A geographical approach to identifying vegetation-related environmental equity in Canadian cities
The research in this paper addresses human – environment interactions in Canadian cities by examining the spatial distribution of vegetation in relation to various socioeconomic indicators. Specifically, intercity and intracity comparisons are evaluated using correlation analysis and geographically weighted regression (GWR). Vegetation abundance estimates derived from spectral mixture analysis of Landsat imagery are compared with Canadian census data for the cities of Montreal, Toronto, and Vancouver to quantify vegetation-related environmental equity in Canada’s largest urban centres. Results exhibit strong and consistent correlations between median family income and vegetation fraction for Montreal (r=0.473), Toronto (r=0.467), and Vancouver (r=0.456). Furthermore, examining the GWR results suggests that employing an adaptive bandwidth kernel technique with a manual selection of ten neighbours for each observation provides a greater range and higher median values for local regression estimates (Montreal: 0.69; Toronto: 0.74; Vancouver: 0.73) as compared with the Akaike information criterion-selection method. Finally, we discuss the potential application of the presented analysis techniques for urban planning and community-development initiatives, specifically associated with managing vegetation-related environmental equity at various scales. Possible applications of these techniques for urban planning purposes are discussed, and key methodological considerations for performing such an analysis are highlighted.
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