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Factors shaping urban greenspace provision: a systematic review of the literature

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 18:58 authored by Boulton, C, Dedekorkut-Howes, A, Jason ByrneJason Byrne
Over the past two decades, there has been an efflorescence of park and greenspace research. This trend may reflect substantial increases in urban populations globally and concomitant pressures on land resources – including greenspace. But so far research has mainly tended to focus on demand rather than supply, and specifically the practice of provision – notwithstanding the body of literature studying disparities in greenspace access and geographic distribution through an environmental justice lens (e.g. using spatial analysis). Comparatively fewer studies have considered the interplay of factors that may shape local government’s capacity to supply greenspace. This paper reports results of a systematic quantitative review of the greenspace provision literature: assessing the factors that configure its supply, and different approaches to planning and assessing greenspace provision. A conceptual model is offered, explaining the interaction between greenspace provision factors across different scales. Findings suggest many cities continue to experience gaps between planned and actual greenspace provision. Moreover, urban greenspace is typically planned using a recreational standards approach, despite increasing demands for a range of ecosystem functions, services, and benefits. Future research should engage directly with greenspace managers responsible for urban greenspace delivery, especially in rapidly expanding cities, to illuminate points of convergence and divergence between theory and practice. Policy implications include consideration of holistic greenspace planning approaches that better recognise and respond to emerging demands upon, and for, urban greenspace.


Publication title

Landscape and Urban Planning








School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences


Elsevier Science Bv

Place of publication

Po Box 211, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1000 Ae

Rights statement

Copyright 2018 Elsevier B.V.

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Urban planning; Structure, delivery and resourcing