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Land, Volume 13, Issue 5 (May 2024) – 155 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): Coastal areas are crucial for economic and recreational development, attracting large populations globally. However, this has increased pressure on the coastal landscape, requiring strategies to protect it. Composed of abiotic and biotic elements, the coastal landscape is vital for human wellbeing. This study examines the southeast of the Ría de Arosa on Galicia’s coast. The goal is to create high-resolution maps for planning and conserving landscapes. Using geographic information systems, we will analyze environmental factors to produce landscape units, quality and fragility maps. Strategies like multi-use land practices and geotourism are proposed for sustainable management. This work contributes to our understanding of coastal landscape vulnerability and offers tools for sustainable management. View this paper
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25 pages, 573 KiB  
Article
Transformation of the Saudi Housing Sector through an Enabling Approach to Affordable Housing
by Mubarak F. Alhajri
Land 2024, 13(5), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050718 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 309
Abstract
Access to affordable housing has a significant impact on the quality of lives of households and the overall well-being of communities. The enabling approach is recognized internationally as a mechanism for housing delivery, shifting the government’s role from that of a direct provider [...] Read more.
Access to affordable housing has a significant impact on the quality of lives of households and the overall well-being of communities. The enabling approach is recognized internationally as a mechanism for housing delivery, shifting the government’s role from that of a direct provider to that of an enabler within housing markets. In line with its Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia aims to transition its role from a direct housing provider to an enabler. This study aimed to assess the extent to which enabling strategies have been implemented within the Saudi Arabian context. This research was conducted based on a desktop study of the key literature, analysis of secondary data, and content analysis of the collected documents to address the research aim. The study found that housing costs, traditional land tenure, and insufficient financing are major housing challenges, intensified by high lending interest, lack of investor diversity in housing types, and lack of long-term funding from financiers. Also, slum developments are limited to providing street access, without addressing the overall conditions and the level of services. In addition, the costs of obtaining permits and implementing building regulations have contributed to housing shortages in the country. On the other hand, real estate developers of different scales undergo a classification and qualification system to increase their capacity for housing supply. To address these challenges, the Saudi government has implemented an enabling approach, serving as a provider for low-income and vulnerable groups through the Developmental Housing Program. The government also encourages local manufacturing of building materials to boost the construction industry. The present study recommends that the government enhance existing instruments to enable access to affordable housing. Full article
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22 pages, 43250 KiB  
Article
Urban Texture Identification and Characteristic Analysis Based on Percolation Theory—A Case Study of the Second Ring Road Area in Wuhan City
by Shen Yang, Qingming Zhan, Kaili Zhang and Hurex Paryzat
Land 2024, 13(5), 717; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050717 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 340
Abstract
The urban texture is the physical manifestation of the urban form’s evolution. In the rapid process of urbanization, protecting and reshaping the urban texture has become an essential means to sustain the overall form and vitality of cities. Previous studies in this field [...] Read more.
The urban texture is the physical manifestation of the urban form’s evolution. In the rapid process of urbanization, protecting and reshaping the urban texture has become an essential means to sustain the overall form and vitality of cities. Previous studies in this field have primarily relied on image analysis or typological methods, lacking a quantitative approach to identify and analyze the urban texture on a large scale. Moreover, the hierarchical structure and networked organization of the urban texture are gradually being elucidated and emphasized. This study takes a complex network perspective and applies percolation theory to identify and analyze the urban texture. The hierarchical evolutionary characteristics of the urban fabric and the underlying mechanisms driving the scale-dependent differences are analyzed, and the toughness of the urban texture is evaluated based on hierarchical connections. The research findings reveal the key scale in the cross-scale evolution of urban textures, with variations in scale dependence and hierarchical evolution characteristics among different types of urban texture. The traditional urban texture displays sensitivity to scale changes, maintaining its integrity and internal connectivity at small scales. On the other hand, the texture characteristics of modern and contemporary urban areas are only discernible at larger scales. The emergence of large-scale texture clusters at specific scale levels can be explained using multiple index systems. This study has reference significance for the preservation and renewal of the urban fabric in urban renewal processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Morphology: A Perspective from Space)
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19 pages, 7312 KiB  
Article
Environmental Justice in the Context of Access to Urban Green Spaces for Refugee Children
by Siqi Chen and Martin Knöll
Land 2024, 13(5), 716; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050716 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 325
Abstract
Accessible and high-quality urban green space (UGS) can provide significant benefits to refugee children for their development, health, and well-being. However, few studies have examined the actual accessibility of UGS from refugee children’s perspectives (i.e., with restricted walking radius, particular vulnerability towards barriers [...] Read more.
Accessible and high-quality urban green space (UGS) can provide significant benefits to refugee children for their development, health, and well-being. However, few studies have examined the actual accessibility of UGS from refugee children’s perspectives (i.e., with restricted walking radius, particular vulnerability towards barriers such as traffic infrastructures and disconnected road forms) and related them with other environmental or social burdens under the context of environmental justice. It is necessary to explore related evidence and investigate the underlying causes since refugee facilities are primarily located in areas with restricted social and environmental resources strongly related to attributes of environmental justice. This paper investigated (1) availability, accessibility, and attractiveness of UGS in 30 refugee accommodation locations in Berlin using GIS and Space Syntax, (2) environmental burdens using the Berlin Atlas of Environmental Justice, and (3) neighbourhood characteristics. Findings indicate that 63% of refugee accommodations have availability of green space that is above average official standards, but from refugee children’s perspectives, 60% of the locations have limited access to UGS, lower attractive green spaces, and most locations face multi-environmental burdens. Currently, little guidance focuses on ensuring equal access to and the usability of UGS for specific socioeconomic and demographic groups, such as refugee children. Therefore, this paper has contributed empirical materials to begin such research and develop inclusive decision-making strategies in environmental and health policy to ensure the provision and high quality of UGS for refugee children who need it. Full article
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16 pages, 2835 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Coupling Coordinated Development of the Water-Soil-Energy-Carbon System in Northwest China
by Min Wang, Yiming An, Rupu Yang, Xiaoyu Shan, Liping Li and Xiangzhao Feng
Land 2024, 13(5), 715; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050715 - 20 May 2024
Viewed by 299
Abstract
The intricate interplay between water resources, land resources, energy systems, and carbon emissions has emerged as a prominent discourse in academic research. Nonetheless, there remains a dearth of comprehensive research dedicated to fostering environmentally friendly and low-carbon development through systematic integration and coordination [...] Read more.
The intricate interplay between water resources, land resources, energy systems, and carbon emissions has emerged as a prominent discourse in academic research. Nonetheless, there remains a dearth of comprehensive research dedicated to fostering environmentally friendly and low-carbon development through systematic integration and coordination efforts. This study aimed to fill this gap by integrating the coupling mechanism of the Water-Land-Energy-Carbon (WLEC) system, thereby constructing an evaluation index framework that assesses coordinated developments in Northwest China’s WLEC system. It scrutinizes the security levels within the Water-Land-Energy (WLE) subsystem while conducting quantitative analyses on the degrees of coupling coordination within the WLEC systems, alongside their associated hindering factors. The preliminary findings were as follows: Firstly, the safety development within the WLE system demonstrates a positive trend across Northwest China, with notable advancements primarily observed in the Qinghai and Gansu provinces. In 2021, all five Northwestern provinces exhibited moderate levels of safe development, except for the Qinghai province, which transitioned from moderate to robust. Secondly, the coupling coordination degree of the WLEC system across the five provinces has consistently illustrated an upward trajectory over the years. However, as of 2021, the system remains in a state characterized by marginal disorder. Notably, the Qinghai and Gansu provinces have shown particularly encouraging upward trends, with the Shaanxi province also making notable progress. Conversely, Xinjiang has declined since 2017 due to negative interactions between the subsystems of water, soil, energy, and carbon emissions. Thirdly, spatial variations exist in the distribution patterns between the provinces regarding the influence of obstructing factors on indicators related to coupled coordinated development, such as per capita arable land area, per capita energy consumption, per capita carbon emissions, per capita construction land area, and the proportion of groundwater water in the total amount of water supply, which demonstrated an increasing trend. These findings carry significant practical implications for actively and steadily promoting carbon peaking and carbon neutrality in Northwest China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Balancing Ecosystems and Renewable Energy in Landscapes)
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22 pages, 19346 KiB  
Article
A Two-Layer SD-ANN-CA Model Framework for Multi-Typed Land Use and Land Cover Change Prediction under Constraints: Case Study of Ya’an City Area, Western China
by Jingyao Zhao, Xiaofan Zhu, Fan Zhang and Lei Gao
Land 2024, 13(5), 714; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050714 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 441
Abstract
Land use and land cover change (LUCC) prediction of cities in Western China requires higher accuracy in quantitative demand and spatial layout because of complex challenges in balancing relationships between urban constructions and ecological developments. Considering city-level areas and various types of land [...] Read more.
Land use and land cover change (LUCC) prediction of cities in Western China requires higher accuracy in quantitative demand and spatial layout because of complex challenges in balancing relationships between urban constructions and ecological developments. Considering city-level areas and various types of land use and land cover, existing LUCC models without constraint or with only loose demand constraints were impractical in providing evidence of high accuracy and high-resolution predictions in areas facing fierce land competition. In this study, we proposed a two-layer SD-ANN-CA model to simulate and explore the LUCC trend and layout predictions for 2018, 2028, and 2038 in Ya’an City, Western China. The two-layer structure with an upper layer of the SD model and a lower layer of the ANN-CA model, as well as the advantages of all three methods of system dynamics (SD), artificial neural network (ANN), and cellular automata (CA), have allowed us to consider the macro-level demand constraints, meso-level driving factors constraints, and the micro-level spatial constraints into a unified model framework. The simulation results of the year 2018 have shown significant improvement in the accuracy of the ANN-CA model constructed in our earlier work, especially in types of forest land (error-accuracy: 0.08%), grassland (error-accuracy: 0.23%), and construction land (error-accuracy: 0.18%). The layout predictions of all six types of land use in 2028 and 2038 are then carried out to provide visual evidence support, which may improve the efficiency of planning and policy-making processes. Our work may also provide insights into new ways to combine quantitative methods into spatial methods in constructing city-level or even regional-level LUCC models with high resolution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Urban Land Use and Spatial Analysis)
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17 pages, 1640 KiB  
Article
Legislative Foundations: Exploring Land Take Laws and Urban Regeneration Policies in Italy and Europe
by Annamaria Felli and Francesco Zullo
Land 2024, 13(5), 713; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050713 - 19 May 2024
Viewed by 381
Abstract
Soil is now a central issue on the European as well as the national political agenda, as it represents a fundamental ecosystem for human survival on the planet. Today, more than ever, its protection and proper use in various contexts (agricultural, natural, urban) [...] Read more.
Soil is now a central issue on the European as well as the national political agenda, as it represents a fundamental ecosystem for human survival on the planet. Today, more than ever, its protection and proper use in various contexts (agricultural, natural, urban) require stringent policies that can be implemented immediately. The difficult reversibility of urban transformations is the main threat to the ecosystem integrity of soil. Starting from this statement, the main objective of the proposed work is to analyze how the main European countries (Italy, France, Germany, and Spain) are addressing the issue of the goal of zero net land take by 2050 by examining the current laws and strategies. The results highlight how the regulatory aspect plays a key role in managing the phenomenon and how the absence of a national framework law can generate strong distortions and different interpretations of the soil ecosystem. The analysis of the Nature Restoration Law, adopted by the European Commission in July 2023, enables us to assess whether the regulations and measures adopted by the major European countries align with the European Union’s trends. Through a comparative perspective, the study aims to contribute to a comprehensive understanding of sustainable development practices and provide valuable insights for policymakers, urban planners, and academics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Feature Papers for Land Planning and Landscape Architecture Section)
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22 pages, 14629 KiB  
Article
Mechanism of Vegetation Greenness Change and Its Correlation with Terrestrial Water Storage in the Tarim River Basin
by Tingting Xia, Xuan Xue, Haowei Wang, Zhen Zhu, Zhi Li and Yang Wang
Land 2024, 13(5), 712; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050712 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 302
Abstract
The response of dryland vegetation to climate change is particularly sensitive in the context of global climate change. This paper analyzes the characteristics of spatial and temporal dynamics of vegetation cover in the Tarim River Basin, China, and its driving factors in order [...] Read more.
The response of dryland vegetation to climate change is particularly sensitive in the context of global climate change. This paper analyzes the characteristics of spatial and temporal dynamics of vegetation cover in the Tarim River Basin, China, and its driving factors in order to investigate the response of vegetation growth to water storage changes in the basin. The Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), the GRACE gravity satellite, and meteorological data from 2002 to 2022 are used to decipher the characteristics of the response of water storage changes to vegetation changes, which is of great significance to the realization of regional ecological development and sustainable development. The results of the study show the following: (1) The vegetation in the Tarim River Basin has an overall increasing trend, which is mainly distributed in the Aksu Basin and the Weigangkuche River Basin and is spatially distributed in the form of a ring. (2) Vegetation distribution greatly improved during the 20-year study period, dominated by high-cover vegetation, with a change rate of 200.36%. Additionally, vegetation changes are centered on the watersheds and expand to the surrounding area, with a clear increase in vegetation in the Kumukuri Basin. Areas with a vegetation Hurst index of <0.5 account for 63.27% of the study area, and the areas with a continuous decrease were mainly located in the outer contour area of the Tarim River and Kumu Kuri Basins. (3) There are obvious spatial differences in the correlation between EVI and temperature and precipitation elements. The proportion of areas with positive correlation with temperature within the study area is 64.67%. EVI tends to be consistent with the direction of migration of the center of gravity of the population and GDP, and the areas with positive correlation between vegetation and terrestrial water reserves are mainly distributed in the northern slopes of the Kunlun Mountains, with an area proportion of about 50.513%. The Kumukuli Basin also shows significantly positive correlation. Full article
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23 pages, 2545 KiB  
Article
The Collective Domains in the Ecological Transition: A Preliminary Analysis in an Inner Area in the Campania Region, Italy
by Fabiana Forte and Paolo Cupo
Land 2024, 13(5), 711; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050711 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 268
Abstract
The growing attention to the sustainable management of territories leads to a reconsideration of common properties, those institutions which concern property rights belonging to all members of a well-defined community. Spread throughout the world in a variety of forms, they can play a [...] Read more.
The growing attention to the sustainable management of territories leads to a reconsideration of common properties, those institutions which concern property rights belonging to all members of a well-defined community. Spread throughout the world in a variety of forms, they can play a crucial role in addressing the challenges posed by the ecological transition promoted by the European Green Deal. In Italy, common properties represent a historical phenomenon, specifically involving rural and mountain areas. Despite the fact that national law regarding collective domains fully recognizes their economic, social, and environmental functions, there is still much to be done in terms of their recognition. As the status of knowledge is lacking, especially in some areas of southern Italy, this article represents a preliminary analysis of the current consistency of collective domains. The introductory section places the topic in the broadest context of ecological transition, tracing its regulatory evolution. Next, collective domains are framed from an economic perspective, highlighting their multidimensional values and emerging assessment issues. The subsequent sections, based on the most recent available data, critically analyze the current supply of collective domains in Italy and in the Campania region. The in-depth analysis of an inner area, characterized by socio-economic marginality, represents the starting point from which it will be possible to identify the demand and to support policy makers and local communities in the valorization of common properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Common Properties for the Sustainable Management of Territories)
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21 pages, 2106 KiB  
Article
Can Urban Sprawl Promote Enterprise Innovation? Evidence from A-Share Listed Companies in China
by Zeru Jiang, Bo Zhang, Chunlai Yuan, Zhaojie Han and Jiangtao Liu
Land 2024, 13(5), 710; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050710 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 346
Abstract
Urban sprawl does not invariably impede factor agglomeration; rather, it can foster polycentric urban configurations, thereby enhancing productivity and encouraging enterprise innovation. This study investigates the effect of urban sprawl on enterprise innovation using data for A-share listed Chinese companies from 2010 to [...] Read more.
Urban sprawl does not invariably impede factor agglomeration; rather, it can foster polycentric urban configurations, thereby enhancing productivity and encouraging enterprise innovation. This study investigates the effect of urban sprawl on enterprise innovation using data for A-share listed Chinese companies from 2010 to 2020. The results reveal a significant inverted U-shaped relationship between urban sprawl and enterprise innovation, particularly among large enterprises, well-established entities, non-state-owned enterprises, and those operating in non-manufacturing sectors. Additionally, the effects of urban sprawl on the inverted U-shaped relationship are more pronounced in the north-eastern regions and small cities. Regional integration significantly moderates the inverted U-shaped relationship between urban sprawl and enterprise innovation. This research contributes new insights to the field of enterprise innovation, offering theoretical and empirical support for analyzing the economic implications of urban sprawl. Full article
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20 pages, 23249 KiB  
Article
Ecological Security Pattern Construction in Loess Plateau Areas—A Case Study of Shanxi Province, China
by Yongyong Fu, Wenjia Zhang, Feng Gao, Xu Bi, Ping Wang and Xiaojun Wang
Land 2024, 13(5), 709; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050709 - 18 May 2024
Viewed by 344
Abstract
Strong soil erosion and increasing human activities have made Loess Plateau areas ecologically fragile regions. Constructing the ecological security pattern (ESP) is imperative to maintain their ecosystem functions and sustainable development. However, it is still challenging to establish the ESP in such an [...] Read more.
Strong soil erosion and increasing human activities have made Loess Plateau areas ecologically fragile regions. Constructing the ecological security pattern (ESP) is imperative to maintain their ecosystem functions and sustainable development. However, it is still challenging to establish the ESP in such an unstable and scattered ecological environment. In this study, we take Shanxi Province, which suffers severe ecological problems in Loess Plateau areas, as an example to construct the ESP in a pattern of “source-resistance-corridor”. The proposed methods include the following steps: (1) potential ecological sources are selected with important ecosystem functions based on contributions of soil and water conservation, habitat quality, and carbon storage; (2) ecological sources are determined by considering core areas at the landscape scale based on morphological spatial pattern analysis (MSPA) along with stability based on dynamic assessment on previous sources; (3) the comprehensive resistance surface is constructed by multiple resistance factors and remotely sensed nighttime light data; (4) ecological corridors are simulated and extracted based on circuit theory. As a result, the proposed ESP in our study area mainly includes 13,592 km2 of ecological sources, 8519.64 km of ecological corridors, and 277 ecological nodes. Meanwhile, an ecological framework of “two axes, three belts, and three zones” was proposed based on the optimization and reorganization of ecological components within the ESP. Our research lays a methodological and practical foundation for regional ESP construction and sustainable development in Loess Plateau areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Local and Regional Planning for Sustainable Development)
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11 pages, 7348 KiB  
Article
A Proximity-Based Approach for the Identification of Fallen Species of Street Trees during Strong Wind Events in Lisbon
by Flávio Henrique Mendes, Felipe Coelho de Souza Petean, Ezequiel Luís Tavares Correia and António Manuel Saraiva Lopes
Land 2024, 13(5), 708; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050708 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 391
Abstract
The benefits of urban trees are very well known, but they can fall and cause damage, putting people’s lives at risk. There are few studies on the vulnerability of species to falling. In Lisbon (Portugal), fallen trees have been recorded since 1990 without, [...] Read more.
The benefits of urban trees are very well known, but they can fall and cause damage, putting people’s lives at risk. There are few studies on the vulnerability of species to falling. In Lisbon (Portugal), fallen trees have been recorded since 1990 without, however, the identification of the species, knowledge of which is fundamental for improving their management. This study aimed to identify the tree species most vulnerable to falling in Lisbon through a proximity-based approach of known species, since the city has 47,713 inventoried trees, of which only 26,595 (55.7%) were identified. Four criteria were designed to presume the species: (i) the tree must be within 15 m from the street median axis; (ii) at least three individuals within 30 m from the occurrence must belong to the same species; (iii) the surrounding species must be representative in the street (>50%); and (iv) visual identification of avenue medians. Through this approach, considering 3767 fallen trees, it was possible to identify 736 cases, representing 19.5% of all occurrences throughout the studied time and representing 43 different species. Species like Morus nigra L., Tipuana tipu (Benth.) Kuntze, Liriodendron tulipifera L., Prunus cerasifera Ehrh., and Koelreuteria paniculata Laxm. were most vulnerable. Additionally, in 57.7% of cases (425 fallen trees), the wind speed 12-h before the occurrence was greater than 7 m s−1. This research will provide important data for urban planners seeking to maximize the ecosystem services of urban trees. Full article
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27 pages, 9807 KiB  
Article
Using a Public Preference Questionnaire and Eye Movement Heat Maps to Identify the Visual Quality of Rural Landscapes in Southwestern Guizhou, China
by Xuhui Yao and Yan Sun
Land 2024, 13(5), 707; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050707 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 293
Abstract
Rural landscapes serve as important platforms to determine the landscape characteristics (LCs) of rural areas, demonstrating the landscape characteristics specific to certain regions to the public. However, the development trend of urban and rural areas is continuous and impacts the characteristics of rural [...] Read more.
Rural landscapes serve as important platforms to determine the landscape characteristics (LCs) of rural areas, demonstrating the landscape characteristics specific to certain regions to the public. However, the development trend of urban and rural areas is continuous and impacts the characteristics of rural landscapes, which directly affects the public’s visual experience and landscape perception. In order to improve the characteristics of rural landscapes, this study evaluates and analyzes their visual quality based on public preferences and eye movement heat maps. The results show that most subjects have a high preference for horizontal, open-view rural landscapes with fields and landform features as the dominant landscape elements. This study also found that the combination of strip-like or planar settlement buildings with regional characteristics and landform features has an active impact on the visual quality of rural landscapes. These results show that rural landscapes characterized by scattered settlement buildings without significant regional characteristics, horizontally curved roads, bridges, and other human-made landscape elements, and mixed and disorderly vegetation have low landscape preference, which degrades their visual quality. These research results provide crucial suggestions for landscape managers to protect and renew rural landscape features. Full article
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17 pages, 2175 KiB  
Article
Use of the Sociogram in Participatory Planning in Contexts of Social Exclusion: A Comparative Case Study in Cordoba Neighbourhoods, Spain
by Antonio Delgado-Baena and Antonio Sianes
Land 2024, 13(5), 706; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050706 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 372
Abstract
Urban regeneration and spatial planning have adopted a new participatory approach in recent decades, highlighting the importance of integrating the community in urban decision-making processes, especially in disadvantaged and socially excluded areas. In this context, the sociogram emerges as an essential tool for [...] Read more.
Urban regeneration and spatial planning have adopted a new participatory approach in recent decades, highlighting the importance of integrating the community in urban decision-making processes, especially in disadvantaged and socially excluded areas. In this context, the sociogram emerges as an essential tool for collaborative governance, allowing the visualization and analysis of the dynamics between the different actors involved. This study employs a comparative case study approach in three disadvantaged neighbourhoods in Córdoba, Spain, to examine how the sociogram can facilitate more effective and democratic participation in urban planning. Using heat maps, scatter plots and average analysis, relationships between actors are identified and characterized, providing a solid basis for more inclusive and equitable planning decisions. This analysis not only reveals the practical utility of the sociogram in participatory research but also underscores its theoretical relevance in building resilient and cohesive communities. Findings confirm the sociogram’s effectiveness in mapping stakeholder dynamics and enhancing participatory governance, ultimately fostering more informed and inclusive urban planning processes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Participatory Land Planning: Theory, Methods, and Case Studies)
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25 pages, 1832 KiB  
Article
The Role of Climate Change Perceptions in Sustainable Agricultural Development: Evidence from Conservation Tillage Technology Adoption in Northern China
by Leshan Yu, Hengtong Shi, Haixia Wu, Xiangmiao Hu, Yan Ge, Leshui Yu and Wenyu Cao
Land 2024, 13(5), 705; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050705 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 342
Abstract
Encouraging the use of conservation tillage technology is a highly effective approach to safeguarding soil health, improving the environment, and promoting sustainable agricultural development. With the mounting concerns surrounding climate change, developing conservation tillage methods that facilitate sustainable agricultural growth has become an [...] Read more.
Encouraging the use of conservation tillage technology is a highly effective approach to safeguarding soil health, improving the environment, and promoting sustainable agricultural development. With the mounting concerns surrounding climate change, developing conservation tillage methods that facilitate sustainable agricultural growth has become an imperative both in China and around the world. While it is widely recognized that adapting to climate change is crucial in agriculture, there is limited research on evaluating the risks, discovering resilience, measuring farmers’ perceptions on climate change, and exploring how tillage technology can be adjusted in the context of small-scale farming in China to foster sustainable development. Using research data from smallholder farmers in the Shaanxi and Shanxi provinces of China, this paper aims to explore the impact of climate change perceptions on farmers’ adoption of conservation tillage technologies based on an ordered Probit model. We found that farmers tend to refrain from embracing conservation tillage technology due to the presence of unclear and conflicting perceptions regarding climate change. Focus on short-term profitability and inadequate preparation hinder them from prioritizing adaptation. We recognized several measures that could help farmers adapt and thrive within the agricultural sector. Furthermore, we have validated the need for self-system moderation in promoting farmers’ adoption of conservation tillage technology. By utilizing such tools and resources, farmers can comprehend the gravity of climate change’s impact on agricultural productivity and, more importantly, channel their efforts towards fortifying resilience to extreme weather conditions and long-term climate risks, thus fortifying agricultural sustainability. Full article
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18 pages, 5362 KiB  
Article
Can the Establishment of National Parks Promote the Coordinated Development of Land, the Environment, and Residents’ Livelihoods?
by Mingwei Zhou, Tianyu Chen, Yi Xu and Feng Mi
Land 2024, 13(5), 704; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050704 - 17 May 2024
Viewed by 311
Abstract
National parks play a crucial role in the worldwide system of natural conservation, significantly influencing land utilization, the sustainability of local livelihoods, and the environmental integrity of nearby regions. In this study, the coupled coordination model and ArcGIS tools are applied to examine [...] Read more.
National parks play a crucial role in the worldwide system of natural conservation, significantly influencing land utilization, the sustainability of local livelihoods, and the environmental integrity of nearby regions. In this study, the coupled coordination model and ArcGIS tools are applied to examine the temporal and spatial progression of the coordination of the system of land, the environment, and residents’ livelihoods (the LEL system). The construction of the LEL system and the use of natural geographic and socio-economic data are the main innovations of this research. The findings indicate that over the last 15 years, Wuyishan National Park has witnessed growth in its ecological and agricultural areas alongside a decline in its water-based ecological zones. The creation of the national park has obviously promoted the coordination of the LEL systems in nearby areas and has a significant spatial spillover effect. Consequently, for the upcoming development of Wuyishan National Park, it is crucial to modify the framework of the agricultural sector, enhance local public infrastructure, and bolster the safeguarding of water ecological areas. Full article
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20 pages, 10979 KiB  
Article
Environmental Inequality in Peri-Urban Areas: A Case Study of Huangpu District, Guangzhou City
by Jing Shen, Shaogu Wang and Yuyin Wang
Land 2024, 13(5), 703; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050703 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 358
Abstract
This research investigates environmental inequalities within Guangzhou’s Huangpu District against the backdrop of rapid urbanisation and industrial expansion in Asia. This study identifies environmental hotspots, particularly in socially vulnerable areas characterised by high industrial density, using a vulnerability framework and analysing census and [...] Read more.
This research investigates environmental inequalities within Guangzhou’s Huangpu District against the backdrop of rapid urbanisation and industrial expansion in Asia. This study identifies environmental hotspots, particularly in socially vulnerable areas characterised by high industrial density, using a vulnerability framework and analysing census and pollution data. Utilising satellite imagery, urban planning documents, and field research, we delve into the internal environmental conflicts arising from industrial land use. Our findings reveal how diverse stakeholders, guided by their rationales and interests, collectively contribute to spatial inequalities within a market-driven context. Importantly, we emphasise that environmental inequality transcends mere conflicts of interest among stakeholders and is fundamentally shaped by the prevailing market-oriented spatial development model in peri-urban areas. This model results in urban segmentation, socio-economic stratification, and an uneven distribution of environmental risks and resources. Our study advocates for a paradigmatic shift in China’s peri-urban spatial development and the integration of environmental protection and social equity alongside economic growth. We recommend moving away from short-term speculative practices and promoting long-term, community-engaged urban renewal strategies that harmonise economic progress with improved living standards and environmental sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A Livable City: Rational Land Use and Sustainable Urban Space)
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22 pages, 1046 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Rural–Urban Labour Transfer and Land Transfer on Land Efficiency in China: A Analysis of Mediating Effects
by Siyi Pei, Sudan Zhao, Xuan Li and Jiahui Li
Land 2024, 13(5), 702; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050702 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 290
Abstract
In the midst of China’s ongoing rural–urban integration and development, a pivotal transformation involving the realignment of labour dynamics and land utilisation is underway. This paradigm shift has substantial implications for rural land use and agricultural productivity. Drawing from the field survey conducted [...] Read more.
In the midst of China’s ongoing rural–urban integration and development, a pivotal transformation involving the realignment of labour dynamics and land utilisation is underway. This paradigm shift has substantial implications for rural land use and agricultural productivity. Drawing from the field survey conducted in Zhejiang Province in 2019, this study puts non-agricultural employment, land transfer, and land efficiency into one econometric model and establishes a comprehensive framework to explain the mechanisms. Unlike existing research, this paper delves into the impact of different land-transfer behaviours, namely inflow and outflow, on land efficiency. The findings indicate that non-agricultural employment has no significant impact on land efficiency. Rural households acquiring land significantly enhance land efficiency, whereas relinquishing land shows no significance, thus addressing the gap in existing literature regarding the study of different transfer behaviours. Furthermore, to explore the underlying mechanisms, we investigate the mediating effect of land inflows on land efficiency, finding that it operates through plot size. In light of this, we propose that, in guiding land inflows, more emphasis should be placed on the integration and reorganisation of fragmented land rather than simply expanding the total land area, aiming to create large, well-managed areas of arable land by achieving concentrated and contiguous transferable land parcels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Spatial Optimization and Sustainable Development of Land Use)
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16 pages, 4795 KiB  
Article
Historical Insights into Sustainable Development: Analyzing the Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Ancient Trade and Settlements
by Zhanjing Zeng, Caiyun Shen and Minghui Xu
Land 2024, 13(5), 701; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050701 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 261
Abstract
Ancient trade routes significantly influenced political structures, cultural exchanges, economic development, and landscape transformations across diverse regions. The Ancient Tea Horse Road, a prominent historical commercial pathway in China, is crucial for ecosystem and cultural heritage conservations. This study uses content and comparative [...] Read more.
Ancient trade routes significantly influenced political structures, cultural exchanges, economic development, and landscape transformations across diverse regions. The Ancient Tea Horse Road, a prominent historical commercial pathway in China, is crucial for ecosystem and cultural heritage conservations. This study uses content and comparative analysis, Geographic Information System (GIS) technology, and spatial analysis to examine the spatiotemporal relationships between 13,026 settlement points identified via Google Earth and 445 recorded settlement names within the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture, Yunnan Province. The findings indicate that the Ancient Tea Horse Road evolved from a simple linear form to a complex radial network, reflecting its growth from local to broad regional connectivity. Settlements related to administrative, postal, and commercial functions emerged in its vicinity, underscoring the route’s impact on social structures and economic activities. The development of settlements, mainly within a 10 km radius of the route, was closely linked to its expansion, alteration, and decline, offering insights into contemporary settlement distribution patterns. This research not only enhances the understanding of the Ancient Tea Horse Road and its surrounding settlements but also supports the protection of ancient trade routes and their cultural heritage. It contributes to sustainable development by integrating ecological preservation with the safeguarding of ancient trade routes and their cultural legacies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Land Planning and Landscape Architecture)
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15 pages, 7940 KiB  
Article
Optimizing the Layout of Service Facilities for Older People Based on POI Data and Machine Learning: Guangzhou City as an Example
by Huicheng Feng, Xiaoxiang Tang and Cheng Zou
Land 2024, 13(5), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050700 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 347
Abstract
Population aging is a global issue. China is facing the same challenge, especially in its megacities, with more than 10 million permanent urban residents. These densely populated cities urgently need the scientific planning and optimization of the layout of service facilities for older [...] Read more.
Population aging is a global issue. China is facing the same challenge, especially in its megacities, with more than 10 million permanent urban residents. These densely populated cities urgently need the scientific planning and optimization of the layout of service facilities for older people. Taking Guangzhou, a megacity in China, as an example, this study uses point-of-interest (POI) data and the ID3 machine learning decision tree algorithm to train a site selection model for service facilities for older people. The model can help to select appropriate locations for new service facilities for older people more scientifically and accurately, and it can provide targeted suggestions to optimize the layout of the service facilities for older people in Guangzhou. First, Guangzhou city is divided into 29,793 grids of 500 m × 500 m based on the range of activities of older people, and 985 grids are found to contain service facilities for older people. Then, the POI data of the grid are fed into the ID3 algorithm for training to obtain a prediction model for the selection of sites for service facilities for older people. The effective prediction rate of the model reaches 87.54%. Then, we apply the site selection model to predict the whole city of Guangzhou, and 4534 grids are suitable for service facilities for older people. In addition, considering the degree of concentration of the elderly population in each street, we further filter out 1066 priority grids as the final site selection. Finally, taking into account the situation of the streets in different districts, we propose several strategies to optimize the layout of the construction of service facilities for older people. Full article
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35 pages, 21788 KiB  
Article
Biotope Map Creation Method and Utilization Plan for Eco-Friendly Urban Development
by Taehun Kim and Gunwoo Kim
Land 2024, 13(5), 699; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050699 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 361
Abstract
A biotope map provides ecological and spatial information that reflects the natural and ecological features and values of a city. In South Korea, efforts have been made to create a map that includes grades based on evaluating the ecological value of a specific [...] Read more.
A biotope map provides ecological and spatial information that reflects the natural and ecological features and values of a city. In South Korea, efforts have been made to create a map that includes grades based on evaluating the ecological value of a specific surface space. However, plans for applications have not been established, except for development restrictions or regulations for biotopes with high ecological value ratings. The aim of this study was to promote environmentally friendly and sustainable urban management through ecological land use management for all biotope types that are influenced by anthropogenic land use. Strategies for maintenance, protection, recovery, improvement, creation, and reduction based on ecological restoration principles were set as management goals. To achieve these management goals, evaluation items and indicators were suggested for minor-classification types and applied to Dongducheon City. Management strategies were suggested for target sites based on grades and thematic maps of biotope types to be utilized, such as urban ecological axes, river naturality restoration, and wetland and forest preservation. These findings support sustainable and environmentally friendly urban development by providing fundamental data for ecological and environmental management, including the preservation and restoration of natural environments and the creation of urban ecological networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Land–Climate Interactions)
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23 pages, 3699 KiB  
Article
Research on Post-Use Evaluation of Community Green Space Rectification Based on a Multi-Dimensional Perception System: A Case Study of Jiayuan Sanli Community in Beijing
by Meng Li, Jian Zhang and Yuchen Wang
Land 2024, 13(5), 698; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050698 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 298
Abstract
Community green spaces (CGSs) constitute a crucial element of urban land use, playing a pivotal role in maintaining the stability of urban ecosystems and enhancing the overall quality of the urban environment. Through the post-occupancy evaluation (POE) of green spaces, we can gain [...] Read more.
Community green spaces (CGSs) constitute a crucial element of urban land use, playing a pivotal role in maintaining the stability of urban ecosystems and enhancing the overall quality of the urban environment. Through the post-occupancy evaluation (POE) of green spaces, we can gain insights into residents’ actual needs and usage habits, providing scientific evidence for the planning, design, and management of green spaces. This ensures that CGSs better meet residents’ needs and improve their quality of life. The POE of CGSs relies heavily on high-precision data support. However, the current POE system for CGSs faces challenges, such as limited data collection methods, incomplete indicator systems, and excessive manual involvement. To address these limitations in data collection, this study proposes a comprehensive, dynamically monitored, objective, and sustainable POE system for CGSs. This system incorporates a multi-dimensional perception system that integrates the Internet of Things (IoT) and sensors to collect data from various sources. It establishes an evaluation framework from the perspectives of policy guidance and usage needs for CGSs, utilizing neural network systems and artificial intelligence techniques to compute the evaluation results. Using the Jiayuan Sanli Community in Beijing as a case study, this paper demonstrates the feasibility of the proposed system. A comparison between the POE results obtained using the multi-dimensional perception technique and those obtained manually reveals an 87% improvement in the accuracy of the evaluation results based on the multi-dimensional perception system. This system bridges the gap between planning perspectives and user experiences, contributing significantly to future urban land planning and land policy formulation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Land Consolidation and Land Ecology)
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22 pages, 5214 KiB  
Article
Understanding and Assessing Climate Change Risk to Green Infrastructure: Experiences from Greater Manchester (UK)
by Jeremy Carter, S.M. Labib and Ian Mell
Land 2024, 13(5), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050697 - 16 May 2024
Viewed by 361
Abstract
The existing body of research into the environmental and socio-economic benefits of green infrastructure supports the case for it to be positioned as a form of critical infrastructure, particularly in urban settings. It is broadly recognized that extreme weather and climate change pose [...] Read more.
The existing body of research into the environmental and socio-economic benefits of green infrastructure supports the case for it to be positioned as a form of critical infrastructure, particularly in urban settings. It is broadly recognized that extreme weather and climate change pose significant risks to critical infrastructure systems linked to the provision of services, including electricity, water, communications, and transport, and consequently risk assessments and associated adaptation strategies are common practice. However, although green infrastructure is also at risk from extreme weather and climate change, threatening the realization of benefits that it can deliver in urban settings, associated risks to green infrastructure are not widely understood or assessed in practice. This paper discusses the status of existing research on this topic and uses this as a foundation for a Greater Manchester (UK) case study that assesses the risk of low water availability to grassed areas, which represent a key element of the city-region’s green infrastructure. In doing so, the paper demonstrates how risks linked to extreme weather and climate change can be assessed spatially to inform green infrastructure planning. In summary, this paper aims to raise awareness of extreme weather and climate change risk to urban green infrastructure, present an empirical case study and associated methodological approach on this topic, and ultimately support efforts to enhance the resilience of urban green infrastructure to extreme weather and climate change. Full article
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26 pages, 1182 KiB  
Article
Study on the Efficiency, Evolutionary Trend, and Influencing Factors of Rural–Urban Integration Development in Sichuan and Chongqing Regions under the Background of Dual Carbon
by Pan Jiang, Yirui Yang, Wei Ye, Liang Liu, Xinchen Gu, Haipeng Chen and Yuhan Zhang
Land 2024, 13(5), 696; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050696 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 396
Abstract
Re-evaluating how urban and rural development can be integrated is a necessary step towards achieving the “dual-carbon” objective and facilitating a thorough transition towards a green and low-carbon economy and society. This study empirically investigates the geographical disparities, evolving patterns, and determinants of [...] Read more.
Re-evaluating how urban and rural development can be integrated is a necessary step towards achieving the “dual-carbon” objective and facilitating a thorough transition towards a green and low-carbon economy and society. This study empirically investigates the geographical disparities, evolving patterns, and determinants of the effectiveness of urban–rural integration development in Sichuan and Chongqing. Results of the study indicate that (1) the effectiveness of urban–rural integration development in Sichuan and Chongqing is generally poor, and external environmental factors adversely affect the urban–rural integration of economically developed cities; (2) the urban–rural integration development efficiency in Sichuan and Chongqing does not show a more obvious polarization phenomenon, but the gap between the cities gradually widens; and (3) regarding influencing factors, market dynamics are favorable to overall urban–rural integration development in the Sichuan and Chongqing regions, while the development of the digital economy and the level of financial development can exacerbate the imbalance of regional urban–rural integration development. Based on this premise, pertinent policy suggestions are offered to facilitate the merger of urban and rural areas and foster efficient development in the regions of Sichuan and Chongqing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Low Carbon Economy and Sustainable Development)
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25 pages, 6483 KiB  
Article
Assessment Methodology for Physical Vulnerability of Vernacular Architecture in Areas Affected by Depopulation: The Case of Comunidad Valenciana, Spain
by Eva Tortajada Montalvá, Camilla Mileto and Fernando Vegas López-Manzanares
Land 2024, 13(5), 695; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050695 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 402
Abstract
The intensity with which the phenomenon of depopulation has affected rural municipalities in Spain between 1950 and 2022 has led to a loss in the intergenerational transmission of traditional knowledge, values and customs. Sociocultural loss entails associated physical risks: the abandonment, demolition, and [...] Read more.
The intensity with which the phenomenon of depopulation has affected rural municipalities in Spain between 1950 and 2022 has led to a loss in the intergenerational transmission of traditional knowledge, values and customs. Sociocultural loss entails associated physical risks: the abandonment, demolition, and loss of vernacular architecture. This research analyzes the evolution of this type of architecture in a period of acute depopulation and its current state of conservation. A total of 180 case studies in the region of Comunidad Valenciana are analyzed through four factors affecting the physical vulnerability of dwellings: year of construction, state of conservation, type of use, and a combination of all three. Data management software is used to combine all the information and produce the results in a tabular and graphical format, while the Geographic Information System is used to draw up risk maps showing the results. These results are then divided into analysis groups created according to the degree of depopulation observed in the years mentioned. This made it possible to identify the relationship between depopulation and the conservation of vernacular architecture, showing the risk level for each case study, and thus creating an analysis methodology applicable in other territories affected by depopulation at a national and international level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in RS&GIS-Based Urban Planning)
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23 pages, 5865 KiB  
Article
A Geospatial Model of Periurbanization—The Case of Three Intermediate-Sized and Subregional Cities in Chile
by Gerardo Francisco Ubilla-Bravo
Land 2024, 13(5), 694; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050694 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 261
Abstract
Throughout the 20th century and in the first decades of the 21st century, the geospatial dynamic exhibiting the highest rate of change globally corresponds to urban expansion surrounding metropolitan areas and large cities. Around intermediate-sized cities, there have also been rapid changes in [...] Read more.
Throughout the 20th century and in the first decades of the 21st century, the geospatial dynamic exhibiting the highest rate of change globally corresponds to urban expansion surrounding metropolitan areas and large cities. Around intermediate-sized cities, there have also been rapid changes in their geographical space, but study in these areas has had less academic attention and development. Considering this context, this article intends to analyze the dynamics in the periurbanization of communes with intermediate-sized cities. In this study, three geographical criteria were defined for the definition of the study area and seven geospatial indicators of sociodemographic, socioeconomic and land occupation categories, with the purpose of determining the composition of the periurbanization process. Finally, the discussion presents a perspective on the dynamics of periurbanization, the interpretation of future projections identifying three geospatial phenomena and a proposal for a geospatial chorematic model with the composition of periurbanization, based on three subregional intermediate-sized cities in the Metropolitan Region of Santiago de Chile. This research contributes new reflections to the debate around spatial planning and periurban research in Latin America and the Global South. Full article
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14 pages, 1357 KiB  
Article
Cover Crops Affect Soil Mineral Nitrogen and N Fertilizer Use Efficiency of Maize No-Tillage System in the Brazilian Cerrado
by Arminda Moreira de Carvalho, Maria Lucrecia Gerosa Ramos, Vivian Galdino da Silva, Thais Rodrigues de Sousa, Juaci Vitoria Malaquias, Fabiana Piontekowski Ribeiro, Alexsandra Duarte de Oliveira, Robélio Leandro Marchão, Ana Caroline Pereira da Fonseca and Raíssa de Araujo Dantas
Land 2024, 13(5), 693; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050693 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 350
Abstract
Cover crops in no-tillage systems may alter soil mineral N and influence the N fertilizer use efficiency (NFUE) of subsequent maize. The hypothesis of this work is that no-tillage systems with cover crops affect nitrate, ammonium and maize NFUE in the Brazilian Cerrado. [...] Read more.
Cover crops in no-tillage systems may alter soil mineral N and influence the N fertilizer use efficiency (NFUE) of subsequent maize. The hypothesis of this work is that no-tillage systems with cover crops affect nitrate, ammonium and maize NFUE in the Brazilian Cerrado. The objective was to evaluate the cover crop mineralization effect on soil N mineral and maize NFUE in a no-tillage system, with and without N topdressing. The experiment was arranged in a randomized block split-plot design. The plots were represented by cover crops (Cajanus cajan, Crotalaria juncea, Raphanus sativus and Mucuna aterrima). The subplots consisted of the application (WN) or non-application (NN) of N topdressing to maize. The soil was sampled in six layers (up to 60 cm) at the end (April) and at the beginning of the rainy season (November). NH4+ was lower for all cover crops and WN and NN management in April. NO3 differed between seasons and cover crops in WN and NN. The lignin concentration and N uptake of M. aterrima were the highest compared to other species. The highest NFUE was on R. sativus, showing higher fertilizer dependency. In a no-tillage system with cover crops, the N topdressing fertilization needs to be improved, considering mineralization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Use Effects on Carbon Storage and Greenhouse Gas Emissions)
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26 pages, 5744 KiB  
Article
Conceptualisation of the Regulatory Framework of Green Infrastructure for Urban Development: Identifying Barriers and Drivers
by Dragan Vujičić, Nevena Vasiljević, Boris Radić, Andreja Tutundžić, Nevenka Galečić, Dejan Skočajić and Mirjana Ocokoljić
Land 2024, 13(5), 692; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050692 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 376
Abstract
Urban green infrastructure plays a crucial role in sustainable city development by offering a multitude of benefits, including improved environmental quality, increased social well-being, and enhanced economic prosperity. Evaluation and monitoring of regulatory implementation stand as essential components in the advancement of urban [...] Read more.
Urban green infrastructure plays a crucial role in sustainable city development by offering a multitude of benefits, including improved environmental quality, increased social well-being, and enhanced economic prosperity. Evaluation and monitoring of regulatory implementation stand as essential components in the advancement of urban green infrastructure (GI) as they indicate the efficacy of regulatory acts and enable the assessment of their implementation success and adaptability to identified needs. This study identifies barriers and drivers based on the views of 352 professionals surveyed between 2018 and 2023 in Serbia. The primary data collection method employed questionnaire surveys. This study identified a range of barriers within existing legal frameworks, foremost of which include the lack of coordination and coherence between relevant ministries and governmental agencies, insufficient financial and human resources, the lack of transparency in the regulation development process, the need for strengthening technical capacities, and the absence of an adequate urban GI strategy. This research serves as a foundation for conceptualising GI regulatory elements that enhance urban GI development. Addressing these barriers necessitates efforts to improve coordination and collaboration among stakeholders, increase public participation, and enhance transparency in the regulatory process. Full article
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23 pages, 10686 KiB  
Article
Threshold Effects between Ecosystem Services and Natural and Social Drivers in Karst Landscapes
by Mantong Zhao, Qiuwen Zhou, Yingzhong Luo, Yuan Li, Yalin Wang and Ershuang Yuan
Land 2024, 13(5), 691; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050691 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 374
Abstract
It has been shown that there are thresholds of influence on the response of ecosystem services to their drivers, and the range of drivers that provide high levels of ecosystem services can be delineated through thresholds. However, due to the spatial heterogeneity of [...] Read more.
It has been shown that there are thresholds of influence on the response of ecosystem services to their drivers, and the range of drivers that provide high levels of ecosystem services can be delineated through thresholds. However, due to the spatial heterogeneity of landscapes in karst regions, the results of ecosystem service threshold studies in non-karst regions may not be applicable to karst regions. This study explores the threshold effects between ecosystem services in karst landscapes and their natural and social drivers. It is shown that there are nonlinear constraints between them, and different critical thresholds exist for different kinds of ecosystem services. The main thresholds for water supply services include the slope (43.64°) and relief amplitude (331.60 m); for water purification services, they include relief amplitude (147.05 m) and distance to urban land (DTUL) (32.30 km); for soil conservation services, they include the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) (0.80) and nighttime light intensity (43.58 nW∙cm−2∙sr−1); the main thresholds for biodiversity maintenance services include population density (1481.06 person∙km−2) and distance to urban land (DTUL) (32.80 km). This enables regional ecological conservation planning based on different threshold ranges corresponding to different ecosystem services to meet the different needs of different decision makers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Digital Mapping for Ecological Land)
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19 pages, 3709 KiB  
Article
Impacts of Wildlife Artificial Water Provisioning in an African Savannah Ecosystem: A Spatiotemporal Analysis
by Morati Mpalo, Lenyeletse Vincent Basupi and Gizaw Mengistu Tsidu
Land 2024, 13(5), 690; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050690 - 15 May 2024
Viewed by 608
Abstract
The use of artificial water points for wildlife in African savannah ecosystems has been widely criticised for affecting the distribution of wildlife and initiating changes in the heterogeneity of natural landscapes. We examined the spatiotemporal variations in the landscape before and after the [...] Read more.
The use of artificial water points for wildlife in African savannah ecosystems has been widely criticised for affecting the distribution of wildlife and initiating changes in the heterogeneity of natural landscapes. We examined the spatiotemporal variations in the landscape before and after the installation of an artificial water point by integrating the analysis of vegetation and soil spectral response patterns with a supervised learning random forest model between 2002 and 2022 in Chobe Enclave, Northern Botswana. Our results revealed that the study area is characterised by animal species such as Equus quagga, Aepyceros melampus, and Loxodonta africana. The findings also showed that the main vegetation species in the study area landscape include Combretum elaeagnoides, Vachellia luederitzii, and Combretum hereroense. The artificial water point induced disturbances on a drought-vulnerable landscape which affected vegetation heterogeneity by degrading the historically dominant vegetation cover types such as Colophospermum mopane, Dichrostachys cinerea, and Cynodon dactylon. The immediate years following the artificial water point installation demonstrated the highest spectral response patterns by vegetation and soil features attributed to intense landscape disturbances due to abrupt high-density aggregation of wildlife around the water point. Landscapes were strongly homogenised in later years (2022), as shown by overly overlapping spectral patterns owing to an increase in dead plant-based material and senescent foliage due to vegetation toppling and trampling. The landscape disturbances disproportionately affected mopane-dominated woodlands compared to other vegetation species as indicated by statistically significant land cover change obtained from a random forest classification. The woodlands declined significantly (p < 0.05) within 0–0.5 km, 0.5–1 km, 1–5 km, and 5–10 km distances after the installation of the water point. The results of this study indicate that continuous nonstrategic and uninformed use of artificial water points for wildlife will trigger ecological alterations in savannah ecosystems. Full article
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18 pages, 10938 KiB  
Article
Assessment and Monitoring of Local Climate Regulation in Cities by Green Infrastructure—A National Ecosystem Service Indicator for Germany
by Ralf-Uwe Syrbe, Sophie Meier, Michelle Moyzes, Claudia Dworczyk and Karsten Grunewald
Land 2024, 13(5), 689; https://doi.org/10.3390/land13050689 - 14 May 2024
Viewed by 471
Abstract
In densely built-up urban areas, green spaces such as gardens, parks, forests and water bodies can greatly enhance the quality of life for local residents and promote human health. These areas mitigate heat stress and the urban heat island effect to create a [...] Read more.
In densely built-up urban areas, green spaces such as gardens, parks, forests and water bodies can greatly enhance the quality of life for local residents and promote human health. These areas mitigate heat stress and the urban heat island effect to create a balanced local climate. To quantify the ecosystem service of “urban climate regulation” provided by urban green infrastructure, we developed a national indicator for specific measurement and monitoring. This indicator captures both the supply of climate-regulating services by urban green spaces and the demand for this service from the residential population. Using nationwide geodata, a cooling capacity value can be calculated that reflects the tree canopy, soil cover, sizes of green area and site characteristics. This cooling capacity value is then related to the affected residential population in the neighbourhood. Our analysis indicates that 76% of the population in the 165 case cities in Germany enjoy high or very high cooling capacities in their immediate living environment. In 37 cities, over 85% of the population benefits from good or very good cooling capacity provided by green space. The proposed indicator enables a comparison of the cooling service of urban green infrastructure and offers a sound basis for spatial planning and decision-making in urban areas. Full article
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