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Title: Optimising urban green networks in Taipei City : linking ecological and social functions in urban green space systems
Author: Shih, Wan-Yu
ISNI:       0000 0004 2691 2454
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2010
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With the global population becoming more urban and less rural, increasingly research has argued for concepts such as establish Green Infrastructure (GI) as a tool for enhancing wildlife survival and human’s living quality (e.g. Harrison et al., 1995; Benedict and McMahon, 2006). However, an interdisciplinary planning approach underpinned by ecological and social evidence has not yet been fully developed. This research therefore seeks to integrate an ecological network with a green space planning standard by exploring the use of biotope and sociotope mapping methods. Seeking a comprehensive planning that takes all green resources into account, a green space typology is firstly developed according to Taiwanese contexts for identifying green spaces from land use maps. In order to specify effective features of these green spaces to bird survival and user preferences, an insight was conducted into the relationship of ‘birds and urban habitats’, as well as ‘human preferred urban green spaces’ in Taipei City. Important environmental factors influencing bird distribution and influencing human experiences in urban green spaces are respectively specified and developed into an ecological value index (EVI) to detail potential habitats and a social value index (SVI) to evaluate recreational green space provision. Interestingly, proximity to green space appears to plays a more critical role in human preferences than bird survival in Taipei city; size is important both as a habitat and for creating an attractive green space; and green space quality tends to be a more significant factor than its structure for both wildlife and people. Utilising the bio-sociotope maps, this thesis argues for a number of strategies: conserving, enlarging, or creating large green spaces in green space deficient areas; increasing ecological and recreational value by enhancing green space quality of specific characteristics; and tackling gravity distance by combining green space accessibility and attractiveness in optimising urban green structure. As these suggestions are a challenge to apply in intensively developed urban areas, barriers from land use, political mechanisms, technical shortages, and cultural characteristics are also explored with possible resolutions presented for facilitating implementation. It is clear that optimising a multifunctional GI for both wildlife and people requires interdisciplinary knowledge and cooperation from various fields. The EVI and SVI developed within this thesis create the potential for a more place-specific and quantifiable green spaces strategy to help better link ecological and social functions in urban areas.
Supervisor: Handley, John ; White, Iain Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Urban green spaces ; Urban green networks ; Green Infrastructure ; Urban habitats ; Urban biodiversity ; Urban birds ; Urban recreation ; Recreational preferences ; Taipei City ; Landscape ecology ; Landscape perception ; Green space planning ; Urban sustainable development ; Ecology-society resilience ; Biotope ; Sociotope ; Green space evaluation