Research Article: Evaluating urban environmental and ecological landscape characteristics as a function of land-sharing-sparing, urbanity and scale

Date Published: July 25, 2019

Publisher: Public Library of Science

Author(s): Matthew Dennis, Katherine L. Scaletta, Philip James, Ashraf Dewan.


Within urban landscape planning, debate continues around the relative merits of land-sharing (sprawl) and land-sparing (compaction) scenarios. Using three of the ten districts in Greater Manchester (UK) as a case-study, we present a landscape approach to mapping green infrastructure and variation in social-ecological-environmental conditions as a function of land sharing and sparing. We do so for the landscape as a whole and in a more focussed approach for areas of high and low urbanity. Results imply potential trade-offs between land-sharing-sparing scenarios relevant to characteristics critical to urban resilience such as landscape connectivity and diversity, air quality, surface temperature, and access to green space. These trade-offs are complex due to the parallel influence of patch attributes such as land-cover and size and imply that both ecological restoration and spatial planning have a role to play in reconciling tensions between land-sharing and sparing strategies.

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Land-cover for the study area is presented in Fig 4. The land-cover classification achieved a high level of overall accuracy (92%; Cohen’s Kappa = 0.89, p < 0.001). Fig 5 gives the relative cover by major land-uses (those comprising > 1% of the study area) and associated land-cover across low-, medium- and high-income levels (for whole-landscape and for low versus high-urban areas) at the 0.5 km2 level.




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