An approach for greenway suitability analysis

William Miller, Michael G. Collins, Frederick R. Steiner, Edward Cook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

126 Scopus citations


Greenway analysis is designed to identify and measure the suitability of potential sites for greenway development. This evaluation can be regarded as an extremely difficult task due, in part, to the large number of criteria and large volume of data that may be required for the determination. The purpose of this paper is to present an approach to greenway analysis that integrates suitability analysis with geographic information system (GIS) technology to identify suitable sites for greenway development in the town of Prescott Valley, AZ, USA. This approach identified five major steps involved in the greenway analysis, these include: identification of land-use functions, spatial data collection, development of weighting values, data integration and analysis using GIS, and output evaluation. Land-use function identification, and weighting values were developed from a wide range of resources including the Prescott Valley General Plan, surveys, expert opinion and published literature. Spatial data were obtained from federal, state, and local agencies. Where specific data were not available, these data were collected from the site using inventory techniques. Three land-use functions were identified for the Prescott Valley study area, wildlife habitat, recreation, and riparian corridor. For each of these functions, four or five primary factors were determined. Additionally, for each factor, a land capability rating was established. Results of the surveys indicated that normalized weightings for the functions were 1.0 for wildlife habitat, 0.862 for recreation, and 0.653 for riparian corridor. Rankings for the primary factors within the functions ranged from a high of 0.468 to a low of 0.049, with the sum of weighting values for all factors within a function equal to 1.0. Land capability values for attributes within factors were set as high, moderate, low, and no capability. All data were integrated into a vector-based GIS software and a total of 14 coverages were created, Spatial analysis was performed using an overlay technique combining all factors within a function, and then by combining all resulting factor outputs to produce an overall greenway suitability analysis. The final analysis was then evaluated by a panel of experts to determine its accuracy and potential for use in a greenway development plan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-105
Number of pages15
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - Dec 7 1998


  • Geographic information systems
  • Greenway planning
  • Suitability analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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