GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE PLANNING THROUGH EO AND GIS ANALYSIS: THE CANOPY PLAN OF LIÈGE, BELGIUM, TO MITIGATE ITS URBAN HEAT ISLAND
Keywords: Green Infrastructure, Urban Heat Island, Image Classification, Earth Observation, GIS Analysis
Abstract. As a place to live, work and play, urban spaces are the nerve centers of human activity. The urban spaces, which are becoming increasingly extensive and dense, are particularly sensitive to the effects of climate change. Greening cities has been identified as one of the most effective ways to mitigate one of these effects, the urban heat island. In this context, the city of Liège, Belgium, has adopted a greening plan, called “Plan canopée”, to increase the tree canopy area at city level. The aim of this study is to present the methodology used to objectivize and prioritize the selection of potential planting sites. This research proposes the production of a series of spatial indicators allowing, on the one hand, the precise mapping of urban surfaces ready for planting, and on the other hand, the objective prioritization of city districts to be vegetated. The research integrates airborne image classification, urban heat island modeling and a series of reference geodata combinations. The set of data produced provides a transparent decision support tool to the authorities for the operational planning of tree plantations. These results contribute to the development of a planting strategy that maximizes the chances of ownership by the citizens, and consequently the sustainable and effective impact of the achievements.