WP4 - Development of urban spatial metrics




Spatial metrics describe various properties of the spatial configuration of land cover in a given area. Although the concept of spatial metrics was originally developed for landscape ecological research, recent studies have demonstrated its considerable potential for urban analysis. This potential lies in the ability of spatial metrics to represent urban spatial structure and composition, which can also be linked to the functional characteristics of the built environment (i.e. land use). In MAMUD, we do not only examine how spatial metrics can represent urban morphology and land use, but we will also focus on how changes in the metrics through time can be associated with urban change processes (WP7).


The property of spatial metrics to quantitatively represent the morphology and function of the urban fabric will assist the calibration of urban land-use models and helps checking their output against the expected spatial patterns.


Spatial metrics are calculated within the bounds of a geographic area. This area is called the spatial domain, a relatively homogeneous spatial entity that represents a basic landscape element. The definition of the spatial domain strongly influences the metrics and will generally depend on the aims of the study and the characteristics of the landscape. In MAMUD, two approaches to derive spatial metrics are examined. One method uses a city block as a basic unit for which metrics are derived. More specifically, the distribution and configuration of impervious surface fractions within a city block are reflected by the metrics. The required impervious surface maps were derived in WP2. For the other approach, the spatial domain is not fixed in advance but determined by the bounds of a window or kernel that moves over a land-cover map. At each position of the window, an algorithm called OSPARK compares the spatial configuration of the map's raster cells to predefined land-use templates.

Click for more info: city block approach moving-window approach .






Last modification date = 30-04-2009