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Assessing and Forecasting Land-Use and Land-Cover Change in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area.

Land-use and land-cover change resulting from human activity have a profound effect on environmental and socioeconomic sustainability along the rural-urban continuum in Minnesota. Land change is responsible for up to one-quarter of all human-generated carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. In addition, land-use and land-cover change in urban areas and at the urban-rural interface influences atmospheric chemistry, water resources and hydrology, regional climate, heat island effects, habitat fragmentation, and biotic diversity and productivity. Leapfrog development of suburbs and exurbs can also lead to socioeconomic fragmentation, spatial mismatch between housing and employment, infrastructure inefficiencies, urban poverty concentration, and adverse effects on public health. Marvin Bauer (Department of Forest Resources) and Steven Manson (Department of Geography) will investigate two key challenges in addressing land-use and land-cover change in Minnesota: (1) the use of remote-sensing imagery to determine land cover in the Twin Cities metropolitan area and (2) development of a model to combine this land-cover data with socioeconomic and biogeophysical data to understand relationships between land use and land cover and to project future land use and land cover for the metropolitan area. Working with staff at the Metropolitan Council, the researchers will identify growth scenarios for the Twin Cities region of interest to stakeholders represented by the Met Council and create land-use and land-cover products useful for understanding the socioeconomic and environmental effects of growth in the region.

Project Award Date: 
Community organization or agency: 
Metropolitan Council
Reports and related files
Sponsoring CURA Program: 
CURA Contact: 
Edward Goetz Director, CURA (612) 624-8737