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GIS analysis of access to greenspace - Literature review Example

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GIS Analysis of Access to Green Space Name: Institution: GIS Analysis of Access to Green Space Green space refers to an area of land or water mass that either remains in its natural form or is used for agricultural purposes (Chang 2008, p.68). Green spaces are free from industrial, institutional, commercial and residential use and development…
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Download file to see previous pages Cultural and historic resources also form part of green space in some cultures. Green space plays a vital role in the nation’s landscape encompassing among others, development patterns, economy, culture and the well-being of the populace (Van Herzele 2003, p. 111). In addition, green space is crucial as it absorbs and expels pollutants from the environment, by acting as an urban heat sink thereby protecting urban biodiversity. As agricultural pressures on land increase through greater demands for land, green spaces are slowly becoming depleted (Forman 2005, p. 38). However, as development becomes a key priority, more land that was previously set aside for agricultural purposes is being developed into residential or institution areas (Van 2007, p. 18). This has led to scarcity of green space, and access to the available few is hampered by the prospect of development. Access to green space is of paramount importance because of the unique contribution of green spaces to the quality of life. For instance, green spaces allow for relaxation, way from the daily stresses of urban life such as hectic work schedules and traffic. Moreover, green spaces offer immense recreational opportunities like individual exercise and organised sports. Spending time in urban green spaces offers reprieve to urban dwellers. However, because of increasing urbanisation and access to green space and spatial planning policies with regard to densification, more urban dwellers face the prospect of living in areas with few or no green space resources. Governments and individual municipalities set up clear guidelines for access to green space (Smith, Poulos and Kim 2002, p. 123). The Green Belt is a policy for managing urban growth in the UK. The policy guidelines provide concise guidelines on urban planning, which entail allocation of specific areas to urban green spaces. The Town and County Planning Act established in 1947 allows local authorities in UK mucipalities to include guidelines of the green belt in their development plans. The two acts are appreciative of the need to protect land areas designated as urban green spaces. GIS provides an environment for analysing accessibility to green space and for modelling the impacts of potential changes to green space provision and their subsequent impacts (Liu and Zhu 2004, p. 119). GIS analysis can be used to assess the accessibility of urban green spaces by selecting and quantifying factors that affect green space and constructing functions to determine the accessibility indicator (Ai) (Comber 2009, p. 109). A SPOT imagery of an urban environment provides sufficient data used to determine green space accessibility dwellers. The earlier mentioned state and county guidelines allow for division of land portions into regular grids of at least 500 meters to determine the capacity and chance of area inhabitants accessing green spaces within the area. For each green space viewed in the SPOT imagery, the resistance factors for each grid of land accessing the green space are calculated. Resistance factors refer to aspects that affect or limit access to green space. These factors include attraction to green space, population distribution, traffic patterns and pattern of land use in the area (Ritsema and De 2003, p. 84). The entire urban green space ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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