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Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2022) | Viewed by 61350

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
UFP Energy, Environment and Health Research Unit (FP-ENAS), University Fernando Pessoa, 4249-004 Porto, Portugal
Interests: urban sustainability; nature-based solutions; air pollution, greenhouse gases emission and energy management; sustainable use of energy
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
1. Human and Social Sciences Faculty, Fernando Pessoa University, 4249-004 Porto, Portugal
2. RISE–Health Research Network, Faculty of Medicine, University of Porto, 4200-319 Porto, Portugal
Interests: demography; family sociology; migrations; urban studies; life styles
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aims to promote a more equitable and fair society. “Sustainable cities and communities” is one of the 17 goals aiming to make cities and human settlements safe, resilient, and sustainable. However, urban spaces face multiple societal and environmental challenges that are related to the impact of industrial activities and intense traffic that condition the quality of life in cities. Many urban spaces experience environmental degradation at levels that compromise their inhabitants health through severe air pollution, water and land contamination, and lack of green infrastructures. On the other hand, to oppose the negative environmental impacts of cities’ metabolism, many communities have developed or have in progress several initiatives that can contribute to environmental regeneration, making urban spaces healthier. Additionally, the need to adapt urban lifestyles, especially urban mobility and unsustainable consumption practices, is mandatory to improve urban environments and to promote cities’ sustainability.

For the purpose of raising awareness and increasing knowledge on urban sustainability, the aim of this Special Issue is to highlight multidisciplinary research that provides precise and abridged diagnosis or that explores innovative ways to address the complexity of urban issues showcasing public or private initiatives, local experiences, and living labs in urban spaces. Contributions that focus on emergent issues of urban spaces based on environmental regeneration and the promotion of public health are particularly welcome.

Prof. Rui Leandro Maia
Prof. Gisela M. Oliveira
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • emergent issues in urban spaces
  • environmental health
  • sustainable cities
  • cities metabolism
  • green infrastructure
  • urban planning
  • sustainable transport

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Published Papers (20 papers)

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21 pages, 4360 KiB  
Article
Measuring Environmental Justice in Real Time: A Pilot Study Using Digital Participatory Method in the Global South, Nepal
by Rehana Shrestha, Klaus Telkmann, Benjamin Schüz, Pramesh Koju, Reshma Shrestha, Biraj Karmacharya and Gabriele Bolte
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(8), 4752; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19084752 - 14 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1862
Abstract
Individuals’ perceived fairness or justice beliefs are related to health in numerous ways. However, environment justice research to date has given little attention to perceived fairness of environmental exposures as experienced by individuals. This study explored the feasibility of a bottom-up digital participatory [...] Read more.
Individuals’ perceived fairness or justice beliefs are related to health in numerous ways. However, environment justice research to date has given little attention to perceived fairness of environmental exposures as experienced by individuals. This study explored the feasibility of a bottom-up digital participatory (via mobile phones) approach using ecological momentary assessment (EMA) to capture individuals’ subjective experience of environmental exposures and the subjective evaluation of fairness by those affected in the context of Nepal. In total, 22 individuals participated in the study for 28 days. The results show high rates of study retention and adherence. Individuals’ justice perception was found to vary within and between individuals, but also substantially depending on the types of environmental exposures. Nevertheless, the study indicates that uncertainties are inevitable as study design and timing may conflict participants’ daily lives and priorities. The method allows us to consider multiple geographic contexts of individuals’ everyday lives beyond residential environment. This pilot study proved the possibility to assess perceptions of environmental justice issues and demonstrated the necessary steps to using digital participatory method for assessing subjective perception of fairness of individuals. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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18 pages, 429 KiB  
Article
Environmental Sustainability Assessment of the European Union’s Capital Cities
by Mariusz Czupich, Justyna Łapińska and Vojtěch Bartoš
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(7), 4327; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19074327 - 04 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1647
Abstract
The growing flow of people into cities causes several challenges for their functioning. This brings the need to ensure, for example, efficient transport, sustainable waste, and appropriate energy policy. Particularly capital cities are exposed to the above-mentioned risks, due to their large numbers [...] Read more.
The growing flow of people into cities causes several challenges for their functioning. This brings the need to ensure, for example, efficient transport, sustainable waste, and appropriate energy policy. Particularly capital cities are exposed to the above-mentioned risks, due to their large numbers and densities of inhabitants. Therefore, the state of the environment in cities should be monitored systematically. The research aim of this article is to evaluate the level of environmental sustainability in capitals of European Union countries. A synthetic indicator was made up of diagnostic variables, using quantitative and qualitative indicators relating to the quality of the environment. Based on the ranking, results reveal that Europe is spatially divided according to the level of environmental quality. The best results were achieved by capital cities of the northern European countries. The analysis presented here has some application potential. It can serve to identify challenges to improving the quality of the environment, and to raise public awareness of the importance of changing individual behaviour (e.g., use of public transport). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
15 pages, 770 KiB  
Article
What Is the Effect of Cultural Greenway Projects in High-Density Urban Municipalities? Assessing the Public Living Desire near the Cultural Greenway in Central Beijing
by Haiyun Xu, Fan Fu and Meng Miao
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2147; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042147 - 14 Feb 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1977
Abstract
Cultural greenway projects (CGPs) are widely regarded as an urban planning approach which connects open green spaces and sites of sociocultural value to provide access to living, working and recreational spaces and enhance local social well-being. This paper examines the impact of such [...] Read more.
Cultural greenway projects (CGPs) are widely regarded as an urban planning approach which connects open green spaces and sites of sociocultural value to provide access to living, working and recreational spaces and enhance local social well-being. This paper examines the impact of such CGPs on public living desire before and after a given project is completed through analyzing housing prices in the surrounding area. We deployed a hedonic pricing model (HPM) and differences in differences (DID) model to analyze and record any changes in housing market trends that may have been caused by such a cultural greenway project. Via analysis of single-family home sale transactions in central Beijing from 2013 to 2017, we found substantial evidence that proximity to a cultural greenway project is positively linked with rising property prices. Once complete, CGPs were similarly associated with positive increases per HPM and DID modeling. Our results revealed that the distance to greenway contributed significantly positive impact on the housing market after the cultural greenway project completed. Moreover, our result indicated that once a CGP was open to the public, it increased the price of properties within 1 km by 13.3%. Seller and buyer expectations of the development of local, green public infrastructure also began to factor into housing prices prior to the greenway opening to the public. Post-completion, the positive trend in property pricing due to local CGPs indicates that the public still have an increasing desire to live near the greenway. These results will help policymakers better understand how cultural greenways affect neighborhoods in high-density urban contexts, and will support the development of urban greenway policies for cities in China that reap the maximum economic benefit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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15 pages, 2025 KiB  
Article
Anthropogenic Sources Dominate Foliar Chromium Dust Deposition in a Mining-Based Urban Region of South Africa
by Sutapa Adhikari, Anine Jordaan, Johan Paul Beukes and Stefan John Siebert
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(4), 2072; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19042072 - 12 Feb 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1698
Abstract
Dust pollution can be severe in urban centers near mines and smelters. Identification of dust sources and assessing dust capturing plant morphological traits may help address the problem. A chromium (Cr) mining and ferrochrome smelting region in Sekhukhuneland, South Africa, was investigated to [...] Read more.
Dust pollution can be severe in urban centers near mines and smelters. Identification of dust sources and assessing dust capturing plant morphological traits may help address the problem. A chromium (Cr) mining and ferrochrome smelting region in Sekhukhuneland, South Africa, was investigated to identify the sources of Cr in soil and plant leaf surfaces and to evaluate the association between Cr sources and plant morphology. Combinations of bi- and multivariate statistical analysis techniques were applied. Non-significant relation between Cr quantities in surface soil and on leaf surfaces suggested negligible Cr dust contribution from soil to leaves. Association among Cr, Fe, Mg, Al, and Si levels on leaf surfaces confirmed their shared origin, possibly from chromite containing dust dispersed by mines, smelters, roads, and tailings. Both plant morphology and Cr sources (number and proximity to mines and roads) conjointly determined Cr dust deposition on leaf surfaces. Air mass movement patterns further identified local polluters, i.e., mines, ferrochrome smelters, and roads, as dominant dust sources in the region. Common plant species showed Cr dust adhesion favouring traits (plant tallness, larger leaf area, dense epicuticular wax structures, and larger stomata) and projected dust mitigation prospects for Sekhukhuneland. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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21 pages, 903 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Sustainable Transport Systems in Service of Selected SEA-EU Consortium Countries’ Airports—A Pilot Case Study of Passenger Choices for Gdańsk Airport
by Dariusz Tłoczyński, Agnieszka Szmelter-Jarosz and Sebastian Susmarski
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(2), 827; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph19020827 - 12 Jan 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1701
Abstract
The article presents the results of a pilot study, namely a passenger survey on travel choices regarding commuting to the airport in one chosen location (Gdańsk, Poland). The study aimed at establishing which factors which influenced their travel time, assessment of travel time, [...] Read more.
The article presents the results of a pilot study, namely a passenger survey on travel choices regarding commuting to the airport in one chosen location (Gdańsk, Poland). The study aimed at establishing which factors which influenced their travel time, assessment of travel time, choosing more or less sustainable transport mode, and also single-mode or multimodal travel. Research results show that choice of the means of transport influences travel time, that the highest travel times are generated by bus and car travel and that assessing the travel time as acceptable or not depends on travel time. However, the longer the travel time, the more likely was the passenger to accept it. What is more, it appeared that a few factors influence choosing a more sustainable transport mode: the purpose of the trip, the start of the trip to the airport, place of living, and job situation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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17 pages, 2777 KiB  
Article
Assessment of the Emission of Pollutants from Public Transport Based on the Example of Diesel Buses and Trolleybuses in Gdynia and Sopot
by Marcin Połom and Paweł Wiśniewski
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8379; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168379 - 08 Aug 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 2289
Abstract
The present study attempts to examine the research gap in terms of comparing the environmental impact of trolleybuses and diesel buses in the conditions of a country with an unfavourable energy mix. The analysed example concerns the trolleybus transport system in Gdynia, in [...] Read more.
The present study attempts to examine the research gap in terms of comparing the environmental impact of trolleybuses and diesel buses in the conditions of a country with an unfavourable energy mix. The analysed example concerns the trolleybus transport system in Gdynia, in northern Poland, which also partially serves the neighbouring city of Sopot. In the last few years, two bus lines have been electrified with trolleybuses in the In-Motion-Charging technology, which enables operation on sections without an overhead network. Using the actual operational data, a comparative analysis of the emissivity of diesel buses and trolleybuses used on the same lines in an identical operating regime was conducted. Moreover, an attempt was made to estimate the damage costs of the emission of air pollutants for the above-mentioned means of transport. Research has shown that trolleybuses significantly help to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, non-methane volatile organic compounds and particulate matter, while increasing sulphur dioxide emissions on the served lines. They also generate lower specific emissions of carbon dioxide compared to diesel buses. However, taking into account the differences in the number of seats in these vehicles, the length of routes resulting from a need to provide access to the necessary infrastructure and the total amount of kilometres covered on a given route, they may cause higher emissions per year and per the product life cycle than diesel buses. This is related to the unfavourable structure of energy production in Poland, which is dominated by coal sources. The research results clearly show that the use of trolleybuses in public transport contributes to a reduction of the damage costs of the emission of pollutants that amount to approximately EUR (€) 30,000–60,000 per year for the analysed lines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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15 pages, 2725 KiB  
Article
Urban and Rural Population and Development Research on Medical Coordination: In View of Dalian 2008–2017 Official Statistics
by Yukun Qiu, Wei Lu, Jianke Guo, Caizhi Sun and Peng Jia
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(12), 6395; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18126395 - 13 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2031
Abstract
Providing universal quality health services is one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to achieve by 2030. We evaluated the sustainable and coordinated development of urban and rural medical care from 2008–2017 in Dalian, China, by developing an evaluation system based on population [...] Read more.
Providing universal quality health services is one of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to achieve by 2030. We evaluated the sustainable and coordinated development of urban and rural medical care from 2008–2017 in Dalian, China, by developing an evaluation system based on population and health services. We used a comprehensive development index model and a coupling coordination model to evaluate the status and sustainable development of population and medical services in Dalian. The overall level of population development index in urban areas was significantly lower than in rural areas in the past decade. Comparing the data for 2008 and 2017, Zhongshan District (−31.51%), Ganjingzi District (−25.67%), Lyshunkou District (−35.45%), and Pulandian District (−19.59%) posted significant declines in the population development index. The overall medical service development index for both urban and rural areas registered a steady upward trend. In terms of the relationship between population and medical services, a more pronounced coupling running-in stage was observed among urban areas than among rural areas. Among urban areas, the coupling running-in stage in Zhongshan District (2013–2016) and Shahekou District (2011–2014) was most pronounced, while among rural areas, Jinzhou District (2012–2016, 0.684~0.756) had the most distinct coupling running-in stage. In terms of coordination development, we found that both urban and rural areas experienced a long period of moderate coordination stage. Among urban areas, except for some middle and mountainous districts with unstable changes in the coordination degree, the overall development trend in the region showed a stable transition from moderate coordination stage towards high coordination stage. From 2008 to 2017, only the coordination degree in Jinzhou District (−9.17%) showed negative growth. Although considerable efforts have been initiated to improve the coordinated development of Dalian’s urban and rural populations and its medical services, the medical and healthcare systems still face numerous challenges. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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17 pages, 2199 KiB  
Article
The Tapio Decoupling Principle and Key Strategies for Changing Factors of Chinese Urban Carbon Footprint Based on Cloud Computing
by Min Shang and Ji Luo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(4), 2101; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18042101 - 21 Feb 2021
Cited by 77 | Viewed by 2644
Abstract
The expansion of Xi’an City has caused the consumption of energy and land resources, leading to serious environmental pollution problems. For this purpose, this study was carried out to measure the carbon carrying capacity, net carbon footprint and net carbon footprint pressure index [...] Read more.
The expansion of Xi’an City has caused the consumption of energy and land resources, leading to serious environmental pollution problems. For this purpose, this study was carried out to measure the carbon carrying capacity, net carbon footprint and net carbon footprint pressure index of Xi’an City, and to characterize the carbon sequestration capacity of Xi’an ecosystem, thereby laying a foundation for developing comprehensive and reasonable low-carbon development measures. This study expects to provide a reference for China to develop a low-carbon economy through Tapio decoupling principle. The decoupling relationship between CO2 and driving factors was explored through Tapio decoupling model. The time-series data was used to calculate the carbon footprint. The auto-encoder in deep learning technology was combined with the parallel algorithm in cloud computing. A general multilayer perceptron neural network realized by a parallel BP learning algorithm was proposed based on Map-Reduce on a cloud computing cluster. A partial least squares (PLS) regression model was constructed to analyze driving factors. The results show that in terms of city size, the variable importance in projection (VIP) output of the urbanization rate has a strong inhibitory effect on carbon footprint growth, and the VIP value of permanent population ranks the last; in terms of economic development, the impact of fixed asset investment and added value of the secondary industry on carbon footprint ranks third and fourth. As a result, the marginal effect of carbon footprint is greater than that of economic growth after economic growth reaches a certain stage, revealing that the driving forces and mechanisms can promote the growth of urban space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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13 pages, 31551 KiB  
Article
Optimization of Walk Score Based on Street Greening—A Case Study of Zhongshan Road in Qingdao
by Ye Sun, Wei Lu and Peijin Sun
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1277; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031277 - 31 Jan 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 3256
Abstract
Enhancing the walkability of urban streets is an effective means to improve public health, alleviate traffic congestion, and enhance the living environment. In China, the government has actively encouraged green travel and promoted improvements in the walk system. The walkability of the built [...] Read more.
Enhancing the walkability of urban streets is an effective means to improve public health, alleviate traffic congestion, and enhance the living environment. In China, the government has actively encouraged green travel and promoted improvements in the walk system. The walkability of the built environment is affected by many factors. In addition to the configuration of daily life facilities, street greening can have significant effects on walkability. To explore the rationality of street life facilities and understand the impact of the natural attributes of the block space (street-level greening) on the quality of the walking environment, we evaluated the walkability of Zhongshan Road in Qingdao, China and optimized the algorithm of the walk score. In this study, we selected residential areas as the starting point and modified the weight coefficients for facilities to evaluate the walkability of streets. Traditional research methods were combined with street view image capture, and the rate of the attenuation factor was used for the new optimization algorithm. We discussed the rationality of street life facilities and increased the green vision rate using a correction index. By comparing changes in walkability before and after joining, we analyzed the necessity of including new indicators. The results show that the average walking index of Zhongshan Road is 79.74, and the overall performance is good, showing a high trend in the west and a low trend in the east, and a high trend in the south and a low trend in the north. According to the general walking index, western stations and southern coastal areas have higher scores, and living facilities are well equipped; old northern and eastern residential areas have lower scores. Among them, the average weight of bookstores is 0.74, and the average weight of parks is 0.69. To meet residents’ needs for daily leisure activities, adding bookstores or similar facilities in community parks would be necessary to improve daily facilities and services. The average green viewing rate of Zhongshan Road is 20.48%, which is lower than the best visual perception value of 25.00%. Comparing the walking index changes before and after adding the green viewing rate, the high-scoring area shifted from the west to the south, and the west walking index has the most significant decline. Street greening has a certain impact on the quality of the walking environment. The results and conclusions of this study can be used as a reference in developing street walkability indicators and further improving the evaluation system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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12 pages, 2552 KiB  
Article
Photosynthesis and Related Physiological Parameters Differences Affected the Isoprene Emission Rate among 10 Typical Tree Species in Subtropical Metropolises
by Junyao Lyu, Feng Xiong, Ningxiao Sun, Yiheng Li, Chunjiang Liu and Shan Yin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 954; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18030954 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2676
Abstract
Volatile organic compound (VOCs) emission is an important cause of photochemical smog and particulate pollution in urban areas, and urban vegetation has been presented as an important source. Different tree species have different emission levels, so adjusting greening species collocation is an effective [...] Read more.
Volatile organic compound (VOCs) emission is an important cause of photochemical smog and particulate pollution in urban areas, and urban vegetation has been presented as an important source. Different tree species have different emission levels, so adjusting greening species collocation is an effective way to control biogenic VOC pollution. However, there is a lack of measurements of tree species emission in subtropical metropolises, and the factors influencing the species-specific differences need to be further clarified. This study applied an in situ method to investigate the isoprene emission rates of 10 typical tree species in subtropical metropolises. Photosynthesis and related parameters including photosynthetic rate, intercellular CO2 concentration, stomatal conductance, and transpiration rate, which can influence the emission rate of a single species, were also measured. Results showed Salix babylonica always exhibited a high emission level, whereas Elaeocarpus decipiens and Ligustrum lucidum maintained a low level throughout the year. Differences in photosynthetic rate and stomatal CO2 conductance are the key parameters related to isoprene emission among different plants. Through the establishment of emission inventory and determination of key photosynthetic parameters, the results provide a reference for the selection of urban greening species, as well as seasonal pollution control, and help to alleviate VOC pollution caused by urban forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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14 pages, 4072 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Urbanization on Ecosystem Health in Typical Karst Areas: A Case Study of Liupanshui City, China
by Yangling Zhao, Rui Han, Nan Cui, Jingbiao Yang and Luo Guo
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(1), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18010093 - 24 Dec 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 2407
Abstract
The karst region of Southwest China is one of the largest continuous karst areas in the world, and the ecosystem in the karst region is extremely fragile. The city of Liupanshui, a typical karst area in southwestern China, has provided the main energy [...] Read more.
The karst region of Southwest China is one of the largest continuous karst areas in the world, and the ecosystem in the karst region is extremely fragile. The city of Liupanshui, a typical karst area in southwestern China, has provided the main energy and raw materials during China’s rapid urbanization in the past few decades. With the continuous deterioration of the environment in Liupanshui and from the viewpoint of sustainable development strategies, research on ecosystem health (ESH) and the assessments of correlations between urbanization and ESH plays an important role in regional sustainable eco-environmental development. Therefore, the impact of urbanization on the ecosystem health of the study area was discussed in this study using a series of remote sensing images and socio-economic data from 1990 to 2015. Studies showed that Liupanshui is undergoing rapid urbanization, and the growth of urbanized land reached a peak between 2010 and 2015. From 1990 to 2015, the level of ESH in Liupanshui trended downward and then increased. During 2000 to 2010, due to the policy of returning farmland to grassland and forestland, the substantial increase in woodland and grassland and the management policy of mining areas have caused a turn in ESH. Although the value of ecosystem health in 2010–2015 increased, the process of urbanization is rapid, so we should pay more attention to the trend in future ecosystem health changes. The findings revealed that urbanization significantly negatively affects the ecosystem health of Liupanshui, and mining has the greatest impact. Therefore, in future urban development, strengthening the management of resource extraction and the supervision of environmental protection, continuing to return farmland to grassland and forestry, and controlling rocky desertification can improve the health of the urban ecosystem in the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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19 pages, 2580 KiB  
Article
Coordination Investigation of the Economic, Social and Environmental Benefits of Urban Public Transport Infrastructure in 13 Cities, Jiangsu Province, China
by Xinghong He, Zhichao Cao, Silin Zhang, Shumin Liang, Yuyang Zhang, Tianbo Ji and Quan Shi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(18), 6809; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17186809 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2347
Abstract
This study proposed an investigation-based multiple-criteria coordinated model to evaluate the sustainable development of urban public transport (PT) infrastructure, based on economic, social and environmental data from 2009 to 2019. The main problem with the traditional approach for assessing urban PT development is [...] Read more.
This study proposed an investigation-based multiple-criteria coordinated model to evaluate the sustainable development of urban public transport (PT) infrastructure, based on economic, social and environmental data from 2009 to 2019. The main problem with the traditional approach for assessing urban PT development is that economic and social benefits are considered individually, but also attention to environmental factors and coordination among the three issues are nearly overlooked. This leads to the likelihood of inaccuracies in the handling/assessment of sustainable development or an imbalance among the attributes in different cities. An investigation-based coordinated model was introduced in which a survey of 35 sub-criteria was conducted to derive the criteria necessary for coupling/coordination. A case study involving 13 cities in Jiangsu Province, China, illustrated the problems in coordinating PT systems and verified the efficacy of the proposed approach. With employing the entropy method, this study validated coordination of the PT infrastructure development of various cities in a balanced manner and used panel regression formulas to analyse the theoretical gap and empirical bottlenecks existing among economic, social and environmental benefits. With the findings of the study, the data-based investigation from 13 cities enabled the city planners/managers (including ones from other cities with similar urban levels) to give the individual priority between the ternary benefits, advance technology, allow big data-based informatisation and implement near-future autonomous PT vehicles. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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17 pages, 1226 KiB  
Article
Through Internet and Friends: Translation of Air Pollution Research in Malmö Municipality, Sweden
by Ebba Lisberg Jensen, Karin Westerberg, Ebba Malmqvist and Anna Oudin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4214; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124214 - 12 Jun 2020
Viewed by 2361
Abstract
Air pollution is estimated to cause more than 7000 deaths annually in Sweden alone. To reduce the impact of air pollution and to plan and build sustainable cities, it is vital that research is translated into efficient decisions and practice. However, how do [...] Read more.
Air pollution is estimated to cause more than 7000 deaths annually in Sweden alone. To reduce the impact of air pollution and to plan and build sustainable cities, it is vital that research is translated into efficient decisions and practice. However, how do civil servants in a municipality access research results? How do they normally find relevant information, and what obstacles are there to accessing and applying research results? As part of the collaborative and transdisciplinary research project Air Pollution Research in Local Environmental Planning (ARIEL), these questions were explored through interviews and seminars with civil servants within the Malmö Municipality Environmental Office. We found that the civil servants generally have proficiency in processing research results, but often do not use such results as part of their everyday decision making and practices. Instead, the data and measurements used are mostly produced case-by-case within the municipal sector itself. Information about best practices is also collected via a number of knowledge access practices, involving the Internet or social networks within other municipalities. Lack of time, paywalls, and the insufficient applicability of research hinder the dissemination of up-to-date results. This slows down the process whereby research, funded by tax-money, can be put to best practice in the effort to create healthy and sustainable cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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13 pages, 1596 KiB  
Article
The Analysis of the Urban Sprawl Measurement System of the Yangtze River Economic Belt, Based on Deep Learning and Neural Network Algorithm
by Huafang Huang, Xiaomao Wu and Xianfu Cheng
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(12), 4194; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17124194 - 12 Jun 2020
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2165
Abstract
In the context of rapid urbanization, the spread of cities in the Yangtze River Economic Belt is intensifying, which has an impact on the green and sustainable development of these cities. It is necessary to establish an accurate urban sprawl measurement system. First, [...] Read more.
In the context of rapid urbanization, the spread of cities in the Yangtze River Economic Belt is intensifying, which has an impact on the green and sustainable development of these cities. It is necessary to establish an accurate urban sprawl measurement system. First, the regulation theory of urban sprawl is explained. According to the actual development situation of cities in the Yangtze River Economic Belt, smart growth theory is selected as the basic regulation method of urban sprawl. Second, the back propagation neural network (BPNN) algorithm under deep supervised learning is applied to construct a smart evaluation model of land use growth. Finally, based on the actual development of cities in the Yangtze River Economic Belt, the quantitative growth measurement method is selected to construct a measurement system of urban sprawl in the Yangtze River Economic Belt, and the empirical analysis is carried out. The training results show that the proposed BPNN smart growth evaluation model, based on deep supervised learning, has good evaluation accuracy, and the error is within the preset range. The analysis of the quantitative growth-based measurement system in the increase of urban construction land shows that the increase in urban construction land area of the Yangtze River Economic Belt from 2014 to 2019 was 78.67 km2. Meanwhile, the increases in urban construction land area in different years are different. The empirical results show that the population composition of the Yangtze River Economic Belt and the urban construction area between 2005 and 2019 show a trend of increasing annually; at the same time, urban sprawl development shows a staged characteristic. It is of great significance to apply deep learning fusion neural network algorithm in the construction of the urban sprawl measurement system, which provides a quantitative basis for the in-depth analysis and discussion of urban sprawl. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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22 pages, 3641 KiB  
Article
Electric Vehicle Charging Station Location towards Sustainable Cities
by Xiangyu Luo and Rui Qiu
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(8), 2785; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17082785 - 17 Apr 2020
Cited by 26 | Viewed by 3781
Abstract
Electric vehicles, a significant part of sustainable transport, are attracting increasing attention with the development of sustainable cities. However, as supporting facilities of electric vehicles, public charging stations are of great significance to the promotion of electric vehicles. This paper proposes an electric [...] Read more.
Electric vehicles, a significant part of sustainable transport, are attracting increasing attention with the development of sustainable cities. However, as supporting facilities of electric vehicles, public charging stations are of great significance to the promotion of electric vehicles. This paper proposes an electric vehicle charging station location model to improve the resource utilization of electric vehicles for sustainable cities. In this model, reservation services, idle rates during off-peak periods, and waiting time during peak periods are considered. Finally, a case from Chengdu, China, is used to examine the effectiveness of the proposed model. Then, further analyses of reservation ratios and penetration rates are conducted. The results show that the introduction of a reservation service has a positive effect on reducing the total cost, which would provide further support for sustainable cities and have an even greater impact on healthier lives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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17 pages, 4131 KiB  
Article
Environmental Pollution Effect Analysis of Lead Compounds in China Based on Life Cycle
by Jianbo Yang, Xin Li, Zehui Xiong, Minxi Wang and Qunyi Liu
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(7), 2184; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17072184 - 25 Mar 2020
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 4357
Abstract
Environmental pollution caused by lead toxicity causes harm to human health. Lead pollution in the environment mainly comes from the processes of mining, processing, production, use, and recovery of lead. China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of refined lead. In this [...] Read more.
Environmental pollution caused by lead toxicity causes harm to human health. Lead pollution in the environment mainly comes from the processes of mining, processing, production, use, and recovery of lead. China is the world’s largest producer and consumer of refined lead. In this paper, the material flow analysis method is used to analyze the flow and direction of lead loss in four stages of lead production, manufacturing, use, and waste management in China from 1949 to 2017. The proportion coefficient of lead compounds in each stage of lead loss was determined. The categories and quantities of lead compounds discharged in each stage were calculated. The results show that in 2017, China emitted 2.1519 million tons of lead compounds. In the four stages of production, manufacturing, use, and waste management, 137.9 kilo tons, 209 kilo tons, 275 kilo tons, and 1.53 million tons were respectively discharged. The emissions in the production stage are PbS, PbO, PbSO4, PbO2, Pb2O3, and more. The emissions during the manufacturing phase are Pb, PbO, PbSO4, Pb2O3, Pb3O4, and more. The main emissions are Pb, PbO, Pb2O3, Pb3O4, and more. The main emissions in the waste management stage are PbS, Pb, PbO, PbSO4, PbO2, PbCO3, Pb2O3, Pb3O4, and more. Among them, the emissions of PbSO4, PbO, Pb, and PbO2 account for about 90%, which are the main environmental pollution emissions. The waste management stage is an important control source of lead compound emission and pollution. In view of these characteristics of the environmental pollution risk of lead compounds in China, the government should issue more targeted policies to control lead pollution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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13 pages, 7592 KiB  
Article
Dynamic Analysis and Prediction of Food Nitrogen Footprint of Urban and Rural Residents in Shanghai
by Yuling Xia, Chengsong Liao, Dianming Wu and Yanzhuo Liu
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(5), 1760; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17051760 - 08 Mar 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3014
Abstract
The food nitrogen (N) footprint reflects the amount of reactive N emission and its impact on the environment as a result of food production and consumption to satisfy the basic food demands of an urban population. The N-Calculator model was used to estimate [...] Read more.
The food nitrogen (N) footprint reflects the amount of reactive N emission and its impact on the environment as a result of food production and consumption to satisfy the basic food demands of an urban population. The N-Calculator model was used to estimate the food N footprint and its dynamic changes in Shanghai from 2000 to 2017, and the auto regressive integrated moving average (ARIMA) time series model was used to predict the food N footprint in Shanghai from 2018 to 2027. The results show that the food N footprint was higher in urban areas (15.3–18.8 kg N/capita/yr) than rural areas (12.6–17.4 kg N/capita/yr) of Shanghai from 2000 to 2017. The change in the food N footprint was consistent with changes in food consumption in urban and rural areas, and the total food N footprint of urban and rural residents was positively correlated with the per capita disposable income and population whereas it was negatively correlated with the Engel’s Coefficient and price index. It was predicted that the per capita food N footprint will gradually decrease in 2018–2027 in urban areas of Shanghai, but it will generally increase in the rural areas. This study will help to initiate policy interventions for sustainable N management and contribute to the achievement of key sustainable development goals (SDGs). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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Review

Jump to: Research

15 pages, 391 KiB  
Review
Food Safety in Local Farming of Fruits and Vegetables
by Ariana Macieira, Joana Barbosa and Paula Teixeira
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(18), 9733; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18189733 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 21 | Viewed by 5300
Abstract
The world’s population will be around 9 billion people by 2050. Humans need to feed in order to survive and thus the high demographic growth may impact the sustainability of our food systems. Sustainable food production practices such as local farming have been [...] Read more.
The world’s population will be around 9 billion people by 2050. Humans need to feed in order to survive and thus the high demographic growth may impact the sustainability of our food systems. Sustainable food production practices such as local farming have been explored. Consumption of vegetables and fruits has been increasing due to their health benefits, but this increase is also related to a significant number of foodborne outbreaks. Foodborne outbreaks pose a threat to public health and the economy on a local and national scale. Food safety begins on the farm and proceeds over the supply chain. Thus, to provide safe products, food producers must follow specific procedures to avoid food hazards along the supply chain. This work aimed to present the importance of food safety in vegetables and fruits in local farming, as this form of production and consumption has increased in several countries of the northern hemisphere and as these are considered a form of providing more sustainable food products. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
20 pages, 1919 KiB  
Review
Indoor Air Quality Improvement Using Nature-Based Solutions: Design Proposals to Greener Cities
by Teresa M. Mata, Gisela M. Oliveira, Helena Monteiro, Gabriela Ventura Silva, Nídia S. Caetano and António A. Martins
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(16), 8472; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18168472 - 11 Aug 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 6336
Abstract
Low indoor air quality is an increasingly important problem due to the spread of urbanization. Because people spend most of their time inside, poor indoor air quality causes serious human health issues, resulting in significant economic losses. In this work, the current state [...] Read more.
Low indoor air quality is an increasingly important problem due to the spread of urbanization. Because people spend most of their time inside, poor indoor air quality causes serious human health issues, resulting in significant economic losses. In this work, the current state of affairs is presented and analyzed, focusing on the current problems and the available solutions to improve the quality of indoor air, and the use of nature-based solutions. These involve the cultivation of microalgae in closed photobioreactors. In these systems, photosynthetic organisms can capture CO2 and other pollutants generated in indoor environments, which they use to grow and develop biomass. Several possible layouts for the implementation of microalgae-based indoor air cleaning systems are presented, taking into account the systems that are currently available at a commercial scale. A critical analysis of the microalgae indoor purification systems is presented, highlighting their advantages and disadvantages, and suggesting potential improvements and future lines of research and development in the area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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19 pages, 2475 KiB  
Review
Regulating and Cultural Ecosystem Services of Urban Green Infrastructure in the Nordic Countries: A Systematic Review
by Jorge H. Amorim, Magnuz Engardt, Christer Johansson, Isabel Ribeiro and Magnus Sannebro
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 1219; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031219 - 29 Jan 2021
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 4823
Abstract
In the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), the Urban Green Infrastructure (UGI) has been traditionally targeted at reducing flood risk. However, other Ecosystem Services (ES) became increasingly relevant in response to the challenges of urbanization and climate change. In total, [...] Read more.
In the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden), the Urban Green Infrastructure (UGI) has been traditionally targeted at reducing flood risk. However, other Ecosystem Services (ES) became increasingly relevant in response to the challenges of urbanization and climate change. In total, 90 scientific articles addressing ES considered crucial contributions to the quality of life in cities are reviewed. These are classified as (1) regulating ES that minimize hazards such as heat, floods, air pollution and noise, and (2) cultural ES that promote well-being and health. We conclude that the planning and design of UGI should balance both the provision of ES and their side effects and disservices, aspects that seem to have been only marginally investigated. Climate-sensitive planning practices are critical to guarantee that seasonal climate variability is accounted for at high-latitude regions. Nevertheless, diverging and seemingly inconsistent findings, together with gaps in the understanding of long-term effects, create obstacles for practitioners. Additionally, the limited involvement of end users points to a need of better engagement and communication, which in overall call for more collaborative research. Close relationships and interactions among different ES provided by urban greenery were found, yet few studies attempted an integrated evaluation. We argue that promoting interdisciplinary studies is fundamental to attain a holistic understanding of how plant traits affect the resulting ES; of the synergies between biophysical, physiological and psychological processes; and of the potential disservices of UGI, specifically in Nordic cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Cities: Environmental Regeneration for Healthier Lives)
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