A Study of Green Space Access in the Waikato Region
Wackrow, A. (2016). A Study of Green Space Access in the Waikato Region (Thesis, Master of Environmental Planning (MEP)). University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10289/11189
Permanent Research Commons link: http://hdl.handle.net/10289/11189
Access to green space provides a wide range of social, economic, health and environmental benefits. However, there are disparities in the ways that people access these benefits. This research aimed to examine how access to green space was spatially distributed across the Waikato region, whether a relationship existed between access to green space and socioeconomic deprivation, and what the planning and policy implications of this were.In order to quantify access to green space, a Geographic Information System (GIS) analysis was undertaken using the Access to Natural Greenspace Standard (ANGSt) model, an English distance based accessibility measure. The ANGSt model measures how many people meet each of four standards based on travel distance to different sized green spaces. The results of this analysis were compared with New Zealand Deprivation (NZDep) index scores in order to determine if socioeconomic deprivation had any effect on access to green space. Semi- structured interviews were then undertaken in order to ground the results in current planning theory and practice.The results of the GIS analysis showed that, generally, urban populations had better access to small green spaces within walking distance, while rural populations had better access to large green spaces. This study was unable to find evidence of a relationship between deprivation and green space access.While most people in the region have access to a green space, there are still areas where access is lacking. Further study is needed in order to better understand the determinants of accessibility and how equitable access to the benefits of nature can be achieved.
University of Waikato
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