Using an Urban Ecological Novelty Assessment Tool to Better Inform Design and Planning: An Application to Barrie Ontario

Leach, Jacob
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University of Guelph

Human development has placed significant pressures on the environment, causing habitat degradation and loss. Professions, such as landscape architecture, which have a direct hand in how cities are managed and designed are responsible for protecting the environment to the best of their abilities. To do this, landscape architects require methods for reviewing and understanding the ecological makeup of the urban areas they are designing within. This study reviews the current ecological assessment methods present in the literature and identifies a suitable method for widespread use by landscape architects, Urban Ecological Novelty Assessment Tool. Through the combination of Human and Biotic Novelty indices (each created from a combination of citizen science and GIS data) this tool provides an overview of Ecological Novelty across different sites within the City of Barrie. The results provide a method for identifying key areas with ecological significance that can be proactively studied and protected.

Ecological Novelty, Urban Planning, Urban Ecological Novelty, Barrie, Landscape Planning, Landscape Architecture, Human Novelty Index, Biotic Novelty Index, Ecological Novelty Index, iNaturalist, Standardize Ecological Review Methods