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Modelling Gardens as Social-ecological Systems Using Geodata: The Example of Watering and Landscaping of Urban Ecosystems

The paper discusses conceptual aspects of modelling gardens as urban social-ecological systems. These conceptual aspects build on previous research, and extend previous research into the nexus of urbanisation dynamics, through changing lifestyles, new aesthetics of urban nature, and the resulting landscape and garden design in urban residential areas that are causally related to changing urban water demand patterns. The focus of modelling gardens as social-ecological systems described here is on the ecological subsystem, and the links to the human subsystem, as formalized by the framework of urban ecosystem services. The paper presents and discusses theoretical and conceptual approaches to understanding and formalizing the spatial patterns of urban vegetated cooling as an ecosystem service, and to link this with an assessment of the potential water requirements to supply these services. Another link is through the impacts of gardens on urban biodiversity. Like parks, gardens are horticultural, ‘novel urban ecosystems’ that have potentially positive effects on urban biodiversity. This aspect is discussed here, but not explicitly included in the conceptual modelling approach. The pivotal role of geodata for modelling gardens as social-ecological systems is demonstrated in two respects: First, by describing the necessity to map relevant urban design features at high levels of detail, which can be achieved with object-oriented classification approaches applied to very high-resolution satellite imagery. Second, the framework concept of ecosystem services is discussed, reiterating why ecosystem services are spatially dependent. It is argued that the ecosystem services concept cannot be applied in a meaningful way if space and location as a framework for analysis, understanding, and presentation of results are neglected. The final section of the paper illustrates the use of the social-ecological systems and urban ecosystem services frameworks in conceptual modelling applied to the research question of understanding how garden management decisions contribute to thermally pleasant residential landscapes.
Autor / Author:Hof, Angela
Institution / Institution:Salzburg University, Austria
Seitenzahl / Pages:11
Sprache / Language: Englisch
Veröffentlichung / Publication:GI_Forum - Journal for Geographic Information Science, 1-2015
Tagung / Conference:GI_Forum 2015 – Symposium and Exhibit GIScience & Technology/Learning with GI
Veranstaltungsort, -datum / Venue, Date: Salzburg, Austria 07.07.2015 10.07.2015
Keywords (en)Urban ecosystem services, systems science, evapotranspirational cooling
Paper review type:Full Paper Review
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