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Use of ESRI GIS technology and InVEST models to assess impacts on ecosystem services provision and wildfire risk in the context of urban expansion.

Authors: Clara Mosso*, Colorado State University
Topics: Urban and Regional Planning, Human-Environment Geography, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Native forests, Land use policy, Modelling, Wildland-urban interface
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/8/2020
Start / End Time: 3:20 PM / 4:35 PM
Room: Virtual Track 3
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

As global population increases, urban expansion is turning into a forest loss and degradation driver that causes detrimental impacts on ecological processes and functions. Climate change exacerbates these detrimental impacts and both processes, in turn, affect ecosystem services provision. In the context of the Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and, in particular, of SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), generating information regarding ecosystem services provision and its relationship with residential expansion into native forest can contribute to support science-based policies and land use planning decisions. This research project proposes the use of ESRI GIS technology and InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) models to study the effects of urban expansion on ecosystem services provision and fire risk using the cities of San Martin de los Andes (Neuquén, Argentina) and Aspen (Colorado, U.S.) as case studies. Specifically, this study will be answering to the following questions: 1) What are the spatiotemporal trends of urban expansion in these areas?; 2) How do the spatial patterns of urban expansion in these areas affect water yield, sediment retention, and water purification?; 3) How do these spatial patterns, together with climate change trends, influence wildfire risk in the WUI at both Aspen and San Martín de los Andes? This information can be used as an unbiased arbiter between different management options or urban development scenarios and contribute to the improvement of current environmental policy frameworks affecting urban and wildland-urban interface (WUI) areas, as well as WUI community’s well-being.

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