Urbanization and Landscape Change: Tools for Analyzing Socioeconomic and Environmental Issues

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (19 September 2022) | Viewed by 27875

Special Issue Editors

Department of Geography, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
Interests: land use planning; landscape dynamics; earth observation applications
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
1. German Remote Sensing Data Center (DFD), German Aerospace Center (DLR), Kalkhorstweg 53, D-17235 Neustrelitz, Germany
2. Geo-Environmental Cartography and Remote Sensing Group, Universitat Politècnica de València, 46022 València, Spain
Interests: urban remote sensing applications; spatio-temporal analysis; spatial metrics; geographic information science; links between spatial structure and socioeconomic factors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urbanization, understood as a multidimensional process, implies socioeconomic and environmental changes, alters urban form and size and population density and distribution, changes land use and land cover, and contributes to climate change and pollution, among other issues, at local, regional, continental, and global scales. Therefore, promoting sustainable urbanization, limiting natural land consumption, and ensuring the well-being of the population have become policy targets for urban and landscape planners.

The spatial structure of urban areas and urban area growth patterns influence how the physical, socioeconomic, and environmental characteristics of urban areas change over time. These interrelationships play a major role in the daily life of urban dwellers and lead decision-makers to seek better-informed choices for the sustainable planning of urban areas. Thus, a better understanding of the relationships between the spatial structure of urban areas and the socioeconomic performance of urban areas is of crucial relevance.

Earth observation (EO) provides timely, accurate, and frequent data, along with the tools to capture urbanization and landscape changes at different levels, from coarse to fine resolutions, in a consistent way, which is of prevailing relevance to monitor landscapes. In this context, monitoring, quantifying, and characterizing the progress of urban areas enriches our understanding of past and present trends, provides evidence-based information, supports decision-making processes, and allows unsustainable patterns and their potential consequences to be anticipated.

Therefore, this Special Issue will focus on the complex process of urbanization and landscape change caused by the interaction of several factors that can be simultaneously analyzed due to the ever-growing availability of tools. Topics of interest include, but are not limited to, the development of advanced quantitative and qualitative tools for analyzing socioeconomic and environmental issues based on EO and geographic information system (GIS) techniques, the spatio-temporal consequences of urban growth and landscape structure dynamics, as well as the urbanization patterns extracted from indicators and models.

Dr. Pere Serra
Dr. Marta Sapena
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

  • planned and unplanned urban expansion
  • decision support context
  • land use change
  • urban growth and socioeconomic factors
  • socio-ecological interactions
  • urban ecosystem degradation and quality of life
  • urban growth and landscape dynamics
  • spatio-temporal patterns

Published Papers (11 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Review

21 pages, 599 KiB  
Article
Impact of Urbanization through High-Speed Rail on Regional Development with the Interaction of Socioeconomic Factors: A View of Regional Industrial Structure
Land 2022, 11(10), 1790; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11101790 - 14 Oct 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1609
Abstract
This study is to empirically investigate the impact of urbanization through improving transportation infrastructure, reflected by introducing high-speed rail (HSR), on the regional development with the interaction of the socioeconomic factors reflected by industrial structure. An advanced quantitative tool named multi-period difference-in-differences (DID) [...] Read more.
This study is to empirically investigate the impact of urbanization through improving transportation infrastructure, reflected by introducing high-speed rail (HSR), on the regional development with the interaction of the socioeconomic factors reflected by industrial structure. An advanced quantitative tool named multi-period difference-in-differences (DID) method is applied. We find the impact of urbanization through HSR on regional development is mixed while interacting with industrial structure helps to explain heterogeneities of the impact. The more the industrial structure tends to be agricultural, the greater the negative impact of HSR opening on regional economic development; meanwhile, the more the industrial structure evolves to be service-oriented, the greater the positive impact of HSR. This study highlights the importance of the interaction between urban growth and socioeconomic factors, which would provides a reference for government and urban planners to make decisions on introducing HSR or improving transportation infrastructure. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

25 pages, 5471 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Zagreb’s Urban Development on Dynamic Changes in Stream Landscapes from Mid-Twentieth Century
Land 2022, 11(5), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050692 - 06 May 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2022
Abstract
Urban streams constitute a valuable form of multi-functional blue and green infrastructure (BGI) and can support urban development to generate ecosystem, social, and economic benefits. In global cities, planning for BGI enhancement contributes to climate change adaptation, ecosystem restoration, community health and wellbeing, [...] Read more.
Urban streams constitute a valuable form of multi-functional blue and green infrastructure (BGI) and can support urban development to generate ecosystem, social, and economic benefits. In global cities, planning for BGI enhancement contributes to climate change adaptation, ecosystem restoration, community health and wellbeing, improved quality of life, etc. This research aims to assess the dynamics of stream landscape change in Zagreb as well as the influence of urban development on the blue and green landscape and related urban values. The analysis of landscape features and their planning is conducted at the level of the stream system of the whole city of Zagreb and at the level of two stream sequences by superimposing spatial data from cartographic sources. By developing an urban planning-social-ecological approach to evaluation, monitoring, and management, a quantitative and qualitative trend in stream landscape changes is identified and indicators for detecting areas of critical urbanization pressure are established. This research confirms the trend of negative changes in the urban BGI, evident in the present state (interruption of open streams, and the reduction, fragmentation, and disconnection of blue and green landscape), as well as in the planned neglect (plans for further stream closures and reduction in public green areas). Stream landscape potential is emphasized as one of the greatest urban assets for improving the system of BGI, and areas needed for their prioritization in urban planning measures, directed towards an increase in multiple landscape values, are determined. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

18 pages, 2679 KiB  
Article
Means of Transport and Population Distribution in Metropolitan Areas: An Evolutionary Analysis of the Valencia Metropolitan Area
Land 2022, 11(5), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11050657 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2493
Abstract
The purpose of this research is to find out how transport modes shape the configuration of a metropolitan area in terms of population. Evolutionary analysis is undertaken to ascertain the impact of mobility on population distribution over a number of stages. The case [...] Read more.
The purpose of this research is to find out how transport modes shape the configuration of a metropolitan area in terms of population. Evolutionary analysis is undertaken to ascertain the impact of mobility on population distribution over a number of stages. The case study analysis puts the spotlight on the Valencia Metropolitan Area (Spain) over a long period of time, from 1900 to 2021. The research focuses on quantification, first in terms of how different means of transport affect population distribution, and subsequently, on the time gap between the emergence of a means of transport and its potential in distributing the population. Results show that the prevalence of the means of transport in structuring a metropolitan area has varied over time. At first, trains and trams played a major role in shaping the urban area while, in more recent eras, cars have remodelled the urban space. It was found that municipalities which did not have a railway service had very low, or even negative, increases in population until 1981. By contrast, since then, they have outstripped the increases in municipalities with rail connections. The time gap between the emergence of a means of transport and its potential to distribute the population is quantified in terms of decades. Automobiles took less time than trains and trams to have an impact on population distribution. These results can be understood as an indicator of the length of time needed to change previous dynamics and can be used to guide new policies in the field. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 1955 KiB  
Article
Is China’s Urbanization Quality and Ecosystem Health Developing Harmoniously? An Empirical Analysis from Jiangsu, China
Land 2022, 11(4), 530; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040530 - 06 Apr 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1862
Abstract
The relationship between urbanization and ecology environment is a current research hotspot. Most literature to date focuses on the interaction between urbanization and a single component of the ecosystem (e.g., water, forests, and ecosystem services), while little attention has been given to the [...] Read more.
The relationship between urbanization and ecology environment is a current research hotspot. Most literature to date focuses on the interaction between urbanization and a single component of the ecosystem (e.g., water, forests, and ecosystem services), while little attention has been given to the relationship between urbanization quality and ecosystem health. Accordingly, this paper used the entropy method and vigor—organization–resilience model to measure the urbanization quality and ecosystem health in Jiangsu Province. Based on the results, this paper analyzed the spatial-temporal pattern and evolution characteristics of the coordination degree between urbanization quality and ecosystem health in Jiangsu Province in 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015, and 2017 and then used the geographic detector and Tobit regression model to explore its internal driving forces and external influencing factors. The results show the following: 1. The changing trend of urbanization quality and ecosystem health in the Jiangsu Province share some traits; it first descends and then ascends; 2. The cities in Jiangsu Province are all between primary coordination and high-quality coordination. Central Jiangsu has the best coupling coordination degree, and Northern Jiangsu has the worst coupling coordination degree, but the overall coordination degree is on the rise; 3. The internal and external factors that drive the coordinated development of urbanization and ecosystem health differ based on periodic and regional characteristics. We need to tailor policies to ensure the sustainable development of the region. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

21 pages, 885 KiB  
Article
Impact of Power on Uneven Development: Evaluating Built-Up Area Changes in Chengdu Based on NPP-VIIRS Images (2015–2019)
Land 2022, 11(4), 489; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040489 - 28 Mar 2022
Cited by 86 | Viewed by 2456
Abstract
In the context of uneven development studies of China, urban built-up area changes are the index of the impact of power, as the local government is the only party that is able to acquire agricultural land and convert it to construction urban land. [...] Read more.
In the context of uneven development studies of China, urban built-up area changes are the index of the impact of power, as the local government is the only party that is able to acquire agricultural land and convert it to construction urban land. Existing studies generally use statistical data to describe the built-up area changes and struggle to meet the requirement of an updated and inexpensive monitoring of uneven development, especially for western cities with tight budgets. Open access NPP-VIIRS (Suomi National Polar-orbiting Partnership Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite), NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), and nighttime LST (Land Surface Temperature) data ranging from 2015 to 2019 were analyzed with a stratified SVM (Support Vector Machine) method in this study to track urban built-up area changes in Chengdu, one of the biggest cities in Western China. The SDE (Standard Deviation Ellipse) and Moran’s I were then applied to evaluate the spatial variations of the built-up area changes. It was revealed that the spatial evolution of built-up area change in Chengdu over the period 2015–2019 demonstrated a “northwest-southeast” spatial expansion pattern, and the change distance in the center of gravity in 2018 and 2019 was greater than that from 2015 to 2017, which reflected the faster uneven development in 2018 and 2019 in Chengdu. The results were verified with finer resolution Landsat-8 OLI images; the high OA (all larger than 92%) and KAPPA (all larger than 0.6) values showed the accuracy of the method. The methodology proposed in this study offers a practical way for cities with tight budgets to monitor uneven development, and this study suggests a further adaption using higher-resolution remote sensing images and field experiments. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

34 pages, 7305 KiB  
Article
Spatio-Temporal Evolution and Driving Mechanism of Urbanization in Small Cities: Case Study from Guangxi
Land 2022, 11(3), 415; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11030415 - 11 Mar 2022
Cited by 23 | Viewed by 3414
Abstract
Urbanization has an abundant connotation in dimensions such as population, economy, land, and society and is an important sign to measure regional economic development and social progress. The use of Night Light Data from remote sensing satellites as a proxy variable can significantly [...] Read more.
Urbanization has an abundant connotation in dimensions such as population, economy, land, and society and is an important sign to measure regional economic development and social progress. The use of Night Light Data from remote sensing satellites as a proxy variable can significantly improve the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the measurement of urbanization development dynamics. Based on the Night Light Data and statistical data from 2015 to 2019, this paper quantitatively analyzes the spatio-temporal evolution pattern of urbanization in Guangxi and its driving mechanism using exploratory time-space data analysis, GeoDetector and Matrix: Boston Consulting Group, providing an important basis for sustainable urban development planning and scientific decision-making by the government. The findings show that (1) there is a high level of spatial heterogeneity and spatial autocorrelation of urbanization in Guangxi, with the Gini index of urban night light index and urban night light expansion vitality index always greater than 0.5, the global Moran’s I greater than 0.17, the spatial differentiation converging but the spatial correlation increasing. (2) The spatial pattern of urbanization in Guangxi has long been solidified, but there is a differentiation in urban development trend, with the coexistence of urban expansion and shrinkage, requiring differentiated policy design for urban governance. (3) The development and evolution of urbanization in Guangxi present a complex intertwined dynamic mechanism of action, with interaction effects of bifactor enhancement and non-linear enhancement among factors. It should be noted that the influence of factors varies greatly, with the added value of the tertiary industry, gross domestic product, total retail sales of social consumer goods having the strongest direct effect on the urban night light index, while the added value of secondary industry, per capita GDP, gross domestic product having the strongest direct effect on the urban night light expansion vitality index. All of them are key factors, followed by some significant influence factors such as government revenue, population urbanization rate, per government revenue, population urbanization rate, per capita disposable income of urban and rural residents that should not be ignored, and the rest that play indirect roles mainly by interaction. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

31 pages, 5021 KiB  
Article
Spatio-Temporal Land-Use/Land-Cover Change Dynamics in Coastal Plains in Hangzhou Bay Area, China from 2009 to 2020 Using Google Earth Engine
Land 2021, 10(11), 1149; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111149 - 28 Oct 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2237
Abstract
Land-use classification is fundamental for environmental and water resource evaluation in coastal plain areas. However, comprehensive remote sensing image-based land-use analysis is challenged by the lack of massive remote sensing images and the massive computing power of large-scale server systems. In this paper, [...] Read more.
Land-use classification is fundamental for environmental and water resource evaluation in coastal plain areas. However, comprehensive remote sensing image-based land-use analysis is challenged by the lack of massive remote sensing images and the massive computing power of large-scale server systems. In this paper, the spatial-temporal land-use change characteristics of the Hangzhou Bay area coastal plain are investigated on the Google Earth Engine platform. The proposed model uses a random forest algorithm to assist the land-use classification. The dataset is selected from the year 2009 to 2020 and classified with an average classification accuracy of 89% and Kappa coefficient of 88%. The results show that the land use in the selected region is affected by urbanization, the balance of cultivated land occupation and compensation, construction of economic development zone, and other activities. The investigation also shows that in the past 12 years, land use has changed rapidly, and each land-use type maintains the dynamic balance of occupation and compensation. Although the overall land-use distribution is stable, the information entropy fluctuates at a high level, with an average value of 1.15, and the multi-year average value of equilibrium is as high as 0.83. The driving force of land-use change is analyzed and accounted as demographics and human population dynamics, social-economic development, urbanization, and coupling effects of the above-mentioned factors. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 13744 KiB  
Article
Public Space Layout Optimization in Affordable Housing Based on Social Network Analysis
Land 2021, 10(9), 955; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090955 - 08 Sep 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2454
Abstract
The efficient use of public space in affordable housing is of great significance to the physical and mental health of low-income and aging residents. Previous studies have evaluated the layout and quality of public space in residential areas based on residents’ subjective satisfaction, [...] Read more.
The efficient use of public space in affordable housing is of great significance to the physical and mental health of low-income and aging residents. Previous studies have evaluated the layout and quality of public space in residential areas based on residents’ subjective satisfaction, however, there still lack studies exploring residents’ behavior patterns and the use of public spaces based on objective measurement standards. Therefore, this paper selected the public space in the large affordable housing areas in the suburbs as the research object and used social network analysis (SNA) to objectively evaluate the network density, clustering coefficient and small-world value of the public space in affordable housing from the perspective of the physical spatial network of the built public space. Based on the network structure characteristics of existing public spaces, this paper further explores the relationship between the frequency of public space use in and the characteristics of nodes’ social networks and their own attributes, and the influence of public space layout structure on the behavioral patterns of affordable housing residents. This paper puts forward proposals for the renovation and optimization of public space according to the behavioral preferences of affordable housing residents, so as to complete the network of public space, promote the interaction and communication of residents in the residential area, enhance the residents’ experience of using public space and improve the living standard of residents in the residential area. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

16 pages, 431 KiB  
Article
Interaction between Land Financing Strategy and the Implementation Deviation of Local Governments’ Cultivated Land Protection Policy in China
Land 2021, 10(8), 803; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10080803 - 30 Jul 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1661
Abstract
The deviation of implementation of China’s cultivated land protection policy is the core problem urgently needing to be solved in the process of protecting the country’s cultivated land. This paper aims to explain the universality of this implementation deviation from the perspective of [...] Read more.
The deviation of implementation of China’s cultivated land protection policy is the core problem urgently needing to be solved in the process of protecting the country’s cultivated land. This paper aims to explain the universality of this implementation deviation from the perspective of the spatial interaction of fiscal land strategies. Based on the data of 30 provinces in China from 2000 to 2015, the spatial Durbin model is used to validate the corresponding theoretical hypothesis. The results show that: (1) At the national or regional level, the given local government’s behavior with regard to land conveyance and land-orientation investment will aggravate implementation deviations of the cultivated land protection policy in the local area. (2) Land conveyance and land-orientation investment behaviors cause a spatial spillover effect. As a result, these behaviors not only exacerbate the implementation deviation of the cultivated land protection policy in the local area, but also exacerbate this deviation in adjacent areas. (3) The spatial spillover effects of land conveyance and land-orientation investment strategies in the eastern, central and western regions of China show marked differences. However, in general, compared with the land transfer strategy, the spatial interactions of the land-orientation investment strategy represent the more important factor that gives rise to the widespread deviation in the implementation of the cultivated land protection policy. (4) The transformation of the performance appraisal system can help to weaken the interactive behavior of the land financing strategy. This can, in turn, not only alleviate the deviation degree of the implementation of the local cultivated land protection policy, but also the deviation degree of the implementation of the latter in adjacent areas. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

19 pages, 5941 KiB  
Article
Detecting the Dynamics of Urban Growth in Africa Using DMSP/OLS Nighttime Light Data
Land 2021, 10(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10010013 - 26 Dec 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3411
Abstract
Africa has been experiencing a rapid urbanization process, which may lead to an increase in unsustainable land use and urban poverty. Assessing the spatiotemporal characteristics of urbanization dynamics is especially important and needed for the sustainable development of Africa. Satellite-based nighttime light (NTL) [...] Read more.
Africa has been experiencing a rapid urbanization process, which may lead to an increase in unsustainable land use and urban poverty. Assessing the spatiotemporal characteristics of urbanization dynamics is especially important and needed for the sustainable development of Africa. Satellite-based nighttime light (NTL) data are widely used to monitor the dynamics of urban growth from global to local scales. In this study, urban growth patterns across Africa were analyzed and discussed using stable nighttime light datasets obtained from DMSP/OLS (the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program’s Operational Line-scan System) spanning from 1992 to 2013. We partitioned the nighttime lighting areas into three types (low, medium, and high) using thresholds derived from the Brightness Gradient (BG) method. Our results indicated that built-up areas in Africa have increased rapidly, particularly those areas with low nighttime lighting types. Countries with higher urbanization levels in Africa, like South Africa, Algeria, Egypt, Nigeria, and Libya, were leading the brightening trend. The distribution of nighttime lighting types was consistent with the characteristics of urban development, with high nighttime lighting types showed up at the urban center, whereas medium and low nighttime lighting types appeared in the urban-rural transition zone and rural areas respectively. The impacts of these findings on the future of African cities will be further proposed. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Research

38 pages, 3840 KiB  
Review
Land Change Science and the STEPLand Framework: An Assessment of Its Progress
Land 2022, 11(7), 1065; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11071065 - 13 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1992
Abstract
This contribution assesses a new term that is proposed to be established within Land Change Science: Spatio-TEmporal Patterns of Land (‘STEPLand’). It refers to a specific workflow for analyzing land-use/land cover (LUC) patterns, identifying and modeling driving forces of LUC changes, assessing socio-environmental [...] Read more.
This contribution assesses a new term that is proposed to be established within Land Change Science: Spatio-TEmporal Patterns of Land (‘STEPLand’). It refers to a specific workflow for analyzing land-use/land cover (LUC) patterns, identifying and modeling driving forces of LUC changes, assessing socio-environmental consequences, and contributing to defining future scenarios of land transformations. In this article, we define this framework based on a comprehensive meta-analysis of 250 selected articles published in international scientific journals from 2000 to 2019. The empirical results demonstrate that STEPLand is a consolidated protocol applied globally, and the large diversity of journals, disciplines, and countries involved shows that it is becoming ubiquitous. In this paper, the main characteristics of STEPLand are provided and discussed, demonstrating that the operational procedure can facilitate the interaction among researchers from different fields, and communication between researchers and policy makers. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop