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Sustainable Geography

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainability in Geographic Science".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2022) | Viewed by 17433

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Guest Editor
Institute for Space Applications and Remote Sensing, National Observatory of Athens, BEYOND Centre of EO Research & Satellite Remote Sensing, 15236 Athens, Greece
Interests: geographic information systems (GIS); remote sensing; spatial analysis; natural environment; environmental hazards/disasters; water resources; climate change
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

According to Tobler’s First Law of Geography, “everything is related to everything else, but near things are more related than distant things”. This statement could not have found better application and proof than the COVID-19 pandemic that has affected the whole planet. The main spreading mechanism (i.e., social proximity), as well as the main containment measure (i.e., social distancing), have brought the significance of “space” even more dynamically to the forefront and linked it more inextricably than ever with the concepts of survival, conservation, and preservation. However, even before the pandemic monopolized global survival, the effects of climate change (floods, air/water pollution, desertification, water scarcity, etc.) threatened (and continue to threaten) human acquis, with “life” being the most important aspect, placing thus the spatial reference and the specific–unique conditions of each affected spatial unit in the foreground. Furthermore, contemporary social analysis of the world’s population, as well as future trends (e.g. GDP, urbanization, unemployment, health, transportation), as a result of the cataclysmic but unequally geographically distributed industrial, technological, and economic development, could not have real substance far from the necessary condition of “spatial influence”. Therefore, no one today could argue successfully regarding any aspect of “Sustainable Life” (climate, resources, economy, health, etc.) without recognizing and taking into account the catalytic influence of “position” and “space”. In a few words, “Sustainability” and “Geographical Space” are two interconnected rings in the same chain and if one of them breaks, the whole chain breaks. Thus, focusing on this interconnection, Sustainability is a broadly used perception in Geographical research and vice versa. A significant aspect of these research purposes is to understand how physical processes and social patterns occur and evolve at a variety of spatial scales. The ultimate goal of Geography is to explore all these patterns and processes in order to provide answers on the contemporary challenges that mankind is facing. Thus, the concept of “Sustainable Geography” relates to actions that cover a wide range of topics from physical to human geography. The aim of these actions is to find the best practices towards natural interaction between the human and physical world.

This Special Issue intends to create a unique reference point in the existing literature as it focuses on presenting innovative and contemporary methodologies, techniques and tools, significant case studies and thorough reviews, covering the widest range possible of the integrated contemporary concept of “Sustainable Geography”.

We are welcoming original and high-quality research and review papers, from both stakeholders and researchers around the world, focusing on topics related to various aspects of Sustainable Geography.

The main areas and topics are suggested below:

  • Sustainable Geography, Remote Sensing & GIS
  • Sustainable Geography and natural resources
  • Sustainable Geography and natural disasters
  • Sustainable Geography and environment
  • Sustainable Geography and SDGs
  • Sustainable Geography and social interactions
  • Sustainable Geography and education
  • Sustainable Geography and health

Dr. Nikolaos Stathopoulos
Dr. Kleomenis Kalogeropoulos
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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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 2400 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

  • Sustainable Geography
  • natural environment
  • human geography

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 7523 KiB  
Article
Sustainable Evolution of the Geographic System in the Regional Park “Carrascoy y El Valle” in the Region of Murcia (Southeast Spain)
by Miguel Ángel Sánchez-Sánchez and Alfonso Albacete
Sustainability 2023, 15(12), 9322; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15129322 - 9 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1139
Abstract
The region of Murcia, located in the southeast of Spain, has historically been affected by deforestation and desertification processes that favour natural risks, sometimes ending in tragic personal consequences. To address this, at the end of the 19th century an ambitious plan was [...] Read more.
The region of Murcia, located in the southeast of Spain, has historically been affected by deforestation and desertification processes that favour natural risks, sometimes ending in tragic personal consequences. To address this, at the end of the 19th century an ambitious plan was launched to reforest the mountains in the most problematic river basins. This article aims to study the changes experienced in the geographic mountain system “Carrascoy y El Valle” after reforestation, and their effects on different environmental processes. Two areas were selected to compare the evolution of the tree cover, using photographs from 1928 and current satellite images, and small grids were designed to analyze the current herbaceous and shrub cover. The results show a significant increase in tree cover in parallel to the mulch cover, which was higher in the shady than in the sunny orientation. The distribution of the herbaceous and shrub cover was irregular and unexpectedly higher in the sunny than in the shady areas, probably due to intensive trampling in the shady areas. Overall, the evolution of the geographic system “Carrascoy y El Valle” has been sustainable, with favourable effects on the ecosystem, erosion, landscape, and climate conditions, thus slowing down desertification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Geography)
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15 pages, 3259 KiB  
Article
Evaluation and Implication of the Policies towards China’s Carbon Neutrality
by Shenghang Wang, Shen Tan and Jiaming Xu
Sustainability 2023, 15(8), 6762; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15086762 - 17 Apr 2023
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1309
Abstract
China announced it will achieve a carbon emission peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060 to fulfill its international obligations and mitigate climate risk. Related activities and polices were introduced in several sectors before this announcement. The performance and outcome of these [...] Read more.
China announced it will achieve a carbon emission peak by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2060 to fulfill its international obligations and mitigate climate risk. Related activities and polices were introduced in several sectors before this announcement. The performance and outcome of these activities provide necessary a priori knowledge for the designation and optimization of future policies. In this study, a comprehensive evaluation covering major sectors based on multisource data is proposed. The results show that although China is the largest CO2 emitter for the current stage, the increasing rate of carbon emissions has been significantly mitigated since the 2010s. This reduction in emissions can be accelerated by the carbon-trading scheme in pilot regions. As a substitution for fossil energy, there have been tens of thousands of increases in wind turbines and photovoltaic plants in the past decade. Additionally, an enhancement of the terrestrial carbon sink was detected by time-series remote sensing data. The results of this study demonstrate that China’s carbon activities in the past decade have received reasonable outcomes, which will benefit the optimization of related government policies. The improved legislation and policies of China can strengthen the regulation of emissions while promoting the quantity and quality of carbon sinks. At the same time, the improvement of the carbon emissions trading mechanism, especially the establishment of a marketing regulation mechanism, can significantly motivate interest-related communities and industries to abort high-carbon emissions and ensure the implementation of carbon neutrality in the future. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Geography)
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22 pages, 3807 KiB  
Article
Quantitative Simulation and Verification of the Coordination Curves between Sustainable Development and Green Innovation Efficiency: From the Perspective of Urban Agglomerations Development
by Zhicheng Duan and Tingting Tang
Sustainability 2022, 14(24), 16686; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142416686 - 13 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1361
Abstract
Green innovation efficiency is the symbol of competitiveness; sustainable development is an important way to enhance social and economic development comprehensively. By deeply understanding the coordination development law and facilitating the development progress between the two, it has great practical significance for the [...] Read more.
Green innovation efficiency is the symbol of competitiveness; sustainable development is an important way to enhance social and economic development comprehensively. By deeply understanding the coordination development law and facilitating the development progress between the two, it has great practical significance for the promotion of sustainable development in China. Based on multi-source data, this paper discusses the basic principle of the climbing rule for the coordination process between sustainable development and green innovation efficiency in urban agglomerations and constructs a mathematical model to obtain its geometric expression. Then, according to the entropy weight model, SBM-DEA model and coordination model, the sustainable development level, green innovation efficiency and coordinated development level are calculated. Finally, through the simulation verification methods, the coordination process and the formation and development process of urban agglomerations are cross-discussed. The results are as follows: (1) The differences in growth rates are the main reason for the spatial distribution mismatch between sustainable development and green innovation efficiency. (2) Highly coordinated regions have gradually extended from the national level to the surrounding low-level urban agglomerations. (3) The coordination level between sustainable development and green innovation efficiency passed the antagonism period and is expected to rise further in the near future and (4) The coordination progress in urban agglomeration is a wave-like climbing curve that changes with the development of urban agglomeration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Geography)
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17 pages, 4557 KiB  
Article
Multiscale Spatial Distribution Pattern and Influencing Factors on Inland Fishing Gardens in China
by Yong Huang, Qinjun Kang, Qi Wang, Lili Luo, Tingting Wang and Qingrui Chang
Sustainability 2022, 14(11), 6542; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14116542 - 27 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1548
Abstract
Recently, a significant number of freshwater fishing gardens have sprouted up across mainland China. These recreational facilities are an important component in promoting the upgrading of the fishing industry and rural revitalization, and they are a key component in the high-quality development of [...] Read more.
Recently, a significant number of freshwater fishing gardens have sprouted up across mainland China. These recreational facilities are an important component in promoting the upgrading of the fishing industry and rural revitalization, and they are a key component in the high-quality development of rural tourism. This paper uses fishing gardens points of interest (POI) in China as data sources and employs kernel density estimation and geographical detectors to systematically uncover the multiscale spatial distribution pattern of these gardens, as well as the factors influencing their distribution. The results show that: (1) There are 15,090 fishing gardens in inland China. The spatial distribution of Chinese fishing gardens corresponds well with the “Hu-Line”, with a greater number of gardens clustered in the southeast and few in the northwest. The density distribution exhibits a polarized pattern with multiple high-density centers. (2) The number of fishing gardens varies significantly across regions, with the eastern > central > western > northeastern; Guangdong has the most fishing gardens. The top five provinces have 43.4% of the total number of fishing gardens in the country. Large-scale fishing gardens are common in developed cities such as the Pearl River Delta, Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, and the Yangtze River economic belt. (3) In natural environmental factors, land altitude and contour are negatively correlated with the distribution of fishing gardens, whereas winter temperature is positively correlated with the distribution. More than 50% of fishing gardens are located within 6 km of urban built-up areas. (4) GDP, population, and tourism revenue are the most important social development factors influencing the distribution of fishing gardens. The moderate factors are per capita income and the rate of urbanization; the weak factors are fishery output value and freshwater products production. In the discussion, suggestions on how to guide the rational layout and healthy development of the fishing garden industry in the region are put forward. We believe that these suggestions could be part of the pursuit to improve the fishing garden industrial policy in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Geography)
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23 pages, 4895 KiB  
Article
A GIS-MCDA-Based Suitability Analysis for Meeting Targets 6.3 and 6.5 of the Sustainable Development Goals
by Angeliki Mentzafou, Momčilo Blagojević and Elias Dimitriou
Sustainability 2021, 13(8), 4153; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13084153 - 8 Apr 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2664
Abstract
Among the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established in the 2030 Agenda, goals 6.3, regarding clean water and improve of water quality, and 6.5, regarding integrated water resources management, highlight the need for the implementation of successful environmental water quality monitoring programs of transboundary [...] Read more.
Among the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) established in the 2030 Agenda, goals 6.3, regarding clean water and improve of water quality, and 6.5, regarding integrated water resources management, highlight the need for the implementation of successful environmental water quality monitoring programs of transboundary river waterbodies. In the present study, the designation of high priority areas for water quality monitoring of Drin transboundary watershed is performed using a suitability model, a GIS-based multicriteria decision analysis (GIS-MCDA) approach that takes into consideration the most important conditioning factors that impose pressures on rivers. Based on the results, the methodological approach used manages to sufficiently delimit the areas with increased need for water quality monitoring in the Drin watershed, and the validation procedure produces a correlation coefficient of 0.454 (statistically significant at a 0.01 level). Limitations arise in the case of a lack of detailed information or inaccurate input data and due to the inconsistency among the input data and the different methodological approaches regarding the information collection of each country involved. These restrictions foreground the need for cooperation between the countries involved regarding the exchange of scientific knowledge and common legislation, so as to achieve integrated, effective, and sustainable management of water resources of the area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Geography)
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19 pages, 7087 KiB  
Article
Drought Identification and Trend Analysis Using Long-Term CHIRPS Satellite Precipitation Product in Bundelkhand, India
by Varsha Pandey, Prashant K Srivastava, Sudhir K Singh, George P. Petropoulos and Rajesh Kumar Mall
Sustainability 2021, 13(3), 1042; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031042 - 20 Jan 2021
Cited by 35 | Viewed by 4306
Abstract
Drought hazard mapping and its trend analysis has become indispensable due to the aggravated impact of drought in the era of climate change. Sparse observational networks with minimal maintenance limit the spatio-temporal coverage of precipitation data, which has been a major constraint in [...] Read more.
Drought hazard mapping and its trend analysis has become indispensable due to the aggravated impact of drought in the era of climate change. Sparse observational networks with minimal maintenance limit the spatio-temporal coverage of precipitation data, which has been a major constraint in the effective drought monitoring. In this study, high-resolution satellite-derived Climate Hazards Group Infrared Precipitation with Station (CHIRPS) data has been used for computation of Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI). The study was carried out in Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh, India, known for its substantial drought occurrences with poor drought management plans and lack of effective preparedness. Very limited studies have been carried out in assessing the spatio-temporal drought in this region. This study aims to identify district-wide drought and its trend characterization from 1981 to 2018. The run theory was applied for quantitative drought assessment; whereas, the Mann-Kendall (MK) test was performed for trend analysis at seasonal and annual time steps. Results indicated an average of nine severe drought events in all the districts in the last 38 years, and the most intense drought was recorded for the Jalaun district (1983–1985). A significant decreasing trend is observed for the SPI1 (at 95% confidence level) during the post-monsoon season, with the magnitude varying from −0.16 to −0.33 mm/month. This indicates the increasing severity of meteorological drought in the area. Moreover, a non-significant falling trend for short-term drought (SPI1 and SPI3) annually and short- and medium-term drought (SPI1, SPI3, and SPI6) in winter months have been also observed for all the districts. The output of the current study would be utilized in better understanding of the drought condition through elaborate trend analysis of the SPI pattern and thus helps the policy makers to devise a drought management plan to handle the water crisis, food security, and in turn the betterment of the inhabitants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Geography)
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14 pages, 1517 KiB  
Article
Resilience–Vulnerability Analysis: A Decision-Making Framework for Systems Assessment
by Nikolaos A. Skondras, Demetrios E. Tsesmelis, Constantina G. Vasilakou and Christos A. Karavitis
Sustainability 2020, 12(22), 9306; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12229306 - 10 Nov 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 2971
Abstract
The terms ‘resilience’ and ‘vulnerability’ have been widely used, with multiple interpretations in a plethora of disciplines. Such a variety may easily become confusing, and could create misconceptions among the different users. Policy makers who are bound to make decisions in key spatial [...] Read more.
The terms ‘resilience’ and ‘vulnerability’ have been widely used, with multiple interpretations in a plethora of disciplines. Such a variety may easily become confusing, and could create misconceptions among the different users. Policy makers who are bound to make decisions in key spatial and temporal points may especially suffer from these misconceptions. The need for decisions may become even more pressing in times of crisis, where the weaknesses of a system are exposed, and immediate actions to enhance the systemic strengths should be made. The analysis framework proposed in the current effort, and demonstrated in hypothetical forest fire cases, tries to focus on the combined use of simplified versions of the resilience and vulnerability concepts. Their relations and outcomes are also explored, in an effort to provide decision makers with an initial assessment of the information required to deal with complex systems. It is believed that the framework may offer some service towards the development of a more integrated and applicable tool, in order to further expand the concepts of resilience and vulnerability. Additionally, the results of the framework can be used as inputs in other decision making techniques and approaches. This increases the added value of the framework as a tool. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Geography)
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