Special Issue "Rural and Urban Management: Innovative Strategies to Enhance Resilience"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Pere Serra
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, 08193 Cerdanyola del Vallès, Spain
Interests: land use planning; landscape dynamics; earth observation applications
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Cristina Herrero-Jáuregui
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biodiversity, Ecology and Evolution; Complutense University of Madrid; Madrid 28040; Spain
Interests: social-ecological systems; landscape metrics; land use changes; cultural landscapes; rural development; urban ecology
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The present Special Issue has the overall aim of developing and offering new resilience strategies developed in urban and rural land.

The consensus is that urban growth, especially low residential densities, sprawl, and leapfrog fragmentation have become increasingly less sustainable and more vulnerable to the uncoupling of social–ecological systems, as demonstrated by the increasing frequency of natural and social disasters (e.g., pollution, traffic congestion, floods, droughts, and poverty). In many cases, these situation are caused by the rapid depletion of (natural) resources and uncontrolled market-oriented production and consumption patterns.

This situation is being aggravated by the appropriation of green areas, in general, and of agricultural land, in particular. As a result, rural ecosystem services and functions can be modified or mitigated: decreasing food production, livestock, and fiber in the case of agriculture; rural tourism, water storage, and cultural heritage in the case of rural services; and nature conservation in the case of protected areas. As a consequence, urban policies and management have become less capable of decreasing the vulnerability of rural and urban areas. Therefore, sustainable urban development should consider patterns that provide the capacity to the system to absorb disturbances and reorganize itself, pursuing two objectives that may seem contradictory: a better connection of the city and the territory, and a circular urban metabolism that minimizes the dependence of the city on the territory.

Urban and rural social–ecological systems can be characterized as complex given the possible conflicting norms and values of actors involved and conflicting interests between actors. The intense land conversion into built-up areas causes an intricate and sometimes chaotic mixture of heterogeneous and fragmented land uses, often hosting marginal economic activities that deteriorate the quality of the environment and weaken agricultural traditions and cultivation practices. In consequence, the resulting fragmented landscapes and transition zones can affect particularly the urban fringe and peri-urban agriculture.

Therefore, some key socio-ecological issues of land use regulations include the relationships between ecosystem functions, services, and sustainability; the loose spatial connectivity; the ecosystem adaptability and resilience; and the links between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning.

Case studies on any spatial scale (from local to global), innovative theoretical and methodological contributions, as well as critical discussions on urban and rural management are welcome, with reference to the following topics:

  • Sustainable use of land;
  • Urban growth form and ecosystem services;
  • Ecological resilience of urban and rural land;
  • Conserving ecosystem services and functions across urban and agricultural landscapes;
  • Landscape patterns of urban and rural dynamics analysed with earth observation and geographic information system (GIS) techniques;
  • Urban and rural management to mitigate climate change;
  • Urban and rural eco-environmental sensitive areas;
  • Urban–rural relationships; and
  • Rural–urban fringe as a problematic zone.

Dr. Pere Serra
Dr. Cristina Herrero-Jáuregui
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. Sustainability 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 1900 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

  • rural and urban management
  • land use regulations
  • urban and rural resilience
  • sustainable urban and rural development
  • landscape of rural-urban fringe
  • peri-urban agriculture
  • social–ecological systems
  • eco-environmental sensitive areas

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Visualizing Spatial Economic Supply Chains to Enhance Sustainability and Resilience
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1512; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031512 - 01 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1004
Abstract
This article presents a spatial supply network model for estimating and visualizing spatial commodity flows that used data on firm location and employment, an input–output table of inter-industry transactions, and material balance-type equations. Building on earlier work, we proposed a general method for [...] Read more.
This article presents a spatial supply network model for estimating and visualizing spatial commodity flows that used data on firm location and employment, an input–output table of inter-industry transactions, and material balance-type equations. Building on earlier work, we proposed a general method for visualizing detailed supply chains across geographic space, applying the preferential attachment rule to gravity equations in the network context; we then provided illustrations for U.S. extractive, manufacturing, and service industries, also highlighting differences in rural–urban interdependencies across these sectors. The resulting visualizations may be helpful for better understanding supply chain geographies, as well as business interconnections and interdependencies, and to anticipate and potentially address vulnerabilities to different types of shocks. Full article
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Article
The Valuation of Idle Real Estate in Rural Areas: Analysis and Territorial Strategies
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8240; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198240 - 07 Oct 2020
Viewed by 439
Abstract
Knowledge of the environment and its weaknesses is the first step in addressing urban development in a more sustainable direction, seeking, for example, to limit the occupation of new land. This research presents a methodology for identifying unused buildings in rural areas and [...] Read more.
Knowledge of the environment and its weaknesses is the first step in addressing urban development in a more sustainable direction, seeking, for example, to limit the occupation of new land. This research presents a methodology for identifying unused buildings in rural areas and providing strategies for the recovery and reuse of building heritage. The reuse of idle buildings, which are numerous and widespread in Italian agricultural areas, represents a valid opportunity to contain land occupation, redevelop unused areas (often degraded) and develop employment opportunities and social dynamics (as in the case of nonresidential use). The paper defines an expeditious methodology for the identification and subsequent mapping, on a municipal scale, of the unused building heritage that is external to the consolidated urban fabric. The initial data from a case study for the municipality of Chiari (in Italy) are significant: more than 370 unused real estate structures were identified. A successive analysis identified the individual buildings that were completely unused and proposes an assessment of their potential recovery value. This methodology can be useful for directing municipal urban planning strategies and regulations for the recovery of buildings in rural areas and for environmentally acceptable land utilization. Full article
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Article
Characterizing Industrial-Dominated Suburban Formation Using Quantitative Zoning Method: The Case of Bekasi Regency, Indonesia
Sustainability 2020, 12(19), 8094; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12198094 - 01 Oct 2020
Viewed by 866
Abstract
Suburbanization of Bekasi Regency as a part of the Jakarta Metropolitan Area (JMA) is mainly induced by urban expansion and industrialization, in which the suburbanization process threatens food security and ultimately disrupts urban sustainability. This study aims to characterize industrial-dominated suburban formation to [...] Read more.
Suburbanization of Bekasi Regency as a part of the Jakarta Metropolitan Area (JMA) is mainly induced by urban expansion and industrialization, in which the suburbanization process threatens food security and ultimately disrupts urban sustainability. This study aims to characterize industrial-dominated suburban formation to manage the suburbanization process using a quantitative zoning method. In assessing the characteristics of industrially dominated suburban, this research utilizes the concept of urban–rural development (URD), which consists of five aspects of development (socioeconomic, population, industrial, land-use, and environmental). Factor analysis and Rustiadi’s spatial clustering form regional clusters using all variables while referring to the URD concept. The results showed that there are three regional typologies: (i) urban, (ii) Desakota, and (iii) rural regions. Urban regions are situated in the central and western parts of Bekasi Regency, rural regions are situated in the northern part of Bekasi Regency, while the desakota region is situated between urban and rural regions. Characteristics of each typology then could be used as the basis for development policy in Bekasi Regency which is then constructed towards the protection of agricultural areas in the rural and desakota regions, serving both food security function and strengthening urban sustainability of JMA. Full article
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Article
Co-Creation of Knowledge for Ecosystem Services Approach to Spatial Planning in the Basque Country
Sustainability 2020, 12(13), 5287; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12135287 - 30 Jun 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 665
Abstract
Sustainable development has to be based on scientific knowledge, social agreements, and political decisions. This study aimed to analyse the implementation of the ecosystem services approach (ESA) in the spatial planning of the Basque Country, via the co-creation of knowledge. This paper uses [...] Read more.
Sustainable development has to be based on scientific knowledge, social agreements, and political decisions. This study aimed to analyse the implementation of the ecosystem services approach (ESA) in the spatial planning of the Basque Country, via the co-creation of knowledge. This paper uses a proposal for a regional green infrastructure (GI) to examine the co-creation of knowledge process. It addresses the community of practice; a process of co-creation of knowledge through workshops and meeting, SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) analysis using an online survey, and mapping and identification of the multifunctional areas that provide ecosystem services (ES) to develop a GI. Results indicate that ESA has been included in spatial planning actions at different scales (biosphere reserve, metropolitan area, and region). This subsequently created an avenue for understanding the political necessities at play, so that scientists can develop useful tools for sustainable development. The findings also draw attention to the importance of establishing a constructive and mutually comprehensible dialogue between politicians, technical experts and scientists. For ES to be part of spatial planning, ESA has to be taken into account at the beginning of the planning process. We conclude that building bridges between science and spatial planning can help establish science-based management guidelines and tools that help enhance the sustainability of the territory. Full article
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