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Indicators for green spaces in contrasting urban settings

F. de la Barrera, S. Reyes-Paecke & E. Banzhaf (2016)


Urban green spaces (GS) are essential for the well-being of the population. Several works have shown a positive correlation between the amount of GS and the household incomes in both developed and developing countries. Thus, the higher the incomes, the larger the total area covered by GS, the better the quality of these spaces, the higher the amount of private GS. Public policies seek to correct this inequality, but existing indicators, especially the amount of GS per inhabitant, do not provide enough information for effective decision-making. Our aim was to provide tools to evaluate and plan better the location and quality of GS in complex urban areas. For this we applied a set of indicators for GS at two spatial scales city-level and local-level, in order to disclose existing inequalities. The indicators considered (i) the total area of GS in relation to population and urban context, (ii) the quality of GS based on its size, shape and vegetation cover, and (iii) the spatial distribution and accessibility of GS. The proposed indicators were tested in three municipalities, belonging to the Metropolitan Area of Santiago (Chile), with different household incomes. The indicators showed large differences in terms of quantity of GS per inhabitant, vegetation cover and accessibility. The GS proved to be an effective strategy to reduce areas that lack vegetation cover. The sustainability assessments must consider how the diversity of structural attributes of GS has an impact on the well-being of urban inhabitants.


Cómo citar:

De la Barrera, F., Reyes-Paecke, S., Banzhaf, E. (2016). Indicators for green spaces in contrasting urban settings. Ecological Indicators, Volume 62, Pages 212-219, ISSN 1470-160X.

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