Special Issue "Rural–Urban Gradients: Landscape and Nature Conservation II"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Contexts and Urban-Rural Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 July 2023 | Viewed by 443

Special Issue Editors

Department of Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: social-ecological systems; landscape metrics; land use changes; cultural landscapes; rural development; urban ecology
Department of Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution, Complutense University of Madrid, 28040 Madrid, Spain
Interests: social-ecological systems; urban–rural gradients; land planning; simulation scenarios; landscape structure; global change; socioeconomic models
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent decades, progressive urban expansion related to the increase in the size of cities and human settlements has motivated a growing interest in understanding urban–rural gradients and their associated social-ecological processes. This concept represents a variation gradient of human influence from urban to rural systems that gives rise to different landscape patterns and human development. The gradual transformation of the territory generates systems in transition from traditional rural systems to urban consolidation, through a complex peri-urbanization process which frequently softens the demarcation line between urban and rural areas and makes the urban–rural fringe difficult to identify. This process affects valuable rural cultural landscapes, which are critical at the interface between nature and culture, tangible and intangible heritage, and biological and cultural diversity, and are fundamental to the identity, lifestyle, and well-being of local populations. However, many rural landscapes are at risk of transformation due to the influence of urban development. As corrective measures, land use planning schemes include regulatory strategies based primarily on the establishment of protected area networks, whose socio-ecological effectiveness has sometimes been questioned.

The journal Land presents a Special Issue entitled “Rural–Urban Gradients: Landscape and Nature Conservation”, which is open to researchers interested in this field. Specific topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Urban expansion and biodiversity variation;
  • Edge cities and periurban–rural landscape;
  • Tensions between urban growth and nature conservation;
  • Social-ecological patterns and processes along rural–urban gradients;
  • Social-ecological sustainability at the urban–rural fringe;
  • Transformation and resilience of the urban–rural divide;
  • Protected areas and governance systems related to urban–rural linkages;
  • Implications of urbanization processes on land conservation and rural development;
  • Rural–urban gradients and ecosystem services supply.

Dr. María Fe Schmitz
Dr. Cecilia Arnaiz Schmitz
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 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.


  • gradient approach
  • rural–urban divide
  • effectiveness of protected areas
  • ecosystem services supply
  • urban expansion
  • rural cultural landscapes
  • social-ecological resilience

Related Special Issue

Published Papers

This special issue is now open for submission.
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