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Special Issue "Strategic Management toward a Sustainable Urbanization by Balancing the Utilization of Land and/or Water Resources"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Science and Engineering".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2019

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Chihhao Fan

Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, 10617, Taiwan
Website | E-Mail
Interests: river pollution control and water quality management; assessment of carrying capacity of water bodies; strategy for TMDL (total maximum daily load) implementation; watershed management; environmental chemistry; water and wastewater treatment; advanced oxidation processes; impact of macromolecule on AOP treatment efficiency; photo-catalytic oxidation of disinfection by-products in drinking water; transport and fate of environmental contaminants; quality assurance and conservation of agro-environment
Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Yu-Pin Lin

Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, No. 1, Sec. 4, Roosevelt Road, Taipei, 10617, Taiwan
Website | E-Mail
Phone: 886-2-33663468
Fax: +86 2 23686980
Interests: spatial statistics and modeling in environmental and ecological systems; applications of GIS and remote sensing in environmental and ecological systems; freshwater monitoring and modeling; optimal environmental monitoring network design; landscape ecology in land-use management and planning; ecohydrology; groundwater modeling; land-use planning and modeling; soil heavy metal pollution assessment; multiscale analysis in environmental and ecological systems; system dynamic modeling in environmental systems; ecosystem services; system dynamic modeling; optimization techniques

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urbanization has been an apparent outcome of the advancement of human civilization, as well as cultural prosperity. Unfortunately, excessive exploitation and utilization of natural resource has put us into a dilemma between modernized development and environmental conservation. Additionally, the impact of global environmental change results in an even more severe situation when dealing with the issues of resource allocation. In the literature, many studies report the investigations of optimal strategy of environmental resource utilization for societal advancement and urbanization at the compromise of acceptable environmental degradation. In light of these above statements, the resource management and allocation for sustainable urbanization is an issue of concern that deserves further exploration. The related managerial strategy should consider the conceptual framework of current recognition on sustainable urbanization.

To deal with such a significant impact on the environment, efforts regarding the investigations of the (1) strategic utilization of available water resources, (2) proper planning and exploitation on land system, (3) balance of expended resources on sustainable urbanization, (4) the quantitative/qualitative benefits resulting from the sustainable use of environment resources, and (5) other related implementable measures that enhance the resource consumption efficiency and urban sustainability, are welcome to present in this Special Issue. Hopefully, these studies should be able to build a linkage between current resource allocation practices and future urbanization planning to achieve the ultimate goal of environmental sustainability.

Prof. Chihhao Fan
Prof. Dr. Yu-Pin Lin
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Urbanization
  • Sustainability
  • Strategic development
  • Water environment
  • Land management

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Demographic Forecasts Using the Game Theory
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(8), 1400; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16081400 (registering DOI)
Received: 25 January 2019 / Revised: 9 April 2019 / Accepted: 12 April 2019 / Published: 18 April 2019
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Abstract
This paper offers certain predictions concerning the demographic population of the cities Vilnius and Olsztyn. The authors used a method of analyzing and synthesizing data sources, and comparing the actual data with the forecast between the years 1997–2014. Each prediction was prepared in [...] Read more.
This paper offers certain predictions concerning the demographic population of the cities Vilnius and Olsztyn. The authors used a method of analyzing and synthesizing data sources, and comparing the actual data with the forecast between the years 1997–2014. Each prediction was prepared in connection with its use in various areas of life, particularly for all studies involving spatial planning. The data collected on the basis of the forecasts were used by spatial planners to devise strategies for local development at the city, municipality, and provincial levels. In this sense, they created basic documents for the sustainable planning of space. The process of forecasting is a difficult and complex issue, and its accuracy determines both the choice of methods and the quality of the output. Our study sets out predictions concerning the demographic processes over the coming years in the two cities mentioned. Given that all long-range forecasts are characterized by high risk, especially taking into account the unstable political situation in Europe, the steadily deteriorating situation in the labor market and rising social discontent are of relevance, as they are causing the ongoing dynamics of the population to change, making statistical errors more likely and more serious. This has meant that organizations like Poland’s Central Statistical Office, Eurostat, and the United Nations have to adjust their demographic projections at least every two years, and the methods for making demographic forecasts which are used by governmental institutions have proven to be less than satisfactory. The main purpose of the article, therefore, is to present the authors’ method of making demographic projections by using elements of game theory. The results obtained in this method were compared with the results of the forecasting methods currently used by the governments of Poland and Lithuania. The developed method, based on the same input data and analogous coefficients, brings more probable results. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Empirical Framework for a Relative Sustainability Evaluation of Urbanization on the Water–Energy–Food Nexus Using Simultaneous Equation Analysis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(6), 901; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16060901
Received: 11 February 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 10 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
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Abstract
The water–energy–food (WEF) nexus attracts much attention due to the elevated public concern regarding environmental conservation and sustainability. As we head into a new era of civilization, population increase and modernized lifestyles have led to an increasing need for water, energy, and food. [...] Read more.
The water–energy–food (WEF) nexus attracts much attention due to the elevated public concern regarding environmental conservation and sustainability. As we head into a new era of civilization, population increase and modernized lifestyles have led to an increasing need for water, energy, and food. However, severe hydrological precipitation significantly impacts agricultural harvest, and such influence becomes more apparent under the influence of climate change. Meanwhile, the major method of electricity generation (i.e., fossil fuel burning) has a negative impact on the environment. These inevitable threats are crucial and have to be dealt with for a society on the road towards sustainability. In the present study, an integrated evaluation of the WEF nexus was conducted for two areas with different levels of urbanization using empirical multiple linear regression in a simultaneous equation model (SEM). By incorporating the collected data into the SEM, the weighting coefficient of each identified variable was obtained, and the nexus implication was assessed in model simulation at different scenarios considering the population growth, agro-technology advancement, energy structure improvement, and available water resources. In the simulated results, three observations were found: (1) the rural area is more sustainable than the urban one; (2) the sustainability for both the investigated areas is significantly subject to their water supply and demand; and (3) food production was found to have a less important effect on the sustainable development of the urban area. This study identified the key factors in the WEF nexus exploration, which are economically and environmentally important for resource allocation. An empirical model was developed to correlate sustainable achievement with WEF management, as well as strategic policies that should be implemented under the pressure of urbanization. Full article
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Open AccessArticle An Evaluation Model for Urban Comprehensive Carrying Capacity: An Empirical Case from Harbin City
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(3), 367; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16030367
Received: 25 December 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 28 January 2019
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Abstract
Urbanization has brought notable benefits for cities, but has also resulted in severe and diverse challenges in China. Previous studies have contributed to the definitions and evaluation of urbanization. However, there remain a great deal of ambiguities regarding urban comprehensive carrying capacity, and [...] Read more.
Urbanization has brought notable benefits for cities, but has also resulted in severe and diverse challenges in China. Previous studies have contributed to the definitions and evaluation of urbanization. However, there remain a great deal of ambiguities regarding urban comprehensive carrying capacity, and its measurable indicators still need further exploration given the urban development. This study aims to explore a model for evaluating urban comprehensive carrying capacity and thus to promote urban development. A total of 48 indicators which fell into 8 subsystems were identified to evaluate the urban comprehensive carrying capacity through literature reviews and interviews. The indicator set was developed for evaluation indicator selecting. Meanwhile, the dynamic system was explored, and an evaluation model based on the entire array polygon method was designed to evaluate urban comprehensive carrying capacity. Finally, a case study was conducted to provide suggestions for the decision-maker to implement the evaluation model. The results of this study show that the evaluation indicator system was dynamic due to urban development. Meanwhile, the model of the entire array polygon method was able to effectively evaluate urban comprehensive carrying capacity through the case study. Furthermore, this study found that there is an imbalance among subsystems in urban development according to the standard deviation. The findings are useful for setting up a benchmark framework for urban sustainability and providing an evaluation and monitoring model for decision maker to improve the urban carrying capacity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Impact of Land Use/Cover Change on Yangtze River Delta Urban Agglomeration Ecosystem Services Value: Temporal-Spatial Patterns and Cold/Hot Spots Ecosystem Services Value Change Brought by Urbanization
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 123; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010123
Received: 21 November 2018 / Revised: 18 December 2018 / Accepted: 29 December 2018 / Published: 4 January 2019
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Abstract
Land use/cover change (LUCC) from increased urbanization significantly impacts regional ecosystem services. Based on a cold/hot spots analysis, this paper used grain yield, food prices, price index statistics, and a land use thematic map to study the impact of LUCC on four ecosystem [...] Read more.
Land use/cover change (LUCC) from increased urbanization significantly impacts regional ecosystem services. Based on a cold/hot spots analysis, this paper used grain yield, food prices, price index statistics, and a land use thematic map to study the impact of LUCC on four ecosystem services values (ESVs) in the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration, and determine the spatial differences resulting from the rapid urbanization LUCC. The correlation between the four ecosystem services was then studied and sensitivity analyses conducted to investigate whether any changes in the ESVs could lead to unacceptable unit value transfer uncertainties. It was found that most urban land was converted from farmland, and that before 2000, the total ESVs and the regulating services values (RSVs) increased significantly, after which it declined, the provisioning services values (PSVs) declined year on year, the habitat services value (HSV) and cultural and amenity services value (CSV) declined sharply after 2000, and the spatial distribution of the four ESVs were significantly different. Over time, it was found that the hot spots were shrinking and the cold spots were spreading. The provisioning services were found to be negatively correlated with habitat services and cultural and amenity services, the regulating services were weakly positively correlated with the provisioning services and significantly positively correlated with the habitat services and cultural and amenity services, and the habitat services were significantly positively correlated with cultural and amenity services. In the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration, the water area is the most important for the total ESVs, followed by non-bush forest. Paddy field is ranked third. Dryland, bush, grassland, and wetland are less important. The importance of barren land is almost zero. This research provides the government with a scientific basis from which to formulate spatial planning and environmental protection policies for ecological sustainable development in the Yangtze River Delta urban agglomeration. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evolution of the Pattern of Spatial Expansion of Urban Land Use in the Poyang Lake Ecological Economic Zone
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(1), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16010117
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 27 December 2018 / Accepted: 29 December 2018 / Published: 4 January 2019
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Abstract
To grasp the evolutionary characteristics and regularity of urban land expansion patterns in the Poyang Lake Ecological Economic Zone, this study, based on nighttime lighting data, uses the Landsat series satellite simultaneous data and cluster analysis to correct the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program–Operational [...] Read more.
To grasp the evolutionary characteristics and regularity of urban land expansion patterns in the Poyang Lake Ecological Economic Zone, this study, based on nighttime lighting data, uses the Landsat series satellite simultaneous data and cluster analysis to correct the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program–Operational Linescan System (DMSP-OLS) nighttime lighting data and then uses the auxiliary data-based comparison method to determine the threshold for extracting the urban built-up area. Based on this threshold, a total of eight typical landscape pattern indicators, including landscape total area, total patches number, patches density, maximum patches index, and agglomeration index, etc., are selected. Next, the landscape spatial pattern analysis method and standard deviation ellipse method are used. The results show the following: (1) In 1992–2013, urbanization in the Poyang Lake Ecological Economic Zone expanded rapidly. The urban built-up area increased by 8.13 times, the number of plaques increased by 1.5 times, and the shape complexity of landscape plaques gradually increased. There is a large correlation between the changes in the total boundary length, and the average boundary density, the average annual growth rate of the two is 21.33% and 17.45%. (2) The two indicators of maximum plaque index and aggregation index show a downward trend year by year. However, there are some fluctuations and irregularities in the evolution of the total landscape area, total plaque number and plaque density. (3) The long axis and the short axis of the standard deviation ellipse of the Poyang Lake Ecological Economic Zone show small variation during the inspection period and generally have an elliptical shape. The movement of the center of gravity is mainly from the southwest to the northeast, but the migration of the center of gravity is relatively small. Based on this, this paper proposes three countermeasures and suggestions as a guide to promote the optimization and development of the spatial expansion pattern of the Poyang Lake eco-economic zone. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Not-in-My-Backyard: Legislation Requirements and Economic Analysis for Developing Underground Wastewater Treatment Plant in China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2339; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112339
Received: 31 August 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 22 October 2018 / Published: 23 October 2018
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Abstract
Underground wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have achieved fast development in China in recent years. Due to the remarkable differences between underground and conventional aboveground construction mode, legislation including technical specifications and regulations for underground WWTPs, which was revealed in vacancy, should be issued [...] Read more.
Underground wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) have achieved fast development in China in recent years. Due to the remarkable differences between underground and conventional aboveground construction mode, legislation including technical specifications and regulations for underground WWTPs, which was revealed in vacancy, should be issued in time to promote its development. It is also expected to avoid not-in-my-backyard sentiment by decreasing negative effects of WWTPs via construction in sealed underground space. This research took Beijing city as case study to investigate the impacts of WWTPs on nearby community from the perspective of housing price quantitatively. Differences-in-Difference (DID) model result indicates that WWTPs inhibited nearby housing price increases, leading to huge financial losses. The closer are the houses and WWTPs, the severer were the inhibition effects, indicating the relationship between environmental quality and property price. During 2016–2017, the deteriorated estate value surrounding the investigated WWTPs in Beijing was estimated as high as 32.53 billion RMB, much higher than their construction cost of about 4.38 billion RMB. Transformation from grey to green by underground construction was expected to avoid these huge value distortions, while providing alternative to enhance WWTPs with various social functions for public services. This research demonstrates the high social requirements in highly developed cities to promote fast development of underground WWTPs in China. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Evolution of Landscape Ecological Risk at the Optimal Scale: A Case Study of the Open Coastal Wetlands in Jiangsu, China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(8), 1691; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15081691
Received: 11 June 2018 / Revised: 19 July 2018 / Accepted: 27 July 2018 / Published: 8 August 2018
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Abstract
Detailed analysis of the evolution characteristics of landscape ecological risk is crucial for coastal sustainable management and for understanding the potential environmental impacts of a man-made landform landscapes (MMLL). As a typical open coastal wetland, large-scale human activities (e.g., tidal reclamation, fishery activities, [...] Read more.
Detailed analysis of the evolution characteristics of landscape ecological risk is crucial for coastal sustainable management and for understanding the potential environmental impacts of a man-made landform landscapes (MMLL). As a typical open coastal wetland, large-scale human activities (e.g., tidal reclamation, fishery activities, wind farm construction, and port construction) have substantially affected the evolution of the coastal ecological environment. Previous landscape ecological risk assessment studies have documented the effectiveness of assessing the quality of ecological environment processes. However, these studies have either focused on the noncoastal zone, or they have not considered the evolution of the spatial characteristics and ecological risk evolution of the landscape at an optimal scale. Here, we present a landscape ecological risk pattern (LERP) evolution model, based on two successive steps: first, we constructed an optimal scale method with an appropriate extent and grain using multi–temporal Landsat TM/OLI images acquired in the years 2000, 2004, 2008, 2013 and 2017, and then we calculated landscape ecological risk indices. Based on this model, the entire process of the spatiotemporal evolution of ecological risk patterns of the open coastal wetlands in Jiangsu, China, was determined. The principal findings are as follows: (1) The main landscape types in the study area are tidal flats and farmland, and the main features of the landscape evolution are a significant increase in aquafarming and a substantial decrease in the tidal flat area, while the landscape heterogeneity increased; (2) In the past 20 years, the areas of low and relatively low ecological risk in the study region were greatly reduced, while the areas of medium, relatively high, and high ecological risk greatly increased; the areas of high-grade ecological risk areas are mainly around Dongtai and Dafeng; (3) The area of ecological risk from low-grade to high-grade occupied 71.75% of the study area during 2000–2017. During the previous periods (2000–2004 and 2004–2008), the areas of low-grade ecological risk were transformed to areas of middle-grade ecological risk area, while during the later periods (2008–2013 and 2013–2017) there was a substantial increase in the proportion of areas of high-grade ecological risk. Our results complement the official database of coastal landscape planning, and provide important information for assessing the potential effects of MMLL processes on coastal environments. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Changes of Ecosystem Service Value in a Coastal Zone of Zhejiang Province, China, during Rapid Urbanization
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(7), 1301; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15071301
Received: 2 May 2018 / Revised: 11 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (3643 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Gains and losses in ecosystem service values (ESV) in coastal zones in Zhejiang Province during rapid urbanization were analyzed in terms of land-use changes. Decision-making on coastal development based on ESV estimation is significant for the sustainable utilization of coastal resource. In this [...] Read more.
Gains and losses in ecosystem service values (ESV) in coastal zones in Zhejiang Province during rapid urbanization were analyzed in terms of land-use changes. Decision-making on coastal development based on ESV estimation is significant for the sustainable utilization of coastal resource. In this study, coastal land-use changes in Zhejiang Province during rapid urbanization were discussed based on remote-sensing derived land-use maps created in the years 1990, 2000 and 2010. The ESV changes in coastal zones in Zhejiang Province from 1990 to 2010 were estimated by using the established ESV estimation model. The analysis results demonstrate the following: (1) with the continuous acceleration of urbanization, land-use types in coastal zones in Zhejiang Province changed significantly from 1990 to 2010, demonstrated by considerable growth of urban construction land and reduction of forest land and farmland; (2) in the study period, the total ESV in coastal zones in Zhejiang Province continuously decreased in value from RMB 35.278 billion to 29.964 billion, a reduction of 15.06%; (3) in terms of the spatial distribution of ESV, the ESVs in coastal zones in Zhejiang Province were generally converted from a higher ESV to a lower ESV; (4) estimates of ESV for the three years 1990, 2000 and 2010 appear to be relatively stable; and (5) land-use intensity in coastal zones in Zhejiang Province continuously increased during the 20 years. The spatial distribution of land-use intensity was consistent with that of the ESV change rate. Disordered land-use changes from forestland and farmland to urban construction land was a major cause of ESV loss. Full article
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