Human-Urban Green Space Interactions and Their Integration into Urban and Green Space Planning and Management

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X). This special issue belongs to the section "Urban Contexts and Urban-Rural Interactions".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 February 2022) | Viewed by 81945

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Croatian Forest Research Institute, Cvjetno Naselje 41, 10450 Jastrebarsko, Croatia
Interests: perceptions; preferences; attitudes and behaviour of stakeholders; participatory approaches; cultural ecosystem services; urban forest and green space policy and governance
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Urban population worldwide continues to grow and to concentrate. Urban green space provides multiple services and benefits to urban population and contributes to their health and well-being. Among these, people perceive cultural ecosystem services as one of the most important. Thus studying interactions between people living in urban areas and their urban green space has become increasingly important, at least considering the consequences of climate change. A review of the topic concludes that understanding of those interactions is still incomplete and lacks orientation for urban planners (Kabisch et al., 2015).  It is of utmost importance to understand regardless of ownership, the motivations, perceptions, attitudes, values and behaviour of urban residents of different social, demographic and cultural backgrounds and in various geographic contexts with regard to various types of urban green space.

Ideally, all these variations and contexts should feed into urban and green space planning and management.

However, the challenge of integrating results of such studies into urban and green space planning and management still persists. This is in addition to the challenge how to deliver ecosystem services and benefits from urban green space to urban populations in a fair, equitable and participatory way, following the notion of environmental justice.

The complex challenges mentioned require interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary approaches and we encourage the submission of research, empirical or conceptual studies and reviews from all scientific fields, and research perspectives and approaches.

Dr. Silvija Krajter Ostoić
Prof. Dr. Dagmar Haase
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • urban forests
  • urban green space
  • perceptions
  • attitudes
  • values
  • health and wellbeing
  • cultural ecosystem services
  • recreation
  • place attachment
  • educational services
  • participatory approaches
  • environmental justice

Published Papers (17 papers)

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Research

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19 pages, 62266 KiB  
Article
Urban Trees in the Arctic City: Case of Nadym
by Oleg Sizov, Roman Fedorov, Yulia Pechkina, Vera Kuklina, Maxim Michugin and Andrey Soromotin
Land 2022, 11(4), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11040531 - 06 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2276
Abstract
Trees in Arctic cities perform not only important provisional and regulating ecosystem services, but also bring predominantly settler population closer to the visual images and household standards of their home southern regions. However, maintenance of green infrastructure in the Arctic has specific difficulties [...] Read more.
Trees in Arctic cities perform not only important provisional and regulating ecosystem services, but also bring predominantly settler population closer to the visual images and household standards of their home southern regions. However, maintenance of green infrastructure in the Arctic has specific difficulties associated with the harsh climatic and environmental conditions. This paper focuses on state and dynamics of vegetation in the city of Nadym, Russia, with a particular focus on native and introduced trees as the main ecosystem service providers and an articulation of local values towards green spaces. The research is based on interdisciplinary approach which includes interviews with local residents, geobotanical survey and analysis of remote sensing data. The results of the study show that maintaining of natural vegetation requires specific measures due to environmental the critical impact of anthropogenic activity. The active introduction of plants from more southern regions is manifested both in the deliberate practice of landscaping the city’s streets and courtyards, and in spontaneous attempts to introduce plants from more southern (not Subarctic) agricultural regions of Russia, which are privately brought by city residents from other regions. Full article
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14 pages, 4773 KiB  
Article
Integrating Quantity and Quality to Assess Urban Green Space Improvement in the Compact City
by Shanshan Chen, Dagmar Haase, Bing Xue, Thilo Wellmann and Salman Qureshi
Land 2021, 10(12), 1367; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121367 - 11 Dec 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3649
Abstract
Urban green space (UGS) has gained much attention in terms of urban ecosystems and human health. Measures to improve green space in compact cities are important for urban sustainability. However, there is a knowledge gap between UGS improvement and planning management. Based on [...] Read more.
Urban green space (UGS) has gained much attention in terms of urban ecosystems and human health. Measures to improve green space in compact cities are important for urban sustainability. However, there is a knowledge gap between UGS improvement and planning management. Based on the integration of quantity and quality, this research aims to identify UGS changes during urban development and suggest ways to improve green space. We analyse land use changes, conduct a hotspot analysis of land surface temperature (LST) between 2005 and 2015 at the city scale, and examine the changes in small, medium and large patches at the neighbourhood scale to guide decision-makers in UGS management. The results show that (i) the redevelopment of urban brownfields is an effective method for increasing quantity, with differences depending on regional functions; (ii) small, medium and large patches of green space have significance in terms of improving the quality of temperature mitigation, with apparent coldspot clustering from 2005 to 2015; and (iii) the integration of UGS quality and quantity in planning management is beneficial to green space sustainability. Green space improvement needs to emphasize the integration of UGS quantity and quality to accommodate targeted planning for local conditions. Full article
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22 pages, 3258 KiB  
Article
The Effects of Soundscapes in Relieving Stress in an Urban Park
by Xin Cao and Yen Hsu
Land 2021, 10(12), 1323; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10121323 - 01 Dec 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 4326 | Retraction
Abstract
Urban parks are important urban public spaces that guarantee people recreation, create positive emotions and relieve stress. Emerging research has shown that natural soundscapes are associated with restorative landscapes in urban parks. However, there is still a lack of knowledge on the use [...] Read more.
Urban parks are important urban public spaces that guarantee people recreation, create positive emotions and relieve stress. Emerging research has shown that natural soundscapes are associated with restorative landscapes in urban parks. However, there is still a lack of knowledge on the use of physiological indexes to evaluate the effects of natural sounds versus human-based sounds on stress relief. In this study, the three physiological indexes of skin conductance level, heart rate and heart rate variability were collected in Fuzhou West Lake Park with the help of Ergo LAB data platform, and a soundscape perception evaluation questionnaire was used to assess the degree of soundscape perceptions in the sample sites. The differences in the stress relieving effects of different urban park environments were analysed by applying the median test, the Wilcoxon test was applied to analyse the effects of soundscapes and urban park environments on relieving stress, and regression analysis was used to identify the important factors of restorative soundscapes. The results found that urban park environments provide a certain degree of stress relief, but the stress relieving effects of different urban park environments vary and that natural spaces play an important role in relieving stress. Urban park soundscapes are key to restorative environmental design, with natural sounds such as birdsong and stream sound being important factors of restorative soundscapes. Full article
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12 pages, 5376 KiB  
Article
Community Perceptions about Participating in Urban Park Establishment in Ulaanbaatar City, Mongolia
by Bayarmaa Enkhbold and Kenichi Matsui
Land 2021, 10(11), 1268; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10111268 - 19 Nov 2021
Viewed by 2466
Abstract
Urban parks are essential for communities to maintain and improve health, culture, and quality of life. However, Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, faces a shortage of urban parks due to overpopulation and unplanned land use. A good community-based strategy can help urban park [...] Read more.
Urban parks are essential for communities to maintain and improve health, culture, and quality of life. However, Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, faces a shortage of urban parks due to overpopulation and unplanned land use. A good community-based strategy can help urban park planners and decision-makers understand residents’ needs. It can also improve livability and the urban environmental conditions at large. This paper attempts to understand residents’ perceptions about participating in urban park establishment and maintenance. As the past studies showed a lack of community participation in urban planning in Ulaanbaatar, it attempts to determine the extent to which residents perceive urban park benefits, the importance of community participation, preferred types of contribution, and willingness to contribution land in establishing urban parks in their neighborhood. In doing so, it identifies socio-demographic factors that influence their willingness to participate and contribute. A total of 600 paper-based questionnaires were randomly distributed among ger and apartment residents, and only 535 were analyzed. The result shows that approximately 73% of the respondents considered community participation very important for establishing urban parks in their neighborhood. Most respondents perceived urban park benefits as playgrounds for children, and relaxation and recreation. Respondents’ education and housing type were found significant in overall willingness to participate in park establishment and maintenance, whereas marital status and land size were observed statistically significant in the willingness of sharing some portions of their lands for park establishment in the ger area. Full article
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19 pages, 696 KiB  
Article
Community Perceptions of Tree Risk and Management
by Abbie Judice, Jason Gordon, Jesse Abrams and Kris Irwin
Land 2021, 10(10), 1096; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10101096 - 16 Oct 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3100
Abstract
Urban forests (trees growing in urban and peri-urban areas, including villages and large cities) are vital to mitigating the effects of climate change and urbanization but require special considerations such as risk mitigation in developed landscapes. Despite abundant research on risk perceptions of [...] Read more.
Urban forests (trees growing in urban and peri-urban areas, including villages and large cities) are vital to mitigating the effects of climate change and urbanization but require special considerations such as risk mitigation in developed landscapes. Despite abundant research on risk perceptions of natural hazards, there is limited knowledge about risk perceptions associated with urban trees. As such, this research examines community perceptions of urban tree risk mitigation with a focus on four cities in the U.S. south. To better understand risk perceptions and mitigation, this study employs key informant interviews with community members. Guided by a socio-ecological resilience framework, the findings identify factors affecting resident attitudes towards tree management on the individual parcel and the community levels. The findings benefit tree risk governance in the face of climate variability, which increases societal and environmental vulnerability in urban settings. Full article
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19 pages, 6740 KiB  
Article
Assessing the Spatial Distribution Pattern of Street Greenery and Its Relationship with Socioeconomic Status and the Built Environment in Shanghai, China
by Chao Xiao, Qian Shi and Chen-Jie Gu
Land 2021, 10(8), 871; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10080871 - 19 Aug 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3867
Abstract
Urban greenery is widely acknowledged as a key element for creating livable urban environments and improving residents’ quality of life. However, only a few current studies on the subject of urban greenery focus on a human visual perspective and take street greenery into [...] Read more.
Urban greenery is widely acknowledged as a key element for creating livable urban environments and improving residents’ quality of life. However, only a few current studies on the subject of urban greenery focus on a human visual perspective and take street greenery into consideration. Street greenery is an indispensable component of urban vegetation to which residents have a higher frequency of access. Additionally, few studies focused on the disparity of the green view at a micro-level, such as at a county or community level. This study explored the spatial distribution of street greenery and its influential factors using the green view index (GVI) as the main evaluation indicator. Compared to other traditional indicators of greenery, such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and accessibility, GVI is recognized as a human-oriented indicator to evaluate the quantity of greenery viewed by human eyes in daily life. The downtown area of Shanghai was chosen as the case study, as it reflects the common phenomenon of street greenery in many megacities globally. In addition, county/jiedao (the same administrative area as county in China) level was selected as the minimum geographical unit to evaluate the disparity of GVI and its influential factors to fill the knowledge gap. We analyzed 233,000 pieces of street-view images from Baidu Map and other correlated data. The results showed (1) the street greenery of 70% of the downtown area of Shanghai is less than the recommended comforFogre visual environment; (2) street greenery is spatially clustered in Huangpu district, Xuhui district, college town, and the Century Park of Shanghai; (3) street-greenery distribution is positively correlated with housing price and street network density, and negatively correlated with the ratio of society vulnerability; however, it is uncorrelated to population density. According to these findings, local municipalities could improve urban planning and design by introducing a more human-oriented green-space policy that improves social equity. Full article
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23 pages, 12664 KiB  
Article
Landscape Pattern and Ecological Network Structure in Urban Green Space Planning: A Case Study of Fuzhou City
by Bo-Xun Huang, Shang-Chia Chiou and Wen-Ying Li
Land 2021, 10(8), 769; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10080769 - 22 Jul 2021
Cited by 38 | Viewed by 5452
Abstract
During the process of urbanization, many green spaces are fragmented for other uses. The key problems for researchers and planners are reducing the fragmentation of green spaces, constructing urban ecological networks, and maintaining sustainable environments to cope with the rapid urbanization process. This [...] Read more.
During the process of urbanization, many green spaces are fragmented for other uses. The key problems for researchers and planners are reducing the fragmentation of green spaces, constructing urban ecological networks, and maintaining sustainable environments to cope with the rapid urbanization process. This paper analyzes Fuzhou, China as a case study of the effects of urbanization, and reviews three epochs in Fuzhou: 2000, 2010, and 2021. First, the integration degree of landscape pattern index and spatial syntactic attribute value is used to quantify the urbanization situation of Fuzhou and the degree of green space fragmentation in the process of urbanization. Second, it adopts the network analysis method to construct an urban ecological network featuring “one city and two rings”. Finally, urban green spaces are assessed by the corridor structure analysis, and the improvement of the urban green space ecological network is quantitatively evaluated by comparing the green space ecological network with the green space planning system. The results show that the urbanization of Fuzhou city center is apparent and the fragmentation of urban green space is a serious issue from 2000 to 2021. The green space planning in Fuzhou is ineffective in improving the existing green space. According to the results, the street integration of space syntax aptly reflects the process of urbanization. In conclusion, the planned ecological network increases the shape complexity of green patches and landscape connectivity and reduces landscape fragmentation, thus improving the urban ecological environment quality and facilitating the sustainability of urban green spaces. Full article
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20 pages, 1489 KiB  
Article
Environmental Features Influence Walking Speed: The Effect of Urban Greenery
by Marek Franěk and Lukáš Režný
Land 2021, 10(5), 459; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10050459 - 24 Apr 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 3715
Abstract
The study investigated the rarely addressed topic of how visual environmental features can influence walking speed. Young adult participants were asked to walk on a route that leads through areas composed of urban parks and areas with a built environment with a large [...] Read more.
The study investigated the rarely addressed topic of how visual environmental features can influence walking speed. Young adult participants were asked to walk on a route that leads through areas composed of urban parks and areas with a built environment with a large amount of greenery. Their walking speed was measured in selected sections. The participants walked with a small video camera, and their walk was recorded. The temporal information was derived from the video recordings. Subsequently, the participants evaluated the environmental features of the route by specific spatio-cognitive dimensions of environmental preference. The results show that walking speed in specific sections of the walking route systematically differed and reflected the environmental features. The walking speed was lower in sections with high natural characteristics and a high environmental preference. Noise here was perceived as less annoying than in sections with lower natural characteristics. The results are explained in terms of approach avoidance behavior. The findings are in accordance with environmental preference research that documents various benefits of walking in the natural environment. Full article
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30 pages, 3714 KiB  
Article
Linking Urban Tree Cover Change and Local History in a Post-Industrial City
by Lara A. Roman, Indigo J. Catton, Eric J. Greenfield, Hamil Pearsall, Theodore S. Eisenman and Jason G. Henning
Land 2021, 10(4), 403; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040403 - 12 Apr 2021
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 4731
Abstract
Municipal leaders are pursuing ambitious goals to increase urban tree canopy (UTC), but there is little understanding of the pace and socioecological drivers of UTC change. We analyzed land cover change in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (United States) from 1970–2010 to examine the impacts of [...] Read more.
Municipal leaders are pursuing ambitious goals to increase urban tree canopy (UTC), but there is little understanding of the pace and socioecological drivers of UTC change. We analyzed land cover change in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (United States) from 1970–2010 to examine the impacts of post-industrial processes on UTC. We interpreted land cover classes using aerial imagery and assessed historical context using archival newspapers, agency reports, and local historical scholarship. There was a citywide UTC increase of +4.3 percentage points. Substantial UTC gains occurred in protected open spaces related to both purposeful planting and unintentional forest emergence due to lack of maintenance, with the latter phenomenon well-documented in other cities located in forested biomes. Compared to developed lands, UTC was more persistent in protected open spaces. Some neighborhoods experienced substantial UTC gains, including quasi-suburban areas and depopulated low-income communities; the latter also experienced decreasing building cover. We identified key processes that drove UTC increases, and which imposed legacies on current UTC patterns: urban renewal, urban greening initiatives, quasi-suburban developments, and (dis)investments in parks. Our study demonstrates the socioecological dynamism of intra-city land cover changes at multi-decadal time scales and the crucial role of local historical context in the interpretation of UTC change. Full article
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17 pages, 1702 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Local Green Spaces of Historically and Culturally Valuable Residential Areas on Place Attachment
by Fatemeh Hosseini, Hassan Sajadzadeh, Farshid Aram and Amir Mosavi
Land 2021, 10(4), 351; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040351 - 01 Apr 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4092
Abstract
Environmental qualities significantly affect the behaviors and place attachment of users, especially in residential areas. In addition to creating environmental comfort, local green spaces can increase users’ place attachment, improve their mood, enhance friendly company and facilitate social interactions. The study sought to [...] Read more.
Environmental qualities significantly affect the behaviors and place attachment of users, especially in residential areas. In addition to creating environmental comfort, local green spaces can increase users’ place attachment, improve their mood, enhance friendly company and facilitate social interactions. The study sought to investigate the impact of local green spaces in the historically and culturally valuable residential fabric of Hamadan City in Iran on increasing residents’ social attachment. Derived from the literature on the subject, the conceptual model of the study shows the impact of such factors as social, functional, emotional and spatial bonds on place attachment in the residential context. A total number of 410 residents in the old neighborhoods of Hamadan City were selected by random sampling with a balanced proportion of gender and residence duration in the selected area. The designed questionnaire was distributed among the sample population and the collected data were analyzed using the structural equation modeling method. Then, the t-test and bootstrapping in Smart PLS software were used for testing the research hypotheses and evaluating the significance of the relationships between the research variables in the structural model. The results indicated that among the four types of bonds examined in relation to place attachment, emotional bonds, functional bonds, social bonds and spatial bonds, respectively, had a direct and significant impact on place attachment from the viewpoint of residents. The stronger the sociocultural bonds in historically and culturally valuable residential areas, the more prominent the role of local green spaces in place attachment based on residence duration becomes. Full article
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16 pages, 25178 KiB  
Article
Memorial Parking Trees: Resilient Modular Design with Nature-Based Solutions in Vulnerable Urban Areas
by Fortino Acosta and Stephen Haroon
Land 2021, 10(3), 298; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10030298 - 15 Mar 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3522
Abstract
Nature-based solutions (NbS) include all the landscape’s ecological components that have a function in the natural or urban ecosystem. Memorial Parking Trees (MPTs) are a new variant of a nature-based solution composed of a bioswale and a street tree allocated in the road, [...] Read more.
Nature-based solutions (NbS) include all the landscape’s ecological components that have a function in the natural or urban ecosystem. Memorial Parking Trees (MPTs) are a new variant of a nature-based solution composed of a bioswale and a street tree allocated in the road, occupying a space that is sub-utilised by parked cars. This infill green practice can maximise the use of street trees in secondary streets and have multiple benefits in our communities. Using GIS mapping and methodology can support implementation in vulnerable neighbourhoods. In this research, we based vulnerability assessments for London, Rio de Janeiro, and Los Angeles on the following three indicators: extreme temperature, air quality, and flood-prone areas. Evidence is emerging that disadvantaged populations may live at higher risks of exposure to environmental hazards. The income and healthcare accessibility of neighbourhoods are the two indicators that will help us target these communities for a better and faster decision-making process. The contrast between the results and the 15-min city concept supports our detecting and prioritising neighbourhoods for MPTS implementation, among other NbS solutions integrated into a more inclusive and sustainable urban design. Full article
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13 pages, 924 KiB  
Article
Grey Systems Theory as an Effective Method for Analyzing Scarce, Incomplete and Uncertain Data on the Example of a Survey of Public Perceptions of Safety in Urban Spaces
by Małgorzata Gerus-Gościewska and Dariusz Gościewski
Land 2021, 10(1), 73; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10010073 - 15 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2604
Abstract
Many processes and phenomena that occur in the natural and social environment have a complex character, and the interdependencies between social and economic phenomena are most often analyzed by identifying the relationships between multiple factors that shape urban space. Decisions concerning the visual [...] Read more.
Many processes and phenomena that occur in the natural and social environment have a complex character, and the interdependencies between social and economic phenomena are most often analyzed by identifying the relationships between multiple factors that shape urban space. Decisions concerning the visual attributes of cities are usually made by urban planners and civil officers, whereas social preferences are rarely considered in the planning process. The latest research indicates that urban planners should account for the needs and expectations of local residents who are the users of public spaces in cities. This paper discusses the results of selected research studies investigating the impact of geospatial attributes on perceptions of safety in urban areas. The theories that are used to improve safety in cities and selected methods for analyzing spatial data were presented. The analyzed attributes were selected by brainstorming, a heuristic technique for solving research problems. The selected attributes were ranked in a survey performed on an accidental (convenience) sample. In this study, Grey Relational Analysis (GRA), a type of Grey Systems Theory (GST) which supports the use of incomplete, uncertain and scarce data, was applied. The advantages of grey systems over statistical methods in analyses of spatial data were presented. Grey system analyses generate sequences of significant geospatial attributes and indicate which factors exert the greatest influence on the examined phenomenon. The results can be used to solve practical problems related to the shaping of space. Full article
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26 pages, 5719 KiB  
Article
Urban Green Fabric Analysis Promoting Sustainable Planning in Guatemala City
by Fernando Castillo-Cabrera, Thilo Wellmann and Dagmar Haase
Land 2021, 10(1), 18; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10010018 - 29 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4429
Abstract
Urbanization rate in Central America is the second fastest worldwide and its major cities face challenges regarding urban sustainability. Urban Green Fabric (UGF) is an important material condition for the urban quality of life and, therefore, key to planning processes. We performed an [...] Read more.
Urbanization rate in Central America is the second fastest worldwide and its major cities face challenges regarding urban sustainability. Urban Green Fabric (UGF) is an important material condition for the urban quality of life and, therefore, key to planning processes. We performed an analysis of the UGF of Guatemala City including the identification and classification of UGF, their spatial pattern analysis, construction of ensembles of districts (zones) and revealing citizen’s interactions with UGF. We used remote sensing and land use mapping techniques, spatial metrics and a questionnaire survey. Main results are the UGF map of Guatemala City and six ensembles of zones based on a set of indicators. We further revealed citizens’ recognition of green spaces, their perceptions about green space amount and availability as well as their support for UGF future interventions. Finally, we discuss the implications for planning promoted by our results and suggest three actions for UGF sustainability: Creation of new green spaces, protecting existing green spaces and enhancing the mosaic with different green spaces types. UGF is an essential decision support tool for a diversity of actors. Full article
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19 pages, 5216 KiB  
Article
Urban Green Spaces—An Underestimated Resource in Third-Tier Towns in Poland
by Marcin Feltynowski and Jakub Kronenberg
Land 2020, 9(11), 453; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110453 - 17 Nov 2020
Cited by 18 | Viewed by 3378
Abstract
Urban green spaces are frequently presented as being important for urban quality of life and urban development in general, but more detailed interpretations and discussions are typically confined to large urban centers, the so-called first- and second-tier cities. Not enough attention has been [...] Read more.
Urban green spaces are frequently presented as being important for urban quality of life and urban development in general, but more detailed interpretations and discussions are typically confined to large urban centers, the so-called first- and second-tier cities. Not enough attention has been paid to smaller urban units, the third-tier towns. The main goal of this article is to investigate the share and types of urban green spaces in five selected towns in Poland. We compare different sources of data based on satellite imagery and land-use maps with those used in public statistics, to check whether town authorities are managing all potential green spaces or only a selected part of them. We find that the predominantly used data, based on what is classified as “urban green space” for the purposes of public statistics, obscure the complexity of urban green spaces and focus on the narrowly understood formally managed public green spaces (which occupy 3.5–5.7% of town areas). Meanwhile, based on other sources, such as the national land-use map (BDOT10k), Urban Atlas, and satellite imagery (Landsat 8), what is considered to be green space turns out to cover 50–80% of the town area. The latter large numbers are associated with the predominance of arable land, grasslands, and forests, overlooked in any green space management practices based on data and definitions adopted for the purposes of public statistics. The situation found in our five case study towns resembles that identified in larger cities in Poland, and it exhibits the inadequacy of public statistics definitions and the related management practices, hindering the management of urban green spaces as an interconnected system of urban green infrastructures. Full article
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13 pages, 1004 KiB  
Article
Friendly Communities and Outdoor Spaces in Contexts of Urban Population Decline
by M. Francisca Lima, Catharine Ward Thompson and Peter Aspinall
Land 2020, 9(11), 439; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9110439 - 10 Nov 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 2719
Abstract
Urban population decline has been extensively described as a triggering factor for community segregation and fragmentation, as well as for land use vacancy and house/flat vacancies, resulting in rising interest in strategies of green infrastructure expansion aimed at citizens’ wellbeing and urban ecosystems. [...] Read more.
Urban population decline has been extensively described as a triggering factor for community segregation and fragmentation, as well as for land use vacancy and house/flat vacancies, resulting in rising interest in strategies of green infrastructure expansion aimed at citizens’ wellbeing and urban ecosystems. However, city-scaled green infrastructures can be formed by different typologies of outdoor spaces, providing diverse social affordances that can impact community cohesion and resilience differently. This study focuses on the relationship between preferences for particular outdoor space typologies and for community friendliness, under contexts of urban population decline as a migratory process. In the context of Lisbon, a European capital-city experiencing migration and immigration but also urban population shrinkage in some areas of its metropolitan region, the study used conjoint analysis to test participants’ preference for different attributes of their urban environment. The results showed a significant positive correlation, in the sample living in depopulating neighbourhoods, between preferences for friendlier communities and for outdoor spaces of an enclosed and protected character (r = 0.34), compared with no significant correlation in the studied non-depopulating neighbourhoods. These results do not deny the importance of public parks of wide dimensions as a strategy for shrinking cities’ green infrastructures but suggest that urban citizens living in depopulating neighbourhoods have a higher awareness of the importance of small-scale, enclosed outdoor/green spaces to give a stronger sense of social connectedness. This study contributes to the general literature on urban shrinkage by showing that these sensitive conditions can potentially change behaviour and use of public spaces in urban contexts. Full article
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Review

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26 pages, 42155 KiB  
Review
Planning of Urban Green Spaces: An Ecological Perspective on Human Benefits
by Teodoro Semeraro, Aurelia Scarano, Riccardo Buccolieri, Angelo Santino and Eeva Aarrevaara
Land 2021, 10(2), 105; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10020105 - 22 Jan 2021
Cited by 84 | Viewed by 23859
Abstract
In the context of urban land-use growth and the consequent impacts on the environment, green spaces provide ecosystem services for human health. The ecosystem services concept synthesises human–environmental interactions through a series of combined components of biodiversity and abiotic elements, linking ecological processes [...] Read more.
In the context of urban land-use growth and the consequent impacts on the environment, green spaces provide ecosystem services for human health. The ecosystem services concept synthesises human–environmental interactions through a series of combined components of biodiversity and abiotic elements, linking ecological processes and functions. The concept of green infrastructure (GI) in the urban context emphasises the quality and quantity of urban and peri-urban green spaces and natural areas. In dense urban contexts, the applications of GI are limited and not applied to the potential urban spaces such as roofs and gardens. Often, roofs are characterised by impermeable paved surfaces with negative effects on human well-being, whereas garden designs do not consider social needs and environmental interactions. The role of urban stressors or the urban context as a driving force or pressure of urban green space is not always well understood and employed in the planning of green spaces. This is partly due to a knowledge gap between different science disciplines that operate on different scales, from single processes of the plants (which focus on plant responses to environmental stresses affecting human well-being) to urban ecosystems (which focus on the biodiversity and urban space planning–human well-being relationship). This can create a paradox, as green spaces that are not adequately designed might not produce the expected effects. In this paper, an overview of benefits and limitations of applying the ecosystem services approach when designing green spaces is presented. The focus is on the main urban ecosystem services provided by green roofs and community gardens such as GI that can represent strategies to provide ecological and social multifunctionality to waterproofed surfaces connected to the buildings and low-exploited gardens being the main areas that affect dense urban settlements, and thus, increasing the ecosystem services in the urban environment, such as reducing the Urban Heat Island, as well as flooding events. Specifically, the paper highlights (i) feedback between ecological processes and functions that support ecosystem services, (ii) urban environmental stresses in relation to disservices that these can create for human well-being and (iii) key issues that should be considered in the planning and design of urban ecosystem services. Such a new vision of urban ecosystem services highlights the need to look at GI as an active part of the urban space design in the built environment. Full article
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Other

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1 pages, 145 KiB  
Retraction
Retraction: Cao, X.; Hsu, Y. The Effects of Soundscapes in Relieving Stress in an Urban Park. Land 2021, 10, 1323
by Land Editorial Office
Land 2022, 11(10), 1677; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11101677 - 28 Sep 2022
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Abstract
The journal retracts the article “The Effects of Soundscapes in Relieving Stress in an Urban Park” [...] Full article
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