Identifying Land Cover Typology of Residential Parcels in Metropolitan Phoenix Region

Sunday, 15 February 2015
Exhibit Hall (San Jose Convention Center)
Yujia Zhang, School Of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, ASU, Tempe, AZ
Urban areas worldwide confront a series of sustainability challenges in which their land-cover composition and configuration play a significant role. The Phoenix metropolitan region, for example, confronts urban heat island and related water withdrawal problems expected to be amplified by climate change. Studies have shown that the intensity of urban heat island and water use is closely related to the spatial heterogeneity of land cover across different scales. Discovering useful land-cover typologies at the parcel level is a fundamental step for developing a systematic understanding of how land-cover pattern affect these challenges. This study aims to identify the typology of residential parcels, which occupy the largest area and compose the dominating land-cover typology of Phoenix metropolitan area. Based on the size and age of each parcel, we selected the samples across the region using the stratified random method. We then calculated the land-cover composition and configuration variables of each parcel using a 1 meter land-cover map. Combining categorical and continuous variables, we were able to detect robust typologies using cluster analysis that characterized the majority of residential parcels in the metropolitan area. The next step is to determine how this refined but simplified means of characterizing land-cover heterogeneity improves our understanding of urban design and sustainability.