University of Colorado, Colorado Springs Colorado Springs, Colorado, United States
Urban agriculture takes on multiple forms and compositions. These forms and compositions are largely determined through the decision making of urbans residents. This work examines the ways in which decisions regarding urban agricultural practices - e.g. what to grow, how much to water, how to manage the surrounding landscape - shape the impact that urban agriculture has on surface temperatures. We ask "What role do urban agriculture preferences and patterns play in shaping impacts on surface temperatures?" A mixed methods approach was employed to answer this question. The approach entailed categorizing urban agricultural spaces based on form and composition and testing mean differences in surface temperatures in and around the agricultural spaces. Additionally we examined the differential impact of the presence of agriculture across a representative sample of agricultural spaces. Urban agriculture - in particular urban gardens - is anticipated to have positive environmental impacts, yet not all urban agricultural spaces are equal. This work seeks to investigate how diversity in form and compositions can influence anticipated positive environmental impacts of urban agricultural spaces.
A combination of field and remotely sensed data was analyzed and results indicate significant difference in surface temperature impact across the categories of urban agriculture. Patterns suggest that decisions related to watering practices and garden beautification (i.e. how the landscape around the garden is maintained) contribute to the observed differences.