426 research outputs found

    Exploratory landscape metrics for agricultural sustainability

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    Socioeconomic growth and urban change have been an increasing concern for decision makers in recent decades. The monitoring, mapping, and analysis of agricultural land use change, especially in areas where urban change has been high, is crucial. The collision between traditional economic activities related to agriculture in tourist areas such as the Algarve and current demand for tourism infrastructures in urban regions is also leading to loss of economic activity. This article uses a combined geographical information system approach with CORINE land cover datasets to perform a Shannon’s diversity index quantifying changes in agricultural areas. The article then expands on the nature of the agricultural changes observed, and offers a multi-temporal assessment by means of landscape metrics in order to understand the shifting land use patterns for the Algarve in land use planning and regional economic equilibrium: a) forest regions become transformed into agricultural areas and agricultural areas become urban; b) areas that are initially agricultural become scattered residential regions created by economic investors; and c) agricultural land use changes have a cyclical nature in which—in the course of the economic recession—such dynamic effects brought about a decrease in tourism and focus on traditional sectors

    Modeling nature-based and cultural recreation preferences in mediterranean regions as opportunities for smart tourism and diversification

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    The tourism and recreational o er of Mediterranean destinations involves, essentially, the promotion of mass tourism, based on the appeal of the sun and beach, and the quality of its coastal assets. Alongside the impacts of climate change, poor tourism diversification represents a threat to the resilience of the territory. Thus, heterogenization of noncoastal tourism products presents an opportunity to strengthen regional resilience to present and future challenges, hence the need to study, comparatively, the complementary preferences of tourists and residents of these regions in order to unveil their willingness to diversify their recreational experience, not only in coastal spaces, but also—and especially—in interior territories with low urban density. Consequently, this strategic option may represent a way of strengthening resilience and sustainability through diversification. In this context, a survey was conducted among 400 beach tourists and 400 residents of a case study—namely, three municipalities of the Algarve region in southern Portugal—in order to analyze their degree of preference for activities besides the sun and beach, such as nature-based and cultural tourism activities, and to probe the enhancement potential of each tourism and recreational activity through the various landscape units considered by experts, stakeholders, and tour operators. The respective degree of preference and enhancement potential were indexed to the area of each landscape unit. Subsequently, respecting the existing recreational structure and constraints, a suitability map for territory enhancement and the implementation of smart tourism practices for each tourism activity and landscape unit is presented. Results show a significant preference for noncoastal outdoor recreational activities.FCT- Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia: SFRH/BD/102328/2014; PTDC/GES-URB/31928/2017info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Of cells and cities: a comparative Econometric and Cellular Automata approach to Urban Growth Modeling

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    This paper presents a comparative assessment of two distinct urban growth modeling approaches. The first urban model uses a traditional Cellular Automata methodology, based on Markov transition chains to prospect probabilities of future urban change. Drawing forth from non-linear cell dynamics, a multi-criteria evaluation of known variables prospects the weights of variables related to urban planning (road net- works, slope and proximity to urban areas). The latter model, frames a novel approach to urban growth modeling using a linear Logit model (LLM) which can account for region specific variables and path depen- dency of urban growth. Hence, the drivers and constraints for both models are used similarly and the same study area is assessed. Both models are projected in the segment of Faro-Olh ̃ao for 2006 and a comparative assessment to ground truth is held. The calculation of Cohenââ¬â¢s Kappa for both projections in 2006 allows for an assessmentof both models. This instrumental approach illuminates the differ- ences between the traditional model and the new type of urban growth model which is used. Both models behave quite differently: While the Markov Cellular Automata model brings an over classification of ur- ban growth, the LLM responds in the underestimation of urban sprawl for the same period. Both excelled with a Kappa calculation of over 89%, and showed to have fairly good estimations for the study area. One may conclude that the Markov CA Model permits a riper un- derstanding of urban growth, but fails to analyze urban sprawl. The LLM model shares interesting results within the possibility of identi- fying urban sprawl patterns, and is therefore an interesting solution for some locations. Another advantage of the LLM is directly linked to the possibility of establishing probability for urban growth. Thus, while the traditional methodology shared better results, LLM can be also an interesting estimate for urban patterns from an econometric perspective. Hence further research is needed in exploring the utility of spatial econometric approaches to urban growth.

    Spatial databases for decision support in agriculture

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    The Portuguese agriculture has experienced phases of change and its adaptation to the Common Agriculture Policy. Although serious problems have subsisted as structural difficulties in spite of the many public aids, it seems that, slowly, agricultural productivity increased, integrating some technological progress. However, other expectations related to food auto sufficiency or a more balanced equilibrium in the food trade were however, not achieved. For that study, after having desegregated possible determinants of growth for the agricultural sector, the econometric results showed a stationary tendency for all the vegetal production variables; contrarily, some of the detected growth factors were correlated to animal production, particularly to pork, poultry and milk production. Beside, the classical econometrics, new methods could allow us to a more in depth analysis of the state in the Portuguese agricultural activities. Our research uses Geographic Information Systems to those prompt spatial databases for monitoring land use change. This short essay opens prospects for a much better understanding of rurality when all those factors contributing to its sustainability, much broader than agricultural activities will be evaluated under the methods earlier described

    Gravitational models and spatial foresight: from agricultural policy to agricultural loss

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    This paper discusses the issue and proposes a spatial land-cover accounting methodology to assess the impacts and changes occurred in the rural world, Portugal serving as a case study. So, furthermore, this paper aims to respond from a spatial perspective to the following questions: (i) Which are the most significant changes in Portuguese agricultural systems and where did they occur? (ii) Do municipalities in Portugal show dense agricultural regions that were lost, and if so, are they related to urban regions? The methods apply gravitational models to identify the compactness of agricultural areas within the different regions and detect the most significant land use variations. By comparative analyses of the different agricultural land classes, the variations in agricultural land use changes were detected. Also, the comparison of these values in a best-fit with Euclidean distances of artificial land-use questions the consequences of land-use change in Portugal over the last two decades. Finally, this paper demonstrates that the existence of spatial inventories such as the CORINE Land Cover, currently in its third assessment, provides useful information for the assessment of agricultural land-use dynamics

    Regional change in the Algarve: A Geographic Information System approach

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    Thesis submitted to the Instituto Superior de Estatística e Gestão de Informação da Universidade Nova de Lisboa in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Information Management – Geographic Information SystemsThe debate on sustainable development has led to an increasing interest covering the effects of the human beings on the natural environment. The development of information and communication technologies (ICT) allowed a better analysis of the drivers of environmental change. With the increase of ICT, especially related to monitoring of sustainable choices, methodologies for analysis of regional and local impact have made a significant contribution to the development of regional strategies at a policy level, but also contributed to the development of regional sciences. One of the main issues has been addressed by the analysis of carrying capacity and availability of scarce resources, resulting from a growing demand, leading to loss of vulnerable natural and historical areas. Much of the work of regional sciences has had a direct relation to space, due to the nature of socio-economic data. This thesis offers an integrated spatial assessment of the results of regional change brought by socio-economic growth. The Algarve region in Portugal is used as a laboratory to understand the current pressures and attempts to provide a framework for the future of socio-economic growth in the region and a systematic analysis of current pressures. While urban sprawl due to increasing tourist activity is an increasing concern, spatial analysis is used as an insightful tool for foresight of future change. Having considered that urban growth is a direct consequence of economic growth our research addresses the consequences of urban sprawl in the coastal region of the Algarve. By building up predictive tools for complex spatial system analysis, cellular automata are used to forecast future urban expansion in the region. The relationship of tourism to urban change is measured to assess what are true costs of tourism for the region. Tourism is then analysed within the duality of socio-economic pressures defining weak and strong sustainability. An integrated strategy considering the historical heritage of the Algarve is offered as a more interesting alternative to the current exploration of the marine environment. Thus, the dissertation expands on the usage of spatial analysis as tools to emphasize the importance of monitoring regional change in coastal environments from a socio-economic perspective. Geographic Information Systems are expressed as ubiquitous systems with unique properties to measure change and to offer relevant solutions for better decision making at local and regional level. An important asset of those tools in the context of information management is further explored in the capabilities of comparing results through spatial data manipulation and visualization of alternative futures for regional development

    Why a multidisciplinary agenda for Southern Europe?

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    Since the process of southern Europe's integration in the European Union, the Mediterranean region has seen a more considerable gap between central and northern European countries and its southern European counterpart. Thus, in a European context of social cohesion, it becomes necessary to better understand Southern Europe, without escaping to the so required perception of the complexity of Mediterranean culture. As a significant player along history, Southern Europe established a platform of diversity and freedom consistently, bringing peace between different historic-cultural traditions. Moreover, the southern frontier of Europe to Africa and Asia has become a crucial determinant in the current times of change where ruptures in the political systems are also defining new patterns of regional migration.  Meanwhile, the integration of Italy, Portugal, Spain, and Greece in the European Union reinforced an essential search for stability, altering to some extent the political and economic predispositions of these countries. This has been followed by somewhat rigid institutions, that remain, to a certain extent, an obstacle to sustainable development, and justify a broader assessment of the potential of policy and governance intervention. A Mediterranean region where a context of stagnation or increasing poverty and migration is leading most impoverished areas to a deleterious deprivation of human resources and capital. In such cases towards conflict, Southern European countries may represent a bridging alternative and an exemplar representation of democracy. A co-joint positive Mediterranean agenda is necessary, where migration patterns become a substantial factor in the future of all the frontier countries: Italy and Greece, Spain, and Portugal. This special issue collects recent insights in socio-economic developments in Mediterranean countries in order to further a future agenda for Southern Europe

    Does land use and landscape contribute to self-harm? A sustainability cities framework

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    Self-harm has become one of the leading causes of mortality in developed countries. The overall rate for suicide in Canada is 11.3 per 100,000 according to Statistics Canada in 2015. Between 2000 and 2007 the lowest rates of suicide in Canada were in Ontario, one of the most urbanized regions in Canada. However, the interaction between land use, landscape and self-harm has not been significantly studied for urban cores. It is thus of relevance to understand the impacts of land-use and landscape on suicidal behavior. This paper takes a spatial analytical approach to assess the occurrence of self-harm along one of the densest urban cores in the country: Toronto. Individual self-harm data was gathered by the National Ambulatory Care System (NACRS) and geocoded into census tract divisions. Toronto’s urban landscape is quantified at spatial level through the calculation of its land use at di erent levels: (i) land use type, (ii) sprawl metrics relating to (a) dispersion and (b) sprawl/mix incidence; (iii) fragmentation metrics of (a) urban fragmentation and (b) density and (iv) demographics of (a) income and (b) age. A stepwise regression is built to understand the most influential factors leading to self-harm from this selection generating an explanatory model.This research was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research Strategic Team Grant in Applied Injury Research # TIR-103946 and the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation grantinfo:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Theoretical foundations in support of small and medium towns

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    This theoretical review aims to create a comprehensive and systematic analysis based on previously published literature explaining how contemporary technological developments may promote new paths for small and medium-sized towns (SMTs) and their networking systems. Much has been said concerning the capacity of towns to absorb strategic knowledge, which is highly dependent on local governance systems. In this paper, five levels of multidisciplinary approaches will be addressed so as to pinpoint the theoretical grounds for the promotion and advocacy of small and medium-sized towns (SMTs) as major drivers of regional sustainability: agglomeration advantages and networking efficiencies-representing strict economic accounting of cost and benefits; clustering in a context of online environments, and its extension to open networking systems; sustainable innovation processes for SMTs, technology, and knowledge transfer in open innovation systems-both settings for discussions within the framing of new technological developments and artificial intelligence; knowledge and new technological developments with local spillovers-to be enhanced employing new educational programs and learning diffusion at advanced levels; the social functions of small and medium-sized towns-to be addressed in the areas of sociology, architecture, and planning.info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersio

    Skeletal ontogeny of the Plainfin Midshipman, Porichthys notatus (Percomorphacea: Batrachoidiformes

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    Batrachoidiformes are benthic fishes that utilize the undersides of rocks as spawn- ing nests. Their larvae are attached to the nest and nourished by a large yolk sac. The evolutionary shift from feeding, free-swimming larvae to sedentary larvae that are reliant on their yolk sac for nutrition can lead to changes in skeletal develop- ment. Batrachoidiformes also have many morphological specializations, such as five pectoral-fin radials (versus four in other acanthomorphs) that are of uncertain homol- ogy, the determination of which may have phylogenetic implications. A larval series of Porichthys notatus was collected and its skeletal ontogeny is described. In P. notatus the ossification of the pharyngeal toothplates occurs relatively later than in perco- morphs with free-swimming larvae. The posterior basibranchial copula cartilage (= fourth basibranchial) in Porichthys notatus has a unique development among fishes: it initially develops as a paired element at 6.8–7.1 mm NL before fusing posteriorly and forming single median cartilage at 7.4 mm SL. Cartilages of hypobranchial four are transitory, being observed in two specimens of 6.8 and 7.3 mm NL before fusing with ceratobranchial four. The previously identified dorsalmost pectoral radial is a bone formed by a hypertrophied propterygium that ossifies later in development. The earli- est stages of P. notatus have three dorsal spines, but during late larval development, the growth of the third dorsal spine is interrupted. The development of P. notatus is compared and discussed in context to that of other acanthomorph
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