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Challenges, Volume 3, Issue 1 (June 2012), Pages 1-69

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Eco-Polycentric Urban Systems: An Ecological Region Perspective for Network Cities
Challenges 2012, 3(1), 1-42; doi:10.3390/challe3010001
Received: 23 December 2011 / Revised: 28 March 2012 / Accepted: 29 March 2012 / Published: 3 April 2012
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (977 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The research presented in this paper is a work in progress. It provides linkages between the author’s earlier research under the sustainable land planning framework (SLP) and emergent ideas and planning and design strategies, centered on the (landscape) ecological dimension of cities’ sustainability.
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The research presented in this paper is a work in progress. It provides linkages between the author’s earlier research under the sustainable land planning framework (SLP) and emergent ideas and planning and design strategies, centered on the (landscape) ecological dimension of cities’ sustainability. It reviews several concepts, paradigms, and metaphors that have been emerging during the last decade, which can contribute to expand our vision on city planning and design. Among other issues, city form—monocentric, polycentric, and diffused—is discussed. The hypothesis set forth is that cities can improve the pathway to sustainability by adopting intermediate, network urban forms such as polycentric urban systems (PUS) under a broader vision (as compared to the current paradigm), to make way to urban ecological regions. It discusses how both the principles of SLP and those emergent ideas can contribute to integrate PUS with their functional hinterland, adopting an ecosystemic viewpoint of cities. It proposes to redirect the current dominant economic focus of PUS to include all of the other functions that are essential to urbanites, such as production (including the 3Rs), recreation, and ecology in a balanced way. Landscape ecology principles are combined with complexity science in order to deal with uncertainty to improve regional systems’ resilience. Cooperation in its multiple forms is seen as a fundamental social, but also economic process contributing to the urban network functioning, including its evolving capabilities for self-organization and adaptation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in City Design: Realize the Value of Cities)
Open AccessArticle Wetland Loss and Research Orientation
Challenges 2012, 3(1), 43-48; doi:10.3390/challe3010043
Received: 10 April 2012 / Accepted: 31 May 2012 / Published: 12 June 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1047 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The literature analysis method used in this paper outlines variations in research topics. We tested whether research on wetlands is topic-centered, comparative of different wetland classes, or aimed at wetland loss. We analyzed research papers to identify clusters of research activity and interpreted
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The literature analysis method used in this paper outlines variations in research topics. We tested whether research on wetlands is topic-centered, comparative of different wetland classes, or aimed at wetland loss. We analyzed research papers to identify clusters of research activity and interpreted these clusters relative to wetland function and type. Furthermore, a case study on 61 papers was conducted in order to find a critical path of wetland loss induced by different causes. From this case study, it was determined that agriculture is regarded as a root cause of wetland loss. Full article

Review

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Open AccessReview Methodology for Assessment and Optimization of Industrial Eco-Systems
Challenges 2012, 3(1), 49-69; doi:10.3390/challe3010049
Received: 7 March 2012 / Accepted: 8 June 2012 / Published: 19 June 2012
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (454 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is an emerging trend in evaluating industrial activities using principles of industrial ecology because of the emphasis on sustainability initiatives by major process industries. Attention has also been targeted at developing planned industrial ecosystems (IEs) across the globe. We point out the
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There is an emerging trend in evaluating industrial activities using principles of industrial ecology because of the emphasis on sustainability initiatives by major process industries. Attention has also been targeted at developing planned industrial ecosystems (IEs) across the globe. We point out the current state-of-the art in this exciting discipline and subsequently identify the challenges that have not been encountered by the scientific community yet. Ecological Input Output Analysis (EIOA) may be considered as an “all-inclusive model” for the assessment of an IE because of its ability to capture the economic, environmental, and societal behavior of an IE. It could also be utilized to illustrate the detailed inter-relationships among the entities of an IE. Optimization of a fully integrated IE using conventional multi-objective optimization techniques would be too complex. For such multi-objective optimization problems, Hierarchical-Pareto optimization discussed in the literature has shown promise, but there is a need to establish a methodology to assess and/or improve the robustness of an IE using such techniques. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges in Chemical Processes)

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