The scaling of green space coverage in European cities

Fuller, RA and Gaston, KJ (2009) The scaling of green space coverage in European cities. BIOLOGY LETTERS, 5 3: 352-355. doi:10.1098/rsbl.2009.0010

Author Fuller, RA
Gaston, KJ
Title The scaling of green space coverage in European cities
Journal name BIOLOGY LETTERS   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1744-9561
Publication date 2009-06
Year available 2009
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1098/rsbl.2009.0010
Volume 5
Issue 3
Start page 352
End page 355
Total pages 4
Editor Charlesworth, B.
Place of publication United Kingdom
Publisher The Royal Society Publishing
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subject C1
050202 Conservation and Biodiversity
960812 Urban and Industrial Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity
Abstract Most people on the planet live in dense aggregations, and policy directives emphasize green areas within cities to ameliorate some of the problems of urban living. Benefits of urban green spaces range from physical and psychological health to social cohesion, ecosystem service provision and biodiversity conservation. Green space coverage differs enormously among cities, yet little is known about the correlates or geography of this variation. This is important because urbanization is accelerating and the consequences for green space are unclear. Here, we use standardized major axis regression to explore the relationships between urban green space coverage, city area and population size across 386 European cities. We show that green space coverage increases more rapidly than city area, yet declines only weakly as human population density increases. Thus, green space provision within a city is primarily related to city area rather than the number of inhabitants that it serves, or a simple space-filling effect. Thus, compact cities (small size and high density) show very low per capita green space allocation. However, at high levels of urbanicity, the green space network is robust to further city compaction. As cities grow, interactions between people and nature depend increasingly on landscape quality outside formal green space networks, such as street plantings, or the size, composition and management of backyards and gardens.
Keyword urban green space
human population density
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code

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Created: Thu, 03 Sep 2009, 08:07:31 EST by Mr Andrew Martlew on behalf of School of Biological Sciences