Green infrastructure and resilience, urban heat island, and environmental equity in coastal Los Angeles

The Center for Urban Resilience at Loyola Marymount University retained the Consulting Group at SavATree with alliances the University of Vermont Spatial Analysis Lab and Dexter Locke to look at green infrastructure and its relationship to resilience, urban heat island, and environmental equity in coastal areas near Los Angeles, CA. 

This week we had the opportunity to present our methods and findings to LMU CURes and partners. By fusing high resolution remote sensing imagery with LiDAR, we were able to create a highly accurate 7-class land cover product.


7-class land cover product

By mashing up the land cover with various other data, we are then able to report on existing and potential tree canopy over the study area as well as to relate these data to various other categories and geographies of interest such as land use type and surface temperature.


Tree canopy infographic for the study area

We then looked at the distribution of green infrastructure relative to resilience (tree canopy, impervious surfaces), environmental equity (minority population, income), and urban heat island (surface temperature). 


Green infrastructure prioritization model and output – high priorities in red, low priorities in blue

We then used ESRI Tapestry market segmentation data to look at what market segments have more or less relative tree canopy.


Distribution of tree canopy by market segments. Segments with the same letter are not statistically significantly diffent.

While the trend is generally downward from left to right (higher income market segments are on the left and decrease as we go right), the pattern was more subtle and complex than a linear relationship.

We followed up with a discussion with stakeholders and researchers on how they may use these findings, and how they may use these data to ask and answer new questions in their own research and efforts.

We are excited to begin this conversation with our partners at LMU CURes and look forward to more collaboration to support resilience and equity in the Los Angeles area.