Green Infrastructure and Urban Vacancies: Land Cover and Natural Environment as Predictors of Vacant Land in Austin, Texas




Kim, Young-Jae
Lee, Ryun Jung
Lee, Taehwa
Shin, Yongchul

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Urban vacancies have been a concern for neighborhood distress and economic decline and have gained more recent attention as potential green infrastructure is known to benefit communities in diverse ways. To investigate this, this study looked into the relationship between land cover, natural environment, and urban vacancies in Austin, Texas. Additionally, we investigated the spatial patterns of green infrastructure and urban vacancies by different income groups to see if low income communities would potentially lack the benefits of green infrastructure. To measure green infrastructure, we used different land covers such as forests and shrublands, as well as natural environments such as tree canopies and vegetation richness, using remote sensing data. Urban vacancy information was retrieved from the USPS vacant addresses and parcel land uses. Through a series of multivariate analyses examining green infrastructure variables one by one, the study results indicate that green infrastructure interacts with residential and business vacancies differently. Additionally, low-income communities lack green infrastructure compared with the rest of the city and are exposed to more urban vacancies in their neighborhoods. Further study is required to understand the dynamics of vacancies in underserved communities and examine how existing vacant land can benefit the communities as ecological resources.




Land 12 (11): 2031 (2023)