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Urban green in deprived areas: the match between supply of and demand for ecosystem services of urban green spaces – the case of Kumasi, Ghana

Osei Owusu, Rexford (2021) Urban green in deprived areas: the match between supply of and demand for ecosystem services of urban green spaces – the case of Kumasi, Ghana.

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Abstract:Urban green spaces (UGS) are an important contributor to human wellbeing and health. Several studies have been done on these UGS with particular emphasis on the Global North. Little is being done and known about cities in the Global South. The few studies in the Global South usually focus on citywide scale with very little known about deprived areas. These deprived urban areas are described as areas with poor and worsened environmental conditions. As such, access to UGS in these areas could be beneficial for the provision of ecosystem services (ES) such as temperature and air quality regulation, and a place for social cohesion which are relevant to the wellbeing of the residents. Moreover, with the few studies done on these deprived urban areas, little is known about the relationship between what UGS and associated benefits are available to the residents and what they actually demand for. Hence, this study adopts a mixed-method approach incorporating geographic information system (GIS) methods, household survey, and key informants interviews using two deprived areas – Dakodwom and Ayigya Zongo – in Kumasi, Ghana as case studies: 1) to assess the level of supply of ES of UGS in the selected deprived urban areas of Kumasi; 2) to assess the level of demand for ES of UGS in the selected deprived urban areas of Kumasi; 3) to assess the potential gap(s) between the level of supply of and demand for ES of UGS in the selected deprived urban areas of Kumasi; and 4) to determine how the identified gap(s) can be used to inform decision-making. The results of the study show that UGS are generally non-existent in these deprived urban areas, which is influenced by encroachment as a result of limited land space while there are relatively more UGS available in surrounding areas identified as well-off. Regardless, the residents in the areas perceived to be benefiting from the few available UGS which are within shorter travel distances with a higher recognition for regulating and cultural services. In addition, the residents tend to be satisfied with the few available UGS, with which they are of the view that there is no space for the creation of more green spaces. However, a larger share of the respondents also sees the need for additional UGS. In this regard, there is a higher demand for socio-cultural benefits of UGS than the environmental and economic with recreational activities being more distinct. The high demand by the residents in the areas, which exceeds the available supply presents a huge gap that requires spatial planning and management decisions involving all stakeholders with effective legislative support.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
Link to this item:https://purl.utwente.nl/essays/88903
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