Investigators: Marina Alberti (PI), Jeff Hepinstall, Michal Russo, Bekkah Coburn

Funding: Washington State Community Trade and Economic Development

Description: The overall goal of this project is to assess the effectiveness of the Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA) through quantifiable benchmarks. Landscape metrics are applied to monitor and quantify landscape changes associated with urban growth. The project is articulated in two phases: 1) A preliminary assessment using remote sensing data as benchmarks for monitoring urban growth, 2) The development and application of the identified benchmarks to assess urban growth patterns and the impacts of growth management.

Phase I produced a preliminary assessment of a selected number of landscape metrics using Landsat Images from 1991 and 1999 and was completed in June 2003. The second phase has the following objectives: a) Identification of specific landscape metrics to target Growth Management and Comprehensive Planning Goals. b) Processing and classification of multiple Landsat Images for 1991, 1995, and 1999 to examine landscape change over the three-year period. c) Multiple scale analysis to describe and detect trends within and across Counties, within and outside the Growth Management Area. d) Assess urban growth trends in relationship to Growth Management goals by comparing the 1991-1995 to the 1995-1999 time frame.

Phase II is organized around two major activities: A) Urban growth patterns analysis (Completed August 2004) B) Urban growth patterns assessment

This progress report focuses on Phase IIB. Specific tasks of this phase include:

B1. Multiple-scale landscape change analysis

Extend the analysis to assess the sensitivity of landscape metrics to change in scale by measuring the metrics at three different scales: a 150 meter window, a 450 meter window, and a 750 meter window. Complete a sensitivity analysis by comparing the results of the landscape metric at different scales.

B2. Assessment of urban growth trends

2.1 Assess trends in urban patterns in relationship to growth management targets by comparing the 1991-1995 to the 1995-1999 time frame. We conduct an exploratory analysis of the drivers of urban growth pattern change and assess the effect of GMA using land cover and landscape metrics.

2.2 Assess the ability of metrics to detect change in urban growth patterns and develop guidelines for monitoring future urban growth and on-the-ground effects of growth management policies. This step will include the development of indicators for monitoring urban growth patterns using Landsat data and guidelines to apply the indicators for monitoring GMA progress over time.