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Urban green space qualities: An integrated approach towards GIS-based assessment reflecting user perception
Journal Contribution - Journal Article
For city dwellers urban green space is the primary source of contact with nature. Qualitative green space is increasingly perceived as an important factor for quality of life in urban areas and a key component of sustainable urban design and planning. In this study, the relation between different features of urban green spaces and perception of green space qualities was analyzed by combining the outcome of a survey on green space perception with GIS-based spatial metrics. A survey has been conducted among residents of the Brussels Capital Region and surroundings to assess the relative importance residents assign to different qualities of urban green spaces and how they value these qualities within visited spaces. Quietness, spaciousness, cleanliness and maintenance, facilities and feeling of safety are identified as important qualities of public green spaces, while naturalness, historical and cultural value are perceived as less important qualities. A GIS-based model was developed to infer naturalness, quietness and spaciousness as perceived by users of public green spaces from green space properties. Using variables describing biological value, land-cover composition, green space area and shape, good correlations were obtained between GIS-based assessment of naturalness and spaciousness and how green space users perceive these qualities. The model proposed may be useful for simulating green space development and improvement scenarios and assess their impact on perceived quality. Thus it may serve as a spatial decision support tool for improving the quality of urban green spaces.
Journal: Land Use Policy
Keywords:urban green space, ecosystem services, environmental quality, GIS, Brussels