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Urban Sci., Volume 5, Issue 1 (March 2021) – 33 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The study examines the resilience of nine selected neighborhoods from Shiraz, an old Iranian city. The selected cases represent three different urban form patterns, namely, traditional, semi-planned, and planned. Different indicators related to the physical configuration of lots, blocks, open and green spaces, and street networks are used to examine the resilience of each neighborhood to three major stressors, namely, earthquakes, extreme heat events, and floods. The results show that, overall, the physical form of the planned neighborhoods is more conducive to urban resilience. In contrast, the urban form of traditional neighborhoods was found to be less resilient. View this paper
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Article
Gentrification on the Move. New Dynamics in Spanish Mature Urban-Tourist Neighborhoods
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 33; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010033 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1088
Abstract
Mature tourism neighborhoods are a valuable laboratory for the study of socio-urban processes. In them, it is possible to analyze the urban transformations and social changes linked to tourism cycles: those corresponding to the stage of tourism involvement, development, and consolidation; those of [...] Read more.
Mature tourism neighborhoods are a valuable laboratory for the study of socio-urban processes. In them, it is possible to analyze the urban transformations and social changes linked to tourism cycles: those corresponding to the stage of tourism involvement, development, and consolidation; those of stagnation and urban decline; and those of tourism rejuvenation and urban rehabilitation. Currently, there are indications of a fourth cycle, where vacation rentals and the arrival of new groups of foreigners are causing a tourism gentrification process. In this context, the aim of this work is to study the socio-urban transformations of two mature tourism neighborhoods in Palma (El Terreno) and Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Santa Catalina-Canteras) and detect this tourism gentrification process. The analysis is based on indicators of resident population (total population and foreigners by nationalities), housing (holiday rental market and real estate market), and socio-economic levels (income), which allows us to detect the existence of a new urban-tourism cycle. This, supported by strong investments associated with rehabilitation plans, is producing the substitution of foreigners from the South for those from the North, changing from residential rental to vacation rentals, in a context of elitization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fragmented City: International Mobility and Housing in Spain)
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Article
Opaque Urban Planning. The Megaproject Santa Cruz Verde 2030 Seen from the Local Perspective (Tenerife, Spain)
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 32; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010032 - 17 Mar 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 847
Abstract
Megaprojects, as a part of neoliberal urbanism, have become an important element of cities worldwide. In Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, the megaproject Santa Cruz Verde 2030 represents this type of project. The ambitious plan seeks to transform the city’s oil refinery into [...] Read more.
Megaprojects, as a part of neoliberal urbanism, have become an important element of cities worldwide. In Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain, the megaproject Santa Cruz Verde 2030 represents this type of project. The ambitious plan seeks to transform the city’s oil refinery into an urban quarter. However, since its announcement in summer 2018, no critical public discussion has taken place, although the project is expected to reconfigure the city’s waterfront and its tourist model. In this context, it is particularly the stakeholders’ point of view that is neglected. We thus offer a qualitative analysis of five interviews with local stakeholders from the real estate sector, politics, urban planning and an environmental association. The analysis shows that the interviewees feel insufficiently informed by the project’s initiators. The project is interpreted as an elitist symbol of how the project’s initiators understand urban development. While some of the stakeholders want to accelerate the whole process, others call for a more integrative and participative planning approach. Moreover, the observed marketing campaign is directly linked to the upcoming elections. The interviewees observe a simple top-down planning process, which contradicts the promises of the initiators to enable civic participation and integration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fragmented City: International Mobility and Housing in Spain)
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Article
Takis Zenetos’s Electronic Urbanism and Tele-Activities: Minimizing Transportation as Social Aspiration
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 31; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010031 - 11 Mar 2021
Viewed by 1500
Abstract
Takis Zenetos was enthusiastic about the idea of working from home, and believed that both architecture and urban planning should be reshaped in order to respond to this. He supported the design of special public spaces in residential units, aiming to accommodate the [...] Read more.
Takis Zenetos was enthusiastic about the idea of working from home, and believed that both architecture and urban planning should be reshaped in order to respond to this. He supported the design of special public spaces in residential units, aiming to accommodate the inhabitants during working hours. This article argues that Zenetos’s design for “Electronic Urbanism” was more prophetic, and more pragmatic, than his peers such as Archigram and Constant Nieuwenhuys. Despite the fact that they shared an optimism towards technological developments and megastructure, a main difference between Zenetos’s view and the perspectives of his peers is his rejection of a generalised enthusiasm concerning increasing mobility of people. In opposition with Archigram, Zenetos insisted in minimizing citizens’ mobility and supported the replacement of daily transport with the use advanced information technologies, using terms such as “tele-activity”. Zenetos was convinced that “Electronic Urbanism” would help citizens save the time that they normally used to commute to work, and would allow them to spend this time on more creative activities, at or near their homes. The main interest of “Electronic Urbanism” lies in the fact that it not only constitutes an artistic contribution to experimental architecture, but is also characterized by a new social vision, promising to resynchronize practices of daily life. An aspect that is also examined is the relationship of Zenetos’s ideas and those of the so-called Metabolists in the 1960s in Japan, including Kenzo Tange’s conception of megastructures. Zenetos’s thought is very topical considering the ongoing debates about the advanced information society, especially regarding the social concerns of surveillance, governance, and sovereignty within the context of Big Data. His conception of “tele-activities” provides a fertile terrain for reflecting on potential implications and insights concerning home-office conditions not only within the context of the current pandemic situation but beyond it as well. Full article
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Article
Home Dispossession and Commercial Real Estate Dispossession in Tourist Conurbations. Analyzing the Reconfiguration of Displacement Dynamics in Los Cristianos/Las Américas (Tenerife)
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 30; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010030 - 09 Mar 2021
Viewed by 610
Abstract
Since the onset of the global financial crisis, urban dwellers face an increasing number of obstacles in establishing themselves on the housing market. Against this backdrop, this paper addresses the variegated dynamics of real estate dispossession in the tourist conurbation Los Cristianos/Las Américas [...] Read more.
Since the onset of the global financial crisis, urban dwellers face an increasing number of obstacles in establishing themselves on the housing market. Against this backdrop, this paper addresses the variegated dynamics of real estate dispossession in the tourist conurbation Los Cristianos/Las Américas on an intra-urban scale. First, I will present the spatio-temporal patterns of dispossession for the period 2001–2015 using the ATLANTE database (CGPJ). Specifically, I analyze mortgage foreclosures and tenant evictions, both for residential and commercial spaces. Second, I delve deeper into local experiences of dispossession of the resident population and their housing and income conditions by means of questionnaires that I conducted in 2018. The data shows that mortgage foreclosures and dispossessions of residential spaces predominate the initial years after the crisis, albeit with varied spatial incidence. However, the increase in tenant evictions from 2014 onwards points to a reconfiguration of displacement dynamics. Indeed, as stated by the interviewees, staggeringly high rent burdens have become the main driver for displacement from both living and working spaces in recent years. Given the ongoing global pandemic, further and more nuanced research is necessary to grasp how these prevailing housing insecurities are shaped during and beyond the coronavirus crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fragmented City: International Mobility and Housing in Spain)
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Article
Inferior Education or Killing Grandma: The Dilemma Facing the Public School Systems in the United States
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 29; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010029 - 05 Mar 2021
Viewed by 675
Abstract
Due to COVID-19, school districts in the fall of 2020 had to decide whether to conduct all classes in person or offer some or all of these classes virtually. Many school districts would decide on a program and then change their decision based [...] Read more.
Due to COVID-19, school districts in the fall of 2020 had to decide whether to conduct all classes in person or offer some or all of these classes virtually. Many school districts would decide on a program and then change their decision based on the COVID-19 situation in their area. These changes caused education and personal issues for the students, teachers, parents, and others who worked in their school system. This paper explores how the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), a well-regarded, multi-criteria decision analysis approach, can be used to analyze this situation by developing two prototype versions of the AHP and illustrating these versions of the AHP with a detailed example. The team approach for analyzing this issue is also described. Additionally, the current situation of this problem in the United States and elsewhere is discussed. Finally, Professor Bodin is making software that he has developed available (at no cost) for carrying out many of the computations for the AHP versions described in this paper. Full article
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Article
Disaster Recovery Practices and Resilience Building in Greece
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 28; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010028 - 05 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 802
Abstract
This paper aims to elaborate on the notion of resilience by analysing the historical long-term impact of recovery processes that follow catastrophic events. In this respect, the approach reveals the importance of two major dimensions of disaster recovery practices: the establishment of an [...] Read more.
This paper aims to elaborate on the notion of resilience by analysing the historical long-term impact of recovery processes that follow catastrophic events. In this respect, the approach reveals the importance of two major dimensions of disaster recovery practices: the establishment of an effective resilience milieu in conjunction with the generation of safety knowledge. The analysis focuses on two island case studies in Greece that experienced devastating earthquakes in the 1950s: Cephalonia (Ionian Sea) and Santorini (South Aegean Sea). Both insular cases underwent a comprehensive and (in many respects) innovative reconstruction process that set the scene for establishing a ‘resilience milieu’ and, in a dialectical manner, a ‘safety culture’, which for many years has been embedded in local development trajectories and influenced spatial growth dynamics. Full article
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Article
Cities Exacerbate Climate Warming
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 27; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010027 - 05 Mar 2021
Viewed by 787
Abstract
Urbanization is a complex land transformation not explicitly resolved within large-scale climate models. Long-term timeseries of high-resolution satellite data are essential to characterize urbanization within land surface models and to assess its contribution to surface temperature changes. The potential for additional surface warming [...] Read more.
Urbanization is a complex land transformation not explicitly resolved within large-scale climate models. Long-term timeseries of high-resolution satellite data are essential to characterize urbanization within land surface models and to assess its contribution to surface temperature changes. The potential for additional surface warming from urbanization-induced land use change is investigated and decoupled from that due to change in climate over the continental US using a decadal timescale. We show that, aggregated over the US, the summer mean urban-induced surface temperature increased by 0.15 °C, with a warming of 0.24 °C in cities built in vegetated areas and a cooling of 0.25 °C in cities built in non-vegetated arid areas. This temperature change is comparable in magnitude to the 0.13 °C/decade global warming trend observed over the last 50 years caused by increased CO2. We also show that the effect of urban-induced change on surface temperature is felt above and beyond that of the CO2 effect. Our results suggest that climate mitigation policies must consider urbanization feedback to put a limit on the worldwide mean temperature increase. Full article
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Article
Food Consumption in Cologne Ehrenfeld: Gentrification through Gastrofication?
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 26; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010026 - 04 Mar 2021
Viewed by 937
Abstract
Food and nutrition trends cater for many more functions than simply satisfying the physical need for food. Given the fundamental significance of everyday food it seems clear that it is also relevant in urban development processes. Nutrition trends and food outlets influence the [...] Read more.
Food and nutrition trends cater for many more functions than simply satisfying the physical need for food. Given the fundamental significance of everyday food it seems clear that it is also relevant in urban development processes. Nutrition trends and food outlets influence the attractiveness and quality of life of neighborhoods, and therefore also reflect the development of urban space. This article aims to bring together the topics of urban development, consumption, and current nutrition trends. Attention is focused on the role played by gastronomic landscapes in urban gentrification processes and how current nutrition trends are manifested. Empirical research was conducted between 2019 and 2020 in the case-study district of Ehrenfeld in the city of Cologne. In the past, this industrial neighborhood was affected by downgrading processes. After years of decline, rising vacancy rates, and outwards migration, there have been clear signs of upgrading in Ehrenfeld since the end of the 1990s. The neighborhood is also characterized by an extensive and continuously growing gastronomic landscape, which combines a multiplicity of national and international cuisines and food cultures. About one-third of the food outlets located on Venloer Straße were established between 2010 and 2020. Full article
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Article
An Evaluation of Massive Land Interventions for the Relocation of Capital Cities
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 25; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010025 - 28 Feb 2021
Viewed by 828
Abstract
Across the world, capital cities are being relocated. Such practices have existed almost as long as capitals themselves. Against the background of the relocation of Indonesia’s seat of government from Jakarta to East Kalimantan, it is clear that such processes will continue to [...] Read more.
Across the world, capital cities are being relocated. Such practices have existed almost as long as capitals themselves. Against the background of the relocation of Indonesia’s seat of government from Jakarta to East Kalimantan, it is clear that such processes will continue to take place in the future. Especially if one considers the reasons for the move: climate change is leading to an increasing inhabitability of the Indonesian capital. Therefore, it is important to understand the processes behind such megaprojects and their impacts on the surroundings in order to build new capitals sustainably. Hence, this paper deals with examples from the past seven decades and examines them from different perspectives, such as the underlying politics and economy, planning approaches, reasons for relocation, as well as cultural and ecological backgrounds. With an analytical methodology based on eight aspects of responsible land management interventions (the 8R-framework), it is possible to assess the degree to which these moves are responsible. Combined with a literature review of past documented evidence, we derived 8R-matrices, inferred recurring issues and constructed a database containing multiple aspects of capital relocations. This database allowed simple SQL-coding, which enabled describing commonalities among the different land interventions for the capital relocations. These results help to connect occurring sets of problems to particular political, economic and planning backgrounds and to identify different frameworks within which most new capitals are situated. These new insights make future capital relocations better manageable and can support the process of capital relocation in Indonesia. Full article
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Article
Location-Specific Adjustments in Population and Employment across Metropolitan America
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 24; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010024 - 26 Feb 2021
Viewed by 607
Abstract
This paper examines the joint adjustment of population and employment numbers across America’s metropolitan areas during the period 1990–2015. Current levels of both are estimated, for 10 year periods, using their lagged (own and cross) levels and eight other lagged variables. Population is [...] Read more.
This paper examines the joint adjustment of population and employment numbers across America’s metropolitan areas during the period 1990–2015. Current levels of both are estimated, for 10 year periods, using their lagged (own and cross) levels and eight other lagged variables. Population is affected by both human and natural amenities and employment by wages, patents, and other attributes of the workforce. This paper questions the conventional interpretation of the adjustment process by using geographically weighted regression (GWR) instead of standard linear (OLS, 2GLS) regression. Here the various estimates are all local, so the long-run equilibrium solutions for the adjustment process vary over space. Convergence no longer indicates a stable universal solution but instead involves a mix of stable and unstable local solutions. Local sustainability becomes an issue when making projections because employment can quickly lead or lag population in some metropolitan labor markets. Full article
Article
Real Estate Market Responses to the COVID-19 Crisis: Which Prospects for the Metropolitan Area of Naples (Italy)?
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 23; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010023 - 25 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1759
Abstract
The health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire world since the beginning of 2020, changing living and working conditions. The pandemic has generated a crisis that is having and will continue to have consequences on all sectors of the [...] Read more.
The health emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the entire world since the beginning of 2020, changing living and working conditions. The pandemic has generated a crisis that is having and will continue to have consequences on all sectors of the economy, including the real estate market. During the lockdown period, houses became spaces for both living and working, as well as for leisure activities. Therefore, they were modified to meet the new requirements of communities forced to spend most of their time at home. This will also affect the real estate market in the near future in terms of trends and the characteristics of desirable houses. This research aims to analyse the trends in the residential market in Italy and in particular in the metropolitan area of Naples (Italy). Starting from official sources, the trends of the real estate market, and in particular in the metropolitan area of Naples from 2009 to 2020, have been analysed. Then, two surveys were conducted involving both the community and real estate agents operating in the territory, in order to investigate the effects that COVID-19 has had on the real estate market. The analysis carried out highlights structural changes in the demand for residential properties in the metropolitan area of Naples due to the new requirements as a result of COVID-19. Full article
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Article
Changes in Water Quality of the River das Antas as It Passes through Rural and Urban Areas
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 22; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010022 - 12 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 821
Abstract
The catchment area of River das Antas (Irati, Paraná, Brazil) is of high importance both for human consumption and irrigation. Within Irati, this river passes through a rural area and through the city of Irati, crossing both poor and rich neighbourhoods. We selected [...] Read more.
The catchment area of River das Antas (Irati, Paraná, Brazil) is of high importance both for human consumption and irrigation. Within Irati, this river passes through a rural area and through the city of Irati, crossing both poor and rich neighbourhoods. We selected three study areas downstream (a rural area, poor community, and rich neighbourhood) in which we measured turbidity, the concentration of sediments and pH during rainy days. Our results showed downstream trends of increasing turbidity and concentrations of sediments with decreasing pH. The values of turbidity and of concentration of sediments were significantly different in the rural area, while the pH values were significantly different between the three study areas. These findings highlight the effect of agricultural activities in the generation of sediments and turbidity. The—presumably expected—effects of organic urban waste from the poor neighbourhood were also detected in the pH values. We conclude that efforts should be made to ensure that land planning and training/education programmes on sustainable farming practices are undertaken by the authorities to reduce water pollution and its effects on water bodies during rainfall events, since paving streets is not a feasible option in the short term due to the high costs associated with this measure. Full article
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Article
Innovations and Economic Output Scale with Social Interactions in the Workforce
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 21; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010021 - 10 Feb 2021
Viewed by 965
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 fundamentally changed the way we interact with and engage in commerce. Social distancing and stay-at-home orders leave businesses and cities wondering how future economic activity moves forward. The reduction in face-to-face interactions creates an impetus to understand how [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 fundamentally changed the way we interact with and engage in commerce. Social distancing and stay-at-home orders leave businesses and cities wondering how future economic activity moves forward. The reduction in face-to-face interactions creates an impetus to understand how social interactivity influences economic efficiency and rates of innovation. Here, we create a measure of the degree to which a workforce engages in social interactions, analyzing its relationships to economic innovation and efficiency. We do this by decomposing U.S. occupations into individual work activities, determining which of those activities are associated with face-to-face interactions. We then re-aggregate the labor forces of U.S. metropolitan statistical areas (MSA) into a metric of urban social interactiveness. Using a novel measure of urbanized area, we then calculate each MSA’s density of social work activities. We find that our metric of urban socialness is positively correlated with a city’s per worker patent production. Furthermore, we use our set of social work activities to reaggregate the workforces of U.S. industries into a metric of industry social interactivness, finding that this measure scales superlinearly with an industry’s per worker GDP. Together, the results suggest that social interaction among workers is an important driver of both a city’s rate of invention and an industry’s economic efficiency. Finally, we briefly highlight analogies between cities and stars and discuss their potential to guide further research, vis-à-vis the density of social interactions “igniting” a city or industry. Full article
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Review
How Lack of Knowledge and Tools Hinders the Eco-Design of Buildings—A Systematic Review
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 20; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010020 - 07 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1385
Abstract
The building sector is responsible for extensive resource consumption and waste generation, resulting in high pressure on the environment. A way to potentially mitigate this is by including environmental considerations during building design through the concept known as eco-design. Despite the multiple available [...] Read more.
The building sector is responsible for extensive resource consumption and waste generation, resulting in high pressure on the environment. A way to potentially mitigate this is by including environmental considerations during building design through the concept known as eco-design. Despite the multiple available approaches of eco-design, the latter is not easily achieved in the building sector. The objective of this paper is to identify and discuss what barriers are currently hindering the implementation of eco-design in the building sector and by which measures building designers can include environmental considerations in their design process. Through a systematic literature review, several barriers to implementation were identified, the main ones being lack of suitable legislation, lack of knowledge amongst building designers, and lack of suitable tools for designers to use. Furthermore, two specific tools were identified that allow the inclusion of environmental consideration in building design, along with nine design strategies providing qualitative guidance on how to potentially minimize energy and material consumption, as well as waste generation. This paper contributes a holistic overview of the major barriers to and existing tools and method for the eco-design of buildings, and provides guidance for both future research and practice. Full article
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Article
A System Dynamics Model to Facilitate the Development of Policy for Urban Heat Island Mitigation
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 19; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010019 - 01 Feb 2021
Viewed by 827
Abstract
This article presents a customized system dynamics model to facilitate the informed development of policy for urban heat island mitigation within the context of future climate change, and with special emphasis on the reduction of heat-related mortality. The model incorporates a variety of [...] Read more.
This article presents a customized system dynamics model to facilitate the informed development of policy for urban heat island mitigation within the context of future climate change, and with special emphasis on the reduction of heat-related mortality. The model incorporates a variety of components (incl.: the urban heat island effect; population dynamics; climate change impacts on temperature; and heat-related mortality) and is intended to provide urban planning and related professionals with: a facilitated means of understanding the risk of heat-related mortality within the urban heat island; and location-specific information to support the development of reasoned and targeted urban heat island mitigation policy. Full article
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Article
Urban Form Resilience: A Comparative Analysis of Traditional, Semi-Planned, and Planned Neighborhoods in Shiraz, Iran
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 18; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010018 - 01 Feb 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1308
Abstract
As cities are exposed to a portfolio of risks, the concept of resilience has risen to prominence over the past two decades. Consequently, a large volume of research has been published on different aspects of urban resilience. However, urban form resilience is still [...] Read more.
As cities are exposed to a portfolio of risks, the concept of resilience has risen to prominence over the past two decades. Consequently, a large volume of research has been published on different aspects of urban resilience. However, urban form resilience is still relatively understudied. As a step toward filling this gap, this study examines resilience of nine selected neighborhoods from Shiraz, an old Iranian city. The selected cases represent three different urban form patterns, namely, traditional, semi-planned, and planned. Different indicators related to the physical configuration of lots, blocks, open and green spaces, and street networks are used to examine resilience of each neighborhood to three major stressors, namely, earthquakes, extreme heat events, and floods. Additionally, a combination of Shannon entropy and the VIKOR (VlseKriterijumska Optimizcija I Kaompromisno Resenje in Serbian) method is used to rank the resilience of each neighborhood to each of the three stressors. Results show that, overall, the physical form of the planned neighborhoods is more conducive to urban resilience. In contrast, the urban form of traditional neighborhoods was found to be less resilient. There were, however, some variations depending on the type of stressor considered. The paper concludes by emphasizing the need to consider social and economic factors in future studies of urban form resilience. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-Urbanism)
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Article
Baton Rouge—A Neopragmatic Regional Geographic Approach
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 17; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010017 - 29 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 840
Abstract
The present contribution to a neopragmatic approach to regional geography attempts to collect, structure, and reflect knowledge with different spatial, social, and cultural references. This is not a matter of designing a classical regional or landscape “compartmentalization” of distinct spatial units, which are [...] Read more.
The present contribution to a neopragmatic approach to regional geography attempts to collect, structure, and reflect knowledge with different spatial, social, and cultural references. This is not a matter of designing a classical regional or landscape “compartmentalization” of distinct spatial units, which are characterized by a specific reciprocal shaping of culture and the initial physical substrate, but of investigating and reflecting the reciprocal influences of different levels of scale as well as the construction mechanisms and contingency of spatial units. By means of “theoretical” and also empirical “triangulation”, a differentiated picture of complex research objects—here Baton Rouge, LA—is generated, whereby (partial) contradictions between theoretical approaches and the relationship between the various appropriately chosen theories and equally well-chosen empirical methods are also accepted. Full article
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Editorial
Acknowledgment to Reviewers of Urban Science in 2020
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 16; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010016 - 29 Jan 2021
Viewed by 582
Abstract
Peer review is the driving force of journal development, and reviewers are gatekeepers who ensure that Urban Science maintains its standards for the high quality of its published papers [...] Full article
Hypothesis
The Local Co-Working Hub: A Merging Solution
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 15; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010015 - 27 Jan 2021
Viewed by 923
Abstract
The coronavirus pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges and has changed society; some of these changes seem temporary, and others seem permanent. The uncertainty of the duration of this pandemic has introduced changes without the knowledge of how permanent they are, and has raised [...] Read more.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges and has changed society; some of these changes seem temporary, and others seem permanent. The uncertainty of the duration of this pandemic has introduced changes without the knowledge of how permanent they are, and has raised awareness regarding a need for a shift to a new normal. This new normal will affect different aspects of our life routines and activities, such as travel behaviour, personal hygiene, socializing, and our working environment. In the wake of the global pandemic, which has been followed by lockdowns, curfews, social distancing, and working from home, the future of the office has turned into an open question, as COVID has changed our expectation of how, where, and when people can do their jobs. Big companies like Twitter and Facebook have announced that they are allowing employees to permanently work from home; however, some industry leaders are using the work-from-home experience to reimagine the role of the office in the future. What will the future office look like, and what can we expect of the workplace environment? In this paper, we propose a third solution, which is the merging of the current scenario of the classic office and working from home, which is entitled the ‘local co-working hub’. By studying the challenges and opportunities of each of the current approaches, the potential of the local co-working hub is highlighted. Full article
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Article
Using Citizen Sensing to Identify Heat-Exposed Neighbourhoods
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 14; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010014 - 26 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 969
Abstract
Rural areas cool off by night but built-up urban areas lack similar relief and may threaten vulnerable people’s health during heat waves. Temperature varies within a city due to the heterogenous nature of urban environments, but official measurement stations are unable to capture [...] Read more.
Rural areas cool off by night but built-up urban areas lack similar relief and may threaten vulnerable people’s health during heat waves. Temperature varies within a city due to the heterogenous nature of urban environments, but official measurement stations are unable to capture local variations, since they use few measurement stations typically set up outside of urban areas. Meteorological measurements may as such be at odds with citizen sensing, where absolute accuracy is sacrificed in pursuit of increased coverage. In this article, we use geographic information processing methodologies and generate 144 hourly apparent temperature surfaces for Rotterdam during a six-day heat wave that took place in July 2019 in The Netherlands. These surfaces are used to generate a humidex degree hours (HDH) composite map. The HDH metric integrates apparent temperature intensity with duration into one spatially explicit value and is used to identify geographical areas in Rotterdam where citizens may experience adverse health effects of prolonged heat exposure. Combining the HDH map with demographic data allows us to identify the most heat-exposed areas with the largest share of vulnerable population. These neighbourhoods may be the locations most in need of adaptation measures. Full article
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Commentary
The Urban Mirror of the Socioeconomic Transformations in Spain
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 13; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010013 - 25 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 749
Abstract
This study offers an interpretation of the most significant characteristics of Spanish cities in the post-Fordist capitalist era, as a mirror of the economic and social transformations that have led to them, differentiating: (i) the stage of economic expansion at the turn of [...] Read more.
This study offers an interpretation of the most significant characteristics of Spanish cities in the post-Fordist capitalist era, as a mirror of the economic and social transformations that have led to them, differentiating: (i) the stage of economic expansion at the turn of the century; (ii) the stage of the economic crisis from 2008 onwards; and (iii) the uncertain times we face for the future. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to identify the economic, housing, and political factors conditioning this evolution according to the processes of capitalist accumulation, dispossession, and repossession, and how they shape the social and urban configuration of Spanish cities. A careful selection of urban and economic indicators, its mapping, as well as an in-depth bibliographical review lead to this commentary and make it possible to identify urban developments in Spain in the light of the economic and social transformations of post-industrial capitalism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fragmented City: International Mobility and Housing in Spain)
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Article
Innovative Use of Plastic for a Clean and Sustainable Environmental Management: Learning Cases from Ghana, Africa
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 12; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010012 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1879
Abstract
Addressing the plastic problem requires rigorous attention and practical education for sustainability. Due to the common effective waste management practices in some parts of the world, the plastics’ menace is generally well recognized and controlled worldwide. However, some developing countries do not have [...] Read more.
Addressing the plastic problem requires rigorous attention and practical education for sustainability. Due to the common effective waste management practices in some parts of the world, the plastics’ menace is generally well recognized and controlled worldwide. However, some developing countries do not have acceptable waste management practices, resulting in significant environmental, social, and health cross-cutting issues. Plastic is a significant threat to the environment in Ghana, specifically the urban environment and oceans. The new paradigm shift of virtually using non-biodegradable plastics in all daily products sold increases plastic waste in the environment, which creates problems, such as choked drainage system and breeding places for insects. The scale of these issues requires innovative and practical ideas to help solve this problem. The paper shows how plastic waste is innovatively and creatively converted to artifacts and pavement blocks in Ghana. These innovative ideas have contributed to reduce the volume of plastic waste and enhance environmental sustainability in Africa. The community’s benefits involving friendly environmental activities are identified and represent learning cases from Ghana to the world, particularly to Africa. Full article
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Article
Contemporary Urban Expansion in the First Fastest Growing Metropolitan Region of China: A Multicity Study in the Pearl River Delta Urban Agglomeration from 1980 to 2015
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 11; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010011 - 21 Jan 2021
Viewed by 983
Abstract
Contemporary urbanization in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) Urban Agglomeration is the epitome of China’s urbanization process as the PRD is the first fastest growing metropolitan region of China. Here, we mapped and quantified the spatiotemporal dynamics of urban expansion for seven major [...] Read more.
Contemporary urbanization in the Pearl River Delta (PRD) Urban Agglomeration is the epitome of China’s urbanization process as the PRD is the first fastest growing metropolitan region of China. Here, we mapped and quantified the spatiotemporal dynamics of urban expansion for seven major cities in the PRD between 1980 and 2015, using remotely sensed data integrated with landscape metrics, urban growth form, and rank clocks. Results showed that rapid land urbanization occurred in all the seven cities since the execution of reform and opening up, with the annual increase rate ranging from 8.1% to 11.3% among cities, suggesting a relatively equal level of urbanization within the PRD. Socioeconomic drivers underlying urban expansion in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Zhuhai can be characterized as “top–down” mechanisms led by the municipal government, while those in Foshan, Jiangmen, Dongguan, and Zhongshan are “bottom–up” ones from low–level administrative organizations. The trajectory of urban expansion in Shenzhen conformed to the diffusion–coalescence urban growth hypothesis in terms of temporal evolution of landscape metrics and urban growth types. This is related to the fact that Shenzhen, the first special economic zone established by the Chinese government, was the first mover of urbanization in China and functioned under the umbrella of a robust socialist market economy relative to a highly centralized planned economy for other cities. The changes of Shenzhen in rank order in terms of both urban population and urbanization area were the largest, exemplifying its evolution from a small fishing village to a metropolis. Furthermore, we found that moving up in the rank order in terms of land use efficiency of wealth creation over time for all cities was accompanied with rank clocking up of population per area (crowd). How to balance trade–offs between the benefits and costs of urbanization is the challenge faced by the urban agglomeration. Full article
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Article
Lessons Learned from Applying an Integrated Land Use Transport Planning Model to Address Issues of Social and Economic Exclusion of Marginalised Groups: The Case of Cape Town, South Africa
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 10; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010010 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1035
Abstract
The Group Areas Act of 1950 has resulted in post-apartheid South African cities being characterised by spatial patterns with limited access to social and economic opportunities for the black and coloured population. Typically, high-density low-income housing is located peripherally, while low density high-income [...] Read more.
The Group Areas Act of 1950 has resulted in post-apartheid South African cities being characterised by spatial patterns with limited access to social and economic opportunities for the black and coloured population. Typically, high-density low-income housing is located peripherally, while low density high-income housing is located in accessible central areas. With increased rural-to-urban migration, the demand for formal housing has historically surpassed supply, which has increased the growth of informal settlements. Current discourse within South African land use policy suggests that in-situ upgrading of informal housing is a viable response to integrate informal settlements into the formal city. In parallel, it is proposed that new low-income residential areas and employment-generating land uses should be located along transport corridors to improve access to transport, its infrastructure and the opportunities it provides for previously marginalised groups. This study uses Cape Town as a case city to explore two land-use driven development strategies directed at informal settlements and low-income housing. A dynamic land use transport model based on a cellular automata land use model and a four-stage transport model was used to simulate land use and transport changes. Specifically, in-situ upgrading of informal settlements and strategically locating new low-income residential and employment generating land uses along transport corridors were considered. The results from the analysis suggest that in-situ upgrading is a viable option only if new informal settlements are in areas with easy access to economic centres. With regards to low-income housing, targeted interventions aimed at ‘unlocking’ low-income housing activities along transport corridors were found to be useful. However, it was also observed that middle-income residential development and employment generating activities were also attracted to the same corridors, thus, resulting in mixed land uses, which is beneficial but can potentially result in rental bids between low and middle-income earners thus displacing low-income earners away from these areas. Full article
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Article
An Analysis of Self-Build and Custom Housebuilding in the South West of England
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 9; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010009 - 16 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 927
Abstract
This paper seeks to evaluate how successful national policy interventions have been at addressing land barriers to self-build and custom housebuilding when applied by Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) across the South West of England. A longitudinal triangulated mixed method approach was undertaken to [...] Read more.
This paper seeks to evaluate how successful national policy interventions have been at addressing land barriers to self-build and custom housebuilding when applied by Local Planning Authorities (LPAs) across the South West of England. A longitudinal triangulated mixed method approach was undertaken to comprehensively interrogate the research objective. This comprised submitting a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to each LPA within the study area; an assessment of the most recently produced Strategic Housing Market Assessments (SHMAs); deriving alternative demand estimates using national data as a proxy; and alternate estimates of supply calculated using BuildStore and The Land Bank Partnership plot search websites. The findings of the study revealed that LPA Registers can only be viewed as a minimum assessment of demand for self-build and custom housebuilding and the effectiveness of LPAs in classifying suitable development permissions for self-build and custom housebuilding was highly dependent on the mechanisms used to identify permissions. Full article
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Review
The Contribution of Cereal Grains to Food Security and Sustainability in Africa: Potential Application of UAV in Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda, and Namibia
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 8; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010008 - 14 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1040
Abstract
Africa is a net importer of food, especially cereal grains, despite the importance of agriculture in the continent. The agricultural growth in Africa has been undermined by low investment in agriculture, poor infrastructure, high population growth rate, and low adoption of technologies. The [...] Read more.
Africa is a net importer of food, especially cereal grains, despite the importance of agriculture in the continent. The agricultural growth in Africa has been undermined by low investment in agriculture, poor infrastructure, high population growth rate, and low adoption of technologies. The agri-food value chain in many African countries will benefit from the adoption of appropriate technologies that are available in the digital landscape to leverage the agricultural sector, make it more attractive to the teeming youth population, and to reverse rural-urban migration. Attention to indigenous cereal grains and other crops that are grown locally and processed into different local foods would ensure food security. However, the availability of these crops in the market is often reduced due to damage before harvest by pests and predators leading to economic losses for farmers. In this article, we review the literature from a multidisciplinary perspective on the relevance of African indigenous food grains to food security in general and we highlight the potential application of drones to increase the yield of cereal grains in three regions of the continent—eastern, western, and southern Africa. Full article
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Article
A Study of the Spatial Distribution of Danwei Compounds in the Old Town of Hefei, China
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 7; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010007 - 13 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 727
Abstract
Danwei compounds have experienced a steady decline since the 1997 Urban Housing System Reform. Existing research suggests that Danwei compounds, which were characteristically walled neighbourhoods of work and residence, have experienced socio-spatial changes in social structure, community management and spatial form. However, there [...] Read more.
Danwei compounds have experienced a steady decline since the 1997 Urban Housing System Reform. Existing research suggests that Danwei compounds, which were characteristically walled neighbourhoods of work and residence, have experienced socio-spatial changes in social structure, community management and spatial form. However, there is limited understanding of its current spatial function and relation to the city. This study analysed the spatial distribution of Danwei compounds, their spatial features and accessibility to selected public facilities in comparison with non-Danwei residential sites in the old town of Hefei city. ArcGIS was used to analyse building density, plot ratio of the residential sites and their accessibility to public facilities. Further quantitative analysis was done using binary logistic regression and descriptive statistics to identify spatial features of the residential sites. The results show that even though the urban land reforms have led to a steady rise in non-Danwei residential sites, Danwei compounds predominate the urban spatial structure. Comparatively, Danwei compounds have lower plot ratios with higher levels of accessibility to commercial centres and hospitals but poor accessibility to schools. The paper suggests the need for local planning officials to support the revitalisation of old residential compounds through integrated and community-centred spatial planning. Full article
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Article
Who Decides? Toward a Typology of Transit Governance
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 6; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010006 - 31 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1580
Abstract
This article describes a typology for formal governance structures of public transit in the United States to support inquiry into how organizational structures influence policy making processes, organizational capacity and policy outcomes. Scholarship of public transit has largely explored outcome-based research while paying [...] Read more.
This article describes a typology for formal governance structures of public transit in the United States to support inquiry into how organizational structures influence policy making processes, organizational capacity and policy outcomes. Scholarship of public transit has largely explored outcome-based research while paying less attention to how decisions are made. Despite some transport scholarship that shows how institutional characteristics influence financing, power arrangements and public discourse, there has been little recent analysis of governance within public transit systems beyond the regional role of Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs). Using data from multiple sources, we assembled a database of governance structure of transit systems in the largest 40 cities in the United States. We show that the structure of transit decision making has substantial variance across and within cities, and is far from limited to MPOs. The variety of governance models and growth of local and sub-local models suggest that local context is critical for better understanding transit priorities and decision-making processes. Full article
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Article
Community Perceptions and Knowledge of Modern Stormwater Treatment Assets
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 5; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010005 - 30 Dec 2020
Viewed by 986
Abstract
Modern stormwater treatment assets are a form of water sensitive urban design (WSUD) features that aim to reduce the volumes of sediment, nutrients and gross pollutants discharged into receiving waterways. Local governments and developers in urban areas are installing and maintaining a large [...] Read more.
Modern stormwater treatment assets are a form of water sensitive urban design (WSUD) features that aim to reduce the volumes of sediment, nutrients and gross pollutants discharged into receiving waterways. Local governments and developers in urban areas are installing and maintaining a large number of stormwater treatment assets, with the aim of improving urban runoff water quality. Many of these assets take up significant urban space and are highly visible and as a result, community acceptance is essential for effective WSUD design and implementation. However, community perceptions and knowledge about these assets have not been widely studied. This study used a survey to investigate community perceptions and knowledge about stormwater treatment assets in Brisbane, Australia. The results suggest that there is limited community knowledge of these assets, but that communities notice them and value their natural features when well-maintained. This study suggests that local governments may be able to better inform residents about the importance of these assets, and that designing for multiple purposes may improve community acceptance and support for the use of Council funds to maintain them. Full article
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Article
Spatiotemporal Change of Urban Sprawl Patterns in Bamako District in Mali Based on Time Series Analysis
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(1), 4; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5010004 - 29 Dec 2020
Viewed by 863
Abstract
For decades, urban sprawl has remained a major challenge for big cities in developing countries, such as Bamako. The aim of this study is to analyze urban sprawl pattern changes over time in the Bamako district using landscape index analyses. Four thematic maps [...] Read more.
For decades, urban sprawl has remained a major challenge for big cities in developing countries, such as Bamako. The aim of this study is to analyze urban sprawl pattern changes over time in the Bamako district using landscape index analyses. Four thematic maps of land cover (LC) were produced by applying the maximum likelihood supervised classification method on Landsat images for 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2018. Five landscape indexes were selected and calculated at class level and landscape level using FRAGSTATS software. The results showed that the dominant class for all the years within the landscape was a built-up class. Forest class covered the smallest area in terms of the percentage of land (%PLAND), and was the weakest class in terms of number of patches (NP) and largest patch index (LPI). Grassland is defined as the class with the highest fragmentation, farmland with the highest shape irregularity and more heterogeneity, and built-up with the highest patches. Class area (CA) of built-up showed the importance of sprawl in Communes 6, 5, and 4, respectively. Indices trends and land use/cover showed infill, scattered, and ribbon developments of sprawl. This study contributes toward monitoring long-term urban sprawl patterns using index analyses. Full article
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