Social Demands and Geospatial Distributions of Urban Green Spaces and Blue Spaces




Jamil, Raihan

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Green spaces and blue spaces in cities provide a wealth of benefits (or ecosystem services) to the urban social-ecological system. But with increasing urban populations and development, concerns about human wellbeing have also grown, especially in relation to the management of overstressed green and blue spaces. The management of blue and green spaces within urban landscapes can benefit from advanced mapping techniques to explore their spatial and functional distribution at different spatial scales. By integrating Geographic Information Systems (GIS), remote sensing, and LiDAR data, I adopted a multidimensional exploration of blue and green spaces in central Texas that addresses three key issues: the carrying capacity of a riverine social-ecological system, the connectivity of urban green spaces for biodiversity enhancement, and the complex multi-scale spatial distribution of vegetation. I calculated the recreational carrying capacity of the upper San Marcos River by including primary and secondary data on biophysical properties, environmental quality, and social demand. My findings illustrate a heuristic approach to evaluating potential user density, river user experience, and resource protection. My investigation into urban greenspace networks in San Marcos underscored the importance of private semi-natural areas, with 60% of the proposed greenspace networks traversing through private parcels. Throughout the Austin metropolitan area, from Georgetown to San Marcos, I observed significant multi-scale variations in vegetation structure and distribution between ecoregions, among cities, and across neighborhoods. Clustering and hierarchical analyses confirmed the presence of vegetation clusters that were related to parcel characteristics such as parcel size, home age, market value, and distance to city center. One interesting finding was that vegetation characteristics at the parcel-scale were more similar for parcels within the same neighborhood than neighborhood-scale comparisons of adjacent neighborhoods. The overall results from this dissertation research can be used to better manage green and blue spaces, as well as to target new areas for resource protection.



greenspace, recreational carrying capacity, urban greenspace networks, vegetation distribution, spatial scale, LiDAR, NAIP


Jamil, R. (2024). Social demands and geospatial distributions of urban green spaces and blue spaces (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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