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Evolution and Transition

Abstract

Researchers within the built environment disciplines have increasingly drawn on a plurality of social methods in order to enrich their research. Three decades down the line the place of philosophy in the choice of appropriate research methods is yet to be appreciated by some built environment researchers. Consequently, a lack of adventure in interpretive research, wrong choice of methods and underrepresentation of the qualitative approach are reported, which suggests the existence of a knowledge gap. This study is aimed at illustrating the philosophical premise for employing social research methods to address socio-technical issues in built environment research. In achieving this, reference was made to a fire incident in a student dormitory in Nigeria as a problem upon which contrasting–subjectivist and objectivist–philosophical positions were examined. The consideration of these philosophical positions and the choices that resulted from both spectrums were seen to have their strengths and weaknesses. To offset the weaknesses in each approach while also leveraging on the strengths that each approach offers, the paper illustrated how a compromise–pragmatist–position can be reached to allow for the choice of, and mixing of multi-methods to solve research problems that could not be adequately solved using any single method.

Abstract

The growth of the tourism and hospitality industry played an important role in the gentrification of the post-socialist city of Budapest. Although disinvestment was present, reinvestment was moderate for decades after 1989. Privatisation of individual tenancies and the consequent fragmented ownership structure of heritage buildings made refurbishment and reinvestment less profitable. Because of local contextual factors and global changes in consumption habits, the function of the dilapidated 19th century housing stock transformed in the 2000s, and the residential neighbourhood which was the subject of the research turned into the so called ‘party district’. The process was followed in our ongoing field research. The functional change made possible speculative investment in inner city housing and played a major role in the commodification of the disinvested housing stock.

Abstract

The main aim of the article is to investigate the spatial structure of international research on post-socialist cities. The analysis is based on data derived from the Scopus database (2001–2018) and includes issues such as the publication dynamics, structure of authors (with regard to cities and countries), main publishing ‘channels’, as well as networks in ‘producing’ knowledge on post-socialist cities. The analyses conducted primarily lead to a general conclusion about the high spatial concentration of these studies in the scientific centres of Central and Eastern Europe. On a more detailed dimension, however, analyses show a significant diversity in both the publication channels used by researchers and the co-citation networks. On this basis, a conclusion is made about the occurrence of the problem of introversions in research on post-socialist cities on an international scale, which is a broader concept than the Anglo-American dominance discussed for at least two decades.

Abstract

The number of urban mobility studies and projects in the three large metropoles of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Tehran, Istanbul, and Cairo, is growing while other large cities do not enjoy a large share. It would be efficient for those other large cities to adapt the experiences, projects, and studies of Tehran, Istanbul, and Cairo to their own contexts. This paper can help facilitate that adaptation. It investigates the transferability and generalisability of the findings of a recent publication by the lead author on mobility choices in Tehran, Istanbul, and Cairo to some other large cities of more than one million inhabitants in the MENA region. The discussion provided here can provide decision-makers in the MENA region with guidance on how to utilise the findings from a recent study on Tehran/Istanbul/Cairo in their own contexts. T-tests were conducted to test the comparability of the three base cities with a sample 57 others with populations of over one million people. The results show that it would be possible to adapt the urban mobility studies of the three base megacities to 3 to 27 cities based on different criteria. Key suggestions identified by this study include providing local accessibility, neighbourhood facilities, and cycling facilities as well as removing social and legal constraints to cycling, advertising cycling, informing people about the harm arising from the overuse of cars, and increasing street connectivity by adding intersections. According to the findings, these evidence-based recommendations can enhance sustainable mobility for the inhabitants of up to 27 large cities.

Abstract

Green areas located on the peripheries of cities have the potential to become green public spaces not only of recreational but also educational character, promoting at the same time the knowledge about environmental protection. The cities included in the research belong to the małopolskie voivodeship (Lesser Poland voivodeship). With the use of geospatial data of land cover, as well as territorial forms of environmental protection, it was pointed that 48.4% of forest, wooded and shrub green areas located within city borders are covered by a form of environmental protection, thus being a valuable resource of significant nature potential. Making such spaces available in a conscious and attractive way is presented on the example of projects implemented in the cities of: Stary Sącz, Nowy Targ and Kraków. The presented projects were used to make recommendations for city authorities to create green public spaces.

Abstract

Although Japan, because of its long history of natural disasters, has always been one of the most prepared country, the 2011 Great East Japanese Earthquake and tsunami caused unprecedented damages to the country. This paper introduces public policies for urban resilience from international level to national level, analysing Tohoku’s reconstruction. First, we will introduce the United Nations frameworks and guidelines for “Build Back Better” before confronting this theory with its practical application. Concluding remarks suggest that Japanese reconstruction policies provoked some challenges in the local implementation of urban resilience.

Abstract

the question of quality of modified landscape is critical for the client and the users and depends on the quality of projects. After theoretical and empirical research, the paper proposes the framework for quality assessment criteria and corresponding indicators for assessing landscape architecture projects. By thorough analysis of the recent international research and design and implementation practices in Lithuania, the paper gives the flexible and universal set of environmental, socio-economic, and aesthetic quality criteria and relevant indicators in the context of sustainable performance.

Abstract

Accessing finances for housing has been a major problem for people on low-incomes and this has been weighing heavily on them as they try to access housing. Financial institutions in the city of Bulawayo are failing to come up with financial products that suit low-income clients. There are an estimated 110000 low-income residents among the estimated 250000 residents of Cowdray Park low-density residential area in Bulawayo. This has also affected their right to the city as they have been excluded from the housing delivery system. There are so many initiatives that have been available to those on a low-income but these initiatives have rarely benefited the urban poor of the city. This research has examined how the financial services that exist in the housing sector have been crafted to benefit the urban poor. The research employed a mixed methods approach to the inquiry, where a questionnaire was the main quantitative method used and in-depth interviews and observations were the qualitative methods that complemented it. The research found that there are various financial services that are available in Zimbabwe, but these financial facilities rarely help the urban poor. The majority of the poor have been managing without any financial support and this has been stalling their access to housing. Most housing products are fashioned along neo-liberal economic principles that have very little to offer the urban poor. This has therefore denied the urban poor in the city of Bulawayo their right to the city. Most cities in Zimbabwe are struggling to satisfy their housing demand as they have long housing waiting lists. Research therefore recommends the crafting of financial facilities that are best targeted on the urban poor, and are specially adapted to their financial conditions.

Abstract

Slum redevelopment is occurring at a rapid pace in many African cities. This paper examines the urban development of contemporary Luanda, the capital of Angola. Central to this examination is an analysis of the city’s slums according to Foucault’s concept of governmentality. The focus is on the chaotic urban development that has resulted from the civil war and on the effects of poverty and gentrification in many of Luanda’s slums. The policy of violence towards slum population adopted by the municipality appears to define a technology of domination, the subjection of the individual to the formation of the state. However, with the high earnings obtained from oil production, the country clearly has the resources needed to fund investments in electricity and utility systems. The continuing persistence of slums and a housing policy based on neglect signifies a form of governmentality, adopted as a means of government coercion and a way of dominating the poor population. The paper closes with a set of policy implications for action.