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Benefits of urban green space (BUGS)


The BUGS project deals with urban greening in order to promote a higher quality of life regarding air pollution and noise annoyance. The overall goal of the WPGEOMAP consists of the production of satellite-based urban geographic maps containing surface parameters, and application of spatial modelling techniques to re-design the same area, focusing on the enhancement of green area accessibility and connectivity. The land use/land cover (LU/LC) files allows to locate and to quantify the different types of landscape features in urban areas. It is obviously necessary to know where, how much and with what kind of patterns LU/LC categories are distributed in the urban area. The results will provide reliable parameters usable in other work packages in order to understand the main outlines of atmospheric circulation and pollutants transportation trends at different scales, for the whole urban area and for very local places. The influence of urban structures of characteristics on air quality is important to integrate different scales of analysis and this is one of the objectives of the BUGS project. Several layers are necessary to be used in partner’s models: land-use/ cover categories, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Land surface Brightness Temperature. Other layers are associated: connectivity layer dealing with green areas and accessibility layer dealing with access to urban green spaces in the city. The first case study is the Urban Community of Strasbourg (Communauté Urbaine de Strasbourg- CUS); it covers approximately 300km2. In the 1999 French census the urban population reaches 480 000 inhabitants. Several layers have been realized to observe the city and urban green spaces in order to locate, identify and analyse the different LU/LC components. From the simplest (colour composite image) to the more sophisticated (classification file) numerous image-processing methods have been used. These types of results have been achieved on two types of satellite images: high resolution (Landsat TM 30m and 15m spatial resolution) and very high resolution (1.86m). Added to these results, several layers are dedicated to urban population looking after the green spaces connectivity, meaning the possibility to create or to benefit from connected green spaces, and the green spaces accessibility meaning the proximity of these areas for the population.
The BUGS project is meant to provide cities with a tool for local measuring of the environmental impact of different urban planning strategies, which focus on the developing of a balance between a green and a compact city. As a basis for the testing, we have developed an urban planning methodology based on the compact city + local centre strategy, supplemented with guidelines for urban greening focused on this concept. The method is built on indicators and scenarios, thus not providing general solutions, but a tool suitable for local testing and debate. GIS is a core element of the method, representing digitised data on a geographical map. The method leads to the identification of areas suitable for increased urban density or increased urban greening. Thus, the final process should go through the following steps: 1. Registering of existing conditions. 2. Identification of potential areas for increased density including use of density indicators. 3. Identification of potential areas for increased urban greening including use of indicators. 4. Creating scenarios of future conditions. 5. Tests and evaluation of consequences and impact. 6. Selecting scenarios of new density and new green structure for discussion - including consequences (physical density, population and employment density, passenger and customer potential, accessibility to green areas, quality of green areas, social well-being and environment). Steps 1-4 are carried through in this methodology. Steps 5 and 6 are described in the Methodology, but will be implemented only in the common case study of Ruhr in collaboration with the partners. The study of this work package will provide tools to implement and test the concept of the compact city - supplemented with increased density around local centres and public transport nodes - in practice. The study of this work package will provide tools to enhance greening specifically in a compact city, i.e. in a city with a limited extent of open space.