Survey: Green space morphology

At this point three thematic research groups from different scientific background will be organized to survey the study area: landscape architects (landscape group), botanists and vegetation ecologists (botany group), and zoologists (fauna group). The whole urban area of Porto will be covered by the each thematic group, in accordance to the results from the previous classification phase on Porto green structure.

Landscape Architecture Group

Site analysis will be made from plan analysis, direct observation and people interview (Lynch 1960). The assessment includes existing conditions survey, this will be supported by a series of base plans that delineates and evaluates the physical attributes and constraints for the parcel of land. It will cover such items as:

  1. a)Formal analysis: Size and complexity of the site, landscape architecture principles and methods used.
  2. b)Topography and Slopes – base information in the form of contours and elevations
  3. c)Geology and Soils – General information is currently available more explicit information may be required from drillings or specific soil testing
  4. d)Vegetation – The existing vegetation patterns and types can be obtained from aerial photographs and maps.Detailed plant identification and location of specimen will be done by the botanic group. The significance of vegetative information relates to a range of parameters: amount, density and category of vegetation – from ground cover to canopy, from new growth to mature stands of trees, etc.; creation of big shaded areas; wind breaks; plant coverage.
  5. e)Hydrology and Drainage – Surface hydrology is an integral part of the slopes and subsurface drainage systems.The information to be analyzed includes determination of watersheds, water drops and water catchment areas. 3D terrain models will be used to assist this task.
  6. f)Microclimate – Information on climatic factors such as seasonal temperature averages, amounts of precipitation.Microclimatic factors refer to variations to the general climate that might be created by topography, plants and vegetation, exposure to winds, elevation above sea level, and relationships to structural elements
  7. g)Surroundings – A survey on the existing constructions within and outside the borders of the green area. The site in relation to adjacent land uses, community transportation patterns, utility and infrastructure availability

Surveying will be supported by direct observation and systematic register of main landscape units and elements: landform, vegetation, water and constructions, interviews and discussion with people and their activities on the site; Photographic register; Field mapping; Field sketching and drawing; Landscape analysis and interpretation of maps and aerial photos.