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Sprawl or dense?: Assessing impacts of regional development plans on landscape network connectivity
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Environmental Management and Assessment.
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Land and Water Resources Engineering (moved 20130630), Environmental Management and Assessment.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1640-8946
Stockholm Resilience Centre, Stockholm University.
Dept. of Forest Management and Economics, E.T.S.I. Montes, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The management of landscape connectivity has been identified as one of the most important measures to counteract negative impacts on biodiversity by habitat loss and fragmentation. Such management must be able to cross spatial and temporal administrative and ecological scales. The use of graph-theory and network-based landscape-ecological tools has gained considerable interest as a promising way forward to address these issues. However, despite urgent needs to adapt and implement network-based connectivity analysis in planning, assessment and decision-making, surprisingly little attention has been paid to developing approaches for their effective practical application. In this paper, a large-scale assessment of the Regional Development Plan for the Stockholm Region (RUFS 2010) was carried out, argued to be the first graph-theoretic assessment of landscape connectivity for real proposed planning alternatives. In addition, it is the first time where the analysis of connectivity was an integral part in the planning process. Three planning alternatives were compared with the current situation for four different habitat types and one hundred different dispersal capacities. Three families of network metrics representing different underlying processes were selected, that have previously been shown to capture the variability of a larger set of metrics. The sprawl alternative emerged as having the largest negative impact while the dense alternative had the smallest. However, when comparing the impact with the amount of habitat consumed, the sprawl alternative emerged as being the most efficient in several situations. In order to achieve a better understanding of the underlying processes, a spatial study was carried out. The analysis leads to important insights on the planning of connectivity in an urbanizing region, argued to be applicable within a broad set of urbanizing regions throughout the world.

 

National Category
Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-48980OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-48980DiVA: diva2:459054
Funder
FormasStandUp
Note

QS 2011

Available from: 2011-11-24 Created: 2011-11-24 Last updated: 2013-12-20Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Connecting the dots: Network analysis, landscape ecology, and practical application
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Connecting the dots: Network analysis, landscape ecology, and practical application
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Humans have a profound impact on ecosystems, and land-use change constitutes a primary driving force in the loss of biodiversity. Habitat loss and fragmentation are key factors in this process by seriously impeding the habitat availability and movement of species, leading to a significant decrease in population viability. Landscape connectivity management able of crossing administrative and ecological spatial and temporal scales has been identified as one of the most important measures to counteract these negative impacts. The use of graph-theory and network-based landscape-ecological tools has become established as a promising way forward to address these issues. Despite urgent needs to adapt and implement such tools in planning, assessment and decision-making, surprisingly little attention has been paid to developing approaches for their effective practical application. This thesis presents the development of a toolbox with network-based, landscape-ecological methods and graph-theoretic indicators, which can be effectively implemented by practitioners within environmental assessment, physical planning and design, to analyze landscape connectivity. Recent advances in network analysis and landscape ecology are brought together and adapted for practical application, bridging the gap between science and practice. The use of participatory approaches was identified as key to successful development, and several workshops, meetings, interviews, as well as prototype testing of the developed software were conducted throughout the study. Input data and selection of species were based on the experience gained through seven real-world cases, commissioned by different governmental organizations within Stockholm County. The practitioners’ perspectives on effective practical application of the proposed toolbox were then assessed through an interview-study. The respondents anticipated improved communication with other actors in addition to being able to better assess critical ecological structures within the landscape. The toolbox was finally tested in a large-scale network analysis of impacts of the regional development plan (RUFS 2010), leading to important insights on the planning of connectivity in an urbanizing region.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2011. x, 52 p.
Series
TRITA-LWR. PHD, ISSN 1650-8602 ; 1062
Keyword
Landscape connectivity; Land-use planning; Urban and regional planning; Graph theory; Network analysis; Environmental assessment; Least-cost modeling; Biodiversity
National Category
Environmental Engineering Civil Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-48491 (URN)978-91-7501-198-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-12-09, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 14:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
Formas
Note

QC 20111125

Available from: 2011-11-25 Created: 2011-11-19 Last updated: 2014-08-27Bibliographically approved

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Mörtberg, Ulla

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