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

Boulton, C, Dedekorkut-Howes, A, Holden, M and Byrne, J ORCID: 0000-0001-8733-0333 2020 , 'Under pressure: Factors shaping urban greenspace provision in a mid-sized city' , Cities, vol. 106 , pp. 1-14 , doi:

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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 Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Boulton, C and Dedekorkut-Howes, A and Holden, M and Byrne, J
Keywords: urban greenspace, planning practice, municipal governance, qualitative methods, property development, cities, parks, policy, standards
Journal or Publication Title: Cities
Publisher: Elsevier Sci Ltd
ISSN: 0264-2751
DOI / ID Number:
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© 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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