Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Green Belts: do they foster social exclusion

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Sheffield
    Posts
    2

    Green Belts: do they foster social exclusion

    Hi there,

    I am a third year Planning student and I am thinking of ideas for my dissertation.

    I have so far had positive feedback, in regard to researching whether the Green Belt policy actually creates/increases social exclusion, in terms of access to green space.

    In this I mean such as the general consensus, that the wealthy tend to live in the suburbs and have easier access to greenspace, whereas the less well-off tend to live in the inner city areas (obviously there are exceptions to this). With the green belt restricting development and safeguarding the countryside, it increases pressure and intensifies development in urban areas, hence restriction of green space.

    I was wondering what people think of this topic and what your views are on the question I've posed?

    Thanks in advance for any feedback, it would be really appreciated.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    71
    No green belt policy should create exclusion, the main purpose for a green belt is the protection from urban sprawl, especially if the gren belt includes important natural/geographical features, ie the Toronto green belt/Niagra Escarpment.

    Good planning will have every citizen connection to green space, via walking distance or good public transit, walkability is an important buzz world in the planning world today. So I would say no, Green Belt policies do not cut any person from enjoying green space, unless of course there was bad planning practices.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    New Town
    Posts
    3,802
    I agree with Buckie33 and would just add that many municipalities tend to invest more heavily in infrastructure that facilitates access to open space for the wealthier areas. This may be for several reasons (the way taxes are applied to local improvements, for example, or a desire to pander to the upper classes to support reelection campaigns...). This does not make greenbelts bad ideas. The problem in such a scenario is with how the municipality creates access to space for all residents.

    I also think that the nature of the greenbelt areas has a lot to do with what happens there. If we are talking about maintaining farmland, for example, that is open space, but its not public space that people can access. That is different than if we are talking about parkland.

    Not to discourage the topic. I think there is some room for what you are asking - which are really two things it seems. You will, for example, have to come up with some sort of measure for "social exclusion" and also "access" to green space (unless you are using one as the measure for the other). Then, you really must be open to the possibility that what you are suspecting is not really what is going on (which actually makes for a great paper/thesis/project).

    Consider Portland using their Urban Growth Boundary which creates a green belt around the city (though maybe this doesn't count in your definition of "green belt"). This is also a city with a lot of urban parkland. So, to do this analysis well, you would have to identify the greenbelt land that is publicly accessible to those living at the edges and compare that person/space ratio with what others in the urban core have access to. Again, with much of the undeveloped land outside the UGB being farmland, you may find that those living close to farms can look at a lot of open land, but not actually use it. You may find, then, that other urban areas have better access to public open space than those at the edges.

    Once you have some conclusion about whether people living at the edges of cities with greenbelts really do have more access to open space, you will have to determine if it is the green belt policy that leads to increased access, or some other factor(s) - answering the "why is this the case?" question. In other words, are you going to argue against greenbelts, or are you going to say "IF you are going to have a greenbelt, you should have these other elements in place to keep things equitable"?
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

  4. #4
    Member
    Registered
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Sheffield
    Posts
    2
    Thanks for both replies. I'm not saying for definate that Green Belts do cause social exclusion, but I'm just testing the hypothesis. I'm going to focus on the accessibility issue and if found, that accessibilitiy is lacking in areas, then I'll suggest this will have to be integrated more into the Green Belt policy, rather than outright saying the Green Belt Policy causes this solely. With my minimal research so far, it is appearing that other policies need to be integrated with the Green Belt, rather than the Green Belt being a problem on its own.Thanks again for boths replies

  5. #5
    Cyburbian The One's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Where Valley Fever Lives
    Posts
    7,037

    Yeah....

    Don't forget they tend to serve a flood control purpose and wildlife corridor need also. Just don't overlook the physical need when considering the human factors.
    Skilled Adoxographer

  6. #6
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
    Registered
    Mar 1996
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    14,528
    Blog entries
    3
    Moderator note:
    Moved from the former Planning in the UK forum.
    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 2
    Last post: 30 Oct 2012, 3:34 PM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last post: 07 Oct 2011, 12:10 PM
  3. Does gentrification process engender social exclusion?
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 7
    Last post: 13 Mar 2009, 1:37 PM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last post: 09 Feb 2009, 4:54 PM