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Urban EcologyPatterns, Processes, and Applications$
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Jari Niemelä, Jürgen H. Breuste, Thomas Elmqvist, Glenn Guntenspergen, Philip James, and Nancy E. McIntyre

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199563562

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199563562.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 03 December 2021

Land-Use and Surface-Cover as Urban Ecological Indicators

Land-Use and Surface-Cover as Urban Ecological Indicators

(p.19) Chapter 1.1 Land-Use and Surface-Cover as Urban Ecological Indicators
Urban Ecology

Stephan Pauleit

Jürgen H. Breuste

Oxford University Press

Land uses represent the different anthropogenic activities in a given area such as housing, commercial activities, transport, recreation, and farming. Surface cover is the physical result of land use as process. Ecosystem services, such as climatic energy exchange and hydrology, are clearly related to land use and land cover in urban areas. Therefore, urban planning and regulations that influence the spatial pattern and intensity of land use can have huge implications for the ecology of cities. The mapping of structural types/urban morphology types is presented in this chapter as an approach to characterise the spatial pattern and the physical character of the urban fabric. The approach is exemplified for the Greater Manchester conurbation, UK. Large differences could be observed in surface cover composition between the various urban morphology types. Densely built areas with a very low cover of evapotranspiring surfaces are town centres, large industrial and commercial areas, and transport infrastructures. Urban green spaces, woodlands, and farmland have a very high percentage cover of evapotransipring surfaces of more than 90% each. Urban land use and surface cover dynamics are mainly driven by the expansion of urban areas by urban sprawl, urban densification within urban areas but increasingly also the effect of population shrinkage and brownfield development. Analyses of land use and land cover dynamics and their impacts on ecological processes are important to underpin policies for urban sustainability.

Keywords:   land use, surface cover, ecosystem services, structural types, urban morphology types, surface cover dynamics, urban sprawl, densification

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