A comparison of greenspace loss and urban expansion over time in London and Nairobi

by Mary Langsdale, PhD student in the Department of Geography, KCL

On the 2nd March at the Earth Observation and Environmental Sensing (EOES) Research Hub meeting, I presented my recent research into urban land use and land cover changes (LULCC) in London and Nairobi, with a particular focus on urban greenspace. The work had been conducted for my MSc Climate Change dissertation at King’s and motivated by the increasing awareness around the important ecosystem services greenspace provides in urban areas. These include (but are not limited to) mitigating the urban heat island (UHI) effect, improvements to local biodiversity and stormwater retention.

To analyse LULCC, I classified Landsat imagery of both locations between 1988 and 2016 using a supervised classifier (Random Forest). Results for London and Nairobi are shown in Figures 1 and 2 respectively. In London, my results suggested densification and industrial development between 1990 and 2016 accompanied by an overall increase in urban areas by 4% and a corresponding decrease in vegetated areas by 4% in that same period.

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Figure 1. Supervised classification of London in a)1990, b) 2002 and c) 2016 using the Random Forest Classifier.

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3D models and measurements: A new way to characterize forests and reinterpret satellite imagery

Dr Mathias Disney presented ‘New ways of looking at old forests: detecting ecosystem change using 3D measurements and models.’ at  Space – the final frontier for biodiversity monitoring? Symposium (ZSL, Meeting Rooms, London, 29 April 2016). Photo: Claudia Gutierrez

Dr Mathias Disney presented ‘New ways of looking at old forests: detecting ecosystem change using 3D measurements and models.’ at Space – the final frontier for biodiversity monitoring? Symposium (ZSL, Meeting Rooms, London, 29 April 2016). Photo: Claudia Gutierrez

From 3D films to 3D prints, three-dimensional representations are looking to portray objects or images as close as possible to reality – at least from human perspective. Dr Mathias Disney (University College London) and collaborators are doing just this with forests around the world. Continue reading

Co$ting Nature: a tool to support sustainable decisions

For environmental sustainability, decision-makers require consistent, accurate and detailed information to  advise and support the necessary actions. But in many parts of the world, access to such data is often costly or non-existent. Co$ting Nature is a web-based tool that has over 80 datasets already inputted allowing users to make quick but robust conservation focused decisions.

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Moving forward to a Global Observing System for Biodiversity

This piece is part of a series by the King’s EOES group reporting on the ‘Space – the final frontier for biodiversity monitoring?’ Symposium hosted by ZSL on Friday 29th April 2016.

By Alejandro Coca-Castro

What are the partners from the Group on Earth Observations Biodiversity Observation Network (GEO BON) doing regarding the development of a Global Observing System for Biodiversity? Among their big challenges, the definition of Essential Biodiversity Variables Continue reading

Assessing Ecosystems from Space: Satellite remote sensing and the IUCN Red List of Ecosystems

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This piece is part of a series by the King’s EOES group reporting on the ‘Space – the final frontier for biodiversity monitoring?’ Symposium hosted by ZSL on Friday 29th April 2016.

By Kelly Gunnell

The role of satellite remote sensing in ecosystem risk assessment, particularly in how it is used as part of the Red List of Ecosystems (RLE), was discussed by Dr Emily Nicholson, from Deakin University in  Australia, at the ZSL Symposium on Remote Sensing for Biodiversity. Continue reading