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Land 2013, 2(4), 774-796; doi:10.3390/land2040774

Spatiotemporal Patterns and Socioeconomic Contexts of Vegetative Cover in Altamira City, Brazil

1
Anthropological Center for Training and Research on Global Environmental Change, Indiana University, Student Building 331, 701 E. Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
2
Department of Geography, Indiana University, Student Building 120, 701 E. Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
3
Department of Anthropology, Indiana University, Student Building 130, 701 E. Kirkwood Avenue, Bloomington, IN 47405, USA
4
Center for Global Change and Earth Observations and Department of Geography, Michigan State University, Manly Miles Building 218, 1405 S. Harrison Road, East Lansing, MI 48823, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 September 2013 / Revised: 27 November 2013 / Accepted: 2 December 2013 / Published: 12 December 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue A New Urbanization Land Change Continuum)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [4809 KB, 16 December 2013; original version 12 December 2013]   |  

Abstract

Ecosystem services provided by urban vegetation can ameliorate problems common to urban environments while improving the quality of life of urban residents. Much research in urban ecology has analyzed urban environmental dynamics in the global north; rapidly urbanizing areas in the global south have not received commensurate attention. The land cover dynamics of mid-sized cities in the global south remain under-explored in particular. In this article, we investigate the spatial patterns and socioeconomic contexts of urban vegetation in Altamira, Brazil, a mid-sized but rapidly expanding city in the Amazon. Using time series remotely sensed imagery, we profile changes in urban land cover, and link them to socioeconomic indicators at the census sector (tract) level. While studies of urban environmental justice in the global north largely report that greener urban landscapes prevail in affluent neighborhoods, our analysis reveals significantly lower vegetative cover in higher-income sectors of Altamira. Vegetative cover is also significantly lower in sectors with higher housing density, time since urbanization and better infrastructure, and appears linked to housing tenure. Studies of vegetative outcomes in similar urban environments should investigate socioeconomic and demographic contexts while also integrating recent infrastructure development and density-dependent growth patterns. View Full-Text
Keywords: land change science; urbanization; urban ecology; vegetative cover; spatio-temporal analysis; Brazil land change science; urbanization; urban ecology; vegetative cover; spatio-temporal analysis; Brazil
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Hetrick, S.; Roy Chowdhury, R.; Brondizio, E.; Moran, E. Spatiotemporal Patterns and Socioeconomic Contexts of Vegetative Cover in Altamira City, Brazil. Land 2013, 2, 774-796.

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