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Colorado State University (2020)

Sustainability in Fort Collins : exploring the drivers of urban tree canopy and household water consumption in a growing, semi-arid city

Rasmussen, Shaundra

Titre : Sustainability in Fort Collins : exploring the drivers of urban tree canopy and household water consumption in a growing, semi-arid city

Auteur : Rasmussen, Shaundra

Université de soutenance : Colorado State University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2020

Résumé
Urbanization is occurring rapidly worldwide, with two-thirds of the global population expected to live in cities by 2050. As cities densify, proper provisioning of ecosystem services will be increasingly important to ensure high-quality lives for urban residents. Urban ecological research can assist cities in achieving sustainable development goals by focusing on the complex ways in which urban characteristics, such as land cover, building configuration, demographic composition, and resident lifestyles interact and drive patterns on the landscape. Such patterns can include housing trends, patterns of water and energy consumption, residents’ health and lifestyle choices, or even urban wildlife distribution. Understanding the drivers of these patterns can aid in developing innovative policies that are specifically aligned to the needs of the city. We partnered with the local municipality of Fort Collins, CO to investigate the role of several urban characteristics on two variables of interest : urban tree canopy (UTC) distribution and household outdoor water consumption. Our stakeholder was interested in using our results to inform future tree planting and monitoring programs in the city, as well as raise awareness on outdoor water consumption and increase water literacy in the community. We compared our results to larger cities often studied in these contexts and found that 1) Fort Collins has undergone unique development patterns that have resulted in different UTC trends than we often expect to find in cities ; 2) higher water use tends to be found in neighborhoods containing social characteristics associated with affluence ; and 3) UTC may have the potential to mitigate outdoor water consumption in residential areas. These results are impactful because they provide relevant information that can support decisions for future sustainability action targeting trees and water in Fort Collins.

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Page publiée le 5 novembre 2020