Urbanization News -- ScienceDaily Population studies and urbanization. Read scientific research on the effects of urbanization and related research.

  • Flooding risk: America's most vulnerable communities
    on June 21, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    Floods are the natural disaster that kill the most people. They are also the most common natural disaster. As the threat of flooding increases worldwide, a group of scientists have gathered valuable information on flood hazard, exposure and vulnerability in counties throughout the US. […]

  • Urban agriculture only provides small environmental benefits in northeastern US
    on June 21, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    'Buy local' sounds like a great environmental slogan, epitomized for city dwellers by urban agriculture. But when it comes to growing fruits and vegetables in vacant lots and on rooftops in cities, is the practice really better for the planet than conventional farming? A new analysis of urban agriculture in the northeastern US has found that the regional 'green' benefits consumers expect could be meager at best. […]

  • 'Principal pipelines' to develop leaders may be affordable way to improve schools
    on June 20, 2017 at 3:42 pm

    Improving school leadership by better selecting, training and evaluating principals can be an affordable option for school districts that aim to reduce turnover and improve schools, according to a new report. The first-of-its kind study examined how six large urban school districts are investing in their leaders. Researchers found that improving school leadership has been affordable for the six districts, which spent 0.4 percent of their annual budgets to better the quality of school leaders. […]

  • Watching cities grow
    on June 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Three million measurement points in one square kilometer: a world record has now been set in information retrieval from satellite data. Thanks to new algorithms, the researchers succeeded in making four-dimensional point clouds of Berlin, Las Vegas, Paris and Washington, D.C. from images stacks of the TerraSAR-X radar satellite. Next the scientists plan to create four-dimensional models of all cities in the world. […]

  • Simple tactic results in dramatic water conservation, study shows
    on June 20, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    Rain or shine has new meaning thanks to an innovative, inexpensive and simple tactic that will really change how people think about watering their lawns. The tactic? A straightforward road sign. […]

  • Global diet and farming methods 'must change for environment's sake'
    on June 16, 2017 at 1:32 am

    Reducing meat consumption and using more efficient farming methods globally are essential to stave off irreversible damage to the environmental, a new study says. The research also found that future increases in agricultural sustainability are likely to be driven by dietary shifts and increases in efficiency, rather than changes between food production systems. […]

  • New hyper-local air pollution map unveiled
    on June 5, 2017 at 12:53 pm

    Engineering researchers have developed the most detailed and extensive local map of air pollution ever produced for an urban area, using specially equipped Google Street View cars to measure air quality on a block-by-block basis. […]

  • 'Heat island' effect could double climate change costs for world's cities
    on May 29, 2017 at 5:37 pm

    Overheated cities face climate change costs at least twice as big as the rest of the world because of the 'urban heat island' effect, new research shows. […]

  • LA lawns lose lots of water: 70B gallons a year
    on May 24, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    In summer 2010, Los Angeles was losing about 100 gallons of water per person per day to the atmosphere through the evaporation and plant uptake of lawns and trees. Lawns accounted for 70 percent of the water loss, while trees accounted for 30 percent, according to a new study. […]

  • Switching to off-peak delivery times reduced city congestion
    on May 24, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    In some businesses – like supermarkets and restaurants – local restrictions on nighttime deliveries leave distributors no choice but to dispatch trucks during morning rush hours. But lifting these rules could reduce peak traffic volumes and increase transport efficiency, according to a recent study. […]

  • New tools safeguard census data about where you live and work
    on May 23, 2017 at 12:37 pm

    New methods enable people to learn as much as possible from census data for policy-making and funding decisions, while guaranteeing that no one can trace the data back to your household or business. Census-related statistics are used to allocate billions of dollars annually for things like disaster relief, roads and schools. Researchers have developed algorithms that guarantee your information stays private without compromising research about your community. […]

  • City life could present psychosis risk for adolescents
    on May 23, 2017 at 12:33 pm

    Living in a city could significantly increase young people's vulnerability to psychotic experiences, according to a new study. […]

  • Water efficiency in rural areas is getting worse, even as it improves in urban centers
    on May 18, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    A nationwide analysis of water use over the past 30 years finds that there is a disconnect between rural and urban areas, with most urban areas becoming more water efficient and most rural areas becoming less and less efficient over time. […]

  • During heat waves, urban trees can increase ground-level ozone
    on May 17, 2017 at 1:05 pm

    Planting trees is a popular strategy to help make cities 'greener,' both literally and figuratively. But scientists have found a counterintuitive effect of urban vegetation: during heat waves, it can increase air pollution levels and the formation of ozone. […]

  • 'Narco-deforestation' study links loss of Central American tropical forests to cocaine
    on May 16, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    Central American tropical forests are beginning to disappear at an alarming rate, threatening the livelihood of indigenous peoples there and endangering some of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in North America. The culprit? Cocaine. […]

  • Home styles linked to water use levels
    on May 4, 2017 at 1:32 pm

    Affluent neighborhoods with lawns -- and occasionally swimming pools -- use up to 10 times more water than neighborhoods with higher density housing with less landscaping, according to a study. […]

  • Cities provide paths from poverty to sustainability
    on May 1, 2017 at 7:07 pm

    Understanding how cities develop at the neighborhood level is key to promoting equitable, sustainable urbanization. […]

  • Single-family homes killed L.A.'s urban forest
    on May 1, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Analyzing aerial imagery, scientists have found a loss of green cover up to 55 percent in single-family home lots of the Los Angeles region from 2000-09. […]

  • Researchers track impact of Brazil's 'Soy Moratorium' on an advancing agricultural frontier
    on April 29, 2017 at 1:50 pm

    The 2006 Soy Moratorium had a larger effect in reducing deforestation in the Amazon than has been previously understood, outlines a new study. […]

  • Urban Water Atlas for Europe: 360° view on water management in cities
    on April 27, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    On 27 April 2017, the European Commission published the Urban Water Atlas for Europe. The publication – the first of its kind – shows how different water management choices, as well as other factors such as waste management, climate change and even our food preferences, affect the long-term sustainability of water use in our cities. […]

  • Urbanization costs five billion years of evolutionary history
    on April 26, 2017 at 1:31 pm

    All over the globe, the urbanization of landscapes is increasing. 60% of the land surface which is expected to be urban by 2030 is currently not built on at all. How this will impact on biological diversity will only be apparent in retrospect. However, for most cities there have been systematic surveys of biological diversity, although only since the second half of the 20th century. Researchers have now revealed, on the basis of historical data, how plant diversity in the region of Halle an der Saale has changed in over 300 years of urbanisation, and have also made predictions about the future. […]

  • New digital map shows changing racial diversity of America
    on April 21, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    A geography professor built the most detailed map of racial diversity yet to study the way America's neighborhoods are changing. […]

  • Shale gas threat to forests can be eased by consolidating infrastructure
    on April 19, 2017 at 2:08 pm

    Fragmentation of ecologically important core forests within the northern Appalachians -- driven by pipeline and access road construction -- is the major threat posed by shale-gas development, according to researchers, who recommend a change in infrastructure-siting policies to head off loss of this critical habitat. […]

  • Well-kept vacant lots can help reduce crime
    on April 18, 2017 at 4:57 pm

    Maintaining the yards of vacant properties helps reduce crime rates in urban neighborhoods, indicates a new study that's the most comprehensive to date. […]

  • Communicating tsunami evacuations effectively
    on April 18, 2017 at 3:52 pm

    An effective communication approach incorporating computer simulations could help people find practical means to evacuate in the event of a tsunami. […]

  • Trans fat bans lessen health risks, research suggests
    on April 14, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    People living in areas that restrict trans fats in foods had fewer hospitalizations for heart attack and stroke compared to residents in areas without restrictions, according to a new study. […]

  • North America's freshwater lakes are getting saltier
    on April 10, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    North America's freshwater lakes are getting saltier due to development and exposure to road salt. A study of 371 lakes reports that many Midwestern and Northeastern lakes are experiencing increasing chloride trends, with some 44 percent of lakes sampled in these regions undergoing long-term salinization. The study is the first large-scale analysis of chloride trends in freshwater lakes. […]

  • Higher wages linked to immigrant diversity
    on April 10, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Diverse immigrant populations do more than enrich a city’s cultural fabric. According to geographers, they also boost wages -- by as much as 21 percent. […]

  • In-car cow avoidance
    on April 7, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Driverless cars are hitting the headlines across the globe but for the foreseeable future we will still have drivers. The pressure then is how might some of the safety features of driverless cars be incorporated into conventional vehicles? Researchers from India describe a real-time automatic obstacle detection and alert system for driver assistance. […]

  • Here's one secret to successful schools that costs nothing
    on April 3, 2017 at 4:33 pm

    Most factors that help make schools successful cost lots of money -- think teachers, technology and textbooks. But a new study suggests one factor that doesn't need any cash to implement can play an important role in helping students succeed at even the most disadvantaged schools. That factor is what scientists call social capital. […]