UBC Undergraduate Research

Mapping Campus Landscape Change Over Time Mantegna, Nicholas


The University of British Columbia Vancouver campus has gone through numerous shifts in natural assets throughout recent history. Understanding how the green and grey infrastructure on campus has changed over time will help inform future biodiversity land use policy decisions. Urban forests on the UBC campus increase biodiversity by providing habitats for a rich array of flora and fauna. Buildings decrease in monetary value overtime, whereas an urban forest increases in value by providing more ecosystem services as the urban forest grows older. Many of the heritage trees on campus help protect the UBC community from the consequences of climate change. Trees can help mitigate climate change through ecosystem resilience, carbon sequestration and flood water mitigation. The urban forest at UBC also provides mental health benefits by lowering stress levels in students and increasing social wellbeing. Not only can urban forests mitigate and help us adapt to the impacts of climate change on the UBC campus, they also can restore and create a sense of community among UBC faculty and students. Dry summers in Vancouver are becoming the new normal, therefore our trees are now more vulnerable to biotic and abiotic disturbances such as disease, pests and wind throw. We are at risk of losing many of the benefits that urban forests provide to the UBC community. We need to increase the resiliency of the UBC urban forest to disturbances by strengthening biodiversity locally on campus. This SEEDS report uses orthophotos of the campus landscape to measure the building footprint change overtime. 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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