A conceptual framework to assess ecological quality of urban green space: a case study in Mashhad city, Iran
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This study evaluates the green space ecological quality with regard to its spatial properties. It investigates how the spatial properties of green space patches affect ecological aspects of municipal green spaces of Mashhad in Iran. The importance and necessity of this investigation is to develop a concept to evaluate the quality of urban green patches based on the perspective and method of landscape ecology. In accordance with our objectives, the quality concept is defined by quantitative (size, area, density) and qualitative (shape, complexity, connectivity) factors as referred to spatial configuration and composition of landscape structure. However, to have a better understanding of the quality concept, we explored the relationship between landscape variables and ecological quality by spatial analysis and correlation tests. We (1) drew the urban green space map by images processing, (2) quantified landscape metrics for the green space patches, (3) analyzed and represented the metric value spatially, (4) calculated ecological quality and drew the grade map, (5) measured the Pearson correlation coefficients and linear regression between ecological quality and each landscape metric. Results of this study provided the evidence to study ecological quality by integrating metrics map and analyzing spatial heterogeneity in Mashhad city. Results showed that the extent and continuity of the green spaces were too low to effectively support some key ecological services. Additionally, the Pearson’s correlation coefficients and linear regression revealed strong relationships between ecological quality and most landscape metrics except LSI. Although it was expected that the qualitative variables of green space had higher influence on the ecological quality, quantitative variables had the highest effect due to the origin and nature of the green patches.
KeywordsEcological quality Quantitative variable Qualitative variables Landscape metrics Mashhad
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