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Green infrastructure indicators for urban planning: applying the integrated approach for Russian largest cities

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Modern approaches to urban planning assume the dualistic nature of urban green infrastructure (GI). On the one hand, green infrastructure is as an integrated network of natural and semi-natural areas, featuring a delivery of various benefits to humans. On the other hand, GI is multifunctional and provides the residents by complex of ecosystem services to be user-oriented. Most official reports and programs use common indicators that do not characterize distribution, dynamics or state of GI. In our research, we assessed the quality of GI in 15 largest Russian cities by using an integrated assessment of 13 indicators that make up three groups: the ones 1) characterizing general GI availability; 2) supporting a comfortable urban environment («recreational indicators»); and 3) forming a stable ecosystem («integrity indicators»). The cities were ranked by values of every indicator from 1 to 15 and then the results were summed and normalized to get a total mark (max. 100). To assess the development of GI elements of each group, we also ranked cities separately by values of different groups indicators. Thus, our study revealed that satisfactory marks for both recreational and integrity indicators have Ufa, Nizhny Novgorod, Kazan, Ekaterinburg, Perm and Voronezh. In contrast, Saint Petersburg, being a densely built-up city in an auspicious natural zone, got the worst result. According to the final assessment, the quality of green infrastructure in Krasnoyarsk, a large industrial city, and four cities from the steppe zone (Rostov-on-Don, Samara, Omsk, Novosibirsk) is also unsatisfactory. Our method does not cover all GI aspects (like vegetation health) and since it is based solely on remote sensing data and statistics data, there is definitely a room for improvement. However, this method, while being relatively quick and simple to accomplish, allows to assess not only general availability of GI, but its quality and distribution as well, which are essential for urban spatial planning.

About the Authors

Oxana A. Klimanova
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation
Leninskiye Gory 1, Moscow, 119991

Olga I. Illarionova
Lomonosov Moscow State University
Russian Federation
Leninskiye Gory 1, Moscow, 119991


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For citation:

Klimanova O.A., Illarionova O.I. Green infrastructure indicators for urban planning: applying the integrated approach for Russian largest cities. GEOGRAPHY, ENVIRONMENT, SUSTAINABILITY. 2020;13(1):251-259.

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ISSN 2071-9388 (Print)
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