Contributions of landscape structure to thermal resilience of megacities under different climatic and socioeconomic contexts

Authors: Iryna Dronova*, University of California Berkeley, Jed Collins, University of California Berkeley, Alexi Rypinski, University of California Berkeley, Sophie Taddeo, University of California Berkeley
Topics: Urban Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Remote Sensing
Keywords: urban expansion, surface temperature, urban morphology, megacities, remote sensing
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Stones Throw 1 - Granite, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Continuing warming of globally expanding cities important concerns about human well-being as the world population is becoming predominantly urban. These concerns are especially critical in regions experiencing rapid growth accompanied by socio-economic disparities and loss of important amenities such as green spaces. While previous research has identified a number of factors contributing to increases of urban temperatures, specific attribution of these increases to spatial pattern of urban environments and socio-economic context of their change remains not universally understood. This study focuses on the questions: What aspects of urban landscape structure and developed area morphology enable greater resilience to increasing heat in different climates globally, and to what extent are these properties associated with the socioeconomic context of development? Using a sample of 36 actively expanding global urban regions from different climates, this research compares trends in their atmospheric and surface temperature with changes in urban landscape structure characterized using both classic landscape patch metrics and novel indicators based on the ecological systems theory, produced from time series of remote sensing data over the recent two decades. Our results reveal important contrasts in these associations between hotter and more arid versus other climate types and between cities showing accelerating versus saturating lateral expansion tendencies under different socio-economic and policy contexts. These findings highlight important directions for new research towards cost-effective remote sensing-based approach to detect urban resilience and support future policies and planning.

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