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The relationship between urban morphology and landscape ecology to set up a more permeable urban matrix and promote biodiversity in the cities

Grant number: 17/21099-6
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Doctorate
Effective date (Start): April 08, 2018
Effective date (End): August 03, 2018
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Architecture and Town Planning
Principal Investigator:Demóstenes Ferreira da Silva Filho
Grantee:Patricia Mara Sanches
Supervisor: Dagmar Haase
Host Institution: Escola Superior de Agricultura Luiz de Queiroz (ESALQ). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). Piracicaba , SP, Brazil
Research place: Humboldt University, Germany  
Associated to the scholarship:15/21754-9 - The relationship between urban morphology and landscape ecology to set up a more permeable urban matrix and promote biodiversity in the cities, BP.DR


In the last decades, compact cities as a paradigm to achieve urban sustainability has been extensively discussed. However, a considerable amount of research has shown a negative relationship between urban density and tree canopy or green spaces coverage, which causes loss of biodiversity and ecosystem services in cities. Thus, facing the challenge to conciliate the increase of urban density (people and housing density) and the stock of green spaces is crucial. The aim of this research is to investigate how the urban design can enhance green spaces, in terms of area, connectivity and balanced distribution in different high-density urban typologies. The different patterns of land cover and design guidelines result in several urban typologies that drive the size and the shape of green spaces, and consequently, impact on the ecosystem service provision and biodiversity. We will evaluate eight high-density urban typologies across three urban regions: São Paulo, Federal District (both in Brazil) and Berlin (Germany). The evaluation will be carried out based on quantitative criteria related to urban morphology (built, demographic and housing density) and on landscape ecology metrics (size, shape and aggregation). We are going to use GIS and remote sensing tools for spatial analysis and assessment. This research project is part of a major international research (funded by Fapesp 2016/26082-1) that also will measure biodiversity by bird survey in the same urban typologies. The outcomes of the doctorate research will contribute to integrating the practices of urban design, landscape planning, and urban ecology, seeking a comprehensive and interdisciplinary understanding of the linkages between them. Furthermore, the knowledge produced will help the development of public policies for urban development and regeneration, through the recommendation of high-performance urban design guidelines in terms of green space quality and urban compactness.

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