Previous research identified the weather-altering effects of discrete parks, rivers, rice paddies and bodies of water as well as temperature gradients as a correlation of the green area ratio. However, there is a missing link in using the existing knowledge in the planning of open space specifically for heat island reduction. The research aims therefore to present a methodology for open space planning to reduce the effects of heat islands by employing Landsat TM data, to identify types of open spaces, their scale and their patterns of distribution to effectively reduce heat islands.
Urban fringe landscapes with a juxtaposition of segmented agricultural lands and urban land uses, seen to result from the incomplete application of Western urban planning concepts, have been regarded as a symbol of disordered Asian urban fringe areas. However, such a mixture of urban and agricultural land uses in the fringe is not a modern invention of Asian cities but may be identified in their history. Almost half of the land area of Edo, the former Tokyo, was in agricultural use, even up to the end of the Edo era. This was despite Edo being already one of the largest cities in the world with over one million populations. Various activities relating to agriculture can be found today in the fringe of Asian mega-cities including professional farming, poverty alleviation programs, community gardens and backyard gardening. These facts suggest that the order of land use in the fringe of Asian mega-cities should not be achieved by a simple application of Western urban planning concepts, but by an application of a fresh approach, which regards agro-activities as a vernacular element of the area. The integration of agro-activities in the urban fabric is one of the key issues for bringing a new order to the urban fringe landscapes of Asian mega-cities.
Distribution, size structure and suppressed condition of pine trees constituting of a coastal forest preserved as a place of natural beauty were investigated in order to obtain information for maintenance of the forest. Study site is located on the southwest part of Awaji Island, Hyogo prefecture, Japan. Location, diameter at breast height and height of tree, height of lowest branch and height of lowest leaves of large-sized and middle-sized pine trees were recorded. The number and density of large-sized pine trees were 120 and 4.0/ha. The number and density of middle-sized pine trees were 189 in 9.3 ha and 20.3/ha. The mean dbh and mean height of trees of large-sized trees were 2.6 times and 1.2 times of middle-sized pine trees. The ratio of height to diameter of pine trees decreases as height of trees increase. The size-structure of trees in the present study was quite different from other coastal pine forests which constitute even aged trees. The 68.3% of large-sized and 69.3% of middle-sized pine trees were suppressed by small pine trees which prevent sunlight from penetrating to leaves of large-sized and middle-sized pine trees. It is necessary to remove these trees in order to recover light condition. Many of these small pine trees were considered to be planted after the outbreak of pine wilt disease by the voluntary local people. The information that those planted trees might be cut down should be give to the people.
Bird communities in summer breeding season as an indicator of biodiversity for evaluation of river ecosystem were surveyed and analyzed in riparian middle area of Abukuma River in order to determine the relationships between bird communities and landscape environmental factors. A total of 919 individuals, which composed of 39 bird species, were recorded. Each species and a component of Cuckoo (Cumulus canorous), Bull-headed Shrike (Lanius bucephalus), Great Reed Warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus), Siberian Meadow Bunting (Emberiza cioides), Japanese Wagtail (Motacilla grandis) and Long-billed Plover (Charadrius placidus) was selected to indicator species and indicator bird community, which closely related to each natural environmental factor respectively, as representing species richness in the survey area with a method of cluster analysis and principal component analysis. The total number of species and the species diversity (Shannon Wiener function (H')) on each fifty five sections significantly related with the number of natural environmental elements and the river transversal distance encompass from edge of water to bottom of river embankment analyzed by a method of multivariate regression analysis. The more the river transversal distance elongate, the more these sequential natural environmental elements from gravel edge adjacent water to riverside woods provide birds with habitat structural complexity. This study indicates that preserving landscape environmental elements composed of sequential natural environmental elements and river transversal distance which enables these sequence exist are important in order to conserve river ecosystem from the standpoint of bird community adapting as an environmental indicator.