For Other Municipalities
While over 3/4 of Alberta has been described by one type of land-cover inventory or another, no comprehensive inventory method exists to quantify urban settings to the level of detail that Alberta’s forests and grasslands are afforded.
Under current vegetation land classification systems the Province’s urban dominated municipalities are simply considered “black boxes” that are described as a combination of residential or industrial development with little consideration for the important role that they play in maintaining regional landscape connectivity. This simplified inventory unintentionally fails to recognize many municipalities’ unique combinations of agriculture, semi-natural areas, and natural areas – all of which provide valuable ecosystem services.
The value of land inventories are fully understood by urban municipalities. Unfortunately, municipalities either
- do not have the internal resources to complete their own inventories or
- have the capacity, but use dissimilar and independent inventory frameworks. Both cases result in varying levels of data resolution and discrepancies in how ecological information is captured making inter-municipal land use planning difficult.
The uPLVI framework has the potential to represent Alberta’s first comprehensive biophysical vegetation and anthropogenic framework for the province’s urban areas.
- Cost effectiveness by enabling coarse scale mapping over a large area while allowing for finer-resolution inventories to be undertaken within a subset of uPLVI polygons that is of particular interest to the municipality. This choice of inventory resolution allows focused allocation of limited resources. And,
- Consistency by creating a standardized system of protocols around ecological based mapping and by capturing unique urban features that can be seamlessly integrated into the Province’s existing inventories.