Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 12

Urban Environment Related Abstracts

12 Urban Dust Influence on the Foliar Surface and Biochemical Constituents of Selected Plants in the National Capital Region of Delhi, India

Authors: S. Singh, G. P. Gupta, B. Kumar, U. C. Kulshrestha


Very high loadings of atmospheric dust in the Indian region contribute to remarkably higher levels of particulate matter. During dry weather conditions which prevail most of the year, dustfall is deposited onto the foliar surfaces affecting their morphology, stomata and biochemical constituents. This study reports chemical characteristics of dustfall, its effect on foliar morphology and biochemical constituents of two medicinal plants i.e. Morus (Morus alba) and Arjun (Terminalia arjuna) in the urban environment of National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi at two sites i.e. Jawaharlal Nehru University (residential) and Sahibabad (industrial). Atmospheric dust was characterized for major anions (F-, Cl-, NO3-, SO4--) and cations (Na+, NH4+, K+, Mg++, Ca++) along with the biochemical parameters Chl a, Chl b, total chlorophyll, carotenoid, total soluble sugar, relative water content (RWC), pH, and ascorbic acid. The results showed that the concentrations of major ions in dustfall were higher at the industrial site as compared to the residential site due to the higher level of anthropogenic activities. Both the plant species grown at industrial site had significantly lower values of chlorophyll ‘a’, chlorophyll ‘b’, total chlorophyll, carotenoid but relatively higher values of total soluble sugar and ascorbic acid indicating stressful conditions due to industrial and vehicular emissions.

Keywords: Urban Environment, dustfall, biochemical constituents, atmospheric dust

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11 Quantitative Analysis of the Quality of Housing and Land Use in the Built-up area of Croatian Coastal City of Zadar

Authors: Silvija Šiljeg, Ante Šiljeg, Branko Cavrić


Housing is considered as a basic human need and important component of the quality of life (QoL) in urban areas worldwide. In contemporary housing studies, the concept of the quality of housing (QoH) is considered as a multi-dimensional and multi-disciplinary field. It emphasizes connection between various aspects of the QoL which could be measured by quantitative and qualitative indicators at different spatial levels (e.g. local, city, metropolitan, regional). The main goal of this paper is to examine the QoH and compare results of quantitative analysis with the clutter land use categories derived for selected local communities in Croatian Coastal City of Zadar. The qualitative housing analysis based on the four housing indicators (out of total 24 QoL indicators) has provided identification of the three Zadar’s local communities with the highest estimated QoH ranking. Furthermore, by using GIS overlay techniques, the QoH was merged with the urban environment analysis and introduction of spatial metrics based on the three categories: the element, class and environment as a whole. In terms of semantic-content analysis, the research has also generated a set of indexes suitable for evaluation of “housing state of affairs” and future decision making aiming at improvement of the QoH in selected local communities.

Keywords: Housing, Urban Environment, Quality, Class, GIS, Element, indicators, indexes

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10 Wavelet Based Residual Method of Detecting GSM Signal Strength Fading

Authors: Danladi Ali, Onah Festus Iloabuchi


In this paper, GSM signal strength was measured in order to detect the type of the signal fading phenomenon using one-dimensional multilevel wavelet residual method and neural network clustering to determine the average GSM signal strength received in the study area. The wavelet residual method predicted that the GSM signal experienced slow fading and attenuated with MSE of 3.875dB. The neural network clustering revealed that mostly -75dB, -85dB and -95dB were received. This means that the signal strength received in the study is a weak signal.

Keywords: Urban Environment, propagation, one-dimensional multilevel wavelets, path loss, GSM signal strength

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9 Improvement of Thermal Comfort Conditions in an Urban Space "Case Study: The Square of Independence, Setif, Algeria"

Authors: Ballout Amor, Yasmina Bouchahm, Lacheheb Dhia Eddine Zakaria


Several studies all around the world were conducted on the phenomenon of the urban heat island, and referring to the results obtained, one of the most important factors that influence this phenomenon is the mineralization of the cities which means the reducing of evaporative urban surfaces, replacing vegetation and wetlands with concrete and asphalt. The use of vegetation and water can change the urban environment and improve comfort, thus reduce the heat island. The trees act as a mask to the sun, wind, and sound, and also as a source of humidity which reduces air temperature and surrounding surfaces. Water also acts as a buffer to noise; it is also a source of moisture and regulates temperature not to mention the psychological effect on humans. Our main objective in this paper is to determine the impact of vegetation, ponds and fountains on the urban micro climate in general and on the thermal comfort of people along the Independence square in the Algerian city of Sétif, which is a semi-arid climate, in particularly. In order to reach this objective, a comparative study between different scenarios has been done; the use of the Envi-met program enabled us to model the urban environment of the Independence Square and to study the possibility of improving the conditions of comfort by adding an amount of vegetation and water ponds. After studying the results obtained (temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, PMV and PPD indicators), the efficiency of the additions we've made on the square was confirmed and this is what helped us to confirm our assumptions regarding the terms of comfort in the studied site, and in the end we are trying to develop recommendations and solutions which may contribute to improve the conditions for greater comfort in the Independence square.

Keywords: Simulation, Urban Environment, Vegetation, comfort in outer space, scenarisation, water ponds, public square

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8 Deriving Framework for Slum Rehabilitation through Environmental Perspective: Case of Mumbai

Authors: Ashwini Bhosale, Yogesh Patil


Urban areas are extremely complicated environmental settings, where health and well-being of an individual and population are governed by a large number of bio-physical, socio-economical, and inclusive aspects. Although poverty and slums are the prime issues under UN-HABITAT agenda of environmental sustainability, slums, the inevitable part of urban environment, have not accounted for inclusive city planning. Developing nations, where about 60 % of world slum population resides, are increasingly under pressure to uplift the urban poor, particularly slum dwellers. From a point of advantage, these new slum redevelopment projects have succeeded in providing legitimized and more permanent and stable shelter for the low income people, as well as individualized sanitation and water supply. However, they unfortunately follow the “one type fits all" approach and exhibit no response to the climatic design needs on Mumbai. The thesis focuses on the study of environmental perspectives in the context of Daylight, natural ventilation and social aspects in the design process of Slum-Rehabilitation schemes (SRS) – case of Mumbai. It attempts to investigate into Indian approaches about SRS and concludes upon strategies to be incorporated in SRS to improve the overall SRS environment. The main objectives of this work have been to identify and study the spatial configuration and possibilities of daylight and natural ventilation in Slum Rehabilitated buildings. The performance of the proposed method was evaluated by comparison with the daylight luminance simulated by lighting software, namely ECOTECT, and with measurements under real skies whereas for the ventilation study purpose, software named FLOW DESIGN was used.

Keywords: Urban Environment, daylight, slum-rehabilitation, natural-ventilation, architectural consequences

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7 Socio-Economic and Psychological Factors of Moscow Population Deviant Behavior: Sociological and Statistical Research

Authors: V. Bezverbny


The actuality of the project deals with stable growing of deviant behavior’ statistics among Moscow citizens. During the recent years the socioeconomic health, wealth and life expectation of Moscow residents is regularly growing up, but the limits of crime and drug addiction have grown up seriously. Another serious Moscow problem has been economical stratification of population. The cost of identical residential areas differs at 2.5 times. The project is aimed at complex research and the development of methodology for main factors and reasons evaluation of deviant behavior growing in Moscow. The main project objective is finding out the links between the urban environment quality and dynamics of citizens’ deviant behavior in regional and municipal aspect using the statistical research methods and GIS modeling. The conducted research allowed: 1) to evaluate the dynamics of deviant behavior in Moscow different administrative districts; 2) to describe the reasons of crime increasing, drugs addiction, alcoholism, suicides tendencies among the city population; 3) to develop the city districts classification based on the level of the crime rate; 4) to create the statistical database containing the main indicators of Moscow population deviant behavior in 2010-2015 including information regarding crime level, alcoholism, drug addiction, suicides; 5) to present statistical indicators that characterize the dynamics of Moscow population deviant behavior in condition of expanding the city territory; 6) to analyze the main sociological theories and factors of deviant behavior for concretization the deviation types; 7) to consider the main theoretical statements of the city sociology devoted to the reasons for deviant behavior in megalopolis conditions. To explore the level of deviant behavior’ factors differentiation, the questionnaire was worked out, and sociological survey involved more than 1000 people from different districts of the city was conducted. Sociological survey allowed to study the socio-economical and psychological factors of deviant behavior. It also included the Moscow residents’ open-ended answers regarding the most actual problems in their districts and reasons of wish to leave their place. The results of sociological survey lead to the conclusion that the main factors of deviant behavior in Moscow are high level of social inequality, large number of illegal migrants and bums, nearness of large transport hubs and stations on the territory, ineffective work of police, alcohol availability and drug accessibility, low level of psychological comfort for Moscow citizens, large number of building projects.

Keywords: Urban Environment, Social Stratification, deviant behavior, megapolis, Moscow

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6 Phenology and Size in the Social Sweat Bee, Halictus ligatus, in an Urban Environment

Authors: Rachel A. Brant, Grace E. Kenny, Paige A. Muñiz, Gerardo R. Camilo


The social sweat bee, Halictus ligatus, has been documented to alter its phenology as a response to changes in temporal dynamics of resources. Furthermore, H. ligatus exhibits polyethism in natural environments as a consequence of the variation in resources. Yet, we do not know if or how H. ligatus responds to these variations in urban environments. As urban environments become much more widespread, and human population is expected to reach nine billion by 2050, it is crucial to distinguish how resources are allocated by bees in cities. We hypothesize that in urban regions, where floral availability varies with human activity, H. ligatus will exhibit polyethism in order to match the extremely localized spatial variability of resources. We predict that in an urban setting, where resources vary both spatially and temporally, the phenology of H. ligatus will alter in response to these fluctuations. This study was conducted in Saint Louis, Missouri, at fifteen sites each varying in size and management type (community garden, urban farm, prairie restoration). Bees were collected by hand netting from 2013-2016. Results suggest that the largest individuals, mostly gynes, occurred in lower income neighborhood community gardens in May and August. We used a model averaging procedure, based on information theoretical methods, to determine a best model for predicting bee size. Our results suggest that month and locality within the city are the best predictors of bee size. Halictus ligatus was observed to comply with the predictions of polyethism from 2013 to 2015. However, in 2016 there was an almost complete absence of the smallest worker castes. This is a significant deviation from what is expected under polyethism. This could be attributed to shifts in planting decisions, shifts in plant-pollinator matches, or local climatic conditions. Further research is needed to determine if this divergence from polyethism is a new strategy for the social sweat bee as climate continues to alter or a response to human dominated landscapes.

Keywords: Urban Environment, phenology, polyethism, social sweat bee

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5 Effect of On-Road Vehicular Traffic on Noise Pollution in Bhubaneswar City, Eastern India

Authors: Naveed Ahmed, Dudam Bharath Kumar, Harsh Kumar


Vehicular traffic on the road-side plays a significant role in affecting the noise pollution in most of the cities over the world. To assess the correlation of the road-traffic on noise pollution in the city environment, continuous measurements were carried out in an entire daytime starting from 8:00 AM IST to 6:00 PM IST at a single point for each 5 minutes (8:00-8:05, 9:00-9:05, 10:00-10:05 AM, ...) near the KIIT University campus road. Noise levels were observed using a mobile operated app of android cell phone and a handheld noise meter. Calibration analysis shows high correlation about 0.89 for the study location for the day time period. Results show diurnal variability of atmospheric noise pollution levels go hand-in and with the vehicular number which pass through a point of observation. The range of noise pollution levels in the daytime period is observed as 55 to 75 dB(A). As a day starts, sudden upsurge of noise levels is observed from 65 to 71 dB(A) in the early morning, 64 dB(A) in late morning, regains the same quantity 68-71 dB(A) in the afternoon, and rises 70 dB(A) in the early evening. Vehicular number of the corresponding noise levels exhibits 115-120, 150-160, and 140-160, respectively. However, this preliminary study suggests the importance of vehicular traffic on noise pollution levels in the urban environment and further to study population exposed to noise levels. Innovative approaches help curb the noise pollution through modelling the traffic noise pollution spatially and temporally over the city environments.

Keywords: Urban Environment, Noise Pollution, vehicular traffic, noise meter

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4 Evaluating the Ability to Cycle in Cities Using Geographic Information Systems Tools: The Case Study of Greek Modern Cities

Authors: Christos Karolemeas, Avgi Vassi, Georgia Christodoulopoulou


Although the past decades, planning a cycle network became an inseparable part of all transportation plans, there is still a lot of room for improvement in the way planning is made, in order to create safe and direct cycling networks that gather the parameters that positively influence one's decision to cycle. The aim of this article is to study, evaluate and visualize the bikeability of cities. This term is often used as the 'the ability of a person to bike' but this study, however, adopts the term in the sense of bikeability as 'the ability of the urban landscape to be biked'. The methodology used included assessing cities' accessibility by cycling, based on international literature and corresponding walkability methods and the creation of a 'bikeability index'. Initially, a literature review was made to identify the factors that positively affect the use of bicycle infrastructure. Those factors were used in order to create the spatial index and quantitatively compare the city network. Finally, the bikeability index was applied in two case studies: two Greek municipalities that, although, they have similarities in terms of land uses, population density and traffic congestion, they are totally different in terms of geomorphology. The factors suggested by international literature were (a) safety, (b) directness, (c) comfort and (d) the quality of the urban environment. Those factors were quantified through the following parameters: slope, junction density, traffic density, traffic speed, natural environment, built environment, activities coverage, centrality and accessibility to public transport stations. Each road section was graded for the above-mentioned parameters, and the overall grade shows the level of bicycle accessibility (low, medium, high). Each parameter, as well as the overall accessibility levels, were analyzed and visualized through Geographic Information Systems. This paper presents the bikeability index, its' results, the problems that have arisen and the conclusions from its' implementation through Strengths-Weaknesses-Opportunities-Threats analysis. The purpose of this index is to make it easy for researchers, practitioners, politicians, and stakeholders to quantify, visualize and understand which parts of the urban fabric are suitable for cycling.

Keywords: Urban Environment, Accessibility, Cycling, Green spaces, Spatial Data

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3 Socio-Psychological Significance of Vandalism in the Urban Environment: Destruction, Modernization, Communication

Authors: Olga Kruzhkova, Irina Vorobyeva, Roman Porozov


Vandalism is a common phenomenon, but its definition is still not clearly defined. In the public sense, vandalism is the blatant cases of pogroms in cemeteries, destruction of public places (regardless of whether these actions are authorized), damage to significant objects of culture and history (monuments, religious buildings). From a legal point of view, only such an act can be called vandalism, which is aimed at 'desecrating buildings or other structures, damaging property on public transport or in other public places'. The key here is the notion of public property that is being damaged. In addition, the principal is the semantics of messages, expressed in a kind of sign system (drawing, inscription, symbol), which initially threatens public order, the calmness of citizens, public morality. Because of this, the legal qualification of vandalism doesn’t include a sufficiently wide layer of environmental destructions that are common in modern urban space (graffiti and other damage to private property, broken shop windows, damage to entrances and elevator cabins), which in ordinary consciousness are seen as obvious facts of vandalism. At the same time, the understanding of vandalism from the position of psychology implies an appeal to the question of the limits of the activity of the subject of vandalism and his motivational basis. Also recently, the discourse on the positive meaning of some forms of vandalism (graffiti, street-art, etc.) has been activated. But there is no discussion of the role and significance of vandalism in public and individual life, although, like any socio-cultural and socio-psychological phenomenon, vandalism is not groundless and meaningless. Our aim of the study was to identify and describe the functions of vandalism as a socio-cultural and socio-psychological phenomenon of the life of the urban community, as well as personal determinants of its manifestations. The study was conducted in the spatial environment of the Russian megalopolis (Ekaterinburg) by photographing visual results of vandal acts (6217 photos) with subsequent trace-assessment and image content analysis, as well as diagnostics of personal characteristics and motivational basis of vandal activity of possible subjects of vandalism among youth. The results of the study allowed to identify the functions of vandalism at the socio-environmental and individual-subjective levels. The socio-environmental functions of vandalism include the signaling function, the function of preparing of social changes, the constructing function, and the function of managing public moods. The demonstrative-protest function, the response function, the refund function, and the self-expression function are assigned to the individual-subjective functions of vandalism. A two-dimensional model of vandal functions has been formed, where functions are distributed in the spaces 'construction reconstruction', 'emotional regulation/moral regulation'. It is noted that any function of vandal activity at the individual level becomes a kind of marker of 'points of tension' at the social and environmental level. Acknowledgment: The research was supported financially by Russian Science Foundation, (Project No. 17-18-01278).

Keywords: Urban Environment, vandalism, destruction, vandal behavior, vandalism functions

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2 Difficulty and Complexity in Dealing with Visual Pollution in the Historical Cities: The Historical City of Ibb-Yemen as a Case Study

Authors: Abdulfattah A. Q .Alwah, Wen Li, Mohammed A. Q. Alwah, Duc Thien Tran, Bing Xi Liu


The historical cities in the third world suffer from many environmental problems; one of them is the spread of visual pollution manifestations. These phenomena increase with low levels of public awareness and low per capita income. The historical city of Ibb is suffering from a variety of visual pollution of the urban environment, so it has been chosen as a case study. This study aims to identify the difficulty and complexity of dealing with visual pollutions manifestations in the historical city of Ibb, and to provide appropriate solutions, which suit with the complex and contradictory circumstances. The study relies on an inductive approach to achieve its aims through two methods; the first is a visual survey of the visual pollution phenomenon based on images and researcher notes. The Second method is the analyses of the opinions and impressions of the city's residents and visitors through interviews, in addition to interviews with the officials in the competent authorities, and some specialists in the field of urban environment. Through the results of the field study and discussion of the interview results, this study presents an analysis of the phenomenon of visual distortion of the historical city of Ibb regarding the appearances and the reasons. Furthermore, this study provides appropriate solutions, which suitable with the complex and contradictory circumstances. These solutions take two paths: the first one is to stop the spread of visual distortions, and the second path is to address the current visual pollutions.

Keywords: Urban Environment, Complexity, Visual Pollution, difficulty, visual image, historical cities, the historical city of Ibb

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1 Deep-Learning Coupled with Pragmatic Categorization Method to Classify the Urban Environment of the Developing World

Authors: M. Ashraful Amin, Ryosuke Shibasaki, Amin Ahsan Ali, Qianwei Cheng, A. K. M. Mahbubur Rahman, Anis Sarker, Abu Bakar Siddik Nayem, Ovi Paul, Moinul Zaber


Thomas Friedman, in his famous book, argued that the world in this 21st century is flat and will continue to be flatter. This is attributed to rapid globalization and the interdependence of humanity that engendered tremendous in-flow of human migration towards the urban spaces. In order to keep the urban environment sustainable, policy makers need to plan based on extensive analysis of the urban environment. With the advent of high definition satellite images, high resolution data, computational methods such as deep neural network analysis, and hardware capable of high-speed analysis; urban planning is seeing a paradigm shift. Legacy data on urban environments are now being complemented with high-volume, high-frequency data. However, the first step of understanding urban space lies in useful categorization of the space that is usable for data collection, analysis, and visualization. In this paper, we propose a pragmatic categorization method that is readily usable for machine analysis and show applicability of the methodology on a developing world setting. Categorization to plan sustainable urban spaces should encompass the buildings and their surroundings. However, the state-of-the-art is mostly dominated by classification of building structures, building types, etc. and largely represents the developed world. Hence, these methods and models are not sufficient for developing countries such as Bangladesh, where the surrounding environment is crucial for the categorization. Moreover, these categorizations propose small-scale classifications, which give limited information, have poor scalability and are slow to compute in real time. Our proposed method is divided into two steps-categorization and automation. We categorize the urban area in terms of informal and formal spaces and take the surrounding environment into account. 50 km × 50 km Google Earth image of Dhaka, Bangladesh was visually annotated and categorized by an expert and consequently a map was drawn. The categorization is based broadly on two dimensions-the state of urbanization and the architectural form of urban environment. Consequently, the urban space is divided into four categories: 1) highly informal area; 2) moderately informal area; 3) moderately formal area; and 4) highly formal area. In total, sixteen sub-categories were identified. For semantic segmentation and automatic categorization, Google’s DeeplabV3+ model was used. The model uses Atrous convolution operation to analyze different layers of texture and shape. This allows us to enlarge the field of view of the filters to incorporate larger context. Image encompassing 70% of the urban space was used to train the model, and the remaining 30% was used for testing and validation. The model is able to segment with 75% accuracy and 60% Mean Intersection over Union (mIoU). In this paper, we propose a pragmatic categorization method that is readily applicable for automatic use in both developing and developed world context. The method can be augmented for real-time socio-economic comparative analysis among cities. It can be an essential tool for the policy makers to plan future sustainable urban spaces.

Keywords: Urban Environment, classification, Deep learning, Urban Building, semantic segmentation

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