Articles | Volume 4
06 Jun 2023
 | 06 Jun 2023

Semantic Identification of Urban Green Spaces: Forest

Irada Ismayilova and Sabine Timpf

Keywords: urban green spaces, forests, Sentinel-2, rule-based classification

Abstract. Urban Green Spaces (UGSs) are recognized as crucial parts of the human-nature ecosystem in densely populated urban centers. Even though they have been intensively studied, an ultimate list of all types of UGSs in Europe still does not exist. This challenges decision making on whether an area should be considered an UGS or belong to another land-use class. Furthermore, the means of precise identification of UGSs are dependent, among others, on their type and semantics. Therefore, in this paper, we investigate forests as UGSs and automatically identify them using their distinct characteristics from Sentinel-2 images as well as descriptive properties derived from them, i.e., vegetation indices and texture metrics.We enrich these properties with forest relevant features such as minimum vegetation height and homogeneity. To assess the reliability of the proposed workflow, we test our approach in two German cities and compare the results with existing governmental land use data sets. With the implemented approach we precisely identify over 90% of the existing forests in the study areas. The main restriction of the approach is the transferability of the thresholds of predictor variables such as homogeneity and dissimilarity.