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Urban Sci., Volume 4, Issue 1 (March 2020) – 14 articles

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Cover Story (view full-size image) Urban planning is multi-disciplinary and includes consideration of social, economic, technological, [...] Read more.
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Open AccessArticle
Radiosity from Individual Urban Landscape Elements Measured Using a Modified Low-Cost Temperature Sensor
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(1), 14; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010014 - 23 Mar 2020
Viewed by 533
Abstract
Loss of green space in our suburban environment is contributing to increased urban heat. The material properties of surface treatments or landscape elements (LEs) are a determining factor in the amount, timing, and type of radiation present in the local environment. Landscape designers [...] Read more.
Loss of green space in our suburban environment is contributing to increased urban heat. The material properties of surface treatments or landscape elements (LEs) are a determining factor in the amount, timing, and type of radiation present in the local environment. Landscape designers can use this information to better design for urban heat management, as emitted and reflected radiation (radiosity) from LEs can affect pedestrians via heat stress and glare and affect energy usage in buildings and houses if the landscape sky view factor is low. Low-cost black painted iButton temperature sensors were successfully used as radiometers to concurrently measure the daytime radiosity from 19 LEs samples located on an oval in the warm temperate climate of Perth, (Australia). Normalisation against gloss white paint on polystyrene removed the effect of varying weather conditions. Each LE had the same normalised average radiosity (DRav) between seasons (within ±5%), meaning the relative radiosity of new LEs can be measured on any day. White and lighter coloured LEs had the highest DRav and would have the most detrimental effect on nearby objects. Plants and moist LEs had the least DRav and would be most beneficial for managing local daytime urban heat. Measuring relative radiosity with iButtons presents a new way to examine the effect of LEs on the urban environment. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Including Citizen Participation Formats for Drafting and Implementing Local Sustainable Development Strategies
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(1), 13; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010013 - 12 Mar 2020
Viewed by 407
Abstract
Since the publication of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, governance for sustainable development has grown and several national, regional and local sustainable development strategies have been adopted. A sustainable development strategy can serve as a political control instrument and management tool. For [...] Read more.
Since the publication of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, governance for sustainable development has grown and several national, regional and local sustainable development strategies have been adopted. A sustainable development strategy can serve as a political control instrument and management tool. For the development and implementation of such a strategy at the local level, municipalities might use citizen participation approaches. There exist manifold ways of consulting civil society, representing different levels of decision-making power. The analysis of this article is divided into two parts. First, we report on a case study of the pilot project “Global Sustainable Municipalities” located in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany and assess the current status of the use of citizen participation formats for adopting a local sustainable development strategy. Second, we developed a model of citizen participation approaches during different phases of adopting a sustainable development strategy. The purpose of this model is to assess the potential decision-making power of citizens during the phases and to help municipalities to get an orientation on participation possibilities. The results show that most municipalities count on participation mainly in the implementation phase of the strategy, less during developing it. Our model, however, demonstrates participation possibilities for each of the phases. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Connections and Divergence between Public Health and Built Environment—A Scoping Review
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010012 - 05 Mar 2020
Viewed by 611
Abstract
Public health and built environment design have a long-intertwined history of promoting a healthy quality of life. They emerged with the common goal of preventing infectious disease outbreaks in urban areas and improving occupants’ living conditions. In recent years, however, the two disciplines [...] Read more.
Public health and built environment design have a long-intertwined history of promoting a healthy quality of life. They emerged with the common goal of preventing infectious disease outbreaks in urban areas and improving occupants’ living conditions. In recent years, however, the two disciplines have become less engaged and with each developing a distinct focus. To respond to this disconnection, a systematic review was conducted to identify the connection and divergence between public health and built environment design and planning. This paper aims to establish a context for understanding the connections, synergies, and divergence between public health and built environment design disciplines. Further, the four main health factors in the built environment are identified and explained: physical, physiological, biological, and psychological factors. Finally, future trends to reconnect public health with build environment design are then outlined. Full article
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Open AccessCase Report
Smart Eco-City Strategies and Solutions for Sustainability: The Cases of Royal Seaport, Stockholm, and Western Harbor, Malmö, Sweden
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(1), 11; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010011 - 03 Mar 2020
Viewed by 623
Abstract
Sustainable urbanism is seen today as one of the keys towards unlocking the quest for a sustainable society. As a central paradigm of sustainable urbanism, the eco-city is promoted by global and local policies as one of the preferred responses to the challenges [...] Read more.
Sustainable urbanism is seen today as one of the keys towards unlocking the quest for a sustainable society. As a central paradigm of sustainable urbanism, the eco-city is promoted by global and local policies as one of the preferred responses to the challenges of sustainable development. It is argued that eco-city strategies are expected to deliver positive outcomes in terms of providing healthy and livable human environments in conjunction with minimal demand on resources and thus minimal environmental impacts. As such, it is pertinent to examine how the eco-city model and especially its three sustainability dimensions is practiced and justified in urban planning and development at the local level. This is motivated by the increased interest in developing sustainable urban districts. In this light, this study seeks to answer the following two questions: What are the key strategies of the eco-city district model, and in what ways do they mutually complement one another in terms of producing the expected tripartite value of sustainability? To what extent does the eco-city district model support and contribute to the environmental, economic, and social goals of sustainability? To illuminate the phenomenon of the eco-city district accordingly, a descriptive case study is adopted as a qualitative research methodology, where the empirical basis is mainly formed by urban planning and development documents in two eco-city districts—Royal Seaport, Stockholm, and Western Harbor, Malmö, Sweden—in combination with qualitative interview data, secondary data, and scientific literature. This study shows that the eco-city district models of SRS and Western Harbor involve mainly design and technology, supported with behavioral change, as key strategies and solutions for achieving urban sustainability. Design encompasses greening, passive solar houses, sustainable transportation, mixed land use, and diversity. And technology comprises green technologies, energy efficiency technologies, and waste management systems. Design contributes to the three goals of sustainability, and technology contributes mostly to the environmental and economic goals of sustainability. Behavioral change is associated with sustainable travel, waste separation, and energy consumption. Moreover, at the core of the eco-city district model is the clear synergy between the underlying strategies in terms of their cooperation to produce combined effects greater than the sum of their separate effects with respect to the benefits of sustainability. Further, this study demonstrates that while the environmental, economic, and social goals of sustainability are represented in eco-city district strategies on a discursive level, institutionalized planning practices show that the environmental goals remain at the core of planning, while the economic and social goals still play second fiddle. Nevertheless, new measures have recently been implemented in Western Harbor that are expected to strengthen their influence over urban development practices, whereas the Royal Seaport program mainly focuses on the environmental and some economic aspects, which is a shortcoming that should be recognized and dealt with. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Eco-Urbanism)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrating Data-Driven and Participatory Modeling to Simulate Future Urban Growth Scenarios: Findings from Monastir, Tunisia
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(1), 10; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010010 - 27 Feb 2020
Viewed by 814
Abstract
Current rapid urbanization trends in developing countries present considerable challenges to local governments, potentially hindering efforts towards sustainable urban development. To effectively anticipate the challenges posed by urbanization, participatory modeling techniques can help to stimulate future-oriented decision-making by exploring alternative development scenarios. With [...] Read more.
Current rapid urbanization trends in developing countries present considerable challenges to local governments, potentially hindering efforts towards sustainable urban development. To effectively anticipate the challenges posed by urbanization, participatory modeling techniques can help to stimulate future-oriented decision-making by exploring alternative development scenarios. With the example of the coastal city of Monastir, we present the results of an integrated urban growth analysis that combines the SLEUTH (slope, land use, exclusion, urban extent, transportation, and hill shade) cellular automata model with qualitative inputs from relevant local stakeholders to simulate urban growth until 2030. While historical time-series of Landsat data fed a business-as-usual prediction, the quantification of narrative storylines derived from participatory scenario workshops enabled the creation of four additional urban growth scenarios. Results show that the growth of the city will occur at different rates under all scenarios. Both the “business-as-usual” (BaU) prediction and the four scenarios revealed that urban expansion is expected to further encroach on agricultural land by 2030. The various scenarios suggest that Monastir will expand between 127–149 hectares. The information provided here goes beyond simply projecting past trends, giving decision-makers the necessary support for both understanding possible future urban expansion pathways and proactively managing the future growth of the city. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Perception of Urban Green Areas Associated with Sociodemographic Affiliation, Structural Elements, and Acceptance Stripes
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(1), 9; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010009 - 08 Feb 2020
Viewed by 761
Abstract
The extensification (opposite of intensification) of urban public green spaces offers great potential for conservation. One major issue for the long-term success of such a measure is, however, its acceptance by the urban population. This contribution presents the results of an image-based online [...] Read more.
The extensification (opposite of intensification) of urban public green spaces offers great potential for conservation. One major issue for the long-term success of such a measure is, however, its acceptance by the urban population. This contribution presents the results of an image-based online questionnaire that we set to elucidate the role of sociodemographic affiliations regarding the perception of urban green areas. We also asked whether acceptability can be increased by the presence of additional structural elements (sculptures, benches) and “acceptance stripes”, i.e., stripes regularly mowed only at the margins of a natural green space. Regarding structural elements, 40- to 60-year-olds consistently rejected intensely maintained lawns and perceived a lawn as positive only in combination with a sculpture. A regularly mowed acceptance stripe resulted in a positive perception of natural meadows by people with an affinity for city life, classified based on their actual place of residence and/or their social dimension including aspects such as sense of place, familiarity, profession, and interests. Thus, decision-making processes of policy makers must be evaluated together with the urban population and should be assessed multidimensionally, i.e., by considering various criteria (e.g., ecological, social, and aesthetic aspects) in order to meet the requirements of residents and achieve an increase in biodiversity. Full article
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Open AccessEditorial
Acknowledgement to Reviewers of Urban Science in 2019
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(1), 8; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010008 - 28 Jan 2020
Viewed by 447
Abstract
The editorial team greatly appreciates the reviewers who have dedicated their considerable time and expertise to the journal’s rigorous editorial process over the past 12 months, regardless of whether the papers are finally published or not [...] Full article
Open AccessArticle
Cultural Memories for Better Place Experience: The Case of Orabi Square in Alexandria, Egypt
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(1), 7; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010007 - 24 Jan 2020
Viewed by 611
Abstract
Globalization is associated with significant transformations in city forms and cultural and social performances. Governments and cultural heritage organisations increasingly appreciate the importance of preserving diverse physical cultural heritage through rehabilitation and the implementation of conservation plans. Nevertheless, there is a need to [...] Read more.
Globalization is associated with significant transformations in city forms and cultural and social performances. Governments and cultural heritage organisations increasingly appreciate the importance of preserving diverse physical cultural heritage through rehabilitation and the implementation of conservation plans. Nevertheless, there is a need to evaluate whether these plans understand the importance of cultural memory in societies, as well as how it affects the human psyche. Utilizing Orabi Square, which is one of the richest Historic Urban Landscapes (HUL) in the metropolitan city of Alexandria in Egypt, this study aims to answer the question; to what extent does Historic Urban Landscape (HUL) management present a situation that maintains cultural memory and achieve psychosocial well-being? The research explored the site’s old and new conditions and place experience, applying a qualitative approach through onsite face-to-face semi-structured interviews combined with data from a Facebook group—Alexandria’s Spirit. The QSR Nvivo12 analysis program was used for the data interpretation and for charting the intangible values accompanying cultural memory such as emotions and behaviour. The study indicated that cultural memory is an affective catalyst for emotional attachment to place and is an important factor informing sense of place. Based on our study, inclusion of cultural memories should be an integral element in the future management plans of Orabi Square to enhance place experience and psychosocial well-being. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Toponymy, Pioneership, and the Politics of Ethnic Hierarchies in the Spatial Organization of British Colonial Nairobi
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010006 - 23 Jan 2020
Viewed by 880
Abstract
Toponyms, along with other urban symbols, were used as a tool of control over space in many African countries during the colonial period. This strategy was epitomized by the British, who applied it in Nairobi and other parts of Kenya from the late [...] Read more.
Toponyms, along with other urban symbols, were used as a tool of control over space in many African countries during the colonial period. This strategy was epitomized by the British, who applied it in Nairobi and other parts of Kenya from the late 1800s. This paper shows that toponymy in colonial Nairobi was an imposition of British political references, urban nomenclature, as well as the replication of a British spatial idyll on the urban landscape of Nairobi. In early colonial Nairobi, the population was mainly composed of three main groups: British, Asians, and Africans. Although the Africans formed the bulk of the population, they were the least represented, socially, economically and politically. Ironically, he British, who were the least in population held the political and economic power, and they applied it vigorously in shaping the identity of the city. The Asians were neither as powerful as the British, nor were they considered to be at the low level of the native Africans. This was the deliberate hierarchical structure that was instituted by the colonial government, where the level of urban citizenship depended on ethnic affiliation. Consequently, this structure was reflected in the toponymy and spatial organization of the newly founded city with little consideration to its pre-colonial status. Streets, buildings and other spaces such as parks were predominantly named after the British monarchy, colonial administrators, settler farmers, and businessmen, as well as prominent Asian personalities. In this paper, historical references such as maps, letter correspondences, monographs, and newspaper archives have been used as evidence to prove that toponyms in colonial Nairobi were the spatial signifiers that reflected the political, ideological and ethnic hierarchies and inequalities of the time. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Place Names: Political, Economic, and Cultural Dimensions)
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Open AccessArticle
Modeling Quality of Urban Life Using a Geospatial Approach
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010005 - 20 Jan 2020
Viewed by 546
Abstract
The rapid global urbanization of the past century poses several challenges for planners and policy makers. In particular, the conflation of social and urban issues must be understood to create sustainable and livable urban places. In this regard, it was our aim to [...] Read more.
The rapid global urbanization of the past century poses several challenges for planners and policy makers. In particular, the conflation of social and urban issues must be understood to create sustainable and livable urban places. In this regard, it was our aim to model and understand the relationship between urban characteristics and peoples’ perceived quality of urban life (QoUL) using statistical analysis and geospatial modeling. We selected objective variables representing urban characteristics based on literature and used principal components analysis to develop uncorrelated components. These components served as the independent variables in a multiple linear regression analysis. The subjective, dependent variables were extracted from a QoUL survey. Results indicated that only the Education/Income component is related to QoUL (R2 of 0.46). Using only single independent variables in a linear model explained 46% of the total variance—over 10% higher than any previously determined relationship between objective variables and subjective QoUL. Furthermore, we found that subjective high QoUL and subjective low QoUL were not strongly correlated, indicating that they are affected by different objective variables, respectively. This suggests that future efforts of increasing QoUL need to define their goals more precisely, as measures for increasing perceptions of high QoUL are likely different from measures for decreasing perceptions of low QoUL. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
The Most Frequently Cited Topics in Urban Planning Scholarship
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010004 - 17 Jan 2020
Viewed by 929
Abstract
Analyses of faculty citation activity usually focus on counts as a function of author characteristics, such as rank, gender, previous citation levels, and other factors influencing productivity and career path. Citation analyses of publications consider aspects, such as the number of authors, author [...] Read more.
Analyses of faculty citation activity usually focus on counts as a function of author characteristics, such as rank, gender, previous citation levels, and other factors influencing productivity and career path. Citation analyses of publications consider aspects, such as the number of authors, author reputation, author order, length of the title, methodology, and impact factors of the publication. While publication topics or discipline is considered important factors, they are more difficult to analyze, and therefore, performed less frequently. This article attempts to do that for the field of urban planning. Urban planning is multi-disciplinary and includes consideration of social, economic, technological, environmental, and political systems that shape human settlement patterns. It has been suspected that some topics are more “popular” and have larger audiences, therefore, are cited more often. Using nearly 15,000 urban planning publications, this article presents an analysis of topics to assess which are cited most frequently. The classification of publications was performed using a Support Vector Machine (SVM), a machine learning (ML) approach to text classification, using citation data from Google Scholar. The citation levels for the resulting categories are analyzed and discussed. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Framing the Debate on Suburbanization in North America and Germany Conceptually—Edward Soja’s Concept of “Regional Urbanization” Revisited
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(1), 3; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010003 - 10 Jan 2020
Viewed by 562
Abstract
This article is on imaginaries of the urban. Here, we develop a critical view on urban and regional developments in capitalist countries and scrutinize explanation patterns anchored in a rigid urban–suburban dichotomy that tend to disregard the complex processuality of current urbanization forms. [...] Read more.
This article is on imaginaries of the urban. Here, we develop a critical view on urban and regional developments in capitalist countries and scrutinize explanation patterns anchored in a rigid urban–suburban dichotomy that tend to disregard the complex processuality of current urbanization forms. This contribution focusses on the impact societal change has on spatial and societal structures as well as on forms of socialization in urban regional contexts. As a starting point, we deliberately address current debates on suburbanization from which we first derive research desiderata and then conceptually position the debate. The main aim of the paper is to underscore the importance of the conceptual debate on postmodern urban development which is inextricably linked with the so-called LA school of urbanism and in particular with Edward Soja. In the conceptual part of the paper, we start from Edward Soja’s concept (Postmetropolis, 2000) on postmodern urban development in which overarching urbanization processes materialize on a continuum from center to periphery. His theoretical positionings offer a number of possibilities for analyzing and interpreting socio-economic, socio-structural, and socio-cultural urbanization processes. Essentially, we are offering a conceptual discussion of current urban regional processes based on Edward Soja’s theorizations (Soja, 2011) that take the socio-structural, socio-economic, and socio-cultural pluralities and complexity of Regional Urbanization into account. We contend that the seminal contribution of Edward Soja lends itself to a comprehensive and up-to-date understanding of processes of urbanization, including suburban developments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regional Urbanization)
Open AccessArticle
Regional Urbanisation through Accessibility?—The “Zweite Stammstrecke” Express Rail Project in Munich
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010002 - 08 Jan 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 623
Abstract
Transport accessibility is one of the most significant locational factors for both households and firms, and thus a potentially self-reinforcing driver of urban development. The spatial structure and dynamics of accessibility hence have the potential to alter the locational choices of households and [...] Read more.
Transport accessibility is one of the most significant locational factors for both households and firms, and thus a potentially self-reinforcing driver of urban development. The spatial structure and dynamics of accessibility hence have the potential to alter the locational choices of households and firms significantly, leading to concentration and de-concentration processes. In spite of recent innovations in automotive technologies, public transport systems remain crucial for the functioning of metropolises. In this paper, we use the case of public transport in the Munich Metropolitan Region (MMR) in Germany to (1) discuss whether public transport in the past has contributed to regional urbanisation, the blurring of urban and suburban spaces; (2) model future accessibility changes due to the ongoing mega-infrastructure project “second trunk line” (“Zweite Stammstrecke”) for suburban trains and their likely effects on processes of regional development; (3) compare the balance of accessibility and functional density at stations in the MMR and (4) recommend a planning strategy based on an integrated urban and transport planning philosophy. We argue that particularly the monocentric design of the project means that it will intensify and extend the scope of suburbanisation and metropolisation, while planning should aim for a greater regionalisation of economic activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regional Urbanization)
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Open AccessArticle
Regional Urbanization and Knowledge-Intensive Business Activities (KIBS): An Example of Small and Medium-Sized Cities in the Greater Stuttgart Region (Germany)
Urban Sci. 2020, 4(1), 1; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci4010001 - 19 Dec 2019
Viewed by 668
Abstract
The objective of this paper is to understand the role of small and medium-sized cities as economic locations, and as potential anchor locations, in grounding processes of regional urbanization in the knowledge economy. Based on quantitative occupational data, the deconcentration processes of knowledge-intensive [...] Read more.
The objective of this paper is to understand the role of small and medium-sized cities as economic locations, and as potential anchor locations, in grounding processes of regional urbanization in the knowledge economy. Based on quantitative occupational data, the deconcentration processes of knowledge-intensive business activities are analyzed for the Greater Stuttgart Region in southern Germany. The way in which the different knowledge bases used in knowledge-intensive business activities influence spatial patterns of economic activity in the surrounding area of the core city, including small and medium-sized towns, is discussed. The knowledge bases differentiated in this paper are analytical, synthetic and symbolic knowledge. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Regional Urbanization)
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