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Special Issue "Urban Planning for Sustainable Development of Cities in the Geospatial (Big) Data ERA"

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 January 2023 | Viewed by 5726

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Michele Grimaldi
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Salerno, 84084 Fisciano, Italy
Interests: urban planning; risk management; spatial decision support systems; spatial analysis; data analytics; GIS; geo crowdsourced data
Prof. Dr. Monica Sebillo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Deptartment Computer Science, University of Salerno, 84084 Fisciano, Italy
Interests: GIS; data science; spatial decision support systems; spatial analysis
Prof. Dr. Isidoro Fasolino
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Civil Engineering, University of Salerno, 84084 Fisciano, Italy
Interests: urban planning; spatial planning; risk management
Prof. Dr. Carmelina Bevilacqua
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Patrimonio, Architettura e Urbanistica, Università Mediterranea, 89124 Reggio Calabria RC, Italy
Interests: data science in the management of ecological and digital transition process technical change; urban and territorial complexity diffusion of innovation and societal challenges

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urbanization poses great challenges for humans as it determines enormous impacts, such as environmental pollution, noise pollution, heat island effects, habitat fragmentation, loss of ecosystem services, and pressures on urban security, protected heritage sites and, generally, on the landscape changes.

Although cities occupy only three percent of the world’s surface, indeed, they are responsible for three quarters of global resource consumption and 76% of greenhouse gas emissions (Creutzig, 2015).

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the UN Agenda 2030 sanction unequivocally the link between environmental changes and social inequalities, innovating deeply the real concept of sustainable development as defined in its first definition in 1987.

In this context, the following questions need to be answered: How is it possible to manage efficiently a city with a view to sustainable development? How can be citizens become involved in reflecting on their future? What can be the main requirements for organizing smart cities? (Laurini, 2020).

A new science based on big data, urban models and network theory is emerging, providing a different and new perspective for planners and decision makers so that they can deepen the knowledge of current and future cities (Betty, 2021).

As a consequence, the responsibilities of urban planning must be investigated with reference to the challenges launched by the SDGs, starting from Goal 11, “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”, and the awareness of the role that geospatial big data can play in the achievement of this goal. In fact, the growing accessibility of such data from direct and indirect sources (i.e., remote sensing, sensors/Internet of Things, geo crowdsourced data) produces a set of multilevel and multi-sectorial information available to the urban planner. This favours the integration of different disciplines in the study of urban phenomena but, nevertheless, generates uncertainty due to the data complexity and redundancy. Therefore, there is a need to extract knowledge intelligently from these geospatial big data in order to understand, predict and manage how cities and urban areas work, change and grow.

In order to understand how urban and regional planning can benefit from geospatial big data with the main aim to reach the SDGS objectives, this Special Issue is dedicated to the exploration of:

  • conceptual approaches and application experiences;
  • theoretical and methodological development;
  • techniques (i.e. machine-learning, data analytics, data visualization and data models for the representation of geospatial big data, Data-informed design and planning, urban modelling, E-participation;);
  • integrated application of BIM and GIS;
  • geographic knowledge bases;
  • scientifically grounded indicators.

References:

  1. Batty M. Planning the 21st Century City – Four Snapshots for a New Science, International Review for Spatial Planning and Sustainable Development. 2021, 9, 1–9. doi:10.14246/irspsd.9.1_1.
  2. Batty, M.; Marshall, S. Thinking Organic, Acting Civic: The Paradox of Planning for Cities in Evolution. Urban Plan 2017, 166, 4–14. doi:10.1016/j.landurbplan.2016.06.002.
  3. Creutzig, F.; Baiocchi, G.; Bierkandt, R.; Pichler, P.P.; Seto, K.C. A global typology of urban energy use and potentials for an urbanization mitigation wedge. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2015, 112, 6283–6288.
  4. Kharrazi, A.; Qin, H.; Zhang, Y. Urban Big Data and Sustainable Development Goals: Challenges and Opportunities. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1293.
  5. Kitchin, R. The Real-Time City? Big Data and Smart Urbanism. GeoJournal 2014, 79, 1–14.
  6. Laurini, R.; Servigne, S.; Favetta, F. Sobre la inteligencia territorial y las bases del conocimiento geográfico. Cuadernos De Administración 2020, 33. doi:10.11144/Javeriana.cao33.atigk.
  7. Laurini, R. Geographicknowledge infrastructure: Applications for territorial intelligence and smart cities. Elsevier & ISTE: London, UK, 2017.
  8. Sassen, S. How the Powerless Can “Hack” Global Cities. The Architect’s Newspaper, August 10 2017. Available online: https://www.archpaper.com/2017/08/saskia-sassen-hack-global-cities/.
  9. Shaw, M.; Howell, S. Governing Safer Cities: Strategies for a Globalised World. A Framework to Guide Urban Policy-Makers and Practitioners; United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime-UNODC, 2016. Available online: https://www.unodc.org/documents/justice-and-prison-reform/SaferCities.pdf (accessed 14 December 2020).
  10. Tong H, Kang J. Relationship between urban development patterns and noise complaints in England. Plan B Urban Anal. City Sci. 2020. doi:10.1177/2399808320930247.

Prof. Dr. Michele Grimaldi
Prof. Dr. Monica Sebillo
Prof. Dr. Isidoro Fasolino
Prof. Dr. Carmelina Bevilacqua
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. 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 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 planning
  • spatial planning
  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
  • smart cities
  • spatial decision support systems
  • ICT
  • Open Data
  • Big Data
  • IoT
  • IoE
  • BIM
  • data analytics

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Article
Territorializing and Monitoring of Sustainable Development Goals in Italy: An Overview
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 3056; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14053056 - 05 Mar 2022
Viewed by 455
Abstract
The 2030 Agenda defined 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) divided into 169 targets, applicable everywhere and based on the “No one left behind” principle. Goals and indicators to measure the achievement of the 2030 Agenda have to be localized. The paper presents the [...] Read more.
The 2030 Agenda defined 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) divided into 169 targets, applicable everywhere and based on the “No one left behind” principle. Goals and indicators to measure the achievement of the 2030 Agenda have to be localized. The paper presents the Italian current evolution of the territorialization of the SDGs, starting from the global level up to the local one, and wonders if the implementation of the 2030 Agenda takes concrete form with the quantitative monitoring of the SDGs at the local level (municipalities and not only capitals). A comparison among indicators proposed at different levels is set by using an ad hoc comparative reading grid. The analysis highlights that, in Italy, the principle barriers in the territorialization of the SDGs are the lack of data open sources, the proposal of new not adequately validated metrics by institutional/non-institutional subjects and the progressive loss of relationship with Global indicator framework and targets of the 2030 Agenda. The strategies needed to reach sustainable development are obviously site-specific, but we need to maintain common metrics in measuring performances in relation to the 2030 Agenda. In the Global indicator framework for the Sustainable Development Goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, it is possible to find indicators suitable to measure performances at the local level—albeit in a smaller numbers—but in Italy, there is no awareness about this. Italy is completely losing both the opportunity to compare the results of the effort performed by the Municipalities in a rigorous way and the possibility to use strong metrics to support decision-makers’ policies for the future. Full article
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Article
Spatializing Social Networking Analysis to Capture Local Innovation Flows towards Inclusive Transition
Sustainability 2022, 14(5), 3000; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14053000 - 04 Mar 2022
Viewed by 494
Abstract
The location of the local network of firms impacts, positively or negatively, their economic performance. The interactions between different sectors in a territory are still not easily observable. We test the complexity of the economic structure at a local level, given the availability [...] Read more.
The location of the local network of firms impacts, positively or negatively, their economic performance. The interactions between different sectors in a territory are still not easily observable. We test the complexity of the economic structure at a local level, given the availability of data at a very granular scale. This could greatly assist in observing sectors or/and locations that play a dominant role in the regional economy. Thus, in order to interpret the economic structure of a territory, we used cluster-based analysis. The analysis helps in evaluating the interconnections among sectors that constitute a cluster. A novel method of describing the territorial economic structure is presented by applying Social Network Analysis (SNA) within cluster-based analysis to characterize the importance of both location and economic interconnections. In this study, we focus on the industrial agglomerations in Calabria, Italy, to underpin the potential of the region’s industries by using social networking analysis metrics. This research put forward new interpretations of SNA metrics that describe regional economic compositions. Our findings reveal that territorial social networks are a potential instrument for understanding interactions in regional systems and economic clusters and might help in highlighting local industrial potentials. We believe that this study’s results could be considered as the initial steps for a pioneer data-driven place-based structural analysis model. Full article
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Article
Measuring Cluster-Based Spatial Access to Shopping Stores under Real-Time Travel Time
Sustainability 2022, 14(4), 2310; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14042310 - 17 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 361
Abstract
Shopping stores are an important part of retail facilities and indispensable public facilities in a city. They are not only concentrated in shopping malls, but also distributed independently throughout the city, and often agglomerated in space. This paper attempts to measure the rationality [...] Read more.
Shopping stores are an important part of retail facilities and indispensable public facilities in a city. They are not only concentrated in shopping malls, but also distributed independently throughout the city, and often agglomerated in space. This paper attempts to measure the rationality of the spatial layout of all shopping stores in the city. Residents will visit multiple shopping stores in one trip to meet their demands. Based on this characteristic, this paper studies shopping store clusters and proposes a cluster two-step floating catchment area (C-2SFCA) method to analyze the accessibility differences of shopping stores in urban areas. Using the case of Beijing within the Fifth Ring Road, this paper implements the C-2SFCA method in a study unit of traffic analysis zones (TAZ) considering three transport modes (car, public transport, walking) with the support of real-time travel time collected from an internet map. The results show that spatial accessibility differed greatly under different transport modes and also had an uneven distribution pattern. Among these three results, the spatial variation of public transport accessibility was the highest. The results can provide references for urban planners in facility configuration and decision-making. Full article
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Article
From Deinstitutionalization to Community-Based Urban Development: Investigating Accessibility of Urban Systems in Calabria through Network Analytics
Sustainability 2022, 14(3), 1348; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14031348 - 25 Jan 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 558
Abstract
Community-based urban development is an inclusive approach for local service provision and management centered on the proactive partnerships between urban communities and local governments. Rooted in the deinstitutionalization of public services, the European Union and national policy effort is pushing towards the organization [...] Read more.
Community-based urban development is an inclusive approach for local service provision and management centered on the proactive partnerships between urban communities and local governments. Rooted in the deinstitutionalization of public services, the European Union and national policy effort is pushing towards the organization of community-based alternatives in response to the evolving needs of local communities. As the pandemic has shown, service accessibility has proven to be a key concern element that needs to be addressed to increase communities’ and cities’ resilience. In this direction, the paper aims to propose data-driven alternative approaches to assess urban systems’ accessibility and connectivity as an element of leveraging the resilience-oriented planning process and facilitating community-based development. The methodological approach focuses on the case of the Calabria region, where community-based alternatives for the provision of public services found difficulties to be operationalized through an integrated planning approach. The case study is explored by experimenting on the spatial connections of two purposefully selected clusters to assess the accessibility and connectivity of urban systems within the region through network analysis visualization tools: health and social-related services and transportation and logistics. The analytical approach outlines the accessibility level of urban systems in the region examined, proving its relevance in detecting social, economic, and environmental dynamics. This approach shows how using non-traditional data-driven perspectives can detect development dynamics—which affect local community’s needs—and their limitations in the organization of community-based development alternatives. Full article
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Article
Voluntary Local Review Framework to Monitor and Evaluate the Progress towards Achieving Sustainable Development Goals at a City Level: Buraidah City, KSA and SDG11 as A Case Study
Sustainability 2021, 13(17), 9555; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13179555 - 25 Aug 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1121
Abstract
Around the world, cities are on the front lines of sustainable development. They are responsible for more than 70% of global carbon emissions. Many of these cities are experiencing dangerous levels of pollution, underemployment, and health disparities. Since 2015, 193 countries have endorsed [...] Read more.
Around the world, cities are on the front lines of sustainable development. They are responsible for more than 70% of global carbon emissions. Many of these cities are experiencing dangerous levels of pollution, underemployment, and health disparities. Since 2015, 193 countries have endorsed the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), intended to help address a wide range of challenges affecting cities and ultimately secure the resources for their next generations. All states are expected to present the national progress towards the SDGs through a Voluntary National Review (VNR). Despite the importance of the cities within this framework, only a handful of them worldwide have actively begun to review and assess progress towards these SDGs on a city scale. This paper seeks to develop a Voluntary Local Review (VLR) framework to assess and evaluate the progress of cities towards contributing to the SDGs. This framework has been developed by localizing the international and national frameworks to measure the performance of cities as they advance towards achieving the SDGs. Such a framework can serve as a tool for benchmarking progress on different aspects of sustainable development and help urban planners and policymakers prioritize policies and actions to improve urban quality of life. This framework is applied to monitor and evaluate the progress of the city of Buraidah in Saudi Arabia, as it strives towards achieving the targets of SDG11 (“Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”). Full article
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Article
Contribution of Earth Observation and Geospatial Information for Urban Planning of Historic Cities’ Centres: The Case Study of Nicosia, Cyprus
Sustainability 2021, 13(13), 7023; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13137023 - 22 Jun 2021
Viewed by 829
Abstract
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations state that cities and human settlements need to be more inclusive, safe and resilient. In Europe cities have experienced dramatic physical, social and economic changes during the last decades while historic centres of European [...] Read more.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations state that cities and human settlements need to be more inclusive, safe and resilient. In Europe cities have experienced dramatic physical, social and economic changes during the last decades while historic centres of European cities, among the most important assets of the European cultural heritage, are living paradoxes. They are defined as “a collection of beauty, icon of well-being, model of sustainability, but abandoned”. This study investigates the changes in the urban landscape of Nicosia, a particular historical centre in the Mediterranean region (Cyprus). The city centre is characterised by exceptionally well-preserved Venetian fortifications. Due to political circumstances, the capital of Cyprus, Nicosia, is still divided and has been ruled by two different administrations for several decades. This study used optical multi-spectral satellite datasets processing, like the Landsat and the most recent Sentinel-2 products, to detect, identify and characterise significant morphological transformations within the walled city and around it. This paper’s central thesis promotes a more systematic use of earth observation products and derivatives in decision-making processes that regard planning, use and management of urban resources in Europe, especially in support of urban planning strategies of historic cities. Full article
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Article
Geo-Crowdsourced Sound Level Data in Support of the Community Facilities Planning. A Methodological Proposal
Sustainability 2021, 13(10), 5486; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13105486 - 14 May 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 764
Abstract
To reduce environmental noise pollution and to safeguard people’s well-being, it is urgently necessary to move towards sustainable urban development and reconcile demographic and economic growth with the protection and restoration of the environment and the improvement of the quality of human lives. [...] Read more.
To reduce environmental noise pollution and to safeguard people’s well-being, it is urgently necessary to move towards sustainable urban development and reconcile demographic and economic growth with the protection and restoration of the environment and the improvement of the quality of human lives. This challenge should be a concern to policymakers, who must issue regulations and define the appropriate actions for noise monitoring and management, and citizens, who must be sensitive to the problem and act accordingly. Starting from an analysis of several crowdsourcing noise data collection tools, this paper focuses on the definition of a methodology for data analysis and mapping. The sound sensing system, indeed, enables mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, to become a low-cost data collection for monitoring environmental noise. For this study, the “NoiseCapture” application developed in France by CNRS and IFSTTAR has been utilized. The measurements acquired in 2018 and 2019 at the Fisciano Campus at the University of Salerno were integrated with the kernel density estimation. This is a spatial analysis technique that allows for the elaboration of sound level density maps, defined spatially and temporally. These maps, overlaid on a campus facilities map, can become tools to support the appropriate mitigation actions. Full article
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