Emily Kroft

Student Speaker | Étudiant.e
Rapid growth in urban development has sparked debate in the literature about how to design cities in a way that minimizes environmental impact. One aspect of this issue is whether or not urban densification reduces access to environmental benefits. We address the question: How does building density and its associated landscape features affect multiple health-based urban ecosystem services? Using remote sensing and GIS techniques, we measured indicators of three health related ecosystem services – temperature regulation, air quality regulation, and access to green space – in Montreal neighbourhoods across a gradient of housing densities. Preliminary results indicate that higher building densities lead to decreases in some ecosystem services but have little effect on others. This research has implications for answering the question of how best to configure cities in order to maximize the number of inhabitants who benefit from high environmental quality.