Monitoring Urban Sprawl and the National Ecological Reserve in Sintra-Cascais, Portugal: Multiple OLS Linear Regression Model Evaluation

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Abstract

A methodology is proposed to assess the effectiveness of the National Ecological Reserve (REN) law, which aims to protect ecologically valuable and/or vulnerable areas, in the municipalities of Sintra and Cascais, Portugal. Landsat satellite data classification and land change analysis show that urban area almost doubled between 1989 and 2001, when REN was already in force covering 36.5% of the study area. The approach involved multiple ordinary least squares (OLS) linear regression models to evaluate the evolution of five landscape metrics that translate the impact of urban sprawl in REN main functions: soil, water, and nature protection, and protection of people and belongings settled in hazard-vulnerable areas. Results show that REN had an impact on landscape change attributable to urbanization. However, these changes were unfavorable to its core ecological functions. Multiple linear OLS regression modeling proved to be an effective and simple method to compare and understand the evolution of landscape structure between areas protected by REN and their surroundings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)346-353
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Urban Planning and Development
Volume137
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2011

Keywords

  • Environmental monitoring
  • Landscape metrics
  • Multiple OLS linear regression
  • Urban growth

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