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Measuring fragmentation of open space in urbanised Flanders: an evaluation of four methods

Thomas Verbeek (UGent) and Barbara Tempels (UGent)
(2016) BELGEO. 2. p.1-20
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Abstract
The open space in Flanders, the northern part of Belgium, can hardly be seen as really open. From the Middle Ages onward this area has been known for its spread out development pattern, which has even strengthened in recent decades. Especially the residential ribbon development and the omnipresent infrastructure are widely recognised. These developments have led to an intense fragmentation of open space. In this paper we present two new methods to analyse and quantify this fragmentation of open space from a spatial planning perspective, and compare them with two existing methods. This comparative analysis evaluates the differentmethods and connects them to different definitions of fragmentation. The average patch size method is more appropriate to describe general fragmentation if the focus is on major line infrastructures, whereas the density of fragmenting structures method matches with the interpretation of fragmentation as spatial heterogeneity. The two described methods to detect enclosed open space fragments as signs of fragmentation give different results depending on the data and methods used. The ribbon method however is more appropriate to detect open space fragments under threat of privatisation, since it works with a stricter definition of continuous ribbon development. All four methods are relevant for Flemish spatial planning policy, as they indicate where actions are needed to safeguard open space from further urbanisation tendencies. Furthermore, they can support a differentiated spatial policy and add to the scientific basis of the debate on alternative interpretations of Flemish open space.
Keywords
open space, fragmentation, spatial indicators, GIS

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Verbeek, Thomas, and Barbara Tempels. 2016. “Measuring Fragmentation of Open Space in Urbanised Flanders: An Evaluation of Four Methods.” Belgeo 2: 1–20.
APA
Verbeek, T., & Tempels, B. (2016). Measuring fragmentation of open space in urbanised Flanders: an evaluation of four methods. BELGEO, 2, 1–20.
Vancouver
1.
Verbeek T, Tempels B. Measuring fragmentation of open space in urbanised Flanders: an evaluation of four methods. BELGEO. 2016;2:1–20.
MLA
Verbeek, Thomas, and Barbara Tempels. “Measuring Fragmentation of Open Space in Urbanised Flanders: An Evaluation of Four Methods.” BELGEO 2 (2016): 1–20. Print.
@article{7169040,
  abstract     = {The open space in Flanders, the northern part of Belgium, can hardly be seen as really open. From the Middle Ages onward this area has been known for its spread out development pattern, which has even strengthened in recent decades. Especially the residential ribbon development and the omnipresent infrastructure are widely recognised. These developments have led to an intense fragmentation of open space. In this paper we present two new methods to analyse and quantify this fragmentation of open space from a spatial planning perspective, and compare them with two existing methods. This comparative analysis evaluates the differentmethods and connects them to different definitions of fragmentation. The average patch size method is more appropriate to describe general fragmentation if the focus is on major line infrastructures, whereas the density of fragmenting structures method matches with the interpretation of fragmentation as spatial heterogeneity. The two described methods to detect enclosed open space fragments as signs of fragmentation give different results depending on the data and methods used. The ribbon method however is more appropriate to detect open space fragments under threat of privatisation, since it works with a stricter definition of continuous ribbon development. All four methods are relevant for Flemish spatial planning policy, as they indicate where actions are needed to safeguard open space from further urbanisation tendencies. Furthermore, they can support a differentiated spatial policy and add to the scientific basis of the debate on alternative interpretations of Flemish open space.},
  articleno    = {17164},
  author       = {Verbeek, Thomas and Tempels, Barbara},
  issn         = {1377-2368},
  journal      = {BELGEO},
  keyword      = {open space,fragmentation,spatial indicators,GIS},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {17164:1--17164:20},
  title        = {Measuring fragmentation of open space in urbanised Flanders: an evaluation of four methods},
  url          = {http://belgeo.revues.org/17164},
  volume       = {2},
  year         = {2016},
}