Developing a Spatial Form Model to Assess Canopy Cover and Other Urban Forestry Metrics for Guelph, Ontario
Canopy cover is used as one of many indicators of urban forest management success. This study developed a spatial form model to determine whether Guelph’s canopy cover target of 40% is achievable given various planning considerations. The model used a geographic information system (ArcGIS 10.2) and leaf-on SPOT 6 satellite imagery to determine existing land covers; it applied a variety of spatial analysis tools to land cover data and existing infrastructure to determine the spatial extent and/or quantity of a variety of urban forest metrics. Results found that a 40% canopy cover is achievable if 52% of the available plantable space becomes canopy cover. Industrial and employment, institutional, low-density residential, commercial, and parkland should be targeted for future planting efforts due to their large plantable space areas and/or low relative canopy cover.