Landscape Architecture and Design in Urban and Peri-Urban Environment

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: 31 May 2024 | Viewed by 18396

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Landscape architecture and design research is becoming increasingly popular due to rapid urbanization and its impacts on the urban and peri-urban environment. Constant mitigation and sprawl of urban areas is an imperative and key point to know which natural and man-made landscape innovations or patterns are most suitable and sustainable for urban architecture and design. Such knowledge is crucial to achieving sustainable urbanization while maintaining and improving urban and peri-urban areas as well as providing a healthy environment for urban residents.

Thus, innovative research that is supported by computational approaches, field studies and spatial analysis to expand the knowledge on sustainable urbanization is in high demand. In this Special issue, we invite researchers to share their state-of-the-art work on landscape architecture and design combined with sustainable solutions, and other research fields such as urban blocks, urban green-blue infrastructure, public places, and architectural and design amenities related to urban and peri-urban environmental engineering to better cope with the urbanization phenomenon.

The goal of this Special Issue is to collect papers (original research articles and review papers) to give insights about Landscape Architecture and Design in Urban and Peri-Urban Environments.

This Special Issue will welcome manuscripts that link the following themes:

  • Peri-urban landscape restoration;
  • Sustainable architecture, design and, management of open and public spaces;
  • Design and management of green spaces;
  • Sustainable urban design;
  • Planning and maintenance of peri-urban areas;
  • Expansion of urban areas and their impact in an urban–rural context;
  • Enhancement of environment and human health benefits.

We look forward to receiving your original research articles and reviews.

Prof. Dr. Richard Smardon
Guest Editor

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

  • landscape architecture
  • urban design
  • urban expansion
  • land use
  • land use change
  • urban context
  • built-up area
  • adaptive governance
  • urban regeneration
  • ecosystem services: environmental health benefits

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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28 pages, 13208 KiB  
Article
The Lawn as a Social and Cultural Phenomenon in Perth, Western Australia
by Maria Ignatieva, Michael Hughes, Ashok Kumar Chaudhary and Fahimeh Mofrad
Land 2024, 13(2), 191; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13020191 - 5 Feb 2024
Viewed by 1674
Abstract
Lawns, introduced in Australia through English colonial heritage, dominate public spaces in cities, serving various ecosystem functions. Australian lawns consist of non-native grasses that differ from native original vegetation and require intensive management and maintenance. This study explores public perspectives on urban lawns [...] Read more.
Lawns, introduced in Australia through English colonial heritage, dominate public spaces in cities, serving various ecosystem functions. Australian lawns consist of non-native grasses that differ from native original vegetation and require intensive management and maintenance. This study explores public perspectives on urban lawns in Perth, Western Australia, an area largely overlooked in ecological and social research in the context of Australia compared to Europe and North America. This paper presents empirical research on public perceptions of urban lawns and alternatives in Perth, Western Australia. The study explores social values and preferences regarding traditional lawns and new options, considering visual appearance, uses, and maintenance. Findings from an online questionnaire, involving 171 respondents, identified seven categories based on a content analysis of lawn definitions: flat area; ground covered by grass; maintained; non-native vegetation; open space; recreational space; and turf grass. The results revealed that respondents most value lawns for aesthetics, cooling and recreation (exercises, walking pets, as a transit area, passive recreation, and social gatherings). At the same time, participants demonstrated an environmental awareness of lawns and the necessity of revisiting the existing planning and maintenance routine based on irrigation and intensive mowing by considering several alternative solutions. While valuing new solutions such as Scaevola patches in dedicated areas and “weedy lawns”, participants still preferred alternatives closest in appearance to a conventional lawn (e.g., lawn grass with Dichondra and lawn grass with clover). The study emphasizes the need for a ‘blended model’ of urban lawns, combining durability with heat-resistant, biodiverse vegetation to address social values and environmental concerns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Architecture and Design in Urban and Peri-Urban Environment)
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17 pages, 2925 KiB  
Article
Urban Parks Quality Assessment Using Multi-Dimension Indicators in Chengdu, China
by Sining Zhang, Haoxiang Song, Xiaopeng Li and Shixian Luo
Land 2024, 13(1), 86; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13010086 - 11 Jan 2024
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1632
Abstract
High-quality urban parks are considered an integral part of health resources as they can deliver diverse ecosystem services. However, the quality of parks is not always similar, resulting in different levels and values of the services provided. A systematic and complete assessment frame [...] Read more.
High-quality urban parks are considered an integral part of health resources as they can deliver diverse ecosystem services. However, the quality of parks is not always similar, resulting in different levels and values of the services provided. A systematic and complete assessment frame of urban park quality is limited. From the perspective of landscape architecture and design, this study aims to propose a comprehensive assessment framework of urban park quality based on six dimensions (planning and design, cultural services, complete and various facilities, landscape planting, landscape management, and landscape ecology), consisting of 27 indicators with different weights by using the objective and subjective weighting method. Taking the city of Chengdu, China as a case study, 100 urban parks are studied via field investigation and scored using methods that consist of a category count, existence score, field measurement, experts score, and photo review and recheck (13,589 images). The results reveal the spatial distribution and differences in park quality, including six quality dimensions and five districts, and the proportion of the existing quality elements in 100 parks. Based on the results, the spatial areas (Barren area, Low-quality area, Medium-quality area, and High-quality area) are identified, which leads to the establishment of the improvement strategies of spatial equity regarding multi-quality parks. The results can help improve the assessment index system of urban parks, guide the landscape planning and design of urban parks for sustainability, as well as provide a reference for future environmental and social equity development, so as to provide insight and reference for decision-makers and designers considering the landscape planning and design of parks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Architecture and Design in Urban and Peri-Urban Environment)
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18 pages, 7673 KiB  
Article
Enhancing Access to Urban Hill Parks: The Montjuïc Trail Masterplan and the 360° Route Design in Barcelona
by Josep Mercadé-Aloy and Marina Cervera-Alonso-de-Medina
Land 2024, 13(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13010002 - 19 Dec 2023
Viewed by 1171
Abstract
The 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include ensuring universal and safe access to green spaces. Some cities feature extensive green areas on hills or elevated terrains integrated into the urban landscape. In such cases where the benefits for users are highly [...] Read more.
The 2030 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include ensuring universal and safe access to green spaces. Some cities feature extensive green areas on hills or elevated terrains integrated into the urban landscape. In such cases where the benefits for users are highly pronounced (e.g., views, isolation, etc.), it is challenging and particularly complex to design strategies to ensure accessible and spatial routes due to multiple slopes and a challenging topography. In Barcelona, the iconic Montjuïc mountain has been the focal point of a trail masterplan aimed at rethinking its various access points and internal network of routes. Furthermore, the city has committed to implementing an initial project from this plan, the so-called 360° route. This study presents an in-depth analysis of the Montjuïc mountain case, encompassing both the plan and the 360° project in hilly urban parks. The analysis reveals the values and transferability of the set of strategies proposed in the plan, such as activating inherent location characteristics by connecting the surrounding urban fabric with elements of recreational potential within the underlying traces of heritage value. Additionally, a quantitative assessment of the impact of the proposed accesses on the population is presented. The study highlights the improvements in quality of life for the diverse users of this type of green infrastructure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Architecture and Design in Urban and Peri-Urban Environment)
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21 pages, 11098 KiB  
Article
Research on the Preference of Public Art Design in Urban Landscapes: Evidence from an Event-Related Potential Study
by Yue Cheng, Jiayin Chen, Jiahua Li, Lin Li, Guanhua Hou and Xuan Xiao
Land 2023, 12(10), 1883; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12101883 - 7 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2163
Abstract
As urbanization quickens, the role of public art in urban landscape design gains prominence. Nevertheless, how stylistic characteristics of landscape public art affect aesthetic preferences remains insufficiently discussed, particularly with objective assessment methods. The use of event-related potential (ERP) can offer neurophysiological evidence [...] Read more.
As urbanization quickens, the role of public art in urban landscape design gains prominence. Nevertheless, how stylistic characteristics of landscape public art affect aesthetic preferences remains insufficiently discussed, particularly with objective assessment methods. The use of event-related potential (ERP) can offer neurophysiological evidence to support research and practice in landscape art design. We employed a 2 (artistic features) × 2 (professional proficiency) repeated-measures design, involving abstract and figurative experimental stimuli; both experts and non-experts participated, with their aesthetic reactions and relevant electroencephalographic data recorded. Behavioral findings show a preference for figurative public artworks regardless of professional background. From neurophysiological outcomes, stimuli elicit an elevated N100 during early perceptual processing, signifying increased attentional resources. During aesthetic processing, figurative stimuli more effectively evoke positive emotions, particularly among professionals, yielding a heightened P200 response. Conversely, abstract stimuli may evoke a higher N200 amplitude, reflecting augmented negative biases. Nevertheless, non-experts exhibit no marked differences in their stimulus responses during aesthetic processing. Research indicates that low-level physical attributes of public artworks are initially noted, while the visual processing of artistic traits lies at a higher perceptual level, necessitating specialized expertise involvement. Furthermore, the complexity of visual perceptual processing plays a significant role in the assessment of landscape art preferences. This study not only offers crucial reference indices for designing urban landscapes that satisfy diverse public aesthetic needs but also lays the foundation for neural techniques to assess landscape design preferences and expands the field of landscape design research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Architecture and Design in Urban and Peri-Urban Environment)
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23 pages, 2841 KiB  
Article
Design Characteristics, Visual Qualities, and Walking Behavior in an Urban Park Setting
by Mohammad Paydar, Asal Kamani Fard and Verónica Gárate Navarrete
Land 2023, 12(10), 1838; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12101838 - 26 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1482
Abstract
The design characteristics of urban parks’ pathways are important in facilitating leisure walking and maintaining the minimum rate of physical activity, thus improving public health. This study examined and explored the relationships between design characteristics as well as certain visual qualities of Cautin [...] Read more.
The design characteristics of urban parks’ pathways are important in facilitating leisure walking and maintaining the minimum rate of physical activity, thus improving public health. This study examined and explored the relationships between design characteristics as well as certain visual qualities of Cautin Park, the biggest urban park in the Araucanian Region of Chile, and the tendency for walking as well as walking behavior. A mix of quantitative and qualitative methods was used to examine the objectives. Several design attributes were found to be related to the tendency for walking and the walking behavior in this urban park, including greater pathway width, more vegetation, tranquility along the pathways, and more comfortable pathway environments for pets. Additionally, these correlations were assessed based on gender and age, and it was found that adolescents showed the greatest difference from other groups. For instance, adolescents walk significantly more along pathways with more connectivity to activity zones. Among the visual qualities, only legibility shows a significant correlation with the number of all types of pedestrians, as well as subgroups of adolescents, adult men, and adult women. These results were reviewed, and their implications were discussed. Urban planners and designers could apply these findings when designing future urban parks in this context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Architecture and Design in Urban and Peri-Urban Environment)
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31 pages, 17507 KiB  
Article
Optimizing Sustainable Suburban Expansion with Autonomous Mobility through a Parametric Design Framework
by Chenhao Zhu, Jonah Susskind, Mario Giampieri, Hazel Backus O’Neil and Alan M. Berger
Land 2023, 12(9), 1786; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12091786 - 14 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1267
Abstract
Today, suburban areas are home to an ever-increasing majority of the global population. Models indicate that the next generation of US metropolitan growth will rapidly continue outside of urban cores, where car-based development patterns have served as the dominant paradigm for more than [...] Read more.
Today, suburban areas are home to an ever-increasing majority of the global population. Models indicate that the next generation of US metropolitan growth will rapidly continue outside of urban cores, where car-based development patterns have served as the dominant paradigm for more than a century. With the emergence of autonomous mobility technologies and services, the suburbs of the future offer key opportunities to tackle pressing environmental challenges, such as significant GHG emissions from private vehicle trips, underutilized and fragmented landscape spaces, and a high proportion of impervious surfaces. To leverage this opportunity, our research team employed a novel scenario-based parametric modeling framework to generate and optimize suburban land use patterns and block configurations that leverage autonomous mobility to optimize environmental performance and accessibility metrics. The framework performed through our project, NOGAS (Next Optimized Generation of Autonomous Suburbs), consists of five key parametric modules and a heuristic design process covering various planning and design decision-making stages including scenario generation, analysis, optimization, and visualization. It is the first of its kind tailored for suburban settings with emerging mobility systems, which, more importantly, prioritizes landscape performance and accessibility over the traditional automobile-centric approach in suburban development. One of the most significant findings from this research is that substantial enhancements to a neighborhood’s environmental performance and overall accessibility can be achieved by modifying existing suburban land use patterns and individual block configurations, without the necessity of increasing density. The results of the framework further suggest that a strategic atomized land use scheme, combined with an innovative clustered block typology, is favored for the anticipated widespread adoption of autonomous mobility systems and improved environmental performance. The innovative methods and findings introduced in this research illuminate an alternative approach to sustainable suburban development, offering valuable insights for city planners and developers to shape future suburban master plans, zoning regulations, and design guidelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Architecture and Design in Urban and Peri-Urban Environment)
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27 pages, 46751 KiB  
Article
Identifying Visual Quality of Rural Road Landscape Character by Using Public Preference and Heatmap Analysis in Sabak Bernam, Malaysia
by Hangyu Gao, Shamsul Abu Bakar, Suhardi Maulan, Mohd Johari Mohd Yusof, Riyadh Mundher and Khalilah Zakariya
Land 2023, 12(7), 1440; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12071440 - 19 Jul 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1462
Abstract
The rural road landscape is crucial in forming rural areas’ landscape character (LC). As a platform for portraying the rural landscape, the rural roads demonstrate the area’s unique natural and cultural characteristics to visitors. However, with the continuous development of rural areas, the [...] Read more.
The rural road landscape is crucial in forming rural areas’ landscape character (LC). As a platform for portraying the rural landscape, the rural roads demonstrate the area’s unique natural and cultural characteristics to visitors. However, with the continuous development of rural areas, the rural LC has been severely impacted, thus impacting visitors’ visual experience. In order to preserve and protect the rural landscape, this study aims to assess the visual quality of rural road landscapes based on public preference and heatmap analysis. The results indicated that most of the participants had a higher level of preference for rural landscapes with open horizontal views represented by agricultural areas, such as paddy fields. It was also found that different paddy field characters based on their planting stages can also positively affect the visual quality of rural road landscapes. The study also revealed that rural LCs with roadside settlements, commercial structures, mixed agricultural crops, and vegetation received low preference ratings. These characters negatively impact the visual quality of the rural road landscape. These findings provide significant insight for planners and decision-makers regarding protecting and preserving the essential rural road landscapes for the rural tourism experience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Architecture and Design in Urban and Peri-Urban Environment)
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17 pages, 6929 KiB  
Article
Design Element Preferences in Public Facilities: An Eye Tracking Study
by Yumeng Liu, Zhicheng Zhou and Yuanyuan Xu
Land 2023, 12(7), 1411; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12071411 - 14 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1633
Abstract
As a highly used form of architecture, public facilities are closely related to people’s daily lives. The aesthetic level of their design greatly affects the quality of people’s lives and interactions, as well as the appearance of the whole area. However, research on [...] Read more.
As a highly used form of architecture, public facilities are closely related to people’s daily lives. The aesthetic level of their design greatly affects the quality of people’s lives and interactions, as well as the appearance of the whole area. However, research on their design elements has not received enough attention, and few quantitative studies on the design of public facilities simultaneously focus on multiple influencing factors such as color and material. Therefore, this study uses eye-tracking technology and audience aesthetic preference evaluation to explore the appropriate combination of color and materials in sign design. This study found that, in the design of public facilities and in terms of aesthetic preference, firstly, color has more influence on subjective preference and objective gaze behavior than material. Secondly, men prefer technological and changeable colors and materials, and women prefer soft and uniform materials. Finally, visitors spend more time gazing at their preferred signs, which means that visitors’ top-down gaze behavior and bottom-up psychological perception are highly unified. Regarding material perception, visitors’ subjective preferences are influenced by the physical or cultural properties of the material itself. This study’s results will provide suggestions for future urban and landscape architecture design in terms of color and material aesthetics, and the research methodology can be applied to more scenarios in environmental spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Architecture and Design in Urban and Peri-Urban Environment)
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15 pages, 1632 KiB  
Article
Civil Society Mobilizations Shaping Landscape in Genoa and Girona Areas: Results and Lessons Learnt from the Savingscapes Project
by Ilaria Delponte, Valentina Costa, Sergi Nuss Girona and Joan Vicente Rufi
Land 2023, 12(4), 922; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12040922 - 20 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1316
Abstract
This paper deals with the results of the “SavingScapes” research project, where Girona (SP) and Genoa (IT) areas were chosen as case studies to assess the role and relevance of civil society in landscape alteration and conservation. These contexts share many features which [...] Read more.
This paper deals with the results of the “SavingScapes” research project, where Girona (SP) and Genoa (IT) areas were chosen as case studies to assess the role and relevance of civil society in landscape alteration and conservation. These contexts share many features which led to similar transformative pressures and consequent deeply rooted place attachment clashing in the form of social mobilizations. Nevertheless, the civil society approach and actions proved profoundly different. Hence, there is a need to define a shared methodology to make them comparable. The authors define seven categories, ranging from defeat to prefigurative politics, to assess local mobilization in terms of territorial impacts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Architecture and Design in Urban and Peri-Urban Environment)
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Review

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17 pages, 2376 KiB  
Review
Architectural Continuity Assessment of Rural Settlement Houses: A Systematic Literature Review
by Xiaokang Wang, Li Zhu, Jiang Li, Ni Zhang, Yue Tang, Yilin Sun, Honglin Wu and Chuang Cheng
Land 2023, 12(7), 1399; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12071399 - 12 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1762
Abstract
As a significant component of rural settlements, residential architecture is a record of historical changes containing considerable research value. In the study of residential architectural continuity, the focus is on the inheritance and innovation of traditional residential architectural “genes” in contemporary new residential [...] Read more.
As a significant component of rural settlements, residential architecture is a record of historical changes containing considerable research value. In the study of residential architectural continuity, the focus is on the inheritance and innovation of traditional residential architectural “genes” in contemporary new residential buildings. Based on a systematic review of the literature, the purpose of this study is to analyze the research trends, categories, and variables relating to architectural continuity in residential buildings, and to build a systematic and comprehensive framework for assessing the architectural continuity of residential buildings in rural settlements based on prior research. This study provides guidance and references for evaluating the design of new residential buildings in rural settlements and for formulating regional planning principles. Using the PRISMA guidelines as the basis for the review method, we filtered the literature from three databases: Web of Science (WoS), Scopus, and EI, and studied the 40 articles selected at the end. As can be seen from the results, the literature on architectural continuity in rural settlements has focused more on functional and typological levels and less on the archetypal level of architectural continuity (user behavior). Still, the archetypal level is the most important, because the behavior of housing users directly influences the degree to which housing is continuous in terms of its function and type. The most important finding of this review is that the resident behavior of housing users has a significant influence on the assessment of the continuity of housing architecture, and thus, the continuity of housing architecture in rural settlements must be assessed in conjunction with user behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landscape Architecture and Design in Urban and Peri-Urban Environment)
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