Special Issue "Remote Sensing of Urban Ecology and Sustainability"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 October 2019).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Elizabeth Wentz
Website
Guest Editor
School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 85281, USA
Interests: shape and pattern analysis; geographic information science; applications of GIS to urban environment; urban remote sensing; water resource management
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Qunshan Zhao
Website SciProfiles
Guest Editor
Urban Big Data Centre, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Glasgow, UK
Interests: geographic information science; urban remote sensing; location modeling and analysis; spatial statistics; urban climate modeling and instrumentation; urban green infrastructure; human and environmental systems

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The increase in the number of people living in urban areas, the proliferation of megacities, and the pervasive expansion of per-urban areas are some of the most challenging transformations of the 21st century. Urbanization has profoundly influenced urban ecosystem structures and functions, greatly changed the landscape within and around cities worldwide, and significantly influenced the living environment of urban residents. While great economic benefits are achieved by the urbanization process, negative ecological consequences such as urban heat island effects, biological invasion, air and water pollutions, and biodiversity loss and degradation are happening in the urban environment simultaneously. Thus, it is crucial to better understand how to create a sustainable urban environment, balance the conflicts between urbanization and human activities, and alleviate the negative impacts from urbanization process.

Remote Sensing offers an efficient method with which to monitor and observe the urban ecosystem and sustainable environment in a real-time and high-spatial-resolution manner. After more than 50 years of development, various remote sensing techniques (optical, thermal infrared, microwave (SAR/INSAR), light detection and ranging (LIDAR), and night lights) have been widely applied to understand the urban environment. We are requesting papers for a Special Issue of Remote Sensing on the remote sensing of urban ecology and sustainability. Specific topics include, but are not limited to

  • The use of remote sensing to understand the ecological consequences of urbanization, such as biological invasion, habitat fragmentation, etc.
  • The use of remote sensing to develop urban green infrastructure
  • The exploration of urban heat island effects and ecosystem services using remote sensing
  • Novel remote sensing application (new sensors, new methodology, etc.) in urban ecology and sustainability

We especially encourage submission with a combination of different methodologies (remote sensing, spatial analysis, urban climatology, etc.) to understand the overarching topic.

Prof. Elizabeth Wentz
Dr. Qunshan Zhao
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. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • urban remote sensing
  • urban ecology
  • sustainable urban environment
  • urban green infrastructure
  • urban climate
  • spatial analysis and modeling
  • GIS

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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Open AccessEditorial
Editorial for the Special Issue: “Remote Sensing of Urban Ecology and Sustainability”
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(3), 443; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12030443 - 01 Feb 2020
Abstract
The remote sensing of urban ecology and sustainability is an emerging topic to understand the human living environment in urban areas from outer space, airplanes, and unmanned aerial vehicles. In this editorial, we provide an overview of the five papers published in this [...] Read more.
The remote sensing of urban ecology and sustainability is an emerging topic to understand the human living environment in urban areas from outer space, airplanes, and unmanned aerial vehicles. In this editorial, we provide an overview of the five papers published in this Special Issue and offer suggestions for future research directions in this field, both with respect to the remote sensing platforms and algorithms and the development of new applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Urban Ecology and Sustainability)

Research

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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
A Geographically Weighted Regression Approach to Understanding Urbanization Impacts on Urban Warming and Cooling: A Case Study of Las Vegas
Remote Sens. 2020, 12(2), 222; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs12020222 - 09 Jan 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
A surface urban heat island (SUHI) effect is one of the most significant consequences of urbanization. Great progress has been made in evaluating the SUHI with cross-sectional studies performed in a number of cities across the globe. Few studies; however, have focused on [...] Read more.
A surface urban heat island (SUHI) effect is one of the most significant consequences of urbanization. Great progress has been made in evaluating the SUHI with cross-sectional studies performed in a number of cities across the globe. Few studies; however, have focused on the spatiotemporal changes in an area over a long period of time. Using multi-temporal remote sensing data sets, this study examined the spatiotemporal changes of the SUHI intensity in Las Vegas, Nevada, over a 15-year period from 2001 to 2016. We applied the geographically weighted regression (GWR) and advanced statistical approaches to investigating the SUHI variation in relation to several important biophysical indicators in the region. The results show that (1) Las Vegas had experienced a significant increase in the SUHI over the 15 years, (2) Vegetation and large and small water bodies in the city can help mitigate the SUHI effect and the cooling effect of vegetation had increased continuously from 2001 to 2016, (3) An urban heat sink (UHS) was identified in developed areas with low to moderate intensity, and (4) Increased surface temperatures were mainly driven by the urbanization-induced land conversions occurred over the 15 years. Findings from this study will inspire thoughts on practical guidelines for SUHI mitigation in a fast-growing desert city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Urban Ecology and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Investigating Spatiotemporal Patterns of Surface Urban Heat Islands in the Hangzhou Metropolitan Area, China, 2000–2015
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(13), 1553; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11131553 - 29 Jun 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
Rapid urbanization has resulted in a serious urban heat island effect in the Hangzhou Metropolitan Area of China during the past decades, negatively impacting the area’s sustainable development. Using Landsat images from 2000 to 2015, this paper analysed the spatial-temporal patterns in a [...] Read more.
Rapid urbanization has resulted in a serious urban heat island effect in the Hangzhou Metropolitan Area of China during the past decades, negatively impacting the area’s sustainable development. Using Landsat images from 2000 to 2015, this paper analysed the spatial-temporal patterns in a surface urban heat island (SUHI) and investigated its relationship with urbanization. The derived land surface temperature (LST) and surface urban heat island intensity (SUHII) were used to quantify the SUHI effect. Spatial analysis was employed to illustrate the spatial distribution and evolution of a SUHI. The geographically weighted regression (GWR) model was implemented to identify statistically significant factors that influenced the change of SUHII. The results show that hot and very hot spot areas increased from 387 km2 in 2000 to 615 km2 in 2015, and the spatial distribution changed from a monocentric to a polycentric pattern. The results also indicate that high-LST clusters moved towards the east, which was consistent with urban expansion throughout the study period. These changes mirrored the intensive development of three satellite towns. The statistical analysis suggests that both population density (e.g., changes in population density, CPOPD) and green space (e.g., changes in green space fraction, CGSF) strongly affected the changes in SUHII at different stages of the urbanization process. Increasing in population density has a lastingly effect on elevating the SUHII, whereas increasing green space has a constantly significant effect in mitigating the SUHII. These findings suggest that urban planners and policymakers should protect the cultivated lands in suburbs and exurbs, and make efforts to improve the utilization efficiency of construction land by encouraging the migrating population to live within the existing built-up regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Urban Ecology and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Geospatial Analysis of Horizontal and Vertical Urban Expansion Using Multi-Spatial Resolution Data: A Case Study of Surabaya, Indonesia
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(10), 1599; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10101599 - 09 Oct 2018
Cited by 13
Abstract
Urbanization addresses urban expansion, and it leads conversion of the green space into the built-up area. However, previous studies mainly focused on two-dimensional (2D) urban expansion rather than three-dimensional (3D) growth. Here, the purpose of this study is to examine the urban expansion, [...] Read more.
Urbanization addresses urban expansion, and it leads conversion of the green space into the built-up area. However, previous studies mainly focused on two-dimensional (2D) urban expansion rather than three-dimensional (3D) growth. Here, the purpose of this study is to examine the urban expansion, including built-up and green space for both horizontal and vertical dimensions using geospatial analysis including remote sensing (RS) and Geographic Information System (GIS) in the sub-Central Business District (CBD) area of Surabaya, Indonesia. The medium resolution remote sensing data for both image and Digital Surface Model (DSM) acquired by Advanced Land-Observing Satellite (ALOS) were applied for time-1 (2010). The orthophoto and DSM derived by LiDAR were used for time-2 (2016). We quantified the built-up and green expansions in 2D (area), which were extracted from land use/land cover (LU/LC) by applying hybrid classification. The built-up and green expansions in 3D (volume) were estimated by generating a surface feature model. The spatial configuration of area expansion was investigated using patch metric, while the volume growth was examined using the volume expansion rate. We got three findings. (1) The built-up and green area had expanded about 11.54% and 95.61%, respectively, from 2010 to 2016. The expansion of green area presented in a notable portion, which was mainly contributed by the conversion of bareland to playground or park. However, the expansion of built-up area was less than the volume expansion of 20.6%. It revealed that built-up growth led to vertical rather than horizontal development. (2) The built-up area expansion tended to scatter configuration, whereas, the green area expansion tended to aggregate in a linear pattern. (3) The ratio of built-up volume expansion to green volume expansion showed a mean of 3.7, indicating that the development of built-up and green volume was imbalanced. The built-up growth presented higher than the green growth, mainly in the areas with more vertical building establishment. The pressing need for higher green volume in the study area was identified in several sites located at surrounding artery and toll roads. Overall, our approach can be applied as a reference in monitoring neighborhood environment through greening programs for sustainable urban development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Urban Ecology and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Assessing Impacts of Urban Form on Landscape Structure of Urban Green Spaces in China Using Landsat Images Based on Google Earth Engine
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(10), 1569; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10101569 - 01 Oct 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
The structure of urban green spaces (UGS) plays an important role in determining the ecosystem services that they support. Knowledge of factors shaping landscape structure of UGS is imperative for planning and management of UGS. In this study, we assessed the influence of [...] Read more.
The structure of urban green spaces (UGS) plays an important role in determining the ecosystem services that they support. Knowledge of factors shaping landscape structure of UGS is imperative for planning and management of UGS. In this study, we assessed the influence of urban form on the structure of UGS in 262 cities in China based on remote sensing data. We produced land cover maps for 262 cities in 2015 using 6673 scenes of Landsat ETM+/OLI images based on the Google Earth Engine platform. We analyzed the impact of urban form on landscape structure of UGS in these cities using boosted regression tree analysis with the landscape and urban form metrics derived from the land cover maps as response and prediction variables, respectively. The results showed that the three urban form metrics—perimeter area ratio, road density, and compound terrain complexity index—were all significantly correlated with selected landscape metrics of UGS. Cities with high road density had less UGS area and the UGS in those cities was more fragmented. Cities with complex built-up boundaries tended to have more fragmented UGS. Cities with high terrain complexity had more UGS but the UGS were more fragmented. Our results for the first time revealed the importance of urban form on shaping landscape structure of UGS in 262 cities at a national scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Urban Ecology and Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Linking Heat Source–Sink Landscape Patterns with Analysis of Urban Heat Islands: Study on the Fast-Growing Zhengzhou City in Central China
Remote Sens. 2018, 10(8), 1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10081268 - 11 Aug 2018
Cited by 11
Abstract
Globally, the urban heat island (UHI) effect is a major problem which leads to urban residents suffering from adverse urban ecological environments and serious health risks. Understanding the impacts of urban landscape features on the thermal environment has been an important focus across [...] Read more.
Globally, the urban heat island (UHI) effect is a major problem which leads to urban residents suffering from adverse urban ecological environments and serious health risks. Understanding the impacts of urban landscape features on the thermal environment has been an important focus across various fields of research. The purpose of this study is to analyze the impacts of urban heat source–sink landscape patterns on urban heat islands, using the fast-growing Zhengzhou City in central China as the case study. Landsat data (captured in 1996, 2006, and 2014), various geospatial approaches, and correlation analysis were applied to facilitate the analysis. Based on the contributions of the urban landscape to land surface temperature (LST), we empirically identified the heat sources and heat sinks. Then, the composition and configurations of heat source and sink landscapes were estimated by a series of spatial metrics at the landscape and class levels. The results showed that the overall mean land surface temperature (LST) in the study area increased by 2.72 °C from 1996 to 2014. This observed increasing trend in overall mean LST is consistent with the process of rapid urbanization in the study area, which was evidenced by the dramatic increase in impervious surfaces and the substantial loss in vegetation cover. Generally, as observed, landscape composition has a stronger influence on LST than does landscape configuration. For heat sources, the proportion, size, aggregation, and density of patches have positive effects on LST, while adjusting the spatial distribution and abundance of urban landscape are effective ways to control the UHI effects. In contrast, the percentage, size, density, and aggregation of heat sink patches have negative effects on LST. Additionally, the effects of increasing total patch edges and shape complexity should be considered when mitigating the UHI effect. These findings are beneficial for furthering our understanding of how urban landscape patterns affect UHI, and they can help optimize urban landscape patterns to alleviate the UHI effect and enhance sustainable development in the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Urban Ecology and Sustainability)
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