Planning Aids to Measure the Physical Impact of Urbanization
Timothy R. Lazaro
Urbanization causes rapid land use changes. These modifications alter the surface structure of the landscape and its hydrologic responses. The analysis of data from a natural region (a watershed) in the process of urbanizing can indicate the physical impact of these land use changes. This paper outlines several applied analytical techniques, and suggests that if these methods were employed on a variety of watersheds, the collection of these studies would prove useful as a planning aid for the physical planner.
The methodology consists of examining growths in population and defining the consequent change in surface structure (using aerial photography). Next, hydrologic techniques along with a distribution-free test are employed to analyze the modified hydrologic response. The ultimate manifestation of the rapid land use changes, the greatly decreased flood return period, is illustrated graphically by the results of the California method.
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