Bold Headlines of Urban Eyescapes: A Computational Approach of Urban Mapping via Digital Surveying and Eye-Tracking Technologies

The sensory stimuli from the urban environment are often distinguished as subtle structures that derive from experiencing the city. The experience of the urban environment is also related to the social relationships and memories that complete the 'urban eyescapes' and the way individuals can recall them. Despite the fact that the consideration of urban sensory stimuli is part of urban design, currently the account of visual experience in urban studies is hard to be identified. This article explores ways of recording how the senses mediate one's engagement with the urban environment. This study involves an experiment in the urban environment of the Copenhagen city centre, with 20 subjects performing a walking task. The aim of the experiment is to categorize the visual 'Bold Headlined Stimuli’ (BHS) of the examined environment, using eye-tracking techniques. The analysis allows us to identify the Headlining Stimuli Process, (HSP) in the select urban environment. HSP is significantly mediated by body mobility and perceptual memories and has shown how urban stimuli influence the intelligibility and the recalling patterns of the urban characteristics. The results have yielded a 'Bold Headline list' of stimuli related to: the spatial characteristics of higher preference; the stimuli that are relevant to livability; and the spatial dimensions easier to recall. The data of BHS will be used in cross-disciplinary city analysis. In the future, these results could be useful in urban design, to provide information on how urban space affects the human activities.

Estimation of Exhaust and Non-Exhaust Particulate Matter Emissions’ Share from On-Road Vehicles in Addis Ababa City

Vehicular emission is the key source of air pollution in the urban environment. This includes both fine particles (PM2.5) and coarse particulate matters (PM10). However, particulate matter emissions from road traffic comprise emissions from exhaust tailpipe and emissions due to wear and tear of the vehicle part such as brake, tire and clutch and re-suspension of dust (non-exhaust emission). This study estimates the share of the two sources of pollutant particle emissions from on-roadside vehicles in the Addis Ababa municipality, Ethiopia. To calculate its share, two methods were applied; the exhaust-tailpipe emissions were calculated using the Europeans emission inventory Tier II method and Tier I for the non-exhaust emissions (like vehicle tire wear, brake, and road surface wear). The results show that of the total traffic-related particulate emissions in the city, 63% emitted from vehicle exhaust and the remaining 37% from non-exhaust sources. The annual roads transport exhaust emission shares around 2394 tons of particles from all vehicle categories. However, from the total yearly non-exhaust particulate matter emissions’ contribution, tire and brake wear shared around 65% and 35% emanated by road-surface wear. Furthermore, vehicle tire and brake wear were responsible for annual 584.8 tons of coarse particles (PM10) and 314.4 tons of fine particle matter (PM2.5) emissions in the city whereas surface wear emissions were responsible for around 313.7 tons of PM10 and 169.9 tons of PM2.5 pollutant emissions in the city. This suggests that non-exhaust sources might be as significant as exhaust sources and have a considerable contribution to the impact on air quality.

Coverage Probability Analysis of WiMAX Network under Additive White Gaussian Noise and Predicted Empirical Path Loss Model

This paper explores a detailed procedure of predicting a path loss (PL) model and its application in estimating the coverage probability in a WiMAX network. For this a hybrid approach is followed in predicting an empirical PL model of a 2.65 GHz WiMAX network deployed in a suburban environment. Data collection, statistical analysis, and regression analysis are the phases of operations incorporated in this approach and the importance of each of these phases has been discussed properly. The procedure of collecting data such as received signal strength indicator (RSSI) through experimental set up is demonstrated. From the collected data set, empirical PL and RSSI models are predicted with regression technique. Furthermore, with the aid of the predicted PL model, essential parameters such as PL exponent as well as the coverage probability of the network are evaluated. This research work may assist in the process of deployment and optimisation of any cellular network significantly.

Multi-Temporal Urban Land Cover Mapping Using Spectral Indices

Multi-temporal urban land cover mapping is of paramount importance for monitoring urban sprawl and managing the ecological environment. For diversified urban activities, it is challenging to map land covers in a complex urban environment. Spectral indices have proved to be effective for mapping urban land covers. To improve multi-temporal urban land cover classification and mapping, we evaluate the performance of three spectral indices, e.g. modified normalized difference bare-land index (MNDBI), tasseled cap water and vegetation index (TCWVI) and shadow index (ShDI). The MNDBI is developed to evaluate its performance of enhancing urban impervious areas by separating bare lands. A tasseled cap index, TCWVI is developed to evaluate its competence to detect vegetation and water simultaneously. The ShDI is developed to maximize the spectral difference between shadows of skyscrapers and water and enhance water detection. First, this paper presents a comparative analysis of three spectral indices using Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM), Thematic Mapper (TM) and Operational Land Imager (OLI) data. Second, optimized thresholds of the spectral indices are imputed to classify land covers, and finally, their performance of enhancing multi-temporal urban land cover mapping is assessed. The results indicate that the spectral indices are competent to enhance multi-temporal urban land cover mapping and achieves an overall classification accuracy of 93-96%.

Geostatistical Analysis of Contamination of Soils in an Urban Area in Ghana

Urbanization remains one of the unique predominant factors which is linked to the destruction of urban environment and its associated cases of soil contamination by heavy metals through the natural and anthropogenic activities. These activities are important sources of toxic heavy metals such as arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), and lead (Pb), nickel (Ni) and zinc (Zn). Often, these heavy metals lead to increased levels in some areas due to the impact of atmospheric deposition caused by their proximity to industrial plants or the indiscriminately burning of substances. Information gathered on potentially hazardous levels of these heavy metals in soils leads to establish serious health and urban agriculture implications. However, characterization of spatial variations of soil contamination by heavy metals in Ghana is limited. Kumasi is a Metropolitan city in Ghana, West Africa and is challenged with the recent spate of deteriorating soil quality due to rapid economic development and other human activities such as “Galamsey”, illegal mining operations within the metropolis. The paper seeks to use both univariate and multivariate geostatistical techniques to assess the spatial distribution of heavy metals in soils and the potential risk associated with ingestion of sources of soil contamination in the Metropolis. Geostatistical tools have the ability to detect changes in correlation structure and how a good knowledge of the study area can help to explain the different scales of variation detected. To achieve this task, point referenced data on heavy metals measured from topsoil samples in a previous study, were collected at various locations. Linear models of regionalisation and coregionalisation were fitted to all experimental semivariograms to describe the spatial dependence between the topsoil heavy metals at different spatial scales, which led to ordinary kriging and cokriging at unsampled locations and production of risk maps of soil contamination by these heavy metals. Results obtained from both the univariate and multivariate semivariogram models showed strong spatial dependence with range of autocorrelations ranging from 100 to 300 meters. The risk maps produced show strong spatial heterogeneity for almost all the soil heavy metals with extremely risk of contamination found close to areas with commercial and industrial activities. Hence, ongoing pollution interventions should be geared towards these highly risk areas for efficient management of soil contamination to avert further pollution in the metropolis.

Development and Range Testing of a LoRaWAN System in an Urban Environment

This paper describes the construction and operation of an experimental LoRaWAN network surrounding the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. Following successful installation, an experimental node design is built and characterised, with particular emphasis on radio range. Several configurations are investigated, including different data rates, and varying heights of node. It is concluded that although range can be great (over 8 km in this case), environmental topology is critical. However, shorter range implementations, up to about 2 km in an urban environment, are relatively insensitive although care is still needed. The example node and the relatively simple base station reported demonstrate that LoraWan can be a very low cost and practical solution to Internet of Things type applications for distributed monitoring systems with sensors spread over distances of several km.

Assessment of Urban Heat Island through Remote Sensing in Nagpur Urban Area Using Landsat 7 ETM+ Satellite Images

Urban Heat Island (UHI) is found more pronounced as a prominent urban environmental concern in developing cities. To study the UHI effect in the Indian context, the Nagpur urban area has been explored in this paper using Landsat 7 ETM+ satellite images through Remote Sensing and GIS techniques. This paper intends to study the effect of LU/LC pattern on daytime Land Surface Temperature (LST) variation, contributing UHI formation within the Nagpur Urban area. Supervised LU/LC area classification was carried to study urban Change detection using ENVI 5. Change detection has been studied by carrying Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) to understand the proportion of vegetative cover with respect to built-up ratio. Detection of spectral radiance from the thermal band of satellite images was processed to calibrate LST. Specific representative areas on the basis of urban built-up and vegetation classification were selected for observation of point LST. The entire Nagpur urban area shows that, as building density increases with decrease in vegetation cover, LST increases, thereby causing the UHI effect. UHI intensity has gradually increased by 0.7°C from 2000 to 2006; however, a drastic increase has been observed with difference of 1.8°C during the period 2006 to 2013. Within the Nagpur urban area, the UHI effect was formed due to increase in building density and decrease in vegetative cover.

Implementation of Geo-Crowdsourcing Mobile Applications in e-Government of V4 Countries: A State-of-the-Art Survey

In recent years, citizens have become an important source of geographic information and, therefore, geo-crowdsourcing, often known as volunteered geographic information, has provided an interesting alternative to traditional mapping practices which are becoming expensive, resource-intensive and unable to capture the dynamic nature of urban environments. In order to address a gap in research literature, this paper deals with a survey conducted to assess the current state of geo-crowdsourcing, a recent phenomenon popular with people who collect geographic information using their smartphones. This article points out that there is an increasing body of knowledge of geo-crowdsourcing mobile applications in the Visegrad countries marked by the ubiquitous Internet connection and the current massive proliferation of smartphones. This article shows how geo-crowdsourcing can be used as a complement, or in some cases a replacement, to traditionally generated sources of spatial data and information in public management. It discusses the new spaces of citizen participation constructed by these geo-crowdsourcing practices.

Urban Greenery in the Greatest Polish Cities: Analysis of Spatial Concentration

Cities offer important opportunities for economic development and for expanding access to basic services, including health care and education, for large numbers of people. Moreover, green areas (as an integral part of sustainable urban development) present a major opportunity for improving urban environments, quality of lives and livelihoods. This paper examines, using spatial concentration and spatial taxonomic measures, regional diversification of greenery in the cities of Poland. The analysis includes location quotients, Lorenz curve, Locational Gini Index, and the synthetic index of greenery and spatial statistics tools: (1) To verify the occurrence of strong concentration or dispersion of the phenomenon in time and space depending on the variable category, and, (2) To study if the level of greenery depends on the spatial autocorrelation. The data includes the greatest Polish cities, categories of the urban greenery (parks, lawns, street greenery, and green areas on housing estates, cemeteries, and forests) and the time span 2004-2015. According to the obtained estimations, most of cites in Poland are already taking measures to become greener. However, in the country there are still many barriers to well-balanced urban greenery development (e.g. uncontrolled urban sprawl, poor management as well as lack of spatial urban planning systems).

Sustaining the Social Memory in a Historic Neighborhood: The Case Study of Uch Dukkan Neighborhood in Ardabil City in Azerbaijani Region of Iran

Conservation of historical urban patterns in the traditional neighborhoods is a part of creating integrated urban environments that are socially more sustainable. Urbanization reflects on life conditions and social, physical, economical characteristics of the society. In this regard, historical zones and traditional regions are affected by dramatic interventions on these characteristics. This article focuses on the Uch Dukkan neighborhood located in Ardabil City in Azarbaijani region of Iran, which has been up to such interventions that leaded its transformation from the past to the present. After introducing a brief inventory of the main elements of the historical zone and the neighborhood; this study explores the changes and transformations in different periods; and their impacts on the quality of the environment and its social sustainability. The survey conducted in the neighborhood as part of this research study revealed that the Uch Dukkan neighborhood and the unique architectural heritage that it possesses have become more inactive physically and functionally in a decade. This condition requires an exploration and comparison of the present and the expected transformations of the meaning of social space from the most private unit to the urban scale. From this token, it is argued that an architectural point of view that is based on space order; use and meaning of space as a social and cultural image, should not be ignored. Based on the interplay between social sustainability, collective memory, and the urban environment, study aims to make the invisible portion of ignorance clear, that ends up with a weakness in defining the collective meaning of the neighborhood as a historic urban district. It reveals that the spatial possessions of the neighborhood are valuable not only for their historical and physical characteristics, but also for their social memory that is to be remembered and constructed further.

Accelerating the Uptake of Smart City Applications through Cloud Computing

Smart cities are high on the political agenda around the globe. However, planning smart cities and deploying applications dealing with the complex problems of the urban environment is a very challenging task that is difficult to be undertaken solely by the cities. We argue that the uptake of smart city strategies is facilitated, first, through the development of smart city application repositories allowing re-use of already developed and tested software, and, second, through cloud computing which disengages city authorities from any resource constraints, technical or financial, and has a higher impact and greater effect at the city level The combination of these two solutions allows city governments and municipalities to select and deploy a large number of applications dedicated to different city functions, which collectively could create a multiplier effect with a greater impact on the urban environment.

Study of Variation of Winds Behavior on Micro Urban Environment with Use of Fuzzy Logic for Wind Power Generation: Case Study in the Cities of Arraial do Cabo and São Pedro da Aldeia, State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

This work provides details on the wind speed behavior within cities of Arraial do Cabo and São Pedro da Aldeia located in the Lakes Region of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This region has one of the best potentials for wind power generation. In interurban layer, wind conditions are very complex and depend on physical geography, size and orientation of buildings and constructions around, population density, and land use. In the same context, the fundamental surface parameter that governs the production of flow turbulence in urban canyons is the surface roughness. Such factors can influence the potential for power generation from the wind within the cities. Moreover, the use of wind on a small scale is not fully utilized due to complexity of wind flow measurement inside the cities. It is difficult to accurately predict this type of resource. This study demonstrates how fuzzy logic can facilitate the assessment of the complexity of the wind potential inside the cities. It presents a decision support tool and its ability to deal with inaccurate information using linguistic variables created by the heuristic method. It relies on the already published studies about the variables that influence the wind speed in the urban environment. These variables were turned into the verbal expressions that are used in computer system, which facilitated the establishment of rules for fuzzy inference and integration with an application for smartphones used in the research. In the first part of the study, challenges of the sustainable development which are described are followed by incentive policies to the use of renewable energy in Brazil. The next chapter follows the study area characteristics and the concepts of fuzzy logic. Data were collected in field experiment by using qualitative and quantitative methods for assessment. As a result, a map of the various points is presented within the cities studied with its wind viability evaluated by a system of decision support using the method multivariate classification based on fuzzy logic.

Hybrid Living: Emerging Out of the Crises and Divisions

The paper will focus on the hybrid living typologies which are brought about due to the Global Crisis. Mixing of the generations and the groups of people, mingling the functions of living with working and socializing, merging the act of living in synergy with the urban realm and its constituent elements will be the springboard of proposing an essential sustainable housing approach and the respective urban development. The thematic will be based on methodologies developed both on the academic, educational environment including participation of students’ research and on the practical aspect of architecture including case studies executed by the author in the island of Cyprus. Both paths of the research will deal with the explorative understanding of the hybrid ways of living, testing the limits of its autonomy. The evolution of the living typologies into substantial hybrid entities, will deal with the understanding of new ways of living which include among others: re-introduction of natural phenomena, accommodation of the activity of work and services in the living realm, interchange of public and private, injections of communal events into the individual living territories. The issues and the binary questions raised by what is natural and artificial, what is private and what public, what is ephemeral and what permanent and all the in-between conditions are eloquently traced in the everyday life in the island. Additionally, given the situation of Cyprus with the eminent scar of the dividing ‘Green line’ and the waiting of the ‘ghost city’ of Famagusta to be resurrected, the conventional way of understanding the limits and the definitions of the properties is irreversibly shaken. The situation is further aggravated by the unprecedented phenomenon of the crisis on the island. All these observations set the premises of reexamining the urban development and the respective sustainable housing in a synergy where their characteristics start exchanging positions, merge into each other, contemporarily emerge and vanish, changing from permanent to ephemeral. This fluidity of conditions will attempt to render a future of the built- and unbuilt realm where the main focusing point will be redirected to the human and the social. Weather and social ritual scenographies together with ‘spontaneous urban landscapes’ of ‘momentary relationships’ will suggest a recipe for emerging urban environments and sustainable living. Thus, the paper will aim at opening a discourse on the future of the sustainable living merged in a sustainable urban development in relation to the imminent solution of the division of island, where the issue of property became the main obstacle to be overcome. At the same time, it will attempt to link this approach to the global need for a sustainable evolution of the urban and living realms.

The Planning and Development of Green Public Places in Urban South Africa: A Child-Friendly Approach

The impact that urban green spaces have on sustainability and quality of life is phenomenal. This is also true for the local South African environment. However, in reality green spaces in urban environments are decreasing due to growing populations, increasing urbanization and development pressure. This further impacts on the provision of child-friendly spaces, a concept that is already limited in local context. Child-friendly spaces are described as environments in which people (children) feel intimately connected to, influencing the physical, social, emotional, and ecological health of individuals and communities. The benefits of providing such spaces for the youth are well documented in literature. This research therefore aimed to investigate the concept of child-friendly spaces and its applicability to the South African planning context, in order to guide the planning of such spaces for future communities and use. Child-friendly spaces in the urban environment of the city of Durban, was used as local case study, along with two international case studies namely Mullerpier public playground in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and Kadidjiny Park in Melville, Australia. The aim was to determine how these spaces were planned and developed and to identify tools that were used to accomplish the goal of providing successful child-friendly green spaces within urban areas. The need and significance of planning for such spaces was portrayed within the international case studies. It is confirmed that minimal provision is made for green space planning within the South African context, when there is reflected on the international examples. As a result international examples and disciples of providing child-friendly green spaces should direct planning guidelines within local context. The research concluded that child-friendly green spaces have a positive impact on the urban environment and assist in a child’s development and interaction with the natural environment. Regrettably, the planning of these child-friendly spaces is not given priority within current spatial plans, despite the proven benefits of such.

A Global Perspective on Urban Environmental Problems in Developing Countries: The Case of Turkey

Cities play a vital role in the social fabric of countries and in national and regional economic growth worldwide; however, the environmental effects of such growth need to be assessed and managed better. The critical and most immediate problems faced by cities of developing countries are the health impacts of urban pollution that derive from inadequate water, sanitation, drainage and solid waste services, poor urban and industrial waste management, and air pollution. As globalization continues, earth's natural processes transform local problems into international issues. The aim of this study is to provide a broad overview of the pollution from urban wastes and emissions in Turkey which is a developing country. It is aimed to underline the significance of reorganizing the institutional tools in a worldwide perspective in order to generate coherent solutions to urban problems, and to enhance urban quality.

High-Rises and Urban Design: The Reasons for Unsuccessful Placemaking with Residential High-Rises in England

High-rises and placemaking is an understudied combination which receives more and more interest with the proliferation of this typology in many British cities. The reason for studying three major cities in England: London, Birmingham and Manchester, is to learn from the latest advances in urban design in well-developed and prominent urban environment. The analysis of several high-rise sites reveals the weaknesses in urban design of contemporary British cities and presents an opportunity to study from the implemented examples. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to analyze design approaches towards creating a sustainable and varied urban environment when high-rises are involved. The research questions raised by the study are: what is the quality of high-rises and their surroundings; what facilities and features are deployed in the research area; what is the role of the high-rise buildings in the placemaking process; what urban design principles are applicable in this context. The methodology utilizes observation of the researched area by structured questions, developed by the author to evaluate the outdoor qualities of the high-rise surroundings. In this context, the paper argues that the quality of the public realm around the high-rises is quite low, missing basic but vital elements such as plazas, public art, and seating, along with landscaping and pocket parks. There is lack of coherence, the rhythm of the streets is often disrupted, and even though the high-rises are very aesthetically appealing, they fail to create a sense of place on their own. The implications of the study are that future planning can take into consideration the critique in this article and provide more opportunities for urban design interventions around high-rise buildings in the British cities.

Inflating the Public: A Series of Urban Interventions

The Green Urban Lab took the form of public installations that were placed at various locations in four cities in Cyprus. These installations - through which a series of events, activities, workshops and research took place - were the main tools in regenerating a series of urban public spaces in Cyprus. The purpose of this project was to identify issues and opportunities related to public space and to offer guidelines on how design and participatory democracy improvements could strengthen civil society, while raising the quality of the urban public scene. Giant inflatable structures were injected in important urban fragments in order to accommodate series of events. The design and playful installation generated a wide community engagement. The fluid presence of the installations acted as a catalyst for social interaction. They were accessed and viewed effortlessly and surprisingly, creating opportunities to rediscover public spaces.

Energy Performance of Buildings Due to Downscaled Seasonal Models

The current paper presents an extensive bottom-up framework for assessing building sector-specific vulnerability to climate change: energy supply and demand. The research focuses on the application of downscaled seasonal models for estimating energy performance of buildings in Greece. The ARW-WRF model has been set-up and suitably parameterized to produce downscaled climatological fields for Greece, forced by the output of the CFSv2 model. The outer domain, D01/Europe, included 345 x 345 cells of horizontal resolution 20 x 20 km2 and the inner domain, D02/Greece, comprised 180 x 180 cells of 5 x 5 km2 horizontal resolution. The model run has been setup for a period with a forecast horizon of 6 months, storing outputs on a six hourly basis.

CFD Simulations to Study the Cooling Effects of Different Greening Modifications

The objective of this study is to conduct computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulations for evaluating the cooling efficacy from vegetation implanted in a public park in the Taipei, Taiwan. To probe the impacts of park renewal by means of adding three pavilions and supplementary green areas on urban microclimates, the simulated results have revealed that the park having a higher percentage of green coverage ratio (GCR) tended to experience a better cooling effect. These findings can be used to explore the effects of different greening modifications on urban environments for achieving an effective thermal comfort in urban public spaces.

High-Accuracy Satellite Image Analysis and Rapid DSM Extraction for Urban Environment Evaluations (Tripoli-Libya)

Modelling of the earth's surface and evaluation of urban environment, with 3D models, is an important research topic. New stereo capabilities of high resolution optical satellites images, such as the tri-stereo mode of Pleiades, combined with new image matching algorithms, are now available and can be applied in urban area analysis. In addition, photogrammetry software packages gained new, more efficient matching algorithms, such as SGM, as well as improved filters to deal with shadow areas, can achieve more dense and more precise results. This paper describes a comparison between 3D data extracted from tri-stereo and dual stereo satellite images, combined with pixel based matching and Wallis filter. The aim was to improve the accuracy of 3D models especially in urban areas, in order to assess if satellite images are appropriate for a rapid evaluation of urban environments. The results showed that 3D models achieved by Pleiades tri-stereo outperformed, both in terms of accuracy and detail, the result obtained from a Geo-eye pair. The assessment was made with reference digital surface models derived from high resolution aerial photography. This could mean that tri-stereo images can be successfully used for the proposed urban change analyses.