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Open AccessArticle

Spatial Accessibility of Urban Forests in the Pearl River Delta (PRD), China

1
Zhejiang Tiantong Forest Ecosystem National Observation and Research Station, School of Ecological and Environmental Sciences, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200241, China
2
Center for Global Change and Ecological Forecasting, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
3
Center for Global Change and Earth Observations, Department of Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823, USA
4
School of Global Policy and Strategy, University of California San Diego, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
5
Ocean College, Zhejiang University, Zhoushan 316021, China
6
School of Planning, Design, and Construction and Center for Global Change and Earth Observations, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48823, USA
7
Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(6), 667; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11060667
Received: 27 January 2019 / Revised: 8 March 2019 / Accepted: 15 March 2019 / Published: 19 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing of Urban Forests)
The Pearl River Delta (PRD) is one of the most important economic zones both in China and in the world. Its rapid economic development has been associated with many environmental problems such as the loss of forests in urban areas. We estimated the accessibility of forests in the PRD by quantifying spatial proximity and travel time. We found that distances from a large proportion of the points of interest (POIs) (~45%) and urban lands (~38%, where ~49 urban residents live) to the nearest forests were greater than 1000 m; suggesting a low spatial proximity to forests. Urban parks—important outdoor recreational areas—appeared to have insufficient forest coverage within their 1000 m buffer zones. When forest accessibility was measured by travel time under optimal modes of transport; it was less than 15 min for most urban lands (~95%), which accommodates 98% of the total urban population. More importantly; the travel time to the nearest forest was negatively correlated with gross domestic product density (GDPd), but not with population density (POPd). The GDPd and POPd; however; increased log-linearly with the Euclidean distance to the nearest forest. In addition to the low proximity to forests; there existed inequalities among urban residents who live in areas with different levels of GDPd and POPd. Future urban planning needs not only to increase the total coverage of urban forests; but also to improve their spatial evenness across the urban landscapes in the PRD. View Full-Text
Keywords: accessibility; Google Earth Engine; landsat; travel time; urban green accessibility; Google Earth Engine; landsat; travel time; urban green
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhang, R.; Chen, J.; Park, H.; Zhou, X.; Yang, X.; Fan, P.; Shao, C.; Ouyang, Z. Spatial Accessibility of Urban Forests in the Pearl River Delta (PRD), China. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 667.

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