EGU General Assembly 2023
© Author(s) 2023. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Discerning relationships between urban ecosystem connectivity and social vulnerability in a major US city

Zane Havens1, Stephen Macko1, and Laura Mogensen2
Zane Havens et al.
  • 1University of Virginia, Department of Arts and Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Charlottesville, Virginia, United States of America (
  • 2Luleå University of Technology, Wood Technology, Luleå, Sweden

As the body of research surrounding the benefits of Urban Green Infrastructure (UGI) grows, questions regarding how and where UGI is implemented in regards to vulnerable populations require more investigation. Although US cities and municipalities have begun to examine the environmental justice implications of UGI placement, the spatial aggregation and connectivity characteristics of urban ecosystems in vulnerable areas aren’t always considered when making these decisions.  Evidence suggests that connectivity of UGI can influence the ecosystem services UGI provides, but currently research into the differences in UGI connectivity between vulnerable and non-vulnerable populations is sparse. Understanding this relationship can help to better inform decisionmakers on how to effectively address discrepancies in UGI implementation while minimizing the expenditure of municipal resources.

In this case study of Washington, DC, we explore relationships between metrics of ecosystem connectivity derived from high spatial resolution (1m) land cover maps and components of the US Center for Disease Control’s Social Vulnerability Index.  These relationships are analyzed using PCA to uncover correlations between commonly used indicators of social vulnerability and the spatial patterns of land cover in a major US city.

How to cite: Havens, Z., Macko, S., and Mogensen, L.: Discerning relationships between urban ecosystem connectivity and social vulnerability in a major US city, EGU General Assembly 2023, Vienna, Austria, 24–28 Apr 2023, EGU23-13851,, 2023.