Urban Science

Journal Information
EISSN : 24138851
Current Publisher: MDPI (10.3390)
Total articles ≅ 244
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DOAJ
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Ahmed Ahmouda, Hartwig Hochmair, Sreten Cvetojevic
Published: 3 August 2019
by MDPI
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3030087

Abstract:Understanding human mobility patterns becomes essential in crisis management and response. This study analyzes the effect of two hurricanes in the United States on human mobility patterns, more specifically on trip distance (displacement), radius of gyration, and mean square displacement, using Twitter data. The study examines three geographical regions which include urbanized areas (Houston, Texas; Miami-Dade County, Florida) and both rural and urbanized areas (North and South Carolina) affected by hurricanes Matthew (2016) and Harvey (2017). Comparison of movement patterns before, during, and after each hurricane shows that displacement and activity space decreased during the events in the regions. Part of this decline can be potentially tied to observed lower tweet numbers around supply facilities during hurricanes, when many of them are closed, as well as to numerous flooded and blocked roads reported in the affected regions. Furthermore, it is shown that displacement patterns can be modeled through a truncated power-law before, during, and after the analyzed hurricanes, which demonstrates the resilience of human mobility behavior in this regard. Analysis of hashtag use in the three study areas indicates that Twitter contributors post about the events primarily during the hurricane landfall and to some extent also during hurricane preparation. This increase in hurricane-related Twitter topics and decrease in activity space provides a tie between changed travel behavior in affected areas and user perception of hurricanes in the Twitter community. Overall, this study adds to the body of knowledge that connects human mobility to natural crises at the local level. It suggests that governmental and rescue operations need to respond to and be prepared for reduced mobility of residents in affected regions during natural crisis events.
Jennifer Atchison
Published: 31 July 2019
by MDPI
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3030086

Abstract:Darwin’s mangrove ecosystems, some of the most extensive and biodiverse in the world, are part of the urban fabric in the tropical north of Australia but they are also clearly at risk from the current scale and pace of development. Climate motivated market-based responses, the so-called ‘new-carbon economies’, are one prominent approach to thinking differently about the value of living infrastructure and how it might provide for and improve liveability. In the Australian context, there are recent efforts to promote mangrove ecosystems as blue infrastructure, specifically as blue carbon, but also little recognition or valuation of them as green or urban infrastructure. Drawing on observational and qualitative analysis of semi-structured interviews, this study examines how key stakeholders in Darwin frame and understand mangroves in relation to the urban, and how they are anticipating and responding to governance efforts to frame mangroves and pay for their carbon sequestration and storage services as blue carbon. The push for large infrastructure development and an expanding urban footprint, present serious challenges for mangrove protection, and the study evidences both denial and complacency in this regard. However, although the concept of blue carbon is already taking effect in some circles, it was not viewed as straightforward or as appropriate by all study participants and may very well work in practice to exclude groups within the community. Both clear governance problems, as well as unrecognized and vernacular community connections to mangroves in Darwin, indicate that there are ongoing conceptual and empirical challenges to be considered in recognizing and valuing mangroves as part of urban life.
Dan Trepal, Don LaFreniere
Published: 30 July 2019
by MDPI
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3030083

Abstract:We combine the Historical Spatial Data Infrastructure (HSDI) concept developed within spatial history with elements of archaeological predictive modeling to demonstrate a novel GIS-based landscape model for identifying the persistence of historically-generated industrial hazards in postindustrial cities. This historical big data approach draws on over a century of both historical and modern spatial big data to project the presence of specific persistent historical hazards across a city. This research improves on previous attempts to understand the origins and persistence of historical pollution hazards, and our final model augments traditional archaeological approaches to site prospection and analysis. This study also demonstrates how models based on the historical record, such as the HSDI, complement existing approaches to identifying postindustrial sites that require remediation. Our approach links the work of archaeologists more closely to other researchers and to municipal decision makers, permitting closer cooperation between those involved in archaeology, heritage, urban redevelopment, and environmental sustainability activities in postindustrial cities.
Shorouk Omar Elshiwihy, Hassam Nasarullah Chaudhry
Published: 30 July 2019
by MDPI
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3030085

Abstract:Shading techniques constitute one of the most passive, beneficial strategies for reducing energy consumption in urban dwellings. Shading affects many factors, for example, the solar gains and radiations falling on the façade, which are considered the most significant in increasing the cooling energy demand in hot climates. This paper conducts a parametric study on external and internal shading devices and establishes their impact on energy consumption, daylight levels, and ventilation. The work was conducted using Integrated Environmental Simulation Virtual Environment (IES-VE) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) numerical methods. The results revealed that optimised shading can influence savings in terms of energy and cooling, in addition to the enhancement of daylighting and reduction of glare. After studying all these factors associated with the different shading techniques investigated, the findings revealed that all shades affect the energy, daylight and ventilation parameters positively. However, despite all external and internal shadings showing improvements, the egg crate shade was determined as that which provided the optimum energy saving, while enhancing daylight and improving natural ventilation for a sustainable building design.
Ioanna Skoufali, Alessandra Battisti
Published: 30 July 2019
by MDPI
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3030084

Abstract:The present study is based on the assumption that the urban heat island (UHI) mitigation appears compelling and urgent in dense cities. To the above thematic area, recent redevelopmental interventions of open space for the microclimatic improvement and thermal comfort have been made through national and international programs at neighborhood scale (local area). One of these recovery processes is the case study of Pavlou Mela in the Greek context, which in the present discussion, focuses on the microspecific investigation through quantitative analysis of the eleven points distributed in the area of the intervention, extrapolating comparative considerations of different configurative factors post-operam. The results of this analysis tend: (i) To identify the degree of accuracy of the two most applied software packages in the scientific community (ENVImet Pro and Rayman Pro) through microclimatic parameters, namely air temperature (Ta) and surface temperature (Ts) comparing them with in-situ measurements; (ii) to evaluate the thermal sensation of man correlated with the mean radiant temperature (Tmrt) by verifying the actual improvement of thermal comfort outdoor with the index, physiologically equivalent temperature (PET).
Sheila Convery, Brendan Williams
Published: 29 July 2019
by MDPI
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3030082

Abstract:Despite rapid changes in vehicle technology and the expansion of IT-based mobility solutions, travel habits must be changed to address the environmental and health implications of increasing car dependency. A significant amount of research focuses on commuting, which comprises the largest share of annual vehicle miles travelled. However, non-work trips are also significant, especially when considering trip frequency. Using empirical data (N = 1298) from an urban-rural region and bivariate statistical analysis, the relationship between the land use–transport configuration (6 types) and travel behaviour patterns is examined for 14 non-work destinations. The land use characterisation used in this research includes an updated means of representing a land use mix. By defining the typologies of land use and transport for use in the analysis, the findings can be directed towards contrasting area types in the region. A strong statistically significant association between the land use–transport configuration and mode-share for 14 non-work journey purposes is found. Using regression modelling, income and car ownership are identified as key influences on travel behaviour patterns. The results of both analyses show that, for non-work trips, the transport–land use relationship is as important as key socio-demographic indicators. However, the results for reductions in car travel are relatively small for the area typologies outside the inner-city core. This indicates that efforts to provide alternatives to car travel in order to mitigate car dependency should be prioritised in these outer urban areas. Appropriate management of spatial structure for non-work activity types such that active mode use is possible is essential. This will resolve some of the important environmental and health impacts of car dependency.
Stella Sofia Kyvelou, Anestis Gourgiotis
Published: 27 July 2019
by MDPI
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3030081

Abstract:The research paper investigates the diverse understandings of “landscape”, along with demonstrating the modes of contribution of the European Landscape Convention (ELC) of the Council of Europe (CE) in influencing national spatial planning systems. The paper, interested in considering the efficiency of landscape policy from a territorial perspective, briefly outlines the perception and understanding of landscape as connecting link of nature and culture and conducts a literature review with the aim to support the prospect of a «European model of landscape planning». Lastly, it critically examines the approach to landscape planning and management by the Greek state, revealing the catalytic role of the Council of Europe (CE) in activating the dimension of landscape in Greece, in a mutualistic perspective between environmental policy and spatial planning, mainly through strategic spatial planning tools (i.e., the Regional Spatial Plans, RSPs). The results point out that (a) the ELC gave new impetus to spatial planning in Greece, providing the tool to manage and coordinate landscape policy, positively influencing the evolving spatial planning paradigm; (b) the decentralized approach adopted, identified landscapes of particular value at a regional level, so as to be given priority in terms of the implementation of coordinated governance arrangements and management actions. However, the implementation of landscape policy continues to rely on the underlying spatial planning level (Local Spatial Plans, Special Spatial Plans) and a general conclusion is that both on land and on sea, it depends on the incorporation of evolutionary trends in planning including an evolutionary perspective for landscape itself, viewed as a complex social-ecological system.
Liu, Yi-De Liu
Published: 26 July 2019
by MDPI
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3030079

Abstract:Cultural legacy is a relatively neglected theme in event and sustainability studies, compared to economic or physical legacies with solid evidence. This article focuses on the experience of Liverpool as the 2008 European Capital of Culture. An evaluation ten years on can provide the basis for research on the long-term cultural legacy of a major event, as well as how to achieve sustainability through legacy planning. Five dimensions of cultural legacy are explored, including: Cultural agency and strategies, cultural network, cultural provision, cultural engagement, and cultural image. The results of the study show that the spill-over effect of culture can be achieved through thorough legacy planning. The most important lesson learned from Liverpool is to integrate the event into the city's long-term and culture-led development, which yields a healthy and productive cultural climate.
Grigoris Argeros
Published: 26 July 2019
by MDPI
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3030080

Abstract:This study investigates black ethnic immigrant group differences in residential outcomes between developing and mature suburbs. It evaluates the extent to which foreign-born black ethnic groups’ socioeconomic status (SES) and acculturation characteristics agree with the outlines of the spatial assimilation model. Binomial logistic regression models are calculated, using data from the 2012–2016 IPUMS ACS, to examine the impact of place of birth/nativity status, SES, acculturation, family/household characteristics, and region on residence in developing versus mature suburbs within U.S. metropolitan areas. The results reveal mixed results for the expectations of the spatial assimilation model. On the one hand, and in agreement with the spatial assimilation model, residence in mature and developing suburbs is a function of increments in household income and educational levels. On the other hand, the multivariate results reveal suburban type residential outcomes that vary by place of birth and nativity status. The effects of acculturation also reveal findings that diverge from the expectations of the spatial assimilation model.
Willem R. J. Vermeulen, Debraj Roy, Rick Quax
Published: 26 July 2019
by MDPI
Urban Science, Volume 3; doi:10.3390/urbansci3030078

Abstract:Human migration involves the relocation of individuals, households or moving groups between geographical locations. Aggregate spatial patterns of movement reflect complex interactions among motivations (such as distance, identity, economic opportunities, etc.) that influence migration behaviour and determine destination choice. Gravity models and radiation models are often used to study different types of migration at various spatial scales. In this paper, we propose that human migration models can be improved by embedding regional identities into the model. We modify the existing human migration gravity model by adding an identity parameter based on three different sets of Dutch identity regions. Through analysis of the Dutch internal migration data between 1996 and 2016, we show that adding the identity parameter has a significant effect on the distance distribution. We find that individuals are more likely to move towards municipalities located within the same identity region. We test the impact of regional identity by comparing randomly spatially clustered and optimised identity regions to show that the effects we attribute to regional identity could not be attributed due to chance. Finally, our finding shows that cultural identity should be taken into account and has broad implications on the practice of modelling human migration patterns at large. We find that people living in Dutch municipalities are 3.89 times as likely to move to a municipality when it is located within the same historic identity region. Including these identity regions in the migration model decreases the deviation of the model by 10.7%.