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Special Issue "Challenges and responses to population health and urbanization in the 21st century"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (28 February 2017)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Mark Rosenberg

Department of Geography & Planning, Queen’s University, Canada
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Interests: health geography; population aging; planning and policy making
Guest Editor
Prof. Wuyi Wang

Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
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Interests: health and medical geography; urban and rural health; longevity and environment
Guest Editor
Prof. Thomas Krafft

CAPHRI School of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Maastricht, Netherlands
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Interests: public health surveillance; urban (environmental) health; global health
Guest Editor
Prof. Linsheng Yang

Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: health and medical geography; environmental change and health
Guest Editor
Dr. Yang Cheng

School of Geography, Beijing Normal University, China
Website | E-Mail
Interests: population aging; accessibility to health care services; health living environment

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urbanization has significant impacts on people’s quality of life in the 21st century. The rapid process of urbanization raises the question of how individuals and the public, not-for-profit and private sectors in urban environments can make services available and accessible, and meet the demands of a growing vulnerable population, especially in developing countires and megacities. There is a need to understand how regional differences in urbanization and population health, their challenges and health impacts, and people’s accessibility and utilization of public services, will support planning and policy making for sustainable development in our future. This multi-disciplinary Special Issue calls for papers addressing these issues, and others linked to public health, population aging and urbanization in geography, urban planning, policy studies, etc. It is supported by the International Geographical Union (IGU) Commission on Health and the Environment (CHE) for the “Pre-conference on Shaping Geographies of Health, Health Care and Environment” and sessions on environment and health in the 33rd International Geographical Congress (IGC) of IGU.

Sincerely yours,

Prof. Mark Rosenberg
Prof. Wuyi Wang
Prof. Thomas Krafft
Prof. Linsheng Yang
Dr. Yang Cheng
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. 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

  • population health
  • urbanization
  • public services
  • planning
  • policy making

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Analyzing Risk Factors for Fatality in Urban Traffic Crashes: A Case Study of Wuhan, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 897; doi:10.3390/su9060897
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 23 May 2017 / Published: 26 May 2017
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Abstract
How to maintain public transit safety and sustainability has become a major concern for the department of Road Traffic Administration. This study aims to analyze the risk factors that contribute to fatality in road traffic crashes using a 5-year police-reported dataset from the
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How to maintain public transit safety and sustainability has become a major concern for the department of Road Traffic Administration. This study aims to analyze the risk factors that contribute to fatality in road traffic crashes using a 5-year police-reported dataset from the Wuhan Traffic Management Bureau. Four types of variables, including driving experience, environmental factor, roadway factor and crash characteristic, were examined in this research by a case-control study. To obtain a comprehensive understanding of crash fatality, this study explored a detailed set of injury-severity risk factors such as impact direction, light and weather conditions, crash characteristic, driving experience and high-risk driving behavior. Based on the results of statistical analyses, fatality risk of crash-involved individuals was significantly associated with driving experience, season, light condition, road type, crash type, impact direction, and high-risk driving behavior. This study succeeded in identifying the risk factors for fatality of crash-involved individuals using a police-reported dataset, which could provide reliable information for implementing remedial measures and improving sustainability in urban road network. A more detailed list of explanatory variables could enhance the accountability of the analysis. Full article
Open AccessArticle Mobile Healthcare Applications and Gamification for Sustained Health Maintenance
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 772; doi:10.3390/su9050772
Received: 22 February 2017 / Revised: 17 April 2017 / Accepted: 3 May 2017 / Published: 8 May 2017
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Abstract
This paper examines how gamification affects user intention to use mobile healthcare applications (mHealth) and how the effect of gamification works differently according to health status, age, and gender. We use data from a mobile survey conducted by a Korean representative survey agency.
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This paper examines how gamification affects user intention to use mobile healthcare applications (mHealth) and how the effect of gamification works differently according to health status, age, and gender. We use data from a mobile survey conducted by a Korean representative survey agency. We estimate the effect of gamification on user intention to use mobile healthcare applications based on a structural equation model and examine the moderating effects of self-reported health status, age, and gender. We find that gamification is effective in increasing user intention to use mHealth, especially in the healthy and younger groups. These findings suggest that mHealth, with the gamification factor, would encourage healthy (but lack exercise) people as well as unhealthy people to maintain their health status, and thus the mHealth developers need to consider the gamification factor when they develop mHealth services for healthy people. Full article
Open AccessArticle Towards Sustainable Public Health Surveillance in India: Using Routinely Collected Electronic Emergency Medical Service Data for Early Warning of Infectious Diseases
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 604; doi:10.3390/su9040604
Received: 26 February 2017 / Revised: 5 April 2017 / Accepted: 7 April 2017 / Published: 13 April 2017
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Abstract
Infectious disease surveillance, timely detection and early warning of outbreaks present a complex challenge to health authorities in India. Approaches based on the use of unexplored data sources, like emergency medical services (EMS) data, can contribute to the further advancement of public health
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Infectious disease surveillance, timely detection and early warning of outbreaks present a complex challenge to health authorities in India. Approaches based on the use of unexplored data sources, like emergency medical services (EMS) data, can contribute to the further advancement of public health surveillance capacities in India and support and strengthen the Integrated Disease Surveillance Programme (IDSP) strategy. This research followed a mixed method approach including a series of semi-structured interviews and fever data analysis of the EMS operating dispatch system in Andra Pradesh, India. In this paper, we explore whether routinely collected EMS health data can improve sustainable infectious disease surveillance and early warning capacity. The result highlights the need for improved surveillance systems for early warning of infectious diseases in India. The data availability at the EMS dispatch centre includes patient data and spatial information and can be used for near real-time analysis. Routine data relevant for health surveillance can be extracted to provide timely health information that supplements and enhances more traditional surveillance mechanisms and thus provides a cost-efficient, near real-time early warning system for the operating states. The designed intervention is sustainable and can improve infectious disease surveillance to potentially help the government officials to appropriately prioritize timely interventions to prevent infectious disease spread. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Impact of Green Open Space on Community Attachment—A Case Study of Three Communities in Beijing
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 560; doi:10.3390/su9040560
Received: 26 January 2017 / Revised: 2 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 April 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2469 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the development of urbanization in China, the quality of urban life and community attachment have attracted increasing attention of the governments and society. Existing research on community attachment has mainly examined how individual characteristics affect community attachment, such as their length of
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With the development of urbanization in China, the quality of urban life and community attachment have attracted increasing attention of the governments and society. Existing research on community attachment has mainly examined how individual characteristics affect community attachment, such as their length of residence and socioeconomic status. However, some scholars have become interested in exploring the effects of green open space on community attachment. This research examined whether the distribution of green open space in communities had significant effects on community attachment, and both the impact and path were also investigated. Through a questionnaire survey, relevant data in three communities of Beijing were collected. The impact of green open space layout on community attachment was evaluated by using hierarchical regression, and the impact path was examined by using a structural equation model. The results showed that green open space in a community had significant effects on the community attachment, with centralized green open space layout having a greater effect than that of dispersed green open space. Moreover, the more complex the shape of green open space is, the greater the impact is. The degree of satisfaction with the green open space had direct effects on the community attachment. The accessibility and perceived area of green open space could indirectly have an impact on the community attachment by affecting the degree of satisfaction with the green open space. Nevertheless, residents’ perceived importance of green open space could affect the community attachment directly and indirectly, as it affects the degree of satisfaction. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Spatiotemporal Patterns of Ozone and Cardiovascular and Respiratory Disease Mortalities Due to Ozone in Shenzhen
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 559; doi:10.3390/su9040559
Received: 22 December 2016 / Revised: 29 March 2017 / Accepted: 31 March 2017 / Published: 7 April 2017
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Abstract
In order to explore the temporal-spatial patterns and possible health effects of ozone in Shenzhen, daily concentrations of ozone and the daily mortality caused by cardiovascular and respiratory diseases were collected. Using Geographic Information System (GIS) and SPSS, the spatial and temporal patterns
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In order to explore the temporal-spatial patterns and possible health effects of ozone in Shenzhen, daily concentrations of ozone and the daily mortality caused by cardiovascular and respiratory diseases were collected. Using Geographic Information System (GIS) and SPSS, the spatial and temporal patterns of ozone in Shenzhen were illustrated. Using a generalized additive model (GAM), the associations between ozone and cardiovascular and respiratory diseases causing mortality were analyzed, adjusted for meteorological factors and other major air pollutants including fine particulate matter (PM2.5), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and carbon monoxide (CO), and stratified by lag, age, and gender. The results showed that, during 2013, ozone was the second main air pollutant in Shenzhen apart from PM2.5, with average daily concentrations of 95.9 µg/m3 and 76.8 µg/m3 for the ozone 1-h mean and the daily ozone 8-h maximum concentration, respectively. The daily level of ozone had a higher concentration from September to October, and relatively low concentration from May to June. Obviously, a higher concentration was found in central parts of Shenzhen with the largest population, indicating higher risks. The excess risk (ER) percentage of the cardio-respiratory mortality rate showed a clearly accumulative effect at L03, with the highest ER percentage of 1.08 (0.88–1.27) per 10 µg/m3 increase in the ozone 8-h maximum concentration for all the population. Males were found to be more sensitive to ozone compared with females, and the elderly were more susceptible to ozone exposure than younger people. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Estimates of Economic Loss of Materials Caused by Acid Deposition in China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 488; doi:10.3390/su9040488
Received: 19 December 2016 / Revised: 19 March 2017 / Accepted: 21 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
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Abstract
China is facing severe acid deposition. Acid deposition can cause economic loss, corrosion, and damage to materials, and the reduction of material life span. In this study, the administrative areas (including municipalities, prefecture-level cities, regions, autonomous prefectures, and leagues—hereinafter referred to the cities)
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China is facing severe acid deposition. Acid deposition can cause economic loss, corrosion, and damage to materials, and the reduction of material life span. In this study, the administrative areas (including municipalities, prefecture-level cities, regions, autonomous prefectures, and leagues—hereinafter referred to the cities) at and above the prefecture level were selected as research areas. Monitoring results of acid precipitation and ambient air sulfur dioxide (SO2) from the China National Environmental Monitoring Network were used, research findings available domestically and abroad were summarized, and a set of material exposure inventory per capita was established, based on urban and rural areas in Eastern, Central, and Western China regions. Losses of construction materials caused by acid deposition in the cities were assessed by using the said materials’ acid rain exposure response functions available. The results showed that, material loss caused by acid deposition in China was 32.165 billion yuan (RMB, similarly hereinafter) in 2013, accounting for 0.057% of GDP (Gross Domestic Product) and 3.4% of the total investment for environmental pollution governance this year. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Urbanization on Rural Drinking Water Quality in Beijing, China
Sustainability 2017, 9(4), 461; doi:10.3390/su9040461
Received: 4 January 2017 / Revised: 6 March 2017 / Accepted: 17 March 2017 / Published: 24 March 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (526 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Urbanization is an inevitable trend in historical development, but eco-environmental problems, including drinking water safety, have gradually become more and more outstanding during the process of rural urbanization. Ten districts in rural areas of Beijing, China were selected to study the effects of
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Urbanization is an inevitable trend in historical development, but eco-environmental problems, including drinking water safety, have gradually become more and more outstanding during the process of rural urbanization. Ten districts in rural areas of Beijing, China were selected to study the effects of urbanization on drinking water quality. The relation between the urbanization index and drinking water quality indicators were explored. The influence of the urbanization process on drinking water quality showed that housing construction, population urbanization, energy consumption, and industrialization during urban development were closely related to drinking water quality. The paired t-test showed the total electricity consumption, living electricity consumption, tertiary industry, and the GDP growth rate had boundary (p = 0.06) or significantly positive (p < 0.05) relations with the qualified rate of rural drinking water. The grey correlation analysis showed that the growth rates of the value-added of housing construction areas were the most important factor affecting comprehensive water quality of Beijing rural areas, followed by the growth rates of the value-added by secondary industry and total electricity consumption, and then the growth rates of the value-added by the tertiary industry and GDP. Urbanization had a significant impact on individual water quality indicators. The results of this study provided some supports for drinking water security in the face of urbanization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle The Disease Burden of Patients with Allergic Rhinitis from a Hospital Surveillance in Beijing
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 427; doi:10.3390/su9030427
Received: 21 November 2016 / Revised: 9 February 2017 / Accepted: 9 March 2017 / Published: 14 March 2017
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Abstract
Background: The aims of this study are to estimate the disease burden of allergic rhinitis (AR) patients and examine various underlying issues related to the symptoms and services of adult AR patients. Methods: Beijing hospital was picked as the surveillance area, and self-report
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Background: The aims of this study are to estimate the disease burden of allergic rhinitis (AR) patients and examine various underlying issues related to the symptoms and services of adult AR patients. Methods: Beijing hospital was picked as the surveillance area, and self-report questionnaires from the AR patients and data from medical examinations by specialists of otolaryngology were collected. The burden of patients with AR was evaluated by the combined results from patient-questionnaires and specialist examination reports. Results: AR imposed a substantial burden on patients regarding everyday life limitations and work performance; AR affected patients’ noses, ears, throats, and eyes in various ways. The basic daily average medicine cost was 10 RMB for each patient, and the cost for an outpatient in the hospital was 10 RMB for a basic nasal examination and more than 200 RMB if the patient needed further physical examinations. Conclusions: AR imposed burdens on everyday activities and work performance; the patients needed to wait a long time before being diagnosed, and the costs of diagnosis and treatment imposed economic burden on patients. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Public Open Space Development for Elderly People by Using the DANP-V Model to Establish Continuous Improvement Strategies towards a Sustainable and Healthy Aging Society
Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 420; doi:10.3390/su9030420
Received: 31 December 2016 / Revised: 25 February 2017 / Accepted: 7 March 2017 / Published: 11 March 2017
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Abstract
With the global trend of population aging, how to integrate the health needs of elderly people into public open space (POS) development while taking into account public interest is a major challenge in the 21st century. Although the issues of elderly people’s health
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With the global trend of population aging, how to integrate the health needs of elderly people into public open space (POS) development while taking into account public interest is a major challenge in the 21st century. Although the issues of elderly people’s health and their POS needs are receiving increasing attention, research on continuous improvement strategies for POS for healthy aging societies is still limited. Hence, this study explored continuous improvement strategies thoroughly and systematically by using the DANP-V model. The findings revealed cognitive differences between expert and elderly groups. Moreover, water features, waste management, and co-maintenance spaces were the three criteria with the largest gap value. POS improvement has previously been implemented based on a priority order ranked from the criterion with largest gap value to the criterion with the smallest one. However, an alternative approach based on the cause–effect relationship is proposed in this paper. The study findings have both theoretical and practical implications for POS planners and designers. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle An Application of the Short-Term Forecasting with Limited Data in the Healthcare Traveling Industry
Sustainability 2016, 8(10), 1037; doi:10.3390/su8101037
Received: 3 July 2016 / Revised: 14 September 2016 / Accepted: 9 October 2016 / Published: 16 October 2016
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Abstract
In real practice, forecasting under the limited data has attracted more attention in business activities, especially in the healthcare traveling industry in its current stage. However, there are only a few research studies focusing on this issue. Thus, the purposes of this paper
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In real practice, forecasting under the limited data has attracted more attention in business activities, especially in the healthcare traveling industry in its current stage. However, there are only a few research studies focusing on this issue. Thus, the purposes of this paper were to determine the forecasted performance of several current forecasting methods as well as to examine their applications. Taking advantage of the small data requirement for model construction, three models including the exponential smoothing model, the Grey model GM(1,1), and the modified Lotka-Volterra model (L.V.), were used to conduct forecasting analyses based on the data of foreign patients from 2001 to 2013 in six destinations. The results indicated that the L.V. model had higher prediction power than the other two models, and it obtained the best forecasting performance with an 89.7% precision rate. In conclusion, the L.V. model is the best model for estimating the market size of the healthcare traveling industry, followed by the GM(1,1) model. The contribution of this study is to offer a useful statistical tool for short-term planning, which can be applied to the healthcare traveling industry in particular, and for other business forecasting under the conditions of limited data in general. Full article
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Other

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Open AccessPerspective Sustopia or Cosmopolis? A Critical Reflection on the Sustainable City
Sustainability 2017, 9(5), 845; doi:10.3390/su9050845
Received: 16 April 2017 / Revised: 11 May 2017 / Accepted: 15 May 2017 / Published: 18 May 2017
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Abstract
A broader perspective on the role of cities and their relation to their inhabitants and the planet is essential to effectively answer urgent sustainability questions that emerge in and beyond cities. This essay provides a critical reflection on the notion of the sustainable
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A broader perspective on the role of cities and their relation to their inhabitants and the planet is essential to effectively answer urgent sustainability questions that emerge in and beyond cities. This essay provides a critical reflection on the notion of the sustainable city. The central question discussed is: how can the ideal of a sustainable city be best conceptualised? Through exploring historic and contemporary theories on the urban-nature-people relationship and analysing some current sustainable city projects with the help of Cultural Theory, it is argued that creating a sustainable city paradoxically means parting with Sustopia. Sustopia often turns into Dystopia when a single perspective on constructing a sustainable city becomes dominant. In order to assist the process of meaningfully conceptualising the sustainable city, the notion of Cosmopolis is re-explored. This notion of a city embraces creativity, critical practice, adaptation, and it places urban development and planning in a context of multiple spatial and temporal scales. Full article
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