Urban landscape patterns are emergent, coupled human-natural phenomena that epitomize the complexity of interactions and feedback mechanisms between human decisions and ecological processes (Figure 1, Alberti 2008). The process of urbanization results in a complex pattern of intermixed high- and low-density built-up areas and fragmented natural patches. Alternative urban development patterns affect ecological processes both directly—by replacing native habitat with simplified, human-dominated systems—and indirectly—by rearranging the biophysical attributes that cause a variety of interrelated local and global effects. By studying the Seattle and Phoenix metropolitan areas, Dr. Alberti and colleagues from the University of Washington and Arizona State University have started to document distinct ecological signatures of urban landscape patterns, using landscape characteristics relevant to various ecosystem processes.


RGI2: Landscape Composition and Configuration at the Basin and Sub-Basin Level in Western Washington. Marina Alberti (PI), Daniele Spirandelli.

CTED Landscape Benchmarks Project. Marina Alberti (PI), Jeff Hepinstall, Michal Russo, Bekkah Coburn. 

Detecting Ecological Signatures of Development Patterns. Marina Alberti (PI), Stefan Coe, Daniele Spirandelli, Yan Jang 

The Impact of Urban Patterns on Aquatic Ecosystems: An Empirical Analysis in Puget Lowland Sub-Basins. Marina Alberti (PI), Derek Booth, Kristina Hill, Bekkah Coburn, Christina Avolio, Stefan Coe, Daniele Spirandelli