Urban green infrastructure multifunctionality, benefits and tradeoffs

Authors: Tijana Jovanovic*, SESYNC, National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center , Benoit Permentier, SESYNC, National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center , Ana Mijic, Imperial College London
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Water Resources and Hydrology
Keywords: urban green infrastructure, optimization,
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Jefferson, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Urban Green Infrastructure (UGI) has become somewhat of a synonym for sustainability with emphasis on its ability to simultaneously provide multiple benefits. When evaluating benefits, little to no attention has been given to the opposing needs, possible tradeoffs, and differences in temporal or spatial scale of influence. For example, in areas where extreme heat events are followed by extreme precipitation events, the UGI needs to be planned in detail and closely managed to provide both temperature regulation and stormwater volume reduction functions. More specifically, temperature regulation requires soils to be saturated, while stormwater volume reduction requires them to be dry. Here we present a spatial, multi-objective optimization framework for finding the optimal location set of UGI by utilizing readily available high resolution data (1m). The optimization focuses on favoring locations suitable for stormwater volume reductions, temperature regulation, and access to urban green space. As the case study area, we selected the City of Baltimore, Maryland. The proposed framework allows mapping of the opportunities, qualitative characterization of the potential conflicts, and provides spatial configuration with the best possible tradeoffs across objectives. Results indicate that there is a need for both careful planning and management of the UGI sites, particularly when considering evaporative cooling and water volume reduction. This framework could be easily applied to different urban areas, and further developed to include and relate other benefits or as a decision support tool for large scale implementation.

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