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Special Issue "Reviews and Perspectives on Smart and Sustainable Metropolitan and Regional Cities"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Dr. Tan Yigitcanlar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Architecture and Built Environment, Queensland University of Technology, 2 George Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000, Australia
Interests: smart technologies communities, cities, and urbanism; sustainable and resilient cities; communities and urban ecosystems; knowledge-based development of cities and innovation districts
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The increasing severity and frequency of climate change effects, biodiversity loss, natural disasters, pandemics, and socioeconomic inequalities have heightened the necessity of developing cities which are smart and sustainable. The smart and sustainable cities notion, in both metropolitan and regional contexts, offers an integrated and holistic approach to urbanism by aiming to achieve the long-term goals of urban sustainability and resilience. In essence, a smart and sustainable city is an urban locality functioning as a robust system of systems with sustainable practices—supported by community, technology and policy—to generate desired outcomes and futures for all humans and non-humans.

This Special Issue will contribute to improving research and practice in smart and sustainable metropolitan and regional cities and urbanism by bringing together literature review and scholarly perspective pieces, and forming an open access knowledge warehouse. This Special Issue seeks contributions—in the form of scientometric analyses, bibliometric analyses, meta-analyses, systematic literature reviews, thorough best practice and policy reviews, opinion pieces, commentaries, perspectives, and viewpoints—offering insights into research and practice in smart and sustainable metropolitan and regional cities by producing in-depth conceptual debates and perspectives, insights from the literature and best practice, and throroughly identified research themes and development trends. This Special Issue will serve as a repository of relevant information, material, and knowledge to support research, policymaking, practice, and transferability of experiences to address the challenges in establishing smart and sustainable metropolitan and regional cities and urbanism in the era of climate change, biodiversity collapse, natural disasters, pandemics, and socioeconomic inequalities.

The scope of the Special Issue—that compiles the pioneering work of researchers and scholarly literature collections—includes the following broad areas and analysis types, although other relevant topics will also be considered:

  • Scientometric, bibliometric, and meta-analyses on issues relevant to smart and sustainable metropolitan and regional cities and urbanism;
  • Systematic, argumentative, integrative, historical, methodological, and theoretical literature reviews on issues relevant to smart and sustainable metropolitan and regional cities and urbanism;
  • Global best and good practice and policy analyses and reviews on issues relevant to smart and sustainable metropolitan and regional cities and urbanism;
  • Opinion pieces, commentaries, comments, perspectives, and viewpoints on issues relevant to smart and sustainable metropolitan and regional cities and urbanism.

Prof. Dr. Tan Yigitcanlar
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly 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 1900 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

  • sustainable urban development
  • sustainable development
  • sustainable cities
  • sustainable urbanism
  • smart urbanism
  • smart cities
  • metropitan cities
  • regional cities
  • regional towns
  • lifestyle towns
  • regional disparities
  • urban resilience
  • climate change
  • regionalism
  • pandemic sensitive cities
  • urban infrastructure
  • urban technology
  • urban governance
  • urban and regional planning
  • rural area planning

Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review, Other

Article
Making the Gold Coast a Smart City—An Analysis
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10624; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su131910624 - 24 Sep 2021
Viewed by 390
Abstract
In recent times, there has been a worldwide trend towards creating smart cities with a focus on the knowledge economy and on information and communication technologies. These technologies have potential applications in managing the built and natural environments more efficiently, promoting economic development, [...] Read more.
In recent times, there has been a worldwide trend towards creating smart cities with a focus on the knowledge economy and on information and communication technologies. These technologies have potential applications in managing the built and natural environments more efficiently, promoting economic development, and actively engaging the public, thus helping build more sustainable cities. Whilst the interest in smart cities has been widespread predominantly amongst metropolitan cities, several regional cities such as the Gold Coast in Australia have also recently endeavoured to become smart cities. In response to this emerging trend, this study aimed to investigate key opportunities and challenges associated with developing regional cities into smart cities using the Gold Coast as a case study. It identified key factors critical to the planning and development of smart cities. These factors fall under five broad themes: cultural and natural amenities, technology, knowledge and innovation precincts, people and skills, and governance. The factors were applied to the Gold Coast to analyse the key opportunities and challenges for its development into a smart city. Finally, key lessons, which are potentially applicable to other regional cities seeking to develop into smart cities, are drawn from the case study. Full article
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Article
Leveraging Smart and Sustainable Development via International Events: Insights from Bento Gonçalves Knowledge Cities World Summit
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9937; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179937 - 04 Sep 2021
Viewed by 547
Abstract
During the last couple of decades, making cities smarter and more sustainable has become an important urban agenda. In this perspective, knowledge-based development is seen as a strategic approach for cities seeking to thrive through innovation and resilience. Accomplishing a knowledge-based development agenda [...] Read more.
During the last couple of decades, making cities smarter and more sustainable has become an important urban agenda. In this perspective, knowledge-based development is seen as a strategic approach for cities seeking to thrive through innovation and resilience. Accomplishing a knowledge-based development agenda is, however, challenging, and cities need support mechanisms to effectively develop and then incorporate such agendas into their decision-making processes. This study investigates the role of international events as one of these support mechanisms for the development and implementation of local knowledge-based development agendas. The study aims to address how international events contribute to the local knowledge-based development efforts. This study takes the Knowledge Cities World Summit (KCWS) series as the exemplar international event, and the Brazilian city of Bento Gonçalves as the case study city. The methodological approach of the study consists of semi-structured interview-based qualitative analysis and case study investigations. The findings of the study revealed the following: (a) international events can be fundamental drivers of local knowledge-based agendas; (b) these events contribute to host cities’ development, especially at an institutional level, by generating outcomes such as engagement in cooperation networks and leveraging local actors’ influence on the development process; and (c) KCWS was instrumental in placing the local university as a protagonist of the knowledge-based development movement of Bento Gonçalves. The study reported in this paper provides invaluable insights for cities seeking to use international knowledge-based development events for smart and sustainable city formation. Full article
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Article
Sustainable Smart Cities and Industrial Ecosystem: Structural and Relational Changes of the Smart City Industries in Korea
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9917; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179917 - 03 Sep 2021
Viewed by 518
Abstract
This paper examines the changing industrial ecosystem of smart cities in Korea using both input–output and structural path analysis from 1960 to 2015. The industry type of the input–output tables used in the Bank of Korea was reclassified into nine categories: Agriculture and [...] Read more.
This paper examines the changing industrial ecosystem of smart cities in Korea using both input–output and structural path analysis from 1960 to 2015. The industry type of the input–output tables used in the Bank of Korea was reclassified into nine categories: Agriculture and Mining, Traditional Manufacturing, IT Manufacturing, Construction, Energy, IT Services, Knowledge Services, Traditional Services and other unclassified. The paper identified the changing patterns of an industrial ecosystem of smart cities in Korea. The study found that smart industries such as smart buildings and smart vehicles are anchor industries in Korean smart cities, and they are positively correlated with three other industries: IT Manufacturing, IT Services and Knowledge Services. The results of the input–output and structural path analysis show that the conventional industrial structure of labor-intensive manufacturing and diesel and petroleum cars has been transformed to the emerging high-tech industries and services in smart cities. Smart industries such as IT Manufacturing, IT Services and Knowledge Services have led to sustainable national economic growth, with greater value-added than other industries. The underlying demand for smart industries in Korea is rapidly growing, suggesting that other industries will seek further informatization, automatization and smartification. Consequently, smart industries are emerging as anchor industries which create value chains of new industries, serving as accelerators or incubators, for the development of other industries. Full article
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Article
Redesigning the Municipal Solid Waste Supply Chain Considering the Classified Collection and Disposal: A Case Study of Incinerable Waste in Beijing
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9855; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13179855 - 02 Sep 2021
Viewed by 361
Abstract
The output of municipal solid waste is growing rapidly, which has brought tremendous pressure to urban development. The supply chain of municipal solid waste (MSW) in China mainly contains three processes: collection, transportation, and disposal. The waste is sorted at the collection and [...] Read more.
The output of municipal solid waste is growing rapidly, which has brought tremendous pressure to urban development. The supply chain of municipal solid waste (MSW) in China mainly contains three processes: collection, transportation, and disposal. The waste is sorted at the collection and disposed of according to the classification. However, it is mixed at the transportation stage. Mixed transportation remixes the separately collected waste, which seriously affects the disposal effect. The supply chain of MSW urgently needs to be redesigned to improve the MSW disposal effect. First of all, on the ground of the waste treatment situation, we redesigned the supply chain of MSW in China. Secondly, combined with the redesign of the MSW supply chain, this paper established the function allocation model for collection stations, making a collection station only gather one type of waste, and built the transportation path planning model for vehicles, reducing the impact of waste storage on residents. Finally, based on the data of Xuanwu District in Beijing, the supply chain redesigning practical example of incinerable waste was given. The supply chain redesigning model in this paper not only makes full use of the existing infrastructure but also improves the disposal effect of waste. The supply chain redesigning model has practical application value. Full article
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Article
Empowering a Sustainable City Using Self-Assessment of Environmental Performance on EcoCitOpia Platform
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7743; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13147743 - 12 Jul 2021
Viewed by 613
Abstract
In Thailand, many municipalities lack the information to guide decision-making for improving environmental performance. They need tools to systematize the collection and analysis of data, and then to self-assess environmental performance to increase efficiency in environmental management toward a sustainable city. The aim [...] Read more.
In Thailand, many municipalities lack the information to guide decision-making for improving environmental performance. They need tools to systematize the collection and analysis of data, and then to self-assess environmental performance to increase efficiency in environmental management toward a sustainable city. The aim of this study is to develop a platform for self-assessment of an environmental performance index. Nonthaburi municipality, Hat Yai municipality, and Yasothon municipality were selected to study the work context for six indicators, viz., energy, greenhouse gas, water, air, waste, and green area, which were important environmental problems. The development of an online system called “EcoCitOpia” divides municipality assessment into four parts: data collection, database creation, data analysis, and data display. The municipality can use the system for the assessment of environmental performance and the creation of a separate database based on indicators. The system can analyze the results and display them in the form of radar graphs, line graphs, and tables for use in public communication that will lead to cooperation in solving environmental problems at the policy level for urban development to meet the Sustainable Development Goals. Full article
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Article
Sustainability Understanding and Behaviors across Urban Areas: A Case Study on Istanbul City
Sustainability 2021, 13(14), 7711; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13147711 - 09 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 615
Abstract
The success of urban sustainability is very much dependent on a number of human factors. Therefore, it becomes even more important to explore how people understand urban sustainability and how they behave accordingly. Based on a formerly developed conceptual framework and on specified [...] Read more.
The success of urban sustainability is very much dependent on a number of human factors. Therefore, it becomes even more important to explore how people understand urban sustainability and how they behave accordingly. Based on a formerly developed conceptual framework and on specified influencing factors, this study aimed to evaluate and elucidate the urban sustainability understanding and behavior of individuals in the city of Istanbul. This was assessed through the use of a quantitative questionnaire survey of 535 respondents. Therein, socio-psychological processes of sustainability understanding (i.e., determinants of awareness, perception, and attitude) and sustainability behaviors along with personality traits and influential factors were assessed and analyzed through the use of bivariate and multivariate methods (i.e., correlation tests, ANOVA, t-tests, and multiple linear regression). The results showed that sustainability awareness was more strongly correlated with attitude than perception, whereas behavior was found to be strongly correlated with both awareness and attitude and was (significantly) predicted by all determinants. The associations/influences of personality traits with determinants were found to be mostly insignificant. Conversely, for behavior, they were significant. The most influential factors found (in hierarchical ordering) were awareness of consequences, trust in society, social appraisement, world-mindedness, willingness to pay, trust in science and technology, ascription of responsibility, age and gender. Full article
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Article
Overview and Exploitation of Haptic Tele-Weight Device in Virtual Shopping Stores
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7253; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13137253 - 29 Jun 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 656
Abstract
In view of the problem of e-commerce scams and the absence of haptic interaction, this research aims to introduce and create a tele-weight device for e-commerce shopping in smart cities. The objective is to use the proposed prototype to provide a brief overview [...] Read more.
In view of the problem of e-commerce scams and the absence of haptic interaction, this research aims to introduce and create a tele-weight device for e-commerce shopping in smart cities. The objective is to use the proposed prototype to provide a brief overview of the possible technological advancements. When the tele-weight device is affixed over the head-mounted display, it allows the user to feel the item’s weight while shopping in the virtual store. Addressing the problem of having no physical interaction between the user (player) and a series game scene in virtual reality (VR) headsets, this research approach focuses on creating a prototype device that has two parts, a sending part and a receiving part. The sending part measures the weight of the object and transmits it over the cellular network to the receiver side. The virtual store user at the receiving side can thus realize the weight of the ordered object. The findings from this work include a visual display of the item’s weight to the virtual store e-commerce user. By introducing sustainability, this haptic technology-assisted technique can help the customer realize the weight of an object and thus have a better immersive experience. In the device, the load cell measures the weight of the object and amplifies it using the HX711 amplifier. However, some delay in the demonstration of the weight was observed during experimentation, and this indirectly altered the performance of the system. One set of the device is sited at the virtual store user premises while the sending end of the device is positioned at the warehouse. The sending end hardware includes an Arduino Uno device, an HX711 amplifier chip to amplify the weight from the load cell, and a cellular module (Sim900A chip-based) to transmit the weight in the form of an encoded message. The receiving end hardware includes a cellular module and an actuator involving a motor gear arrangement to demonstrate the weight of the object. Combining the fields of e-commerce, embedded systems, VR, and haptic sensing, this research can help create a more secure marketplace to attain a higher level of customer satisfaction. Full article
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Article
Framing Corporate Social Responsibility to Achieve Sustainability in Urban Industrialization: Case of Bangladesh Ready-Made Garments (RMG)
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 6988; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13136988 - 22 Jun 2021
Viewed by 682
Abstract
According to both scholars and society, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plays a controversial role in terms of corporate management towards sustainability. The business has presently become an integrated with the society and takes in a complex form of global demand for sustainability management. [...] Read more.
According to both scholars and society, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plays a controversial role in terms of corporate management towards sustainability. The business has presently become an integrated with the society and takes in a complex form of global demand for sustainability management. Due to the globalization of business, it is difficult to form a common sustainability model for CSR while its approach could be an opportunity for achieving sustainability. Evidently, a strong connection is found between the CSR approach and achieving urban sustainability since a smart urbanization requires a well-planned industrialization process that could be accelerated by the proper application of CSR. However, the CSR concept has already been initiated and developed in Western developed countries. Nowadays, it is being widely practiced by the developing countries as well. The developing country Bangladesh takes CSR issues seriously. Therefore, the study seeks the sustainability prospects of CSR by considering sustainability challenges in the rapid development of the “Ready-made Garments (RMG)” industry and corporate sector in Bangladesh. Finally, this paper explores some strategic paths to initiate sustainable development by framing the conditions and challenges of CSR. Full article
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Article
Data-Driven Analysis on Inter-City Commuting Decisions in Germany
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6320; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13116320 - 02 Jun 2021
Viewed by 845
Abstract
Understanding commuters’ behavior and influencing factors becomes more and more important every day. With the steady increase of the number of commuters, commuter traffic becomes a major bottleneck for many cities. Commuter behavior consequently plays an increasingly important role in city and transport [...] Read more.
Understanding commuters’ behavior and influencing factors becomes more and more important every day. With the steady increase of the number of commuters, commuter traffic becomes a major bottleneck for many cities. Commuter behavior consequently plays an increasingly important role in city and transport planning and policy making. Although prior studies investigated a variety of potential factors influencing commuting decisions, most of them are constrained by the data scale in terms of limited time duration, space and number of commuters under investigation, largely owing to their dependence on questionnaires or survey panel data; as such only small sets of features can be explored and no predictions of commuter numbers have been made, to the best of our knowledge. To fill this gap, we collected inter-city commuting data in Germany between 1994 and 2018, and, along with other data sources, analyzed the influence of GDP, housing and the labor market on the decision to commute. Our analysis suggests that the access to employment opportunities, housing price, income and the distribution of the location’s industry sectors are important factors in commuting decisions. In addition, different age, gender and income groups have different commuting patterns. We employed several machine learning algorithms to predict the commuter number using the identified related features with reasonably good accuracy. Full article
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Review

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Review
Blockchain and Building Information Management (BIM) for Sustainable Building Development within the Context of Smart Cities
Sustainability 2021, 13(4), 2090; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13042090 - 16 Feb 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1531
Abstract
‘Smart cities’ are a new type of city where stakeholders are jointly responsible for urban management. City Information Management (CIM) is an output tool for smart city planning and management, which assists in achieving the sustainable development of urban infrastructure, and promotes smart [...] Read more.
‘Smart cities’ are a new type of city where stakeholders are jointly responsible for urban management. City Information Management (CIM) is an output tool for smart city planning and management, which assists in achieving the sustainable development of urban infrastructure, and promotes smart cities to achieve the goals of stable global economic development, sustainable environmental development, and improvement of people’s quality of life. Existing research has so far established that blockchain and BIM have great potential to enhance construction project performance. However, there is little research on how blockchain and BIM can support sustainable building design and construction. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to explore the potential impact of the integration of blockchain and BIM in a smart city environment on making buildings more sustainable within the context of CIM/Smart Cities. The paper explores the relationships between blockchain, BIM and sustainable building across the life cycle stage of a construction project. This paper queries the Web of Science (WoS) database with keywords to obtain relevant publication, and then uses the VOSviewer to visually analyze the relationships between blockchain, BIM, and sustainable building within the context of smart cities and CIM, which is conducted in bibliometric analysis followed by micro scheme analysis. The results demonstrate the value of this method in gauging the importance of these three topics, highlighting their interrelationships and identifying trends, giving researchers an objective research direction. Those aspects reported in the paper constitute an original contribution. Full article
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Other

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Perspective
Green Artificial Intelligence: Towards an Efficient, Sustainable and Equitable Technology for Smart Cities and Futures
Sustainability 2021, 13(16), 8952; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su13168952 - 10 Aug 2021
Viewed by 676
Abstract
Smart cities and artificial intelligence (AI) are among the most popular discourses in urban policy circles. Most attempts at using AI to improve efficiencies in cities have nevertheless either struggled or failed to accomplish the smart city transformation. This is mainly due to [...] Read more.
Smart cities and artificial intelligence (AI) are among the most popular discourses in urban policy circles. Most attempts at using AI to improve efficiencies in cities have nevertheless either struggled or failed to accomplish the smart city transformation. This is mainly due to short-sighted, technologically determined and reductionist AI approaches being applied to complex urbanization problems. Besides this, as smart cities are underpinned by our ability to engage with our environments, analyze them, and make efficient, sustainable and equitable decisions, the need for a green AI approach is intensified. This perspective paper, reflecting authors’ opinions and interpretations, concentrates on the “green AI” concept as an enabler of the smart city transformation, as it offers the opportunity to move away from purely technocentric efficiency solutions towards efficient, sustainable and equitable solutions capable of realizing the desired urban futures. The aim of this perspective paper is two-fold: first, to highlight the fundamental shortfalls in mainstream AI system conceptualization and practice, and second, to advocate the need for a consolidated AI approach—i.e., green AI—to further support smart city transformation. The methodological approach includes a thorough appraisal of the current AI and smart city literatures, practices, developments, trends and applications. The paper informs authorities and planners on the importance of the adoption and deployment of AI systems that address efficiency, sustainability and equity issues in cities. Full article
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Perspective
Towards Australian Regional Turnaround: Insights into Sustainably Accommodating Post-Pandemic Urban Growth in Regional Towns and Cities
Sustainability 2020, 12(24), 10492; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/su122410492 - 15 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1056
Abstract
The COVID-19 pandemic has made many urban policymakers, planners, and scholars, all around the globe, rethink conventional, neoliberal growth strategies of cities. The trend of rapid urbanization, particularly around capital cities, has been questioned, and alternative growth models and locations have been the [...] Read more.
The COVID-19 pandemic has made many urban policymakers, planners, and scholars, all around the globe, rethink conventional, neoliberal growth strategies of cities. The trend of rapid urbanization, particularly around capital cities, has been questioned, and alternative growth models and locations have been the subjects of countless discussions. This is particularly the case for the Australian context: The COVID-19 pandemic heightened the debates in urban circles on post-pandemic urban growth strategies and boosting the growth of towns and cities across regional Australia is a popular alternative strategy. While some scholars argue that regional Australia poses an invaluable opportunity for post-pandemic growth by ‘taking off the pressure from the capital cities’; others warn us about the risks of growing regional towns and cities without carefully designed national, regional, and local planning, design, and development strategies. Superimposing planning and development policies meant for metropolitan cities could simply result in transferring the ills of capital cities to regions and exacerbate unsustainable development and heightened socioeconomic inequalities. This opinion piece, by keeping both of these perspectives in mind, explores approaches to regional community and economic development of Australia’s towns and cities, along with identifying sustainable urban growth locations in the post-pandemic era. It also offers new insights that could help re-shape the policy debate on regional growth and development. Full article
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