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  • This study considers how urban heat islands are affected by rural regions neighboring cities, which may be a source of cooling for city centers. An analysis of 30 Chinese cities from 2000 to 2020 makes advances in defining urban–rural boundaries and specifying the importance of maintaining diverse, rich, dense rural land cover to mitigate urban heat.

    • Miao Yang
    • Chen Ren
    • Shi-Jie Cao
    ArticleOpen Access
  • This study identifies the phenomenon of outsourced carbon mitigation in Chinese cities. It found that about 78% of these cities outsource their carbon mitigation efforts in varying degrees, which affects the way carbon mitigation policies should work.

    • Chengqi Xia
    • Heran Zheng
    • Can Wang
    ArticleOpen Access
  • This study uncovers the surprising interconnectedness of urban centers globally, finding that 3.2 billion individuals can access multiple urban tiers ranging from towns to large cities within an hour’s travel. It particularly emphasizes the strategic importance of intermediate cities in linking various urban and rural areas, crucial for effective regional development.

    • Andrea Cattaneo
    • Serkan Girgin
    • Sara Vaz
    ArticleOpen Access
  • Globally, concrete materials are widely used to build urban settings, resulting in massive waste. The authors propose scenarios of industrial-scale application of concrete nitrogenation, to use concrete debris in cities to mitigate NOx emissions.

    • Ning Zhang
    • Georg Schiller
    • Jiakuan Yang
  • This study examines long-term impacts of ‘redlining’, the historical practice of assigning values to residential areas in US cities based on race and class, on the vulnerability of communities to climate risks. Findings reveal that areas marked by the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation as being less desirable for investment in the 1930s–1940s face disproportionately higher current and projected risks of flooding and extreme heat, in part due to their lessened environmental capital.

    • Arianna Salazar-Miranda
    • Claire Conzelmann
    • Jeremy Hoffman
  • This study looks at nighttime land surface temperature in Indian cities to see how much they have warmed. It finds that urbanization has driven 60% additional warming in cities, with medium-sized cities influencing the most.

    • Soumya Satyakanta Sethi
    • V. Vinoj
    Brief CommunicationOpen Access
  • Focusing on the carbon storage potential of urban vegetation, soils and buildings, this Article assesses the literature on carbon dioxide removal at the urban scale. With the prospect of making cities into carbon sinks, the authors identify research gaps and recommendations related to governance, economic barriers and implementation.

    • Quirina Rodriguez Mendez
    • Sabine Fuss
    • Felix Creutzig
  • This study compares the links between nature and health and well-being experienced by individuals living in different contexts in three cities in the metropolitan area of Asunción, Paraguay. It found that, for people living in informal settlements, proximate nature can have negative impacts on life satisfaction. However, a strong connection to nature may lead to better mental health and higher life satisfaction, as experienced by people living in formal settlements and the evidence from the Global North.

    • Violeta Berdejo-Espinola
    • Richard A. Fuller
    • Renee Zahnow
  • This study looks at Jiang Han Road in Wuhan, one of the most influential shopping streets in the city center, and examines the impacts of digitalization in the post-COVID era. It found a shift in the economic activity towards socialization in the digital space, and revealed key socioeconomic-spatial patterns fostering the adaptive capacity of the street.

    • Fujie Rao
    • Haijuan Zhao
    • Tingting Lu
  • Using data from cities in China between 2000 and 2019, this study examined the influence of strategic interactions between mayors on carbon intensity. It found a relationship between carbon reduction in neighboring cities and the level of reduction in the reference city, in addition to an ‘imitation competition’ between cities to either reduce or increase emissions.

    • Bei Zhu
    • Chu Wei
  • This study designs a new model based on medium-resolution satellite imagery to assess building damage from war, using the cases of Syria and Ukraine. It found that building damage has broader consequences for the population affected, especially when accounting for hospitals and schools.

    • Zhengyang Hou
    • Ying Qu
    • Chenghu Zhou
  • This study assesses the effects of working-from-home on vehicle miles traveled and transit ridership during the pandemic and finds a direct and negative relationship between them: a 1% decrease in onsite workers corresponds to a 0.99% decrease in vehicle miles traveled and a 2.26% decrease in transit ridership.

    • Yunhan Zheng
    • Shenhao Wang
    • Jinhua Zhao
  • Forests hold and absorb carbon, addressing a root cause of climate change. Given the rise of cities, many current and potential forests surround cities in ‘peri-urban’ areas. These peri-urban forests may play a particularly important role in providing ecosystem services and promoting livable cities. This study geographically assesses peri-urban areas available worldwide for planting trees under different scenarios, finding enormous capacity.

    • Saverio Francini
    • Gherardo Chirici
    • Stefano Mancuso
  • This study looks at the changes in Chinese port cities in relation to demography and emissions reductions to examine the relationship between health and emissions. They found that even though shipping-related PM2.5 decreased, mortality associated with long-term exposure to it increased by 11%.

    • Zhenyu Luo
    • Zhaofeng Lv
    • Huan Liu
  • This study analyzed data on 793 cities to see how the COVID-19 pandemic affected their climate commitment and actions. It found that although climate actions persist, funding has fallen and less than half of the cities implemented green recovery initiatives.

    • Tanya O’Garra
    • Viktoriya Kuz
    • Sander Chan
    ArticleOpen Access
  • This study compares urban activities by frequency and matches them with socioeconomic data in three US cities. It found that mobility patterns predict economic outputs but it is the infrequent activities (for example, going to French restaurants) that have the highest explanatory power.

    • Shenhao Wang
    • Yunhan Zheng
    • Alex ‘Sandy’ Pentland
  • Adapting to warming cities is increasingly crucial. This study determines the most effective retro-reflective surfaces, which reflect incoming solar radiation. The authors consider various latitudes, seasons, urban geometries, street orientations and wall directions to assess the broad applicability of this cooling strategy.

    • Xinjie Huang
    • Elie Bou-Zeid
    • Jyotirmoy Mandal