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Urban Sci., Volume 5, Issue 4 (December 2021) – 12 articles

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Article
Chemical Fractionation of Sediment Phosphorus in Residential Urban Stormwater Ponds in Florida, USA
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(4), 81; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5040081 - 20 Oct 2021
Viewed by 287
Abstract
Stormwater ponds collect and transform pollutants (including nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus) in urban runoff and are often hydrologically connected to downstream waters, making it important to maximize their pollutant retention efficiency. A key mechanism for phosphorus (P) removal in stormwater ponds [...] Read more.
Stormwater ponds collect and transform pollutants (including nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus) in urban runoff and are often hydrologically connected to downstream waters, making it important to maximize their pollutant retention efficiency. A key mechanism for phosphorus (P) removal in stormwater ponds is sedimentation. However, sediment P in stormwater ponds may be present in several chemical forms with varying bioavailability and potential to move from sediments into the overlying water column. The purpose of this study was to characterize the chemical fractions of sediment P in residential urban stormwater ponds, with the goal of better understanding expected movement of P from sediments to water. We used a chemical fractionation scheme to separate sediment P into the following pools: loosely adsorbed and readily available P, Fe- and Al-bound P, Ca- and Mg-bound P, NaOH-exchangeable organic P, and refractory P. From six stormwater ponds in the Tampa Bay, Florida urban area, we found the pool of readily available P was less than 3% of total sediment P, and the refractory P pool was 28–40% of Total P. However, both Fe/Al-bound and Ca/Mg-bound P each accounted for about 18% of total sediment P. These latter pools may become available under anoxic or low pH (<6) conditions, respectively, demonstrating that a change in environmental conditions could cause internal P loading from sediments to pond water. Full article
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Article
How Do Socio-Demographic Characteristics Affect Users’ Perception of Place Quality at Station Areas? Evidence from Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(4), 80; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5040080 - 19 Oct 2021
Viewed by 178
Abstract
Incorporating users’ experiences in transport hub (re)development has become paramount, especially in the case of (high-speed) railway stations located in central urban locations. Designing “quality” according to users' perspectives requires that we rethink about the dimensions to be prioritized, but also consider the [...] Read more.
Incorporating users’ experiences in transport hub (re)development has become paramount, especially in the case of (high-speed) railway stations located in central urban locations. Designing “quality” according to users' perspectives requires that we rethink about the dimensions to be prioritized, but also consider the variegated perspectives of users. Drawing on data from a survey of 452 users of the Amsterdam Central station area in the Netherlands, the relative importance of three value perspectives (node, place, and experience) on place quality were assessed through exploratory factor analysis. Seven quality factors were identified. Furthermore, relationships between socio-demographic characteristics and quality perceptions were simultaneously analyzed using a path analysis. The outcome showed that age and gender play a key role in explaining different quality perceptions. Senior citizens attach a higher importance to basic needs and safety and advanced services, while women also find wayfinding important. Moreover, education and visiting purpose influence other aspects of place quality perception, such as shopping or transfer. These findings provide a better understanding of place quality considerations in railway station areas in general and can serve as guidelines for the improvement of Amsterdam Central station, in particular. Full article
Article
Measuring the Differentiated Impact of New Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Projects on Households’ Movements by Income Level within Urban Areas
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(4), 79; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5040079 - 15 Oct 2021
Viewed by 81
Abstract
Social mixing is one of the key objectives of the housing policy in OECD countries. The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, the largest affordable housing construction program in the US since 1986, has recently set creating mixed-income communities as one of the [...] Read more.
Social mixing is one of the key objectives of the housing policy in OECD countries. The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program, the largest affordable housing construction program in the US since 1986, has recently set creating mixed-income communities as one of the standards. As a project-based program, LIHTC developments are likely to influence residential mobility; however, little is known about its empirical effects. This study investigated whether new LIHTC projects are effective at attracting heterogeneous income groups to LIHTC neighborhoods, thereby contributing to creating mixed-income communities. Using unique individual-level household movement data combined with origin–destination neighborhood characteristics, we developed zero-inflated negative binomial (ZINB) models to analyze the LIHTC’s impact on residential mobility patterns in Franklin County, Ohio, US, from 2011 to 2015. The results suggest that the LIHTC attracts low-income households while deterring higher-income families, and therefore the program is not proved to be effective at creating mixed-income neighborhoods. Full article
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Article
Sustainable Development and Resilience: A Combined Analysis of the Cities of Rotterdam and Thessaloniki
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(4), 78; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5040078 - 14 Oct 2021
Viewed by 300
Abstract
The concept of a resilient city and its relationship with sustainable development has already received wide attention among academics, practitioners, and decision-makers, especially in the last decade. For many scholars, resilience is one of the concepts of sustainable development, in the sense that [...] Read more.
The concept of a resilient city and its relationship with sustainable development has already received wide attention among academics, practitioners, and decision-makers, especially in the last decade. For many scholars, resilience is one of the concepts of sustainable development, in the sense that even more sustainability is an essential goal for development, and resilience is a way of thinking and acting that would lead us towards achieving sustainability. Moreover, resilience is about building and planning to future-proof cities. Resilience is a process that represents a new way of thinking, determining which urban challenges and crises have the lowest impact, and also building back better and evolving. The main aim of this study is to identify the potential relationship between sustainable development and resilience by using the Espiner et al. model. The model, which was created in reference to nature-based tourism destinations, suggests that the relationship between sustainability and resilience in tourism can be illustrated by three potential states: emergent, developing, and mature. In the present study, we adapt these potential states in case studies of the cities of Rotterdam (The Netherlands) and Thessaloniki (Greece), in order to demonstrate whether they are emergent, developing, or mature, by examining the critical documents of the (a) City Resilience Framework, and (b) Resilient Strategy Reports for Thessaloniki and Rotterdam, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nature & Culture for Cities and Territories)
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Article
Why House Prices Increase in the COVID-19 Recession: A Five-Country Empirical Study on the Real Interest Rate Hypothesis
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(4), 77; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5040077 - 05 Oct 2021
Viewed by 457
Abstract
There are substantial rebounds in house prices in many developed economies after the outbreak of COVID-19. It provides a special opportunity to test the real interest rate hypothesis empirically as a “synchronized” price rebound implies a common cause of house price hikes across [...] Read more.
There are substantial rebounds in house prices in many developed economies after the outbreak of COVID-19. It provides a special opportunity to test the real interest rate hypothesis empirically as a “synchronized” price rebound implies a common cause of house price hikes across the economies. This study conducts a panel regression analysis on five economies, namely Australia, Canada, European Union, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, to test the hypothesis. The data range from 2017Q1 to 2021Q1. The results confirm that the real interest rate imposes a negative and significant effect on house price growth rate after controlling for economic growth factors, unemployment factors, and cross-country fixed effects. The empirical result of the five housing markets shows that a 1% fall in the real interest rate caused a 1.5% increase in house prices, ceteris paribus, in this period. It also provides casual evidence refuting the economic growth hypothesis and the migrant hypothesis in New Zealand. The results provide far-reaching practical implications on housing policy and on the ways forward to solve housing affordability problems. Full article
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Article
Evaluation of Urban Design Qualities across Five Urban Typologies in Hanoi
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(4), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci5040076 - 01 Oct 2021
Viewed by 271
Abstract
Urban design has been shown to play a vital role in promoting the health and wellbeing of urban citizens. However, studies of microscale urban design are underrepresented in comparison with macroscale urban design, especially from low- and middle-income countries in Asia, where urban [...] Read more.
Urban design has been shown to play a vital role in promoting the health and wellbeing of urban citizens. However, studies of microscale urban design are underrepresented in comparison with macroscale urban design, especially from low- and middle-income countries in Asia, where urban forms are traditionally compact, complex and with multiple layers and varied urban typologies. The study evaluated microscale urban design qualities of streets (n = 40) across five urban typologies in Hanoi—a typical city in a low- and middle-income country in Asia. The study found that urban typologies and their characteristics have particular impacts on urban design qualities. Old and high-density urban typologies tend to report higher urban design qualities than modern and low-density typologies. Urban design qualities are also significantly associated with the number of pedestrians on the streets. Compared to Western cities, the urban design qualities in Hanoi are substantially different, especially in terms of imageability and complexity, reflecting the differences in urban design and cultural context between cities from various regions. Overall, the study contributes to our understanding of urban design circumstances in Hanoi, providing policymakers, planners, urban designers and architects with important insights for sustainable urban design policies, strategies and interventions. Full article
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Article
Preparing for COVID-2x: Urban Planning Needs to Regard Urological Wastewater as an Invaluable Communal Public Health Asset and Not as a Burden
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(4), 75; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5040075 - 01 Oct 2021
Viewed by 263
Abstract
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the analysis of urological wastewater had been a matter of academic curiosity and community-wide big-picture studies looking at drug use or the presence of select viruses such as Hepatitis. The COVID-19 pandemic saw systematic testing of urological wastewater [...] Read more.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the analysis of urological wastewater had been a matter of academic curiosity and community-wide big-picture studies looking at drug use or the presence of select viruses such as Hepatitis. The COVID-19 pandemic saw systematic testing of urological wastewater emerge as a significant early detection tool for the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in a community. Even though the pandemic still rages in all continents, it is time to consider the post-pandemic world. This paper posits that urban planners should treat urological wastewater as a communal public health asset and that future sewer design should allow for stratified multi-order sampling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Post-COVID Urbanism)
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Article
Correlations between Spatial Attributes and Visitor Stay in Chinese Gardens: A Case Study of the Ningbo Tianyige Museum Gardens
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(4), 74; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5040074 - 01 Oct 2021
Viewed by 338
Abstract
Despite the growing popularity of Chinese gardens, few studies have explored Chinese garden tourism and the relationship between garden space and visitor behavior. Addressing this gap, this study examines the correlations between spatial attributes and visitor stay distribution in the Ningbo Tianyige Museum [...] Read more.
Despite the growing popularity of Chinese gardens, few studies have explored Chinese garden tourism and the relationship between garden space and visitor behavior. Addressing this gap, this study examines the correlations between spatial attributes and visitor stay distribution in the Ningbo Tianyige Museum gardens. This study divided the garden space into twenty units across four types—water, architecture, veranda, and rockery—and identified spatial attributes using measurements and configurational calculations. Visitor stay data was comprised of 1061 cases with a stay interval of more than 30 s in three investigation periods. Results produced three primary findings. First, architecture and water spaces had the highest visitor stay density, followed by veranda space and then rockery space. Second, there is a correlation between visitor stay density and six spatial attributes: integration, choice, width, length, enclosure ratio, and seating. Third, although each type has distinctive attributes, they can be divided into two groups: (1) spacious and highly accessible open spaces (water and architecture types); (2) long narrow spaces with low accessibility and abundant seating facilities (veranda and rockery types). By exploring the relationship between Chinese gardens and modern tourism, this study provides valuable insights and suggestions for the planning and management of Chinese garden tourism. Full article
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Article
Sustainable Tourism Planning: A Strategy for Oecusse-Ambeno, East Timor
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(4), 73; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5040073 - 28 Sep 2021
Viewed by 289
Abstract
This paper aims to explore the topic of sustainable tourism activity. The subject has emerged in the last two decades from discussions about the content of the report, Our Common Future. The decision to transform developing countries into new offerings for ecological and [...] Read more.
This paper aims to explore the topic of sustainable tourism activity. The subject has emerged in the last two decades from discussions about the content of the report, Our Common Future. The decision to transform developing countries into new offerings for ecological and cultural tourism brings to the discussion the imprecise and conflicting definitions of the concept and the need to distinguish between the development of tourism, and sustainable tourism supported on the principles of sustainable development. The research reviews the environmental and social contexts of the Oecusse-Ambeno region in East Timor. It discusses the new sustainable tourism activities in the region with the need to ensure that the concept includes a strong base of perceived authenticity in the human context and the physical environment. The problems of the carrying capacity control of tourism development, and the term’s relevance to mass or conventional tourism, are strategically anticipated. The region is confronted with an offer that supports more peacefulness, and that is more aligned to the culture and the natural environment. This paper provides insight into the ways in which tourists perceive the authenticity of visitor attractions and highlights the importance of the cultural and environmental values of tourism destinations for strategic planning and marketing purposes. Full article
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Article
Spatial Information Gaps on Deprived Urban Areas (Slums) in Low-and-Middle-Income-Countries: A User-Centered Approach
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(4), 72; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5040072 - 26 Sep 2021
Viewed by 533
Abstract
Routine and accurate data on deprivation are needed for urban planning and decision support at various scales (i.e., from community to international). However, analyzing information requirements of diverse users on urban deprivation, we found that data are often not available or inaccessible. To [...] Read more.
Routine and accurate data on deprivation are needed for urban planning and decision support at various scales (i.e., from community to international). However, analyzing information requirements of diverse users on urban deprivation, we found that data are often not available or inaccessible. To bridge this data gap, Earth Observation (EO) data can support access to frequently updated spatial information. However, a user-centered approach is urgently required for the production of EO-based mapping products. Combining an online survey and several forms of user interactions, we defined five system specifications (derived from user requirements) for designing an open-access spatial information system for deprived urban areas. First, gridded maps represent the optimal spatial granularity to deal with high uncertainties of boundaries of deprived areas and to protect privacy. Second, a high temporal granularity of 1–2 years is important to respond to the high spatial dynamics of urban areas. Third, detailed local-scale information should be part of a city-to-global information system. Fourth, both aspects, community assets and risks, need to be part of an information system, and such data need to be combined with local community-based information. Fifth, in particular, civil society and government users should have fair access to data that bridges the digital barriers. A data ecosystem on urban deprivation meeting these requirements will be able to support community-level action for improving living conditions in deprived areas, local science-based policymaking, and tracking progress towards global targets such as the SDGs. Full article
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Editorial
Urban Geographies in Transition. A Vision from Spain
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(4), 71; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5040071 - 24 Sep 2021
Viewed by 469
Abstract
Habitual statements in academic and journalistic fields on the growing inequality of our cities call for multiple reflections [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fragmented City: International Mobility and Housing in Spain)
Article
Mechanism for the Optimal Location of a Business as a Lever for the Development of the Economic Strength and Resilience of a City
Urban Sci. 2021, 5(4), 70; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/urbansci5040070 - 23 Sep 2021
Viewed by 268
Abstract
Today, the location of a business is more important than ever, as it contributes to its consolidation in the market and, in parallel, to the economic development of a city. Over the years, the theories about the optimal location of a business have [...] Read more.
Today, the location of a business is more important than ever, as it contributes to its consolidation in the market and, in parallel, to the economic development of a city. Over the years, the theories about the optimal location of a business have undergone various changes, both financial and spatial. On the other hand, economic geography, as a discipline that studies the distribution of economic activities as well as the interactions between them, is also an important tool for the analysis of urban/spatial and business processes. This paper finds the optimal locations of economic activities through the combination of theories of economic geography and spatial analysis, for the sake of reducing urban shrinkage and increasing the resilience of businesses and cities. The analysis of this paper proved that the areas that are most exposed to urban shrinkage are the least central areas. Urban shopping centers, despite the large percentage of closed stores, continue due to their centrality to attracting more new businesses. The calculation of the optimal location of the economic activity showed that the optimal location depends on the financial sector itself but also on the economic activities that open or close over time in this region. In this way, an answer is sought regarding the way in which each region and its economic identity can influence a city’s future development and resilience. Thus, through this analysis, cities are able to control and strengthen their economic landscapes, vulnerable as they are in difficult times, and to implement policies in specific urban units, with a view to the prosperity of their economic activities. Full article
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