Urban parks and green spaces: myth, reality or paradox? Session 2

Type: Paper
Theme:
Sponsor Groups: Urban Geography Specialty Group, Landscape Specialty Group, Cultural and Political Ecology Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Governor's Room, Omni, East
Organizers: Meredith Whitten, Rachel Will
Chairs: Meredith Whitten

Call for Submissions

Parks and green spaces in dense urban areas face more stress, overuse, degradation and loss than green spaces in lower-density developments. These urban spaces also tend to be isolated and unevenly distributed, limiting environmental benefits and connectivity, affecting social equality, and highlighting economic issues.

At the same time, urban parks and green spaces increasingly are recognized for the wide-ranging benefits they can provide for city residents and urban environments. Research has addressed the impact these spaces have on health and well-being, climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity, environmental services, social cohesion, housing and property values, urban agriculture, heritage, and education. As such, green space is presented as essential to urban sustainability. Cranz and Boland (2004) identified a new type of park: the “sustainable park,” which is seen as part of the larger urban system, with the goal of supporting human and ecological health with reduced resource use.

However, despite parks and green spaces seeming to be an answer to contemporary urban challenges, these spaces often are undervalued, overlooked and inconsistently funded by policymakers and planners, leading to degradation, increased crime and vandalism, unrealized environmental services, and lack of use. On the other hand, well-maintained parks can be problematic for urban residents by leading to environmental gentrification, as an improved environment often results in a rise in the cost of living that then forces low- and middle-income residents to be displaced peripheral to neighbourhoods.

Is the idea of a sustainable park contributing to urban sustainability a myth? Can it be a reality? Or, are urban parks and green spaces destined to be a paradox, discussed as critical to urban life, yet managed as an optional amenity for some urban dwellers while leading to disamenities and displacement for others?

Papers in these sessions will examine the tensions surrounding providing urban parks and green spaces in the contemporary city. This includes critiquing governance and funding structures, assessing planning and development practices, examining parks’ impact on urban equity concerns, and challenging whether parks and green spaces are valued as critical aspects of the urban infrastructure. We welcome papers that highlight case studies, including those from an international perspective.
Each session will consist of five paper sessions (15-min presentations + 5 min Q&A).
If interested in participating, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words and your personal identification number (received from the AAG after registering online at www.aag.org) to both organizers by October 25, 2018.

Organized by: Rachel Will (University of Georgia) and Meredith Whitten (London School of Economics & Political Science)


Description

Parks and green spaces in dense urban areas face more stress, overuse, degradation and loss than green spaces in lower-density developments. These urban spaces also tend to be isolated and unevenly distributed, limiting environmental benefits and connectivity, affecting social equality, and highlighting economic issues.

At the same time, urban parks and green spaces increasingly are recognized for the wide-ranging benefits they can provide for city residents and urban environments. Research has addressed the impact these spaces have on health and well-being, climate change mitigation and adaptation, biodiversity, environmental services, social cohesion, housing and property values, urban agriculture, heritage, and education. As such, green space is presented as essential to urban sustainability. Cranz and Boland (2004) identified a new type of park: the “sustainable park,” which is seen as part of the larger urban system, with the goal of supporting human and ecological health with reduced resource use.

However, despite parks and green spaces seeming to be an answer to contemporary urban challenges, these spaces often are undervalued, overlooked and inconsistently funded by policymakers and planners, leading to degradation, increased crime and vandalism, unrealized environmental services, and lack of use. On the other hand, well-maintained parks can be problematic for urban residents by leading to environmental gentrification, as an improved environment often results in a rise in the cost of living that then forces low- and middle-income residents to be displaced peripheral to neighbourhoods.

Is the idea of a sustainable park contributing to urban sustainability a myth? Can it be a reality? Or, are urban parks and green spaces destined to be a paradox, discussed as critical to urban life, yet managed as an optional amenity for some urban dwellers while leading to disamenities and displacement for others?

Papers in these sessions will examine the tensions surrounding providing urban parks and green spaces in the contemporary city. This includes critiquing governance and funding structures, assessing planning and development practices, examining parks’ impact on urban equity concerns, and challenging whether parks and green spaces are valued as critical aspects of the urban infrastructure. We welcome papers that highlight case studies, including those from an international perspective.
Each session will consist of five paper sessions (15-min presentations + 5 min Q&A).

If interested in participating, please send an abstract of no more than 250 words and your personal identification number (received from the AAG after registering online at www.aag.org) to both organizers by October 25, 2018.

Organized by: Rachel Will (University of Georgia - rachel.will25@uga.edu) and Meredith Whitten (London School of Economics & Political Science - m.whitten@lse.ac.uk)


Agenda

Type Details Minutes Start Time
Presenter Rachel Will*, University of Georgia, To green, or not to green?: Assessing the negative outcomes of urban greening and the policies designed to avoid them 20 9:55 AM
Presenter Marion Ernwein*, University of Oxford, Lively infrastructures in austere cities: examining the work that makes urban nature 20 10:15 AM
Presenter José Vila Vázquez*, LabEx DynamiTe - UMR 8504 Géographie-Cités. University of Paris 1, Regional landscape recreation within an European cultural megaproject. The Spanish case of the “Forest of Galicia” 20 10:35 AM
Presenter Mark Bjelland*, Calvin College, Privatization and Park Space in the New Urbanism, New Towns, and Conservation Developments 20 10:55 AM
Presenter Meredith Whitten*, London School of Economics, Friends or frenemies? The increasing influence of user groups in London’s urban green space management 20 11:15 AM

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