DOI: 10.3390/land13010027 ISSN: 2073-445X

Analysis Options for Urban Green Spaces Based on Unified Urban Masks: Selected Results for European Cities

Ulrich Schumacher
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Ecology
  • Global and Planetary Change

At a time of rising urbanisation and climate change, urban green spaces (UGSs) are an essential element to help adapt to extreme weather events. Especially in urban core areas, heat and drought are regarded as human stress factors. The delineation of such areas constitutes an important reference geometry in topographic geodata (urban mask). This article deals with possibilities for investigating UGSs in European cities—based on unified urban masks—by applying city-wide metrics to Copernicus data (Urban Atlas including the Street Tree Layer). Both public and tree-covered urban green spaces are examined in detail. Selected results are presented for 30 European cities that display a wide range of urban structures. The spatial reference to uniformly delineated urban masks places the analytical focus of city-wide metrics onto corresponding core areas. In general, the values of UGS metrics vary considerably between cities, indicating the strong influence of city-specific factors on urban structures in Europe. For the comparative analysis of tree-covered urban areas, the Urban Green Raster Germany and a municipal tree register are used to provide additional data sources. The regular updating of the Copernicus dataset means that green spaces in European cities can be monitored, also using urban masks.

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