Human health must be recognized, in additional to ecological criteria in urban green space planning in China.

Take note: Urban designers, biodiversity planners, public health and landscape architects.

What is the problem: There are four main problems with the existing index system for urban green space planning in China:

  • Both the common indicators and specific indicators are quantitative measures;
  • Most common indicators only assess the availability of urban green space;
  • There are a series of metrics but they largely describe the same features of urban green space;

The index system for urban green space planning only centers on green vegetation with almost no consideration of the users

What I did and why: We compared health-related indicators in four case study cities. This allowed us to find four main problems with the current index system for urban greenspace planning in China.

In light of these findings, we propose a new index system to better promote public health.

There are two elements to this. First, to shift the ecology-centered value-orientation to a new one which placed equal importance on both ecological and health values. Second, to reorganize the current urban greenspace planning framework to into a new comprehensive framework.

What this study adds: There is now a summary of the problems in the existing index system for current urban green space planning in China from the perspective of health promotion, including an assessment of it ability to address the underlying causes;

We have provided a health-oriented index system and proposing two correspondingly supportive solutions to achieve and implement it.

Implications for city policy and practice: It is vital to shift from the ecology-centered value orientation to a new one with ecological and health values equally pursued;

  • More attention should be paid to the users’ socio-economic status and daily behaviour when planning urban green space.

To encourage public participation and promote the integrity of different levels of plans, actors and decision-makers need to adopt both ‘top-down’ and ‘bottom-up’ approaches

Full article: Reframing the index system of urban green space planning towards public health in China: Problems and solutions

Author: Yuping Dong and Helin Liu
City Know-how editor: Marcus Grant