The Role of Urban Green Spaces in the Transformation of Community Ecosystem in Developing Countries

The Role of Urban Green Spaces in the Transformation of Community Ecosystem in Developing Countries

José G. Vargas-Hernández (University of Guadalajara, Mexico), Justyna Anna Zdunek-Wielgołaska (Warsaw University of Technology, Poland) and Karina Pallaggst (Technische Universität Kaiserslautern, Germany)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-0441-3.ch011

Abstract

This chapter aims to analyze the review the existing literature on some important features of urban green spaces such as the components, functions, services, community involvement, initiatives, and actions from an ecosystem perspective. The analysis begins from the assumption that urban green spaces are ecosystems of vital importance in enhancing the quality of life in an urban environment and supplying ecosystem services such as biodiversity and climate regulation. Meeting the needs of users is related with the functions and services that urban green spaces provide to communities. The methods employed in this analysis are the empirical literature and documents review, analysis of existing data on uses and users, interviews with authorities, and more detailed examination of a case specific data. Also, as some concluding remarks, some wider environmental, economic, and social initiatives for local authorities and communities are suggested that can justify initiatives by all represented and involved stakeholders. Finally, the study advances some opportunities, challenges, and further research.
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Components Of Urban Green Spaces

An urban green space system is an important component in any community development, in housing, business, leisure areas, etc. (Baycan-Levent, 2002). Components of urban green areas are vegetation, water, accessibility, services of shelters, toilets, seating, playgrounds and sport areas, events and activities, environmental quality conditions and resources such as lighting, safety, litter bins, friendly staff, artistic features and artifacts such as sculptures, etc. The quality assessment of green spaces is measured by some factors such as infrastructure, vegetation, accessibility, security, equipment. Conditions that favor the use of urban green spaces are the distance walking time (Herzele & Wiedeman, 2003), location and distribution, easy access, proximity. Environmental enhancement makes urban green spaces of more quality and attractive by promoting inward investments, increasing the land value and economic stimulation of the community.

Key Terms in this Chapter

System of Green Spaces: Vegetated areas found in an urban environment that form a system of functional, esthetical, or other interrelations on a larger scale.

Sustainable Urban Green Spaces Development: A process of synergy of different aspects of city development that results in forming balanced and eco-friendly urban green spaces fulfilling the needs of current and future generations.

Urban Ecosystem: An ecological system located within a city or densely populated area.

Urban Green Spaces: An area within an urban environment of grass, trees, shrubs or other vegetation.

Community Involvement: The active involvement of people living in one locality in the process of improving the quality of an urban environment.

Urban Green Space Renewal: The rehabilitation of substandard city green areas or the conversion of wasteland into green land open to the public and for the public good.

Community Ecosystem: An ecological system used by members that reside in a specific locality.

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