Special Issue "Expanding Cities, Diminishing Space"

A special issue of Infrastructures (ISSN 2412-3811).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Mr. Manfred Schrenk

CORP – Competence Center of Urban and Regional Planning, Klosterneuburger Straße 121/36, 1200 Vienna, Austria
Website | E-Mail
Interests: mobility of the future; smart cities; barrier-free planning; ICT; interdisciplinary research; assisted living technologies
Guest Editor
Dr. William D. Shuster

National Risk Management Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, United States Environmental Protection Agency, Cincinnati, OH 45268, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1-513-569-7244
Interests: urban hydrology; urban socio-ecological systems; green infrastructure; urban soils; unsaturated zone hydrology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The world’s total human population is expected to hit 10 billion in the 2060s, with more than 70% of people concentrated in urban areas. Cities are not only growing in population, but are expanding in area. Even with a constant number of inhabitants, there is ongoing demand for more space. There are general cultural, economic and demographic shifts that drive expectations and perceptions as to how space is used. Specifically, it has been observed that despite near-constant population numbers, per-capita demand for residential floor space is still growing in some cities. This may be due to higher living standards, changes in social structure resulting in high percentages of single person households, or a combination of these and other factors. The totality of urban infrastructures (e.g., transport infrastructure, utilities, industrial zones, commerce, logistics centers, event and leisure facilities, etc.) consume additional space and demand for resources. While the “hunger” in the literal sense for food and resources is growing, the “spaces in between” (e.g., agricultural land, vacant spaces, green space, natural retreats, other buffer zones) can be highly-variable in their interspersion with urban infrastructure and their perceived utility to meet demand for services valued by humans (i.e., ecosystem services). These aspects of city expansion and re-apportionment of land uses lead, not only to massive changes at spatial scales from the village to mega-cities all over the world, but they also create multiple social, economic, and environmental challenges, with chances and risks which may be best dealt with in the planning process.

So, on the one hand, there is the threat that the permanent demand for more space leads to a number of consequences, such as scarcity of resources, infrastructural bottlenecks, pollution and devastation of land, and subsequent social conflict. Questions arise on how to deal with these problems at short notice, and what has to be done to find solutions to these challenges by thinking in terms of longer-term strategies. Overall, the challenges and problems seem huge and intractable. However, largely because of the daily interface between governance and getting citizen needs met, cities are arguably the more adaptive level of governance, compared to state, or national governments. To help cities gain a sense of material flows and how land use can be best leveraged toward ecosystem services, more and more unprecedented technologies are available to monitor and manage cities and thereby inform policy. Monitoring is as well done by remote and in-situ sensing, with both high precision and nearly in real-time. Approaches to fully utilize these data are key.

This situation suggests that there is potential to overcome disciplinary barriers and promote a holistic view of the city—an approach that urban planners claim to have been using forever. With all the technology in focus, of course, the goals of sustainability and resilience remain as important as they have always been. Cities are mainly about people and not about technology, so it is still “quality of life” that can and should be in focus.

The upcoming conference REAL CORP 2018 (http://conference.corp.at/) will support this Special Issue by bringing together the best literature and presentation papers, and hence illustrate the current state-of-the-art, as well as present projects and approaches for the use of future technology in the cities of today and tomorrow.

Mr. Manfred Schrenk
Dr. William D. Shuster
Guest Editors

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. Infrastructures is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. 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

  • Facts behind Urban Expansion Around the World
  • Exceeding the City Limits and Basic Services
  • Vacant Urban areas, Countryside
  • Cities as Liveable, Accessible, Human-Oriented Places

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Assessing Discrepancies between Official Economic Statistics and Land Use through a Field Inventory System
Infrastructures 2018, 3(3), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures3030027
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 21 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 27 July 2018
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Abstract
To limit additional (net) land take for economic activities, the reality of space use needs to be properly understood. This was assessed by comparing the spatial patterns obtained from a field inventory with those from existing data for five case areas in Flanders
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To limit additional (net) land take for economic activities, the reality of space use needs to be properly understood. This was assessed by comparing the spatial patterns obtained from a field inventory with those from existing data for five case areas in Flanders (Belgium). Each case area is a transect from a high-density urban area to a suburban neighborhood or even a semi-rural zone. The statistics on these areas, based on official data, mostly derived from tax returns, social security contributions, and on commercial retail data, were checked with field observations. The location of economic activities and the patterns of space use vary in different settlement environments, resulting in the identification of typical characteristics for eight location environment types. While in, for example, core shopping centers a strong convergence can be noticed between existing statistics and the field inventory (71% of companies and 93% of parcels are detected on the field), in residential areas (21% of companies and 17% of parcels are detected on the field) the convergence is very limited. In other words, in some environments, (the combination of) data and statistics give a good understanding of the space use while, in other environments, gaps with realities in the field are obvious. Therefore, a field inventory system can enrich the picture and present another reality to complement both existing statistics and other land-use data methods such as remote sensing and web data extraction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Expanding Cities, Diminishing Space)
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Open AccessArticle On the Development of a Sustainable and Fit-for-the-Future Transportation Network
Infrastructures 2018, 3(3), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures3030023
Received: 8 June 2018 / Revised: 5 July 2018 / Accepted: 8 July 2018 / Published: 10 July 2018
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Abstract
Population growth in cities and expanding city territory as well as population decline in rural areas pose a challenge for the existing transport network. Consequently, we observe a rapid change in transport infrastructure and transportation technology within the last few years. Due to
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Population growth in cities and expanding city territory as well as population decline in rural areas pose a challenge for the existing transport network. Consequently, we observe a rapid change in transport infrastructure and transportation technology within the last few years. Due to novelty or differentness, it will initially be challenging to integrate them into the existing network in Western European cities and to identify suitable corridors leading to especially beneficial effects on the overall transport network. The effects of new technologies and (high-performance) infrastructures are hardly examined. It remains unclear how these novel transportation technologies will change society, our understanding of spatial proximity, mobility, and consequently the logistics sector. In this work, we give an overview regarding first considerations and reflections on the impacts of the changes and developments in the field of freight transportation. Our work mainly focusses on the estimation of the impacts of high-performance transport technologies on the society, spatial proximity, and the logistics sector while extending the European transportation network accordingly. In our understanding, we refer to high-performance transportation technologies as mobility systems with either high throughput (fast and/or high utilization loads) or very flexible application. To be more specific, we focus on Hyperloop technologies, Cargo-Sous-Terrain, freight airships, and drones. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Expanding Cities, Diminishing Space)
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Open AccessArticle Spatial Analysis of the Public Transport Accessibility for Modelling the Modal Split in the Context of Site Identification for Charging Infrastructure
Infrastructures 2018, 3(3), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures3030021
Received: 16 May 2018 / Revised: 18 June 2018 / Accepted: 29 June 2018 / Published: 4 July 2018
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Abstract
The spread of charging infrastructure (CIS) for battery electric vehicles is crucial for coping with the increasing number of electric vehicles. Therefore, the selection of ideal (fast-) charging locations determines acceptance, utilization and, thus, the economic viability of a single site or the
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The spread of charging infrastructure (CIS) for battery electric vehicles is crucial for coping with the increasing number of electric vehicles. Therefore, the selection of ideal (fast-) charging locations determines acceptance, utilization and, thus, the economic viability of a single site or the whole charging network. The methodology of the Integrated Model Approach STELLA (STELLA is the acronym for the German term “STandortfindungsmodell für ELektrische LAdeinfrastruktur”) for site identification of CIS uses reliable methods of traffic modeling such as the classic four-step traffic modeling in a new context to enable statements regarding the positioning of CIS. Because only (electric) motorized individual traffic is of importance for CIS, the share of trips is calculated by differentiating the modal split between various transport groups. To estimate the public transport share in the model approach STELLA there are several factors used. One aspect is the accessibility of stops, which can be determined with accessibility radii one the one hand, and with network analyses on the other hand. The methods have been evaluated for the region of Nuremberg. Depending on the spatial characteristics there is a difference of up to 60% between the two methods in the area covered by public transport. Therefore, the network analysis leads to a more accurate estimation of the public transport share. The modal split determination is then implemented in the model approach STELLA, which is currently developed for a planning area covering the entire territory of the Federal Republic of Germany. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Expanding Cities, Diminishing Space)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Exploring the Applicability of Location-Based Services to Delineate the State Public Transport Routes Integratedness within the City of Johannesburg
Infrastructures 2018, 3(3), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/infrastructures3030028
Received: 30 May 2018 / Revised: 25 July 2018 / Accepted: 25 July 2018 / Published: 1 August 2018
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Abstract
In the past decade, Johannesburg has actively participated in the investment and development of the Gautrain and Rea Vaya public transportation modes. However, the state of route networks connectedness amongst the two public transport modes has not been well documented. Thus, this study
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In the past decade, Johannesburg has actively participated in the investment and development of the Gautrain and Rea Vaya public transportation modes. However, the state of route networks connectedness amongst the two public transport modes has not been well documented. Thus, this study aimed to delineate the extent of routes network integration among the two modes. The study adopted a phenomenological case study survey design which applied a mixed-method approach to gather spatial, qualitative and quantitative data. Crowd sourced datasets from Facebook and Twitter were collected, and analyzed using the kriging interpolation method and descriptive statistics. Key informant interviews were also used to unpack the status quo of the two modes. Results indicate that there are limited areas where the route networks between the two modes are currently integrated. Variations in income levels may be a factor currently preventing inter-transfer between the two modes. The Rea Vaya has proven successful in improving accessibility to economic opportunities, with 70% of the social media posts reflecting positive views regarding route and travel timetables. The study recommends conscious efforts in planning and developing integrated rail and road route networks to promote efficiency of public transport systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Expanding Cities, Diminishing Space)
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