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Incorporating Topography into Landscape Continuity Analysis—Hong Kong Island as a Case Study

Author

Listed:
  • Noam Levin

    () (Department of Geography, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel)

  • Matan E. Singer

    () (Department of Geography, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905, Israel)

  • Poh Chin Lai

    () (Department of Geography, The University of Hong Kong, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China)

Abstract

The increase in population and the expansion of built-up areas into natural and agricultural areas results in more than just loss of open spaces surrounding cities. Reduced accessibility to nature, visual intrusion of buildings into natural viewsheds, and changes in runoff requires us to assess these impacts on open spaces. Our aim in this paper was to examine and demonstrate how topography can be incorporated into modeling and analyzing environmental impacts of cities. Taking Hong Kong Island as a case study, we used historical topographic maps to map changes in the built-up areas between 1930 and 2006. We analyzed changes in three variables representing different kinds of human impacts: landscape continuity, visibility of built-up areas, and runoff from built-up areas. We show that consideration of topography (both natural and artificial) is critical to understand spatial patterns of land use and of human impacts on open spaces. The methods employed here can be applied to examine and visualize the potential effects of future and proposed development plans.

Suggested Citation

  • Noam Levin & Matan E. Singer & Poh Chin Lai, 2013. "Incorporating Topography into Landscape Continuity Analysis—Hong Kong Island as a Case Study," Land, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 2(4), pages 1-23, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jlands:v:2:y:2013:i:4:p:550-572:d:29601
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Poh C Lai & Kim-Hung Kwong & Ann S H Mak, 2010. "Assessing the applicability and effectiveness of 3D visualisation in environmental impact assessment," Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design, Pion Ltd, London, vol. 37(2), pages 221-233, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    historical maps; landscape continuity; GIS; topography; viewshed; runoff;

    JEL classification:

    • Q15 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment
    • Q2 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation
    • Q24 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Land
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • R14 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Land Use Patterns
    • R52 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Land Use and Other Regulations

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