This research is being conducted through a partnership between Dr. Kirby Calvert at the University of Guelph and the Louisville/Jefferson County Information Consortium (LOJIC) who have a shared goal of increasing the awareness of solar energy opportunities within the city of Louisville, Kentucky and raising the profile of the city’s sustainability efforts and initiatives. The research objectives of this study - including a proof of concept to validate the intended expansion of the methods proposed by Boz, Calvert, and Brownson (2015) - are a suitable first step in accomplishing these goals. The partnership also helps to ensure that the research is seen and used by interested parties, and establish a reliable data source.
Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky, with a population of 760,026 (2014) and area of 380.42 square miles (US Census Bureau, 2015). As this work is primarily a proof of concept, the study site is not city-wide, but instead focuses on two sites (see Figure 2 below) within the city limits: one urban, one suburban. The two sites, each approximately 1 mi2, were chosen from LiDAR tiles made available by LOJIC in an effort to contrast urban and suburban suitability. In addition to constricting the location of the study site, only residential areas will be considered. These restrictions are in place to decrease the computational intensity of performing the suitability analysis, which is known to be large (Boz, Calvert, and Brownson, 2015). Tables 1 and 2 below display the land use breakdown for each of the study sites. Multi-family, single-family and vacant land uses will be considered as residential area and are included in this study (see Figure 3 below).
Figure 2: An outline of the city of Louisville, Kentucky, with the study sites identified. Both study sites are located in the north end of the city, with the suburban tile at the north-east, and the downtown tile in the north-west.
Figure 3: Three maps showing the study sites. The first map on the topidentifies the locations of the two study sites. The urban study site on the bottom left highlights the residential areas of this tile, eliminating anything that is not residential. The downtown map on the bottom left also highlights the residential areas of this tile, eliminating anything that is not residential.