Urban Transitions and Dynamics: Cultural, Ecological, Digital and Degrowth

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Contexts and Urban-Rural Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 July 2024 | Viewed by 10678

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Communication and Society Research Centre (CECS), University of Minho, Campus de Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal
Interests: spatial planning; governance; territorial cohesion; urban geography

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Guest Editor
Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences, School of Sciences and Technology, University of Évora, 7004-516 Évora, Portugal
Interests: urban studies; social and cultural geography; geographical thinking

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Guest Editor
Centre of Studies in Geography and Spatial Planning, University of Coimbra, 3004-530 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: urban health; thermal discomfort; climate and health; biometeorology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Interdisciplinary Centre of Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, Universidade Nova De Lisboa, 1099-085 Lisbon, Portugal
Interests: sociology; urban studies; qualitative methodologies

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

During the last decades, climate change and biodiversity loss have been highlighted as major causes of the environmental crisis, impacting the health and wellbeing of citizens and highlighting the need to rethink current urban systems. With 74% of people living in urban areas in Europe, cities are experiencing rapid changes. One of the key challenges faced is how to co-create sustainable cities that are planned around people’s needs while reducing the impact of the means to achieve those needs. At the same time, the current wave of technological innovation and the broad application of information and communication technologies are changing private and public services, industrial production, and individual behaviors. Cultural and digital transformations are changing social relations, working styles, mobility, and shopping patterns, with their effects being particularly felt on cities, which should also be taken as drivers of these changes. Ecological and digital transitions pose major challenges and opportunities for cities worldwide. Their performance depends on how different sectors and agents interact, both in the construction of a greener and technologically more advanced territory, and their contribution to build a fair society on an increasingly urban world.
Based on the proposed topic, the special issue will look on theoretical and empirical analysis of recent urban dynamics, transitions and its impact on citizens health and wellbeing. Developing innovative approaches for urban sustainable development will be important to provide answers to the urban challenges identified before. Moreover, the publications will provide evaluations of urban problems and solutions in different parts of the world, which might be useful for more efficient public policies.

All themes addressing recent urban dynamics and experiences will be welcomed, namely those related to:

  • Positive Energy Districts
  • The 15-Minute City
  • Circular Urban Economies
  • Area-based initiatives for sustainable urban development
  • Degrowth actions
  • Cultural and digital projects for local development

Dr. Pedro Chamusca
Dr. André Carmo
Dr. Ricardo Almendra
Dr. Patrícia Pereira
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sustainable urban development
  • urban resilience
  • urban dynamics
  • degrowth theories
  • circular economies
  • 15-minute city
  • urban governance
  • urban art, culture and social movements

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

20 pages, 8575 KiB  
Article
Unlocking Economic Resilience: A New Methodological Approach and Empirical Examination under Digital Transformation
by Chenchen Shi and Jinjing Lu
Land 2024, 13(5), 621; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050621 - 4 May 2024
Viewed by 668
Abstract
Economic resilience is crucial for urban sustainability as it ensures stability and growth in the face of external shocks, promotes social cohesion and inclusivity, fosters environmental sustainability, and enhances cities’ adaptability to future challenges. This study expands the conventional perspective on economic resilience [...] Read more.
Economic resilience is crucial for urban sustainability as it ensures stability and growth in the face of external shocks, promotes social cohesion and inclusivity, fosters environmental sustainability, and enhances cities’ adaptability to future challenges. This study expands the conventional perspective on economic resilience beyond the context of shocks, focusing on the inherent resilience of regional economic systems. A novel method for quantifying economic resilience is introduced, emphasizing system sensitivity and adaptability. Using Chinese prefecture-level city data and an econometric model, we empirically examine how Fintech, a major digital transition in current urban systems, affects economic resilience. The findings reveal that Fintech has a substantial positive effect on economic resilience, primarily through the upgrading of industrial structures and technological innovation. Furthermore, there is significant regional heterogeneity in the impact of Fintech on economic resilience, with more pronounced contributions in the east, central, and western regions of China, as opposed to the northeast. Additionally, the impact of Fintech on economic resilience is more substantial in large-scale cities. The promotion of economic resilience through digital transformation serves as a potent risk prevention measure. Understanding the role of economic resilience in urban systems holds valuable implications for countries worldwide. Full article
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15 pages, 10095 KiB  
Article
Tourism-Led Change of the City Centre
by José Fernandes, Pedro Chamusca, Rubén Lois, Helena Madureira, Juliano Mattos and Jorge Pinto
Land 2024, 13(1), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13010100 - 16 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1366
Abstract
In multicentric and increasingly complex urban regions, a city centre reinvents itself. In the case of Porto, tourism was essential for its “Baixa” renaissance. A relevant increase in visitors meant also a dramatic increase in real estate prices and significant land-use change. In [...] Read more.
In multicentric and increasingly complex urban regions, a city centre reinvents itself. In the case of Porto, tourism was essential for its “Baixa” renaissance. A relevant increase in visitors meant also a dramatic increase in real estate prices and significant land-use change. In field interviews, retailers noticed a “new life” before COVID-19 arrived, remarking on the positive role of tourism on urban rehabilitation and the economic viability of companies, and the negative effects for residents and traditional shops, directed to the common resident. In this article, we present and discuss its main effects in this exceptional area in Portugal’s second city. We also discuss tourism dependency and the challenge of sustainability in a high-density context, defending public policies oriented for a “city with tourists” that replaces the current construction of a “city of tourists”. Full article
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19 pages, 4994 KiB  
Article
Enabling In-Situ Urbanization through Digitalization
by Le Li and Tao Song
Land 2023, 12(9), 1738; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12091738 - 7 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1109
Abstract
The bourgeoning of e-commerce in the context of the information era has accelerated the urbanization trend by broaching a new horizon of economic and industrial boosters for rural places, epitomized by a great number of “Taobao Villages” in China. This paper has two [...] Read more.
The bourgeoning of e-commerce in the context of the information era has accelerated the urbanization trend by broaching a new horizon of economic and industrial boosters for rural places, epitomized by a great number of “Taobao Villages” in China. This paper has two objectives: (1) explore the process and mechanism of digitalization enabling rural in-situ urbanization represented by e-commerce; (2) nuance the specific case evidence of Daiji Town, where digitalization enabled in-situ urbanization recently. We build up a theoretical framework for digitalization-enabled in-situ urbanization from the juxtaposition of four interlinked elements: industry, talent, rural governance, and land use. It then analyzed the details and evidence of digitalization enabling rural in-situ urbanization through the case study of Daiji Town. The main conclusions of this paper are as follows: First, digitalization plugs rural areas into production and consumption networks in wider contexts, promoting the transformation and prosperity of rural economies. Secondly, the reverse migration of young generations to rural areas becomes the key to rural in-situ urbanization. Thirdly, digitization materializes the urbanization of rural spaces. Finally, digitalization enables the rural transformation and improvement of urban-rural relations in the Global South, which needs to be further explored. Full article
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22 pages, 3384 KiB  
Article
The Impact of High-Speed Rail on Economic Development: A County-Level Analysis
by Fangting Chi and Haoying Han
Land 2023, 12(4), 874; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12040874 - 12 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 6194
Abstract
High-speed rail has an important impact on the location choices of enterprises and the labor force, which is reflected in a complex space–time process. Previous studies have been unable to show the change characteristics between enterprises and the labor force at the county [...] Read more.
High-speed rail has an important impact on the location choices of enterprises and the labor force, which is reflected in a complex space–time process. Previous studies have been unable to show the change characteristics between enterprises and the labor force at the county level. Therefore, based on the new economic geography theory, we first constructed a theoretical analysis framework to explore high-speed railway’s impact on county economy development and then obtained the two economic subdivision factors’ impacts: industrial enterprises and secondary labor force. Then, based on the panel data of 1791 county units in China from 2003 to 2019, the study constructed a multi-period PSM-DID model to empirically explore high-speed rail’s impact on the county’s agglomeration of industrial enterprises and secondary labor force. The results show that high-speed rail has a long-term negative effect on the county area’s agglomeration of industrial enterprises. From the perspective of the labor force, high-speed rail has a long-term and continuous positive effect on the agglomeration of the secondary labor force in county units. Full article
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