Characterization Across Spatial Levels and Time

A sustainable parcel of land could be imagined as one with roughly equivalent rankings along each axis, as in Figure 5.3. It is important to note, however, that these rankings would be place specific, as geographic differences in land quality and ecosystem health would result in differing abilities to ameliorate the environmental effects. This suggests that the volume of the space laid out by the metric volume is a useful measure. The volume of a solid with each axis equal to 5 is 31.25 units. We can then put the parcel sustainability o on a chromatic color scale (Figure 5.3).

A variation of this idea would be to use color theory to indicate which factors contributed to the o value (Figure 5.4). The concept would be to take the three axis values to select a point in color space. For example, suppose E = 8, C = 8, S = 2. Then e =8/18 = 0.44, c = 8/18 = 0.44, e = 2/18 = 0.11. The color of point P is used to indicate the land parcel. If the volume or color triangle value is indicated on a map, a time series animation can show progression toward or regression from sustainability.

Now consider Figure 5.5, where we evaluate parcel sustainability at three spatial levels. At the first, an individual parcel might be entirely urban or entirely commercial and thus have a low o value. At higher spatial levels, the parcels would be the sums of the smaller parcels and likely have higher o value. At still higher spatial levels, a still higher o value would be anticipated.

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