Structural and functional improvement of urban fringe areas: toward achieving sustainable built–natural environment interactions

  • Mohsen GoodarziEmail author
  • Nafiseh Haghtalab
  • Iman Saeedi
  • Nathan J. Moore


Applying ecological approach in the planning and design of urban fringe areas has gained significant attention in the current decade, and a myriad of research has been conducted using these principals. However, integrating these principles with socioeconomic criteria has been discussed loosely. This could be due to two different realms of thinking which are associated with disciplines of ecology and social–economical sciences making a successful coexistence between these them quite challenging. The purpose of this paper is to achieve sustainable built–natural environment interactions in urban fringe areas by taking socioeconomic factors along with ecological principles into account. In this study, change detection analysis from 1994 to 2016 is conducted to show the trend of urban construction and the natural environment’s reaction to urban expansion. The structural elements of the urban fringe area including river systems, green patches, and landform are extracted to analyze their behavior in interaction with urban construction through looking at all segmentations of each element’s continuity from north to south. Socioeconomic factors influencing these changes are also discussed and analyzed. The results show broad changes between the southern and northern parts in terms of the continuity and function of structural elements. Finally, considering structural and functional improvement potentials and restrictions, short-term and long-term strategies for rehabilitation and improvement of the structure and function of the urban fringe areas are provided.


Urban fringe Landscape Structural elements Built environment Natural environment 



We express our deep appreciation to Dr. Mark Wilson (Professor, School of Planning, Design, and Construction, Michigan State University) for his kind support and helpful comments.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Planning, Design and ConstructionMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial ScienceMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  3. 3.Department of Landscape Planning and DesignMalayer UniversityMalayerIran

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