Eliciting non-monetary values of formal and informal urban green spaces using public participation GIS

Agata Pietrzyk-Kaszyńska*, Michał Czepkiewicz, Jakub Kronenberg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


When green spaces compete with other forms of land use, especially in dense urban settings, their creation and maintenance need to be extensively justified. Very often the utilitarian arguments, such as reference to recreational uses or air quality improvement, are seen as the most convincing to illustrate the importance of green spaces for cities. However, people derive many other benefits from urban green spaces, many of which elude such a simplified practical focus. In this paper, we present an analysis of the values and important attributes that urban residents assign to green spaces. The data were collected in three cities in Poland: Krakow, Lodz and Poznan, using a public participation GIS approach—an online geo-questionnair. Overall, 1640 people took part in the survey. The results exhibit a wide spectrum of values associated with urban green spaces, emphasizing the importance of the multiple cultural and anthropogenic aspects associated with urban green spaces. The study illustrates differences in the valuation of formal and informal green spaces. The latter include all the areas that are not formally demarcated or have an uncertain land tenure status. Places valued for their greenness, pleasant views, uniqueness, wild character and role as natural habitats are predominantly marked outside of formal green spaces. We highlight the challenges in the classification of urban green spaces and the need to identify and address informal green spaces in urban green space governance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)85-95
Number of pages11
JournalLandscape and Urban Planning
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Elsevier B.V.

Other keywords

  • Green areas
  • Non-monetary valuation
  • Urban planning
  • Urban residents
  • Values


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