Perception of Urban Environmental Risks and the Effects of Urban Green Infrastructures (UGIs) on Human Well-being in Four Public Green Spaces of Guangzhou, China

Junya Duan, Yafei Wang*, Chen Fan, Beicheng Xia, Rudolf de Groot

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Cities face many challenging environmental problems that affect human well-being. Environmental risks can be reduced by Urban Green Infrastructures (UGIs). The effects of UGIs on the urban environment have been widely studied, but less attention has been given to the public perception of these effects. This paper presents the results of a study in Guangzhou, China, on UGI users’ perceptions of these effects and their relationship with sociodemographic variables. A questionnaire survey was conducted in four public green spaces. Descriptive statistics, a binary logistic regression model and cross-tabulation analysis were applied on the data from 396 valid questionnaires. The results show that UGI users were more concerned about poor air quality and high temperature than about flooding events. Their awareness of environmental risks was partly in accordance with official records. Regarding the perception of the impacts of environmental risks on human well-being, elderly and female respondents with higher education levels were the most sensitive to these impacts. The respondents’ perceptions of these impacts differed among the different green spaces. The effects of UGIs were well perceived and directly observed by the UGI users, but were not significantly influenced by most sociodemographic variables. Moreover, tourists had a lower perception of the impacts of environmental risks and the effects of UGI than residents did. This study provides strong support for UGIs as an effective tool to mitigate environmental risks. Local governments should consider the role of UGIs in environmental risk mitigation and human well-being with regard to urban planning and policy making.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)500-517
JournalEnvironmental Management
Volume62
Issue number3
Early online date28 May 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2018

Keywords

  • Environmental risks
  • Human well-being
  • Perception
  • Questionnaire survey
  • UGI

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