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TitleUsing satellite remote sensing to survey transport-related urban sustainability. Part 1: Methodologies for indicator quantification
AuthorZhang, Y; Guindon, B
SourceInternational Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation vol. 8, no. 3, 2006 p. 149-164,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20181216
PublisherElsevier BV
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf
Subjectsgeophysics; Economics and Industry; remote sensing
ProgramCanada Centre for Remote Sensing Divsion
AbstractUrban sustainable development (SD) is a key concern of policy and decision-makers. As a result, numerous sustainability studies have been commissioned by government agencies that have led to the recommendation of suites of indicators to assess a host of related socio-economic and environmental issues. Many of these indicators have been described in concept only and a major challenge for science remains in translating verbal indicator descriptions into quantifiable measures. A Landsat-based Canadian national urban land database is being generated at the Canada Centre of Remote Sensing along with a set of urban sustainability indicators as value-added information to support informed transportation energy policy decision-making. This paper addresses indicator quantification, using the remote-sensing derived urban land use data, in the context of urban transportation-related energy consumption resulting from urban sprawl. Our work on quantification of sustainability indicators involves extraction of information about the characteristics of urban form (density, compactness and land use mix) and analysis of its impacts on land use efficiency, transportation and the environment. A generalized methodology for the categorization of indicators is presented based the level of information input and sophistication of computation needed for their quantification. Four indicators are discussed (population density, compactness, travel mode index and probability of travel distance) that span the category spectrum. Each indicator presents unique challenges in achieving its quantification in the form of information integration, analytic formulation or modeling. Example results for the cities of Ottawa-Gatineau and Calgary provide a preliminary insight into the difficulties in utilizing indicators for inter-city sustainability comparisons.

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