Urbanization is one of the great challenges of our time and unchecked haphazard urbanization is a serious threat both to the environment and social and economic balance. In order to meet global sustainability targets, rapid urban growth must be channelled into environmentally friendly, sustainable and liveable urban environments. Thus, this special issue focuses on sustainable urban design which plays a key role in creating these urban environments.
Tourism in Mexico has been boosted as one of the most important economic activities, and is now trying to diversify its market by offering different types of destinations. In the context of sustainability, concern arises for authorities and society in general about the search for balance of the tourist destinations in the country. As a result of the effort and the sum of the will of three levels of government (Federal, State and Municipal), Local Agenda 21 for Tourism in Mexico was born. This instrument presents a Sustainability Indicator System to evaluate tourist destinations in Mexico. Through the evaluation of four major themes: Environment, Socioeconomic Environment, Tourism and Urban Development, the current situation of tourism in Mexico is diagnosed. This paper analyzes the results of the application of the Sustainable Development Indicators (SDIs), promoted by the Ministry of Tourism (SECTUR) in eighty-four destinations during the period of 2002-2007, from the length and breadth of the country. The best-positioned tourist destinations are categorized as Medium Cities. Paradoxically, coastal tourist destinations are in the middle. The worst condition is found in the tourist destinations of nature. The results show better performance indicators for urban development, while the higher pressure is in the environmental areas.
Urban renewal is one of the important government policies to improve the urban environment and economic growth. To further utilize public land, the Construction and Planning Agency, Ministry of Interior (CPAMI) coordinated with the related public offices to release government-owned land that contains large under-developed areas with the most business incentives for urban renewal. The policy still follows an "urban redevelopment" approach, in this case emphasizing environment improvement and construction, such as building reconstruction. The participation of communities and the ecological integrity of the natural systems in the process of urban renewal is still insufficient. The purpose of this study was to explore Taiwan's urban renewal policy development process and mechanisms of the CPAMI-led urban renewal projects. In addition, this study references Aldo Leopold's land ethic theory, using this theory to explore the power dynamics and land health problems. Understanding the government-led urban renewal policies is needed to improve the social, economic and ecological issues. By "regenerating" the dilapidated region, the urban area is expected to regain its energy and sustainability.
Public Bike System, PBS, usually named Bike-sharing System in the west, is a category of green transport to provide a low-carbon solution of the “first/last mile” problem in a city. Indeed, there were only five bike-sharing programs in 2000. Now over 400 cities in 30 different countries have PBS programs, with more than 350,000 bikes worldwide. However, the studies for bike-sharing are still limited, and it is hard to find some related research of bike-sharing programs in the East-Asia region. The factors of a successful bike-sharing system vary between different cultures, geographic limits, and models of provision. The experience in the west is not adaptable in east. Therefore, more research is necessary for a better understanding of bike-sharing systems especially in the East-Asia region. To comprehend the elements of a successful bike-sharing system, this study examined the factors that influence the bike use intentions of bike-sharing programs, and analysed the user behaviour based on a survey of 557 respondents in Taipei, Taiwan. Results show the system cognition, environment cognition, personal perception and personal preference are four vital aspects influencing the user behaviour, and the extent is varied by different travel purposes. The location of docking stations is the most critical factor influencing user behaviour with regard to each aspect.
Historic preservation, adaptive reuse, and sustainable urban design that considers the full range of social, environmental, and economic factors is an essential component of sustainable urban development, while the mapping of historic buildings which can be archived and extracted for application, is the basic work on the protection of historic buildings and adaptive reuse. Traditional mapping methods need more time and more workers, and there are measured omissions, mistakes and other issues which go against the protection of the measured objects. 3D laser scanning technology is a new technique for quickly getting three-dimensional information. This paper introduced a measurement principle for 3D laser scanning technology and took Shang Shu Di, a Ming Dynasty building which is an officially protected heritage site of China in Taining County of Fujian Province, as a case study, and studied the application of mapping historic buildings based on 3D laser scanning technology. Then, a comparison of 3D laser scanning technology with the traditional method of detailed components mapping has been illustrated to indicate the advantage of 3D laser scanning technology in historic building mapping. Finally, aimed at the technical problems of the huge amount of data generated in the application process and the software defects of Cyclone, this paper presented two specific coping strategies which are “reasonable data collection and processing” and “construction of historic building components database”.
3D city models are important in urban planning for sustainable development. Urban planners draw maps for efficient land use and a compact city. 3D city models based on these maps are quite effective in understanding what, if this alternative plan is realized, the image of a sustainable city will be. However, enormous time and labour has to be consumed to create these 3D models, using 3D modelling software such as 3ds Max or SketchUp. In order to automate the laborious steps, a GIS and CG integrated system that automatically generates 3D building models is proposed based on building polygons (building footprints) on a digital map. In either orthogonal or non orthogonal building polygons, the new system is proposed for automatically generating 3D building models with general shaped roofs by straight skeleton computation.
Itsukushima Shinto Shrine is the supreme example that represents the legacy of Japanese tradition as well as the beauty and harmony of nature, humankind and the gods. This oldest shrine, believed to be established in the 6th century, has maintained authentic religious practices by the Shinto masters and community over the centuries. The shrine was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 1996. The shrine is observed floating above the sea during high tide and visitors have been fascinated by its beauty since the Japanese Edo period, when the Samurai rulers were allowed to issue travel permission to the population to travel to selected destinations, including Itsukushima. It was the beginning of a legacy of a prime tourist destination. Arguably, the circumstances of Itsukushima Shinto Shrine are encroached on by residential and commercial districts which accommodate over 3.5 million annual visitors, and the authorities and industrial sector giving more encouragement to the tourism industry after the site's World Heritage listing. Furthermore, the geographical setting and cosmology of Itsukushima Shinto Shrine is not limited to the island territory. There is a holy axis from the shrine that crosses the channel and reaches to the mainland where most of the hilly areas are occupied by residential, commercial and industrial land uses. Itsukushima Shinto Shrine exists peacefully, it is even said that holiness and contemporary needs have co-existed within this particular enclave. However, due to recent global warming, the sensitive geographical setting of the shrine is facing greater threats. In recent years, Itsukushima has suffered ever more serious damage by natural disasters never observed before. This paper intends to provide a broader perspective, connecting both protected property and surrounding geographical territory for future heritage site management.