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Socio-spatial (In)equality of Access to Urban Green Space in Beijing

Authors: Longfeng Wu*,
Topics: Social Geography, China, Spatial Analysis & Modeling
Keywords: Urban Green Space, Socio-spatial Inequality, China Major Cities,
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Green space, as an important component of urban system, deliver multiple benefits to urban residents. Unfortunately, studies have confirmed that green spaces are not equally accessible among different socio-economic groups in urban areas. Such unequal socio-spatial pattern of accessing green spaces lead to many other undesirable outcomes including social segregation, dislocation, and gentrification, and finally causes exclusive urban development benefiting a smaller portion of population.
Using multiple open source data sets and spatial statistical analyses, this paper examines the spatial pattern of socio-economic groups vis-à-vis the distributional pattern of their access to urban green space at residential community level in Beijing. The results indicate that public green spaces tend to better serve the marginalized groups. Advantaged socio-economic groups are well served by internal vegetations in the gated communities in which they live. The socio-spatial patterns of accessing green spaces in Beijing is a result of the interplay of many factors, from the city’s original geographical characteristics, to the historical layout of the old city, urban planning and land use decisions, afforestation policies and projects, and even the public financial stresses involved in urban greening efforts. The result of this analysis identified locations that might harbor inequalities in the access to public green spaces. Such information allows decision makers and planners to accurately invest in afforestation projects for the purpose of promoting social equality, especially for those groups with lower levels of accessibility to green spaces

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