Future Urban Transport and Urban Real Estate

A special issue of Urban Science (ISSN 2413-8851).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2023) | Viewed by 16410

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Property, The University of Auckland Business School, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Interests: real estate economics; urban studies

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Guest Editor
Department of Real Estate and Construction, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
Interests: informal housing; institutional analysis; housing price/rental analysis; housing affordability; poor housing; gentrification and displacement

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Guest Editor
Department of Property, The University of Auckland, Auckland 1010, New Zealand
Interests: residential mobility; housing subsidies; housing wealth effects; affordability; touristification; land governance; policies and administration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Cities, which are home to over half of the population in the world, are at the frontline of the pandemic crisis and global response efforts. While the pandemic severely influences urban areas, the silver lining is that interventions in the urban transport and real estate market could have a pivotal moment in which crisis can be turned into an opportunity. By prioritising the right investments, we can have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to leverage the pandemic and build back in resilient, inclusive and sustainable cities. The key to seizing this opportunity in formulating and implementing the recovery plans requires our thorough understanding of transport and real estate in the post-pandemic world. This Special Issue calls for papers that can address any of the following questions:

  • How do the post-pandemic housing markets evolve?
  • How does the pandemic affect urban informal housing for the poor and the vulnerable?
  • How does the new trend of work-from-home and e-commerce shape the future urban transport and real estate markets?
  • How does the trend of PropTech, such as Uber, Airbnb, iBuyer, etc., reframe the future urban transport and real estate markets?

Dr. Edward Chung Yim Yiu
Dr. Ka Man Leung
Dr. William Ka Shing Cheung
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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. Urban Science is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly 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 1600 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

  • urban housing
  • informal housing
  • pandemic
  • work-from-home
  • e-commerce
  • PropTech

Published Papers (6 papers)

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17 pages, 26026 KiB  
Article
Urban Aquatic Scene Expansion for Semantic Segmentation in Cityscapes
by Zongcheng Yue, Chun-Yan Lo, Ran Wu, Longyu Ma and Chiu-Wing Sham
Urban Sci. 2024, 8(2), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci8020023 - 22 Mar 2024
Viewed by 722
Abstract
In urban environments, semantic segmentation using computer vision plays a pivotal role in understanding and interpreting the diverse elements within urban imagery. The Cityscapes dataset, widely used for semantic segmentation in urban scenes, predominantly features urban elements like buildings and vehicles but lacks [...] Read more.
In urban environments, semantic segmentation using computer vision plays a pivotal role in understanding and interpreting the diverse elements within urban imagery. The Cityscapes dataset, widely used for semantic segmentation in urban scenes, predominantly features urban elements like buildings and vehicles but lacks aquatic elements. Recognizing this limitation, our study introduces a method to enhance the Cityscapes dataset by incorporating aquatic classes, crucial for a comprehensive understanding of coastal urban environments. To achieve this, we employ a dual-model approach using two advanced neural networks. The first network is trained on the standard Cityscapes dataset, while the second focuses on aquatic scenes. We adeptly integrate aquatic features from the marine-focused model into the Cityscapes imagery. This integration is carefully executed to ensure a seamless blend of urban and aquatic elements, thereby creating an enriched dataset that reflects the realities of coastal cities more accurately. Our method is evaluated by comparing the enhanced Cityscapes model with the original on a set of diverse urban images, including aquatic views. The results demonstrate that our approach effectively maintains the high segmentation accuracy of the original Cityscapes dataset for urban elements while successfully integrating marine features. Importantly, this is achieved without necessitating additional training, which is a significant advantage in terms of resource efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Urban Transport and Urban Real Estate)
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15 pages, 1838 KiB  
Article
Analysing the Relationship between Proximity to Transit Stations and Local Living Patterns: A Study of Human Mobility within a 15 Min Walking Distance through Mobile Location Data
by I-Ting Chuang, Lee Beattie and Lei Feng
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(4), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7040105 - 09 Oct 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1783
Abstract
Urban planning and transportation policies are vital to creating sustainable and liveable cities. Transit-orientated development (TOD) has emerged as a prominent approach that emphasises the establishment of neighbourhoods with convenient access to public transportation, thereby promoting car-free lifestyles. This research investigates the connection [...] Read more.
Urban planning and transportation policies are vital to creating sustainable and liveable cities. Transit-orientated development (TOD) has emerged as a prominent approach that emphasises the establishment of neighbourhoods with convenient access to public transportation, thereby promoting car-free lifestyles. This research investigates the connection between proximity to transit stations and local living habits in Auckland, New Zealand, which is a car-dependent city aiming to transition to a sustainable TOD model. We use geolocational data from mobile phones to measure the daily mobility patterns of residents living within a 15 min walking distance of various transit stations. Employing ordinary least squares (OLS) regression, we analyse the correlation between residents’ average travel distances and individual mobility, considering different station contexts. We aim to determine whether individuals living near transit stations are more inclined to participate in local activities and make a higher proportion of short-distance trips. The results illustrate that approximately 54% of the residents show dominant localised mobility patterns. Living near a station is significantly associated with shorter annual travel distances, although this trend varies by area. Notably, only about 16 of the 34 stations studied indicate that their local residents predominantly engage in ‘local’ travel patterns. Rural stations show less correlation, likely due to poor infrastructure and limited walkability. This study underscores the vital role of proximity to transit stations in promoting sustainable mobility. It serves as a foundational guide for urban planners and designers to make informed decisions that improve the built environment and optimise land use. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Urban Transport and Urban Real Estate)
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13 pages, 1826 KiB  
Article
Financialisation of Housing in London: Empirical Evidence on Housing Prices
by José Francisco Vergara-Perucich
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7020045 - 25 Apr 2023
Viewed by 1665
Abstract
This paper aims to empirically review the process of housing financialisation in London, exploring a time series causal relationship between house prices and financial instruments, using the Granger method and a VAR test. In order to carry out this analysis, we use a [...] Read more.
This paper aims to empirically review the process of housing financialisation in London, exploring a time series causal relationship between house prices and financial instruments, using the Granger method and a VAR test. In order to carry out this analysis, we use a vector autoregressive model with a monthly data series that seeks to contribute to exploring this relationship. The results are relevant to the important role that the theory of housing financialisation plays in explaining the crisis of access to secure tenure that can be seen in developed nations. The results also provide an empirical background to pursue this theory more specifically in the context of the vectors that are effectively causal to the financialisation processes that impact everyday life through housing prices. The study is original, given that this type of modelling has not previously been carried out for a major world city such as London, and adds to the findings of similar explorations that have applied other methodologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Urban Transport and Urban Real Estate)
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18 pages, 2667 KiB  
Article
Are Central Banks’ Monetary Policies the Future of Housing Affordability Solutions
by Chung Yim Yiu
Urban Sci. 2023, 7(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci7010018 - 02 Feb 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3489
Abstract
Housing affordability is one of the major social problems in many countries, with some advocates urging governments to provide more accessible mortgages to facilitate more homeownership. However, in recent decades more and more evidence has shown that unaffordable housing is the consequence of [...] Read more.
Housing affordability is one of the major social problems in many countries, with some advocates urging governments to provide more accessible mortgages to facilitate more homeownership. However, in recent decades more and more evidence has shown that unaffordable housing is the consequence of monetary policy. Most of the previous empirical studies have been based on econometric analyses, which make it hard to eliminate potential endogeneity biases. This cross-country study exploited the two global interest rate shocks as quasi-experiments to test the impacts and causality of monetary policy (taking real interest rates as a proxy) on house prices. Global central banks’ synchronized reduction in interest rates after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and then the global synchronized increase in interest rates after the global inflation crisis in 2022 provided both a treatment and a treatment reversal to test the monetary policy hypothesis. The stylized facts vividly reveal the negative association between interest rate changes and house price changes in many countries. This study further conducted a ten-country panel regression analysis to test the hypothesis. The results confirmed that, after controlling for GDP growth and unemployment factors, the change in real interest rate imposed a negative effect on house price growth rates. The key practical implication of this study pinpoints the mal-prescription of harnessing monetary policy to solve housing affordability issues, as it can distort housing market dynamics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Urban Transport and Urban Real Estate)
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17 pages, 960 KiB  
Article
Measuring the Stress of Moving Homes: Evidence from the New Zealand Integrated Data Infrastructure
by Ka-Shing Cheung and Daniel Wong
Urban Sci. 2022, 6(4), 75; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci6040075 - 25 Oct 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 5826
Abstract
Moving homes has long been considered stressful, but how stressful is it? This study is an original attempt to utilise a micro-level individual dataset in the New Zealand Government’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) to reconstruct the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) and thereby [...] Read more.
Moving homes has long been considered stressful, but how stressful is it? This study is an original attempt to utilise a micro-level individual dataset in the New Zealand Government’s Integrated Data Infrastructure (IDI) to reconstruct the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) and thereby measure stress at a whole-of-population level. The effects of residential mobility on people’s mental well-being in the context of their stress-of-moving homes are examined. By using difference-in-differences analysis, this study scrutinises the stress level across movers, namely homeowners and renters (i.e., treatment groups) and non-movers (i.e., a control group). The results show that the change in residence increases people’s overall stress levels. Homeowners are more stressed than renters, with non-movers as the counterfactuals. Furthermore, the frequency of change in residences increases individual baseline stress levels. By progressing the understanding of such stresses, residential mobility researchers can contribute to broader discussions on how individuals’ interpersonal history and social mobility influence their experience. The whole-of-population-based SRRS will better advance our current ways of measuring mental stress at a population level, which is crucial to broader discussions of people’s well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Urban Transport and Urban Real Estate)
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13 pages, 928 KiB  
Case Report
The Roles of Microcredit in Informal Housing in the Future—A Case Study in Hong Kong
by Chung-Yim Yiu and Ka-Man Leung
Urban Sci. 2022, 6(4), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci6040091 - 06 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1652
Abstract
Microcredit is usually used to support employment, poverty reduction, women empowerment, etc. It is rare to have studies on using microcredit to help residents in informal housing to improve their residential mobility. This study is a novel attempt to explore the roles of [...] Read more.
Microcredit is usually used to support employment, poverty reduction, women empowerment, etc. It is rare to have studies on using microcredit to help residents in informal housing to improve their residential mobility. This study is a novel attempt to explore the roles of microcredit in informal housing in the future by taking Hong Kong as a case study. This study aims to investigate whether microcredit affects the relocation decisions of low-income tenants in informal housing markets by using a quasi-experimental approach. A microcredit scheme for this purpose was first proposed, pitched for funding, and then implemented by a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Hong Kong to provide interest-free loans for households living in sub-divided units (SDUs) to pay for rental deposits. Interviews were conducted with SDU households. The results show that the microcredit scheme is conducive to the relocation decisions of low-income households, especially in emergency cases. This study shows the key role of microcredit in empowering low-income households in their relocation decisions, and it can make a difference to the future informal housing markets in the world. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Urban Transport and Urban Real Estate)
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