The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XXXIX-B4
31 Jul 2012
 | 31 Jul 2012


H. Al Salmi and H. M. Abdulmuttalib

Keywords: GIS, Environment, Urban, Sustainability, Spatial Analysis

Abstract. Urban Sustainability expresses the level of conservation of a city while living a town or consuming its urban resources, but the measurement of urban sustainability depends on what are considered important indicators of conservation besides the permitted levels of consumption in accordance with adopted criteria. This criterion should have common factors that are shared for all the members tested or cities to be evaluated as in this particular case for Abu Dhabi, but also have specific factors that are related to the geographic place, community and culture, that is the measures of urban sustainability specific to a middle east climate, community and culture where GIS Vector and Raster analysis have a role or add a value in urban sustainability measurements or grading are considered herein. Scenarios were tested using various GIS data types to replicate urban history (ten years period), current status and expected future of Abu Dhabi City setting factors to climate, community needs and culture. The useful Vector or Raster GIS data sets that are related to every scenario where selected and analysed in the sense of how and how much it can benefit the urban sustainability ranking in quantity and quality tests, this besides assessing the suitable data nature, type and format, the important topology rules to be considered, the useful attributes to be added, the relationships which should be maintained between data types of a geo- database, and specify its usage in a specific scenario test, then setting weights to each and every data type representing some elements of a phenomenon related to urban suitability factor. The results of assessing the role of GIS analysis provided data collection specifications such as the measures of accuracy reliable to a certain type of GIS functional analysis used in an urban sustainability ranking scenario tests. This paper reflects the prior results of the research that is conducted to test the multidiscipline evaluation of urban sustainability using different indicator metrics, that implement vector GIS Analysis and Raster GIS analysis as basic tools to assist the evaluation and increase of its reliability besides assessing and decomposing it, after which a hypothetical implementation of the chosen evaluation model represented by various scenarios was implemented on the planned urban sustainability factors for a certain period of time to appraise the expected future grade of urban sustainability and come out with advises associated with scenarios for assuring gap filling and relative high urban future sustainability. The results this paper is reflecting are concentrating on the elements of vector and raster GIS analysis that assists the proper urban sustainability grading within the chosen model, the reliability of spatial data collected; analysis selected and resulted spatial information. Starting from selecting some important indicators to comprise the model which include regional culture, climate and community needs an example of what was used is Energy Demand & Consumption (Cooling systems). Thus, this factor is related to the climate and it's regional specific as the temperature varies around 30–45 degrees centigrade in city areas, GIS 3D Polygons of building data used to analyse the volume of buildings, attributes "building heights", estimate the number of floors from the equation, following energy demand was calculated and consumption for the unit volume, and compared it in scenario with possible sustainable energy supply or using different environmental friendly cooling systems this is followed by calculating the cooling system effects on an area unit selected to be 1 sq. km, combined with the level of greenery area, and open space, as represented by parks polygons, trees polygons, empty areas, pedestrian polygons and road surface area polygons. (initial measures showed that cooling system consumption can be reduced by around 15–20% with a well-planned building distributions, proper spaces and with using environmental friendly products and building material, temperature levels were also combined in the scenario extracted from satellite images as interpreted from thermal bands 3 times during the period of assessment. Other examples of the assessment of GIS analysis to urban sustainability took place included Waste Productivity, some effects of greenhouse gases measured by the intensity of road polygons and closeness to dwelling areas, industry areas as defined from land use land cover thematic maps produced from classified satellite images then vectors were created to take part in defining their role within the scenarios. City Noise and light intensity assessment was also investigated, as the region experiences rapid development and noise is magnified due to construction activities, closeness of the airports, and highways. The assessment investigated the measures taken by urban planners to reduce degradation or properly manage it. Finally as a conclusion tables were presented to reflect the scenario results in combination with GIS data types, analysis types, and the level of GIS data reliability to measure the sustainability level of a city related to cultural and regional demands.