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Examining Spatial Inequalities of Green Spaces across an Urban Suburban Gradient

Authors: Chiamaka Chimah*, Georgia Southern University
Topics: Applied Geography, Urban and Regional Planning, Geographic Information Science and Systems
Keywords: Green Spaces, Environmental Justice, Spatial Inequalities, Savannah
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Green spaces support both physical well-being and environmental health. However, inequalities have been observed in their spatial distribution with racial minorities and people of low socioeconomic status left at a disadvantage in most cases. This has been identified as an environmental justice issue and emphasizes the need for urban and city planners to investigate the pattern of occurrence. Savannah is known as America’s first planned city and over the years, revitalization and rehabilitation efforts of the city’s structures have been implemented to ensure preservation of its urban services including green spaces. However, surrounding areas do not hold such historical significance and implement different strategies towards preservation of green spaces. This study adopts a geospatial approach to assess three variables; park availability, park quality and park accessibility in Chatham county to determine the relationship between the spatial distribution of green spaces, race and socioeconomic status and the variation across the study area. To determine spatial inequalities, euclidean distance is used to assess the parks available for the population within reasonable walking distance, a Gaussian-based two-step floating catchment area method is used to determine park accessibility while high resolution digital imagery is used to generate a quality index based on the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). The results are expected to highlight the nature of park distribution in the area and identify areas with inadequate and poor green space access while findings will help identify areas that require city improvement strategies.

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