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Special Issue "GISc Contributions to the Study and Understanding of Geographies of Change"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 July 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Sotirios Koukoulas

Department of Geography, University of the Aegean, Lofos Panepistimiou, Mytilene 81100, Greece
Website 1 | Website 2 | E-Mail
Interests: geographic information science; remote sensing; spatial statistics; land change science, environmental monitoring and modeling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Geo-environmental and Geo-socioeconomic changes, as well as their interactions, will be studied at a variety of scales in an attempt to explore the role of analytical tools and technologies in understanding changing geographies. The role of Geographical Information Science in mapping, analyzing, monitoring and modeling change will be presented in a series of articles, providing answers to research questions and problems that are suitable for GISc (Geographical Information Science contributions) analysis. 

This Special Issue will not attempt to answer all questions or connect all the dots in the complex puzzle of our changing world. It will however present examples of ways to quantify change, highlight patterns of geographical differentiation, explore spatial complexities and drivers of change and present some solutions that can lead to practices of sustainability. Planning for sustainability requires an interdisciplinary approach with an emphasis on the application of modern methodological developments in GISc and Earth Observation and this is the direction that this issue will take.

Papers incorporating novel and interesting Geospatial Science techniques to study change are particularly encouraged. Well prepared review papers are also welcomed. A thematic balance will also play a role in the selection of papers.

Prof. Dr. Sotirios Koukoulas
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Spatial patterns of Environmental change
  • Spatial patterns of Socioeconomic change
  • Impacts of Climate change
  • Dynamic Simulation techniques
  • Spatio-temporal modeling and analysis of geographical problems

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Quantitative Assessment of Regional Debris-Flow Risk: A Case Study in Southwest China
Sustainability 2018, 10(7), 2223; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10072223
Received: 26 March 2018 / Revised: 15 June 2018 / Accepted: 15 June 2018 / Published: 28 June 2018
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Abstract
This paper uses a comprehensive risk assessment method to investigate the population risk of debris flows in Southwest China. The methodology integrates models from hazard, vulnerability literature and some empirical equations. The main steps include debris-flow disaster-hazard zoning, estimation of the frequency of
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This paper uses a comprehensive risk assessment method to investigate the population risk of debris flows in Southwest China. The methodology integrates models from hazard, vulnerability literature and some empirical equations. The main steps include debris-flow disaster-hazard zoning, estimation of the frequency of the disaster, factor identification of population vulnerability, and calculation of the fragility rate. The results demonstrate that the most hazardous regions in Southwest China are primarily observed in the mountains around the Sichuan Basin, the border area between Sichuan and Yunnan Provinces, the eastern and southern regions of Yunnan Province, and the eastern area of Guizhou Province. The extremely high vulnerability zones are characterized by a fragility rate of 3.89 persons per 10,000 people. The comprehensive risk gradually increases from the southeast of the study area to the central region, reaching its highest value (more than 100 persons/year) on the Jiangyou–Zhaotong–Baoshan Line and decreasing thereafter to its lowest in the northwestern region. Extremely large-scale disasters are the major factor of casualties. Appropriate risk management and mitigation solutions should be comprehensively determined based on the combination of debris-hazard levels and fragility rates in the hazardous regions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Climatic Changes and Their Relation to Weather Types in a Transboundary Mountainous Region in Central Europe
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 2049; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10062049
Received: 28 March 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 16 June 2018
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Abstract
A first-time common cross-border assessment of observed climatic changes in the Saxon–Bohemian region was the aim of the German–Czech climate cooperation INTERKLIM. This paper focuses on the observed changes of temperature and precipitation averages and extremes within the period 1961–2010, investigating how variations
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A first-time common cross-border assessment of observed climatic changes in the Saxon–Bohemian region was the aim of the German–Czech climate cooperation INTERKLIM. This paper focuses on the observed changes of temperature and precipitation averages and extremes within the period 1961–2010, investigating how variations of a range of climate indices were regionally shaped by changes in frequency and character of weather types. This investigation serves to enhance our understanding of the regional climate characteristics to develop transboundary adaptation strategies and focuses on the classification of the “Grosswetterlagen” using the parameters of air temperature and precipitation. Climate data were quality controlled and homogenized by a wide range of methods using the ProClimDB software with a subsequent comprehensive regional visualization based on Geographical Information Systems. Trends for the temperature averages showed increasing trend values mainly from January to August, especially for high temperature extremes. Precipitation trends displayed regionally varying signals, but a strong spatially uniform decrease from April to June (early growing season) and a distinctive increase from July to September (late growing season). Climatic changes were supported by frequency changes of weather types, e.g., the drying from April to June was related to a decrease/increase in patterns causing rather wet/dry conditions, while from July to September opposite trends were observed. Our results represent regional climatic changes in a complex topography and their dependency on variations in atmospheric circulation peculiarities. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Further Widening or Bridging the Gap? A Cross-Regional Study of Unemployment across the EU Amid Economic Crisis
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1702; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061702
Received: 11 May 2018 / Revised: 21 May 2018 / Accepted: 21 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
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Abstract
The 2008 global economic crisis led to a sharp increase in unemployment with an estimated 210 million people being unemployed worldwide by 2010. This study analyzes the spatio-temporal distribution of unemployment in the European Union (EU) at a cross-regional level between 2008 and
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The 2008 global economic crisis led to a sharp increase in unemployment with an estimated 210 million people being unemployed worldwide by 2010. This study analyzes the spatio-temporal distribution of unemployment in the European Union (EU) at a cross-regional level between 2008 and 2013 to identify if spatio-temporal patterns of unemployment exist, and if the European regions have suffered similarly during the study period. Various local spatial autocorrelation techniques are applied and results show that unemployment is highly polarized across the EU regions. Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece are experiencing high rates of unemployment forming clusters in space and time. By contrast, Germany, Austria, and nearby regions are more resilient to the economic crisis strains thus creating spatial clusters of low rates of unemployment. Spatial autocorrelation increased considerably in 2013 compared to 2008, indicating further polarization of unemployment and a widening gap between the south and the central-north, showcasing that the severe austerity measures imposed in the beginning of the crisis on some countries did not have any positive effect on unemployment mitigation. The paper also discusses interesting cross-regional patterns to assist policymakers and planners to better understand how high rates of unemployment are spreading geographically and thus take preventive measures to alleviate the implications of the phenomenon. The proposed analysis delves deeper into comprehending geographies of change, and related findings can support spatial planning for achieving society’s sustainability. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Detecting Historical Vegetation Changes in the Dunhuang Oasis Protected Area Using Landsat Images
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1780; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9101780
Received: 25 July 2017 / Revised: 27 September 2017 / Accepted: 28 September 2017 / Published: 30 September 2017
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Abstract
Abstract: Given its proximity to an artificial oasis, the Donghu Nature Reserve in the Dunhuang Oasis has faced environmental pressure and vegetation disturbances in recent decades. Satellite vegetation indices (VIs) can be used to detect such changes in vegetation if the satellite
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Abstract: Given its proximity to an artificial oasis, the Donghu Nature Reserve in the Dunhuang Oasis has faced environmental pressure and vegetation disturbances in recent decades. Satellite vegetation indices (VIs) can be used to detect such changes in vegetation if the satellite images are calibrated to surface reflectance (SR) values. The aim of this study was to select a suitable VI based on the Landsat Climate Data Record (CDR) products and the absolute radiation-corrected results of Landsat L1T images to detect the spatio-temporal changes in vegetation for the Donghu Reserve during 1986–2015. The results showed that the VI difference (ΔVI) images effectively reduced the changes in the source images. Compared with the other VIs, the soil-adjusted vegetation index (SAVI) displayed greater robustness to atmospheric effects in the two types of SR images and was more responsive to vegetation changes caused by human factors. From 1986 to 2015, the positive changes in vegetation dominated the overall change trend, with changes in vegetation in the reserve decreasing during 1990–1995, increasing until 2005–2010, and then decreasing again. The vegetation changes were mainly distributed at the edge of the artificial oasis outside the reserve. The detected changes in vegetation in the reserve highlight the increased human pressure on the reserve. Full article
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