Visualizing ‘Conflict Zones’ Between Roads and the Environment
A group of environmental scientists, geographers, planners, and agricultural specialists have taken a unique approach to assessing the economic benefits of building roads versus the environmental threats of doing so. The group, called Global Road Map, created a map that shows the “conflict zones” between high economic value road locations (in red) and areas where protecting natural flora and fauna is of heightened importance (in green). Where these datasets overlap (shown in black), the researchers anticipate road building despite enormous environmental cost. With a massive amount of road building expected to happen in the coming year, particularly in developing countries, Global Road Map hopes that their visualization can serve as a guide for responsible development that does not sacrifice the environment for economic benefit.