Source: UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN submitted to
URBAN FOREST ECOSYSTEMS AS EQUITABLE GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE FOR THE DETROIT REGION
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
1003472
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
14-PAF05834_Newell
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Oct 1, 2014
Project End Date
Jan 31, 2017
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
Newell, JO, .
Recipient Organization
UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN
(N/A)
ANN ARBOR,MI 48109
Performing Department
Resource Ecology & Management
Non Technical Summary
A fundamental challenge to urban sustainability is how best to incorporate and balance multipleenvironmental, social, and economic considerations into planning processes. Land use decisions and transformations are often narrowly driven by a one particular interest or benefit. This project will help develop the science necessary for effective spatial planning by developing an approach to urban forest green infrastructure expansion that is truly inclusive and interdisciplinary. Although this project is focused on Detroit, the approach will be applicable for other urban regions considering how best to restore and expand urban forest ecosystems, as well as urban agriculture and greening "gray" infrastructure such as alleyways. Through the use of Google Earth, this project will provide unprecedented level of spatial detail on urban forests and how they change over time. In terms of broader impact, hundreds of millions of dollars is being poured into redevelopment of Detroit, with green infrastructure expansion as a major centerpiece. Decisions about where and how to expand urban forest ecosystems will have ramifications for decades to come. This project, therefore, has the potential to significantly shape this expansion in a manner that includes matters of environmental and social justice, in addition to more traditional environmental benefits, such as stormwater abatement and carbon sequestration. By incorporating community partners in the urban forest criteria selection and weighting process, the project helps ensure that the results generated are used by those who have the power to beneficially shape outcomes on the ground. Finally, the GIS data layers and approach developed by this project will serve as a foundation for larger research projects that focus on urban sustainability in the Detroit region and beyond.
Animal Health Component
50%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
20%
Applied
50%
Developmental
30%
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
12406133100100%
Knowledge Area
124 - Urban Forestry;

Subject Of Investigation
0613 - Mixed conifer-broadleaf forests;

Field Of Science
3100 - Management;
Goals / Objectives
The city of Detroit has approximately twenty square miles of vacant residential, commercial, and industrial property and has ambitious plans to demolish some of these properties and shrink the city by concentrating stabilization efforts in key target neighborhoods (Detroit Future City, 2013). This project responds to an urgent and timely opportunity to this transform vacant, neglected, and underutilized land into a matrix of green infrastructure for the city's residents and ecology. The overall objective is to advance the science necessary to make sound decisions about how to expand urban forest ecosystems as part of a broader green infrastructure strategy.
Project Methods
To complete the project objectives, the research methods are divided into three phases. The proposed work builds on an existing body of research and data analyses by the PI.1. Use Google Earth Pro, ArcGIS, and fieldwork to map and analyze changes in forest cover (1999-2013)We will map forest cover change for the entire city of Detroit using two time periods (1999 and 2013). The PI will develop a methodological guide and research manual that includes a detailed forest classification scheme, step-by-step instructions for the digitizing process, and field validation of this process. Using the Google Earth Pro polygon drawing tool, all urban forests will be digitized on a flat plan at an elevation of ~600 feet and eye altitude of 700-850 feet. Forest polygons will be color-coded based on forest type on a parcel-by-parcel basis in both aerial and street views, assisted by reference images and indicators that will be generated based on site visits to selected urban forest sites. To improve accuracy, student researchers will be trained in classification procedures and their work will be cross-validated periodically. To further validate the accuracy of the digitizing process, we will conduct physical audits in Spring 2015, selecting specific polygons to verify through random stratified sampling. The KML-file forest polygon layers will then be exported to ArcGIS, where maps will be created and changes in forest cover quantified and analyzed. This spatial analysis will draw on a wide range of spatial data sets that have already been collected (see below).2. Develop a science of spatial multi-criteria sustainability analysis to identify optimal sites for expanding urban forestsIn collaboration with an interdisciplinary group of SNRE faculty and community collaborators, we will identify and weight the ecological and socio-economic criteria used to identify future optimal parcels for planting urban forests. Potential SNRE faculty include: Ibanez (forests and climate change), Nassauer (urban landscapes), Moore (ecosystem services), Grese (ecological restoration), Taylor (environmental justice and food access), Mohai (urban exposure to toxic pollutants), and Burton (urban stormwater and water quality). Potential community partners the PI has engaged include SEMCOG (Amy Mangus), Data Driven Detroit (Gregory Parish), Detroit Future City (Erin Kelly), Greening of Detroit (Dean Hay), and Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (Kimberly Hill Knott)The GIS forest cover map generated in Phase 1 provides the baseline data for this effort. As a test case, the PI has used this spatial multi-criteria analysis approach to identify prospective new urban agricultural sites in Detroit's lower east side. The following criteria (equally weighted) were used: proximity to existing urban gardens, parks, schools, and food stores; suitability of soils; and prevalence of flooding. The PI will organize a half-day interdisciplinary workshop at SNRE to identify and weight the urban forest criteria. Potential additional indicators include: park poverty; proximity to brownfields; historical forest cover (pre-1950); and climate adaptation risk zones. The criteria will be proposed to the faculty and community partners and finalized prior to the workshop. Although the overall spatial scale of analysis will be the city of Detroit, we will deploy these criteria at multiple spatial scales (e.g. census block, NSP target areas, and zip code level) to see how the results and priority areas shift accordingly.3. Identify suitable tree species for potential pilot sitesGoogle Street View allows for identification of species of individual trees at the sub-parcel scale. For this final phase, we will select 3-5 parcel sites identified in Phase 2, and draw upon the knowledge of SNRE faculty (e.g. Ibanez) to suggest appropriate tree species for these locations. This initial effort will serve as a foundation for future research and the PI will engage collaborating community partners and students to explore its potential as a future student Master's Project.

Progress 10/01/14 to 01/31/17

Outputs
Target Audience:The primary target audiences were academia, government agencies, nongovernmental agencies, and the private sector. These target audiences were reached through a variety of avenues. For example, we presented initial results of the research at two conferences. We held multiple meetings and workshops with stakeholders and decision makers in the Detroit region, including one that included 25 participants. In addition to gathering their feedback and input to our forest green infrastructure modeling, we provided them with a summary and journal article of the project. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided? The faculty and students involved have presented the initial results of the project at two conferences and in two academic courses and in stakeholder meetings. The three graduate students involved in the project, in particular have gained experience in presenting research at formal events such as those listed above. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?We have presented the results of our project to more than 30 stakeholders and decision-makers in the Detroit region. We have provided project summaries to them as well as a two-page summary of the project results. We have also presented this research to these stakeholders in the form of powerpoint presentations. Finally, we built an online tool that is available for interested users. Details on the online Green Infrastructure Spatial Planning Model tool can be found here:http://umich.maps.arcgis.com/apps/MapSeries/index.html?appid=4b257ce673ed4a178d11b4a267a9967e What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals? Nothing Reported

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? We developed the the Green Infrastructure Spatial Planningmodel identify potential future sites for urban forest green infrastructure in the Detroit region. We have shared these results with stakeholders in the region, who were be involved in 'weighting' the indicators (air quality, forest connectivity, social vulnerability, urban heat island, park access) for siting future forest green infrastructure in the Detroit region. The results of the project were published in two journal articles and there is an online GISP model tool that is available for free to interested users. Details can be found here:https://www.arcgis.com/home/item.html?id=1bc0feb23def48bea9bcf15c3e132eb4

Publications

  • Type: Journal Articles Status: Published Year Published: 2017 Citation: Meerow, Sara, and Joshua P. Newell. "Spatial planning for multifunctional green infrastructure: Growing resilience in Detroit." Landscape and Urban Planning 159 (2017): 62-75. Meerow, Sara, and Joshua P. Newell. "Urban resilience for whom, what, when, where, and why?." Urban Geography (2016): 1-21.


Progress 10/01/14 to 09/30/15

Outputs
Target Audience:The primary target audiences were academia, government agencies, nongovernmental agencies, and the private sector. These target audiences were reached through a variety of avenues. For example, we presented initial results of the research at three conferences. We held multiple meetings and workshops with stakeholders and decision makers in the Detroit region, including one that included 25 participants in January 2016. In addition to gathering their feedback and input to our forest green infrastructure modeling, we provided them with a summary of the initial results of the project. Changes/Problems: Nothing Reported What opportunities for training and professional development has the project provided?The faculty and students involved have presented the initial results of the project at two conferences and in two academic courses, and we have plans for a number of additional conference and stakeholder presentations. The three graduate students involved in the project, in particular have gained experience in presenting research at formal events such as those listed above. How have the results been disseminated to communities of interest?We have presented the initial results of our project to more than 30 stakeholders and decision-makers in the Detroit region. We have provided project summaries to them as well as a two-page summary of the initial project results. We have also presented this research to these stakeholders in the form of powerpoint presentations. What do you plan to do during the next reporting period to accomplish the goals?We plan to finalize the project results and share them again with Detroit stakeholders and decision makers. We will present the research at two conferences in the upcoming year and are already draft journal articles for submission to high impact academic journals.

Impacts
What was accomplished under these goals? We have developed the initial model identify potential future sites for urban forest green infrastructure in the Detroit region. We have shared the initial model results with stakeholders in the region, who will be involved in 'weighting' the indicators (air quality, forest connectivity, social vulnerability, urban heat island, park access) for siting future forest green infrastructure in the Detroit region.

Publications