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Mapping of individual building heights reveals the large gap of urban-rural living spaces in the contiguous US

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    1. We proposed a building-scale height map at the conterminous U.S.

      The mapped building heights show distinct variation within and across cities.

      Limited living spaces in urban regions reduce the inequality compared to rural areas.

      Building volume (3D) reveals larger gap of living spaces than building footprints (2D).

  • Living spaces are a crucial component of communities and social interactions, whereas the vertical structure of buildings in these spaces, particularly at a large-scale, has received limited attention yet. Here, we produced a detailed height map of each building in the conterminous United States (US) in circa 2020. Leveraging multi-source satellite observations and building footprint data, our study aimed to shed light on the spatial variations in building heights and their implications to measure the inequality of living spaces. Our results revealed a significant spatial variation in building heights, with downtown areas exhibiting an average height of 12.4m, more than double the average height of suburban areas at 5.4m. Moreover, our study highlighted the urban-rural gap in living spaces, with urban regions offering limited living spaces compared to rural areas. This study contributes to the growing body of knowledge in urban planning and lays the foundation for future investigations aimed at improving living conditions and fostering sustainable communities.
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  • Cite this article:

    Che Y., Li X., Liu X., et al., (2024). Mapping of individual building heights reveals the large gap of urban-rural living spaces in the contiguous US. The Innovation Geoscience 2(2): 100069. https://doi.org/10.59717/j.xinn-geo.2024.100069
    Che Y., Li X., Liu X., et al., (2024). Mapping of individual building heights reveals the large gap of urban-rural living spaces in the contiguous US. The Innovation Geoscience 2(2): 100069. https://doi.org/10.59717/j.xinn-geo.2024.100069

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