Urban Development

Cities with many pedestrian barriers can inhibit community mobility, access to services, and social participation for people with disabilities. Although National Disability Rights policies have been enacted in several nations, it is unclear what progress local governments have made in developing plans and implementing accessibility improvements to the pedestrian infrastructure. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the existence and quality of city plans used to remove barriers for pedestrians with disabilities.
This article aims to contribute to current discussions about “making cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable” (SDG 11) by linking debates that are currently taking place in separate containers: debates on the “global land rush” and the “new urban agenda”. It highlights some important processes that are overlooked in these debates and advances a new, socially inclusive urbanization agenda that addresses emerging urban land grabs.
Urban green space, such as parks, forests, green roofs, streams, and community gardens, provides critical ecosystem services. Green space also promotes physical activity, psychological well-being, and the general public health of urban residents. This paper reviews the Anglo-American literature on urban green space, especially parks, and compares efforts to green US and Chinese cities. Most studies reveal that the distribution of such space often disproportionately benefits predominantly White and more affluent communities.
Recent research and professional interest in planning for sustainable and resilient cities emphasizes the assessment of a broad spectrum of urban ecosystem services. While such assessments are useful to establish specific benchmarks, and for measuring progress toward sustainability and resilience goals, they do not motivate, or support the innovations required to provide specific ecosystem services as an intentional part of routine urban and infrastructure development activity by municipalities and professionals.
Urban forests are integral components of urban ecosystems, which could generate significant ecosystem services, such as offsetting carbon emission, removing air pollutants, regulating the microclimate, and recreation. These ecosystem services contribute to improving environmental quality, quality of life, and sustainable urban development. Despite a long history of inserting vegetation in human settlements in China, modern scientific study of this natural-cum-cultural resource did not start until the 1990s.