A portfolio of natural places: Using a participatory GIS tool to compare the appreciation and use of green spaces inside and outside urban areas by urban residents

Rixt A. Bijker*, Frans J. Sijtsma

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Green space at different distances is important for the wellbeing of urban dwellers. However, since these different types of green space are, for the most part, investigated in separate studies, it is difficult to disentangle how the use and appreciation of nearby and more distant nature by urban dwellers is related. To address this issue, we conduct an analysis in which we directly compare the appreciation and use of green spaces at four different spatial levels: neighbourhood, region, national, and world level, for urban residents in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark. For this we use a quantitative, internet-based, participatory GIS method. The relationship between the use of local and more distant green spaces by urban dwellers has generally been addressed in terms of compensation. Our results indicate that this relationship can also be viewed in a complementary way. Urban residents appear to have a ‘portfolio of natural places’. This portfolio consists of favourite places nearby that are rated lower but visited quite often, and natural places that they find highly attractive but are located farther away and visited less often. Local favourite places offer basic access to green and nature while other more distant natural places offer a larger variety of qualities and recreational possibilities. Results also indicate that, in order to meet the needs of urban residents, more than the immediate urban context needs to be considered in urban planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-165
Number of pages11
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Volume158
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2017

Keywords

  • Nature
  • Participatory GIS
  • Quantitative analysis
  • Urban green space
  • Urbanisation
  • Wellbeing

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