Special Issue "A New Urbanization Land Change Continuum"

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A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 September 2013)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Karen C. Seto (Website)

School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University, 195 Prospect Street, New Haven, CT 06511, USA
Fax: +1 203 432 5556
Interests: urbanization and sustainability; human dimensions of global change; comparative urbanization dynamics in Asia; monitoring, modeling, and forecasting urban expansion; remote sensing of land-use and land-cover change
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Dagmar Haase (Website)

Lab of Landscape Ecology, Department of Geography, Rudower Chaussee 16, Humboldt University Berlin, Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Germany
Interests: Urban systems; spatially explicit modelling of urban land use changes and urban shrinkage; impact assessment of urban land use change; urban ecosystem services; recreational and habitat functions of urban greeneryflood impact and risk assessment; resilience research

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Contemporary urbanization is a process that simultaneously involves changes in livelihoods, lifestyles, connectivity and land uses. The urban-rural dichotomy including a discrete place no longer holds. There is a need for a new conceptual framework of land change and urbanization that explicitly identifies how these two processes are connected and takes into consideration these changes looking for more or less blurring places – urban continuums – that are multiply coupled/connected (Boone et al., in press; Seto et al., 2012). The aim of this special issue is to explore cutting edge, state-of-the-art research that examines and visualizes how urbanization and land change are connected through space and across time. Prospective authors are invited to contribute to this Special Issue of Land by submitting an original manuscript of their latest research in this particular area. Contributions may include, but are not limited to:

  • New methods and conceptualizations for characterizing urban continuums, couplings, and urban land teleconnections.
  • Analytical methods for classifying and organizing land change related to urbanization, including multi-level modeling, spatially explicit life cycle analysis, multi-agent modeling, and spatializing commodity chains.
  • Techniques for modeling and visualizing correlations across distant locations.
  • Integration of land, economic, livelihood, and justice measurements to examine “urbanity”.
  • Vivid empirical cases and examples from across the world populating the approaches and concepts of urbanization.

Prof. Dr. Karen C. Seto
Prof. Dr. Dagmar Haase
Guest Editor

Submission

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. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as 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 refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land 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) for publication in this open access journal is 300 CHF (Swiss Francs). English correction and/or formatting fees of 250 CHF (Swiss Francs) will be charged in certain cases for those articles accepted for publication that require extensive additional formatting and/or English corrections.

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Managing Urban Wellbeing in Rural Areas: The Potential Role of Online Communities to Improve the Financing and Governance of Highly Valued Nature Areas
Land 2014, 3(2), 437-459; doi:10.3390/land3020437
Received: 20 December 2013 / Revised: 8 May 2014 / Accepted: 20 May 2014 / Published: 5 June 2014
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Abstract
The urban and the rural are increasingly interconnected. Rural areas have become places of consumption, as leisure and recreation have become important functions of rural areas. There are also indications that increased urbanisation even leads to a stronger appreciation of green areas [...] Read more.
The urban and the rural are increasingly interconnected. Rural areas have become places of consumption, as leisure and recreation have become important functions of rural areas. There are also indications that increased urbanisation even leads to a stronger appreciation of green areas situated far beyond city limits. Rural areas with their highly valued natural amenities nowadays seem increasingly to host urban wellbeing, given the positive relation found between green areas and human wellbeing. We provide empirical evidence for this urban–rural interconnection, using results from a survey in the Netherlands. In addition to their attachment to local and regional green places, survey results show that residents of the capital city of Amsterdam have a high appreciation of a wide range of natural, rural places throughout the country. We argue that these (until now invisible) urban–rural ties should be made more visible because these natural areas enjoyed by urban residents can no longer be taken for granted. Financial and other support for nature conservation are therefore needed. However, to organise support for nature can often be problematic because nature is a public good and collective action is often difficult to launch. The invisible and distant ties of urban dwellers for rural areas complicate the task even more. Nevertheless, it is increasingly recognised that the Internet opens many doors for community building and may help to overcome the “illogic” of collective action. In the research project “Sympathy for the Commons”, we aim to investigate the possibilities provided by the internet by building online communities around nature areas and enquiring into the available support and funding that these communities can provide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A New Urbanization Land Change Continuum)
Open AccessArticle Mapping Urban Transitions Using Multi-Temporal Landsat and DMSP-OLS Night-Time Lights Imagery of the Red River Delta in Vietnam
Land 2014, 3(1), 148-166; doi:10.3390/land3010148
Received: 3 November 2013 / Revised: 16 January 2014 / Accepted: 27 January 2014 / Published: 12 February 2014
Cited by 7 | PDF Full-text (6124 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The urban transition that has emerged over the past quarter century poses new challenges for mapping land cover/land use change (LCLUC). The growing archives of imagery from various earth-observing satellites have stimulated the development of innovative methods for change detection in long-term [...] Read more.
The urban transition that has emerged over the past quarter century poses new challenges for mapping land cover/land use change (LCLUC). The growing archives of imagery from various earth-observing satellites have stimulated the development of innovative methods for change detection in long-term time series. We tested two different multi-temporal remote sensing datasets and techniques for mapping the urban transition. Using the Red River Delta of Vietnam as a case study, we compared supervised classification of dense time stacks of Landsat data with trend analyses of an annual series of night-time lights (NTL) data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program-Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS). The results of each method were corroborated through qualitative and quantitative GIS analyses. We found that these two approaches can be used synergistically, combining the advantages of each to provide a fuller understanding of the urban transition at different spatial scales. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A New Urbanization Land Change Continuum)
Open AccessArticle What Makes Green Cities Unique? Examining the Economic and Political Characteristics of the Grey-to-Green Continuum
Land 2014, 3(1), 131-147; doi:10.3390/land3010131
Received: 3 November 2013 / Revised: 16 December 2013 / Accepted: 13 January 2014 / Published: 24 January 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (461 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In the United States, urbanization processes have resulted in a large variety—or “continuum”—of urban landscapes. One entry point for understanding the variety of landscape characteristics associated with different forms of urbanization is through a characterization of vegetative (green) land covers. Green land [...] Read more.
In the United States, urbanization processes have resulted in a large variety—or “continuum”—of urban landscapes. One entry point for understanding the variety of landscape characteristics associated with different forms of urbanization is through a characterization of vegetative (green) land covers. Green land covers—i.e., lawns, parks, forests—have been shown to have a variety of both positive and negative impacts on human and environmental outcomes—ranging from increasing property values, to mitigating urban heat islands, to increasing water use for outdoor watering purposes. While considerable research has examined the variation of vegetation distribution within cities and related social and economic drivers, we know very little about whether or how the economic characteristics and policy priorities of green cities differ from those of “grey” cities—those with little green land cover. To address this gap, this paper seeks to answer the question how do the economic characteristics and policy priorities of green and grey cities differ in the United States? To answer this question, MODIS data from 2001 to 2006 are used to characterize 373 US cities in terms of their vegetative greenness. Information from the International City/County Management Association’s (ICMA) 2010 Local Government Sustainability Survey and 2009 Economic Development Survey are used to identify key governance strategies and policies that may differentiate green from grey cities. Two approaches for data analysis—ANOVA and decision tree analysis—are used to identify the most important characteristics for separating each category of city. The results indicate that grey cities tend to place a high priority on economic initiatives, while green cities place an emphasis on social justice, land conservation, and quality of life initiatives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A New Urbanization Land Change Continuum)
Open AccessArticle Villages in the City: Spatial and Temporal Heterogeneity in Rurality and Urbanity in Bangalore, India
Land 2014, 3(1), 1-18; doi:10.3390/land3010001
Received: 9 November 2013 / Revised: 4 December 2013 / Accepted: 16 December 2013 / Published: 19 December 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (2985 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban-rural distinctions are particularly challenging in the context of fast growing cities in the developing world. Through an example of the Indian city of Bangalore, we demonstrate the case for development of more continuous approaches of urban representation that are needed in [...] Read more.
Urban-rural distinctions are particularly challenging in the context of fast growing cities in the developing world. Through an example of the Indian city of Bangalore, we demonstrate the case for development of more continuous approaches of urban representation that are needed in many parts of the world. Thus even some of the oldest areas in Bangalore, which have been part of an urban center for centuries, exhibit aspects of rurality, as much as other recently developing peri-urban parts of the city. We demonstrate the considerable heterogeneities in urbanity and rurality that exist in Bangalore, which constitutes complex mosaics of rural and urban systems. In contexts such as these, binary representations of the urban rural dichotomy break down, as does the gradient approach to urbanity. There does not appear to be any obvious relationship between the time span for which a site has been urbanized, and the degree to which rurality still maintains its influence on these fluid urban landscapes. New theories and methods are needed to fully represent the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of rurality and urbanity in these fluid landscapes, moving beyond traditional, discretized urban vs. rural classifications, as well as relatively simplistic gradient-based urban to rural analyses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A New Urbanization Land Change Continuum)
Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Patterns and Socioeconomic Contexts of Vegetative Cover in Altamira City, Brazil
Land 2013, 2(4), 774-796; doi:10.3390/land2040774
Received: 25 September 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 2 December 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
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Abstract
Ecosystem services provided by urban vegetation can ameliorate problems common to urban environments while improving the quality of life of urban residents. Much research in urban ecology has analyzed urban environmental dynamics in the global north; rapidly urbanizing areas in the global [...] Read more.
Ecosystem services provided by urban vegetation can ameliorate problems common to urban environments while improving the quality of life of urban residents. Much research in urban ecology has analyzed urban environmental dynamics in the global north; rapidly urbanizing areas in the global south have not received commensurate attention. The land cover dynamics of mid-sized cities in the global south remain under-explored in particular. In this article, we investigate the spatial patterns and socioeconomic contexts of urban vegetation in Altamira, Brazil, a mid-sized but rapidly expanding city in the Amazon. Using time series remotely sensed imagery, we profile changes in urban land cover, and link them to socioeconomic indicators at the census sector (tract) level. While studies of urban environmental justice in the global north largely report that greener urban landscapes prevail in affluent neighborhoods, our analysis reveals significantly lower vegetative cover in higher-income sectors of Altamira. Vegetative cover is also significantly lower in sectors with higher housing density, time since urbanization and better infrastructure, and appears linked to housing tenure. Studies of vegetative outcomes in similar urban environments should investigate socioeconomic and demographic contexts while also integrating recent infrastructure development and density-dependent growth patterns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A New Urbanization Land Change Continuum)
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Open AccessArticle Rural-Urban Transition in Central Java: Population and Economic Structural Changes Based on Cluster Analysis
Land 2013, 2(3), 419-436; doi:10.3390/land2030419
Received: 20 June 2013 / Revised: 12 July 2013 / Accepted: 1 August 2013 / Published: 16 August 2013
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (843 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
In Central Java, in addition to the traditional view of urban transition as an aspect of urban industrialization, rural industrialization based on small- to medium-sized enterprises has become a concern, at least since the Indonesian economic crisis in 1997. Combinations of typical [...] Read more.
In Central Java, in addition to the traditional view of urban transition as an aspect of urban industrialization, rural industrialization based on small- to medium-sized enterprises has become a concern, at least since the Indonesian economic crisis in 1997. Combinations of typical urban and rural activities have resulted in certain features of rural-urban transition as the urban population has continued to increase notably. The intention of this paper is to examine how rural-urban transition characterizes the industrialization of Central Java. Multivariate cluster analysis is applied to create a typology, with the district as the unit of analysis, to better understand the transition phenomenon in terms of the population and economic structure. The cluster solution shows that rural-urban transition occurs on at least two different paths. The first path could be described as industrialization from above, in which the transition takes place as a part of the urban growth process. The second path could be described as industrialization from below, in which rapid industrialization occurs far from the highest hierarchy of the urban center. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A New Urbanization Land Change Continuum)
Open AccessArticle Variations in Atmospheric CO2 Mixing Ratios across a Boston, MA Urban to Rural Gradient
Land 2013, 2(3), 304-327; doi:10.3390/land2030304
Received: 20 April 2013 / Revised: 12 June 2013 / Accepted: 19 June 2013 / Published: 2 July 2013
Cited by 11 | PDF Full-text (1529 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urban areas are directly or indirectly responsible for the majority of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. In this study, we characterize observed atmospheric CO2 mixing ratios and estimated CO2 fluxes at three sites across an urban-to-rural gradient in Boston, MA, USA. [...] Read more.
Urban areas are directly or indirectly responsible for the majority of anthropogenic CO2 emissions. In this study, we characterize observed atmospheric CO2 mixing ratios and estimated CO2 fluxes at three sites across an urban-to-rural gradient in Boston, MA, USA. CO2 is a well-mixed greenhouse gas, but we found significant differences across this gradient in how, where, and when it was exchanged. Total anthropogenic emissions were estimated from an emissions inventory and ranged from 1.5 to 37.3 mg·C·ha−1·yr−1 between rural Harvard Forest and urban Boston. Despite this large increase in anthropogenic emissions, the mean annual difference in atmospheric CO2 between sites was approximately 5% (20.6 ± 0.4 ppm). The influence of vegetation was also visible across the gradient. Green-up occurred near day of year 126, 136, and 141 in Boston, Worcester and Harvard Forest, respectively, highlighting differences in growing season length. In Boston, gross primary production—estimated by scaling productivity by canopy cover—was ~75% lower than at Harvard Forest, yet still constituted a significant local flux of 3.8 mg·C·ha−1·yr−1. In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we must improve our understanding of the space-time variations and underlying drivers of urban carbon fluxes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A New Urbanization Land Change Continuum)
Open AccessArticle Re-Thinking the Role of Compensation in Urban Land Acquisition: Empirical Evidence from South Asia
Land 2013, 2(2), 278-303; doi:10.3390/land2020278
Received: 10 April 2013 / Revised: 27 May 2013 / Accepted: 31 May 2013 / Published: 13 June 2013
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Abstract
Planned efforts to relocate human populations often entail protracted struggles over the terms on which local populations may be compensated for the loss of land, assets and livelihoods. In many instances, compensation has been established on the basis of historical market value, [...] Read more.
Planned efforts to relocate human populations often entail protracted struggles over the terms on which local populations may be compensated for the loss of land, assets and livelihoods. In many instances, compensation has been established on the basis of historical market value, which in effect excludes stakeholders (e.g., encroachers, landless laborers, sharecroppers, etc.) whose livelihoods are adversely affected by land acquisition. Establishing ways of recognizing and compensating the loss of informal land and livelihood is therefore a pressing policy priority. This paper explores the challenge of compensating losses incurred as a result of rapid urban land acquisition in the Indian State of West Bengal. Drawing upon 6 months of empirical field research, it explores (1) the ways in which national and local development authorities have structured processes of land acquisition in areas surrounding Kolkata; (2) the rights and entitlements that have been used in compensating losses incurred as a result of land acquisition; (3) the degree to which local populations have been incorporated into this process; and (4) the extent to which public policy may be used in strengthening the rights of vulnerable populations to basic forms of entitlement, such as housing, employment, and social assistance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A New Urbanization Land Change Continuum)
Open AccessArticle The Linkages between Real Estate Tourism and Urban Sprawl in Majorca (Balearic Islands, Spain)
Land 2013, 2(2), 252-277; doi:10.3390/land2020252
Received: 5 April 2013 / Revised: 10 May 2013 / Accepted: 17 May 2013 / Published: 30 May 2013
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (1277 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Financial capitalism has driven profound changes in urban land use patterns in Majorca, at the Balearic Islands (Spain). This archipelago is a major tourist destination located in the Mediterranean basin, with 4,492 km2 of surface area, 1,113,114 inhabitants and 12,316,399 tourists [...] Read more.
Financial capitalism has driven profound changes in urban land use patterns in Majorca, at the Balearic Islands (Spain). This archipelago is a major tourist destination located in the Mediterranean basin, with 4,492 km2 of surface area, 1,113,114 inhabitants and 12,316,399 tourists (2011), of whom 29.9% came from Germany, 24% from the UK and 19% from the rest of Spain. Neoliberal state regulation has favored the elite’s financial interests in the real estate sector through transport megaproject investment and lifting regional planning restrictions which prevented urban growth. Urban sprawl is becoming increasingly significant for inland Majorca, where intensive tourist resorts had not previously been developed. Urban growth distribution patterns are studied, firstly of suburban development both for tourists and for residential purposes, and secondly of exurban sprawl distribution for isolated dwellings. Recent regional planning relaxation guided by the free market economy and roll-with-it politics aims to promote this urban sprawl as a neoliberal answer to the current crisis of capitalism. In this way, a new model of capital investment in urban spatio-temporal fix, such as countryside villas with swimming pools, is shifting the urban model of this island. The paper identifies the site-specific spatial, temporal and planning pathways through which the actions and decisions of residential tourists and developers buying property in Majorca have driven urban sprawl and vice versa. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A New Urbanization Land Change Continuum)
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Review

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Open AccessReview Urbanity and Urbanization: An Interdisciplinary Review Combining Cultural and Physical Approaches
Land 2014, 3(1), 105-130; doi:10.3390/land3010105
Received: 20 October 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 13 January 2014 / Published: 23 January 2014
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Abstract
This review paper focuses on research schemes regarding urbanity and urbanization, and brings together both cultural and physical approaches. First, we review the cultural and social construction of urbanity (as related to urbanization) in Germany. In the early 20th century, urbanity was [...] Read more.
This review paper focuses on research schemes regarding urbanity and urbanization, and brings together both cultural and physical approaches. First, we review the cultural and social construction of urbanity (as related to urbanization) in Germany. In the early 20th century, urbanity was mainly the result of identity derived from a historical perspective in cities. This has changed profoundly in recent decades as urbanity stems more and more from various urban lifestyles and the staging of societal experiences, as summarized in the German term, “Erlebnisgesellschaft” (thrill-seeking society). The discussion is extended by an assessment of the recent state of the art regarding physical urban research. The focus lies on different fields of research; we address topics such as biodiversity, urban climate, air pollution, and resilience, as well as their impact on urban planning and governance. In conclusion, in order to tackle recent developments and future challenges regarding social and environmental issues, an integrative approach urges novel cross- and inter-disciplinary research efforts in urban studies, including urban-rural linkages. A newly constituted assessment of urbanization and city quarter development is proposed; the assessment focuses on the conjoint analysis of mobility, “Energiewende” (energy transition), cultural drivers, demographic development, and environmental issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A New Urbanization Land Change Continuum)

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