Special Issue "Urban Economics, City Development and Future Social Challenges"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2021.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Carmelo Maria Torre
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering Sciences and Architecture (DiCAR), Polytechnic University of Bari, Via Orabona 4, 70125 Bari, Italy
Interests: real estate and urban economics; urban management; decision support systems in spatial planning
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Alessandro Bonifazi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering Sciences and Architecture (DiCAR), Polytechnic University of Bari, Via Orabona 4, 70125 Bari, Italy
Interests: urban economics; urban management; decision support systems in planning; urban democracy; sustainable development models; social studies
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Maria Cerreta
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Architecture (DiARC), University of Naples "Federico II", Via Toledo 402, 80134 Napoli, Italy
Interests: complex values; Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis; integrated assessment; hybrid decision-making processes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Future forecasts about urban development are characterized by a high degree of uncertainty, depending on a future based on social fragmentation, real estate market segmentation, and increasing differentiation of demand for services and facilities. The demand for urban democracy and social justice is often based on the development of a new shared urban economy. The concept of an enlarged public urban development, at the same time, affects the quality of urban environments. As consequence, in the current era, studies of urban economics address the attention towards the multiplicity of factors that determine the welfare of cities, neighbors, and peripheries. Finally, we should not forget that urban economy values are related not only to physical facilities and services, but also to the answer to unmaterial needs that need a place in the City of the New Era. 

As consequence, scholars in urban disciplines are often called to depict multiple views of the future economy of cities.

Researchers and scholars are invited to identify and describe those factors that will represent the future driver of economy in the evolving urban environment.

Colleagues are invited to submit papers that will show, hopefully, new approaches referring (though not exclusively) to the following topics: evolutionary studies on urban development, comparative analyses of urban experiences, descriptive/quantitative/qualitative modeling for real estate studies, and studies on the influence of demographic, ethnic, and social phenomena in the economy of cities of the beginning third millennium.

Prof. Dr. Carmelo Maria Torre
Dr. Alessandro Bonifazi
Prof. Dr. Maria Cerreta
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

  • sustainable urban development
  • urban fragmentation
  • urban justice
  • city environment models
  • real estate studies
  • urban drivers
  • complexity and economic urban modeling
  • spatial multidimensional analyses
  • spatial multicriteria assessment

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

Article
The Urban Blight Costs in Taiwan
Sustainability 2021, 13(1), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13010113 - 24 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 506
Abstract
Urban blight is not only an eyesore for city residents, but also a threat to health, psychological well-being, and safety. It not only represents substantial economic decline, but also spreads through urban space. As well as the loss of personal property value, urban [...] Read more.
Urban blight is not only an eyesore for city residents, but also a threat to health, psychological well-being, and safety. It not only represents substantial economic decline, but also spreads through urban space. As well as the loss of personal property value, urban blight also harms public interests in the public domain. This study finds that danger and age are the two main factors of urban blight. Ignoring these two factors causes housing prices to fall. The decline in population due to long-term economic stagnation and the exodus of residents and industries, coupled with the long-term decline in income and spending on maintenance of old houses, has led to major visual and physical economic blight. This investigation adopts the hedonic model to analyze the correspondence of house prices with urban blight, based on real estate prices and related township variables announced by the government in Taiwan in 2017, and applies the spatial regression model to investigate the direct and indirect effects of real estate prices. The following conclusions can be drawn from the analytical results. 1. The spatial lag model finds that urban blight has a spatial spillover effect. 2. The government must not disregard the blight, due to its detrimental effect on housing prices and spatial diffusion effect. 3. The factors that affect the blight are age of residents, age of buildings, poverty, and danger. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Economics, City Development and Future Social Challenges)
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Article
Assessing the Impact of Public Rental Housing on the Housing Prices in Proximity: Based on the Regional and Local Level of Price Prediction Models Using Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM)
Sustainability 2020, 12(18), 7520; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12187520 - 11 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 629
Abstract
Providing adequate public rental housing (PRH) of a decent quality at a desirable location is a major challenge in many cities. Often, a prominent opponent of PRH development is its host community, driven by a belief that PRH depreciates nearby property values. While [...] Read more.
Providing adequate public rental housing (PRH) of a decent quality at a desirable location is a major challenge in many cities. Often, a prominent opponent of PRH development is its host community, driven by a belief that PRH depreciates nearby property values. While this is a persistent issue in many cities around the world, this study proposed a new approach to assessing the impact of PRH on nearby property value. This study utilized a machine learning technique called long short-term memory (LSTM) to construct a set of housing price prediction models based on 547,740 apartment transaction records from the city of Busan, South Korea. A set of apartment characteristics and proximity measures to PRH were included in the modeling process. Four geographic boundaries were analyzed: The entire region of Busan, all neighborhoods of PRH, the neighborhoods of PRH in the “favorable,” and the “less favorable” local housing market. The study produced accurate and reliable price predictions, which indicated that the proximity to PRH has a meaningful impact on nearby housing prices both at the city and the neighborhood level. The approach taken by the study can facilitate improved decision making for future PRH policies and programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Economics, City Development and Future Social Challenges)
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Article
Modelling Municipal Social Responsibility: A Pilot Study in the Region of Extremadura (Spain)
Sustainability 2020, 12(17), 6887; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12176887 - 25 Aug 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 689
Abstract
Social Responsibility in the Public Administration is an emerging phenomenon responding to the challenges and opportunities for public institutions faced by the rapidly evolving world. The general and ambitious global goal of sustainability is at risk because inequality is increasing among countries, but [...] Read more.
Social Responsibility in the Public Administration is an emerging phenomenon responding to the challenges and opportunities for public institutions faced by the rapidly evolving world. The general and ambitious global goal of sustainability is at risk because inequality is increasing among countries, but also within countries at the regional and local levels. Facing this problem, the aim of this paper is to approach how the social responsibility of local governments is impacting citizens’ participation as a way of managing the required transformation to sustainable development. In order to contribute to seed light in the field, a pilot study was carried out, employing partial least squares as an exploratory method, with an ad hoc structural equation model, and with a sample of 256 inhabitants in three municipalities in Extremadura (Spain). The findings are promising for place marketing, local public management and democracy reinforcement because it is empirically demonstrated that the municipality’s orientation towards responsibility impacts citizen´s connection, attraction, and identification with the municipality, increasing citizen participation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Economics, City Development and Future Social Challenges)
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Article
Agglomeration Externalities and Skill Upgrading in Local Labor Markets: Evidence from Prefecture-Level Cities of China
Sustainability 2020, 12(16), 6509; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12166509 - 12 Aug 2020
Viewed by 518
Abstract
Skill upgrading, the increase in the percentage of skilled workers in the employment population, boosts the economic growth of developing countries and sustains their industrial competitiveness. The international economics literature discusses the effects of international trade on skill upgrading, ignoring the potential role [...] Read more.
Skill upgrading, the increase in the percentage of skilled workers in the employment population, boosts the economic growth of developing countries and sustains their industrial competitiveness. The international economics literature discusses the effects of international trade on skill upgrading, ignoring the potential role of agglomeration externalities. This paper takes China as a case study, which has been encountering a serious challenge about how to strengthen its industrial competitiveness in the world through skill upgrading as its population dividend decreases. The panel data of 2005, 2010 and 2015 from prefecture-level cities in China were used for regression analysis to explore the benefits from agglomeration externalities, including specialization and diversification effects, on skill upgrading. The results show that both the specialization effect and diversification effect do promote skill upgrading. Furthermore, there are significant differences in the influence of local agglomeration externalities across different regions, and the positive effect brought about by specialization externalities is usually dominant in undeveloped, inland or small cities, compared with the diversification in developed or coastal cities. Besides, manufacturing agglomerations exhibit positive externalities to skill upgrading mainly through specialization, while the service agglomerations mainly promote skill upgrading by means of diversification. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Economics, City Development and Future Social Challenges)
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Article
The Game of Developers and Planners: Ecosystem Services as a (Hidden) Regulation through Planning Delay Times
Sustainability 2020, 12(15), 5940; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12155940 - 23 Jul 2020
Viewed by 481
Abstract
Planning delay time is a ubiquitous but under-researched land use regulation method. The aim of this study is to link planning delay time with the loss of urban locally provided ecosystem services (ULPES) caused by land development. Our main hypothesis is that the [...] Read more.
Planning delay time is a ubiquitous but under-researched land use regulation method. The aim of this study is to link planning delay time with the loss of urban locally provided ecosystem services (ULPES) caused by land development. Our main hypothesis is that the planning delay is an informal tool that ensures social welfare in a given urban area increases even if land is developed and the ULPES associated with the undeveloped land are lost. Whereas the developer’s objective is to maximize his profits, the planner’s target is to achieve the greatest social welfare, as calculated by considering public interest based on the value of open space and the developer’s expected profits. Our results show that, when the ULPES provided by an undeveloped parcel are sufficiently high, planning delay times can be used to prevent the execution of low quality initiatives and to only permit projects that improve general welfare and justify the potential ULPES loss. Planning delay times are interpreted as the expression of continuous negotiation between the interests of the public and those of real-estate developers, regarding the value of ULPES. The implication of the study is that ULPES values are introduced using a simple game-theoretic model allowing interaction between developers and planning authorities. The main significance is an alternative explanation for planning delay times as a consequence of ongoing negotiations between developers and urban planners that represent the general public in the city. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Economics, City Development and Future Social Challenges)
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Article
Does Institutional Embeddedness Promote Regional Enterprises’ Migration? An Empirical Analysis Based on the “Double Transfer” Strategy in Guangdong, China
Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2908; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072908 - 06 Apr 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 606
Abstract
Against the background of globalization, institutional embeddedness has become an important theoretical tool to understand the changes in regional economic patterns. This paper starts by discussing the theory of location choice of enterprises and then uses the statistical method of negative binomial regression [...] Read more.
Against the background of globalization, institutional embeddedness has become an important theoretical tool to understand the changes in regional economic patterns. This paper starts by discussing the theory of location choice of enterprises and then uses the statistical method of negative binomial regression to analyze the impact factors of enterprises’ transfer from the perspective of institutional embeddedness by taking Guangdong Province, China, as a case study area. It was found that informal institutional factors such as the same language, the same industry, and geographical proximity have significant positive effects on the transfer of regional enterprises. Formal institutions such as counterpart assistance are the core driving force of enterprise transfer, while traditional economic factors such as cost comparative advantage have no significant impact on the transfer of regional enterprises. This research shows that the transfer of regional enterprises is greatly influenced by the current regional institutional environment. Therefore, it is important for future policy makers to consider the regional institutional environment and to deepen regional institutional embeddedness to advance urban and regional development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Economics, City Development and Future Social Challenges)
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Article
A Feasibility Analysis of The Refurbishment Investments in The Italian Residential Market
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2503; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062503 - 23 Mar 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 625
Abstract
In the present research the financial convenience of refurbishment investments concerning residential properties located in the Italian territory was analyzed. The study aimed at determining the unit profit range for a potential investor deriving from the refurbishment of residential properties and contextualizing the [...] Read more.
In the present research the financial convenience of refurbishment investments concerning residential properties located in the Italian territory was analyzed. The study aimed at determining the unit profit range for a potential investor deriving from the refurbishment of residential properties and contextualizing the analysis to the Italian provincial capitals. With reference to the three macro-areas that for geographic and socio-economic differences define the Italian territory, namely the North, Center, South and Islands, three financial convenience maps were elaborated with the aim of providing a useful support in the investment choices of private and public operators. In particular, the financial convenience maps could guide the private operators in their investment decisions through a higher awareness of the achievable earnings and could help to identify the optimal allocation of financial resources due to the increase in the market value of the refurbished property. For the public administrations, instead, the study will be a useful reference for the calibration of the fiscal policy decisions regarding the incentives for building refurbishment at the different territorial scales and of the tax revenues related to the increase in the market value of the refurbished properties. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Economics, City Development and Future Social Challenges)
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Article
What Factors Affect the Level of Green Urbanization in the Yellow River Basin in the Context of New-Type Urbanization?
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2488; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062488 - 22 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 797
Abstract
Promoting new-type urbanization with the concept of green development has become an inevitable requirement for high-quality development in the Yellow River Basin. Grasping the development trend and influencing factors of green urbanization level in the Yellow River Basin is of great significance for [...] Read more.
Promoting new-type urbanization with the concept of green development has become an inevitable requirement for high-quality development in the Yellow River Basin. Grasping the development trend and influencing factors of green urbanization level in the Yellow River Basin is of great significance for implementing the international conventions on environmental protection and participating in global environmental governance. This paper selects the green urbanization level panel data of nine provinces in the Yellow River Basin from 2006 to 2018. Then, principal component analysis and factor analysis are applied to measure and evaluate the green urbanization level of each province. Furthermore, this paper constructs a dynamic panel estimation model and uses differential generalized method of moments (DIF-GMM) model and system generalized method of moments (SYS-GMM) model to explore the influencing factors. The results show that the overall level of green urbanization in the Yellow River Basin has steadily and rapidly increased, and there are significant spatial differences. The green urbanization level of eastern provinces is significantly higher than that of central and western provinces. In addition, the overall level of green urbanization shows a convergence trend. From the perspective of influencing factors, the factors that have significant positive effects on the level of green urbanization include economic development level, technological innovation level, and urban size. Industrial structure, foreign direct investment (FDI), and education level counteract the level of green urbanization. However, environmental regulation strength and opening degree fail to pass the significance test. Therefore, it is necessary to promote and upgrade industrial transformation, improve the quality of opening up, and strengthen cooperation in technological innovation and environmental governance. There are requirements that the government control the urban size and population scientifically and implement the environmental access system strictly in order to improve the level of green urbanization in the Yellow River Basin. It is more possible to achieve harmonious economic and ecological environment development. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Economics, City Development and Future Social Challenges)
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Article
Spatial Pattern and Effects of Urban Coordinated Development in China’s Urbanization
by and
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2389; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062389 - 19 Mar 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 749
Abstract
Regional urbanization in China has made formidable progress in, among other things, economic growth and urban sprawl, but local development is undergoing severe stress with irreversible impacts for urban ecological environment. Furthermore, spatial interactions are proved to be related to urban coordinated development. [...] Read more.
Regional urbanization in China has made formidable progress in, among other things, economic growth and urban sprawl, but local development is undergoing severe stress with irreversible impacts for urban ecological environment. Furthermore, spatial interactions are proved to be related to urban coordinated development. However, this spatial effect cannot usually be found in the literature. Based on the concept of coordinated development, the interaction among the economic, social and ecological systems of cities at prefecture level and above in China can be modeled by a coupling coordination model, and then analyzed using spatial analysis methods and spatial econometrics models, which can explain the patterns in spatial variation and its evolutionary trends. The results show that urban coordinated development has an apparent spatial heterogeneity, and East China develops better than West China. Moreover, urban coordinated development has an increasing global trend, which mainly results from East China, while the other regions cannot provide a definite boost. Lastly, there is an evident spatial dependence in urban coordinated development, which is positively influenced by an area’s own previous condition and its neighboring cities. Furthermore, population size, local GDP and green land, etc. have spatial spillover effects on urban coordinated development in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Urban Economics, City Development and Future Social Challenges)
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