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2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Paula Silva

Strengthening urban resilience is key to achieving Oxfam's vision of a world without poverty. Urbanization has become a major challenge for almost all countries around the globe. Cities and city inhabitants are facing additional and amplified challenges as a result of rapid urbanization, a changing climate and rising inequality in urban areas. The COVID-19 crisis has further highlighted the importance of strengthening inclusive urban resilience to acute shocks and chronic stresses. Oxfam's Resilience Knowledge Hub conducted the Urban Resilience Learning Exchange (URLE) project with pilot programmes in Jordan, Pakistan, Nepal, South Africa, Kenya and Bangladesh to develop a better understanding of what it takes to build resilience in urban settings. This paper summarizes the learning from the pilots and looks at how Oxfam can further strengthen its urban resilience programming.


PeerJ ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 9 ◽  
pp. e12357
Author(s):  
Léo Charvoz ◽  
Laure Apothéloz-Perret-Gentil ◽  
Emanuela Reo ◽  
Jacques Thiébaud ◽  
Jan Pawlowski

Newts are amphibians commonly present in small ponds or garden pools in urban areas. They are protected in many countries and their presence is monitored through visual observation and/or trapping. However, newts are not easy to spot as they are small, elusive and often hidden at the bottom of water bodies. In recent years, environmental DNA (eDNA) has become a popular tool for detecting newts, with a focus on individual species using qPCR assays. Here, we assess the effectiveness of eDNA metabarcoding compared to conventional visual surveys of newt diversity in 45 ponds within urban areas of Geneva canton, Switzerland. We designed newt-specific mitochondrial 16S rRNA primers, which assign the majority of amplicons to newts, and were able to detect four species known to be present in the region, including the invasive subspecies Lissotriton vulgaris meridionalis, native to the Italian peninsula, that has been introduced in the Geneva area recently. The obtained eDNA results were congruent overall with conventional surveys, confirming the morphological observations in the majority of cases (67%). In 25% of cases, a species was only detected genetically, while in 8% of cases, the observations were not supported by eDNA metabarcoding. Our study confirms the usefulness of eDNA metabarcoding as a tool for the effective and non-invasive monitoring of newt community and suggests its broader use for the survey of newt diversity in urban area at larger scales.


2021 ◽  
Vol 2 (1) ◽  
pp. 39-55
Author(s):  
Sheheryar Khan ◽  
Sajid Gul ◽  
Weidong Li

The Urban Heat Island (UHI) concept is one of the most serious ecological and social challenges of the urbanisation. As a result of these events, several man-made urban areas have displaced the rural areas with increased thermal conductivity surfaces, resulting in higher temperatures in the urban areas. Thus, this paper analyses the variations in Land Surface Temperature (LST) and the heat island area using Landsat 8 data and NPP VIIRS night-time light data. The data sources during 2013-2015 of Zhengzhou city, China, are selected to be a case study in this research work. According to the research, the economic centre of Zhengzhou city is shifting eastward, and the mean centre of urban area acquired from NPP VIIRS night-light data is extremely similar to the heat island area derived from Landsat 8 data. Also, the heat island areas obtained from the NPP VIIRS night-light data, and the yearbook data of Zhengzhou Bureau of Statistics are comparable with the accuracies of 96-99%. Hence, our proposed procedure can be implemented practically to point out the urban areas, to identify the UHI areas with high accuracies in other regions and also can be used to indicate how large the UHI effects on the urban area with increased population and industries.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
André B. B. Wilke ◽  
Chalmers Vasquez ◽  
Augusto Carvajal ◽  
Maday Moreno ◽  
Douglas O. Fuller ◽  
...  

AbstractUrbanization processes are increasing globally. Anthropogenic alterations in the environment have profound effects on biodiversity. Decreased biodiversity due to biotic homogenization processes as a consequence of urbanization often result in increased levels of mosquito vector species and vector-borne pathogen transmission. Understanding how anthropogenic alterations in the environment will affect the abundance, richness, and composition of vector mosquito species is crucial for the implementation of effective and targeted mosquito control strategies. We hypothesized that anthropogenic alterations in the environment are responsible for increasing the abundance of mosquito species that are adapted to urban environments such as Aedesaegypti and Culexquinquefasciatus. Therefore, our objective was to survey mosquito relative abundance, richness, and community composition in Miami-Dade County, Florida, in areas with different levels of urbanization. We selected 24 areas, 16 remote areas comprised of natural and rural areas, and 8 urban areas comprised of residential and touristic areas in Miami-Dade County, Florida. Mosquitoes were collected weekly in each area for 24 h for 5 consecutive weeks from August to October 2020 using BG-Sentinel traps baited with dry ice. A total of 36,645 mosquitoes were collected, from which 34,048 were collected in the remote areas and 2,597 in the urban areas. Our results show a clear and well-defined pattern of abundance, richness, and community composition according to anthropogenic modifications in land use and land cover. The more urbanized a given area the fewer species were found and those were primary vectors of arboviruses, Ae.aegypti and Cx.quinquefasciatus.


Author(s):  
Judith Rüschhoff ◽  
Carl Hubatsch ◽  
Jörg Priess ◽  
Thomas Scholten ◽  
Lukas Egli

Abstract Regionalization of food systems is a potential strategy to support environmental, economic and social sustainability. However, local preconditions need to be considered to assess the feasibility of such a transformation process. To better understand the potentials and perspectives of food self-sufficiency in urban and peri-urban areas, we determined the food self-sufficiency level (SSL) of a German metropolitan region, i.e., the percentage of the food demand that could be potentially provided on existing agricultural land. Main input parameters were actual food demand, agricultural productivity and its temporal variability and land availability. Furthermore, we considered changes in diet, food losses and land management. Based on current diets and agricultural productivity, the administrative region of Leipzig achieved a mean SSL of 94%, ranging from 77 to 116%. Additionally, an area of 26,932 ha, representing 12% of the regionally available agricultural land, was needed for commodities that are not cultivated regionally. Changes in food demand due to a diet shift to a more plant-based diet and reduced food losses would increase the SSL by 29 and 17%, respectively. A shift to organic agriculture would decrease the SSL by 34% due to lower crop yields compared with conventional production. However, a combination of organic agriculture with less food loss and a more plant-based diet would lead to a mean SSL of 95% (75–115%). Our results indicate the feasibility of food system regionalization in the study area under current and potential near future conditions. Addressing a combination of multiple dimensions, for example plant-based and healthier diets combined with reduced food loss and organic farming, is the most favorable approach to increase food self-sufficiency in urban and peri-urban areas and simultaneously provide synergies with social and environmental objectives.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Minh-Hoang Nguyen ◽  
Thomas E. Jones

Biodiversity loss is happening at an unprecedented rate, especially in countries like Vietnam with rich biodiversity and high population growth rate. One of the main causes of biodiversity loss in Vietnam is increasing bushmeat consumption in urban areas. To help mitigate the demand for bushmeat, this study aims to examine the associations between biodiversity loss perceptions, attitude towards the prohibition of illegal wildlife consumption, and bushmeat consumption behaviors among urban residents in Vietnam. The investigation employed the Bayesian Mindsponge Framework (BMF) on 535 respondents from multiple urban areas across Vietnam. We found that people perceiving environmental degradation, losses of economic growth, nature-based recreation opportunities, health, and knowledge as consequences of biodiversity loss were more likely to support the prohibition of illegal wildlife consumption. Although urban residents tended to consume bushmeat less frequently if they perceived losses of economic growth and knowledge as consequences of biodiversity loss, the perception of environmental degradation had an opposite effect on the behavior. Additionally, people consuming bushmeat frequently and supporting the biodiversity loss preventive measure seemed to share similar features: high income and educational levels. These paradoxical results hint at the existence of cultural additivity effects on psychology and behavior among Vietnamese urban residents. Given the influence of cultural additivity, It is recommended to put tougher measures (e.g. financial punishment) into perspective so that urban people can recognize the high “cost” of bushmeat consumption and change their attitude and behaviors accordingly. Apart from that, social marketing, demarketing, or educational campaigns should convey knowledge and information that can help receivers relate to their subjective cost-benefit judgements.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Luiz G. A. Alves ◽  
Diego Rybski ◽  
Haroldo V. Ribeiro

AbstractUrban scaling theory explains the increasing returns to scale of urban wealth indicators by the per capita increase of human interactions within cities. This explanation implicitly assumes urban areas as isolated entities and ignores their interactions. Here we investigate the effects of commuting networks on the gross domestic product (GDP) of urban areas in the US and Brazil. We describe the urban GDP as the output of a production process where population, incoming commuters, and interactions between these quantities are the input variables. This approach significantly refines the description of urban GDP and shows that incoming commuters contribute to wealth creation in urban areas. Our research indicates that changes in urban GDP related to proportionate changes in population and incoming commuters depend on the initial values of these quantities, such that increasing returns to scale are only possible when the product between population and incoming commuters exceeds a well-defined threshold.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (1) ◽  
Author(s):  
Nicola Bodini ◽  
Julie K. Lundquist ◽  
Patrick Moriarty

AbstractLong-term weather and climate observatories can be affected by the changing environments in their vicinity, such as the growth of urban areas or changing vegetation. Wind plants can also impact local atmospheric conditions through their wakes, characterized by reduced wind speed and increased turbulence. We explore the extent to which the wind plants near an atmospheric measurement site in the central United States have affected their long-term measurements. Both direct observations and mesoscale numerical weather prediction simulations demonstrate how the wind plants induce a wind deficit aloft, especially in stable conditions, and a wind speed acceleration near the surface, which extend $$\sim 30$$ ∼ 30  km downwind of the wind plant. Turbulence kinetic energy is significantly enhanced within the wind plant wake in stable conditions, with near-surface observations seeing an increase of more than 30% a few kilometers downwind of the plants.


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