Special Issue "The Legal, Administrative and Managing Framework for Spatial Policy, Planning and Land-Use. Interdependence, Barriers and Directions of Change"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Land Socio-Economic and Political Issues".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2021).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Maciej J. Nowak
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Real Estate Department, West Pomeranian University of Technology, ul. Żołnierska 47, 71-210 Szczecin, Poland
Interests: law; spatial policy; spatial policy tools; spatial planning; environmental protection
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Giancarlo Cotella
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Interuniversity Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning (DIST), Politecnico di Torino, 10125 Turin, Italy
Interests: EU territorial governance; spatial planning systems; European territorial cooperation; planning law and property rights; sustainable land use; new institutionalism
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Przemysław Śleszyński
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Geography and Spatial Organization, Polish Academy of Sciences, Twarda 51/55, 00-818 Warsaw, Poland
Interests: urban geography; population geography; migration studies; geography of enterprise; transport geography; electoral geography; spatial economy; spatial planning; landscape aesthetics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleague,

The main goal of the Special Issue is to identify and assess how legal-administrative regulations (both at the national, regional, and local levels) contribute in determining the direction of spatial policies, planning, and land-use (with particular emphasis on local spatial policies and planning practices). The wording of specific regulations and procedures applied to individual cases to a large extent determine how effectively it is possible to transform and shape space. In particular, these regulations and administrative solutions should aim to favor spatial order versus spatial chaos, counteract uncontrolled urbanization and incoherent land-use, guarantee the protection of environmental and natural assets, prevent negative externalities on the real estate market, encourage the improvement of quality of life, and strengthen the effective organization of spatial systems. Whereas a conspicuous literature exists that analyses and interprets these regulations from a juridical perspective, the direct (positive and negative) impacts of specific regulations and their wording on spatial policy, planning, and land-use (especially on a local scale) are analyzed much less frequently. This issue seems all the more important from a comparative perspective, as countries and regions may share similar problems and, in turn, gain from exchanging knowledge and learning from each other’s good practices and mistakes.

In the light of the above, the editors of this Special Issue welcome contributions focusing, among other topics, on the following research issues:

  • spatial planning, land-use and development regulations, and uncontrolled development and urban sprawl and the role of specific regulations in limiting these phenomena
  • spatial planning, land-use and development regulations, and protection of property rights
  • law and specialist urban terminology
  • regulations concerning land-use, spatial planning and development, and regulations concerning the protection of environment and nature: mutual relations, discrepancies and translation into the scope of protection of the environmental and natural values of individual areas
  • the transposition of EU directives and regulations in domestic regulations at the different territorial levels, and the consequent impact on spatial policy and planning practices
  • quantitative and qualitative analysis of court decisions concerning spatial policy, planning and land-use tools
  • provisions of spatial development plans as legal provisions — their role in the spatial management system
  • spatial planning, land-use and development regulations, and the context of public policy and administrative sciences
  • spatial planning, land-use and development regulations, and the effects on the real estate market
  • the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic emergency on the evolution of spatial planning and land-use law

In particular, contributions focusing on individual case studies (e.g., a method of solving a specific legal dilemma in one city) should be considered insufficient. The authors should rather cover at least the conditions of one country, and when possible should also comparatively refer to literature focusing on other countries. Review papers could also cover a broader international perspective. Contributions comparing different countries will be considered particularly valuable.

The proposed subject covers conditions related to spatial policy, planning and land-use, being fully in line with the thematic scope of the Land journal. The approach, assuming a link between legal sciences on the one hand, and spatial planning, geography, and public policy sciences on the other hand, guarantees an innovative take on the subject, also incorporating perspectives on the implementation of spatial policies. We would encourage interdisciplinary cooperation in this area and will try, as far as possible, to initiate such teams.


Dr. Maciej J. Nowak
Dr. Giancarlo Cotella
Dr. Przemysław Śleszyński
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 papers will be 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 2000 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

  • spatial policy
  • spatial planning systems
  • land-use
  • spatial planning and land-use regulations and managing
  • spatial planning tools
  • law and urban terminology
  • court decisions
  • the influence of coronavirus on spatial organization law
  • Europeanisation

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
The Legal, Administrative, and Governance Frameworks of Spatial Policy, Planning, and Land Use: Interdependencies, Barriers, and Directions of Change
Land 2021, 10(11), 1119; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111119 - 22 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 386
Abstract
The article provides an overview of the legal and administrative aspects of spatial governance and planning and of the related challenges. The legal dimension of spatial planning, administrative spatial planning traditions, as well as different frameworks and conditions for the governance of territorial [...] Read more.
The article provides an overview of the legal and administrative aspects of spatial governance and planning and of the related challenges. The legal dimension of spatial planning, administrative spatial planning traditions, as well as different frameworks and conditions for the governance of territorial regions are briefly introduced. On this basis, the various contributions that compose the special issue are framed and presented to the readers. In conclusion, a number of directions for further research are identified. Overall, the article serves as an editorial introduction and the various issues it touches upon are further specified in the individual contributions the compose the special issue. Full article

Research

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Article
Singapore vs. the ‘Singapore of Africa’—Different Approaches to Managing Urban Agriculture
Land 2021, 10(9), 987; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090987 - 18 Sep 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 725
Abstract
Through structured comparison, this article seeks to present the different approaches to urban agriculture in the cities of Singapore and Kigali. The former is seen as a model ‘smart city’ worth following worldwide, while the latter is frequently referred to as the ‘Singapore [...] Read more.
Through structured comparison, this article seeks to present the different approaches to urban agriculture in the cities of Singapore and Kigali. The former is seen as a model ‘smart city’ worth following worldwide, while the latter is frequently referred to as the ‘Singapore of Africa’. The research conducted was divided into two stages. The first one was desk-based and included the analysis of satellite and aerial images along with the analysis of legal documents regarding land ownership and urban agriculture management. The second one was based on field work carried out in 2019 in both cities and comprised the mapping of areas encompassed by urban agriculture, the collection of photographic documentation, field observations, as well as semi-structured interviews. The research was summarized in line with a comparative analysis of institutional and legal framework of urban agriculture and policy towards its development; spatial features of urban agriculture, including distribution, location, and area; as well as inherent features of urban agriculture, including systems of production, main crops, production methods, and functions. The process makes it clear that despite the fact that urban agriculture is considered in planning documents of both cities, the scale of the activity and the approach towards it differ markedly. In Singapore, the authorities support mainly the high-technology and land-efficient solutions, with other, low-profit forms of agricultural activity being pushed out from the urban space. In turn, in Kigali, where the scale of agricultural activity is incomparably greater, the inhabitants enjoy a certain freedom to make use of unused land in cultivation, which increases their food security and enhances their ability to cope with external stresses. Full article
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Article
Beijing’s First Green Belt—A 50-Year Long Chinese Planning Story
Land 2021, 10(9), 969; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090969 - 15 Sep 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 451
Abstract
This article traces the development process of Beijing’s First Green Belt from its origins in the 1950s, to its reinterpretation in the 1980s/1990s and its implementation in the 1990s/2000s. We identify three-time phases and important milestones, which kept the green belt idea alive, [...] Read more.
This article traces the development process of Beijing’s First Green Belt from its origins in the 1950s, to its reinterpretation in the 1980s/1990s and its implementation in the 1990s/2000s. We identify three-time phases and important milestones, which kept the green belt idea alive, developed it and contextualized it in relation to the historical background. This article shows that the first green belt project in Beijing was a continuing process of changing functions and ranges. Its adaptability to variations followed the political changes and reflected the socio-economic dynamics, which secured its longevity. Different ideas shaped the plan and its link to mega events like the Olympic Games and environmental problems accelerated the implementation, but the shortage of funding and absence of legislation led to a compromised result. The case is an interesting example of how a long-term project transforms over and with time, but also for the gap between planning ambitions and actual urban development, illustrating past and contemporary urban planning in the context of a fast-developing country. Full article
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Article
It’s All about Details. Why the Polish Land Policy Framework Fails to Manage Designation of Developable Land
Land 2021, 10(9), 890; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10090890 - 25 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 602
Abstract
Since the introduction of the current legal planning system, Polish land policy has failed to manage the designation of developable land. The oversupply of developable land designated in land-use plans and resulting from various weaknesses of auxiliary planning permissions undermines the creation of [...] Read more.
Since the introduction of the current legal planning system, Polish land policy has failed to manage the designation of developable land. The oversupply of developable land designated in land-use plans and resulting from various weaknesses of auxiliary planning permissions undermines the creation of compact urban settlements. The article argues that, theoretically, the Polish legal framework of developable land designation management conforms with its more effective European counterparts. What makes it not work properly are the detailed regulations and their interpretation. In order to support this argument, the Polish land policy framework will be analysed and assessed by comparing it with the key common features of its German and Spanish counterparts. Full article
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Article
Land Economic Efficiency and Improvement of Environmental Pollution in the Process of Sustainable Urbanization: Case of Eastern China
Land 2021, 10(8), 845; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10080845 - 12 Aug 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 616
Abstract
Economic development, environmental protection and land resources are important components in sustainable cities. According to the environmental Kuznets curve, developing countries are prone to environmental pollution problems while developing their economies. At the same time, as urbanization progresses, the problem of inadequate land [...] Read more.
Economic development, environmental protection and land resources are important components in sustainable cities. According to the environmental Kuznets curve, developing countries are prone to environmental pollution problems while developing their economies. At the same time, as urbanization progresses, the problem of inadequate land resources and land use efficiency in China is coming to the fore. Although China is a developing country, it began to actively implement environmental protection measures years ago in an effort to transform itself into an innovative country. Therefore, as an economic and policy pioneer region, can eastern China benefit from all three aspects of land–economy–environment at the same time? Or will the increase in land economic efficiency (Land_EcoE) and the improvement of environmental pollution occur simultaneously? With the characteristics of land use efficiency and other concepts, this study combines economic factors and land factors to establish a Land_EcoE evaluation system. On the basis of mapping the spatio-temporal evolution of carbon emissions and Land_EcoE, and discussing the spatio-temporal evolution characteristics and correlation between them initially and visually by means of geographic data visualization, this study uses the data of 84 prefecture-level cities and municipalities directly under the central government in eastern China from 2011 to 2017 to test the research hypotheses from a quantitative perspective. Specifically, this study analyzes the correlation between Land_EcoE and environmental pollution by constructing a panel regression model. The conclusions show that, in general, the increase in Land_EcoE in eastern China is associated with the increase in carbon emissions. For a group of prefecture-level cities with the most developed economies in eastern China, the increase in Land_EcoE is correlated with the decrease in carbon emissions. Based on this research, this study proposes a series of policy implications on how to promote simultaneous economic–land–environmental benefits. Full article
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Article
Rule by Law, Law-Based Governance, and Housing Prices: The Case of China
Land 2021, 10(6), 616; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060616 - 09 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 797
Abstract
Although some attempts have been made to elucidate the relationship between law-based governance and housing prices, the existing literature still provides limited knowledge about the mediating mechanisms through which law-based governance correlates with housing prices. This study specifically investigates how the association between [...] Read more.
Although some attempts have been made to elucidate the relationship between law-based governance and housing prices, the existing literature still provides limited knowledge about the mediating mechanisms through which law-based governance correlates with housing prices. This study specifically investigates how the association between the rule of law and housing prices is sensitive to public satisfaction, and how the connection is heterogeneous across geographic and socioeconomic groups. Using panel data of Chinese cities over the period 2014–2017, our econometric estimation results indicate that law-based governance may enlarge financial loans and foreign investment and then raise housing prices, which is robust to different specifications. Moreover, the relationship is heterogeneous across city groups and sensitive to the degree of satisfaction with the rule of law quality. Additionally, we demonstrate that the mediating role of financial loans is larger than that of foreign investment. In the stage of emerging economies’ pursuit of the rule of law, our findings have useful implications for local governments to control rapidly rising housing prices by reducing loans and foreign investment. Full article
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Article
Research on the Peer Behavior of Local Government Green Governance Based on SECI Expansion Model
Land 2021, 10(5), 472; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050472 - 01 May 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 691
Abstract
Exploring the cohort behavior of local governments in green governance from the perspective of knowledge management can help promote the implementation of new development concepts. This article firstly explains the differentiation logic of local governments’ green governance cohort behavior based on the SECI [...] Read more.
Exploring the cohort behavior of local governments in green governance from the perspective of knowledge management can help promote the implementation of new development concepts. This article firstly explains the differentiation logic of local governments’ green governance cohort behavior based on the SECI expansion model. Secondly, by constructing a dynamic evolutionary game model, the conditions for the formation of positive and negative cohorts are analyzed. Finally, corresponding countermeasures are proposed. The results show that under the effect of knowledge management, the explicit and tacit knowledge, such as green governance ability and willingness of local government transform into each other, finally differentiates into four kinds of peer behavior states. Willingness stimulation, learning effect perception, complementary knowledge stock, knowledge synergy income, cooperation value-added income, punishment and reputation loss increase, which promotes local government green governance into a positive-peer state. Knowledge learning effect only exists in the early and middle stages of green governance, while the knowledge spillover effect has a more significant impact in the later stage of green governance; a higher gap between explicit knowledge and tacit knowledge, and a lower level of tacit knowledge and explicit knowledge, are conducive to the formation of positive-peer status. Full article
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Article
Towards Sustainable Urbanization. Learning from What’s Out There
Land 2021, 10(4), 356; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040356 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 774
Abstract
The incremental recognition of the importance of land as a finite resource has led to the adoption and implementation of an increasing number of sustainable land use practices in European cities and regions. This paper reflects on these experiences, building on the evidence [...] Read more.
The incremental recognition of the importance of land as a finite resource has led to the adoption and implementation of an increasing number of sustainable land use practices in European cities and regions. This paper reflects on these experiences, building on the evidence collected in the framework of the ESPON SUPER pan-European research project. In particular, the authors look at the project’s database, which includes 235 examples of sustainable urbanization interventions gathered from all around Europe. In doing so, they reflect on the outcomes of these interventions, focusing on both their scope and objectives and the types of instruments that were adopted in their implementation. The objective of this contribution is to critically analyze the rich set of practices collected throughout the project and to provide guidance for decision and policy makers aiming at promoting a more sustainable use of land. In this light, it suggests a number of recommendations and warnings, bearing in mind that no “right instruments” or “right targets” exist that could prove successful for all European cities and regions. Full article
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Article
The Role of Land Use Transition on Industrial Pollution Reduction in the Context of Innovation-Driven: The Case of 30 Provinces in China
Land 2021, 10(4), 353; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040353 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 758
Abstract
With the world calling for environmental protection, China has to follow an innovation-driven development path in order to achieve its own high-quality and sustainable development. During this period, the problem of inefficient land use resulting from rapid progress in urbanisation is difficult to [...] Read more.
With the world calling for environmental protection, China has to follow an innovation-driven development path in order to achieve its own high-quality and sustainable development. During this period, the problem of inefficient land use resulting from rapid progress in urbanisation is difficult to ignore. This study uses data from 30 provinces in mainland China to analyse the environmental protection effects of land use transition towards innovation-driven development, using spatial econometric models and entropy method. The results show that the innovation-oriented land use transition in four dimensions, human capital, material capital, urban function and government, is conducive to reducing industrial pollution emissions in the region, but this effect does not have a spillover effect. The results of this study provide some insights into the “triple-win” (environmental protection, innovation and land-use optimisation) approach to economic development in China. Full article
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Article
Taking Implementation Seriously in the Evaluation of Urban Growth Management Strategies: “Safeguarding the Future” of the Antwerp City-Region
Land 2021, 10(2), 159; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020159 - 05 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 936
Abstract
Contemporary evaluations of urban growth management (UGM) strategies often take the shape of quantitative measurements of land values and housing prices. In this paper, we argue that it is of key importance that these evaluations also analyse the policy formulation and implementation phases [...] Read more.
Contemporary evaluations of urban growth management (UGM) strategies often take the shape of quantitative measurements of land values and housing prices. In this paper, we argue that it is of key importance that these evaluations also analyse the policy formulation and implementation phases of growth management strategies. It is in these phases that the institutions and discourses are (trans)formed in which UGM strategies are embedded. This will enable us to better understand the conditions for growth management policies’ success or failure. We illustrate this point empirically with the case of demarcating urban areas in the region of Flanders, Belgium. Using the Policy Arrangement Approach, the institutional dynamics and discursive meanings in this growth instrument’s formulation and implementation phase are unravelled. More specifically, we explain how the Flemish strategic spatial planning vision of restraining sprawl was transformed into one of accommodating growth in the demarcation of the Antwerp Metropolitan Area, epitomised by two different meanings of the phrase “safeguarding the future.” In conclusion, we argue that, in Antwerp, the demarcation never solidified into a stable policy arrangement, rendering it largely ineffective. We end by formulating three recommendations to contribute to future attempts at managing urban growth in Flanders. Full article
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Article
Macroeconomic Perspective on Urban Sprawl: A Multidimensional Approach in Poland
Land 2021, 10(2), 116; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020116 - 26 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 746
Abstract
There are important relationships between the urban sprawl process and economic growth. They are usually expressed through spatial relations and changes taking place in the local, regional and national economy. The temporal and spatial dimension, including dispersed location, are the determinants of development [...] Read more.
There are important relationships between the urban sprawl process and economic growth. They are usually expressed through spatial relations and changes taking place in the local, regional and national economy. The temporal and spatial dimension, including dispersed location, are the determinants of development and economic growth. Therefore, the urban sprawl phenomenon and the related location, hypothetically conditioning economic growth, should be subject to macroeconomic research. The article examines how urban sprawl affects the national budget and national economic growth. Unlike many studies where urban sprawl is studied by scattering the population around cities, we undertake more complex examination using buildings’ location. Urban sprawl, as we understand it, is a spontaneous spread of buildings around cities. To assess the spontaneity, we use a grid of squares with a side of 500 m. The squares are used to calculate the morphological indicators of urban sprawl. Therefore, quantified urban sprawl is one side of the equation; on the other side are macroeconomic variables. In this way, we examine the relationship between urban sprawl and the national budget and economic growth of Poland. The conclusions obtained are, e.g., urban sprawl does not have a negative effect on the national economy and the budget. This is a different conclusion from those thus far. There are also different conclusions on the regional level. Based on the research results, we formulate recommendations for national economic policy and spatial policy. Full article
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Article
Economic Consequences of Adopting Local Spatial Development Plans for the Spatial Management System: The Case of Poland
Land 2021, 10(2), 112; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020112 - 25 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 793
Abstract
The spatial management system in Poland struggles with serious costs as a consequence of local planning. The problem is the lack of appropriate value capturing mechanisms and cost compensation for municipalities, along with significant burdens. Private property is subject to special protection, but [...] Read more.
The spatial management system in Poland struggles with serious costs as a consequence of local planning. The problem is the lack of appropriate value capturing mechanisms and cost compensation for municipalities, along with significant burdens. Private property is subject to special protection, but the public good is less valued. The article attempts to assess the situation in Poland, recalling also the experiences of spatial management systems from other European countries. It combines legal, economic, and geographical perspectives. The specific objectives were demonstration of geographical (interregional and functional) regularities related to the economic (financial) consequences of adopting local plans and identification of financial effects resulting from the implementation of local plans in communes, i.e., in particular, their size, structure of revenues (income), and expenditures, in relations with the budgets of municipalities and the population living in communes. First, the determinants of spatial policy were defined in the context of institutional economics and the real estate market. Then, a unique database of forecasted and realized budgetary revenues and expenditures of 2477 communes in Poland related to spatial development (infrastructure construction, land transformation, purchase, etc.) was analyzed statistically. Additionally, for five selected communes of different functional types, this issue was examined in detail. It has been shown that municipalities do not derive adequate income from spatial development, and improper policy of local self-governments results in heavy burdens, threatening to disturb their financial balance. The formulated conclusions regarding the legal, economic, and spatial mechanisms may contribute to building tools (instruments) for more effective spatial management in various countries. Full article
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Article
Is There Urban Landscape in Metropolitan Areas? An Unobvious Answer Based on Corine Land Cover Analyses
Land 2021, 10(1), 51; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10010051 - 08 Jan 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 941
Abstract
The recent increase in urban areas has stimulated landscape urbanization. One of the ways to study this process is an analysis based on the structure of land cover. The aim of this paper is to assess the intensity of the urban landscape on [...] Read more.
The recent increase in urban areas has stimulated landscape urbanization. One of the ways to study this process is an analysis based on the structure of land cover. The aim of this paper is to assess the intensity of the urban landscape on the basis of the CORINE in the seven largest metropolitan areas in Poland and in the Ruhr Metropolis in Germany. To this end, an urban landscape intensity indicator (ULII) was used based on Corine Land Cover at three levels of detail: the metropolitan area, municipalities and hexagons. There are similarities in landscape structure in areas with similar origin (industrial function) and spatial organization (mono- and polycentric agglomerations). The landscape of the Upper Silesia-Zagłębie Metropolis differs from the landscape of other metropolitan areas in Poland and simultaneously shows similarities to the landscape of the Ruhr Metropolis. The results of the ULII also revealed a dependency: the dominance of rural and transitional landscapes in a majority of the study areas. Urban landscapes occur only in the central zones of the metropolitan areas. This proves that determining the range of a metropolitan area in terms of landscape factors is different from doing it with formal or legal ones. Full article
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