University of Twente Student Theses


Mapping the quality of public urban green spaces for physical activity in Paramaribo, Suriname

Gangwar, Druti (2022) Mapping the quality of public urban green spaces for physical activity in Paramaribo, Suriname.

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Abstract:Cities are growing demographically and economically leading to high work pressures on urban residents. Long working hours reduce outdoor recreational time thereby threatening residents’ health and well-being. Sustainable Development Goal 11, Target 7 emphasized “providing universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces”. The COVID-19 pandemic has re-emphasized the importance of physical activities in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Urban green spaces are providers of opportunities for recreation including opportunities for physical activities such as running and walking. Existing research on public urban green spaces affirms that it is not just the quantity but also the quality of public urban green spaces that impact residents’ use of the public urban green spaces. But it is difficult to carry out a quality assessment because of challenges in defining ‘quality’ and establishing their influence on the use of public urban green spaces. On the other hand, Paramaribo has seen uncontrolled urban growth in recent decades, and it has come at the cost of trees, and urban forests leaving the city with fragments of forest and green cover. This is further worsened due to a lack of knowledge on the benefits of public urban green and improper management of urban green spaces. This study is an attempt to map the spatial distribution quality characteristics of public urban green spaces and empirically investigate its relation with physical activity in Paramaribo. A mixed-methods approach is used as the relationship between subjects is complex, making it difficult to investigate using traditional methods, i.e. qualitative and qualitative. The geospatial tools are used to study the spatial distribution of quality of public urban green spaces in Paramaribo. The qualitative interpretations of survey data and the author’s first-hand experience in the study area aid in better understanding the statistical results of the physical activity estimation model. Results from this study show that the quality characteristics of all public urban green spaces are not uniformly distributed across Paramaribo. It is also found that the quality of public urban green spaces is better explained when online spatial data is supplemented with survey/field data. Further investigation into the relationship between physical activity and the quality of public urban green spaces shows that the quality characteristics are weakly related to physical activity. There is also a possibility that there are other quality characteristics and external factors that could be influencing the relationship. This study also elaborates on the challenges and further recommendations for studying the ‘quality’ of public urban green spaces. In the end, the implication of this study for the urban management of public urban green space in Paramaribo is also described.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:ITC: Faculty of Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
Programme:Geoinformation Science and Earth Observation MSc (75014)
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