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Under pressure: Factors shaping urban greenspace provision in a mid-sized city


Boulton, C and Dedekorkut-Howes, A and Holden, M and Byrne, J, Under pressure: Factors shaping urban greenspace provision in a mid-sized city, Cities, 106 Article 102816. ISSN 0264-2751 (2020) [Refereed Article]

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© 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.cities.2020.102816


Urban greenspaces provide diverse ecosystem functions, services and benefits to residents. Much commentary has been offered to date about citizens' demands for more urban greenspace. Less attention, however, has been given to the ‘supply side’ pressures experienced by local government in delivering urban greenspace, particularly in mid-sized cities. Greater attention to factors shaping supply is warranted, especially in the context of rapid population growth. By understanding how existing greenspace provision approaches can stymie the efforts of local government to meet citizens' needs, new approaches can be identified. This paper assesses several factors shaping urban greenspace provision in Surrey - a city within the Greater Vancouver area. Insights are derived from in-depth interviews with key stakeholders, public documents, and census and municipal data about parks and their context as a specific type of greenspace. Our findings suggest that governance tools, economy and property markets, and financial and natural resources manifest as core factors influencing urban greenspace provision in Surrey. A reliance on governance tools premised upon standards has created park provision paradoxes. Treating greenspace provision as a largely technocratic exercise may be limiting Surrey's ability to respond to changing politics, economics and population trends. We point to alternative approaches.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:urban greenspace, planning practice, municipal governance, qualitative methods, property development, cities, parks, policy, standards
Research Division:Built Environment and Design
Research Group:Urban and regional planning
Research Field:Land use and environmental planning
Objective Division:Construction
Objective Group:Construction planning
Objective Field:Urban planning
UTAS Author:Byrne, J (Professor Jason Byrne)
ID Code:139874
Year Published:2020
Web of Science® Times Cited:18
Deposited By:Geography and Spatial Science
Deposited On:2020-07-10
Last Modified:2020-08-12

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