Integrating public perceptions of proximity and quality in the modelling of urban green space access

Amy Phillips, Dimitra Plastara, Ahmed Z. Khan, Frank Canters

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Access to urban green space (UGS) is associated with a number of physical and social benefits. Recognizing the importance of UGS access for people’s well-being, several methods have been proposed to model UGS accessibility and highlight areas underserviced by UGS. However, existing methodologies have several limitations. Models often make use of universal, normative maximum travel distances, which may not reflect the distances people actually travel to reach UGS they regularly visit. Additionally, many of these analyses do not consider UGS quality, which will largely influence use and experience of these spaces and may act as a pull factor affecting the distance people are willing to travel to visit a UGS. Those methods that do integrate quality often rely on proxies, such as size or number of amenities, and fail to consider perceived quality.
To address these limitations, we propose a methodology that integrates user perception and the actual distance people are prepared to travel, into a quality-accessibility (QA) analysis applied at the building block scale. Information on travel distance and quality are gathered from a public participation GIS survey conducted in the Brussels Capital Region. The results of the analysis highlight inequalities in access to specific, essential UGS experiences throughout the region. Insights provided by this analysis can help planners prioritize interventions to improve access to experiences provided by UGS in parts of the city where interventions are most needed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number104875
Number of pages17
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Financial support was provided by the Brussels Capital Region through Innoviris ( 2020-PRB-150b ), the Institute for Promotion of Scientific Research and Innovation in Brussels.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


  • urban green spaces
  • urban green space accessibility
  • urban green space quality
  • green space equity
  • environmental justice


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