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Greening a City

A GIS-based decision support tool
by

Jenny Gnan

on 27 April 2010

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Transcript of Greening a City

1. Introduction 2. Background / Lit Review 3. The Design - Methods and Procedures 4. Expected Challenges What is a green roof?

Research problem

Purpose of the research Green roof - types An extensive green roof has low lying plants designed to provide maximum groundcover, water retention, erosion resistance, and respirative transpiration of moisture. Extensive green roofs usually use plants with foliage from 2 to 6 inches and from 2 to 4 inches of soil.




An intensive green roof is intended to be more of a natural landscape, installed on a rooftop. Intensive green roofs may use plants with foliage from 1 to 15 feet and may require several feet of soil depth. Research Problem Studies focussing on construction of green roofs or their benefits...
Studies focussing on economics of green roofs...
"....a focus on developing smart tools for policy makers and developers is required"


(Taylor, 2007; City of Toronto, 2005) The intent of this research is to plan and develop a GIS-based decision-making support tool for policy-makers that will identify suitable sites for green roofs within a city and calculate the related benefits Purpose of Research 1. Considerations for Suitability Model



2. Identifying and Monetizing Benefits 1. Considerations for Suitability Model Building-use:
Residential, Commercial, Industrial, etc
Roof Slope:
Flat roofs 350-m2 of roof area
Lower roof slope (lower Curve Number) result in lower runoff
Acoustical benefits with low roof slope
Type of Green roof:
Residential vs commercial
Intensive ($$) vs extensive

2. Identifying and Monetizing Benefits Stormwater runoff is decreased
Impacts combine sewer overflow (CSO)
Stormwater treatment costs lowered
Hydrological Simulation Program (HSPF) or HYDRUS-1D
Improved air quality
reduction in Airborne particulate matter (pm)
reduction in Greenhouse gases (03, C02, No)
Urban heat island effect
air temperature lowered by 0.1 to 1.5 °F
Lowering energy demands
Green amenity spaces & Aesthetic impacts
Meaningful contact and access to nature/green space
Lowers stress, increase ability to focus, generate creative ideas
Habitat preservation




The tool will include two distinct portions: The suitability model and the benefit quantification model.

City of Buffalo is the case study




ESRI ArcGIS 9/10.x desktop applications and Microsoft VB.net.

Anticipated data layers
Land use and/or zoning
Building footprint and building height
Building-use or type
Watershed & Average precipitation data

Monetizing Benefits
Hydrological Simulation Program
Pollutant and erosion reduction benefit equations
Sustainable Drainage Systems Model (SUDS)
USDA Urban Forest Effects / Dry-Deposition model (UFORE-D)
Direct/Indirect Energy Savings (e.g cost of electricity ~$0.1017 per kWh)



Proposed Mock-up of ArcGIS Tool



Standardizing GIS data and rules for monetizing benefits across many cities

Targeting policy-makers

Tool needs to account for realistic expectations - # and acreage of green roofs

Follow-up research on outcomes of tool required




Greening a City: A decision-support tool
Full transcript