UBC Graduate Research

Urban Green Space Analysis on UBC Vancouver Campus : Integrating virtual gaming technology to map cultural use and biodiversity value of urban green space Li, Yunyani (Ella)


Rapid growth in urbanization has transformed natural landscapes into built-environments. Consequently, species biodiversity is threatened, while the innate relationship between humans and nature begins to fade gradually. Urban green spaces play a vital role in reconnecting human and urbanized landscape with its unique characteristics. Meanwhile, virtual gaming technology with applied geographic information has made a spectacular process to promote interactions between humans and their surroundings. A novel approach of combining Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) data, ground-based inventory data, geographic information system (GIS) data, and geocoordinates derived from reality game Pokémon GO was applied to explore geospatial gaming technology’s application in mapping cultural use and biodiversity hotspots at a university campus. Five types of green space were identified: lawn, planting bed, planting bed on structure, athletic field, and urban forest. In order to capture a relatively complete understanding of cultural perception and vegetation biodiversity value, two green space assessments were conducted with a combination of factors: namely native species ratio, species richness, canopy cover and cultural interest. Both assessments highlighted the importance of urban forest. This green space type achieved 0.396 in the first assessment and 0.501 for the second assessment of cultural and biodiversity values. This research provided a primary resource that emphasized the preservation of urban forests needs to be prioritized in future campus planning and development. Disclaimer: “UBC SEEDS provides students with the opportunity to share the findings of their studies, as well as their opinions, conclusions and recommendations with the UBC community. The reader should bear in mind that this is a student project/report and is not an official document of UBC. Furthermore readers should bear in mind that these reports may not reflect the current status of activities at UBC. We urge you to contact the research persons mentioned in a report or the SEEDS Coordinator about the current status of the subject matter of a project/report.”

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