Publications about the CO-NATURE project
ANALYSING URBAN GREEN SPACE ACCESSIBILITY AND QUALITY: A GIS-BASED MODEL AS SPATIAL DECISION SUPPORT FOR URBAN ECOSYSTEM SERVICES IN BRUSSELS
Stessens, P., Khan, A.Z., Huysmans, M., & Canters, F. (2017)
With the majority of people living in cities, urban green spaces are the primary source of contact with nature. Access to ecosystem services provided by urban green spaces is increasingly perceived as an important factor for quality of life, and it is a key component of sustainable urban design and planning. This paper presents a novel GIS-based tool to evaluate accessibility to – and quality of – urban green spaces. To demonstrate the tool’s applicability, it was implemented in Brussels. A series of indicators to evaluate the proximity to and quality of green spaces is proposed in the light of the analysis with the aim of supporting decision making and planning at the urban scale. The proximity and quality sub-models were parameterised through a comparative study of planning standards and through analysis of local preferences, acquired by means of a questionnaire. Applying the model to Brussels showed that approximately equally sized population groups have low, medium, and high access to green spaces. Concerning the proposed method for measuring green space quality, 62% of the population resides in urban blocks with access to green spaces with a lower than average quality score, which reveals a signif- icant margin for improvement.
Publications by the CO-NATURE team
USE-RELATED AND SOCIO-DEMOGRAPHIC VARIATIONS IN URBAN GREEN SPACE
Phillips, A., Khan, A.Z., Canters, F. (2021)
This paper explores use-related and socio-demographic variations in the valuation of urban green space (UGS) characteristics in the Brussels Capital Region (BCR), lending insights into the valuation of the cultural ecosystem services provided by UGS. Mismatches in the supply of and demand for UGS characteristics are also identified. Knowledge on the ways in which valuation of UGS characteristics vary and on an inadequate supply of UGS characteristics should guide and inspire planning and management of UGS to ensure that UGS provision meets the unique needs of communities. Online surveys were conducted in the BCR to determine how people use UGS, how they experience these spaces, and whether these spaces fulfil their needs for urban green Our findings indicate that socio-demographic characteristics (namely age and household composition) correspond with distinct patterns of use and valuation. Two subgroupings of users are identified: nature-oriented users and social users. Our accessibility analysis shows that, compared to social users, nature-oriented users tend to travel farther to reach their most frequently used UGS but are more often satisfied with the supply of UGS characteristics. Our findings point to an inadequate supply of nature and overcrowding of UGS in the city centre of Brussels. We recommend that planners not only consider size and distance in UGS standards but also consider the demand for UGS characteristics as well.
ANALYZING SPATIAL INEQUALITIES IN USE AND EXPERIENCE OF URBAN GREEN SPACES
Phillips, A., Canters, F., Khan, A.Z. (2022)
As cities become more densely populated, urban green spaces (UGS) are increasingly important due to the environmental and social benefits they provide. Cities are confronted with the challenge of equitable supply of high-quality urban green that meets the demand of residents. This is particularly relevant in lower-income neighborhoods, which tend to suffer from the lowest supply of (high quality) UGS. In this paper, we perform spatial analysis on the responses of an online user survey to explore how UGS frequency of use, choice, and satisfaction differ by use pattern and place of residence in the Brussels Capital Region. Additionally, we identify the “push-pull” factors of individual UGS by identifying the desirable (pull) and undesirable (push) qualities that may attract or repel the use of a UGS. We find that use pattern is related to choice and experience of UGS. Compared to people who use UGS for social purposes, those who use UGS for nature-oriented reasons more often choose to visit UGS that are substantially farther from their home but are more often satisfied with the UGS they use. Our findings also show that respondents living in areas with higher proportions of disadvantaged groups tend to travel substantially farther to reach their UGS and are more often dissatisfied with the UGS they visit. Finally, our push-pull analysis indicates that characteristics that are important to nature-oriented users, such as quietness and calmness, are often more negatively experienced in dense city center UGS. Our research thus demonstrates the need to bring more green, particularly green that elicits a feeling of “naturalness”, to areas of the city where low green space quality and quantity overlap with areas inhabited by vulnerable populations.