by J Tratalos, RA Fuller, PH Warren, RG Davies, KJ Gaston
Landscape and Urban Planning 83(4): 308-3172007
More than half of the world’s population now lives in cities, and there has been a shift towards developing more compact cities in order to mitigate effects of urbanization. However, little is known about how this affects the urban ecosystem. For this study, authors used green space patch size and the levels of provision of key environmental services to measure environmental performance. The study used availability and patch characteristics of tree cover, gardens and green space, storm-water run-off, maximum temperature, and carbon sequestration to measure ecosystem services across the different cities. High-density urban developments were found to be associated with poor environmental performance across five cities in the United Kingdom. Results of the study indicated that more densely urbanized areas showed less coverage by green space and gardens, smaller habitat patch sizes, greater predicted run-off, higher predicted maximum temperatures and lower predicted carbon sequestration. The study further established a relationship between urban densification and a variety of the environmental indicators in residential areas. Overall, the results of the study show how the effects of changes in environmental quality can be assessed and minimized.