Spatial technology company Aerometrex has developed a suite of urban greening data services to help all levels of government measure, plan, and analyse the efficacy of their climate change mitigation strategies. Aerometrex is helping government decisionmakers increase the livability of the urban environment, protect the health of their constituents, and better plan and manage infrastructure from rooftops and tree canopies down to ground level.

Rooftop greening

Aerometrex, in a joint project with the City of Melbourne, developed a way to identify and measure living rooftop green spaces, green building façades, and a process to identify viable new rooftop garden and solar panel locations.

Plan sustainable green rooftops quickly and at scale

Aerometrex measured an increase from 18,930m² in 2013 to 37,472m² in 2021 of living vegetation. The total number of green rooftops increased from 713 to 1081 in the same period.

The number of green façades has risen from 25 to 63. Newly developed data processes identified sustainable locations for rooftop gardens using area solar radiation maps, slope maps, and aspect maps from the 3D model imagery overlaid onto building footprint data.

The project outputs give relevant information and data to improve greening outcomes in new buildings and developments. The datasets will be a demonstration and research tool for other local and state governments and private industries.

Tree canopy measurement

A partnership with the City of Unley in South Australia saw Aerometrex develop multiple LiDAR and aerial imagery-derived data processes to quantify and track changes in tree canopies across the urban landscape.

The project measured both canopy coverage and categorized the changes into existing tree growth, pruning existing trees, tree removal, and tree planting.

Measure the entire urban forest with LIDAR

Repeat LiDAR captures in 2018 and 2021 acted as the baseline dataset for measuring the tree canopy changes with highresolution MetroMap imagery validating the canopy change classification into the categories listed above.

Aerometrex’s data found that the growth of existing trees contributed five times as much new tree canopy cover as newly planted trees that have reached 3m in height, thus giving thermal benefits.

Total canopy coverage losses from tree removal and pruning are the equivalent of approximately 78,900 newly planted trees (299,917m²).

Councils can now use true equivalence between established tree canopy and newly planted tree canopy when planning and executing urban tree management.

Private landowners can also assess the actual impacts of tree removal and be encouraged to preserve existing trees rather than rely on new planting.

Surface mapping

Aerometrex’s Permeable and Impermeable surface mapping helps urban greening from the ground up. The Permeable and Impermeable Surface mapping data categorises surface type and distribution in the urban environment – a strong indicator for an area’s livability, sustainability, and resilience to the ongoing impact of climate change. Surface types directly affect heat buildup, water flow and runoff, and options for reaching greening targets.

From left to right: RGB imagery, classification of visible ground, full semantic classification

The Permeable and Impermeable Surface maps accurately show where water can and can’t penetrate the ground, thereby helping to manage water runoffs, reduce urban heat islands,and identify new plantable spaces for greening strategies.

Utilising these datasets can help government councils build environmental resilience and long-term community benefits.

Learn more at www.aerometrex.com.au or call (08) 8362 9911

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