Sustainable Development in Urban and Regional Planning: New Findings, New Tools and New Perspectives

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Land Planning and Landscape Architecture".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2023) | Viewed by 12958

Special Issue Editors

City Planning, City of Edmonton, Edmonton, AB T5J0J4, Canada
Interests: urban planning; urbam modelling; regional planning; regional study
Institutes of Science and Development, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China
Interests: regional science; computation science; climate change; climate adaptation; policy modelling; sustainability
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Department of Technology Management, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT 06604, USA
Interests: African-American studies; regional studies; innovation ecosystem; agent-based modelling

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Guest Editor
School of Design and Architecture, Zhejiang University of Technology, Zhejiang, China
Interests: urban studies; urban geography; regional planning

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urban and regional planning are essential for the sustainable development of our cities, towns, and regions. Planning decisions can have a significant impact on the economic, environmental, and social well-being of communities. As cities and regions become increasingly interconnected, the challenges of achieving sustainable development become more complex. The need for innovative solutions that integrate the human, economic, and ecological aspects of development is greater than ever.

This Special Issue aims to explore the latest advances in sustainable development in urban and regional planning. It will focus on new findings, tools, and perspectives to better understand the challenges and opportunities of urban and regional planning in a sustainable development context. It will provide a platform for scholars to present and discuss their research on topics such as climate change, urbanization, green infrastructure, and resource management. It will also explore new tools and approaches to urban and regional planning, such as computer modeling and simulation, artificial intelligence, geospatial analysis, and citizen science, and how they can be used to promote sustainability. The session will also present different perspectives on sustainable development, such as equity, resilience, and cultural heritage.

This Special Issue welcomes manuscripts that link the following themes:

  • New findings and perspectives on sustainable development in urban and regional planning;
  • Innovative tools and approaches for urban and regional planning, such as artificial intelligence, geospatial analysis, and citizen science;
  • Exploring the economic, environmental, and social implications of urban and regional planning decisions;
  • Investigating the effects of urbanization on resource management and social equity;
  • Exploring the potential of digital technologies to support sustainable development.

We look forward to receiving your original research articles and reviews.

Dr. Rongxu Qiu
Dr. Jing Wu
Dr. Jeffrey London
Prof. Dr. Qianbo Wu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 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

  • urban planning
  • regional planning
  • sustainability
  • social equity
  • innovation
  • regional development

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 1942 KiB  
Article
Analyses of the Spatial Morphology of Traditional Yunnan Villages Utilizing Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Remote Sensing
by Chunming Zhang, Wanru Xiong, Tiandong Shao, Yiyang Zhang, Zhide Zhang and Fei Zhao
Land 2023, 12(11), 2011; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12112011 - 2 Nov 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 878
Abstract
Traditional villages are encountering contemporary problems in terms of preservation and comprehension as a result of their complex spatial morphologies, which are distinguished by their extensive cultural and architectural legacy, including distinctive architectural styles and historical significance. This study provides evidence that reinforces [...] Read more.
Traditional villages are encountering contemporary problems in terms of preservation and comprehension as a result of their complex spatial morphologies, which are distinguished by their extensive cultural and architectural legacy, including distinctive architectural styles and historical significance. This study provides evidence that reinforces the unique characteristics of these settlements, supported by particular data and findings. The primary objective of this study is to employ a quantitative approach in order to assess and conserve the spatial morphology of the aforementioned villages. This will be achieved through the utilization of a novel methodology. The utilization of oblique photography technology, which involves taking photos from an angled perspective, along with the incorporation of many quantitative indices, enables the classification and evaluation of traditional villages. The indices encompass measurements such as length/width and perimeter/area ratios, shape index measurements for assessing form complexity, and fractal dimensions for quantifying pattern complexity. This methodology is employed to examine five discrete villages located in Yunnan Province, thereby uncovering distinctive village layouts and boundary characteristics and providing valuable insights into spatial cohesion. This approach offers a full analysis of traditional village morphologies, thus providing useful insights for the preservation of history and the protection of villages. Full article
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26 pages, 3614 KiB  
Article
Transition Characteristics and Driving Mechanisms of Rural Settlements in Suburban Villages of Megacities under Policy Intervention: A Case Study of Dayu Village in Shanghai, China
by Kaiming Li, Kaishun Li, Yong Liu, Liying Yue and Xiji Jiang
Land 2023, 12(11), 1999; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12111999 - 31 Oct 2023
Viewed by 993
Abstract
China’s distinct rural revitalization process has attracted global attention due to its impressive speed, massive scale, and policy interventions. A relatively limited amount of research has been conducted on how rural transition characteristics and policy mechanisms are interrelated at the micro level. To [...] Read more.
China’s distinct rural revitalization process has attracted global attention due to its impressive speed, massive scale, and policy interventions. A relatively limited amount of research has been conducted on how rural transition characteristics and policy mechanisms are interrelated at the micro level. To fill this research gap, following the main research thread of dividing rural development stages, revealing transition characteristics and exploring policy mechanisms, this paper utilizes a participatory rural appraisal, a landscape metrics analysis, and in-depth interviews to analyze the spatial transition laws of Dayu Village. First, the results show that the village experienced three stages from 1990 to 2020: strict homestead control, village relocation, and land consolidation. Second, the village exhibits multidimensional transition characteristics. With a reduced rural settlement area, regular patch formation, and a dense interior subdivision of rural houses, the land use layout changed from homogeneous to multiple nests. As the industrial structure became more diversified, the villagers’ livelihoods became more differentiated. Inflows of tourists and migrants changed the population structure, causing social relations to become defamiliarized. Moreover, mechanism research finds that policy can promote rural settlement transition by allocating land resources and regulating village behavior. The policy’s scope expanded from a single settlement to the whole village, optimizing external forces, with village behavior effects acting as an internal force. The degree of matching between policy formulation and villagers’ needs is the key to promoting the transition of rural settlements. This research deepens the understanding of the transition laws of suburban villages in megacities in developing countries at the micro scale and provides a reference for land policies in similar villages. Full article
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23 pages, 8486 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Impact of Government Behavior on Regional High-Quality Development: A Case of Fiscal Expenditures on People’s Livelihoods in China
by Guowei Wang, Dingqing Wang and Liang Zhang
Land 2023, 12(10), 1924; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12101924 - 16 Oct 2023
Viewed by 888
Abstract
Government fiscal support is an important way to improve social welfare and enhance the protection of people’s livelihood. This paper uses the entropy weight TOPSIS method, fixed effect model, two-stage least squares regression, moderating effect model, and mediating effect model to comparatively analyze [...] Read more.
Government fiscal support is an important way to improve social welfare and enhance the protection of people’s livelihood. This paper uses the entropy weight TOPSIS method, fixed effect model, two-stage least squares regression, moderating effect model, and mediating effect model to comparatively analyze the level of high-quality development of the region and explore the impact and mechanism of livelihood expenditures on the high-quality development of the region. The findings show that increasing government expenditures on people’s livelihoods can effectively improve regional high-quality development, but the degree of marginal improvement varies with different periods and locations. People’s livelihood expenditure could promote sustainable regional development by increasing the consumption level of residents. Urbanization could strengthen the positive effect of livelihood expenditure on regional high-quality development. This study enriches the theoretical research on institutional economics and explores the effect and role of government behavior in the process of high-quality development from the perspective of livelihood expenditure. Full article
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21 pages, 4442 KiB  
Article
Identification and Mechanism of Residents’ Regional Non-Commuting Flow Patterns Based on the Gradient Boosting Decision Tree Model: A Case Study of the Shanghai Metropolitan Area
by Yang Cao, Linxing Wang, Hao Wu, Shuqi Yan and Shuwen Shen
Land 2023, 12(9), 1652; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12091652 - 23 Aug 2023
Viewed by 885
Abstract
With the improvement in residents’ living standards, non-commuting has gradually become an important daily transportation behaviour for residents. The intensity of non-commuting flow can reflect the level of urban functional services and external attractiveness and can intuitively characterise the interconnection pattern and relationship [...] Read more.
With the improvement in residents’ living standards, non-commuting has gradually become an important daily transportation behaviour for residents. The intensity of non-commuting flow can reflect the level of urban functional services and external attractiveness and can intuitively characterise the interconnection pattern and relationship among various cities within the metropolitan area. Related research is also a key topic in the fields of urban planning and transportation geography from a humanistic perspective. Taking the Shanghai Metropolitan Area as an example, this study explored the characteristics of the non-commuting flow of residents in the region and between cities and its nonlinear influencing factors with the help of the mobile phone signalling data and the gradient lifting decision tree model. Three conclusions were identified: first, non-commuting flow within each city in the metropolitan area was concentrated in the central urban area, while non-commuting flow between cities was concentrated in the central urban area of the urban border and strong core cities. Second, the built environment had a nonlinear impact on residents’ non-commuting flow. Different types of large-scale service facilities had different impact mechanisms on non-commuting flow, and public service facilities and transportation infrastructure jointly affected residents’ non-commuting flow. Third, transportation facilities had a more significant impact on the non-commuting flow between cities. Large tourism, cultural, and medical service facilities had a more significant impact on non-commuting flow within cities, with upper or lower thresholds according to the type of facility. The planning strategy needs to conduct targeted planning, regulation, and facility configuration based on the area’s actual needs. In addition, this study identified the characteristics of non-commuter flow differentiation in street towns and the nonlinear impact of the built environment. Full article
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21 pages, 1229 KiB  
Article
Perception Analysis of the Transformation from a Fishery-Led to Industry-Led Island with its Human Settlement Changes: A Case Study of Liuheng Island, Zhoushan City, China
by Wenqing Fu, Renfeng Ma, Xianjun Liang, Yiran Zhao, Lingzhi Wu, Maoyu Luo and Yanjun Mao
Land 2023, 12(8), 1593; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12081593 - 13 Aug 2023
Viewed by 986
Abstract
Based on the theories of industrial structure and settlement environment, this paper conducts a quantitative and qualitative study to investigate how the evolution in the industrial structure of the island affects the settlement environment with relevant statistical data, local chronicles, and questionnaire survey [...] Read more.
Based on the theories of industrial structure and settlement environment, this paper conducts a quantitative and qualitative study to investigate how the evolution in the industrial structure of the island affects the settlement environment with relevant statistical data, local chronicles, and questionnaire survey data. The study found that the industrial structure of Liuheng Island has transformed from a fishery-led to industry-led island, which has led to the rapid increase of urbanization on Liuheng Island, and the public service facilities have been increasingly densely distributed urban-type communities with high modernization levels, such as Longshan Community, Xuanzhuotou Community, and Taimen Community. The local residents of Liuheng Island are also satisfied with the public service facilities in terms of facility availability, transportation convenience, environmental comfort, and environmental health. For a period, the island residents were particularly concerned about the regional differences in environmental health, and the main reasons were the industrial structure upgrade towards industrialization, which would cause certain industrial waste emissions, and the pressure of commuting within the island, which would affect residents’ sense of security. This indicates that the evolution of industrial structure will directly affect the speed and quality of urban and rural settlement hardware construction and also, to a certain extent, the subjective perceptions of residents around the dense industrial areas on the state of the settlement, especially in terms of environmental health and community living safety. Full article
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22 pages, 1595 KiB  
Article
Research on the Spatial-Temporal Variation of Resources and Environmental Carrying Capacity and the Impact of Supply-Side Reform on Them: Evidence from Provincial-Level Data in China
by Mingjun Xu, Changling Chen, Shugao Lin and Duanshuai Shen
Land 2023, 12(8), 1584; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12081584 - 11 Aug 2023
Viewed by 904
Abstract
Both the resource environmental carrying capacity (RECC) and supply-side reform are crucial for achieving sustainable national developments. However, current research on RECC lacks consideration of the supply-side industrial structures and factors, and the relationship between RECC and supply-side reform remains unrevealed. In order [...] Read more.
Both the resource environmental carrying capacity (RECC) and supply-side reform are crucial for achieving sustainable national developments. However, current research on RECC lacks consideration of the supply-side industrial structures and factors, and the relationship between RECC and supply-side reform remains unrevealed. In order to measure the RECC in China at the provincial level from 2005 to 2019, this study constructs an evaluation index based on industrial structure. It utilizes the TOPSIS model coupled with the supply-demand balance method and environmental capacity method while gathering and summarizing the indicators related to natural resource support, socio-economic support, and environmental factor accommodation. The analysis of evolutionary characteristics and spatial heterogeneity is carried out by statistical and spatial econometric methods, and the impact of the supply-side reform policy on RECC is examined using a bidirectional fixed-effect model. The findings indicate the following: (1) China’s RECC demonstrates a clear upward trend, with higher values in the west and lower values in the east. The average annual growth rate from 2016 to 2019 (18.12%) is nearly three times that of the period from 2005 to 2010 (6.28%), indicating a significant acceleration in the increase in RECC post-supply-side reform. (2) The spatial agglomeration of RECC and its sub-system support is observed, as the allocation of nature resources and markets promotes the convergence of regional differences and enhances the spatial convergence of the RECC. (3) The implementation of supply-side reform policies has a positive impact on RECC, with industrial upgrading playing a particularly significant role. This study provides a new idea and method for the selection of evaluation indicators, quantitatively assessing province-level RECC and understanding the potential effects of national supply-side policies on RECC. Full article
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17 pages, 1840 KiB  
Article
Toward Sustainable Development Trajectories? Estimating Urban Footprints from High-Resolution Copernicus Layers in Athens, Greece
by Alessia D’Agata, Daniele Ponza, Florin Adrian Stroiu, Ioannis Vardopoulos, Kostas Rontos, Francisco Escrivà, Francesco Chelli, Leonardo Salvatore Alaimo, Luca Salvati and Samaneh Sadat Nickyain
Land 2023, 12(8), 1490; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12081490 - 27 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1419
Abstract
Land imperviousness reflects settlement growth and urban sprawl. Grounded on a comparative approach, a set of multidimensional statistical techniques were adopted here to quantify the evolution of land imperviousness from Copernicus High-Resolution Layers (HRLs) in a representative case study of Southern Europe (Athens, [...] Read more.
Land imperviousness reflects settlement growth and urban sprawl. Grounded on a comparative approach, a set of multidimensional statistical techniques were adopted here to quantify the evolution of land imperviousness from Copernicus High-Resolution Layers (HRLs) in a representative case study of Southern Europe (Athens, Greece). A two-way data matrix reporting the percent share of the surface land exposed to different sealing levels (101 classes ranging continuously from 0% to 100%) in the total municipal area was computed for two years (2006 and 2018) individually for 115 municipalities in metropolitan Athens. This matrix represented the information base needed to derive place-specific urban footprints and a comprehensive (global) profile of land imperviousness. Results of a Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) delineated a metropolitan structure still organized along the density gradient, moving from dense settlements in central locations with dominant land classes sealed for more than 90% of their surface area to completely pervious land (0%) typical of rural locations. While the density gradient became less steep between 2006 and 2018, it continued to aliment a socioeconomic polarization in urban and rural districts with distinctive profiles of land imperviousness. Intermediate locations had more mixed imperviousness profiles as a result of urban sprawl. Differential profiles reflect place-specific urban footprints with distinctive land take rates. Full article
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16 pages, 2734 KiB  
Article
Strategies for Green Space Management in Mountain Cities Based on the Habitat Suitability for Urban Birds Breeding
by Xiongbin Zhu, Sucharita Srirangam and TamilSalvi Mari
Land 2023, 12(7), 1465; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12071465 - 22 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1053
Abstract
The reproduction suitability of urban birds reflects the health status and service level of urban ecosystems. Therefore, studying the relationship between the nest density of urban birds and environmental factors has certain reference significance for guiding green space management. In this study, 67 [...] Read more.
The reproduction suitability of urban birds reflects the health status and service level of urban ecosystems. Therefore, studying the relationship between the nest density of urban birds and environmental factors has certain reference significance for guiding green space management. In this study, 67 green spaces of Liupanshui city in the Wumeng Mountain Area were selected as study sites. Through the statistics of the number of bird’s nests in the plots in 2020, a stepwise regression analysis was conducted on 10 environment-influencing factors. The results show that the nest density of birds in urban green space is not significantly correlated with the plot size, noise, light pollution, vegetation diversity, proportion of paved land, proportion of native plants, or distance from water body, but is significantly correlated with the canopy coverage of arbor, spatial openness, and distance from non-artificial environment to plot. The research identified the environmental factors affecting nest density, and frames a method to compare the density of bird’s nests in urban green space. Based on this, strategies for the construction and management of green space are put forward, so as to provide reference for ecological city construction and alleviate the correlation between the expansion of urban construction land and the deterioration of bird habitats. Full article
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19 pages, 32819 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the China’s Interprovincial Innovation Connection Network Based on Modified Gravity Model
by Kai Zhu, Zhiling Gu and Jingang Li
Land 2023, 12(5), 1091; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12051091 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1090
Abstract
With the arrival of the era of innovative economy, innovation is of great significance for the development of China, and even the world. Based on statistical data and taking 2009, 2014, and 2019 as node years, this study uses the entropy weight method [...] Read more.
With the arrival of the era of innovative economy, innovation is of great significance for the development of China, and even the world. Based on statistical data and taking 2009, 2014, and 2019 as node years, this study uses the entropy weight method and a modified gravity model to study the pattern and evolution characteristics of China’s interprovincial innovation network. The results showed that: 1. The weights of innovation output, innovation input, and innovation environment were 0.253, 0.340, and 0.407, respectively. Currently, innovation output is the most representative of the interprovincial innovation connections, but the weight of innovation environment has been increasing year by year, and its importance is constantly highlighted. 2. The overall spatial structure of China’s interprovincial innovation network shows a “core periphery” feature, radiating from coastal provinces such as Jiangsu, Beijing, and Zhejiang to inland provinces, and exhibiting an overall pattern of “strong in the east and weak in the west”. 3. In terms of evolutionary characteristics, Guangdong and Jiangsu ranked in the top two in terms of outward innovation scale from 2009 to 2019. The combined total innovation connections of the top five provinces in 2009, 2014, and 2019 accounted for 70.79%, 64.29%, and 64.24%, respectively. Although the phenomenon of uneven innovation connections exists, it has slowed down. In addition, China’s interprovincial innovation network is gradually becoming enriched, with the most significant change being the number of innovation links, with a gravity level increasing from four in 2009 to twenty-six in 2019. The interprovincial innovation links continue to strengthen, but the focus has not changed significantly; it is still concentrated in the Bohai Rim region and the Yangtze River Delta region. 4. In terms of maximum gravitational lines, Guangdong Province had the highest number of maximum gravitational lines in 2009, 2014, and 2019, with a total of six. The maximum gravitational line change from 2009 to 2019 took place from 2014 to 2019, transitioning from “Jilin-Liaoning” to “Jilin-Heilongjiang”. Full article
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18 pages, 2047 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Development of Farmers in Minority Areas after Poverty Alleviation Relocation: Based on an Improved Sustainable Livelihood Analysis Framework
by Jiaxin Wu, Jigang Zhang and Hongjuan Yang
Land 2023, 12(5), 1045; https://doi.org/10.3390/land12051045 - 11 May 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1476
Abstract
As an essential regional planning policy, poverty alleviation relocation has a significant impact on the regional economy, environment, and social well-being and is critical for sustainable development. Based on the development of minority areas in Yunnan, this study improves the traditional sustainable livelihood [...] Read more.
As an essential regional planning policy, poverty alleviation relocation has a significant impact on the regional economy, environment, and social well-being and is critical for sustainable development. Based on the development of minority areas in Yunnan, this study improves the traditional sustainable livelihood analysis framework and constructed a livelihood capital evaluation system including natural, physical, financial, social, human, and cultural capital. Furthermore, the measurement standard of sustainable livelihoods is proposed, which requires not only the enhancement of livelihood capital but also the coupling and coordinated development of all capital components. Based on the data of Menglai township from 2015 to 2021, this study estimates that farmers’ livelihood capital has increased after relocation, and the level of coupling and coordination has improved. Still, it has yet to reach extreme coordination. Hereafter, the theoretical framework of internal and external factors affecting livelihood capital is constructed, and the influencing factors of livelihood capital are obtained through regression analysis. This study provides a new tool for evaluating livelihood capital in minority areas, obtains new findings on the sustainable development of farmers’ livelihood capital after poverty alleviation relocation, and expands a new perspective for studying the influencing factors of livelihood capital. Full article
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