npj Urban Sustainability

Journal Information
EISSN : 2661-8001
Current Publisher: Springer Science and Business Media LLC (10.1038)
Total articles ≅ 24
Current Coverage

Latest articles in this journal

Mahendra Sethi,
npj Urban Sustainability, Volume 1, pp 1-5; doi:10.1038/s42949-021-00025-x

COVID-19 has magnified the deficiencies of how we manage our cities while giving us a unique chance to re-envision these, particularly in the global South. We argue that pandemic-resilient cities require rental-housing stocks and highly accessible urban environments, financed by land value capture.
, Greg Keeffe, Paul Caplat, Alan Simson
npj Urban Sustainability, Volume 1, pp 1-5; doi:10.1038/s42949-021-00021-1

Cities around the world are promoting tree-planting initiatives to mitigate climate change. The potential of such efforts to assist tree migration has often been overlooked. Due to the urban heat island effect, cities could provide suitable climates for the establishment of outlier populations, serving as propagule sources for poleward tree migration.
Marcin Pawel Jarzebski, Thomas Elmqvist, , Kensuke Fukushi, , , Julie Goodness, Sara Khoshkar, , Kazuhiko Takeuchi, et al.
npj Urban Sustainability, Volume 1, pp 1-11; doi:10.1038/s42949-021-00023-z

Population ageing and shrinking are demographic phenomena with far-reaching implications for sustainability in the current context of extensive and rapid urbanization. This Perspective rationalizes their interface by (a) identifying the challenges and opportunities that ageing and shrinking urban populations will have for implementing the sustainable development goals (SDGs), and (b) discussing some emerging interventions to capitalise on the opportunities and reduce the challenges to achieving sustainability. We argue that a diverse set of context-specific technological, socioeconomic, institutional and governance interventions would be needed to leverage effectively the opportunities and minimize the risks posed by ageing and shrinking urban populations for long-term sustainability.
Hao Wu, Paolo Avner, Genevieve Boisjoly, Carlos K. V. Braga, Ahmed El-Geneidy, Jie Huang, Tamara Kerzhner, Brendan Murphy, , , et al.
npj Urban Sustainability, Volume 1, pp 1-9; doi:10.1038/s42949-021-00020-2

Access (the ease of reaching valued destinations) is underpinned by land use and transport infrastructure. The importance of access in transport, sustainability, and urban economics is increasingly recognized. In particular, access provides a universal unit of measurement to examine cities for the efficiency of transport and land-use systems. This paper examines the relationship between population-weighted access and metropolitan population in global metropolitan areas (cities) using 30-min cumulative access to jobs for 4 different modes of transport; 117 cities from 16 countries and 6 continents are included. Sprawling development with the intensive road network in American cities produces modest automobile access relative to their sizes, but American cities lag behind globally in transit and walking access; Australian and Canadian cities have lower automobile access, but better transit access than American cities; combining compact development with an intensive network produces the highest access in Chinese and European cities for their sizes. Hence density and mobility co-produce better access. This paper finds access to jobs increases with populations sublinearly, so doubling the metropolitan population results in less than double access to jobs. The relationship between population and access characterizes regions, countries, and cities, and significant similarities exist between cities from the same country.
Ling Min Tan, , Danielle Densley Tingley, , Martin Mayfield
npj Urban Sustainability, Volume 1, pp 1-14; doi:10.1038/s42949-020-00009-3

Cities and their growing resource demands threaten global resource security. This study identifies the hotspots of imports in cities to redirect resources to where they are most needed, based on the system overall resource effectiveness to maximise the use of all resources available. This paper develops a taxonomy of resource-use behaviour based on the clustering patterns of resource utilisation and conversion across interconnected urban systems. We find high tendencies of consumer-like behaviour in a multi-city system because tertiary sectors are concentrated in urban areas while the producing sectors are located outside and hence, results in high utilisation but low output. The clustering taxonomy emphasises that the absence of producers in the system causes cities to rely on the imported resources for growth. Cities can be resource-effective by having a more diversified industrial structure to extend the pathways of resource flows, closing the circularity gap between the suppliers and consumers.
Kate Derickson, Mira Klein, Bonnie L. Keeler
npj Urban Sustainability, Volume 1, pp 1-4; doi:10.1038/s42949-021-00014-0

, , , , Henrik Carlsen, , Göran Finnveden, , Mark Howells, Nina Weitz, et al.
npj Urban Sustainability, Volume 1, pp 1-5; doi:10.1038/s42949-020-00002-w

Cities are vital for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), but different local strategies to advance on the same SDG may cause different ‘spillovers’ elsewhere. Research efforts that support governance of such spillovers are urgently needed to empower ambitious cities to ‘account globally’ when acting locally on SDG implementation strategies.
, , Carlos Cardenas-Iniguez, Luís M. A. Bettencourt, Yi Ding, Henry Hoffmann,
npj Urban Sustainability, Volume 1, pp 1-10; doi:10.1038/s42949-020-00005-7

Crime is a costly societal issue. While many factors influence urban crime, one less-studied but potentially important factor is neighborhood greenspace. Research has shown that greenspace is often negatively associated with crime. Measuring residents’ use of greenspace, as opposed to mere physical presence, is critical to understanding this association. Here, we used cell phone mobility data to quantify local street activity and park visits in Chicago and New York City. We found that both factors were negatively associated with crime, while controlling for socio-demographic factors. Each factor explained unique variance, suggesting multiple pathways for the influence of street activity and greenspace on crime. Physical tree canopy had a smaller association with crime, and was only a significant predictor in Chicago. These findings were further supported by exploratory directed acyclic graph modeling, which found separate direct paths for both park visits and street activity to crime.
Maryna Strokal, Zhaohai Bai, Wietse Franssen, Nynke Hofstra, Albert A. Koelmans, Fulco Ludwig, , , J. Emiel Spanier, , et al.
npj Urban Sustainability, Volume 1, pp 1-13; doi:10.1038/s42949-021-00026-w

Most of the global population will live in urban areas in the 21st century. We study impacts of urbanization on future river pollution taking a multi-pollutant approach. We quantify combined point-source inputs of nutrients, microplastics, a chemical (triclosan) and a pathogen (Cryptosporidium) to 10,226 rivers in 2010, 2050 and 2100, and show how pollutants are related. Our scenarios consider socio-economic developments and varying rates of urbanization and wastewater treatment. Today, river pollution in Europe, South-East Asia and North America is severe. In the future, around 80% of the global population is projected to live in sub-basins with multi-pollutant problems in our high urbanization scenarios. In Africa, future river pollution is projected to be 11–18 times higher than in 2010, making it difficult to meet Sustainable Development Goals. Avoiding future pollution is technically possible with advanced wastewater treatment in many regions. In Africa, however, clean water availability is projected to remain challenging. Our multi-pollutant approach could support effective water pollution assessment in urban areas.
Zhuoying Zhang, Minjun Shi, Kevin Z. Chen, Hong Yang,
npj Urban Sustainability, Volume 1, pp 1-10; doi:10.1038/s42949-020-00012-8

The formation of world-class megalopolises has been a goal of urban development agencies around the world owing to their economic advantages. On their bids of becoming a world-class megalopolis, water availability is a factor that requires consideration. China has set an ambitious goal of developing a world-class megalopolis in the water-scarce Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei (BTH) region. This study investigates the water challenge the BTH region faces and the effects of main water conservation measures in the region towards the goal. An inter-city input–output model was constructed for identifying the water gap in the region and analyzing the effectiveness of main water conservation measures under various scenarios. The results indicate a significant gap between the water required to achieve the goal of becoming a world-class megalopolis and the region’s available water resources. Although proposed water conservation measures of improving water use efficiency and reducing agricultural water use provide a modest improvement, the amount of water required for urban development still exceeds the availability. The study emphasizes the significance of agricultural water use reduction in Hebei through crop system replacement from water-intensive winter wheat to water-saving crops. The study also proposes an alternative option of adjusting the development plan through redefining the boundary of the BTH megalopolis by excluding part of cities in Hebei. The results of this study contribute to a better understanding of the effect of water scarcity on urban development and thus provide references for other water-scarce regions with ambitious urban development goals.
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