Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Landscape Architecture


Landscape Architecture

First Advisor

Diane Jones Allen


The purpose of this research is to assess and investigate the impact of expanding the Light Rail Transit (LRT) systems versus conventional highway systems for land use change, land formation, and habitat fragmentation in the Dallas Fort Worth (DFW) metropolitan area as a highly developing urban area. The DFW metropolitan area is one of the fastest growing urban areas in the United States (U.S. Census Bureau, 2016). Successfully accommodating this population growth requires North Texans to collectively address important issues including: environmental degradation, suburbanization, suburban sprawl, landscape formation and fragmentation, lack of public transportation, community and well-being needs, transportation expansion, and energy. Habitat fragmentation caused by transportation infrastructure has gained attention and importance during the last couple of decades. In the USA, for example; the density of public roads is ca. 0.66 km (Forman, 2000). With their larger size and higher traffic volumes, highways represent a serious threat to wildlife, affecting a wider range of wildlife species and presenting an almost impassable barrier for many species of reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals (Jackson, 2000). The impact of roads on wildlife can be pervasive as roads can cause numerous fatalities as a result of collisions with the vehicles that travel on them (Malo et al., 2004; Saeki and Macdonald, 2004; Ramp et al., 2005). These impacts raise serious concerns about the stability and sustainability of roadside wildlife in the road-affected environments, especially as the amount of transported goods and the number of people travelling on roads increases worldwide (Ramp, Wilson, and Croft 2006).The number of casualties and habitat fragmentation appears to be steadily growing as traffic increases and infrastructure expands (Davenport , 2006). This research is based on ArcGIS spatial and historical mapping analysis to identify negative impacts of interstate highway 30 and the Trinity Railway Express on the land use change, landscape formation and fragmentation within the one mile buffer of these surrounding environments from 1995 to 2015. The findings of these procedures will provide valuable tools of knowledge for landscape architects, urban planners, transportation planners, and governmental agencies in addressing needs of ecology, and habitat conservation, by advocating for investment in the railroad transit systems as opposed to conventional highway systems.


Landscape planning, Transportation, Urban planning, Environmental science, Habitat fragmentation


Architecture | Landscape Architecture


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington