Developing a Land Suitability Analysis for Green Infrastructure Placement in Ambos Nogales
Alma Anides Morales1*, Francisco Lara-Valencia2, Margaret Garcia2, and Laura Norman3
1University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA,
2Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ, USA,,
3 U.S. Geological Survey Tucson, AZ, USA,
The sister border cities of Nogales, Arizona, and Nogales, Sonora, collectively known as Ambos Nogales, experience stormwater runoff challenges that result in public health risks, degradation of water quality, and economic losses. In response, green infrastructure (GI) strategies are being implemented to achieve sustainable flood management.  In addition to helping to address the binational flooding that occurs in downtown Ambos Nogales, the coupling of urban planning and watershed modelling, uses vegetation and design to restore natural systems and create healthy urban environments. Binational partners, funded by the North American Development Bank, are pooling their collective skillsets to determine optimal locations for GI solutions on both sides of the border. A land suitability analysis (LSA) is being conducted which considers three overarching categories: flood mitigation, watershed protection, and green space opportunities. Input data for the selected factors include binational soil and vegetation layers, geospatial data for each city, Digital Elevation Models (DEM), hydrologic outputs from the KINEmatic Runoff and EROsion model (KINEROS2), and qualitative input from stakeholder interviews highlighting frequently flooded locations. We are developing a composite index for each of the three categories, and when combined will result in an LSA index that ranks locations based on their suitability for maximizing GI benefits. Best suited areas will then be compared with locations identified by landscape architecture specialists. The GI designs conceptualized will then be assessed for their potential impacts with KINEROS2. It is expected the LSA will help guide and validate final recommendations for a GI binational network. This is part of a larger effort led by a U.S.-Mexico team of researchers working to support sustainable urban stormwater management practices and create recreational opportunities, preserve water quality and wildlife habitat in Ambos Nogales.