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Urban Sci., Volume 3, Issue 1 (March 2019)

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Cover Story (view full-size image) The cover image visualizes a novel approach to residential housing preference research, that aims [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
The Potential of Blockchain within Air Rights Development as a Prevention Measure against Urban Sprawl
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 38; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010038
Received: 13 February 2019 / Revised: 19 March 2019 / Accepted: 19 March 2019 / Published: 21 March 2019
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Abstract
The rapid rise in urbanization internationally is both driving and stressing our consumption patterns, including that of land use. Urban sprawl is arguably one of the most important threats to human and nature biodiversity given its reliance upon fossil fuel exploitation and consumption. [...] Read more.
The rapid rise in urbanization internationally is both driving and stressing our consumption patterns, including that of land use. Urban sprawl is arguably one of the most important threats to human and nature biodiversity given its reliance upon fossil fuel exploitation and consumption. The need for increasing the density of cities is required to contain urban expansion in land size. However, while the footprint density of cities is increasing, vacant plots are prized and rare in most urban areas. Tradable air rights development is seen as a potential solution to provide developers the option of increasing density while encouraging an emerging urban economy. However, the price speculation of air rights is a danger and counter to a fair and inclusive real estate market. This paper proposes a new model that encourages the trading of time-sensitive air rights through Smart Contracts in the Blockchain as a means of prevention against urban sprawl. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Provision and Accessibility to Parks in Ho Chi Minh City: Disparities along the Urban Core—Periphery Axis
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 37; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010037
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 20 March 2019
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Abstract
In Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC, Vietnam), there is now an urgent need for evaluating access to parks in an effort to ensure better planning within the context of rapid and increasingly privatized urbanization. In this article, we analyze the provision and accessibility [...] Read more.
In Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC, Vietnam), there is now an urgent need for evaluating access to parks in an effort to ensure better planning within the context of rapid and increasingly privatized urbanization. In this article, we analyze the provision and accessibility to parks in HCMC. To achieve this, the information gathered was then integrated into the geographical information systems (GISs). Based on an Ascending Hierarchical Classification, we were able to identify five different types ranging in their intrinsic characteristics. The accessibility measurements calculated in the GISs show that communities are located an average of at least 879 meters away from parks, which is a relatively short distance. Children have a level of accessibility comparable to that of the overall population. Accessibility also seems to vary greatly throughout the City—populations residing in central districts (planned before 1996) enjoy better accessibility compared to those in peripheral neighborhoods (planned after 1996). Parks located in areas planned between 1996 and 2002 are the least accessible, followed by parks in areas planned after 2003. Our findings suggest possible approaches that could be used to help ensure the quality of parks and their spatial accessibility. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Spatial Characteristics and Activity Space Pattern Analysis of Dhaka City, Bangladesh
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 36; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010036
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 20 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 18 March 2019
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Abstract
Although a handful of studies have begun to integrate activity space within travel behavior analysis in the European and United States (U.S.) contexts, few studies have measured the size, structure, and implications of human activity spaces in the context of developing countries. To [...] Read more.
Although a handful of studies have begun to integrate activity space within travel behavior analysis in the European and United States (U.S.) contexts, few studies have measured the size, structure, and implications of human activity spaces in the context of developing countries. To identify the effects of land-use characteristics, socio-demographics, individual trip characteristics, and personal attitudes on the travel-activity based spatial behavior of various population groups in Dhaka city, Bangladesh, a household-based travel diary pilot survey (for two weekdays) was conducted for 50 randomly selected households in the winter of 2017. The study focused on two separate subareas: one taken from Dhaka North City Corporation, and another taken from Dhaka South City Corporation. Two methods—shortest-path network and road network buffer—were used for calculating activity space in a geographic information system (GIS). The daily activity areas for individual respondents ranged from 0.37 to 6.18 square miles. Land-use mix was found to be a significant predictor of activity space size for the residents. Larger activity space was recorded for the residents of one subarea over another due to less land-use diversity. The pilot data showed some specific socio-economic and travel differences across the two study subareas (car ownership, income, modal share, distance traveled, trip duration). Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Travel Time Savings Perception and Well-Being through Public Transport Projects: The Case of Metro de Santiago
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 35; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010035
Received: 5 February 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 12 March 2019 / Published: 18 March 2019
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Abstract
Relying mostly on travel time savings, cost-benefit analysis has been widely used in transport project appraisals in the Chilean context, with utility maximisation theory as its background. Nevertheless, subjective well-being advocates have challenged the notion of the rational man underlying this theory by [...] Read more.
Relying mostly on travel time savings, cost-benefit analysis has been widely used in transport project appraisals in the Chilean context, with utility maximisation theory as its background. Nevertheless, subjective well-being advocates have challenged the notion of the rational man underlying this theory by proposing that other trip attributes, individual perceptions and personal features mediate satisfaction with travel, alongside global well-being. Using the recently-opened Line 6 of Metro de Santiago (Chile) as a case study, this research has two main aims: (1) to verify to what extent travel time savings, which support the cost-benefit analysis process, are present after the launching of the new line; and (2) analyse the perception of passengers’ travel time savings, and to what extent this element contributes to the travel satisfaction and to the global well-being at the individual level. Using passive data from smart cards, the results show that travel times decreased by 14% in comparable trips after the launching of Line 6. Furthermore, a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) construct is proposed, including travel and life satisfaction as latent variables of the model. This revealed that travel times in the Metro system are highly valued by people. However, this element does not mediate travel satisfaction, as users take low travel times for granted. Waiting times, stations’ design, safety and intermodality are perceived attributes that effectively mediate travel satisfaction. Moreover, the latter variable has a relevant influence on global life satisfaction, revealing that transport conditions mediate in day-to-day well-being. These results challenged travel time savings as the most important driver in transport projects’ appraisal processes, and some recommendations are made in order to incorporate these findings in future appraisals. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Connectivity and Usership of Two Types of Multi-Modal Transportation Network: A Regional Trail and a Transit-Oriented Commercial Corridor
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 34; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010034
Received: 28 January 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 9 March 2019 / Published: 15 March 2019
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Abstract
This article explores concepts related to connectivity and usership of the Jordan River Parkway Trail (JRPT) and the North Temple corridor—two locations or nodes that link together in a larger transportation network along the west side of Salt Lake City, Utah, a low-income, [...] Read more.
This article explores concepts related to connectivity and usership of the Jordan River Parkway Trail (JRPT) and the North Temple corridor—two locations or nodes that link together in a larger transportation network along the west side of Salt Lake City, Utah, a low-income, racially and ethnically diverse area. The JRPT is a multi-use trail providing regional connectivity for bicycles and pedestrians. It intersects North Temple, a transit development corridor accommodating automobiles, light rail, buses, bicycles, and pedestrians. Although the purposes of each corridor differ, one being recreational and one being commercial, the modes of transportation for each corridor overlap through active transportation—that is, biking and walking. The questions that drive this paper are: (1) How are these two neighborhood assets are connected and form a larger transportation network? and, (2) How can connectivity and usership be improved? The idea of increasing the utilization of the JRPT through increasing destinations along North Temple and vice versa is explored. Community feedback was gathered through a survey which was distributed to 299 residents who live less than a mile from each subnetwork. Extracted from the responses were key aspects of connectivity, accessibility, and the purposes of each corridor for the community as a whole to understand how they are connected and how they affect each other. More broadly, urban policy recommendations that increase active transportation connectivity and usership of two sets of links—that is, regional trails and transit-oriented corridors such as the JRPT and the North Temple corridor are described. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Insights from Self-Organizing Maps for Predicting Accessibility Demand for Healthcare Infrastructure
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 33; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010033
Received: 26 December 2018 / Revised: 1 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
As urban populations grow worldwide, it becomes increasingly important to critically analyse accessibility—the ease with which residents can reach key places or opportunities. The combination of ‘big data’ and advances in computational techniques such as machine learning (ML) could be a boon for [...] Read more.
As urban populations grow worldwide, it becomes increasingly important to critically analyse accessibility—the ease with which residents can reach key places or opportunities. The combination of ‘big data’ and advances in computational techniques such as machine learning (ML) could be a boon for urban accessibility studies, yet their application in this field remains limited. In this study, we provided detailed predictions of healthcare accessibility across a rapidly growing city and related them to socio-economic factors using a combination of classical and modern data analysis methods. Using the City of Surrey (Canada) as a case study, we clustered high-resolution income data for 2016 and 2022 using principal component analysis (PCA) and a powerful ML clustering tool, the self-organising map (SOM). We then combined this with door-to-door travel times to hospitals and clinics, calculated using a simple open-source tool. Focusing our analysis on senior populations (65+ years), we found that higher income clusters are projected to become more prevalent across Surrey over our study period. Low income clusters have on average better accessibility to healthcare facilities than high income clusters in both 2016 and 2022. Population growth will be the biggest accessibility challenge in neighbourhoods with good existing access to healthcare, whereas income change (both positive and negative) will be most challenging in poorly connected neighbourhoods. A dual accessibility problem may arise in Surrey: first, large senior populations will reside in areas with access to numerous and close-by, clinics, putting pressure on existing facilities for specialised services. Second, lower-income seniors will increasingly reside in areas poorly connected to healthcare services, which may impact accessibility equity. We demonstrate that combining PCA and SOM clustering techniques results in novel insights for predicting accessibility at the neighbourhood level. This allows for robust planning policy recommendations to be drawn from large multivariate datasets. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Designing a Model to Display the Relation between Social Vulnerability and Anthropogenic Risk of Wildfires in Galicia, Spain
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 32; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010032
Received: 14 January 2019 / Revised: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 6 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
Since the beginning of the 21st century, most of the forest fires that have occured in Spain have taken place in the northern region of Galicia. This area represents 5.8% of the Spanish territory, but compromises, in certain years, up to 50% of [...] Read more.
Since the beginning of the 21st century, most of the forest fires that have occured in Spain have taken place in the northern region of Galicia. This area represents 5.8% of the Spanish territory, but compromises, in certain years, up to 50% of the total number of wildfires. Current research on forest fires is focused mostly on physical or meteorological characteristics, post-fire situations, and their potential destructive capacities (main areas burnt, type of vegetation, economic loses, etc.). However, the academic research to date has not delved into other socioeconomic factors (population structure, density, livestock farms, education, among others), which compromise the existing pre-fire situation in the affected territories, and subsequently reflect the prevailing vulnerability of the population. Indeed, these socioeconomic variables can influence fire occurrence, whether positively or negatively. To fill in this knowledge gap, this article analyzes the relationship between wildfire events and the socioeconomic variables that characterize the Galician municipalities affected. To that effect, first, a thorough examination and selection of the most relevant socioeconomic variables, and their subsequent justification will be carried out. Then, using IBM SPSS statistics 24, a linear regression is executed using the data of wildfires that occurred in Galicia between 2001–2015. The resulting model allows a better knowledge of the importance of the socioeconomic situation in Galician municipalities when wildfires occur. Therefore, this result identifies the existing relationship between the socioeconomic variables and wildfire events, and consequently will help to optimize the interventions that must be done. This may be the best way to carry out prevention actions in order to reduce vulnerability to forest fires. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Using the State Space of a BLV Retail Model to Analyse the Dynamics and Categorise Phase Transitions of Urban Development
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 31; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010031
Received: 20 January 2019 / Revised: 25 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 11 March 2019
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Abstract
Urban areas are now the dominant human habitat, with more influence than ever on economies, environment and our health. Dynamic urban models are increasingly applied to explore possible future scenarios of urban development to achieve sustainability. However, it is still challenging to use [...] Read more.
Urban areas are now the dominant human habitat, with more influence than ever on economies, environment and our health. Dynamic urban models are increasingly applied to explore possible future scenarios of urban development to achieve sustainability. However, it is still challenging to use these models for prediction, taking into consideration the complex nature of urban systems, the nonlinear interactions between different parts of the system, and the large quantities of data output from simulations. The aim of this study is to analyse the dynamics of two hypothetical dynamic BLV (Boltzmann–Lotka–Volterra) retail models (two-zone and three-zone). Here, by visualising and analysing the qualitative nature of state space (the space of all possible initial conditions), we propose an alternative way of understanding urban dynamics more fully. This involves examining all possible configurations of an urban system in order to identify the potential development in future. Using this method we are able to identify a supply-demand balancing hyperplane and categorise two causes of phase transition of urban development: (A) change in variable values (e.g., building a new shopping centre) that cause the system to cross a basin boundary, (B) state space change (e.g., construction of a new motorway changes travel costs in the region) causes the containing basin to be modified. We also identify key characteristics of the dynamics such as velocity and how the phase space landscape changes over time. This analysis is then linked with equilibrium-size graphs, which allow insights from state space to be applicable to models with large numbers of zones. More generally this type of analysis can potentially offer insights into the nature of the dynamics in any dynamical-systems-type urban model. This is critical for increasing our understanding and helping stakeholders and policy-makers to plan for future urban changes. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Christopher Alexander and His Life’s Work: The Nature of Order
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 30; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010030
Received: 22 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 7 March 2019
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Abstract
This editorial briefly introduces Christopher Alexander, as a theorist, as a design practitioner, as an architect, and importantly as a scientist, as well as his life’s work—The Nature of Order—focusing not only on the trinity of wholeness, life, beauty, but also [...] Read more.
This editorial briefly introduces Christopher Alexander, as a theorist, as a design practitioner, as an architect, and importantly as a scientist, as well as his life’s work—The Nature of Order—focusing not only on the trinity of wholeness, life, beauty, but also on his new organic cosmology. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Gender Mainstreaming in Waste Education Programs: A Conceptual Framework
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010029
Received: 11 January 2019 / Revised: 19 February 2019 / Accepted: 1 March 2019 / Published: 5 March 2019
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Abstract
Gender issues are present in waste management, from daily handling activities through to decision-making processes. In waste education programs, the disregard for views of and contribution by women has resulted in strategies that do not comprehensively address the waste issue, preventing long-standing and [...] Read more.
Gender issues are present in waste management, from daily handling activities through to decision-making processes. In waste education programs, the disregard for views of and contribution by women has resulted in strategies that do not comprehensively address the waste issue, preventing long-standing and sustainable outcomes, while increasing existing gender inequities. Three critical waste matters on education and gender were identified: (1) lack of meaningful involvement and participation of women (and other vulnerable groups) throughout the decision-making processes; (2) lack of inclusion of gender-specific designs and gender-sensitive approaches in the information and education materials; and (3) tendency to devise strategies directed to women only, while exempting the other stakeholders from their responsibilities. This paper presents a closer look into the relationship between waste education and gender, with a proposal of a participatory framework for gender mainstreaming in waste education programs. It includes components to assess the promoting entity of the waste education program and all stages of the program. The framework represents a novel theory and practice contribution for waste education development, to support academics, practitioners, and policymakers, in the quest of achieving equitable and sustainable waste management systems for all. Full article
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Open AccessCommunication
Street Network Models and Measures for Every U.S. City, County, Urbanized Area, Census Tract, and Zillow-Defined Neighborhood
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 28; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010028
Received: 28 December 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2019 / Accepted: 14 February 2019 / Published: 1 March 2019
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Abstract
OpenStreetMap provides a valuable crowd-sourced database of raw geospatial data for constructing models of urban street networks for scientific analysis. This paper reports results from a research project that collected raw street network data from OpenStreetMap using the Python-based OSMnx software for every [...] Read more.
OpenStreetMap provides a valuable crowd-sourced database of raw geospatial data for constructing models of urban street networks for scientific analysis. This paper reports results from a research project that collected raw street network data from OpenStreetMap using the Python-based OSMnx software for every U.S. city and town, county, urbanized area, census tract, and Zillow-defined neighborhood. It constructed nonplanar directed multigraphs for each and analyzed their structural and morphological characteristics. The resulting data repository contains over 110,000 processed, cleaned street network graphs (which in turn comprise over 55 million nodes and over 137 million edges) at various scales—comprehensively covering the entire U.S.—archived as reusable open-source GraphML files, node/edge lists, and GIS shapefiles that can be immediately loaded and analyzed in standard tools such as ArcGIS, QGIS, NetworkX, graph-tool, igraph, or Gephi. The repository also contains measures of each network’s metric and topological characteristics common in urban design, transportation planning, civil engineering, and network science. No other such dataset exists. These data offer researchers and practitioners a new ability to quickly and easily conduct graph-theoretic circulation network analysis anywhere in the U.S. using standard, free, open-source tools. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Human Influence Experiment (Part 2): Guidelines for Improved Mapping of Local Climate Zones Using a Supervised Classification
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 27; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010027
Received: 18 December 2018 / Revised: 15 February 2019 / Accepted: 19 February 2019 / Published: 28 February 2019
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Abstract
Since 2012, Local Climate Zones (LCZ) have been used for numerous studies related to urban environment. In 2015, this use amplified because a method to map urban areas in LCZs was introduced by the World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools (WUDAPT). However [...] Read more.
Since 2012, Local Climate Zones (LCZ) have been used for numerous studies related to urban environment. In 2015, this use amplified because a method to map urban areas in LCZs was introduced by the World Urban Database and Access Portal Tools (WUDAPT). However in 2017, the first HUMan INfluence EXperiment showed that these maps often have poor or low quality. Since the maps are used in different applications such as urban modelling and land use/land cover change studies, it is of the utmost importance to improve mapping accuracies and a second experiment was launched. In HUMINEX 2.0, the focus lies on providing guidelines on the use of the mapping protocol based on the results of both HUMINEX 1.0 and 2.0. The results showed that: (1) it is important to follow the mapping protocol as strictly as possible, (2) a reasonable amount of time should be spent on the mapping procedure, (3) all users should perform a driving test, and (4) training area sets should be stored in the WUDAPT database for other users. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Land-Use/Land-Cover Change Analysis and Urban Growth Modelling in the Greater Accra Metropolitan Area (GAMA), Ghana
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010026
Received: 21 January 2019 / Revised: 18 February 2019 / Accepted: 21 February 2019 / Published: 27 February 2019
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Abstract
A rapid increase in the world’s population over the last century has triggered the transformation of the earth surface, especially in urban areas, where more than half of the global population live. Ghana is no exception and a high population growth rate, coupled [...] Read more.
A rapid increase in the world’s population over the last century has triggered the transformation of the earth surface, especially in urban areas, where more than half of the global population live. Ghana is no exception and a high population growth rate, coupled with economic development over the last three decades, has transformed the Greater Accra region into a hotspot for massive urban growth. The urban extent of the region has expanded extensively, mainly at the expense of the vegetative cover in the region. Although urbanization presents several opportunities, the environmental and social problems cannot be underestimated. Therefore, the need to estimate the rate and extent of land use/land cover changes in the region and the main drivers of these changes is imperative. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing techniques provide effective tools in studying and monitoring land-use/land-cover change over space and time. A post classification change detection of multiple Landsat images was conducted to map and analyse the extent and rate of land use/land cover change in the region between 1991 and 2015. Subsequently, the urban extent of the region was forecasted for the year 2025 using the Markov Chain and the Multi-Layer Perceptron neural network, together with drivers representing proximity, biophysical, and socio-economic variables. The results from the research revealed that built-up areas increased by 277% over the 24-year study period. However, forest areas experienced massive reduction, diminishing from 34% in 1991 to 6.5% in 2015. The 2025 projected land use map revealed that the urban extent will massively increase to cover 70% of the study area, as compared to 44% in 2015. The urban extent is also anticipated to spill into the adjoining districts mainly on the western and eastern sides of the region. The success of this research in generating a future land-use map for 2025, together with the other significant findings, demonstrates the usefulness of spatial models as tools for sustainable city planning and environmental management, especially for urban planners in developing countries. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Urban Transport and Eco-Urbanism: A Global Comparative Study of Cities with a Special Focus on Five Larger Swedish Urban Regions
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 25; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010025
Received: 10 February 2019 / Revised: 21 February 2019 / Accepted: 22 February 2019 / Published: 27 February 2019
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Abstract
Urban transport is critical in shaping the form and function of cities, particularly the level of automobile dependence and sustainability. This paper presents a detailed study of the urban transport eco-urbanism characteristics of the Stockholm, Malmö, Göteborg, Linköping, and Helsingborg urban regions in [...] Read more.
Urban transport is critical in shaping the form and function of cities, particularly the level of automobile dependence and sustainability. This paper presents a detailed study of the urban transport eco-urbanism characteristics of the Stockholm, Malmö, Göteborg, Linköping, and Helsingborg urban regions in southern Sweden. It compares these cities to those in the USA, Australia, Canada, and two large wealthy Asian cities (Singapore and Hong Kong). It finds that while density is critical in determining many features of eco-urbanism, especially mobility patterns and particularly how much public transport, walking, and cycling are used, Swedish cities maintain healthy levels of all these more sustainable modes and only moderate levels of car use, while having less than half the density of other European cities. Swedish settlement patterns and urban transport policies mean they also enjoy, globally, the lowest level of transport emissions and transport deaths per capita and similar levels of energy use in private passenger transport as other European cities, and a fraction of that used in lower density North American and Australian cities. Swedish urban public transport systems are generally well provided for and form an integral part of the way their cities function, considering their lower densities. Their use of walking and cycling is high, though not as high as in other European cities and together with public transport cater for nearly 50% of the total daily trip making, compared to auto-dependent regions with between about 75% and 85% car trips. The paper explores these and other patterns in some detail. It provides a clear depiction of the strengths and weaknesses of Swedish cities in urban transport, some key policy directions to improve them and posits possible explanations for some of the atypical patterns observed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-Urbanism)
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Open AccessArticle
Do Private Transport Services Complement or Compete against Public Transit? Evidence from the Commuter Vans in Eastern Queens, New York
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010024
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 9 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
Do private transport services complement or compete against public transit? As transit agencies scramble to adjust to the new transport landscape of mobility services, this has become an important question. This study focuses on New York’s commuter vans (also known as “dollar vans”), [...] Read more.
Do private transport services complement or compete against public transit? As transit agencies scramble to adjust to the new transport landscape of mobility services, this has become an important question. This study focuses on New York’s commuter vans (also known as “dollar vans”), private vans that have operated alongside public transit for decades. We use original survey and observational data collected in the summer of 2016 to document basic ridership characteristics and to provide insight into whether the commuter vans complement or compete against city buses. Commuter van ridership in Eastern Queens is high; it is roughly equivalent to city bus ridership on parallel routes at approximately 55,000 per day. Further, more than 60% of van riders surveyed would have had a free trip on a city bus, through either a transit pass or transfer. Time savings was an important motivation for these riders to pay extra for the vans; the vans are faster than city buses, and van wait times are shorter. These results suggest that New York’s commuter vans complement public transit by serving as a feeder system. This conclusion, however, is highly context-dependent. As private transport services proliferate, continued research is needed to ascertain their relationships with public transit. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Sharing Cities Shaping Cities
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010023
Received: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 20 February 2019 / Published: 22 February 2019
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Abstract
In recent years, ‘sharing cities’ has spread globally, starting in 2012 when Seoul declared its intent to pursue sharing economy strategies [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sharing Cities Shaping Cities)
Open AccessArticle
Regional Councils in a Global Context: Council Types and Council Elements
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 22; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010022
Received: 23 December 2018 / Revised: 8 February 2019 / Accepted: 13 February 2019 / Published: 14 February 2019
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Abstract
Propelled by the increasing global competition for location qualities and production factors of (economic) regions in the age of globalization, regional councils have been introduced on sub-national levels in a number of countries. However, the conditions to develop and to govern these regional [...] Read more.
Propelled by the increasing global competition for location qualities and production factors of (economic) regions in the age of globalization, regional councils have been introduced on sub-national levels in a number of countries. However, the conditions to develop and to govern these regional spaces vary massively in global comparison. Based on three types of elements for the well-functioning of regional councils, in this study, ten regional councils across the globe have been analysed and compared by carrying out qualitative web researches and expert’s interviews. Results show that although huge differences between the political organizations in the globally selected case studies exist, two main forms and two sub-types of councils—with a specific functional orientation—can be identified. The aim of the paper is to provide an analytical framework that can be used in analysing regional councils or in processes to develop regional councils further. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Beyond Housing Preferences: Urban Structure and Actualisation of Residential Area Preferences
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010021
Received: 12 December 2018 / Revised: 1 February 2019 / Accepted: 2 February 2019 / Published: 6 February 2019
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Abstract
The concept of residential housing preferences has been studied across multiple disciplines, with extensive literature supporting both stated and revealed preference methods. This study argues that both preference types, stated and revealed, should be assessed concurrently to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of [...] Read more.
The concept of residential housing preferences has been studied across multiple disciplines, with extensive literature supporting both stated and revealed preference methods. This study argues that both preference types, stated and revealed, should be assessed concurrently to achieve a more comprehensive understanding of residential housing choices. To provide evidence, this research used findings from a public participation GIS survey that identified the stated housing preferences associated with three categories of urban residents, which were called urban “tribes”. We implemented an analytical framework using fuzzy modelling to relate stated preferences with revealed preferences for the same individuals using empirical data describing the urban structure in Tampere, Finland. Following an analysis of the relationships between residents’ revealed preferences and urban structural variables, we examined the consistency of stated housing preferences with revealed preferences. The results show considerable mismatch between the stated and revealed preferences for the urban tribes that were examined i.e., the preferred housing environment was significantly different from the actual living environment. Further, the stated preferences showed disequilibrium within the current structure of the housing supply in Tampere. The findings can have important implications for housing policy making in Tampere. Further, the use of a novel fuzzy model approach demonstrated a flexible and tolerant method for working with imprecise and variable social data to capture subtle differences. Finally, this study elaborately discusses the remaining limitations and suggests how they should be addressed in future research. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
3D Space Syntax Analysis: Attributes to Be Applied in Landscape Architecture Projects
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010020
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 1 February 2019 / Published: 5 February 2019
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Abstract
The article delves into the potential application of space syntax methodology to landscape architecture. Anticipating the complexity of the landscape architectural design process, the use of 3D space syntax analysis made it possible to better understand the relations between urban space shapes and [...] Read more.
The article delves into the potential application of space syntax methodology to landscape architecture. Anticipating the complexity of the landscape architectural design process, the use of 3D space syntax analysis made it possible to better understand the relations between urban space shapes and their functions. The application of an iterative process of project improvement optimizes the fulfilment of the landscape architect vision, through changes in ground shaping, selection of tree species and their spatial distribution. This article explores the vegetation attributes of vegetation that are necessary to consider in landscape architecture projects in the context of the DepthSpace 3D software, using the case study of an urban park in Maia—Portugal. To achieve this, it was necessary to define the attributes to be inserted in the software. The main attributes of vegetation that can be employed in landscape architecture projects are form and dimension, growth speed, and visual permeability (opacity) of the crown in winter and summer. The software proved itself a useful tool, not only in studying and evaluating the effects of the final design, but also during project development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Formalizing Urban Methodologies)
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Open AccessArticle
Challenges of Researching Showering Routines: From the Individual to the Socio-Material
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 19; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010019
Received: 13 December 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 29 January 2019 / Published: 31 January 2019
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Abstract
In the UK, water supplies are under pressure from climate, population and lifestyle change. Showering is the largest component of domestic water consumption. Young adults are high water-users at a transitional life-stage, when practices are dynamic, and habits shaped. This paper presents the [...] Read more.
In the UK, water supplies are under pressure from climate, population and lifestyle change. Showering is the largest component of domestic water consumption. Young adults are high water-users at a transitional life-stage, when practices are dynamic, and habits shaped. This paper presents the methodology, early findings and reflections on challenges of working with different data types and scales, to explore real-world water-saving through a mixed-methods approach, focusing on showering patterns of first year university students in campus accommodation at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. Combining household meter, logged water-fixture micro-component, personal-use questionnaire, user diary and stakeholder focus group data with the Scottish Government Individual-Social-Material model, typical showering demand reduction interventions were evaluated and insights into alternative interventions were generated. Results indicate Estates’ routine equipment maintenance and database management affect data quality and consistency. Despite these issues a profile of daily student water use was derived (equivalent to 114 L per person per day) but with high variability between different households (from 83 to 151 L per person per day). Average shower durations (self-reported 10–12 min) were higher than reported UK norms, although frequency was similar to the UK daily shower norm. Average measured shower volumes (51 L in one house) were not excessive, indicating shower fixtures provided a contribution to water saving. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future of Water: Local, Regional and Global Best Practice)
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Open AccessArticle
Solving Traffic Congestion through Street Renaissance: A Perspective from Dense Asian Cities
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010018
Received: 30 December 2018 / Revised: 12 January 2019 / Accepted: 26 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
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Abstract
Traffic congestion is one of the most vexing city problems and involves numerous factors which cannot be addressed without a holistic approach. Congestion cannot be narrowly tackled at the cost of a city’s quality of life. Focusing on transport and land use planning, [...] Read more.
Traffic congestion is one of the most vexing city problems and involves numerous factors which cannot be addressed without a holistic approach. Congestion cannot be narrowly tackled at the cost of a city’s quality of life. Focusing on transport and land use planning, this paper examines transport policies and practices on both the supply and demand sides and finds that indirect travel demand management might be the most desirable solution to this chronic traffic ailment. The concept of absorption of traffic demand through the renaissance of streets as a way for traffic relief is introduced from two perspectives, with some examples from dense Asian urban contexts to demonstrate this. Firstly, jobs–housing balance suggests the return of production activities to residential areas and sufficient provision of diverse space/housing options to deal with work-related traffic. The second approach is to promote the street as a multi-activity destination rather than a thoroughfare to access dispersed daily needs, and to advocate more street life to diminish non-commuting traffic. Based on this, suggestions for better transport planning policies are put forward. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Place Making and Urban Governance)
Open AccessArticle
Science Spaces as ‘Ethnoscapes’: Identity, Perception and the Production of Locality
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010017
Received: 15 January 2019 / Revised: 25 January 2019 / Accepted: 26 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
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Abstract
Science and technology spaces around the world are, simultaneously, major physical, technological and symbolic forms, key elements of economic strategy, and sites of international labour movements and knowledge transfer. They are thus the product of multiple imaginations, with multiple, potentially divergent, objectives. In [...] Read more.
Science and technology spaces around the world are, simultaneously, major physical, technological and symbolic forms, key elements of economic strategy, and sites of international labour movements and knowledge transfer. They are thus the product of multiple imaginations, with multiple, potentially divergent, objectives. In this paper, we compare three international science spaces as ‘ethnoscapes’, emphasising the distinctive perceptions, cultures and identities amongst international science and technology migrants and visitors at these sites. This, we contend, sharpens a sense of the ‘international-ness’ of science spaces in various dimensions, given the particular experiences of scientific migrants and visitors moving into different nations, locations and facilities, their roles in constructing international communities, and their navigation of alternative spaces. It also offers insight into the production of contextual (rather than spatial or physical) localities, as international scientists and technologists experience and constitute larger formations, building on their perceptions of varied and interacting science ’scapes. Full article
Open AccessArticle
Land Squandering in the Spanish Medium Sized Cities: The Case of Toledo
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 16; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010016
Received: 31 December 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 27 January 2019
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Abstract
A process of land squandering began in Spain in the mid 1990s until the great crisis of 2008. The intensive production of urban land affected the Spanish medium-sized towns. They were characterized by their compact nature and then they underwent an intense diffuse [...] Read more.
A process of land squandering began in Spain in the mid 1990s until the great crisis of 2008. The intensive production of urban land affected the Spanish medium-sized towns. They were characterized by their compact nature and then they underwent an intense diffuse urbanization. However, in some cases there had been previous examples of urban sprawl. In this article, we study one of them, the unique and historic city of Toledo, in the Centre of the Iberian Peninsula. We will show how the city has experienced the land squandering and has been extensively widespread throughout the hinterland, consisting of their peripheral municipalities. We will also check how Toledo has had a previous internal dispersion process in the last quarter of the 20th Century through the called Ensanche (widening). We will use the urban estate cadaster as a fundamental source for evolutionary and present analysis of the city and its hinterland. The field and bibliographic work complete the methodology. The final conclusion is that there have been remarkable urban increments in Spanish medium-sized cities such as Toledo, in external and peripheral districts, under the logic of speculation and profit, resulting in a disjointed space. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Squandering and Social Crisis in the Spanish City)
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Open AccessArticle
Conflicts about Urban Green Spaces in Metropolitan Areas under Conditions of Climate Change: A Multidisciplinary Analysis of Stakeholders’ Perceptions of Planning Processes
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010015
Received: 11 December 2018 / Revised: 22 January 2019 / Accepted: 23 January 2019 / Published: 25 January 2019
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Abstract
Under conditions of climate change, land-use conflicts are a significant challenge for spatial planning, especially in densely populated metropolitan regions. By using a multi-methodological approach, this study aims to identify different stakeholders’ perceptions of these spaces in planning processes within urban areas in [...] Read more.
Under conditions of climate change, land-use conflicts are a significant challenge for spatial planning, especially in densely populated metropolitan regions. By using a multi-methodological approach, this study aims to identify different stakeholders’ perceptions of these spaces in planning processes within urban areas in Germany. We use an ecosystem service analysis to evaluate the ecological potential of each selected study area and conducted a household survey to gauge how the local population and administration perceive them. The perceptions of these two groups of stakeholders regarding each area’s spatial qualities often differed from their actual ecological potential. We conducted interviews to identify possible conflicts between politicians and administration staff. While cooperation between politicians and the administration staff takes place and works well, the stakeholders involved often evaluate and perceive the cooperation processes in planning differently. Therefore, the authors argue that an integrative and methodologically multi-layered approach is useful for understanding complex perceptions in spatial planning. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Green Roof Design Techniques to Improve Water Use under Mediterranean Conditions
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010014
Received: 15 December 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 22 January 2019 / Published: 25 January 2019
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Abstract
Green roof typology can vary depending on buildings structure, climate conditions, substrate, and plants used. In regions with hot and dry summers, such as the Mediterranean region, irrigation plays an essential role, as the highest temperatures occur during the driest period of the [...] Read more.
Green roof typology can vary depending on buildings structure, climate conditions, substrate, and plants used. In regions with hot and dry summers, such as the Mediterranean region, irrigation plays an essential role, as the highest temperatures occur during the driest period of the year. Irrigation might reduce the heat island effect and improve the cooling of buildings during this period, however, the added cost of maintenance operations and additional energy consumption could outrun the benefits provided by the project. Moreover, in situations where water is scarce or primarily channelled to other uses (e.g., domestic, agriculture or industry) during drought occurrence, it is advisable to implement green roof projects with the lowest use of water possible. The objective of the present work is to investigate solutions to optimize water use in green roofs under Mediterranean conditions, such as those of southern Europe. Two case studies are presented for Portugal, and potential techniques to reduce irrigation requirements in green roofs were tested. These addressed the use of native plant species, including the extreme type of a non-irrigated green roof (Biocrust roof) and techniques for plant installation. Plant drought tolerance was found to be an advantage in green roofs under these climatic conditions and, for the species studied, aesthetic value could be maintained when irrigation decreased. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Future of Water: Local, Regional and Global Best Practice)
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Urban Science in 2018
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010013
Published: 24 January 2019
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Abstract
Rigorous peer-review is the corner-stone of high-quality academic publishing [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Using Building Floor Space for Station Area Population and Employment Estimation
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010012
Received: 5 December 2018 / Revised: 12 January 2019 / Accepted: 17 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
Analyzing population and employment sizes at the local finer geographic scale of transit station areas offers valuable insights for cities in terms of developing better decision-making skills to support transit-oriented development. Commonly, the station area population and employment have been derived from census [...] Read more.
Analyzing population and employment sizes at the local finer geographic scale of transit station areas offers valuable insights for cities in terms of developing better decision-making skills to support transit-oriented development. Commonly, the station area population and employment have been derived from census tract or even block data. Unfortunately, such detailed census data are hardly available and difficult to access in cities of developing countries. To address this problem, this paper explores an alternative technique in remote estimation of population and employment by using building floor space derived from an official administrative geographic information system (GIS) dataset. Based on the assumption that building floor space is a proxy to a number of residents and workers, we investigate to what extent they can be used for estimating the station area population and employment. To assess the model, we employ five station areas with heterogeneous environments in Tokyo as our empirical case study. The estimated population and employment are validated with the actual population and employment as reported in the census. The results indicate that building floor space, together with the city level aggregate information of building morphology, the density coefficient, demographic attributes, and real estate statistics, are able to generate a reasonable estimation. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Neighborhood Walkability and Housing Affordability among U.S. Urban Areas
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010011
Received: 9 November 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2019 / Accepted: 13 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
With support and demand for walkable urban spaces on the rise, there has been growing concern among academics and practitioners of increasing exclusivity, particularly in amenity-rich areas. This study examines equity in neighborhood walkability from the perspective of housing affordability, asking whether more [...] Read more.
With support and demand for walkable urban spaces on the rise, there has been growing concern among academics and practitioners of increasing exclusivity, particularly in amenity-rich areas. This study examines equity in neighborhood walkability from the perspective of housing affordability, asking whether more walkable urban neighborhoods have less affordable housing from the viewpoint of both neighborhood residents and households within the encompassing metropolitan region. While considering additional factors that may affect housing affordability, including coastal proximity, crime, rail access, housing age, housing size, and employment accessibility, the results indicate lower housing affordability primarily for renter households already living in walkable neighborhoods, but not for those looking to move to a more walkable neighborhood from within the same metropolitan area. Case studies of three large U.S. urban areas, Charlotte, NC, Pittsburgh, PA, and Portland, OR, highlight local variations in the walkability–housing affordability nexus. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Urban Sprawl in Inner Medium-Sized Cities: The Behaviour in Some Spanish Cases Since the Beginning of the 21st Century
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010010
Received: 12 November 2018 / Revised: 11 January 2019 / Accepted: 15 January 2019 / Published: 21 January 2019
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Abstract
The processes of urban sprawl that have been present over the past two decades in the different strata of the urban hierarchy have also affected, as a whole, medium-sized cities. The urban sprawl has been particularly pronounced during the period of expansive Spanish [...] Read more.
The processes of urban sprawl that have been present over the past two decades in the different strata of the urban hierarchy have also affected, as a whole, medium-sized cities. The urban sprawl has been particularly pronounced during the period of expansive Spanish urbanism, in which many of the municipalities situated in the vicinities of large cities have been affected by major demographic dynamics and (sub)urbanisation development outside the traditional city limits. Sometimes, these processes have been greater than the nearby cities in the urban area where they are inserted. In this study, we examine the general mechanisms identified within an urban crown size (within a radius of 30 km) and at the scale of the municipality, based on an analysis of two distinct periods: one linked to a strong growth dynamic (2000–2008), and another related to subsequent crisis (2009–2016). A group of 23 inner medium-sized Spanish cities has been analysed, taking into account the trends of the population, the surface of unbuilt plots, the built surface, and the amount of housing. We have identified the typologies of their respective urban areas over the two periods considered. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Land Squandering and Social Crisis in the Spanish City)
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Open AccessArticle
The Increasing Sociospatial Fragmentation of Urban America
Urban Sci. 2019, 3(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci3010009
Received: 14 December 2018 / Revised: 5 January 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2019 / Published: 11 January 2019
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Abstract
This analysis examines the spatial fragmentation of the urban landscape with respect to neighborhoods classified according to their racial, demographic, housing and socioeconomic characteristics. The analysis is performed on the 50 largest metropolitan areas throughout the United States from 1990–2010, and looks at [...] Read more.
This analysis examines the spatial fragmentation of the urban landscape with respect to neighborhoods classified according to their racial, demographic, housing and socioeconomic characteristics. The analysis is performed on the 50 largest metropolitan areas throughout the United States from 1990–2010, and looks at both global trends over time using a landscape ecology metric of edge density to quantify fragmentation over time. It then analyzes the spatial clustering of each neighborhood type over time, for each city. Results illustrate an increasingly fragmented urban landscape with respect to neighborhood type, led by Los Angeles as the most fragmented metropolitan area. Decomposed by neighborhood type, both racially concentrated high-poverty neighborhoods, as well as neighborhoods with a highly educated population, have increased in spatial concentration in large cities over time, exposing rises in spatial inequalities even as global patterns suggest a breaking up of neighborhood types. The global patterns are therefore driven by declines in more moderate-income and multiethnic neighborhoods, and a decline in the spatial concentration of newer, white, single-family housing neighborhoods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Formalizing Urban Methodologies)
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