Special Issue "Recent Progress in Urbanisation Dynamics Research"

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: closed (5 October 2021) | Viewed by 14878

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Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Iwona Cieślak
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Socio-Economic Geography, Institute of Spatial Management and Geography, Faculty of Geoengineering, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, 10-720 Olsztyn, Poland
Interests: spatial analysis; GIS; urban planning; urban sustainability; urban development; urbanism; city planning; spatial planning; sustainable development
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Andrzej Biłozor
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Socio-Economic Geography, Institute of Spatial Management and Geography, Faculty of Geoengineering, University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, 10-720 Olsztyn, Poland
Interests: spatial planning; urban analysis; optimization of urban space; spatiotemporal analysis; fuzzy set theory; changes in land use and land cover
Prof. Dr. Luca Salvati
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Economics and Law, University of Macerata, Via Armaroli 43, I-62100 Macerata, Italy
Interests: climate change; desertification; land-use; sustainable agriculture; urban sprawl; urban and rural geography
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue is dedicated to urbanization, which is observed every day, as well as the methods and techniques of monitoring and analyzing this phenomenon. In the 21st century, urbanization has gained momentum, and the awareness of the significance and influence of this phenomenon on our lives make us take a closer look at it not only with curiosity, but also great attention. There are numerous reasons for this, among which the economy is of special significance, but it also has many results, namely, economic, social, and environmental. First of all, it is a spatial phenomenon, as all of the aspects can be placed in space. We would therefore like to draw special attention to the results of urbanization seen on the Earth's surface and in the surrounding space. The urbanization–and relation seems obvious, but is also interesting and multi-layered. The development of science and technology provides a lot of new tools for observing urbanization as well as the analyses and inference of the phenomenon in space. In the presented Special Issue, we would like to include manuscripts that present the latest trends of research that use experience in the widely-understood geography of the area. Contributions dealing with various aspects of in urbanization dynamics processes underway throughout the world are desired, including, but not limited to the following: spatial changes in city structures; the challenges of infrastructure provision; the loss of agricultural land; creating new spatial forms; and environmental, economic, and social changes. This Special Issue is focused on multidisciplinary phenomenon, i.e., urbanization, with the use of the satellite and photogrammetric observation technologies and GIS analyses.

Prof. Dr. Iwona Cieślak
Prof. Dr. Andrzej Biłozor
Prof. Dr. Luca Salvati
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 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

  • urban analyses
  • urban sprawl
  • environmental changes
  • land management
  • change land use
  • land cover
  • suburbanization
  • GIS analyses
  • remote sensing data

Published Papers (15 papers)

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Editorial

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Editorial
Land as a Basis for Recent Progress in the Study of Urbanization Dynamics
Land 2022, 11(1), 118; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010118 - 12 Jan 2022
Viewed by 283
Abstract
Urbanization is one of the most dynamic processes occurring on the Earth [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Urbanisation Dynamics Research)

Research

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Article
Exploring the Patterns and Drivers of Urban Expansion in the Texas Triangle Megaregion
Land 2021, 10(11), 1244; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111244 - 13 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 607
Abstract
As the world becomes increasingly urbanized, it is vital for planners and policy-makers to understand the patterns of urban expansion and the underlying driving forces. This study examines the spatiotemporal patterns of urban expansion in the Texas Triangle megaregion and explores the drivers [...] Read more.
As the world becomes increasingly urbanized, it is vital for planners and policy-makers to understand the patterns of urban expansion and the underlying driving forces. This study examines the spatiotemporal patterns of urban expansion in the Texas Triangle megaregion and explores the drivers behind the expansion. The study used data from multiple sources, including land cover and imperviousness data from the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) 2001–2016, transportation data from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT), and ancillary socio-demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau. We conducted spatial cluster analysis and mixed-effect regression analysis. The results show that: (1) urban expansion in the Texas Triangle between 2001 and 2016 showed a decreasing trend, and 95% of the newly urbanized land was in metropolitan areas, especially at the periphery of the central cities; (2) urban expansion in non-metropolitan areas displayed a scattered pattern, comparing to the clustered form in metro areas; (3) the expansion process in the Texas Triangle exhibited a pattern of increased development compactness and intensity; and (4) population and economic growth played a definitive role in driving the urban expansion in the Texas Triangle while highway density also mattered. These results suggest a megaregion-wide emerging trend deviating from the sprawling development course known in Texas’ urban growth history. The changing trend can be attributed to the pro-sustainability initiatives taken by several anchor cities and metropolitan planning agencies in the Texas Triangle. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Urbanisation Dynamics Research)
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Article
Research on Green Innovation of the Great Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan City Group Based on Network
Land 2021, 10(11), 1198; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111198 - 05 Nov 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 524
Abstract
This article aims to promote the high-quality development of the Great Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan City Group and improve the green innovation efficiency of urban agglomeration. This article takes green innovation in networked urban agglomerations as its research subject. Furthermore, it analyzes the impact of network [...] Read more.
This article aims to promote the high-quality development of the Great Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan City Group and improve the green innovation efficiency of urban agglomeration. This article takes green innovation in networked urban agglomerations as its research subject. Furthermore, it analyzes the impact of network structure characteristics such as network scale and network structure hole on green innovation in urban agglomerations. Moreover, this study uses the unexpected output SBM model to measure green innovation efficiency of the eight prefecture-level cities in the Great Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan City Group from 2012 to 2018 and analyzes its influencing factors using the panel Tobit model. The results show that the overall green innovation efficiency of the Great Changsha-Zhuzhou-Xiangtan City Group is stable. The distribution of urban green innovation efficiency in the region is characterized by urban gradient and mid-stream drive. In the process of networked innovation, economic development, which has a positive impact on green innovation, promotes the overall effectiveness of the network structure. The low efficiency of urban educational resources, which has a negative impact on green innovation, leads to the redundancy of a network scale. The unapparent advantage of industrial structures, which have a negative impact on the development of green innovation, leads to the insufficient depth and breadth of network openness. Lastly, government support and the level of infrastructure have no impact on green innovation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Urbanisation Dynamics Research)
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Article
An Analysis of an Area’s Vulnerability to the Emergence of Land-Use Conflicts
Land 2021, 10(11), 1173; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111173 - 01 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 422
Abstract
The optimization of space is the priority goal of spatial planning. Spatial planning policies have numerous objectives, including the prevention of land-use conflicts. Conflicts arise whenever two entities have contradictory expectations regarding the surrounding space. In the process of spatial development, humans impart [...] Read more.
The optimization of space is the priority goal of spatial planning. Spatial planning policies have numerous objectives, including the prevention of land-use conflicts. Conflicts arise whenever two entities have contradictory expectations regarding the surrounding space. In the process of spatial development, humans impart new characteristics to space, which, under specific circumstances, can give rise to land-use conflict. The elements of space that are particularly vulnerable to conflict include boundary points, property boundaries, density of development, or the shared use of infrastructure. The main aim of this study was to develop a procedure for evaluating the risk of land-use conflict based on the characteristic attributes of space. The proposed procedure for assessing the accumulation of conflict-generating traits in space was developed with the use of databases, GIS tools, and statistical data processing methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Urbanisation Dynamics Research)
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Article
Urban Innovation Efficiency Improvement in the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area from the Perspective of Innovation Chains
Land 2021, 10(11), 1164; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111164 - 30 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 531
Abstract
Against the background of globalization and informatization, innovation is the primary driving force for regional economic and social development. Urban agglomerations are the main body of regional participation in global competition, and promoting the construction of the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area is [...] Read more.
Against the background of globalization and informatization, innovation is the primary driving force for regional economic and social development. Urban agglomerations are the main body of regional participation in global competition, and promoting the construction of the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area is an important strategy for China’s regional economic development. Aimed at the differences in location advantages among cities in the Guangdong–Hong Kong–Macao Greater Bay Area, based on the theory of innovation chain, we developed a three-stage model of “knowledge innovation-scientific research innovation-product innovation”. A three-stage DEA model was used to measure the innovation efficiency of cities in the Greater Bay Area at different stages, and two progressive two-dimensional matrices are constructed to locate the innovation development of cities according to the efficiency value. The results show the following: ① The overall innovation efficiency of the Greater Bay Area urban agglomerations gradually decreased in the process from knowledge innovation and scientific research innovation to product innovation, and the innovation efficiency among cities was unbalanced. ② Shenzhen, Guangzhou, and Hong Kong all performed well in the whole innovation stage, while other cities in the Greater Bay Area showed weakness in innovation at different stages. Based on this, this paper puts forward relevant countermeasures and suggestions for promoting and optimizing collaborative innovation in the Greater Bay Area taking into account factor flow, industrial structure, and innovation network of urban agglomerations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Urbanisation Dynamics Research)
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Article
Analysis and Evaluation of the Spatial Structure of Cittaslow Towns on the Example of Selected Regions in Central Italy and North-Eastern Poland
Land 2021, 10(8), 780; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10080780 - 25 Jul 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 877
Abstract
Cittaslow International promotes harmonious development of small towns based on sustainable relationships between economic growth, protection of local traditions, cultural heritage and the environment, and an improvement in the quality of local life. The aim of this study was to analyze and evaluate [...] Read more.
Cittaslow International promotes harmonious development of small towns based on sustainable relationships between economic growth, protection of local traditions, cultural heritage and the environment, and an improvement in the quality of local life. The aim of this study was to analyze and evaluate the differences and similarities in the spatial structure of Cittaslow towns in the Italian regions of Tuscany and Umbria and the Polish region of Warmia and Mazury. The study examined historical towns which are situated in different parts of Europe and have evolved in different cultural and natural environments. The presented research attempts to determine whether the spatial structure of historical towns established in different European regions promotes the dissemination of the Cittaslow philosophy and the adoption of sustainable development principles. The urban design, architectural features and the composition of urban and architectural factors which are largely responsible for perceptions of multi-dimensional space were evaluated. These goals were achieved with the use of a self-designed research method which supported a subjective evaluation of spatial structure defined by historical urban planning and architectural solutions. The study demonstrated that Medieval urban layouts can be successfully incorporated into the modern urban fabric to promote sustainable development and slow living. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Urbanisation Dynamics Research)
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Article
Monitoring and Modeling the Patterns and Trends of Urban Growth Using Urban Sprawl Matrix and CA-Markov Model: A Case Study of Karachi, Pakistan
Land 2021, 10(7), 700; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070700 - 02 Jul 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 2364
Abstract
Understanding the spatial growth of cities is crucial for proactive planning and sustainable urbanization. The largest and most densely inhabited megapolis of Pakistan, Karachi, has experienced massive spatial growth not only in the core areas of the city, but also in the city’s [...] Read more.
Understanding the spatial growth of cities is crucial for proactive planning and sustainable urbanization. The largest and most densely inhabited megapolis of Pakistan, Karachi, has experienced massive spatial growth not only in the core areas of the city, but also in the city’s suburbs and outskirts over the past decades. In this study, the land use/land cover (LULC) in Karachi was classified using Landsat data and the random forest algorithm from the Google Earth Engine cloud platform for the years 1990, 2000, 2010, and 2020. Land use/land cover classification maps as well as an urban sprawl matrix technique were used to analyze the geographical patterns and trends of urban sprawl. Six urban classes, namely, the primary urban core, secondary urban core, sub-urban fringe, scatter settlement, urban open space, and non-urban area, were determined for the exploration of urban landscape changes. Future scenarios of LULC for 2030 were predicted using a CA–Markov model. The study found that the built-up area had expanded in a considerably unpredictable manner, primarily at the expense of agricultural land. The increase in mangroves and grassland and shrub land proved the effectiveness of afforestation programs in improving vegetation coverage in the study area. The investigation of urban landscape alteration revealed that the primary urban core expanded from the core districts, namely, the Central, South, and East districts, and a new urban secondary core emerged in Malir in 2020. The CA–Markov model showed that the total urban built-up area could potentially increase from 584.78 km2 in 2020 to 652.59 km2 in 2030. The integrated method combining remote sensing, GIS, and an urban sprawl matrix has proven invaluable for the investigation of urban sprawl in a rapidly growing city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Urbanisation Dynamics Research)
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Article
Combining Traffic Microsimulation Modeling and Multi-Criteria Analysis for Sustainable Spatial-Traffic Planning
Land 2021, 10(7), 666; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070666 - 24 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 857
Abstract
Spatial and traffic planning is important in order to achieve a quality, safe, functional, and integrated urban environment. Different tools and expert models were developed that are aimed at a more objective view of the consequences of reconstruction in different spatial and temporal [...] Read more.
Spatial and traffic planning is important in order to achieve a quality, safe, functional, and integrated urban environment. Different tools and expert models were developed that are aimed at a more objective view of the consequences of reconstruction in different spatial and temporal ranges while respecting selection criteria. In this paper we analyze the application of the multi-criteria analysis method when choosing sustainable traffic solutions in the center of a small town, in this case Belišće, Croatia. The goal of this paper is to examine the possibility of improving the methodology for selecting an optimal spatial–traffic solution by combining the quantifiable results of the traffic microsimulation and the method of multi-criteria optimization. Socially sensitive design should include psychological and social evaluation criteria that are included in this paper as qualitative spatial–urban criteria. In the optimization process, different stakeholder groups (experts, students, and citizens) were actively involved in evaluating the importance of selected criteria. The analysis of stakeholders’ survey results showed statistically significant differences in criteria preference among three groups. The AHP (Analytic Hierarchy Process) multi-criteria analysis method was used; a total of five criteria groups (functional, safety, economic, environmental, and spatial–urban) were developed, which contain 21 criteria and 7 sub-criteria; and the weights of criteria groups were varied based on stakeholders’ preferences. The application of the developed methodology enabled the selection of an optimal solution for the improvement of traffic conditions in a small city with the potential to also be applied to other types of traffic–spatial problems and assure sustainable traffic planning. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Urbanisation Dynamics Research)
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Article
A Geo-Spatial Analysis for Characterising Urban Sprawl Patterns in the Batticaloa Municipal Council, Sri Lanka
Land 2021, 10(6), 636; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060636 - 15 Jun 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1189
Abstract
Urban sprawl related to rapid urbanisation in developed and developing nations affects sustainable land use. In Sri Lanka, urban areas have mostly expanded in a rather spontaneous, unplanned manner (based on the current settlers’ subjective movement) rather than conforming to the local government’s [...] Read more.
Urban sprawl related to rapid urbanisation in developed and developing nations affects sustainable land use. In Sri Lanka, urban areas have mostly expanded in a rather spontaneous, unplanned manner (based on the current settlers’ subjective movement) rather than conforming to the local government’s development plan. This growth inevitably leads to uncontrolled urban sprawl in many Sri Lankan cities, including Batticaloa. So far, Sri Lanka’s planners or researchers have not yet tackled the sprawling developments in this city. Understanding the different forms and patterns of urban sprawl is the key to address sprawling growth. This study aims to identify the characteristics of urban sprawl in the Batticaloa municipal council using Geographic Information System (GIS) and remote sensing technology. Landsat satellite images for the years 2000, 2010, and 2020 as well as 2002, 2011, and 2019 population data were used and analysed using ArcGIS’ maximum likelihood classification tool and the density function, respectively, to delineate the characteristics of urban sprawl. The results revealed that low-density development, leapfrog development, commercial ribbon development, and scattered growth are the influencing characteristics of urban sprawl in the Batticaloa municipality. These characteristics were found mainly in the urban edge of the city and have led to urban sprawl. The finding provides knowledge into recognising the characteristics of urban sprawl with empirical evidence. It affords a clear direction for future studies of urban sprawl in rapidly growing cities that are numerous in Sri Lanka, and the identified characteristics of urban sprawl can be useful in minimising future sprawl. This result can be a tool for future urban planning and management in the Batticaloa municipality. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Urbanisation Dynamics Research)
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Article
Transport Accessibility in a Suburban Zone and Its Influence on the Local Real Estate Market: A Case Study of the Olsztyn Functional Urban Area (Poland)
Land 2021, 10(5), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050465 - 29 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 753
Abstract
The development of real estate markets in the vicinity of cities is linked with suburbanization processes. The migration of the population to suburban areas contributes to the growth of the residential property market (houses, apartments and construction plots). To minimize commuting costs, property [...] Read more.
The development of real estate markets in the vicinity of cities is linked with suburbanization processes. The migration of the population to suburban areas contributes to the growth of the residential property market (houses, apartments and construction plots). To minimize commuting costs, property buyers opt for locations that are situated close to the urban core. This article analyzes construction plots on the local real estate market in the Olsztyn Functional Urban Area, in terms of their temporal accessibility and demographic changes. Spatial variations in population distribution were analyzed with the use of the Gini index and geostatistical interpolation techniques. Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient was calculated to determine the relationships between the analyzed variables. The study revealed differences in the spatial distribution of the population and real estate transactions as well as strong correlations between average transaction price, number of transactions, commuting time and population. The highest number of transactions were observed in cadastral districts situated in the direct vicinity of Olsztyn’s administrative boundaries and the major transportation routes due to their high temporal accessibility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Urbanisation Dynamics Research)
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Article
Characterizing Urban Expansion Combining Concentric-Ring and Grid-Based Analysis for Latin American Cities
Land 2021, 10(5), 444; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050444 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 934
Abstract
Spatio-temporal characterization of urban expansion is the first step towards understanding how cities grow in space. We summarize two approaches used in urban expansion measurement, namely, concentric-ring analysis and grid-based analysis. Concentric-ring analysis divides urban areas into a series of rings, which is [...] Read more.
Spatio-temporal characterization of urban expansion is the first step towards understanding how cities grow in space. We summarize two approaches used in urban expansion measurement, namely, concentric-ring analysis and grid-based analysis. Concentric-ring analysis divides urban areas into a series of rings, which is used to quantify the distance decay of urban elements from city centers. Grid-based analysis partitions a city into regular grids that are used to interpret local dynamics of urban growth. We combined these two approaches to characterize the urban expansion between 2000–2014 for five large Latin American cities (São Paulo, Brazil; Mexico City, Mexico; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Bogotá, Columbia; Santiago, Chile). Results show that the urban land (built-up area) density in concentric rings decreases from city centers to urban fringe, which can be well fitted by an inverse S curve. Parameters of fitting curves reflect disparities of urban extents and urban form among these five cities over time. Grid-based analysis presents the transformation of population from central to suburban areas, where new urban land mostly expands. In the global context, urban expansion in Latin America is far less rapid than countries or regions that are experiencing fast urbanization, such as Asia and Africa. Urban form of Latin American cities is particularly compact because of their rugged topographies with natural limitations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Urbanisation Dynamics Research)
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Article
The Role and Importance of a Footbridge Suspended over a Highway in the Opinion of Its Users—Trabzon (Turkey)
Land 2021, 10(4), 340; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040340 - 27 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1116
Abstract
In the urban landscape, footbridges appeared along with the development of urbanization through the implementation of more complex spatial structures. The introduction of transport transit to cities or sometimes urban gravity towards the important communication routes imposed their construction in order to ensure [...] Read more.
In the urban landscape, footbridges appeared along with the development of urbanization through the implementation of more complex spatial structures. The introduction of transport transit to cities or sometimes urban gravity towards the important communication routes imposed their construction in order to ensure pedestrians’ safety and smooth flow of traffic. The aim of the study is to determine how an overpass in the city of Trabzon is used by people of different ages, the security and motivation problem, the possibility of a footbridge, and how an overpass is perceived as a crossing over a highway. The study addresses the problem of safety and motivation related to the use of an overpass by people of different ages and is focused on the perception of an overpass as a crossing over a highway. The overpass connects the northern part of the city with the parking lot and the seaside boulevards in Trabzon. It has been constructed over the road no. D010, also known as the Black Sea Coastal Highway. In total, 124 members of the urban population who used the overpass participated in a questionnaire, which included multiple-choice and open-ended questions. The ‘Semantic Differential Scale’ was also used to evaluate the results. The research revealed that the respondents who chose the road through the overpass for safety in most cases used it relatively rarely (59%). People who used the footbridge every day or frequently marked safety as the reason in 39% of cases only. This means that as pedestrians use the overpass more often, they begin to notice other functional features of the footbridge. The results of the study showed that the overpass was most frequently used for the purpose of going down to the coast (76.0%), although 51.2% reported rarely using the overpass, which showed it was used very little by pedestrians. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Urbanisation Dynamics Research)
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Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research, Other

Review
Review of Experience in Recent Studies on the Dynamics of Land Urbanisation
Land 2021, 10(11), 1117; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111117 - 21 Oct 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 700
Abstract
Urbanisation rapidly accelerated in the 20th century. Along with the increasing dynamics of this phenomenon, the desire to know its origins and its course as well as to anticipate its effects is also growing. Investigations into the mechanisms governing urbanisation have become the [...] Read more.
Urbanisation rapidly accelerated in the 20th century. Along with the increasing dynamics of this phenomenon, the desire to know its origins and its course as well as to anticipate its effects is also growing. Investigations into the mechanisms governing urbanisation have become the subject of numerous studies and research projects. In addition, there has been a rapid increase in the number of tools and methods used to track and measure this phenomenon. However, new methods are still being sought to identify changes in space caused by urbanisation. Some of the indicators of urbanisation processes taking place include quantitative, qualitative and structural changes in land use, occurring at a certain time and place. These processes, related to human activity at a given time and in a given area, are determined by spatial diffusion, usually spreading from the city center towards the peripheral zones. Changes in land use involve the transition from less intensive to more intensive forms of land use. The constant effort to acquire new land for development, the search for alternative solutions for the location of investments and the need to determine the correct direction of development generates the need to constantly apply newer methods in the study of the dynamics of urbanisation processes. This paper presents an overview of recent studies and the most interesting—in the authors’ opinion—methods used in research into the dynamics of urbanisation processes. The main objective of the authors was to produce a compendium to guide the reader through the wide range of topics and to provide inspiration for their own research. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Urbanisation Dynamics Research)
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Other

Technical Note
Forest Transition and Metropolitan Transformations in Developed Countries: Interpreting Apparent and Latent Dynamics with Local Regression Models
Land 2022, 11(1), 12; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11010012 - 22 Dec 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 817
Abstract
Metropolitan fringes in Southern Europe preserve, under different territorial contexts, natural habitats, relict woodlands, and mixed agro-forest systems acting as a sink of biodiversity and ecosystem services in ecologically vulnerable landscapes. Clarifying territorial and socioeconomic processes that underlie land-use change in metropolitan regions [...] Read more.
Metropolitan fringes in Southern Europe preserve, under different territorial contexts, natural habitats, relict woodlands, and mixed agro-forest systems acting as a sink of biodiversity and ecosystem services in ecologically vulnerable landscapes. Clarifying territorial and socioeconomic processes that underlie land-use change in metropolitan regions is relevant for forest conservation policies. At the same time, long-term dynamics of fringe forests in the northern Mediterranean basin have been demonstrated to be rather mixed, with deforestation up to the 1950s and a subsequent recovery more evident in recent decades. The present study makes use of Forest Transition Theory (FTT) to examine spatial processes of forest loss and expansion in metropolitan Rome, Central Italy, through local regressions elaborating two diachronic land-use maps that span more than 80 years (1936–2018) representative of different socioeconomic and ecological conditions. Our study evaluates the turnaround from net forest area loss to net forest area gain, considering together the predictions of the FTT and those of the City Life Cycle (CLC) theory that provides a classical description of the functioning of metropolitan cycles. The empirical findings of our study document a moderate increase in forest cover depending on the forestation of previously abandoned cropland as a consequence of tighter levels of land protection. Natural and human-driven expansion of small and isolated forest nuclei along fringe land was demonstrated to fuel a polycentric expansion of woodlands. The results of a Geographically Weighted Regression (GWR) reveal the importance of metropolitan growth in long-term forest expansion. Forest–urban dynamics reflect together settlement sprawl and increased forest disturbance. The contemporary expansion of fringe residential settlements and peri-urban forests into relict agricultural landscapes claims for a renewed land management that may reconnect town planning, reducing the intrinsic risks associated with fringe woodlands (e.g., wildfires) with environmental policies preserving the ecological functionality of diversified agro-forest systems. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Urbanisation Dynamics Research)
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Case Report
Toward a Dualistic Growth? Population Increase and Land-Use Change in Rome, Italy
Land 2021, 10(7), 749; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070749 - 17 Jul 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1025
Abstract
The spatial mismatch between population growth and settlement expansion is at the base of current models of urban growth. Empirical evidence is increasingly required to inform planning measures promoting urban containment in the context of a stable (or declining) population. In these regards, [...] Read more.
The spatial mismatch between population growth and settlement expansion is at the base of current models of urban growth. Empirical evidence is increasingly required to inform planning measures promoting urban containment in the context of a stable (or declining) population. In these regards, per-capita indicators of land-use change can be adopted with the aim at evaluating long-term sustainability of urbanization processes. The present study assesses spatial variations in per-capita indicators of land-use change in Rome, Central Italy, at five years (1949, 1974, 1999, 2008, and 2016) with the final objective of quantifying the mismatch between urban expansion and population growth. Originally specialized in agricultural productions, Rome’s metropolitan area is a paradigmatic example of dispersed urban expansion in the Mediterranean basin. By considering multiple land-use dynamics, per-capita indicators of landscape change delineated three distinctive waves of growth corresponding with urbanization, suburbanization, and a more mixed stage with counter-urbanization and re-urbanization impulses. By reflecting different socioeconomic contexts on a local scale, urban fabric and forests were identified as the ‘winner’ classes, expanding homogeneously over time at the expense of cropland. Agricultural landscapes experienced a more heterogeneous trend with arable land and pastures declining systematically and more fragmented land classes (e.g., vineyards and olive groves) displaying stable (or slightly increasing) trends. The continuous reduction of per-capita surface area of cropland that’s supports a reduced production base, which is now insufficient to satisfy the rising demand for fresh food at the metropolitan scale, indicates the unsustainability of the current development in Rome and more generally in the whole Mediterranean basin, a region specialized traditionally in (proximity) agricultural productions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Urbanisation Dynamics Research)
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