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An Application for Regional Coastal Erosion Processes in Urban Areas: A Case Study of the Golden Horseshoe in Canada

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journal contribution
posted on 21.05.2021, 17:00 authored by Eric Vaz, Lisa Bowman
Urban growth has had unprecedented consequences on environmental sustainability and anthropogenic activity. The eroding coastlines throughout the world are subject to the massive expansion of urban areas and the accountability of sustainable hinterland landscapes. The Golden Horseshoe is Canada’s fastest growing region extending from the Niagara Peninsula and one of the most active economic regions in North America. This paper adopts a combined assessment of land use change and transitions in the coastal stretches of the Greater Golden Horseshoe. Comprising the urban expansion of the region between 1990 and 2011, an integrated assessment was carried out to: (i) detect changes in coastal lines along Lake Ontario; (ii) derive land use changes along the coast through spatial accounting matrices; and (iii) integrate climate change data for a combined assessment of future erosion loci. Visible erosion was found between the decade of 1990 and 2000, while certain areas have shown coastal recession in the southern region. The maximum recession was found to be 30 m, with an increasing urban sprawl of 19.8% between 1990 and 2000. A combined temperature increase of 2 °C over the coming decades brings the increase in urban heat islands leading to the importance of combined land policies to mitigate the common problem of erosion in vulnerable urban stretches and liveability concerning spatial resilience of growing urban regions in North America.