Matching Items (5)

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Spatial Climate Justice and Green Infrastructure Assessment: A Case Study for the Huron River Watershed, Michigan, USA

Description

Green infrastructure serves as a critical no-regret strategy to address climate change mitigation and adaptation in climate action plans. Climate justice refers to the distribution of climate change-induced environmental hazards

Green infrastructure serves as a critical no-regret strategy to address climate change mitigation and adaptation in climate action plans. Climate justice refers to the distribution of climate change-induced environmental hazards (e.g., increased frequency and intensity of floods) among socially vulnerable groups. Yet no index has addressed both climate justice and green infrastructure planning jointly in the USA. This paper proposes a spatial climate justice and green infrastructure assessment framework to understand social-ecological vulnerability under the impacts of climate change. The Climate Justice Index ranks places based on their exposure to climate change-induced flooding, and water contamination aggravated by floods, through hydrological modelling, GIS spatial analysis and statistical methodologies. The Green Infrastructure Index ranks access to biophysical adaptive capacity for climate change. A case study for the Huron River watershed in Michigan, USA, illustrates that climate justice hotspots are concentrated in large cities; yet these communities have the least access to green infrastructure. This study demonstrates the value of using GIS to assess the spatial distribution of climate justice in green infrastructure planning and thereby to prioritize infrastructure investment while addressing equity in climate change adaptation.

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Date Created
  • 2016-06-29

Coupling Biogeochemical Cycles in Urban Environments: Ecosystem Services, Green Solutions, and Misconceptions

Description

Urban green space is purported to offset greenhouse‐gas (GHG) emissions, remove air and water pollutants, cool local climate, and improve public health. To use these services, municipalities have focused efforts

Urban green space is purported to offset greenhouse‐gas (GHG) emissions, remove air and water pollutants, cool local climate, and improve public health. To use these services, municipalities have focused efforts on designing and implementing ecosystem‐services‐based “green infrastructure” in urban environments. In some cases the environmental benefits of this infrastructure have been well documented, but they are often unclear, unquantified, and/or outweighed by potential costs. Quantifying biogeochemical processes in urban green infrastructure can improve our understanding of urban ecosystem services and disservices (negative or unintended consequences) resulting from designed urban green spaces. Here we propose a framework to integrate biogeochemical processes into designing, implementing, and evaluating the net effectiveness of green infrastructure, and provide examples for GHG mitigation, stormwater runoff mitigation, and improvements in air quality and health.

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Date Created
  • 2011-02-01

Planning for Cooler Cities: A Framework to Prioritize Green Infrastructure to Mitigate High Temperatures in Urban Landscapes

Description

Warming associated with urban development will be exacerbated in future years by temperature increases due to climate change. The strategic implementation of urban green infrastructure (UGI) e.g. street trees, parks,

Warming associated with urban development will be exacerbated in future years by temperature increases due to climate change. The strategic implementation of urban green infrastructure (UGI) e.g. street trees, parks, green roofs and facades can help achieve temperature reductions in urban areas while delivering diverse additional benefits such as pollution reduction and biodiversity habitat. Although the greatest thermal benefits of UGI are achieved in climates with hot, dry summers, there is comparatively little information available for land managers to determine an appropriate strategy for UGI implementation under these climatic conditions. We present a framework for prioritisation and selection of UGI for cooling. The framework is supported by a review of the scientific literature examining the relationships between urban geometry, UGI and temperature mitigation which we used to develop guidelines for UGI implementation that maximises urban surface temperature cooling. We focus particularly on quantifying the cooling benefits of four types of UGI: green open spaces (primarily public parks), shade trees, green roofs, and vertical greening systems (green walls and facades) and demonstrate how the framework can be applied using a case study from Melbourne, Australia.

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Date Created
  • 2014-11-11

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The Politics Behind the Spatial Planning of Green Infrastructure in U.S. Cities

Description

This research project is part of a larger study of green infrastructure in urban planning and sustainability initiatives in cities across the U.S. Within the past few decades, the topic

This research project is part of a larger study of green infrastructure in urban planning and sustainability initiatives in cities across the U.S. Within the past few decades, the topic of sustainability has been at the forefront of city planners’ minds as cities grow, there is new or redevelopment, and the threat of climate change and future climate variability increases. Green infrastructure is one increasingly popular urban sustainability strategy, which is widely promoted for its ability to provide multiple benefits. This multi-functionality translates into ecosystem services and possible disservices for a local community and the city as a whole. This research project examines 120 planning documents from 19 U.S. cities to examine whether the services cities say they expect green infrastructure to provide, or the rationale, match with the criteria used to determine where green infrastructure is sited. For this project, we ask: what are the rationales that cities provide for developing green infrastructure and what are the criteria cities are using to determine where to site it? We find that certain rationales, or benefits, are claimed without corresponding and specific siting criteria to substantiate how these benefits will be achieved, while other benefits, like those related to stormwater management, are prioritized over other potentially important benefits.

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  • 2020-12

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Attitudes towards ecosystem services in urban riparian parks

Description

Urban sustainability is a critical component of sustainable human societies. Urban riparian parks are used here as a case study seeking to understand the social-ecological relationships between the subjective evaluation

Urban sustainability is a critical component of sustainable human societies. Urban riparian parks are used here as a case study seeking to understand the social-ecological relationships between the subjective evaluation of ecosystem services and the vision and management of one kind of green infrastructure. This study explored attitudes towards ecosystem services, asking whether 1) the tripartite model is an effective framing to measure attitudes towards ecosystem services; 2) what the attitudes towards ecosystem services are and whether they differ between two types of park space; and 3) what the relationship is between management and the attitudinal assessment of ecosystem services by park users. A questionnaire was administered to 104 urban riparian park users in Phoenix, AZ evaluating their attitudes towards refugia, aesthetics, microclimate and stormwater regulation, and recreational and educational opportunities. The operationalization of the tripartite model was validated and found reliable, but may not be the whole story in determining attitudes towards ecosystem services. All components of attitude were positive, but attitudes were stronger in a habitat rehabilitation area with densely planted native species and low flows, than in a more classic park with mowed lawns and scattered vegetation, a mix of native and non-native species, and open water. Park users were more positive towards refugia, stormwater regulation, recreation, and educational opportunities in the habitat rehabilitation area. On the other hand, microclimate regulation and aesthetic qualities were valued similarly between the two parks. Most attitudes supported management goals, however park users valued stormwater regulation less than managers. Qualitative answers suggest that the quality of human interactions differ between the parks and park users consider both elements of society and the physical environment in their subjective evaluations. These findings reveal that park users highly value ecosystem services and that park design and management mediates social-ecological relationships, which should at least underlie the context of economic discussions of service value. This study supports the provision of ecosystem services through green infrastructure and suggests that an integration of park designs throughout urban areas could provide both necessary services as well as expand the platform for social-ecological interactions.

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Date Created
  • 2012