porto currently has several initiatives that aim to prepare this municipality for climate change [...] Read more.
Pollution is a constant threat to cultural heritage, mainly affecting its constituent materials, and it is urgent to implement mitigation and adaptation measures to prevent pollution. The city of Porto currently has several initiatives that aim to prepare this municipality for climate change adaptation. This article aims to study the impact of pollution on built heritage, as well as the initiatives that are being implemented in the Municipality of Porto (as part of the Portuguese Camino to Santiago) to protect heritage, based on three case studies, namely Carmelitas Church, São João Novo Church, and Vitória Church, contextualising them over time and understanding their structure and materials. The methodology is based on an anomalies survey through local and surrounding photographic records to assess the effects of pollution, following the model developed at Carmo Church in Olinda, Pernambuco. This study’s results showed that the stone facade of Carmelitas Church, which is in a busier area of the city, is much more deteriorated when compared with the other case studies due to the direct impact of pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue New Advances in Urban Cultural Heritage Knowledge and Management)
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18 pages, 2120 KiB  
Article
A Framework for Integrating Freight Transport, Urban Land Planning, and Infrastructure Management under Economic Geography Principles
by Humberto Barrera-Jiménez and Juan Pineda-Jaramillo
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020030 - 10 Apr 2024
Viewed by 829
Abstract
This study presents a conceptual framework proposal for integrating urban freight initiatives (UFIs), or city logistics initiatives, into urban planning and urban management (UPUM) land use and infrastructure systems. As a novel approach, this framework integrates three components: Firstly, a conceptual basis on [...] Read more.
This study presents a conceptual framework proposal for integrating urban freight initiatives (UFIs), or city logistics initiatives, into urban planning and urban management (UPUM) land use and infrastructure systems. As a novel approach, this framework integrates three components: Firstly, a conceptual basis on three economic geography theory principles—location, agglomeration, and urbanisation. Secondly, spatial analysis and subsequent clustering integrate companies’ spatial positions, their proximity to other companies, their freight intensity, and the characteristics of the zonal road infrastructure; these clusters are defined as freight traffic zones (FTZs). Thirdly, a functional yet strategic UFI clustering or grouping is proposed to work in an optimised and integrated manner with the FTZs’ opportunities for efficiency and reduced externalities. It is expected that the integrated result of these three components can serve to optimise freight initiatives and road infrastructure from a city governance perspective, reduce freight externalities, and function as a stakeholder cooperation tool from government-led, policy-driven perspectives. This research also identifies and characterises various variables influencing the emergence and existence (planned or organic) of FTZs and shows how these could be incorporated into high-level UPUM processes. Although it is deemed that the principles and methodological approach followed here could be common to urban areas, an example for the Metropolitan Area of the Aburra Valley (MAAV), in Colombia, is presented as an initial case study. Conclusively, this paper introduces a pioneering methodology for integrating UFIs into city or metropolitan governance, offering guidance for policymakers to promote sustainable freight systems. Full article
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18 pages, 2269 KiB  
Review
Review of Urban Access Regulations from the Sustainability Viewpoint
by Yunpeng Ma and Ferenc Mészáros
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020029 - 2 Apr 2024
Viewed by 962
Abstract
This article reviewed the urban vehicle access control policies derived from disparate spatiotemporal dimensions that aim to eliminate the negative externalities of traffic caused by urbanization. Urban access regulations are important tools often required to achieve the sustainable mobility vision of cities. Employing [...] Read more.
This article reviewed the urban vehicle access control policies derived from disparate spatiotemporal dimensions that aim to eliminate the negative externalities of traffic caused by urbanization. Urban access regulations are important tools often required to achieve the sustainable mobility vision of cities. Employing a systematic literature review methodology, this review summarized and analyzed various urban access control policies to enlighten policymakers and future scientific research. The results indicate that combinations of multiple-dimensional restriction policies (including inter-policy and intra-policy) have more significant effects than implementing a single policy. Classified according to their objectives, control policies were discussed in terms of their benefits and limitations. The authors are inspired to propose and describe five paradoxes of urban access control policies. Full article
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20 pages, 5301 KiB  
Review
Urban Sustainability Development in Morocco, a Review
by Lahouari Bounoua, Mohamed Amine Lachkham, Noura Ed-Dahmany, Souad Lagmiri, Hicham Bahi, Mohammed Messouli, Mohammed Yacoubi Khebiza, Joseph Nigro and Kurtis J. Thome
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020028 - 1 Apr 2024
Viewed by 1119
Abstract
During the last decades, Morocco has recorded substantial urbanization and faced challenges related to urban sprawl and encroachment on fertile lands. This paper reviews several studies assessing urban sustainability development in 27 Moroccan urban areas using the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicator [...] Read more.
During the last decades, Morocco has recorded substantial urbanization and faced challenges related to urban sprawl and encroachment on fertile lands. This paper reviews several studies assessing urban sustainability development in 27 Moroccan urban areas using the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) indicator 11.3.1, i.e., the ratio of Land Consumption Rate (LCR) to Population Growth Rate (PGR). Among the 27 urban areas reviewed, analysis of SDG 11.3.1 data revealed that only 7 exhibited trends towards sustainable urban development, while the remaining 20 showed a divergence from the sustainability objectives. We analyze the studies, conducted between 2020 and 2023, describing in depth the relationship between LCRs and PGRs, and provide a comprehensive summary of the SDG 11.3.1 outcome, discussing along the way methodological variations, and introducing a new concept for the evaluation of urban land consumption. The review reveals disparate regional urban development trends, emphasizing the need for local land tenure rules. Additionally, the study discusses how the SDG 11.3.1 reacts under the influence of several parameters such as land characteristics, climate, and geographic location. While the study acknowledges the limitations of SDG 11.3.1, it found that the indicator provides valuable insights into trends and comparisons, and should offer assistance to stakeholders, urban planners, and decision makers in their pursuit of sustainable development. However, these identified limitations underscore the need for a more comprehensive and multidimensional urban sustainability development indicator, capable of better addressing the complexities of the urban environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Urban Land Use and Spatial Analysis)
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18 pages, 778 KiB  
Article
Performance Metrics for Implementation of Americans with Disabilities Act Transition Plans
by Yochai Eisenberg, Mackenzie Hayes, Amy Hofstra, Delphine Labbé, Robert Gould and Robin Jones
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020027 - 29 Mar 2024
Viewed by 908
Abstract
Safely walking or wheeling in a wheelchair in the community is a civil and human right. Some progress has been made in the US towards making walking/wheeling paths more accessible for people with disabilities through the construction of new curb ramps, fixing sidewalk [...] Read more.
Safely walking or wheeling in a wheelchair in the community is a civil and human right. Some progress has been made in the US towards making walking/wheeling paths more accessible for people with disabilities through the construction of new curb ramps, fixing sidewalk barriers, and installing accessible pedestrian signals. However, pedestrians with disabilities continue to be limited by infrastructure barriers on sidewalks and streets. To encourage progress and government transparency, we developed a set of performance metrics for local governments to monitor and report their progress in implementing barrier removal plans, called Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) transition plans. We used the five-step Nominal Group Technique to systematically develop and prioritize a set of performance metrics with an expert panel of ADA coordinators, disability organizations, and state and federal Department of Transportation staff. The research resulted in obtaining 53 metrics across five goals and 14 objectives that can be used to measure all phases of implementation and are intended to be customized to fit different community contexts and capacities. The metrics could be used by federal and state transportation agencies, as well as internationally, with some adaptation to ensure that adequate progress in barrier removal is being made. Local governments can use the metrics to document and communicate their progress and effectively reduce ADA compliance litigation concerns. Full article
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18 pages, 2977 KiB  
Case Report
Cities’ Hands Are Tied: Short-Term Economic Impacts of COVID-19 on Natural Population Growth in Metropolitan Greece
by Alessandro Muolo, Barbara Zagaglia, Alvaro Marucci, Francisco Escrivà Saneugenio, Adele Sateriano and Luca Salvati
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020026 - 26 Mar 2024
Viewed by 845
Abstract
To delineate new directions of urban development in a context of demographic shrinkage in Southern Europe, the present study illustrates a comparative analysis of the demographic balance in metropolitan Athens, Greece (1956–2021). The analysis delineates short-term and long-term dynamics of the natural population [...] Read more.
To delineate new directions of urban development in a context of demographic shrinkage in Southern Europe, the present study illustrates a comparative analysis of the demographic balance in metropolitan Athens, Greece (1956–2021). The analysis delineates short-term and long-term dynamics of the natural population balance, considering the impact of the Great Recession and COVID-19 pandemic, and assuming a contemporary increase in gross mortality rates and a marked fertility reduction associated with birth postponement. To address such objectives, we have compared the natural growth of population (the ratio of the total number of births to deaths) at ten year intervals (1956, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000, 2009, 2019, 2020, 2021) in 115 municipalities of metropolitan Athens, controlling for the local context. The empirical results of descriptive statistics, spatial analysis, correlation statistics, non-parametric inference, and exploratory multivariate techniques outline the indirect impact of COVID-19 on population dynamics, being in some ways additive to the already observed effects of the Great Recession, reinforcing demographic shrinkage in specific local contexts. The COVID-19 pandemic and the Great Crisis likely accelerated the typical outcomes (population aging and low fertility) of the second demographic transition in Greece. These dynamics are associated with more volatile (and possibly reduced) immigration flows and with enhanced emigration, fueling urban shrinkage and a progressive economic decline of metropolitan regions, as our evidence suggests for Athens. Additional research should ascertain the aggregate, indirect role of pandemics in population dynamics as a proxy of urban and regional decline in European regions exposed to long-term aging. Full article
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17 pages, 264 KiB  
Article
Municipal Territoriality: The Impact of Centralized Mechanisms and Political and Structural Factors on Reducing Spatial Inequality
by Itai Beeri, Meirav Aharon Gutman and Jonathan Luzer
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020025 - 25 Mar 2024
Viewed by 881
Abstract
We explore two complementary mechanisms that are designed to work together to reduce spatial inequality—redrawing municipal borders and the redistribution of tax resources. This study’s methodology is based on the empirical analysis of 376 decisions of boundary commissions and permanent geographic commissions that [...] Read more.
We explore two complementary mechanisms that are designed to work together to reduce spatial inequality—redrawing municipal borders and the redistribution of tax resources. This study’s methodology is based on the empirical analysis of 376 decisions of boundary commissions and permanent geographic commissions that resulted in land transfers and redistributed tax resources in Israel. Our findings indicate that the impact on spatial inequality is mixed. Over time, the amount of land transferred to low socio-economic municipalities has increased, provided that these municipalities are located in the center of the country, or have a Jewish ethnic majority, are politically affiliated with the Minister of the Interior and the ultra-Orthodox right, are financially sound, and have a large population and a large area. In contrast, the redistribution of tax resources provides revenue increases for low socio-economic municipalities that are in the periphery, largely populated by Arabs, are unaffiliated with powerful politicians, are financially weak and small in size and population. Full article
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