ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201806.0498.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: India; active commuting; public transit; physical activity; built environment
Online: 30 June 2018 (14:55:26 CEST)
Background: Few studies have assessed built environment correlates of active commuting in low-and-middle-income countries, but the different context could yield distinct findings. This cross-sectional study investigated associations between home neighbourhood environment characteristics and active commuting in Chennai, India. Methods: Adults (N = 370, 47.2% female, mean age = 37.9 years) were recruited from 155 wards in the metropolitan area of Chennai in southern India between January and June 2015. Participants self-reported their usual mode of commute to work, with responses recoded into three categories: (1) multi-modal or active commuting (walking and bicycling); (2) public transit; and (3) private transport. Environmental attributes around participants’ homes were assessed using the Neighborhood Environment Walkability Scale-India (NEWS-India). Associations between environmental characteristics and likelihood of active commuting and public transit use were modelled using logistic regression with private transport (driving alone or carpool) as the reference category, adjusting for age, gender, and household car ownership. Results: Consistent with other international studies, participants living in neighbourhoods with a mix of land-uses and a transit stop within a 10-minute walk from home were more likely to use active commuting (both p < 0.01). Land-use mix was significantly associated with the use of public transit compared to private transport (aOR = 5.2, p = 0.002). Contrary to findings in high-income countries, the odds of active commuting were reduced with improved safety from crime (aOR = 0.2, p = 0.003), aesthetics (aOR = 0.2, p = 0.05) and street connectivity (aOR = 0.2, p = 0.003). Conclusions: Different environmental attributes were associated with active commuting, suggesting that these relationships are complex and may distinctly differ from those in high-income countries. Unexpected inverse associations of perceived safety from crime and aesthetics with active commuting emphasize the need for high quality epidemiologic studies with greater context-specificity in the study of physical activity in LMICs. Findings have public health implications for India and suggest that caution should be taken when translating evidence across countries.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201811.0107.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: Built Environment, Design Decisions, Vector Borne Diseases, Malaria
Online: 5 November 2018 (11:01:08 CET)
Although significant efforts have been made to combat the spread of vector-borne diseases (VBDs), they still account for more than 17% of all infectious diseases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were 216 million estimated cases in 2016, which is a 9.3% decrease from the estimated cases reported one decade earlier. It is known that the built environment, through features such as openings, can propagate the spread of malaria. There have been some significant efforts directed at addressing this risk. This notwithstanding, there are some knowledge gaps that have resulted in a missed opportunity for synergistically tackling the problem of vectors through leveraging design decisions made by built environment professionals. This work assesses the extent to which design decisions in the built environment can have a positive impact on the efforts directed at mitigating the risk of malaria based on selected cases from East Africa. Secondary data derived from relevant urban health journals as well as repositories curated by leading health agencies such as WHO were synthesized and analyzed using a web of causation approach. The outcome of the analysis is a schema of primary and secondary source (risk) factors. The use of the web of causation approach revealed the existing factor-to-factor interactions that could have a reinforcing effect. This information was used to identify the critical linkages and interdependencies across different factors. The outcome of the analysis was mapped against risk factors that can be linked to decisions made during the six primary phases of the construction life cycle: preliminary phase, conceptual design, detailed design, construction, facilities management, and end of life/disuse. The findings of the research have established that 1) there is, in fact, a built environment–related opportunity that can be leveraged to advance the impact of malaria mitigation effort; 2) cross-disciplinary synergies are critical to managing the interdependencies and complexity of malaria risk factors that have a reinforcing effect; and 3) a knowledge-management framework that serves as a decision support tool would be valuable for sharing data under a push-and-pull mechanism, in which data shared in real time can address the timeliness of mitigating the spread of malaria at the earliest stages for the greatest impact. Based on the findings, a conceptual architecture for a decision support framework has been proposed. This will be developed into a knowledge-management platform in subsequent efforts.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints202003.0197.v3
Subject: Biology, Other Keywords: Built Environment (BE); building operations; novel coronavirus; COVID-19; SARS-CoV-2
Online: 2 April 2020 (05:19:41 CEST)
With the rapid spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that results in coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), corporate entities, federal, state, county and city governments, universities, school districts, places of worship, prisons, health care facilities, assisted living organizations, daycares, homeowners, and other building owners and occupants have an opportunity to reduce the potential for transmission through built environment (BE) mediated pathways. Over the last decade, substantial research into the presence, abundance, diversity, function, and transmission of microbes in the BE has taken place and revealed common pathogen exchange pathways and mechanisms. In this paper, we synthesize this microbiology of the BE research and the known information about SARS-CoV-2 to provide actionable and achievable guidance to BE decision makers, building operators, and all indoor occupants attempting to minimize infectious disease transmission through environmentally mediated pathways. We believe this information is useful to corporate and public administrators and individuals responsible for building operations and environmental services in their decision-making process about the degree and duration of social-distancing measures during viral epidemics and pandemics.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201907.0323.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Cognitive & Experimental Psychology Keywords: biophilia; biophilic design; sustainability; sustainable architecture; built environment; well-being; restorative environment
Online: 28 July 2019 (17:24:11 CEST)
Can ‘restoration and therapy in design’ signify something more than the places like hospitals and healing gardens? Can those restorative environments be brought inside the working and living environments to mitigate the psychological problem at the source? The main objective of this paper is to look at the strategies and developments of Biophilic design with respect to therapy and restoration in order to achieve sustainability in terms of quality of life within the immediate built-environment. The paper explores the mental health issues under the domains of built-environment and indoor environment with respect to their connection with nature. Biophilic design has gained a favourable momentum within the last four decades and is now visualised as a medium that bridges the gap between humans and the nature. Out of a variety of measures of sustainable environmental design, biophilic design focuses on the end-results of naturally nurtured or inspired habitats and workplaces. It embodies strategies of Green and Intelligent buildings, works as a mitigation strategy for foul indoor environment and establishes the vision that veristic sustainability can only be achieved if there is qualitative control over human physiological prosperity and psychological health. In context of work efficiency, preference and productivity within the indoor environment, it is seen as a promoter of constructive thoughts and enhancer of creativity. The paper aims to enlist biophilic design and retrofitting strategies, which can improve cognitive function, reduce stress and provide mental peace within the built environment.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0216.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Accounting Keywords: Built environment; pedestrian volume; stepwise regression; principal component analysis; Melbourne
Online: 10 May 2021 (15:34:00 CEST)
Previous studies have mostly examined how sustainable cities try to promote non-motorized travel by creating a walking-friendly environment. Such existing studies provide little research that identifies how the built environment affects pedestrian volume in high-density areas. This paper presents a methodology that combines person correlation analysis, stepwise regression, and principal component analysis for exploring the internal correlation and potential impact of built environment variables. To study this relationship, cross-sectional data in the Melbourne central business district were selected. Pearson’s correlation coefficient confirmed that visible green index and intersection density were not correlated to pedestrian volume. The results from stepwise regression showed that land-use mix degree, public transit stop density, and employment density could be associated with pedestrian volume. Moreover, two principal components were extracted by factor analysis. The result of the first component yielded an internal correlation where land-use and amenities components were positively associated with the pedestrian volume. Component 2 presents parking facilities density, which negatively relates to the pedestrian volume. Based on the results, existing street problems and policy recommendations were put forward to suggest diversifying community service within walking distance, improving the service level of the public transit system, and restricting on-street parking in Melbourne.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202005.0323.v1
Subject: Engineering, Other Keywords: exploratory regression analysis; built environment; influencing factors; incidence rate for female lung cancer
Online: 20 May 2020 (09:06:39 CEST)
Objective: Application of ERA methods to investigate the atmospheric pollution and built environment factors influencing lung cancer incidence rate in Chinese women. Methods: Lung cancer incidence rate among Chinese women at 339 cancer registries were obtained from the China Cancer Registry Annual Report 2017, air quality and built environment data were obtained from the Greenpeace and China Construction Yearbook. After multiple covariates variables were eliminated, an exploratory regression analysis was performed using the world standardized population incidence rate as the dependent variable. Air quality and built environment factors as the independent variable. Results: Shandong Peninsula, Hebei and Liaoning are high incidence rate areas of female lung cancer in China, with significant regional aggregation. In addition to air quality factors such as industrial smoke emission data, the association between built environmental factors such as urbanization rate, development LUI, population density and greening coverage of built-up areas and female lung cancer incidence rate is statistically significant. Conclusion: In addition to air quality factors, urban spatial factors can also significantly affect respiratory health. The LUI is positively while urbanization rates and population density are negatively correlated with the incidence rate of lung cancer. The role of green space for respiratory health has not been proven. In addition, there is little relationship between income and health, and similar findings are found for indicators such as the public transportation and roads network.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201901.0328.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Other Keywords: built environment efficiency; CASBEE; MURNInets; climate change; low carbon; carbon emission; urban tools; city
Online: 31 January 2019 (14:18:50 CET)
CASBEE-City tool determines the city’s Built Environment Efficiency (BEE) by calculating the improvement of Quality of Life (Q) over human activities’ Environmental Load (L) within the city’s hypothetical boundary. A total of 58 variables (57 Q indicators and one variable for L) are used in the worldwide version of CASBEE-City which were grounded using ISO 37120:2014 Sustainable Development of Communities and 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by the United Nations (UN). This paper examines the application of CASBEE-City for Malaysian cities using the case of Johor Bahru City and identifies assessment indicators which are customised based on the data availability, reliability and suitability through focus group discussions (FGDs) which involved 36 respondents (researchers, urban planners and stakeholders). This paper reveals Johor Bahru with moderate score B+ in 2010 and 2025. Consensus were also achieved from the 36 FGD respondents for the practicability and future potential of CASBEE-City and BEE framework in Johor Bahru.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0064.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: Computer vision; Google Street View; Built Environment; Walkability; Micro-scale; Deep learning
Online: 3 March 2022 (13:49:08 CET)
The study purpose was to train and validate a deep-learning approach to detect micro-scale streetscape features related to pedestrian physical activity. This work innovates by combining computer vision techniques with Google Street View (GSV) images to overcome impediments to conducting audits (e.g., time, safety, and expert labor cost). The EfficientNETB5 architecture was used to build deep-learning models for eight micro-scale features guided by the Microscale Audit of Pedestrian Streetscapes-Mini tool: sidewalks, sidewalk buffers, curb cuts, zebra and line crosswalks, walk signals, bike symbols, and streetlights. We used a train--correct loop, whereby images were trained on a training dataset, evaluated using a separate validation dataset, and trained further until acceptable performance metrics were achieved. Further, we used trained models to audit participant (N=512) neighborhoods in the WalkIT Arizona trial. Correlations were explored between micro-scale features and GIS-measured- and participant reported-macro-scale walkability. Classifier precision, recall, and overall accuracy were all >84%. Total micro-scale was associated with overall macro-scale walkability (r=0.300,p<.001). Positive associations were found between model-detected and self-reported sidewalks (r=0.41,p<.001) and sidewalk buffers (r=0.26,p<.001). Computer vision model results suggest an alternative to trained human raters, allowing for audits of hundreds or thousands of neighborhoods for population surveillance or hypothesis testing.
CASE REPORT | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0785.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: built environment; image analysis; remote sensing
Online: 31 December 2020 (09:51:50 CET)
The development of unmanned satellite space technology is increasingly willing, the emergence of medium resolution satellites with sensitivity and spectral variants such as Landsat is very effective in observing environmental changes, while the purpose of this study is to monitor the development of built-in land using image transformation techniques, estimating built-in land changes. The research method uses the NDVI image transformation technique, NDBI and Built Up Index, with Landsat satellite image data obtained from USGS. Accuracy sampling is done by purposive sampling with confusion matrix accuracy test technique. The research results were found. developed land for the period 2004 - 2010 with a percentage of 19.25%, for stages 2010 - 2018 with a percentage of 30.25%. The land development was built based on the area of the highest sub-district in the Kubung area in the early period with a percentage of 7.20% then in the second period with a percentage of 32.23%. The quality of the accuracy of the results of image analysis using confusion matrix technique with an image accuracy level in a field sample of 185 with an image accuracy of 86.04%.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0250.v3
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: Built-settlements; urban features; spatial growth; , random forest; dasymetric modelling; population
Online: 9 October 2019 (10:48:20 CEST)
Mapping settlement extents at the annual time step has a wide variety of applications in demography, public health, sustainable development, and many other fields. Recently, while more multitemporal urban feature or human settlement datasets have become available, issues still exist in remotely-sensed imagery due to coverage, adverse atmospheric conditions, and expenses involved in producing such feature sets. These challenges make it difficult to increase temporal coverage while maintaining high fidelity in the spatial resolution. Here we demonstrate an interpolative and flexible modeling framework for producing annual built-settlement extents. We use a combined technique of random forest and spatio-temporal dasymetric modeling with open source subnational data to produce annual 100m x 100m resolution binary settlement maps in four test countries of varying environmental and developmental contexts for test periods of five-year gaps. We find that in the majority of years, across all study areas, the model correctly identified between 85-99% of pixels that transition to built-settlement. Additionally, with few exceptions, the model substantially out performed a model that gave every pixel equal chance of transitioning to the category “built” in each year. This modelling framework shows strong promise for filling gaps in cross-sectional urban feature datasets derived from remotely-sensed imagery, provide a base upon which to create future built/settlement extent projections, and further explore the relationships between built area and population dynamics.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202011.0538.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Nursing & Health Studies Keywords: Green space; Arid; Diabetes; Hispanics; Built Environment; Biophilia
Online: 20 November 2020 (11:25:55 CET)
Evolutionary psychology theories propose that contact with green, natural environments may benefit physical health, but little comparable evidence exists for brown, natural environments, such as the desert. In this study, we examined the association between “brownness” and “greenness” with fasting glucose among young residents of El Paso, Texas. We defined brownness as the surface not covered by vegetation or impervious land within Euclidian buffers around participants’ homes. Fasting glucose along with demographic and behavioral data was obtained from the Nurse Engagement and Wellness Study (N = 517). We found that residential proximity to brownness was not associated with fasting glucose when modeled independently. In contrast, we found that residential greenness was associated with decreased levels of fasting glucose, despite the relatively low levels of greenness within the predominantly desert environment of El Paso. A difference between the top and bottom greenness exposure quartiles within a 250 m buffer was associated with a 3.5 mg/dL decrease in fasting glucose levels (95% confidence interval: -6.2, -0.8). Our results suggest that within the understudied context of the desert, green vegetation may be health-promoting to a degree that is similar to other, non-desert locations in the world that have higher baselines levels of green.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202111.0316.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Architecture And Design Keywords: Arab cities; heritage conservation; urban management; sustainable built environment.
Online: 17 November 2021 (23:42:10 CET)
As Arab countries are beginning to recover from the socioeconomic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, conservation programs are restarting. Noticeably, traditional conservation efforts have not helped improve the poor living conditions in most historic urban centers of Arab cities due to many reasons such as a lack of funds, urban management policies, and the narrow scope of conservation projects. In 2016, the UN urban agenda recognized tangible and intangible heritage as the basis for sustainable, vibrant, urban economies. These efforts reflect the new shift in conservation activities to tangible and intangible heritage and consider urban heritage a tourist product rather than antiquity. This approach grants urban vitality and sustainability for heritage areas. Thus, this study investigates the existing trends and forthcoming changes in conservation and their implication for the deteriorated historic urban city centers of the Arab world. International urban heritage conservation trends were highlighted, objectives and bases of successful urban conservation trends were reviewed, and an assessment framework was developed. Two case studies of historic centers in two Arab cities, Jeddah, and Aman, were empirically assessed using the developed framework. The findings highlight the most common urban problems of the historic centers in terms of urban management policies and trends. In addition, the impact of urban management policies on historic urban areas' sustainability, vitality, and quality was revealed. The paper ends with recommendations for conservation authorities to define a proposed framework to embed the conservation within the urban development plans for deteriorated historic urban centers. The paper's findings and recommendations can contribute to the required knowledge related to urban heritage conservation for practitioners and decision-makers.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202203.0092.v1
Subject: Engineering, Construction Keywords: Circular Economy; Built Environment; Reuse; Upcycling; Industrial Waste; Urban Waste
Online: 7 March 2022 (09:14:42 CET)
The growing concern about climate change and the recognition of the planet’s limits led society to look for alternatives that promote the balance between the natural and the built environment. The circular economy emerges as an alternative to the linear economic model, inspired by natural metabolisms, by circulating resources in continuous loops, where their intrinsic value is maintained and improved. This research proposes a closed-loop strategy in the built environment by studying innovative constructive solutions that aim to find use, value, and inspiration in what is considered waste. A literature review is conducted on the circular design strategies, re-use and recycle typologies, and waste transformation processes. Then, the development of a methodology for qualitative evaluation and selection of re-used and upcycled construction materials from post-consumer waste and by-products is presented and then applied to thirty-five cases of constructive solutions from plastic, wood, paper, steel, aluminium, and agricultural waste. The research reports that the developed framework is adequate. The analysed alternative materials have good environmental performance and can be used as building materials despite their functional limitations, reflecting the enormous potential of waste as a resource for the construction industry.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0105.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: Built-up land; Fourier transformation; high-accuracy mapping; temporal correcti
Online: 4 December 2020 (11:58:42 CET)
Long-term, high-accuracy mapping of built-up land dynamics is essential for understanding urbanization and its consequences for the environment. Despite advances in remote sensing and classification algorithms, built-up land mapping using early satellite imagery (e.g., from the 2000s and earlier) remains prone to uncertainty. We mapped the extent of built-up land in the North China Plain, one of China’s most important agricultural regions, from 1990 to 2019 at three-year intervals. Using dense time-stack Landsat data, we applied discrete Fourier transformation to create temporal predictors and reduce mapping uncertainties for early years. We improved overall accuracy by 8% compared to using spectral and indices predictors alone. We implemented a temporal correction algorithm to remove inconsistent pixel classifications, further improving accuracy to a consistently high level (>94%) across years. A cross-product comparison showed that our study achieved the highest levels of accuracy across years. Total built-up land in the North China Plain increased from 37,941 km2 in 1990–1992 to 131,578 km2 in 2017–2019. Consistent, high-accuracy built-up land mapping provides a reliable basis for policy planning in one of the most rapidly urbanizing regions of the planet.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201912.0007.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography Keywords: urban; growth model; forecast; built; settlement; machine learning; time series
Online: 2 December 2019 (05:15:03 CET)
Advances in the availability of multitemporal and global built-/human-settlements datasets as derived from Remote Sensing (RS) can now provide globally consistent definitions of “human-settlement” at unprecedented spatial fineness. Yet, these data only provide a time-series of past extents and urban growth/expansion models have not had parallel advances at high-spatial resolution. We present a flexible modelling framework for producing annual built-settlement extents in the near future past last observed extents as provided by RS-based data. Using a random forest and autoregressive temporal models with short time-series of built-settlement extents and subnational level data, we predict annual 100m resolution binary settlement extents five years beyond the last observations. We applied this framework within varying contexts and predicted annual extents from 2010 to 2015. We found that our model framework preformed consistently across all sample countries and, when compared to time-specific imagery, demonstrated the capacity to capture human-settlement missed by the input time-series and validation extents. When comparing building footprints of small settlements to forecast extents, we saw that the modelling framework had a 12 percent increase in ground-truth accuracy. This framework shows promise for predicting near-future settlement extents, and provides a foundation for forecasts further into the future.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201911.0369.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Other Keywords: schools; youth; policy; built environment; food environment; social environment; organizational environment
Online: 29 November 2019 (04:18:03 CET)
Open campus policies that grant access to the off-campus food environment influence U.S. high school students’ exposure to unhealthy foods, yet predictors of these policies are unknown. Policy holding and built (walkability), food (access to grocery stores), social (school-to-neighborhood demographic similarity), and organizational (policy holding of neighboring schools) environment data were collected for 200 Oregon public high schools. These existing data derived from the Oregon School Board Association, WalkScore.com, 2010 Decennial Census, 2010-2014 American Community Survey, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, TDLinex, Nielson directories, U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics, and Common Core of Data. Most (67%) of Oregon public high schools had open campus policies. Logistic regression analyses modeled open campus policy holding as a function of built, food, social, and organizational environment influences. With health and policy implications, results indicate that schools’ walkability, food access, and extent of neighboring open campus policy-schools are significantly associated with open campus policy holding in Oregon.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202202.0088.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Sport Sciences & Therapy Keywords: Public open spaces; Open streets; Built environment; Leisure-time physical activity; Epidemiology
Online: 7 February 2022 (13:02:09 CET)
Leisure-time physical activity (LTPA) is associated with access and use of public open spaces. The “President João Goulart Elevated Avenue” and current denominated “Minhocão” is a facility for leisure activities that are open for people during the night/weekends. The aim of this study was to examine if the prevalence of LTPA among individuals living in the surroundings of Minhocão is different according to proximity to, and use of, the facility. We conducted a cross-sectional study with cluster sampling with people aged ≥18 years who lived in households until 500m and between 501m to 1500m of Minhocão. The survey was conducted between December/2017 until March/2019 with an electronic questionnaire self-responded. We conducted bivariate analysis and Poisson regression to examine possible differences in LTPA according to the proximity of residences and use of Minhocão. The analysis used post-stratification weights. A total of 12,030 telephone numbers of people were drawn (≤500m = 6,942; and >500m to ≤1500m = 5,088). The final sample analyzed were of 235 residents who returned the questionnaires. There was a higher prevalence of individuals engaging in at least 150 minutes per week of LTPA among users than non-users (Prevalence Ratio=2.23, IC95%1.72-2.90). People who used the park had higher prevalence of all types of LTPA than non-users. The results can serve to inform government decision-making on the future of Minhocão.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202201.0443.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: Complex network; flood safety patterns; Water Network; Built-up area of Bangkok
Online: 28 January 2022 (15:15:09 CET)
With the development of the city, a large number of water networks in the built-up areas of Bangkok have been filled and hardened, resulting in poor urban flooding and aggravating flooding, causing loss of life and property of citizens. In this paper, on the basis of combing the current water networks and open space potential flood storage points in the built-up areas of Bangkok, the complex network diagram of the water system in the built-up areas of Bangkok is constructed by combining the theory of complex networks and analyzing the attribute parameters of the network and the characteristic parameters of the open space storage nodes and water system paths, and finding that the water system network in the built-up area of Bangkok has complex network characteristics such as robustness, clustering and hierarchy. By exploring the key storage points and water system connection paths, the researchers initially constructed a flood safety pattern in the built-up area of Bangkok with 145 key nodes and 127 river paths as the backbone, and conceptualized the development study of the flood safety pattern in both horizontal and vertical directions. The urban flood safety pattern based on complex network theory proposed in this paper provides a case reference and methodological ideas to scientifically solve the game conflict between the demand for construction land for urban development and the construction area of urban open space storage points and water storage network under the increasingly severe flooding situation.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202012.0484.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: nature exposure; nature deprivation; health disparities; wellbeing; built environment; urban health interventions
Online: 21 December 2020 (09:00:48 CET)
Shelter-in-place aimed at slowing COVID-19 transmission has altered nature accessibility patterns, creating quasi-experimental conditions to assess if retracted nature contact and perceived nature deprivation influences physical and emotional wellbeing. We measure through survey methods how pandemic mandates limiting personal movement and outdoor nature access effect self-assessed nature exposure, perceived nature deprivation, and subsequent flourishing as measured by the Harvard Flourishing Index. Results indicate that perceived nature deprivation strongly associates with neighborhood nature contact, time in nature and access to municipal nature during the pandemic, after controlling for shelter-in-place mandates, job status, household composition, and sociodemographic variables. Our hypothesis that individuals with strong perceived nature deprivation under COVID-19 leads to diminished wellbeing proved true. Interaction models of flourishing showed positive modification of nature affinity with age and qualitative modification of nature deprivation with race. Our results demonstrate the potential of local nature contact to support individual wellbeing in a background context of emotional distress and social isolation, important in guiding public health policies beyond pandemics.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201910.0190.v2
Subject: Keywords: built environment; health equity; insect vectors; public health; social determinants of health
Online: 29 February 2020 (11:01:03 CET)
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are primary vectors of dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya and Zika viruses. Ae. aegypti is highly anthropophilic and relies nearly exclusively on human blood meals and habitats for reproduction. Socioeconomic factors may influence the spread of Ae. aegypti due to its close relationship with humans. This paper describes and summarizes the published literature on how socioeconomic variables influence the distribution of Ae. aegypti mosquitoes in the mainland United States. A comprehensive search of PubMed/Medline, Scopus, Web of Science, and EBSCO Academic Search Complete through June 12, 2019 was used to retrieve all articles published in English on the association of socioeconomic factors and the distribution of Ae. aegypti mosquitoes. Additionally, a hand search of mosquito control association websites was conducted in an attempt to identify relevant grey literature. Articles were screened for eligibility using the process described in the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines. Initially, 3,493 articles were identified through the database searches and previously known literature. After checking for duplicates, 2,145 articles remained. 570 additional records were identified through the grey literature search for a total of 2,715 articles. These articles were screened for eligibility using their titles and abstracts, and 2,677 articles were excluded for not meeting the eligibility criteria. Finally, the full text for each of the remaining articles (n = 38) was read to determine eligibility. Through this screening process, 11 articles were identified for inclusion in this review. The findings for these 11 studies revealed inconsistent relationships between the studied socioeconomic factors and the distribution and abundance of Ae. aegypti. The findings of this review suggest a gap in the literature and understanding of the influence of anthropogenic factors on the distribution of Ae. aegypti that could hinder efforts to implement effective public health prevention and control strategies should a disease outbreak occur.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0122.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Applied Physics Keywords: renewables; energy saving and generation; built environments; solar windows; advanced glazings; photovoltaics
Online: 11 August 2019 (02:40:57 CEST)
We report on the field testing datasets and performance evaluation results obtained from a commercial property-based visually-clear solar window installation site in Perth-Australia. This installation was fitted into a refurbished shopping centre entrance porch, and showcases the potential of glass curtain wall-based solar energy harvesting in built environments. In particular, we focus on photovoltaic (PV) performance characteristics such as the electric power output, specific yield, day-to-day consistency of peak output power, and the amounts of energy generated and stored daily. The dependencies of the generated electric power and stored energy on multiple environmental and geometric parameters are also studied. An overview of the current and future application potential of high-transparency, visually-clear solar window-based curtain wall installations suitable for practical building integration is provided.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201810.0695.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: Urban Remote Sensing; Sentinel-1; Landsat 8; Built-Up; Data Fusion; Texture; Africa
Online: 29 October 2018 (16:02:53 CET)
The rapid urbanization that takes place in developing regions such as Sub-Saharan Africa is associated with a large range of environmental and social issues. In this context, remote sensing is essential to provide accurate and up-to-date spatial information to support risk assessment and decision making. However, mapping urban areas remains a challenge because of their heterogeneity, especially in developing regions where the highest rates of misclassification are observed. Nevertheless, urban areas located in arid climates --- which are among the most vulnerables to anthropogenic impacts, suffer from the spectral confusion occurring between built-up and bare soil areas when using optical imagery. Today, the increasing availability of satellite imagery from multiple sensors allow to tackle the aforementioned issues by combining optical data with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR). In this paper, we assess the complementarity of the Landsat 8 and Sentinel-1 sensors to map built-up areas in twelve Sub-Saharan African urban areas, using a pixel-level supervised classification based on the Random Forest classifier. We make use of textural information extracted from SAR backscattering data in order to reduce the speckle noise and to introduce contextual information at the pixel level. Results suggest that combining both optical and SAR features consistently improves classification performances, mainly by enhancing the differentiation between built-up and bare lands. However, the fusion was less beneficial in mountainous case studies, suggesting that including features derived from a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) could improve the reliability of the proposed approach. As suggested by previous studies, combining features computed from both VV and VH polarizations consistently led to better classification performances. On the contrary, introducing textures computed from different spatial scales did not improve the classification performances.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202101.0210.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Atmospheric Science Keywords: ecosystem disservice; ecosystem service cycle; natural capital; built capital; beneficiaries; interactions; ecosystem service flow
Online: 12 January 2021 (08:34:09 CET)
To sustain water-dependent economic and socio-ecological systems, natural capital and its interactions with other capitals is gaining attention, but a clear understanding of how to manage natural capital sustainably and how to make decisions relevant to water-related ecosystem services is yet to be achieved. In this study, we extended the framing of water-related ecosystem service flows as a cycle, integrating water quantity and quality and capturing the flows of ecosystem services (i.e., green phase) and ecosystem disservices (i.e., red phase), and connecting natural capital, built capital, and beneficiaries. We applied this framework to the Jiulong River watershed in China, using hydrological models to model water quantity and quality based on historical observations and experimental data. Our results showed that, during the green phase, the interactions of natural capital and built capital significantly improved water quality in downstream areas with higher flows. During the red phase, built capital reduced ecosystem disservices by ~10% while natural capital further reduced it by over one half. Our framework can provide information for natural capital management, eco-compensation, and pollutant management relevant to water-related ecosystem services.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0067.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Environmental Sciences Keywords: built-up area; classification; Landsat 8- OLI; feature engineering; feature learning; CNN; accuracy evaluation
Online: 5 December 2018 (12:06:34 CET)
Detailed built-up area information is valuable for mapping complex urban environments. Although a large number of classification algorithms about built-up areas have been developed, they are rarely tested from the perspective of feature engineering and feature learning. Therefore we launched a unique investigation to provide a full test of the OLI imagery for 15-m resolution built-up area classification in 2015, in Beijing, China. Training a classifier requires many sample points, and we propose a method based on the ESA's 38-meter global built-up area data of 2014, Open Street Map and MOD13Q1-NDVI to achieve rapid and automatic generation of a large number of sample points. Our aim is to examine the influence of a single pixel and image patch under traditional feature engineering and modern feature learning strategies. In feature engineering, we consider spectra, shape and texture as the input features, and SVM, random forest (RF) and AdaBoost as the classification algorithms. In feature learning, the convolution neural network (CNN) is used as the classification algorithm. In total, 26 built-up land cover maps were produced. Experimental results show that: (1) the approaches based on feature learning are generally better than those based on feature engineering in terms of classification accuracy, and the performance of ensemble classifiers e.g., RF, is comparable to that of CNN. Two dimensional CNN and the 7 neighborhood RF have the highest classification accuracy of nearly 91%. (2) Overall, the classification effect and accuracy based on image patches are better than those based on single pixels. The features that can highlight the information of the target category (for example, PanTex and EMBI) can help improve classification accuracy.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202001.0083.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Architecture And Design Keywords: Chinese ancient architecture; bracket set; tile work; regularized reconstruction; parametric; algorithm modeling; Grasshopper; HBIM; built heritage
Online: 9 January 2020 (11:57:24 CET)
By the study of the pattern book Ying Zao Fa Shi (building regulations of Song Dynasty, 1103 AD), while analyzing the combining and dimensioning rule of timber framework and tile work, a model self-generating program has been compiled for the first time. The operating framework has been firstly defined, while solving the issues of clustering principle, connecting method, output classification, etc. with the detailed description of algorithm theory. Taking the corner bracket set and nine-ridge roof for example, after the compilation and debug by Grasshopper, according to various input parameters, various models have been generated automatically by the plugin, proving the velocity and the veracity of the algorithm.
REVIEW | doi:10.20944/preprints201902.0165.v1
Subject: Physical Sciences, Applied Physics Keywords: renewables; energy saving and generation; built environments; transparent concentrators; luminescent concentrators; solar windows; advanced glazings; photovoltaics
Online: 18 February 2019 (16:52:35 CET)
We present a review of the current state of the field for a rapidly evolving group of technologies related to solar energy harvesting in built environments. In particular, we focus on recent achievements in enabling the widespread distributed generation of electric energy assisted by energy capture in semi-transparent or even optically clear glazing systems and building wall areas. Whilst concentrating on the cutting-edge recent results achieved in the integration of traditional photovoltaic device types into novel concentrator-type windows and glazings, we compare the main performance characteristics reported with these achievable using more conventional (opaque or semi-transparent) solar cell technologies. A critical overview of the current status and future application potential of multiple existing and emergent energy harvesting technologies for building integration is provided.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201812.0104.v1
Subject: Materials Science, General Materials Science Keywords: Additive Manufacturing; Selective Laser Melting; AlSi10Mg; Al6061; SLM process parameters; quality of the as-built parts
Online: 10 December 2018 (13:56:30 CET)
Additive manufacturing (AM) offers customization of microstructure and mechanical properties of fabricated components according to the material selected, and process parameters applied. Selective laser melting (SLM) is the commonly used technique for processing high strength aluminum alloys. Selection of SLM process parameters could control the microstructure of parts and their mechanical properties. However, the process parameters limit and defects obtained inside the as-built parts present obstacles to customized part production. This study investigates the influence of SLM process parameters on the quality of as-built Al6061 and AlSi10Mg parts according to the mutual connection between the microstructure characteristics and mechanical properties. The microstructure of both materials was characterized for different parts processed over a wide range of SLM process parameters. The optimized SLM parameters were investigated to eliminate the internal microstructure defects. The behaviour of mechanical properties of parts was presented through regression models generated from the design of experiment (DOE) analysis for the results of hardness, ultimate tensile strength, and yield strength. A comparison between the results obtained and that reported in the literature is presented to illustrate the influence of process parameters, build environment, and powder characteristics on the quality of parts produced. The results obtained from this study could help to customize the part’s quality by satisfying their design requirements in addition to reducing the as-built defects which in turn reduce the amount of the post-processing needed.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201804.0093.v1
Subject: Arts & Humanities, Architecture And Design Keywords: community building; quality of life; built form typology; front-yard; physical accessibility; visual permeability; human behaviour
Online: 8 April 2018 (11:29:30 CEST)
The residential built form, including open space, provides the physical environment for social interaction. Understanding urban open space, including semi-public and public domains, through the lens of physical accessibility and visual permeability can potentially facilitate the building of a sense of community contributing to a better quality of life. Using an inner-city suburb in Perth, Western Australia as a case study, this research explores the importance of physical accessibility patterns and visual permeability for socialising in semi-public and public domains, such as the front yard and the residential streets. It argues that maintaining a balance between public and private inter-relationship in inner city residential neighbourhoods is important for creating and maintaining a sense of community.
COMMUNICATION | doi:10.20944/preprints202009.0359.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography Keywords: Land Cover; LIDAR; Sociodemographics; Built Environment; Urban Form; Air Quality; Social Justice; Environmental Justice; Policy; Localized Action.
Online: 16 September 2020 (11:15:01 CEST)
Multiple social and environmental justice concerns are linked to urban form such as the distribution of socioeconomic class populations, healthcare spending, air pollution exposure, and human mobility. This study used 1m resolved LIDAR data to characterize land use in Salt Lake County, Utah and associate it with sociodemographic and air quality data at the census block group and zip code levels. We found that increasing tree cover was associated with higher per capita income and lower minority populations while increasing built cover was linked to lower per capita income and higher minority populations. Air quality showed less strong correlations, however, decreased non irrigated cover, increased built cover, and higher amounts of households living under poverty was related to higher long-term PM2.5 exposure. Several policy efforts have been undertaken to improve air quality and reduce negative health outcomes in Utah which are being informed by regulatory and research grade air quality sensors.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints201908.0262.v1
Subject: Social Sciences, Geography Keywords: land use and cover; land surface temperature; built-up land; agricultural land; gradient analysis; Nuwara Eliya; Sri Lanka
Online: 26 August 2019 (05:07:33 CEST)
Although urbanization has contributed to improving living conditions, it has had negative impacts on the natural environment in the urbanized areas. Urbanization has changed the urban landscape and resulted in increasing land surface temperature (LST). Thus, studies related to LST in various urban environments have become a popular research topic. However, few LST studies focusing on the mountain landscapes (i.e. hill stations) have been carried out. The primary objective of this study is to investigate changes in the landscape and their impacts on LST intensity (LSTI) in the tropical mountain city of Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka. The study utilized annual median temperatures extracted from Landsat data collected from 1996 to 2017 based on the Google Earth Engine (GEE) interface. The fractions of built-up (BL), forest (FL), and agricultural (AL) land were calculated using land use and cover maps based on the urban-rural zone (URZ) analysis. The urban-rural margin was demarcated based on the fraction of BL (<10%) and LSTI was measured using the mean LST difference in the urban-rural zone. In addition, the mixture of land use types was calculated using the AL/FL and BL/FL fraction ratios, and grid-based density analysis. The result shows that the BL in all URZ rapidly developed, while AL decreased during the period 1996 to 2017. There was minimal change in the forest area of the Nuwara Eliya owing to the government forest preservation policies. The fraction of the BL increased from 32.4% in 1996 to 58.7% in 2017 in the city center zone (URZ1) resulting in increased mean LST by 4.7 °C. Furthermore, the increase of the BL/FL fraction ratio and the decrease of the AL/FL fraction ratio were positively correlated with the mean LST. Grid-based analysis showed an increasing positive relationship between mean LST and density of BL. This indicated that BL density has been a crucial element in increasing LST in the study area. The results of this study will be a useful indicator to introduce improved landscape and urban planning in the future to minimize the negative impact of LST on urban sustainability.
ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202107.0046.v1
Subject: Earth Sciences, Geoinformatics Keywords: urbanization; long-term settlement patterns; built-up land data; global human settlement layer; historical maps; topographic map processing; data integration.
Online: 2 July 2021 (10:03:54 CEST)
Abstract: Spatially explicit, fine-grained datasets describing historical urban extents are rarely available prior to the era of operational remote sensing. However, such data are necessary to better understand long-term urbanization and land development processes and for the assessment of coupled nature-human systems, e.g., the dynamics of the wildland-urban interface. Herein, we propose a framework that jointly uses remote sensing derived human settlement data (i.e., the Global Human Settlement Layer, GHSL) and scanned, georeferenced historical maps to automatically generate historical urban extents for the early 20th century. By applying unsupervised color segmentation to the historical maps, spatially constrained to the urban extents derived from the GHSL, our approach generates historical settlement extents for seamless integration with the multi-temporal GHSL. We apply our method to study areas in countries across four continents, and evaluate our approach for two U.S. study sites against historical settlement extents derived from the Historical Settlement Data Compilation for the US, HISDAC-US, achieving Area-under-the-Curve values >0.9. Our results are largely in agreement with model-based urban areas from the HYDE database, and demonstrate that the integration of remote sensing derived observations and historical cartographic data sources opens up new, promising avenues for assessing urbanization, and long-term land cover change in countries where historical maps are available.