Gamtinio karkaso planavimas naudojant „Viva Grass Planner“

Informacija pateikiama anglų kalba

Green network story

Semi-natural grasslands are a key element of the Green Network of Estonia and their preservation and conservation contribute to the objectives of the green network, as stated in the National Spatial Plan “Estonia 2030+”. Specifically, less intensified grasslands such as permanent and semi-natural meadows are characterized by a high provision of regulation and maintenance Ecosystem Services (hereinafter “ES”) related with pollination, the maintenance of habitats for key species or global climate regulation through carbon sequestration in vegetation and soils (see table 2). The provision of multiple ecosystem services ES, understood as multifunctinonality, highlights the role of semi-natural grasslands as relevant elements of the Green Network of Estonia.

The prioritization Decision Management System* (DMS) developed within the framework of the Viva Grass integrated planning tool allows planners and a wider range of stakeholders to query information related to the role of grasslands within the Green Network of Estonia. The main objectives of the Green Network DMS are:

1.         Guiding planners into the adoption of the County-level GN in rural municipality General Plan
2.         Stressing the role of grasslands in the GN (delivery of ES, conservation status)
3.         Detecting possible landuse conflicts in the GN implementation

In Saare Municipality case study, the Green Network DMS provides a number of options or scenarios to implement Saare County Green Network in Saare Municipality general plan. The present report showcases the workflow and outputs of the GN DMS.

The role of “Viva Grass Planner”

Related stakeholders:

  • Planners

Viva Grass Planner functionality important for this DMS:

  • account. Every organization gets their own part of the cloud based system. This part can be managed and customized by organization’s administrator/user and adopted to their needs. Organization can have and manage different territory. It can be whole country, municipality, protected area or even farm. Organization’s data is not available for other Planner users in any form.
  • Data from basemap + VG context data layers. During the Viva Grass project a lot of methodologies and data sets were developed. Some dataset structure and prepared data can be re-used by organization to speed organization’s Viva Grass Planner account preparation and to be able to start data assessment or other spatial data based decision making faster.
    Context data layers provided by Viva Grass lets the organization to have important spatial context without need to search for the available data, without integration to the Tool, etc.
  • ’s context data layers. It is a list of identified and pre-configured context data layers. Every organization can use this structure to upload or to enter their own contextual data and use it for the calculations (intersection), context data storage and management. More than 10 thematic layers and their structures are provided. Three additional custom context data layers for point, line and polygon features are available too. These custom layers can be used to upload and use for any type of context data.
  • Custom attributes. For the different needs of every organization it is possible to add custom attributes to the land use block polygons. The formats of the attributes can be text, double, integer. Attributes can be used to store temporary or permanent information about land use blocks, can be used to store calculation, prioritization results, etc.
  • Functionality:
    • Visual analysis/assessment. Viva Grass Planner provides the wide range of map functionalit: basemap selector, 3rd party data upload, zoom in/zoom out, location search, map layer management including possibility to change layer transparency, data filter by attribute values, etc. All this enables the user to assess map data visually and to make spatial data based decisions.
    • It is one of the most powerful tools in Viva Grass Planner. This simple to use tool enables intersection of land use blocks with a selected context data layer and storing this intersection result as an attribute info in the land use block. For this DMS, intersection is used to select land use blocks that are in different green network alternatives, blocks that fall within development areas in general plan, etc.
    • This functionality enables the user to classify land use blocks to different categories based on advanced selection expressions related to the land use block attribute information. For this DMS, it will be used to classify grassland blocks into the different Green Network scenarios.
    • Upload/Download. This is a key functionality of the Tool, because you can download the data you need in any step, you can modify it in other (ex. ArcGIS for Desktop) tools and upload it back to the Viva Grass Planner Tool.

Adding context data layers

Viva Grass Planner >> More >> Settings >> Layers settings

Turn on layers listed below by checking checkboxes.

Context data layer list:

  • Green network (polygons) – GN alternatives should be uploaded to this layer with a alternative identificator as attribute value.
  • Custom Polygon Layer (polygons) – General Plan polygons

Other context layers can be switched on or off if needed.

Important! To see changes user needs to reload Tool and login once again.

Adding custom attributes

Viva Grass Planner >> More >> Settings >> User attributes

Add additional, custom attributes for the Land use blocks. These attributes can be used to store additional data about land use blocks, to store calculation, intersection, classification or prioritization results, etc.

ua4 SNinGN Double
ua5 SNinGN2 Double
ua6 HabBund Double
ua7 SoilBund Double
ua8 ProdBund Double
ua9 ProtSpec Double
ua10 IsInConfl Double

For this DMS we will need:

  • SNinGN – custom attribute to store result of calculation. Grasslands in the first GN alternative.
  • SNinGN2 – custom attribute to store result of calculation. Grasslands in the second GN alternative.
  • HabBund – grasslands that belong to the habitat bundle.
  • SoilBund – grasslands that belong to the soil bundle.
  • ProdBund – grasslands that belong to the production bundle.
  • ProtSpec – grasslands intersecting with protected species areas.
  • IsInConfl – custom attribute to store result of an overlap calculation. The main purpose of the overlap calculation is to detect areas in the proposed GN scenarios that overlap designated planning areas (as indicated in the General Plan).

Other attributes can be added if needed.

Important! To see changes user needs to reload Tool and login once again.

Additional attribute calculation

Viva Grass >> Calculation

Attribute calculation can be done in ArcGIS for Desktop or in the Planner. This tool lets intersect two layers (land use blocks and selected org’s contextual layer), intersect with a defined buffer (around land use block), find land use blocks which are within org’s contextual data layer polygons and how much elements from org’s context data layer land use block contains.

  • Land use blocks IN Green network (“GN_1”)

In this step we identify land use blocks which intersects with green network (org’s context data layer “Custom polygons layer”) green network polygon (Attribute “Type” = “GN_1”) (same layer has green network as a Green network alternative). As the result we get list of land use blocks which are in Green network.

Calculation results can be checked by filtering attribute table data (SNINGN > 0):

  • Land use blocks IN alternative Green network (“GN_2”)

In this step we identify land use blocks which intersects with alternative green network (org’s context data layer “Custom polygons layer”). Alternative green network polygon is stored in the same layer as separate polygon (Attribute “Type” = “GN_2”).

As the result of intersection we get list of land use blocks which are in alternative Green network.

  • Land use blocks intersecting protected species areas

What’s specific, GN related attributes are calculated and stored into the structure of the Viva Grass Planner database. Now these values, together with other land use block attributes, such as land use type, grassland category, soil quality, relief type, ES values, bundles, trade-offs, etc. can be used for classification, prioritization and visual analysis. 

Green network evaluator

An important step of planning the Green Network is locating critical areas where valuable habitats are neither included in the County Green Network, nor in any protected area. Those valuable grasslands are at risk of degradation and subsequent loss of key ES and should therefore be prioritized when planning the Green Network. The Green Network evaluator allows to detect and locate these priority areas in the map.

Demo steps:

  • Visual analysis of the Green Network. As we have two alternative polygons in the same Green Network contextual data layer, we need to filter and leave only one Green network (Context data layer >> Attribute filter >> Type = GN_1)

  • As we are interested in valuable (semi-natural) grasslands left out of the county level Green network, first of all we need to filter all grasslands and leave only semi-natural. Land use blocks >> Attribute filter (“Land use” = Semi-natural grasslands)

  • Selecting valuable grasslands left outside of the green network. Land use blocks >> Attribute filter (“Land use” = Semi-natural grasslands AND “SNINGN” = 0 (land use blocks which are not in Green Network))

  • Conservation status of the grasslands left out of green network
  • Areas of protected species left out by the county GN

Scenario builder (Classification)


  • Scenario 1: Bare minimum (Grasslands belong to the Habitats Bundle)
  • Scenario 2: Medium ecological coherence (Grasslands belong to the Habitats Bundle and Grasslands intersect protected species areas)
  • Scenario 3: High ecological coherence (Grasslands belong to the Habitats Bundle and Grasslands intersect protected species areas and Grasslands belong to the Soils bundle). This represents the ideal scenario in terms of multiple ES delivery, and the highest possible degree of ES supply

In order to guide planners in the adoption of the County-level GN into the rural municipality General Plans, the prioritization DMS for Green Network proposes set of three predefined scenarios. The scenarios are understood as a gradually increasing (or decreasing) degree of inclusion and protection of grasslands in the GN. The criteria for the inclusion of semi-natural grasslands in the GN of rural municipality General Plan is based on their capacity to potentially deliver a certain set of ES. This capacity reaches a high level of multifunctionality when a certain grassland is part of an ecosystem services synergy (see section 1.2.2). In grasslands belonging to an ES synergy, the increase of the supply in one ES means an increase in the supply of more ES. In terms of the role of semi-natural grasslands inside the green network, the habitats synergy and the soils synergy offer a wide array of environmental benefits. These benefits (soil protection, pollination, etc.) are not only constrained to the grassland plot itself, but have a wider spatial effect (e.g. increased pollination benefits also surrounding agricultural land). By including grasslands belonging to ES synergies in the green network, we ensure the protection of regulating and maintenance ecosystem services, which are essential to preserve the overall coherence and functioning of the Green Network.

Demo steps:

  • Open classification Tool (Viva Grass Planner >> classification)

  • Telling about possibility to create new Classification rule (or selecting and “Open” pre-defined rule “GN scenarios”)

  • Opening classification

  • Editing or creating classes
    • Expression construction
    • Test expression

  • Classification result appears in map layer list

  • Classification rules (stored in classification rule “GN scenarios”):
    Class name Expression Comments
    Bare minimum ua6 = 1 AND ua9 = 0 AND ua7 = 0
    Medium ecological coherence ua6 = 1 AND ua9 = 1 AND ua7 = 0
    High ecological coherence ua6 = 1 AND ua9 = 1 AND ua7 = 1

    Classification rules for the separate scenarios:

  • Bare minimum (Classification rule “Bare minimum”)
    Class name Expression Comments
    Bare minimum ua6 = 1 AND ua9 = 0 AND ua7 = 0


    • Medium ecological coherence


    Class name Expression Comments
    Medium ecological coherence ua6 = 1 AND ua9 = 1 AND ua7 = 0


    • High ecological coherence


    Class name Expression Comments
    High ecological coherence ua6 = 1 AND ua9 = 1 AND ua7 = 1


    Green Network Builder


    Grasslands to be included in the General Plan Green Network based on three scenarios


    Demo steps:

    • Filter only glasslands left out of the Green network (Attribute filter >> SNINGN = 0)
    • Open classification tool (Viva Grass Planner >> Classification)
    • Use spatial filter to define classification territory (for the demo purposes and for the faster calculation smaller territory could be used)
    • Select one of the scenarios from the stored classification rules list and press open.
    • Result shows on the map.


    If needed classification rule can be edited: you can change expression, map visualization color, and new expression elements, etc.


    To have all three scenarios these steps should be repeated and every time another classification rule should be selected.



  • Bare minimum.

  • Medium ecological coherence.

  • High ecological coherence.

Green Network evaluation (GN alternatives)

Demo steps:

Zoom in the map to better see differences of GN alternatives (use satellite basemap for the better visualization)

  • Two GN alternatives are stored in one “Green network” context data layer as two polygons with a different attribute values.
    • To see one or another polygon you need to open the context layer attribute list
    • And to filter the polygon you want to see on the map
  • As we used these GN polygons to calculate values (Custom attribute calculation, chapter above) we already have identification of which land use blocks/grasslands are in second Green Network alternative. We can use attribute filter and select grasslands which are not in GN2 (Land use blocks >> Attribute filter >> SNINGN2 = 0)

In this case, all the analysis steps described above should be applied for the grasslands left outside the GN2 alternative and then results can be compared. 

Screen and few sentences about possibility to draw GN expansion suggestions

Analysis of conflict between proposed grasslands and municipalities’ General Plans

Although the GN is inherently multifunctional, it is necessary to identify conflicts of interest in the design phase. Overlaps may potentially occur between the proposed grassland scenarios and  already designated planning areas (e.g. industrial, residential). The Green Network DMS allows to detect conflicts between GN scenarios and general plans or any other potential source of conflict.

Demographic prognosis


Demo steps:

  • Switch on “Demographic prognosis” layer in the VG context data layer list

  • And you can do visual analysis of the demographic prognosis and green network.