Per capita income, population density, and land cover data were used as the criteria for urban greenspace suitability in Alabama cities. Finding suitable regions for greenspaces in Alabama cities was completed using the suitability modeler in ArcGIS PRO 2.7. A suitability model can be used to identify ideal locations for a specific purpose based on certain criteria the scientists define. Lower per capita income was given a higher ranking for suitability since income is inversely related to UHI effect, as well as higher population density. Urban or barren land cover was given a higher ranking while water bodies and forested regions were given a lower ranking. Since this was an exploratory study, the criteria were weighted about equally in the suitability model.
The suitability analysis showed that areas in Jefferson County that were most ideal for greenspaces were Central Park, Bush Hills, Inglenook, Forest Park, and Woodmeadows areas. In Montgomery County, the Old Cloverdale and Woodland Hills areas were most suitable for greenspaces. In Lee County, areas just west of Auburn University’s campus were the most suitable regions for greenspaces.
Suitability modelling can help community members are social geographers identify ideal locations for greenspaces. Several areas in Jefferson, Montgomery, and Lee counties in Alabama make ideal starting locations for greenspaces. Evaluating suitable regions and including socioeconomic factors ensures that the people who need greenspaces most access them.
A very special thanks goes out to Mason Pitre, Dr. Lindsay Maudlin, Dr. Chandana Mitra, and Dr. Karen McNeal.
Acknowledgement: This work was supported by the SouthEast Climate Adaptation Science Center and was carried out in the lab of Dr. Karen McNeal in the department of Geosciences, Auburn University.