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Sustainability 2018, 10(1), 126; doi:10.3390/su10010126

An Approach to Evaluate Comprehensive Plan and Identify Priority Lands for Future Land Use Development to Conserve More Ecological Values

1
Faculty of Urban Management and Studies, City University of Macau, Taipa 999078, Macau, China
2
College of Design, Jiangnan University, Wuxi 214122, China
3
College of Architecture, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK 73019, USA
4
Department of Urban Design and Planning, Tianjin University, Tianjin 300072, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 November 2017 / Revised: 23 December 2017 / Accepted: 5 January 2018 / Published: 8 January 2018
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Abstract

Urbanization has significant impacts on the regional environmental quality through altering natural lands, converting them to urban built-up areas. One common strategy applied by urban planners to manage urbanization and preserve natural resources is to make a comprehensive plan and concentrate future land use in certain areas. However, in practice, planners used to make future land use planning mainly based on their subjective interpretations with limited ecological supporting evidence and analysis. Here, we propose a new approach composed of ecological modelling and land use zoning in the spatial matrix to evaluate the comprehensive plan and identify priority lands for sustainable land use planning. We use the city of Corvallis, OR, as the test bed to demonstrate this new approach. The results indicate that the Corvallis Comprehensive Plan 1998–2020 featured with compact development is not performing efficiently in conserving ecological values, and the land use plan featured with mixed-use spreading development generated by the proposed approach meets the city’s land demands for urban growth, and conserves 103% more ecological value of retaining storm water nitrogen, 270% more ecological value of retaining storm water phosphorus and 19% more ecological value in storing carbon in the whole watershed. This study indicates that if planned with scientific analysis and evidence, spreading urban development does not necessarily result in less sustainable urban environment than the compact development recommended in smart growth. View Full-Text
Keywords: urbanization; land use planning; ecological values; spatial matrix; compact development; spreading development urbanization; land use planning; ecological values; spatial matrix; compact development; spreading development
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Zhou, L.; Wu, Y.; Woodfin, T.; Zhu, R.; Chen, T. An Approach to Evaluate Comprehensive Plan and Identify Priority Lands for Future Land Use Development to Conserve More Ecological Values. Sustainability 2018, 10, 126.

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