The Open Space Prioritization Model for Preservation and Conservation in the Dense Inner Suburbs

Authors: Thayer Young*, Cicada Systems GIS Consulting
Topics: Spatial Analysis & Modeling, Land Use, Environment
Keywords: conservation, preservation, open space, green space
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/7/2019
Start / End Time: 3:55 PM / 5:35 PM
Room: 8229, Park Tower Suites, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


The rapid, car focused development of inner suburbs around American cities has resulted in these areas having poor walkability for residents and limited ecological connectivity. An example for how this process can be reversed can be seen in the nonprofit urban land conservancy Neighborspace of Baltimore County, Inc., which is setting aside open space to provide social, economic and environmental benefits. NBCI has limited people and financial resources to draw upon, so they have put a strong emphasis on making informed decisions supported by robust geospatial analysis and they have solicited the building of an Open Space Prioritization Model. This talk will focus on the most innovative analysis included in the model, specifically one social and one environmental conservation indicator. The Deficit of Open Space indicator which applies Baltimore County's standard of 1,000 square feet of open space per dwelling unit for new development to assess where residents have the least access to open space within a quarter mile easy walking distance. This indicator, at parcel level granularity, provides a rapid assessment of both where there is the greatest need and also what properties can provide the greatest benefit. The Potential to Provide Open Space Connectivity indicator in the Environmental Conservation goal considers the opposite desire to preserve areas of high quality habitat and corridors between them. The model serves the dual functions of reactively evaluating parcels offered to NBCI, and proactively choosing properties for preservation.

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