Wetland urbanization patterns: effects on leisure services and accessibility

Authors: Carolina Rojas*, Pontificia Universidad Católica
Topics: Sustainability Science, Applied Geography, Biogeography
Keywords: urbanization, urban wetland, accessibility, biodiversity, urban planning.
Session Type: Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Latin American cities have experienced rapid urbanization, leading to social and environmental challenges caused by urban sprawl. Over the last decade, increased urbanization in our cities has caused expansive loss and fragmentation of the wetland area, which has negatively impacted their ecological value and biodiversity. Urban wetlands are important ecosystems and are recognized for their protection against flooding and as recreational spaces. This study analyses wetland urbanization as part of recent urban sprawl in one of the cities in the Metropolitan area of Concepción (Chile), in South America. First, it presents a characterization of the urban fabrics with urban variables of density, distance, population, dwellings, roads, and green areas surrounding a wetland, and determines the urban patterns. Second, we evaluate the accessibility to wetlands as a promoted leisure service in comparison with a biodiversity indicator to increase the well-being of local residents from the city’s different urban fabrics. As is normal in Chile, the urban wetland is not protected by environmental or urban planning norms, but it does have potential benefits for people as recreation services since they provide accessible green areas. A discussion about the assessment of the effects of spatial urbanization from urban fabrics is generated, and how the intensity of urbanization and its interaction with the accessibility to wetlands disturbs their biodiversity is determined. The study contributes to the discussion about spatial patterns and processes in urban landscapes and the losses of the potential recreation service.

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