A survey of urban open space using colour infra-red aerial photographs
There has been a dramatic change in the U.K. government policy regarding the establishment of new towns. The emphasis is now on the redevelopment of existing cities rather than on building new ones. This has created an urgent need to carry out detailed surveys and inventories of many aspects of urban land use in metropolitan areas: this study concentrates on just one aspect - urban open space. In the first stage a comparison was made between 1:10,000 scale black and white and 1:10,000 scale colour infra-red aerial photographs, to compare the type and amount of open space information which could be obtained from these two sources. The advantages of using colour infra-red photography were clearly demonstrated in this comparison. The second stage was the use of colour infra-red photography as the sole source of data to survey and map the urban open space of a sample area in Merseyside Metropolitan County. This sample area comprised eleven 1/4km2 squares, on each of which a 20m x 20m grid cell was placed to record, directly from the photography, 625 sets of data. Each set of data recorded the type and amount of open space, its surface cover, maintenance status and management. The data recorded were fed into a computer and a suite of programs was developed to provide output in both computer map and statistical form, for each of the eleven -1/4km2 -sample areas. The third stage involved a comparison of open space data with socio-economic status. Merseyside County Planning Authority had previously conducted a socio-economic survey of the county, and this information was used to identify ' the socio-economic status of the population in the eleven ilkm2 areas of this project. This comparison revealed many interesting and useful relationships between the provision of urban open space and socio-economic status.