Exploring the determinants of urban forest structure in Phoenix using multi-scale geographically weighted regression (MGWR)

Authors: Zhe Wang*, University of Idaho, Chao Fan, Assistant Professor
Topics: Urban Geography, Environment, Remote Sensing
Keywords: Urban Forestry; Phoenix; Lidar
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 11:10 AM / 12:25 PM
Room: Plaza Court 10, Sheraton, Concourse Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Urban forests constitute an important part of urban infrastructure which is beneficial for mitigating the urban heat island effect, improving air quality, and reducing moisture loss from soils. A large number of studies have focused on the cooling effect provided by urban greenness. Fewer studies, however, discuss the urban forest pattern with respect to its influencing factors. The spatial distribution of an urban forest is strongly associated with both socio-economic and environmental factors. This study examines the tree density, mean tree height and canopy cover percent as key attributes for describing urban forest pattern and evaluates the relationships with a range of socio-economic and environmental variables over Phoenix, Arizona. Remote sensing data sets will be used to derive the individual tree matrix and environmental factors. Socio-economic factors will be selected through the census data. Correlation analysis and multi-scale geographically weighted regression (MGWR) models will be employed to investigate the relationships between the urban forest structure and its underlying factors. This study aims to address the following questions: (1) What is the urban forest pattern in Phoenix as described by the forest attributes? (2) What are the socio-economic and environmental determinants that best describe the urban forest pattern in Phoenix? (3) What are the relationships between urban forest pattern and socio-economic and environmental indicators? We hope this study will provide informative management guidelines for the government and policy makers and help increase people’s awareness on the relationship between human and urban environment.

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