Exploring the impact of green space health on runoff reduction using NDVI
Authors: Hyun Woo Kim, Jun-Hyun Kim, Wei Li, Ping Yang, Yang Cao
This study examines the impact of green space health on local flooding based on the analysis of eighty-two watersheds in four Texas metropolitan statistical areas: Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin. The runoff records in October 2007 and October 2012 were selected for the assessment. The study met the methodological challenge posed by comparison by using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) datasets produced based on the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) imagery of the 250-m resolution as a proxy to represent the health of green space. Two linear regression models were employed to explain the variation in mean daily runoff depth in 2007 and 2012, while controlling multiple contextual variables.Results indicate that watersheds containing healthier green spaces were likely to generate lower amounts of runoff in both periods. Standardized coefficients of green space health also show that the NDVI is a powerful and significant predictor to explain variation in runoff. These findings illustrate the important role of urban green spaces in attenuating local flooding and may provide planners and decision-makers with a method to consider, using this kind of objective greenery index in further developing local and regional green infrastructure and land-use plans.