Distribution of Articles published per year
(1965 - 2018)
(1965 - 2018)
Total number of journals
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Article 0 Reads 0 Citations Rural Districts between Urbanization and Land Abandonment: Undermining Long-Term Changes in Mediterranean Landscapes Published: 12 April 2018
Sustainability, doi: 10.3390/su10041159
The present study investigates changes in the rural landscapes of a Mediterranean country (Greece) over a long time period (1970–2015) encompassing economic expansions and recessions. Using a spatial distribution of 5 basic agricultural land-use classes (arable land, garden crop, vineyards, tree crop and fallow land) derived from official statistics at 6 years (1970, 1979, 1988, 1997, 2006, 2015), a quantitative analysis based on correlation and multivariate techniques was carried out to identify recent changes in the Greek agricultural landscape at prefectural level during different economic waves. Empirical results evidenced both intuitive and counter-intuitive landscape transformations, including: (i) a progressive, spatially-homogeneous reduction of cropland; (ii) a (more or less) rapid decrease in the surface of high-input crops, including arable land, horticulture and vineyards; (iii) a parallel increase in the surface of tree crops, especially olive; (iv) a spatially-heterogeneous decrease of fallow land concentrated in metropolitan and tourism districts, especially in the last decade; and, finally, (v) increasingly diversified landscapes in rural, accessible areas close to the sea coast. Based on a correlation analysis with background socioeconomic indicators, our findings reflect the multiple impacts of urbanization and land abandonment on the composition and diversity of rural landscapes. Changes in agricultural land-use were moulded by multiple drivers depending on latent transformations in rural systems and inherent conflicts with expanding urban regions. Together with market conditions and the Common Agricultural Policy subsidy regime, social contexts and the economic cycle are important when identifying long-term changes in agricultural landscapes, especially in transitional socio-ecological systems.
Article 0 Reads 0 Citations Long-term growth and metropolitan spatial structures: an analysis of factors influencing urban patch size under differen... Published: 09 October 2017
Geografisk Tidsskrift-Danish Journal of Geography, doi: 10.1080/00167223.2017.1386582
Article 0 Reads 3 Citations Resilient landscapes in Mediterranean urban areas: Understanding factors influencing forest trends Published: 01 July 2017
Environmental Research, doi: 10.1016/j.envres.2017.03.006
Urban and peri-urban forests are recognized as basic elements for Nature-Based Solutions (NBS), as they preserve and may increase environmental quality in urbanized contexts. For this reason, the amount of forest land per inhabitant is a pivotal efficiency indicator to be considered in the sustainable governance, land management, planning and design of metropolitan areas. The present study illustrates a multivariate analysis of per-capita forest area (PFA) in mainland Attica, the urban region surrounding Athens, Greece. Attica is considered a typical case of Mediterranean urbanization where planning has not regulated urban expansion and successive waves of spontaneous growth have occurred over time. In such a context, an analysis of factors that can affect landscape changes in terms of PFA may inform effective strategies for the sustainable management of socio-ecological local systems in light of the NBS perspective. A total of 26 indicators were collected per decade at the municipal scale in the study area with the aim to identify the factors most closely associated to the amount of PFA. Indicators of urban morphology and functions have been considered together with environmental and topographical variables. In Attica, PFA showed a progressive decrease between 1960 and 2010. In particular, PFA progressively declined (1980, 1990) along fringe areas surrounding Athens and in peri-urban districts experiencing dispersed expansion of residential settlements. Distance from core cities and from the seacoast, typical urban functions (e.g., multiple use of buildings and per capita built-up area) and percentage of agricultural land-use in each municipality are the variables most associated with high PFA. In recent years, some municipalities have shown an expansion of forest cover, mainly due to land abandonment and forest recolonization. Findings from this case study have allowed us to identify priorities for NBS at metropolitan level aimed at promoting more sustainable urbanization. Distinctively, proposed NBS basically focus on (i) the effective protection of crop mosaics with relict woodlots; (ii) the improvement of functionality, quality and accessibility of new forests; and (iii) the establishment of new forests in rural municipalities.
Article 0 Reads 2 Citations Complexity in action: Untangling latent relationships between land quality, economic structures and socio-spatial patter... Published: 02 June 2017
PLOS ONE, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0177853
Land quality, a key economic capital supporting local development, is affected by biophysical and anthropogenic factors. Taken as a relevant attribute of economic systems, land quality has shaped the territorial organization of any given region influencing localization of agriculture, industry and settlements. In regions with long-established human-landscape interactions, such as the Mediterranean basin, land quality has determined social disparities and polarization in the use of land, reflecting the action of geographical gradients based on elevation and population density. The present study investigates latent relationships within a large set of indicators profiling local communities and land quality on a fine-grained resolution scale in Italy with the aim to assess the potential impact of land quality on the regional socioeconomic structure. The importance of land quality gradients in the socioeconomic configuration of urban and rural regions was verified analyzing the distribution of 149 socioeconomic and environmental indicators organized in 5 themes and 17 research dimensions. Agriculture, income, education and labour market variables discriminate areas with high land quality from areas with low land quality. While differential land quality in peri-urban areas may reflect conflicts between competing actors, moderate (or low) quality of land in rural districts is associated with depopulation, land abandonment, subsidence agriculture, unemployment and low educational levels. We conclude that the socioeconomic profile of local communities has been influenced by land quality in a different way along urban-rural gradients. Policies integrating environmental and socioeconomic measures are required to consider land quality as a pivotal target for sustainable development. Regional planning will benefit from an in-depth understanding of place-specific relationships between local communities and the environment.
Article 0 Reads 3 Citations Social Memory and the Resilience of Communities Affected by Land Degradation Published: 01 February 2017
Land Degradation & Development, doi: 10.1002/ldr.2669
Based on evidence collected in 22 village communities from nine study sites situated in Spain, Italy, Greece, Morocco and China, this study analyses the complex interlinkages between social memory, community resilience and land degradation. Social memory is seen as an important explanation regarding the ability of a local community to manage and cope with land degradation. Emphasis is placed on the importance of three components of social memory—rites, traditions and social learning processes—for shaping community resilience in coping with land degradation processes. The study argues that although there are subtle differences between the 22 village communities, the loss of social memory and learning pathways associated with managing land degradation is emerging as a critical factor constraining stakeholders from effectively responding to land degradation issues. Copyright © 2016 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Article 0 Reads 1 Citation Forest and the city: A multivariate analysis of peri-urban forest land cover patterns in 283 European metropolitan areas Published: 01 February 2017
Ecological Indicators, doi: 10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.09.025