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Urban Sci., Volume 2, Issue 2 (June 2018)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The concept of walkability has become a significant focus for many in pursuit of improving the [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle Complex Buildings and Cellular Automata—A Cellular Automaton Model for the Centquatre-Paris
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 50; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020050
Received: 21 May 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 11 June 2018 / Published: 14 June 2018
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Abstract
We explored the relational dynamic elements of complex buildings, a type of architecture designed to incubate uses, located in urban areas with high housing density. The uses of complex buildings concern different elements, including the network of agents using or managing them, the
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We explored the relational dynamic elements of complex buildings, a type of architecture designed to incubate uses, located in urban areas with high housing density. The uses of complex buildings concern different elements, including the network of agents using or managing them, the environment, and the activities and functions that take place occasionally, temporarily, or permanently.. Data was gathered through ethnographic research lasting 6 months, and a chronotopian approach was used to describe time and space. We analysed and discussed the interaction of the elements of complex buildings through a cellular automaton model, a computational method that simulates the growth of complex systems. It was used here to generate patterns that suggest configurations of uses that can optimize management and therefore increase economic and social capital. The cellular automaton representation was used to develop an abstraction of the Centquatre, a public cultural center in Paris. This center is a good example of a complex building, being based on a public–private partnership and having an architectural configuration designed to host a wide range of art, social, and productive activities. The building includes a large central space used as an urban public area open to different types of people. The relevance of the case study lies in its capacity to produce economic value by combining different uses, and also by welcoming different people to the public space. We found that the multistate cellular automata representation allows the Centquatre behavior to be modeled by means of combinatorial and statistical methods. The correlations between the automaton behavior and the number of users can be identified using machine learning techniques related to random forests. We argue that this approach makes it possible to improve the planning of complex buildings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Formalizing Urban Methodologies)
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Open AccessArticle Counter Land-Grabbing by the Precariat: Housing Movements and Restorative Justice in Brazil
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020049
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
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Abstract
Social housing movements in Brazil, whose majority members are part of Brazil’s precariat or lowest-income class, are courageously pressing for true urban reform in Brazil, whose old promise has been systematically delayed and subverted, even by some of those who were put in
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Social housing movements in Brazil, whose majority members are part of Brazil’s precariat or lowest-income class, are courageously pressing for true urban reform in Brazil, whose old promise has been systematically delayed and subverted, even by some of those who were put in power to realize it. By occupying vacant and underutilized land and buildings, not only are these movements confronting neoliberalism in Brazil at a time of the model’s highest level of hegemony in the country and the world, they are also unveiling the impossibility of the system to deliver sociospatial justice to the poor and are enacting an alternative. Through restorative justice practices, they go beyond critique and press for an alternate sociopolitical project that would allow millions of people in Brazil access to decent housing, and through it, to a myriad of other opportunities, including the right to the city. As shown in the experiences of those participating in housing struggles, restorative justice deserves further exploration as an alternative planning mode that can combine the strengths of advocacy planning and communicative action while reducing their drawbacks. These reflections focus on the Movimento dos Trabalhadores Sen Teto (MTST) and partially feed from team ethnographic and planning studio work on several building and land occupations in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo in Brazil in 2016. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Inequality)
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Open AccessArticle Methodological Challenges in Urban Food Systems Research: Case Study of Local Food Institutions in South Africa
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 48; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020048
Received: 7 May 2018 / Revised: 4 June 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 13 June 2018
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Abstract
This paper examines how institutional power dynamics in South Africa’s urban food system have restricted the quantity, quality, and type of data collected on food institutions and limited the range of research and policy as a result. In particular, while non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
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This paper examines how institutional power dynamics in South Africa’s urban food system have restricted the quantity, quality, and type of data collected on food institutions and limited the range of research and policy as a result. In particular, while non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local institutions speak openly with researchers or share data, key governing institutions such as the state and agri-businesses often refuse to work with scholars. This has not only limited access to data on food system flows and operations, but it has also resulted in a significant research gap about the principal institutions in food systems, as scholars and policy makers tend to disproportionately focus on alternative food movements or localized players. Given the number, scope, and creativity of informal livelihood strategies that residents utilize to access food, this paper suggests that new methods are needed to understand how people navigate complex pathways to food in Southern African cities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Food Security)
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Compact and Mixed Development on Land Value: A Case Study of Richmond, Virginia
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 47; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020047
Received: 22 April 2018 / Revised: 29 May 2018 / Accepted: 5 June 2018 / Published: 7 June 2018
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Abstract
Sustainable development entails various development patterns commonly associated with compact and mixed development that usually leads to reduced driving, more public transportation utilization, lower energy consumption, better walkability, and improved public health. To examine if the benefits of compact and mixed development are
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Sustainable development entails various development patterns commonly associated with compact and mixed development that usually leads to reduced driving, more public transportation utilization, lower energy consumption, better walkability, and improved public health. To examine if the benefits of compact and mixed development are reflected in land value, this study sets forth to measure development compactness and land use mix and assesses the impacts of such patterns on land value. Impacts of accessibility to jobs, retail stores, and public transportation on land value are also investigated and compared to the impacts from development patterns. The study finds that: (1) accessibility has greater impacts than development pattern on land value; (2) compact development and mixed land use influence land value differently depending on the nature of existing land uses and land values; (3) accessibility to jobs and retail stores always contributes to the increase of land value; and (4) accessibility to public transportation helps but it does not influence land value in a consistent fashion. The results suggest that areas with higher residential property values, good proximity to the city center, less industrial land uses, and good access to jobs and retail stores have greater potential to realize an increase of land value resulted from compact and mixed development in Richmond, Virginia. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Barriers to Food Security and Community Stress in an Urban Food Desert
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020046
Received: 17 April 2018 / Revised: 22 May 2018 / Accepted: 24 May 2018 / Published: 31 May 2018
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Abstract
By analyzing data from focus groups in a poor, mostly African American neighborhood in a large U.S. city, we describe how residents in urban food deserts access food, the barriers they experience in accessing nutritious, affordable food, and how community food insecurity exacerbates
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By analyzing data from focus groups in a poor, mostly African American neighborhood in a large U.S. city, we describe how residents in urban food deserts access food, the barriers they experience in accessing nutritious, affordable food, and how community food insecurity exacerbates prior social, built, and economic stressors. Provided the unwillingness of supermarkets and supercenters to locate to poor urban areas and the need for nutritious, affordable food, it may be more efficient and equitable for government programs to financially partner with ethnic markets and smaller locally-owned grocery stores to increase the distribution and marketing of healthy foods rather than to spend resources trying to entice a large supermarket to locate to the neighborhood. By focusing on improving the conditions of the neighborhood and making smaller grocery stores and markets more affordable and produce more attractive to residents, the social, built, and economic stressors experienced by residents will be reduced, thereby possibly improving overall mental and physical health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Food Security)
Open AccessArticle “Smart” Tools for Socially Sustainable Transport: A Review of Mobility Apps
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020045
Received: 1 May 2018 / Revised: 23 May 2018 / Accepted: 27 May 2018 / Published: 30 May 2018
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Abstract
In the smart city, information and communications technologies (ICTs) are proposed as solutions to urban challenges, including sustainability concerns. While sustainability commonly refers to economic and environmental dimensions, the concept also contains a social component. Our study asked how smartphone applications (apps) address
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In the smart city, information and communications technologies (ICTs) are proposed as solutions to urban challenges, including sustainability concerns. While sustainability commonly refers to economic and environmental dimensions, the concept also contains a social component. Our study asked how smartphone applications (apps) address social-sustainability challenges in urban transport, if at all. We focused on transport disadvantages experienced due to low income, physical disability, and language barriers. A review of 60 apps showed that transport apps respond to these equity and inclusion issues in two ways: (a) by employing a universal design in general-use apps, including cost-conscious features, and providing language options; and (b) by specifically developing smartphone apps for persons with disabilities. The article discusses the study by positioning it in the literature of smart cities as well as socially sustainable transport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Urban Transportation and Mobility Systems)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Active Living Potential: Case Study of Jacksonville, Florida
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 44; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020044
Received: 19 April 2018 / Revised: 24 May 2018 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published: 29 May 2018
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Abstract
Many municipalities in the US are deploying urban planning approaches to resolve problems caused by urban sprawl, particularly the lack of support for physical activity. Although a variety of perspectives on the relationship between physical activity and built environment exist, many studies have
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Many municipalities in the US are deploying urban planning approaches to resolve problems caused by urban sprawl, particularly the lack of support for physical activity. Although a variety of perspectives on the relationship between physical activity and built environment exist, many studies have suggested objective and reliable measures of urban form that encourage more opportunities for physical activity. Thus, based on the research context, this study builds a Geographic Information System (GIS) model using geospatial dimensions, yields a visualized map ranked by composite scores, and reveals the spatial distribution of quantified cells. Through the Jacksonville case study, it is shown that the GIS-based visualization method provides an expanded set of tools that can help urban planners and public health professionals understand the relationships between urban form and potential for active living. Consequently, these map-based visualized results provide valuable information to health and public policy professionals to coordinate and resolve mutual challenges. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Is the Location of Warehouses Changing in the Belo Horizonte Metropolitan Area (Brazil)? A Logistics Sprawl Analysis in a Latin American Context
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 43; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020043
Received: 26 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 17 May 2018
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Abstract
The location of logistics facilities is important for urban freight transport. Several metropolitan regions have identified that logistics facilities are relocating to suburban areas outside city center boundaries. This phenomenon is known as logistics sprawl. In this paper, we present an analysis of
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The location of logistics facilities is important for urban freight transport. Several metropolitan regions have identified that logistics facilities are relocating to suburban areas outside city center boundaries. This phenomenon is known as logistics sprawl. In this paper, we present an analysis of the logistics sprawl phenomenon in the Belo Horizonte Metropolitan Area (Brazil) between 1995 and 2015, through spatial analysis. The results show a logistics sprawl indicator (average change in the standard distance to the center of gravity) of 1.2 km (17.8 km in 1995 and 19 km in 2015). In addition, we explored the spatial correlation between socioeconomic data and the location of warehouses. In 2015, 80% of warehouses were located in the high-income area. Additionally, most of the warehouses were located within a two-kilometer buffer from the axis of the road and in a five-kilometer buffer from the railroad. Finally, we defined the service areas of the warehouses considering a maximum distance through the network of 5, 10, and 15 km. In 2015, the 15-km service area had a coverage of 89% of the population in the study area. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Neurodivergent Themed Neighbourhoods as A Strategy to Enhance the Liveability of Cities: The Blueprint of an Autism Village, Its Benefits to Neurotypical Environments
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020042
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 18 April 2018 / Accepted: 23 April 2018 / Published: 30 April 2018
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Abstract
In the next decades, it is expected that there will be a significant number of adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who will continue to strive in the neurotypical environment. Despite the recent rise of developments that deviate from the institutional type
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In the next decades, it is expected that there will be a significant number of adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) who will continue to strive in the neurotypical environment. Despite the recent rise of developments that deviate from the institutional type of facility, many parents continue to voice their struggle to find safe and appropriate living environments for their adult children. The problem is not just the limited option on where to live, financing a home is also another dilemma. Thus, the challenge to provide appropriate living environments coincide with the need to provide meaningful opportunities that allows them to thrive and function in the society. This paper explores the existing design guidelines through recommendations on how spaces can be articulated by considering the value of savant skills and productive vocational skills for individuals living with ASD. This optimistic approach hopes to enlighten built environment practitioners in designing spaces where different populations can co–exist, particularly those with varied abilities. The environmental needs of ASDs and the proposed spatial interventions also extend its benefits to the well–being of neurotypicals. In addition, the participation of the ASD population in the built environment bridges accessibility and spatial experience. Therefore, designing neurodivergent neighbourhoods can be employed as a strategy to improve and enhance the liveability of urban regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Understanding the Importance of Front Yard Accessibility for Community Building: A Case Study of Subiaco, Western Australia
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 41; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020041
Received: 7 April 2018 / Revised: 25 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 30 April 2018
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Abstract
The residential built form, including open space, provides the physical environment for social interaction. Understanding urban open space, including semi-public and public domains, through the lens of physical accessibility and visual permeability can potentially facilitate the building of a sense of community contributing
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The residential built form, including open space, provides the physical environment for social interaction. Understanding urban open space, including semi-public and public domains, through the lens of physical accessibility and visual permeability can potentially facilitate the building of a sense of community contributing to a better quality of life. Using an inner-city suburb in Perth, Western Australia as a case study, this research explores the importance of physical accessibility patterns and visual permeability for socialising in semi-public and public domains, such as the front yard and the residential streets. It argues that maintaining a balance between public and private inter-relationship in inner city residential neighbourhoods is important for creating and maintaining a sense of community. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Method for Mapping Future Urbanization in the United States
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 40; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020040
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 24 April 2018
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Abstract
Cities are poised to absorb additional people. Their sustainability, or ability to accommodate a population increase without depleting resources or compromising future growth, depends on whether they harness the efficiency gains from urban land management. Population is often projected as a bulk national
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Cities are poised to absorb additional people. Their sustainability, or ability to accommodate a population increase without depleting resources or compromising future growth, depends on whether they harness the efficiency gains from urban land management. Population is often projected as a bulk national number without details about spatial distribution. We use Landsat and population data in a methodology to project and map U.S. urbanization for the year 2020 and document its spatial pattern. This methodology is important to spatially disaggregate projected population and assist land managers to monitor land use, assess infrastructure and distribute resources. We found the U.S. west coast urban areas to have the fastest population growth with relatively small land consumption resulting in future decrease in per capita land use. Except for Miami (FL), most other U.S. large urban areas, especially in the Midwest, are growing spatially faster than their population and inadvertently consuming land needed for ecosystem services. In large cities, such as New York, Chicago, Houston and Miami, land development is expected more in suburban zones than urban cores. In contrast, in Los Angeles land development within the city core is greater than in its suburbs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Futures—Landscape)
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Open AccessArticle Land-Cover Change Analysis and Simulation in Conakry (Guinea), Using Hybrid Cellular-Automata and Markov Model
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020039
Received: 11 February 2018 / Revised: 14 April 2018 / Accepted: 15 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
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Abstract
In this study, land-cover change in the capital Conakry of Guinea was simulated using the integrated Cellular Automata and Markov model (CA-Markov) in the Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS). Historical land-cover change information was derived from 1986, 2000 and 2016
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In this study, land-cover change in the capital Conakry of Guinea was simulated using the integrated Cellular Automata and Markov model (CA-Markov) in the Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing (RS). Historical land-cover change information was derived from 1986, 2000 and 2016 Landsat data. Using the land-cover change maps of 1986 and 2000, the land-cover change map for 2016 was simulated based on the Markov model in IDRISSI software (Clark University, Worcester, MA, USA). The simulated result was compared with the 2016 land-cover map for validation using the Relative Operating Characteristic (ROC). The ROC result showed a very strong agreement between the two maps. From this result, the land-cover change map for 2025 was simulated using CA-Markov model. The result has indicated that the proportion of the urban area was 49% in 2016, and it is expected to increase to 52% by 2025, while vegetation will decrease from 35% in 2016 to 32% in 2025. This study suggests that the rapid land-cover change has been led by both rapid population growth and extreme poverty in rural areas, which will result in migration into Conakry. The results of this study will provide bases for assessing the sustainability and the management of the urban area and for taking actions to mitigate the degradation of the urban environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Landscape Degradation and Restoration)
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Open AccessArticle Assessing Vulnerability to Heat: A Geospatial Analysis for the City of Philadelphia
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020038
Received: 4 March 2018 / Revised: 11 April 2018 / Accepted: 19 April 2018 / Published: 20 April 2018
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Urban heat island (UHI) effect is an increasingly prominent health and environmental hazard that is linked to urbanization and climate change. Greening reduces the negative impacts of UHI; trees specifically are the most effective in ambient temperature reduction. This paper investigates vulnerability to
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Urban heat island (UHI) effect is an increasingly prominent health and environmental hazard that is linked to urbanization and climate change. Greening reduces the negative impacts of UHI; trees specifically are the most effective in ambient temperature reduction. This paper investigates vulnerability to heat in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and identifies where street trees can be planted as a public intervention. We used geospatial information systems (GIS) software to map a validated Heat Vulnerability Index to identify vulnerability at the block level. Using a high-low geospatial cluster analysis, we assessed where the City of Philadelphia can most effectively plant street trees to address UHI. This information was then aggregated to the neighborhood level for more effective citizen communication and policymaking. We identified that 26 of 48 (54%) neighborhoods that were vulnerable to heat also lacked street trees. Of 158 Philadelphia neighborhoods, 63 (40%) contained block groups of high vulnerability to either heat or street tree infrastructure. Neighborhoods that were ranked highest in both classifications were identified in two adjacent West Philadelphia neighborhoods. Planting street trees is a public service a city can potentially reduce the negative health impacts of UHI. GIS can be used to identify and recommend street tree plantings to reduce urban heat. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Urban Vulnerability in Spanish Medium-Sized Cities during the Post-Crisis Period (2009–2016). The Cases of A Coruña and Vigo (Spain)
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020037
Received: 15 February 2018 / Revised: 1 April 2018 / Accepted: 6 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
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Abstract
The economic crisis and post-crisis austerity policies have had harmful effects on urban spaces, mainly in those neighborhoods that have historically been characterized by their vulnerability (social problems, long-term unemployment, low incomes, immigration, etc.). This vulnerability has become more evident in cities that
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The economic crisis and post-crisis austerity policies have had harmful effects on urban spaces, mainly in those neighborhoods that have historically been characterized by their vulnerability (social problems, long-term unemployment, low incomes, immigration, etc.). This vulnerability has become more evident in cities that are greater in size (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Seville). However, such casuistry is also observed in medium-sized cities (250,000–500,000 inhabitants) that are prominent urban and economic hubs in their regions. In this article we will analyze to what extent the crisis has impacted the different urban sectors through the analysis of degree of vulnerability. For this, the cities of A Coruña and Vigo—the two main urban poles of the Autonomous Region of Galicia—will be taken as case studies. In addition, we will analyze the proposals to combat vulnerability presented by the ruling parties in their programs for the 2015 municipal elections. Elections that in Spain marked a turning point in the form of governance and priorities to attend (attention to those most affected by the crisis, stop eviction processes, reduction of intra-urban inequality). We will analyze to what extent they have implemented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Inequality)
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Open AccessArticle An Agent-Based Modeling Framework for Simulating Human Exposure to Environmental Stresses in Urban Areas
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020036
Received: 26 February 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 13 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
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Abstract
Several approaches have been used to assess potential human exposure to environmental stresses and achieve optimal results under various conditions, such as for example, for different scales, groups of people, or points in time. A thorough literature review in this paper identifies the
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Several approaches have been used to assess potential human exposure to environmental stresses and achieve optimal results under various conditions, such as for example, for different scales, groups of people, or points in time. A thorough literature review in this paper identifies the research gap regarding modeling approaches for assessing human exposure to environment stressors, and it indicates that microsimulation tools are becoming increasingly important in human exposure assessments of urban environments, in which each person is simulated individually and continuously. The paper further describes an agent-based model (ABM) framework that can dynamically simulate human exposure levels, along with their daily activities, in urban areas that are characterized by environmental stresses such as air pollution and heat stress. Within the framework, decision-making processes can be included for each individual based on rule-based behavior in order to achieve goals under changing environmental conditions. The ideas described in this paper are implemented in a free and open source NetLogo platform. A basic modeling scenario of the ABM framework in Hamburg, Germany, demonstrates its utility in various urban environments and individual activity patterns, as well as its portability to other models, programs, and frameworks. The prototype model can potentially be extended to support environmental incidence management through exploring the daily routines of different groups of citizens, and comparing the effectiveness of different strategies. Further research is needed to fully develop an operational version of the model. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Joint Costs in Electricity and Natural Gas Distribution Infrastructures: The Role of Urban Factors
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020035
Received: 23 February 2018 / Revised: 7 April 2018 / Accepted: 13 April 2018 / Published: 16 April 2018
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This paper analyzes the joint cost structure of electricity and natural gas distribution investments. Assessing the joint costs is critical for urban development and public policy regarding competition at the local level. The paper accounts for the urban and geographic factors at the
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This paper analyzes the joint cost structure of electricity and natural gas distribution investments. Assessing the joint costs is critical for urban development and public policy regarding competition at the local level. The paper accounts for the urban and geographic factors at the local level, while the previous literature primarily used company-level data with a few or no site-specific variables in joint cost analyses. An empirical analysis of the multi-utility capital costs suggests that the local urban and geographic conditions affect such costs, with economies of scope present in electricity and natural gas both in terms of total costs and underground investment costs. Hence, the joint service provision makes economic and environmental sense for urban policy makers. Full article
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Open AccessArticle A Framework for Understanding Sense of Place in an Urban Design Context
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020034
Received: 24 February 2018 / Revised: 5 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
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Abstract
Creating a sense of place and community is a guiding principle in designing livable and high-quality built environments. This paper presents a framework for understanding the relationship between design and people’s perceptions about a place, within an urban design context. While a large
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Creating a sense of place and community is a guiding principle in designing livable and high-quality built environments. This paper presents a framework for understanding the relationship between design and people’s perceptions about a place, within an urban design context. While a large volume of literature on sense of place (SOP) already exists, the proposed framework and its application in the design field present a unique opportunity to add new knowledge to this interdisciplinary topic. This research will investigate the empirical relationship between architecture/urban design and people’s perceptions about a place and their contributions to SOP. Urban designers and architects play important and determining roles in defining the physical qualities and the characteristics of a place. However, it has always been challenging to quantify the relationship between a physical environment and a person’s emotional experience. Three urban sites were analyzed to illustrate this framework, and four physical characteristics and four perceptual qualities were cross-investigated and analyzed. This proposed framework will help architects and urban designers to gain a better understanding of SOP and placemaking techniques, eventually helping to improve urban design quality. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Developing Policy for Urban Autonomous Vehicles: Impact on Congestion
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020033
Received: 16 March 2018 / Revised: 4 April 2018 / Accepted: 9 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
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Abstract
An important problem for surface transport is road traffic congestion, which is ubiquitous and difficult to mitigate. Accordingly, a question for policymakers is the possible impact on congestion of autonomous vehicles. It seems likely that the main impact of vehicle automation will not
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An important problem for surface transport is road traffic congestion, which is ubiquitous and difficult to mitigate. Accordingly, a question for policymakers is the possible impact on congestion of autonomous vehicles. It seems likely that the main impact of vehicle automation will not be seen until driverless vehicles are sufficiently safe for use amid general traffic on urban streets. Shared use driverless vehicles could reduce the cost of taxis and a wider range of public transport vehicles could be economic. Individually owned autonomous vehicles would have the ability to travel unoccupied and may need to be regulated where this might add to congestion. It is possible that autonomous vehicles could provide mobility services at lower cost and wider scope, such that private car use in urban areas could decline and congestion reduce. City authorities should be alert to these possibilities in developing transport policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Future of Urban Transportation and Mobility Systems)
Open AccessArticle Migration and Social Aspirations: Chinese Cosmopolitanism in Wenzhou Region (China)
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020032
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 2 April 2018 / Accepted: 6 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
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Abstract
This article explores what motivates the movements of Chinese migrants from China to Portugal. It presents an ethnographic account of social aspirations in Wenzhou, a port city located in South Zhejiang (Southeast China), where post-Mao economic prosperity, allied to the existence of networks
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This article explores what motivates the movements of Chinese migrants from China to Portugal. It presents an ethnographic account of social aspirations in Wenzhou, a port city located in South Zhejiang (Southeast China), where post-Mao economic prosperity, allied to the existence of networks of trade and migration, resulted in social and economic inequalities and great social pressure to become rich and successful. Based on ethnographic fieldwork conducted in Wenzhou and in Lisbon (Portugal) between 2008 and 2010, this paper argues that Wenzhou migratory projects are a result of modernity aspirations and desires for material modernization articulated with core Chinese values such as filial piety. Full article
Open AccessArticle Heading in the Right Direction? Investigating Walkability in Galway City, Ireland
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020031
Received: 6 March 2018 / Revised: 26 March 2018 / Accepted: 5 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract
As cities and towns worldwide strive to improve quality of life for citizens, debates centred on mobility are at the forefront of transportation policy thinking and urban design and planning. The automobile radically transformed cities, not always for the better, and the transport
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As cities and towns worldwide strive to improve quality of life for citizens, debates centred on mobility are at the forefront of transportation policy thinking and urban design and planning. The automobile radically transformed cities, not always for the better, and the transport paradigm espoused over previous decades has primarily focussed on cars. This is still largely evident, driven by policymakers and key decisionmakers using forecasting and transportation and economic models that justify such car-centric planning. However, it is now clear that this approach of increasing automobility is unsustainable. Urban planners across the world are coming to a similar conclusion; they are better off with fewer cars, and a new vision is required, which sees people embracing active and sustainable transportation and sharing public space, information, and new innovative services to make cities more attractive and liveable. Walkability is the measure of how pleasant an area is for walking. By promoting and encouraging people to walk more, we achieve the benefits of better personal health and safer, more convivial neighbourhoods and communities. Making cities more walkable involves incorporating features into urban landscapes that make walking an agreeable experience and bringing a range of necessary and interesting destinations within walking distances of homes and workplaces. Using data from the Mobilities and Liveability in Galway project, this paper seeks a richer understanding of issues relating to existing topographies of walkability and the barriers and pressures that exist with regards to the further development of walking in the city—a healthy and pleasurable way of getting about. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Implementing Healthy Planning and Active Living Initiatives: A Virtuous Cycle
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020030
Received: 25 February 2018 / Revised: 12 March 2018 / Accepted: 19 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
Factors including internal local government functioning, collaboration and the use of co-benefits have been noted to assist in the uptake of healthy planning policies and projects by local governments. However, less commonly noted is a possible reverse relationship: that implementation of healthy planning
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Factors including internal local government functioning, collaboration and the use of co-benefits have been noted to assist in the uptake of healthy planning policies and projects by local governments. However, less commonly noted is a possible reverse relationship: that implementation of healthy planning projects can contribute positively to organisational functioning and collaboration, and can result in a range of co-benefits that then can be used to support projects. Such a concept is explored in this paper, with a focus at the local government level in Australia. Findings from surveys with local government practitioners and in-depth interviews with healthy planning and community health advocates are presented. The findings indicate four key areas through which the implementation of healthy planning policies and projects and active living initiatives demonstrates a ‘virtuous cycle’. These areas include (1) project ‘wind-up’, or circumstances in which implementation and/or health outcomes exceed initial expectations; (2) improved partnerships that can create opportunities for future initiatives; (3) improved internal organisational functioning; and (4) greater project sustainability. The paper concludes by exploring some possible repercussions of these emerging findings, which indicate that beneficial settings to healthy planning considerations can be a result of as well as a contributor to healthy planning and active living initiative implementation. In turn, this presents another potential co-benefit of project uptake and implementation to those commonly identified. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future Cities: Concept, Planning, and Practice)
Open AccessOpinion Leptospirosis and Extensive Urbanization in West Africa: A Neglected and Underestimated Threat?
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(2), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2020029
Received: 5 March 2018 / Revised: 13 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 23 March 2018
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Abstract
Leptospirosis affects 1 million and kills 60,000 people annually, but it remains poorly documented in Africa. We aim to describe the large West African Conurbation Corridor where the omnipresence of slums, water and close animal/human interactions may result in high leptospiral risk. Though
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Leptospirosis affects 1 million and kills 60,000 people annually, but it remains poorly documented in Africa. We aim to describe the large West African Conurbation Corridor where the omnipresence of slums, water and close animal/human interactions may result in high leptospiral risk. Though scarce, data from this region point towards the wide circulation of pathogenic leptospires in the urban environment as well as in humans. However, because of the absence of reliable surveillance systems together with lack of awareness, the absence of reference laboratory and/or a high number of infected people showing only mild manifestations, it is likely that the burden is much higher. We believe raising awareness of leptospirosis may have a positive impact on many vulnerable African city dwellers, as the disease is a preventable and treatable. Full article
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