Urban Science

Journal Information
EISSN : 24138851
Current Publisher: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 265
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Latest articles in this journal

Samar Almaaroufi, Kathrin Golda-Pongratz, Franco Jauregui-Fung, Sara Pereira, Natalia Pulido-Castro, Jeffrey Kenworthy
Published: 10 December 2019
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3040112

Abstract:Lima has become the first Peruvian megacity with more than 10 million people, resulting from the migration waves from the countryside throughout the 20th century, which have also contributed to the diverse ethnic background of today’s city. The paper analyzes two neighborhoods located in the inter-district area of Northern Lima: Pampa de Cueva and El Ermitaño as paradigmatic cases of the city’s expansion through non-formal settlements during the 1960s. They represent a relevant case study because of their complex urbanization process, the presence of pre-Hispanic heritage, their location in vulnerable hillside areas in the fringe with a protected natural landscape, and their potential for sustainable local economic development. The article traces back the consolidation process of these self-built neighborhoods or barriadas within the context of Northern Lima as a new centrality for the metropolitan area. The analysis of urban form and mobility, heritage and environmental challenges, governance, and social integration leads to a proposal for neighborhood upgrading, capacity building with participatory processes, and a vision for future local development to decentralize the traditional metropolitan centers, which can be scaled to other peripheral neighborhoods.
Kimihiro Sakagami, Fumiaki Satoh, Akira Omoto
Published: 9 December 2019
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3040111

Abstract:Geo-referenced sound data are often used in the field of acoustics education to learn about the urban acoustic environment. Simple soundwalks and sound collections are also employed, in which acquiring additional information such as visual data, recorded sound data, and GPS location data are helpful to produce a map with sound data and sound collection and to carry out more profound discussions in educational activities. In order to enrich these acoustic educational and environmental survey activities with a simple tool, the use of multifunctional sound-pressure level (SPL) measurement applications with mobile devices are proposed. Some experiences of combined activities of the above methods using the applications and mobile devices are reported in this paper. In this study, applications for SPL measurements, which record GPS location data, sound, photo, and video during measurements, were used to produce geo-referenced sound data. First, the accuracy of the applications was checked and we found them to have reasonable accuracy when used with iOS devices; for example, the averaged error was less than 1.5 dB(A) with iPhone XS. Next, they were actually used in a simple soundwalk-like field survey and the resulting geo-referenced sound data were presented to discuss the merits and demerits of each application. Overall, the applications used in this work were found to be useful; for example, recorded sound allowed us to check the main sound source and to carry out discussions using collected sound samples later, and photos and videos allowed us to grasp the impressions and situations around the measuring points. Therefore, these multifunctional sound level meter (SLM) applications can be effectively used for various purposes, including acoustics education for learning about urban acoustic environments.
Simo Häyrynen, Jussi Semi
Published: 8 December 2019
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3040110

Abstract:Finding a new destination for declining industrial communities is a common European trend, wherein local, national and EU interests are intertwined and sometimes contested. New meaning is sought, among other things, in economics, political activity, and images of the past. This article analyzes local development narratives in the case of the “northern periphery”. This paper highlights how the shrinking town of Kajaani, Finland, reacts to the state’s changing role in regional industrial strategies by comparing different local interpretations of future expectations. The research material comprises interviews, city strategies, and editorials from a local newspaper. This paper suggests that the previously dominant narrative of decentralization still holds sway in the minds of the local advocates. However, it is flavored by the narrative of the knowledge-based economy forming three interrelated local narratives: the narrative of the small town; the narrative of closure; and the narrative of traction. The analysis shows that a northern model city of former industrial policy is seeking to reform and develop its original strengths. However, strong links to previous doctrines of state regional policy still frame the potential of local interpretations and make them specifically Nordic development narratives.
Taslim Alade, Jurian Edelenbos, Alberto Gianoli
Published: 3 December 2019
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3040109

Abstract:A contextual approach to Light-Rail Transport (LRT) needs to be tailored towards specific contexts, in terms of situations or contingencies, such as socio-economic and environmental factors. This research intends to discuss the societal benefits comprised of well-informed contextual factors for policymakers and urban transport authorities, to enable them to be able to formulate objective policies for a city's socio-economic development. The aim of this article is to analyze the contextual factors in three cities which are responsible for the contextualization of infrastructural innovations of urban light-rail transport from China. The methodology that has been used is a qualitative method using multiple case studies, which includes a pilot and semi-structured interview. The analysis compares the similarities and differences within Nigeria, and between Nigeria and Ethiopia. The most perceptible contextual factors which influence infrastructural innovations in Nigeria include an electric energy supply, modernization of LRT and their stations, Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), and seamless integration of LRT with other transport modes. The most conspicuous factors in Ethiopia are emergency ticket shops, seamless integration of LRT with other transport modes, and Non-Motorized Transport (NMT). Nigeria and Ethiopia both share the seamless integration of LRT with other transport modes. Therefore, academically analyzing contextual factors helps to unravel the poly-contextualization and context-specific decision-making processes in LRT implementation.
Daniel L. Mendoza, Erik T. Crosman, Logan E. Mitchell, Alexander A. Jacques, Benjamin Fasoli, Andrew M. Park, John C. Lin, John D. Horel
Published: 1 December 2019
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3040108

Abstract:Observing air quality from sensors onboard light rail cars in Salt Lake County, Utah began as a pilot study in 2014 and has now evolved into a five-year, state-funded program. This metropolitan region suffers from both elevated ozone levels during summer and high PM2.5 events during winter. Pollution episodes result predominantly from local anthropogenic emissions but are also impacted by regional transport of dust, chemical precursors to ozone, and wildfire smoke, as well as being exacerbated by the topographical features surrounding the city. Two electric light-rail train cars from the Utah Transit Authority light-rail Transit Express (“TRAX”) system were outfitted with PM2.5 and ozone sensors to measure air quality at high spatial and temporal resolutions in this region. Pollutant concentration data underwent quality control procedures to determine whether the train motion affected the readings and how the sensors compared against regulatory sensors. Quality assurance results from data obtained over the past year show that TRAX Observation Project sensors are reliable, which corroborates earlier preliminary validation work. Three case studies from summer 2019 are presented to illustrate the strength of the finely-resolved air quality observations: 1) an elevated ozone event, 2) elevated particulate pollution resulting from 4th of July fireworks, and 3) elevated particle pollution during a winter time inversion event. The mobile observations were able to capture spatial gradients, as well as pollutant hotspots, during both of these episodes. Sensors have been recently added to a third light rail train car, which travels on a north–south oriented rail line, where air quality was unable to be monitored previously. The TRAX Observation Project is currently being used to provide reliable pollutant data for health studies and inform urban planning efforts. Links to real-time data displays and updated information on the quality-controlled data from this study are available at https://atmos.utah.edu/air_quality/trax/.
Franziska Görmar, Jörn Harfst
Published: 26 November 2019
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3040106

Abstract:In recent decades, manufacturing industries in Europe have undergone a deep transformation due to global market competition, automation, and adaptation to globalized production patterns. The impact of deindustrialization and regional restructuring has been particularly strong on regions outside of metropolitan areas, which may be locked in their specific development path and cannot benefit from agglomeration effects. However, scholars are increasingly shifting their attention to processes of regional renewal, emphasizing the strengths and potentials of such regions. Such potentials holds the concept of Industrial Culture which is defined as a particular cultural setting made up of certain intangible assets, such as skills, attitudes, traditions, tangible monuments, and artefacts. Based on the case study of the district of Zwickau, the authors identify three dimensions of Industrial Culture. These cultural, social, and economic aspects can be underscored by different—albeit often overlapping—actions, opening up new development options for the region if embedded in a broad network of regional actors. Industrial Culture can thus be perceived as a strategic concept to form a coherent approach of regional development by integrating various existing activities in a region.
Jing Jing, David Canter, Tigran Haas
Published: 26 November 2019
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3040107

Abstract:This study tests the viability of multiple sorting tasks (MST) as a method to explore perceptions of public space and its potential for people that are vulnerable to loneliness. The procedure integrates qualitative and quantitative aspects and obviates the challenge of people articulating how they interact with their surroundings, especially being aware of what features of their environment are influencing them. Two samples, each with six participants of varying ages and backgrounds, viewed 20 photographs of public spaces in Stockholm. They sorted these into categories based upon the activities they anticipated would occur there. Within each sample, a multidimensional scaling procedure was used to reveal the underlying structure across the combination of the six responses. The results showed coherent structures with interesting variations between people. A set of general multi-purpose places are identified, with others being differentiated in terms of whether they were ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ and ‘open’ or ‘enclosed’. The study also found that people conceptualized public space differently when loneliness was the focus during the sorting process. An assemblage of public spaces relevant for loneliness is also illustrated. This demonstrates the utility of the MST and provides theoretical and practical implications for urban planning and design that addresses loneliness.
Joan Perez, Alessandro Araldi, Giovanni Fusco, Fuse, Takashi Fuse
Published: 21 November 2019
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3040105

Abstract:: The Japanese city presents a certain number of peculiarities in the organization of its physical space (weak zoning regulations, fast piecemeal destruction/reconstruction of buildings and blocks, high compacity, incremental reorganization). Compared to countries where urban fabrics are more perennial and easily distinguishable (old centers, modern planned projects, residential areas, etc.), in Japanese metropolitan areas we often observe higher heterogeneity and more complex spatial patterns. Even within such a model, it should be possible to recognize the internal organization of the physical city. The aim of this paper is thus to study the spatial structure of the contemporary Japanese city, generalizing on the case study of Osaka and Kobe. In order to achieve this goal, we will need to identify urban forms at different local scales (building types, urban fabrics) and to analyze them at a wider scale to delineate morphological regions and their structuring of the overall layout of the contemporary Japanese city. Several analytical protocols are used together with field observations and literature. The results, and more particularly the building and urban fabrics types and their location within the Osaka-Kobe metropolitan area, are interpreted in the light of Japanese history and model of urbanization. A synoptic graphical model of an urban morphological structure based upon Osaka is produced and proposed as an interpretative pattern for the Japanese metropolitan city in general.
Andrew MacKenzie, Philip Gibbons
Published: 22 October 2019
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3040103

Abstract:This paper investigates how institutions in urban settings potentially identify, frame, and operationalise biodiversity conservation policies. It adopts the Institutional Analysis and Development Framework (IAD) to analyse a case study regarding the retention of ecologically mature trees in urban green space in Canberra, Australia. The research investigates; what are the structural and institutional arrangements that catalyze or inhibit biodiversity conservation in urban green space? Specifically, the IAD framework is applied to explore the institutional structures and the role of key decision-makers in the conservation and management of ecologically mature trees in urban green space. Ecologically mature trees represent an exclusive habitat for many species and are key structures for conserving biodiversity in urban settings. The results suggest the application of the IAD ‘rules-in-use’ analysis reveals that ecologically mature trees are inconsistently managed in Canberra, leading to conflicting approaches between institutions in managing urban biodiversity. It suggests that a more structured and replicable institutional analysis will help practitioners to empirically derive a more comprehensive understanding of the roles of institutions in supporting or inhibiting biodiversity conservation in urban settings. The research finds that developers, asset managers, and other stakeholders could benefit from explicitly mapping out the defined rules, norms and strategies required to negotiate economically, socially and environmentally achievable outcomes for biodiversity conservation in urban green space.
Chan, Lee, Puthearath Chan, Myeong-Hun Lee
Published: 22 October 2019
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3040104

Abstract:This research is based on our previous research that developed consensus sustainable city indicators for Cambodia through three-round Delphi panel surveys. That research developed indicators in the first round based on UN sustainable development goal 11, ASEAN environmentally sustainable city, Korean case study, and domestic green and clean city indicators, and validated the developed indicators in the last two rounds. After consensus analysis, that research obtained 32 assessment indicators categorized by nine criteria. However, these indicators are not prioritized yet due to the limitation of the Delphi technique. Hence, this research aims to prioritize these indicators by applying the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) technique and to confirm whether the levels of importance verified by Delphi can be used for prioritizing or ranking the indicators. This research surveyed potential respondents experienced and working in relevant fields both offline and online. Online surveys were processed through E-mail, Facebook, and LinkedIn. A total of 118 questionnaires were gathered from the surveys, and 16 were inconsistent (consistency ratio > 0.1). The results showed that the highest and lowest weights are 0.0557 and 0.086. The top ten indicators are slum population (0.0557), unemployment (0.0516), crime prevention (0.0470), water supply (0.0469), city’s migration (0.0462), low-income housing (0.0445), solid waste collection (0.0437), labor-force (0.0421), construction safety (0.0400), and traffic congestion (0.0398). The rank of all indicators based on their levels of importance is completely different from the rank of their weights. Therefore, this research confirms that the levels of importance verified by Delphi cannot be used for ranking or prioritizing the consensus indicators. The priority weights in this research would be useful to policymaking, strategic direction, and budget allocation for the development and management of sustainable cities in Cambodia.