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Cooling effects of urban vegetation: The role of golf courses

Nguyen, T.T., Eslick, H., Barber, P., Harper, R.ORCID: 0000-0003-0268-2917 and Dell, B. (2022) Cooling effects of urban vegetation: The role of golf courses. Remote Sensing, 14 (17). Article 4351.

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Increased heat in urban environments, from the combined effects of climate change and land use/land cover change, is one of the most severe problems confronting cities and urban residents worldwide, and requires urgent resolution. While large urban green spaces such as parks and nature reserves are widely recognized for their benefits in mitigating urban heat islands (UHIs), the benefit of urban golf courses is less established. This is the first study to combine remote sensing of golf courses with Morphological Spatial Pattern Analysis (MSPA) of vegetation cover. Using ArborCamTM multispectral, high-resolution airborne imagery (0.3 × 0.3 m), this study develops an approach that assesses the role of golf courses in reducing urban land surface temperature (LST) relative to other urban land-uses in Perth, Australia, and identifies factors that influence cooling. The study revealed that urban golf courses had the second lowest LST (around 31 °C) after conservation land (30 °C), compared to industrial, residential, and main road land uses, which ranged from 35 to 37 °C. They thus have a strong capacity for summer urban heat mitigation. Within the golf courses, distance to water bodies and vegetation structure are important factors contributing to cooling effects. Green spaces comprising tall trees (>10 m) and large vegetation patches have strong effects in reducing LST. This suggests that increasing the proportion of large trees, and increasing vegetation connectivity within golf courses and with other local green spaces, can decrease urban LST, thus providing benefits for urban residents. Moreover, as golf courses are useful for biodiversity conservation, planning for new golf course development should embrace the retention of native vegetation and linkages to conservation corridors.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Agricultural Sciences
Centre for Terrestrial Ecosystem Science and Sustainability
Publisher: MDPI
Copyright: © 2022 by the authors
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