Geographical analyses of Covid-19's spreading contagion in the challenge of global health risks

The role of urban and regional planning for risk containment

  • Beniamino Murgante University of Basilicata https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2409-5959
  • Ginevra Balletto Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture, University of Cagliari https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0876-0605
  • Giuseppe Borruso Department of Economics, Business, Mathematics and Statistics “Bruno de Finetti”, University of Trieste https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0933-5208
  • Giuseppe Las Casas School of Engineering University of Basilicata, Potenza
  • Paolo Castiglia Department of Medical, Surgical and Experimental Sciences, University of Sassari, Sassari
  • Marco Dettori Department of Medical, Surgical and Experimental Sciences, University of Sassari
Keywords: Covid-19, Italy, Po-Valley, Pollution, Particulate matter, Land Take, Spatial Diffusion Processes

Abstract

This research develops from a set of basic geographical questions about the outbreak of Covid-19 out of China in Europe. The questions dealt with why and why with such strength Italy has been seriously hit, one of the most important cases in terms of death toll out of Hubei Province and mainland China, in the world, making the country a worldwide study case for epidemic concentration and diffusion. Questions were also related to geographical similarities among the areas hit, and particularly the Po Valley region and Wuhan metropolitan region in Hubei province, and also related to why such a divide of the virus spreading was identified in Italy between Northern and Central and Southern regions and provinces. In order to try to give an answer these questions, authors realized a vast and articulated database of indicators at provincial level in Italy, performing several geographical analyses - ecological approach - based on Spatial autocorrelation and Geographical Weighted Regression, coming to the conclusion that aspects such as land take, pollution can seriously influence the phenomenon and justify a pattern as that observable in Italy. The analyses and observation of the phenomenon also suggests that policies based on urban regeneration, sustainable mobility, green infrastructures, ecosystem services can create a more sustainable scenario able to support the quality of public health.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Author Biographies

Ginevra Balletto, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Architecture, University of Cagliari

She is an Associate Professor of urban and territorial planning at the DICAAR, University of Cagliari. She is the scientific coordinator of the Urban and territorial planning sector of the Strategic Plan of the metropolitan city of Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy), also for post Covid-19 actions. Her actual research interests are related to urban planning and environmental sustainability in vulnerable areas (https://people.unica.it/ginevraballetto/prodotti-della-ricerca/).

Giuseppe Borruso, Department of Economics, Business, Mathematics and Statistics “Bruno de Finetti”, University of Trieste

He is an Associate Professor of Economic and Political Geography at the DEAMS -Department of Economics, Business, Mathematics and Statistics "Bruno De Finetti, University of Trieste. His actual research interests are related to economic geography, with particular reference to urban geography, transport and population.

Giuseppe Las Casas, School of Engineering University of Basilicata, Potenza

Full Professor Urban and Regional Planning at the School of Engineering of University of Basilicata, former director of Department of Architecture, Transport and Planning of University of Basilicata and Vice-rector for the higher education of University of Basilicata.

Paolo Castiglia, Department of Medical, Surgical and Experimental Sciences, University of Sassari, Sassari

Full Professor of Hygiene at the Department of Medical, Surgical and Experimental Sciences, University of Sassari. Head of the Unit for Hygiene and Control of Hospital Infections for the University Hospital of Sassari.

Marco Dettori, Department of Medical, Surgical and Experimental Sciences, University of Sassari

Biologist specialist in Microbiology and Virology, assistant professor of General and Applied Hygiene at the Department of Medical, Surgical and Experimental Sciences, University of Sassari.

References

Akaike, H. (1973). Information theory and an extension of the maximum likelihood principle. In B. Petrov & F. Csaki (Eds.), 2nd Symposium on information theory.

Anselin, L. (1988). Spatial Econometrics: Methods and Models. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-015-7799-1

Anselin, L. (1995). Local Indicators of Spatial Association—LISA. Geographical Analysis, 27(2), 93–115. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1538-4632.1995.tb00338.x

Arpa Emilia-Romagna ARPAE. (2018). La qualità dell’aria in Emilia-Romagna. https://www.arpae.it/dettaglio_documento.asp?id=7361&idlivello=134

Balletto, G., Milesi, A., Ladu, M., & Borruso, G. (2020). A Dashboard for Supporting Slow Tourism in Green Infrastructures. A Methodological Proposal in Sardinia (Italy). Sustainability, 12(9), 3579. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12093579

Battarra, R., Gargiulo, C., Tremiterra, M. R., & Zucaro, F. (2018). Smart mobility in Italian metropolitan cities: A comparative analysis through indicators and actions. Sustainable Cities and Society, 41, 556–567. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2018.06.006

Blum, J. (2017). Contribution of Ecosystem Services to Air Quality and Climate Change Mitigation Policies: The Case of Urban Forests in Barcelona, Spain. In J. Blum (Ed.), Urban Forests Ecosystem Services and Management (pp. 21–54). Apple Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1201/9781315366081-10

Bonotti, R., Rossetti, S., Tiboni, M., & Tira, M. (2015). Analysing Space-Time Accessibility Towards the Implementation of the Light Rail System: The Case Study of Brescia. Planning Practice and Research, 30(4), 424–442. https://doi.org/10.1080/02697459.2015.1028254

Brunsdon, C., Fotheringham, A. S., & Charlton, M. E. (1996). Geographically Weighted Regression: A Method for Exploring Spatial Nonstationarity. Geographical Analysis, 28(4), 281–298. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1538-4632.1996.tb00936.x

Caserini, S., Giani, P., Cacciamani, C., Ozgen, S., & Lonati, G. (2017). Influence of climate change on the frequency of daytime temperature inversions and stagnation events in the Po Valley: historical trend and future projections. Atmospheric Research, 184, 15–23. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosres.2016.09.018

Casetti, E, & Jones, J. . (1992). Applications of the Expansion Method. Routledge.

Casetti, Emilio. (2010). Generating Models by the Expansion Method: Applications to Geographical Research*. Geographical Analysis, 4(1), 81–91. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1538-4632.1972.tb00458.x

Chalvatzaki, E., Chatoutsidou, S. E., Lehtomäki, H., Almeida, S. M., Eleftheriadis, K., Hänninen, O., & Lazaridis, M. (2019). Characterization of human health risks from particulate air pollution in selected European cities. Atmosphere, 10(2), 96. https://doi.org/10.3390/ATMOS10020096

Chen, J.-C., & Schwartz, J. (2008). Metabolic Syndrome and Inflammatory Responses to Long-Term Particulate Air Pollutants. Environmental Health Perspectives, 116(5), 612–617. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.10565

Cocco, C., Freitas, C. R., Moura, A. C. M., & Campagna, M. (2020). Geodesign process analytics: Focus on design as a process and its outcomes. Sustainability (Switzerland), 12(1), 119. https://doi.org/10.3390/SU12010119

Conticini, E., Frediani, B., & Caro, D. (2020). Can atmospheric pollution be considered a co-factor in extremely high level of SARS-CoV-2 lethality in Northern Italy? In Environmental Pollution (p. 114465). Elsevier Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2020.114465

Du, Z., Lawrence, W. R., Zhang, W., Zhang, D., Yu, S., & Hao, Y. (2019). Interactions between climate factors and air pollution on daily HFMD cases: A time series study in Guangdong, China. Science of The Total Environment, 656, 1358–1364. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.11.391

European Environment Agency. (2018). Europes urban air quality - re-assessing implementation challenges in cities — European Environment Agency EEA Report No 24/2018. https://www.eea.europa.eu/publications/europes-urban-air-quality

European Environment Agency. (2020). Air quality and COVID-19 — European Environment Agency. https://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/air/air-quality-and-covid19

Ferrero, L., Riccio, A., Ferrini, B. S., D’Angelo, L., Rovelli, G., Casati, M., Angelini, F., Barnaba, F., Gobbi, G. P., Cataldi, M., & Bolzacchini, E. (2019). Satellite AOD conversion into ground PM10, PM2.5 and PM1 over the Po valley (Milan, Italy) exploiting information on aerosol vertical profiles, chemistry, hygroscopicity and meteorology. Atmospheric Pollution Research, 10(6), 1895–1912. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apr.2019.08.003

Fina, S., Maggi, M., Pileri, P., & Siedentop, S. (2014). Strategies to reduce land consumption. A comparison between italian and german city regions. ARCHIVIO DI STUDI URBANI E REGIONALI, 108, 37–56. https://doi.org/10.3280/asur2013-108003

Fotheringham, A. S., Brunsdon, C., & Charlton, M. (2002). Geographically weighted regression : the analysis of spatially varying relationships. Wiley.

Fotheringham, S., & M.E. Charlton & C. Brunsdon. (1997). Two Techniques for Exploring Non-stationarity in Geographical Data. Journal of Geographical Systems, 4, 59–82.

Fusaro, L., Marando, F., Sebastiani, A., Capotorti, G., Blasi, C., Copiz, R., Congedo, L., Munafò, M., Ciancarella, L., & Manes, F. (2017). Mapping and Assessment of PM10 and O3 Removal by Woody Vegetation at Urban and Regional Level. Remote Sensing, 9(8), 791. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs9080791

Gargiulo, C., & Russo, L. (2018). Cities and energy consumption: Strategies for an energy saving planning. In Green Energy and Technology (Vol. PartF12, pp. 49–70). Springer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-77682-8_4

Gatrell, A. C., & Elliott, S. J. (2002). Geographies of health : an introduction.

Geary, R. C. (1954). The Contiguity Ratio and Statistical Mapping. The Incorporated Statistician, 5(3), 115. https://doi.org/10.2307/2986645

Geneletti D. (2016). Ecosystem services for Strategic Environmental Assessment: concepts and examples. In G. D. (Ed.), Handbook on biodiversity and ecosystem services in impact assessment (pp. 41–61). Edward Elgar Publishing.

Global climate change, 2020. (2020). https://climate.nasa.gov/climate_resource_center/interactives

Gobattoni, F., Pelorosso, R., Piccinni, A. F., & Leone, A. (2016). UPLanD journal of urban planning, landscape & environmental design. In UPLanD - Journal of Urban Planning, Landscape & environmental Design (Vol. 2, Issue 3). Federico II Open Access University Press. http://www.upland.it/index.php/UPLanD/article/view/96/68

Goodchild. (1986). Spatial Autocorrelation, Concepts and Techniques in Modern Geography. Geo Books.

Hurvich, C. M., Simonoff, J. S., & Tsai, C. L. (1998). Smoothing parameter selection in nonparametric regression using an improved Akaike information criterion. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society. Series B: Statistical Methodology, 60(2), 271–293. https://doi.org/10.1111/1467-9868.00125

ISTAT, & ISS. (2020). Impatto dell’epidemia Covid-19 sulla mortalità totale della popolazione residente, primo trimestre 2020. https://doi.org/10.1101/2020.04.08.20056861v1.full.pdf

Istituto Nazionale di Statistica. (2019). Statistiche Demografiche ISTAT. http://demo.istat.it/pop2019/index.html

Istituto nazionale di statistica (ISTAT). (2020). INFORMAZIONI DALL’ISTAT NELL’EMERGENZA SANITARIA. https://www.istat.it/it/archivio/239854

Istituto superiore di sanità (ISS). (2020). La mortalità - dati - registri - sorveglianza. https://www.epicentro.iss.it/mortalita/

Jacob, D. J., & Winner, D. A. (2009). Effect of climate change on air quality. Atmospheric Environment, 43(1), 51–63. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2008.09.051

Lai, S., Leone, F., & Zoppi, C. (2018). Implementing Green Infrastructures beyond Protected Areas. Sustainability, 10(10), 3544. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103544

Lee, J., & Wong, D. W. S. (David W.-S. (2000). GIS and statistical analysis with ArcView. John Wiley.

Legambiente. (2020). Mal’aria di città . https://www.legambiente.it/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Malaria-di-citta-2020.pdf

Lu, X., Chen, D., & Wang, Y. (2020). Is urban sprawl decoupled from the quality of economic growth? Evidence from Chinese cities. Sustainability (Switzerland), 12(1), 218. https://doi.org/10.3390/SU12010218

Magnani, N., Carrosio, G., & Osti, G. (2020). Energy retrofitting of urban buildings: A socio-spatial analysis of three mid-sized Italian cities. Energy Policy, 139, 111341. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enpol.2020.111341

Maione, M., Fowler, D., Monks, P. S., Reis, S., Rudich, Y., Williams, M. L., & Fuzzi, S. (2016). Air quality and climate change: Designing new win-win policies for Europe. Environmental Science and Policy, 65, 48–57. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2016.03.011

Manes, F., Marando, F., Capotorti, G., Blasi, C., Salvatori, E., Fusaro, L., Ciancarella, L., Mircea, M., Marchetti, M., Chirici, G., & Munafò, M. (2016). Regulating Ecosystem Services of forests in ten Italian Metropolitan Cities: Air quality improvement by PM10 and O3 removal. Ecological Indicators, 67, 425–440. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ecolind.2016.03.009

Maragno, D., Dalla Fontana, M., & Musco, F. (2020). Mapping Heat Stress Vulnerability and Risk Assessment at the Neighborhood Scale to Drive Urban Adaptation Planning. Sustainability, 12(3), 1056. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12031056

Marongiu, A., Angelino, E., Fossati, G., Moretti, M., Pantaleo, A., & Peroni, E. (2019). Life Prep-air. ACTION A.1 Emissions data set Final Report. http://www.lifeprepair.eu/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Emissions-dataset_final-report.pdf

Martellozzo, F., Amato, F., Murgante, B., & Clarke, K. C. (2018). Modelling the impact of urban growth on agriculture and natural land in Italy to 2030. Applied Geography, 91(December 2017), 156–167. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.apgeog.2017.12.004

Mitsakou, C., Dimitroulopoulou, S., Heaviside, C., Katsouyanni, K., Samoli, E., Rodopoulou, S., Costa, C., Almendra, R., Santana, P., Dell’Olmo, M. M., Borell, C., Corman, D., Zengarini, N., Deboosere, P., Franke, C., Schweikart, J., Lustigova, M., Spyrou, C., de Hoogh, K., … Vardoulakis, S. (2019). Environmental public health risks in European metropolitan areas within the EURO-HEALTHY project. Science of the Total Environment, 658, 1630–1639. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.12.130

Moran, P. A. P. (1948). The Interpretation of Statistical Maps. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series B (Methodological), 10(2), 243–251. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.2517-6161.1948.tb00012.x

Munafò, M. (eds). (2019). Consumo di suolo, dinamiche territoriali e servizi ecosistemici. Edizione 2019. https://doi.org/978-88-448-0964-5

O’Sullivan, D., & Unwin, D. J. (2010). Geographic Information Analysis: Second Edition. In Geographic Information Analysis: Second Edition. John Wiley and Sons. https://doi.org/10.1002/9780470549094

Papa, R., Fistola, R., & Gargiulo, C. (2018). Smart Planning: Sustainability and Mobility in the Age of Change (R. Papa, R. Fistola, & C. Gargiulo (Eds.)). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-77682-8

Peng, L., Zhao, X., Tao, Y., Mi, S., Huang, J., & Zhang, Q. (2020). The effects of air pollution and meteorological factors on measles cases in Lanzhou, China. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 27(12), 13524–13533. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-020-07903-4

Pezzagno, M., Richiedei, A., & Tira, M. (2020). Spatial Planning Policy for Sustainability: Analysis Connecting Land Use and GHG Emission in Rural Areas. Sustainability, 12(3), 947. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12030947

Pietrapertosa, F., Salvia, M., De Gregorio Hurtado, S., D’Alonzo, V., Church, J. M., Geneletti, D., Musco, F., & Reckien, D. (2019). Urban climate change mitigation and adaptation planning: Are Italian cities ready? Cities, 91, 93–105. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cities.2018.11.009

Pileri, P., & Maggi, M. (2010). Sustainable planning? first results in land uptakes in rural, natural and protected areas: The Lombardia case study (Italy). Journal of Land Use Science, 5(2), 105–122. https://doi.org/10.1080/1747423X.2010.481078

Poli, A., Agostoni, C., Graffigna, G., Bosio, C., Donini, L. M., & Marangoni, F. (2019). The complex relationship between diet, quality of life and life expectancy: a narrative review of potential determinants based on data from Italy. In Eating and Weight Disorders (Vol. 24, Issue 3, pp. 411–419). Springer International Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40519-018-0582-2

Reames, T. G., & Bravo, M. A. (2019). People, place and pollution: Investigating relationships between air quality perceptions, health concerns, exposure, and individual- and area-level characteristics. Environment International, 122, 244–255. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2018.11.013

Romano, B., & Zullo, F. (2016). Half a century of urbanization in southern European lowlands: a study on the Po Valley (Northern Italy). Urban Research and Practice, 9(2), 109–130. https://doi.org/10.1080/17535069.2015.1077885

Romano, B., Zullo, F., Fiorini, L., Marucci, A., & Ciabò, S. (2017). Land transformation of Italy due to half a century of urbanization. Land Use Policy, 67(June), 387–400. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2017.06.006

Romano, B., Zullo, F., Marucci, A., & Fiorini, L. (2018). Vintage Urban Planning in Italy: Land Management with the Tools of the Mid-Twentieth Century. Sustainability, 10(11), 4125. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10114125

Ronchi, S., Arcidiacono, A., & Pogliani, L. (2020). Integrating green infrastructure into spatial planning regulations to improve the performance of urban ecosystems. Insights from an Italian case study. Sustainable Cities and Society, 53, 101907. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scs.2019.101907

Sarra, A., & Nissi, E. (2020). A Spatial Composite Indicator for Human and Ecosystem Well-Being in the Italian Urban Areas. Social Indicators Research, 148(2), 353–377. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11205-019-02203-y

Scorza, F., Saganeiti, L., Pilogallo, A., & Murgante, B. (2020). Ghost Planning: the inefficiency of energy sector policies in a low population density region. ARCHIVIO DI STUDI URBANI E REGIONALI, In press.

Senes, G., Fumagalli, N., Ferrario, P., Rovelli, R., & Sigon, R. (2020). Definition of a Land Quality Index to preserve the best territories from future land take. An application to a study area in Lombardy (Italy). Journal of Agricultural Engineering, 51(1), 43–55. https://doi.org/10.4081/jae.2020.1006

Setti, L., Rizzo -Società, E., Medicina, I., Alessandro, A., Italiana, M.-S., & Ambientale, M. (2020). Relazione circa l’effetto dell’inquinamento da particolato atmosferico e la diffusione di virus nella popolazione.

Skarbit, N., Ács, F., & Breuer, H. (2018). The climate of the European region during the 20th and 21st centuries according to Feddema. International Journal of Climatology, 38(5), 2435–2448. https://doi.org/10.1002/joc.5346

Steinitz, C. (2012). A framework for geodesign : changing geography by design. Esri.

Stewart Fotheringham, A., Charlton, M., & Brunsdon, C. (1996). The geography of parameter space: an investigation of spatial non-stationarity. International Journal of Geographical Information Systems, 10(5), 605–627. https://doi.org/10.1080/02693799608902100

Tira, M., Tiboni, M., Rossetti, S., & De Robertis, M. (2018). Smart planning to enhance nonmotorised and safe mobility in today’s cities. In Green Energy and Technology (Vol. PartF12, pp. 201–214). Springer Verlag. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-77682-8_12

Tobler, W. R. (1970). A Computer Movie Simulating Urban Growth in the Detroit Region. Economic Geography, 46, 234. https://doi.org/10.2307/143141

Vandenbroucke, J. P. (1982). A SHORTCUT METHOD FOR CALCULATING THE 95 PER CENT CONFIDENCE INTERVAL OF THE STANDARDIZED MORTALITY RATIO. American Journal of Epidemiology, 115(2), 303–304. https://doi.org/10.1093/oxfordjournals.aje.a113306

Volpato, S., Landi, F., & Incalzi, R. A. (2020). Frail Health Care System for an Old Population: Lesson form the COVID-19 Outbreak in Italy. The Journals of Gerontology: Series A. https://academic.oup.com/biomedgerontology/advance-article/doi/10.1093/gerona/glaa087/5823151

WHO Air quality guidelines for particulate matter, ozone, nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide. (2006).

Zomer, R. J., Bossio, D. A., Sommer, R., & Verchot, L. V. (2017). Global Sequestration Potential of Increased Organic Carbon in Cropland Soils. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-15794-8

Zullo, F., Fazio, G., Romano, B., Marucci, A., & Fiorini, L. (2019). Effects of urban growth spatial pattern (UGSP) on the land surface temperature (LST): A study in the Po Valley (Italy). Science of The Total Environment, 650, 1740–1751. https://doi.org/10.1016/J.SCITOTENV.2018.09.331

Published
2020-06-19
How to Cite
Murgante, B., Balletto, G., Borruso, G., Las Casas, G., Castiglia, P., & Dettori, M. (2020). Geographical analyses of Covid-19’s spreading contagion in the challenge of global health risks. TeMA - Journal of Land Use, Mobility and Environment, 283-304. https://doi.org/10.6092/1970-9870/6849
Section
Special Issue - Covid-19 vs City-20