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Green space inequality in the urban ‘ecosystem’.

The distribution of urban green spaces and socio-economic variables


in Wellington City.

By: Andrew Brown


Supervisor: Mairéad de Róiste

Source: Brown 2009

A Research Thesis submitted as partial fulfilment for the


degree of BSc Honours in Geography, 2009

School of Geography, Environment and Earth Sciences


Victoria University of Wellington
Acknowledgements
I would like to thank all the people that made this honours thesis possible. Mairéad de
Róiste, Andy Rae and Mike Gavin for advice and technical help. Barbara Brown,
Alister Brown and Gordon MacFarlane for help with grammar and spelling.

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Abstract
There is an increasing demand for Urban Green Spaces (UGS) in cities as the
environmental, economical and social benefits of GS become apparent. These
perceived and real benefits to the inhabitants, such as health through stress reduction,
impact across the spectrum of society. UGS can also have negative impacts, for
example, increased crime. The quality, number and size of UGS have been linked to
the distribution and concentration of advantaged and disadvantaged groups in a
community. In many cities, Green Spaces (GS) is not equitably distributed and is
most likely to occur in areas where advantaged groups live.
This study looks at whether the distribution of certain social and economic variables
corresponds with the distribution of UGS in Wellington city. A programme called
Spatial Analysis in Macroecology (SAM) which uses a model by Clifford et al.
(1989) was used in the study to account for spatial autocorrelation. GS is clustered
within Wellington with indications showing wealthy areas have more GS compared to
deprived areas. However, problems with accounting for spatial autocorrelation in our
tests mean we cannot confidently conclude the results. In addition, other variables
may also affect the relationship between GS and deprivation. Influencing variables
that may affect the amenity value, like slope, may affect the usability of GS. In
conclusion there are indications of an environmental injustice between GS and
deprivation but future study is needed to confirm this.

Keywords
Environmental justice, equity, green space, spatial autocorrelation, urban ‘ecosystem’.

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Table of contents
Acknowledgements ......................................................................................................2
Abstract.........................................................................................................................3
Keywords......................................................................................................................3
Table of contents ..........................................................................................................4
Abbreviations .............................................................................................................5
Tables...........................................................................................................................6
Figures.........................................................................................................................7

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Abbreviations
AU…………..Area Units
CBC ………...Community-based conservation
CBD…………Central Business District
CVM………...Contingent Valuation Method
GIS…………..Geographical Information Systems
GS…………...Green Spaces
HPM………...Hedonic Prices Method
MAUP………Modifiable Arial Unit Problem
MB…………..Mesh Blocks
OS…………...Open Spaces
RMA………...Resource Management Act
TCM…………Travel Cost Method
UGS…………Urban Green Spaces
UHIE………...Urban Heat Island Effect
VUW………...Victoria University Database
WCC………...Wellington City Council

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Tables
Table 1: Pearson’s and Spearman’s correlation coefficients for Green Spaces at Area
Units level
Table 2: Spatial autocorrelation (Moran’s I) for Green Spaces at Area Units level
Table 3: Pearson’s correlation accounting for autocorrelation in Green Spaces at Area
Units level
Table 4: Pearson’s and Spearman’s correlation coefficients for Green Spaces at Mesh
Blocks level
Table 5: Spatial autocorrelation (Moran’s I) for Green Spaces at Mesh Blocks level
Table 6: Pearson’s correlation accounting for autocorrelation in Green Spaces at Mesh
Blocks level
Table 7: Pearson’s and Spearman’s correlation coefficients for Open Spaces at Area
Units level
Table 8: Spatial autocorrelation (Moran’s I) for Open Spaces at Area Units level
Table 9: Pearson’s correlation accounting for autocorrelation in Open Spaces at Area
Units level
Table 10: Pearson’s and Spearman’s correlation coefficients for Open Spaces at Mesh
Blocks level
Table 11: Spatial autocorrelation (Moran’s I) for Open Spaces at Mesh Blocks level
Table 12: Pearson’s correlation accounting for autocorrelation in Open Spaces at Mesh
Blocks level
Table 13: Percentage distance of Green Spaces from the coastline
Table 14: Grouped percentage slope of Green Spaces

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Figures
Figure 1: Wellington City Area, New Zealand.
Figure 2: Area Units chosen for study site
Figure 3: Percentage Green Spaces for Area Units in Wellington
Figure 4: Deprivation score for Area Units in Wellington
Figure 5: Green Spaces percent versus deprivation score for Area Units
Figure 6: Green Spaces percent versus median income for Area Units
Figure 7: Green Spaces percent versus median age for Area Units
Figure 8: Green Spaces percent versus ethnicity for Area Units
Figure 9: Percentage Green Spaces for Mesh Blocks in Wellington
Figure 10: Deprivation score for Mesh Blocks in Wellington
Figure 11: Green Spaces percent versus deprivation score for Mesh Blocks
Figure 12: Green Spaces percent versus median income for Mesh Blocks
Figure 13: Green Spaces percent versus median age for Mesh Blocks
Figure 14: Green Spaces percent versus ethnicity for Mesh Blocks
Figure 15: Percentage Open Spaces for Area Units in Wellington
Figure 16: Deprivation score for Area Units in Wellington
Figure 17: Open Spaces percent versus deprivation score for Area Units
Figure 18: Open Spaces percent versus median income for Area Units
Figure 19: Open Spaces percent versus median age for Area Units
Figure 20: Open Spaces percent versus ethnicity for Area Units
Figure 21: Percentage Open Spaces for Mesh Blocks in Wellington
Figure 22: Deprivation score for Mesh Blocks in Wellington
Figure 23: Open Spaces percent versus deprivation score for Mesh Blocks
Figure 24: Open Spaces percent versus median income for Mesh Blocks
Figure 25: Open Spaces percent versus median age for Mesh Blocks
Figure 26: Open Spaces percent versus ethnicity for Mesh Blocks
Figure 27: Green Spaces distance to the coastline
Figure 28: Slope of Green Spaces in Wellington

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1. Introduction
Socio-nature is the term that has been devised for the important link between nature
and society in the urbanising cities of today (Heynen 2003; Smith 1986). Nature has
many direct and indirect benefits for the urban population, which are mostly gained
from Urban Green Spaces (UGS). People who use the Green Spaces (GS) gain direct
benefits, like health improvements through stress reduction (Ulrich 1984) and positive
child development (Taylor et al. 1996). Indirectly, there is flood control and rainfall
runoff (Sanders 1986), air pollution filtering (Smith 1990) and economic benefits
through increased property values (Solecki & Welch 1995). GS can also increase the
attractiveness of the city (Baycan-Levent & Nijkamp 2009).
UGS can contribute to the social fabric of cities (Brunson et al. 2000) and social
integration (Kweon et al. 1998). However international studies suggest that the
benefits of GS are not available to all, GS are shown to be scarcer in deprived urban
areas with distorted access (Groenewegen et al. 2006). This environmental injustice is
impinging on environmental equity, with fair access to resources for all individuals, in
this case UGS.
The quality of GS is not only affected by the wealth of the surrounding area. A
number of other important variables need consideration. The communities’ attitude
towards UGS can effect whether that community use or even enhances, (e.g.
volunteer work) the UGS (Balram et al. 2005). The distance from the coastline can
change the amenity value of the UGS (Taylor et al. 2000). This is because the beach
is also an amenity and can be used in place of UGS. The slope of the UGS will also
increase or decrease the amenity value when looking at different social and age
groups (Davies et al. 2008). Older inhabitants prefer flat ground to walk on while
rock climbers prefer steep GS.
There is a vast range of literature which has arisen from the increased interest in UGS
along with emergence of disciplines like ecological economics, environmental
economics and urban ecology (Baycan-Levent et al. 2009). This study looks at the
UGS in Wellington, New Zealand to determine if deprivation and associated variables
are correlated to GS in Wellington.

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1.1. Aims and Objectives
This study investigates whether a relationship between UGS and socio-economic
variables exists in Wellington. It also looks at public spaces and whether a
relationship between Open Spaces (OS) and deprivation exists.

1.2. Aim
To explore whether equitable distribution of Urban Green Space (UGS), e.g. parks,
backyards and tree canopies, is linked to the distribution of social and economic
deprivation in Wellington city.

1.3. Objectives
1. Through a literature review establish which socio-economic variables have the
most influence on the distribution of GS.
2. Create and obtain data on GS, deprivation, income, age and ethnicity in
Wellington City and investigate whether a relationship exists between GS and
deprivation, age, income and ethnicity.
3. Obtain data on Open Spaces (OS) and investigate whether a relationship exists
between OS and deprivation, age, income and ethnicity.
4. Account for the spatial factor of the data which is not included in traditional
correlation coefficients.
5. Investigate the effects of distance to the sea and slope and see if there is any
effect on the amount of GS.

1.4. Summary of Chapters


The following chapter (chapter two) sets out the history behind UGS and
environmental justice. The chapter then defines UGS and is followed by a literature
review of the benefits of UGS loosely grouped into five categories; social, economic,
environmental, planning and multi-dimensional values. Chapter three outlines the
methods used, the study site, how data was created and how analysis undertaken
while justifying the variables used. Chapter four sets out the results found in this
study. Chapter five discusses the results of the study and compares them to previous
work in this area. Chapter Six presents the conclusions of the study.

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2. Background and Literature
2.1. Introduction
UGS have many benefits ranging from health through to economic benefits from
increased property value. This chapter looks at the history of UGS and environmental
justice, the benefits and detriments of UGS and defines exactly what GS are for this
study. Each variable is related to the cases study site of Wellington.
2.1.1. History of Green Spaces
The benefits of UGS have been known for centuries, 19th century European cities
were planted with trees to reduce air pollution from burning coal (Appleyard 1980).
Parks were also seen to promote higher morals among the urban distraught (Hardy
1980) and seen as a social control through passive and active recreation (Solecki &
Welch 1995). In the 1800s, parks started to be used for physical recreation, with
Boston, USA as one of the first (Hardy 1980).
The Colonists brought these ideas with them to New Zealand, which had a huge effect
on the landscape of Wellington over the next 200 years from land modification to
piping streams under urban areas. Historically UGS were controlled by a few people
of royal or religious authority, this happened at a smaller scale in Wellington (Heynen
2003). The local Maori were cleared aside for urban and rural development and for
the parks within these areas. The parks were created with the western world view that
nature and humans are separate. This is in direct contradiction of the Maori world
view that humans and nature cannot be separate (Klein 2000). Parks founded by
wealthy colonists were without local Maori input leading to cultural and
environmental injustices as local Maori were less likely to visit these foreign styled
parks.
The first UGS set aside in Wellington was in 1839 when a town belt was designated
which still exists today (WCC 2009b). There is disagreement over this land with
different interests vying to build on the town belt, while community groups are trying
to stop them (Anonymous 2009). Encroachment or opposition to town belts are
nothing new, a recently introduced town belt in Ontario, Canada faces opposition
from suburban growth coalitions and the farm lobby (Pond 2009).
The civil rights moments in the USA brought about new ideas. One branch from this
movement was urban environmental justice studies in the 1980. Deprived areas were
found to have higher numbers of environmental hazards, e.g. rubbish tips and toxic

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storage sites, than wealthy areas. Inhabitants, who were predominantly black, suffered
health problems from the various toxins that surrounded their homes. This problem
failed to gain traction with mainstream environmental originations as they focused on
wilderness preservation away from the cities (Bennett 2004).

2.1.2. Defining Urban Green Spaces


UGS is defined as the “public and private open spaces in urban areas, primarily
covered by vegetation, which are directly (i.e. active or passive recreation) or
indirectly (i.e. reduced heat island effect) available for the users” (Baycan-Levent et
al. 2009, p. 195). A lot of studies only focus on individual trees or isolated tree
strands and their benefits (Des Rosiers et al. 2002; McPherson et al. 1997;
Tyrvainen’s 1997). Heynen (2003), for example, points out that trees and tree strands
shade a person in summer and act as a wind block for houses in winter. These strands
are called micro-urban forests. However there are broader definitions of UGS which
include backyard lawns to roadside flower gardens. Wang et al. (2008) details ten
different types of UGS which are useful “because large patches of other vegetation,
such as grass or other herbaceous species, perform many of the same functions as
trees” (Rowntree 1986, p. 270).
UGS have a variety of benefits at many different spatial levels (Baycan-Levent et al.
2009), Baycan-Levent et al. (2009) have defined five distinctions of UGS human
values:

1) Ecological values: biodiversity, life support.


2) Economic values: land value.
3) Social values: recreational, aesthetic, health, social interaction.
4) Planning values: size and shape, quality, access.
5) Multidimensional values: scientific value, attitudes.

Each of these categories will be discussed in the following sections. Each category
can provide benefits as well as detriments to human well-being.

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2.2. Ecological Value
There are many environmental benefits of UGS, these include the cooling of the
Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE) (Lee et al. 2009) and reduction of local
temperatures in the summer through albedo and evapotranspiration (Jensen et al.
2004). Environmental resources from pollution filtering (Smith 1990), for example,
through ozone absorption (Jensen et al. 2004) and carbon dioxide removal (Boone et
al. 2006; Pincetl et al. 2005; Rowntree et al. 1991; Smith 1990), through to
vegetables, truffles and firewood are made available by UGS (Grove & Burch 1997).
Costanza et al. (1997) found 17 groups of ecosystem services provided by UGS
ranging from soil formation, culture and a noise barrier between roads and residential
areas, when the UGS is well designed (Morancho 2003).
UGS also provides a habitat for valued species (Jim 2004; Johnson 1988; Soule et al.
1999). An example in Wellington is the spread of native species of birds from the
Karori wildlife sanctuary (Zealandia) into UGS has been observed (Bell et al. 2006).
There is a negative effect where pests like rats inhabit the GS affecting the bird life
and surrounding houses. Urban areas are known to have a high species richness
(Turner et al. 2004) even when compared to the surrounding rural landscape (Pickett
et al. 2001). This plant and species diversity is a reflection of the surrounding social,
economic and cultural influences since the UGS are mostly created by humans (Hope
et al. 2003; Whitney et al. 1980). There is a far greater concern for environmental
issues in large cities than in small rural towns (Sanesi & Chiarello 2006). Demand for
UGS in cities arises because of the environmental benefits but also because of social
and economic benefits. There is also concern over generational amnesia of the
environment by being brought up in a built up environment (Turner et al. 2004).

2.3. Social Value


UGS can be used as a place to gather for exercise, relaxation, play, local festivals or
theatrical performances (Baycan-Levent et al. 2009), increasing the social
inclusiveness for people who use GS (Van Herzele et al. 2005). UGS close to public
housing have been shown to attract people and improve social interactions (Coley et
al. 1995). However due to varied social and cultural backgrounds, people may prefer
different types of UGS (Fraser et al. 2000; Kaplan et al. 1988; Kinzig et al. 2005).

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2.3.1. Age and Gender
UGS are a multigenerational place (Balram et al. 2005; Dwyer et al. 2003; Sanesi &
Chiarello 2006) where a range of ages can socially interact. Young people view UGS
as a place for leisure (Sanesi & Chiarello 2006) and a place of possible social
inclusion from youths of different cultures (Seeland et al. 2009). Children who played
in UGS showed more favourable perceptions of the environment later in life (Turner
et al. 2004). The amount of GS in schools is important for healthy development and
behaviour (Schulman & Peters 2008). Women with children view UGS as a play
option for children while men view it more highly than woman as a place for sport
(Sanesi & Chiarello 2006). Elderly people value UGS for past memories and
experiences (Jorgensen & Anthopoulou 2007). While the climate functions of UGS,
in particular, was recognised by older males (Sanesi & Chiarello 2006). Senior
citizens benefit from UGS that is within walkable distance from their place of
dwelling (Takano et al. 2002). Larger and more mixed age groups use greener UGS
than barren spaces (Coley et al. 1995).

2.3.2. Health
Through controlled experiments studies have shown that UGS have health benefits
(Maas et al. 2006; van den Berg et al. 2003). The health benefits come through stress
reduction (Grahn & Stigsdotter 2003; Honeyman 1992). However population density
or urbanicity has a relationship with mental health and should not be confused with
the link between UGS and health (Groenewegen et al. 2006; Verheij 1994). UGS can
improve health by providing people with a place to exercise (Taylor et al. 1996),
reducing obesity (Jorgensen & Anthopoulou 2007; Slentz et al. 2005), coronary heart
disease (Jorgensen & Anthopoulou 2007; Nicklas et al. 2003) mental health and
depression (Galper et al. 2006; Motl et al. 2005). Aesthetic benefits include pleasant
landscapes, peace, quiet and privacy (Hull 1992; Jensen et al. 2004; Sheets et al.
1991; Tyrvainen et al. 1998). The benefit between UGS and health may be explained
by the social contact that happens in UGS (Maas et al. 2009). Even so, UGS do have a
relationship with the perceived general health of the population living in urban areas.
Mass et al. (2006, p. 6) found in a survey that the “percentage of UGS in people’s
living environment had a positive association with the perceived general health of
residents”.

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2.3.3. Crime
If urban communities do not actively engage in their local GS there can be an increase
in criminal activities (Brown & Bentley 1993). People can then find parks scary or
uninviting due to syringes, harassment and substandard facilities (Sanesi & Chiarello
2006). Kuo et al. (1996) and Troy & Grove (2008) highlight that heavily paved parks
have increased crime because the local community tend to spend less time there,
while greener parks have a higher number of users and less crime. However, in
greener parks vegetation has been linked to crime by reducing the effort and risk to
criminals by providing concealment (Michael et al. 2001; Nasar et al. 1993).
GS provides a place for homeless people to sleep which can create problems (Baycan-
Levent et al. 2009). However displacement or exclusion of these economically
vulnerable people is not environmentally ethical (Dooling 2009). Research suggests
that the greener the park, the less likely there is to be crime (Kuo et al. 2001). Parks
with “widely spaced, high-canopy trees and grassy areas” had the least crime, while
parks with dense undergrowth had a higher amount of crime (Kuo et al. 2001, p. 360).
Marcus and Francis (1990) point out that UGS can be designed to lessen the chance of
crime, though it may clash with conservation views. In a study by Troy and Grove
(2008) crime in parks was random, with high and low levels of crime in parks that
were close together. A lack of social control may be the increase in crime in UGS
rather than the GS itself (Groenewegen et al. 2006). The elderly are largest group that
fear crime in parks due to perceived frailty, reduced mobility and vulnerability. They
fear intimidation from groups of young people which deters them from going into the
park alone (Jorgensen & Anthopoulou 2007).

2.3.4. Ethnicity
A lack of UGS in urban areas of deprived socio-economic groups can increase the
already negative social and economic conditions. These groups which tend to be of
indigenous or foreign non-white origins are less likely to use GS (Smoyer-Tomic et
al. 2004), due to a lack of UGS or the run down nature of existing UGS. This is
exacerbated by reduced mobility as these groups are usually unable to travel to UGS
in other parts of the city. This leads to environmental injustice due to the lack of
access to UGS (Groenewegen et al. 2006) and a loss of social interaction in
impoverished areas that UGS can provide (Coley et al. 1995). Bennett (2004) says
that urbanization is the new form of racism, with isolated inner-city pockets of

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poverty. This is due to a lack of or reduced public spending. Kong (2007) indicates
that shrinking intervention, both public and private in urban environments, is one of
the key factors responsible for the continuing deterioration of the overall quality of
life for minority groups.

2.4. Economic Value


GS can be seen as a local public good as it is non-rivalled and non-excludable. This
means, respectively, that ‘consumption’ in this case using UGS for recreation, of the
good (UGS) by one individual does not reduce availability of the good for
consumption by others; and that no one can be effectively excluded from using the
good. However access issues faced by minority groups which exclude them from
UGS mean it is also a common good (shared and beneficial for all (or most) members
of a given community).
Studies have been done to place a monetary value on UGS or environmental assets.
This has been done in two main ways, directly using the contingent valuation method
(CVM) which asks people how much they would be willing to pay. Then there are
indirect methods like the travel cost method (TCM) or the hedonic prices method
(HPM) which look at environmental influences on market prices of closely aligned
goods (Baycan-Levent & Nijkamp 2009; Morancho 2003; Tyrvainen 1997). An
economic approach was undertaken by McPherson et al. (1997) who valued the trees
in urban Chicago at $402 each for their environmental services. Dollar values are
placed on trees to make them “easier to deal with in an urban economic system”
(Allen et al. 1986; Heynen 2003, p. 985). However environmental benefits like peace
and quiet are non-priced or are difficult to put into monetary terms as individual
values differ (Baycan-Levent & Nijkamp 2009). UGS are a commodity with
environmental externalities (spillover effects) as trees are use-value inherent in
ecological features, e.g. shade (Heynen 2003). However consumption is driving
placement of GS not ecology (Heynen 2003).

2.4.1. Property Values


Real-estate markets show an improvement by UGS (Anderson & Cordell 1988;
Laverne et al. 2003). A strong link is found between residential property values, the
proportion of trees on the property and the visible trees on surrounding properties

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(Anderson & Cordell 1988; Des Rosiers et al. 2002). However very high density
vegetation was found to decrease property values (Des Rosiers et al. 2002). A
significant impact on house prices was found when the property was near UGS even
after controlling for spatial autocorrelation (Conway et al. 2008).
Nicholls and Crompton (2005) did a study on greenways (GS along rivers, disused
railway lines) and found that properties bordering these greenways had increased in
value. While properties nearby with a view of GS showed no increase, drawing
attention to the GS access issue. Access and usefulness of nearby green space is
critical in how neighbouring properties are valued (Troy & Grove 2008).
The type of GS can have an influence on value. Netusil (2005) found that urbanised
parks with playing fields, playgrounds and walkways had a negative effect on
neighbouring property values due to noise and other externalities. Mansfield et al.
(2005) also found lower premiums for properties near public forest parks due to
reduced privacy by recreationists.
Heynen and Perkins et al. (2006) links Massey’s (1990) disinvestment (property
owners who decide not to invest in upkeep and maintenance, lower the incentives for
neighbours to maintain their properties) to urban tree cover where neighbourhood-
scale disinvestment of UGS that can lead to environmental injustice and ecological
problems for the poor and marginalized groups. A “less stable housing situation has a
negative impact on the distribution of urban trees” (Heynen et al. 2006, p. 15). People
who rent a property have little incentive to plant trees as it is not their property and
they probably would not see the full benefits of the tree in maturity (Heynen et al.
2006). The value of properties can also change with the perceived or real threat that
the GS be developed rather than its amenities (Earnhart 2006; Irwin 2002). A
premium is associated with permanently preserved GS.
The increase in property value may have the negative effect of forcing deprived
people out of the area. This happened in New York with the creation of central park
as landlords sold or bought up houses. Deprived citizens residing in what was called
Seneca Village were displaced (Boone et al. 2006; Gandy 2002).

2.4.2. Transport
Accessibility of UGS is an important factor. Whether the UGS is within walking
distance or driving distance will affect its use (Van Herzele et al. 2005). Lacking
opportunities to visit UGS and participate in forms of recreational activities were

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identified as a consequence of poor access to transport in many New Zealand
neighbourhoods. Poor and minority groups were the most affected (Witten 2006).
Lack of private car ownership was studied in Los Angeles by Pincetl and Gearin
(2005). The study found that the poor were disadvantaged since they were unable to
travel as far out of their own neighbourhood to access GS.

2.4.3. Income
Urban populations with low incomes see UGS as important since they do not have
access to large private GS. This environmental inequality is lowering the overall
quality of life compared to wealthy urban areas (McConnachie et al. 2008; Pedlowski
et al. 2003) which tend to have more GS (Harvey 1973, 1996; Heynen 2003;
Swyngedouw 1999). This is because populations with higher incomes can afford to
purchase more plants and maintain them (Heynen 2003), Grove & Burch (1997) calls
this the ‘green’ investment.
Studies have shown that race and income of neighbourhoods directly adjacent to
parks, have a strong correlation with the distribution of urban forests (Solecki &
Welch 1995; Talarchek 1990). Poor areas see UGS as an unnecessary luxury while
wealthy suburbs have large UGS (McConnachie et al. 2008). In Brazil, poor urban
areas had fewer trees while wealthy areas had a higher number of trees (Pedlowski et
al. 2003). A study in Milwaukee, USA showed that Hispanic populations have less
trees than other demographics (Heynen et al. 2006). Grove & Burch (1997) found that
areas with trees and grass were more likely in communities with higher levels of
income and education than the lower ones. While Hope et al. (2003) found that
neighbourhoods with incomes above the average for the study area had twice the
amount of plant diversity than neighbourhoods below the average. However, Erickson
(2004) found that there was no difference between tree condition and income in
Seattle, Washington USA.
UGS can act as boundaries or sharp dividing lines, segregating wealthy and poor
urban areas (Schaffer & Smith 1986; Solecki & Welch 1995), in extreme cases parks
can function as barriers. With greater “economic stratification between
neighbourhoods there is less emphasis on public park use and development” (French
1973, p. 229). If a park is between different neighbourhoods (social and economic)
then it could suffer a lack of use leading to a lack of maintenance and neglect (Solecki

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& Welch 1995). These boundaries or barriers to UGS use are constantly changing as
the demographics change in the surrounding neighbourhoods.
Wealthy and high GS is not always the case as Heynen et al. (2006) found in their
study in highly urbanised central Milwaukee, USA. A defiance of the statistical link
between tree cover and income in the north-west and southern regions was found.
This was attributed to the newness of the areas so that the trees had not had time to
grow.
Community gardens can offset this income, GS disparity by providing a semi-GS for
deprived people. Community gardens are small in Wellington due to many private
GS. The council is working with one group at Tanera Park in Aro Valley, however
other smaller community gardens do exist (Peters 2009).

2.5. Planning Value


Citizens from different social and family backgrounds use UGS which raises the
importance of multi-functioning planning (Sanesi & Chiarello 2006). Heynen (2003)
points out that given the discrepancies in the processes of the urban political
economy, we should expect the same in the UGS scene. “Political-economics play a
key role in producing urban environments”, including where GS are situated (Heynen
et al. 2006, p. 10). Policy makers and planners cannot treat UGS as social islands,
disconnected from communities. This can happen in planning as planners tend to
focus on the ecology rather than the social effects on the distribution of UGS (Heynen
2003).
Middle class residents are demanding a more active role in planning and decision
making about GS in their communities (Balram et al. 2005). This can bring
communities together and has community development potential (Miller 1996).
Donaldson-Selby et al. (2007) says that without public participation in the planning
stages of UGS, they run a high chance of failing. Conflict could result in a top-down,
non-participatory approach that risks project failure or ad hoc greening, with little or
no expert input. No action could happen because of the fear of project failure
(Donaldson-Selby et al. 2007). Residents have called for urban planning and nature
conservation techniques to minimise negative consequences of fragmentation,
dumping and reduction of UGS (Cilliers et al. 2004).

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Change is needed from reactive to more reflexive and pro-active ways of community
participation. Integrated area strategies and place-focused approaches have led to
building of new connections between government, business, citizens and other
stakeholders (Van Herzele et al. 2005).
In Wellington, developers of new subdivisions are required to give a reserve
contribution to make sure they contain adequate amounts public GS. The council
works closely with the developers to find areas of use that are not in hidden or
inaccessible places (Peters 2009).

2.5.1. Access
Those without access to UGS tend to suffer an environmental injustice that lowers
quality of life (Heynen 2003; Low et al. 1998). Heynen (2003) says that urban trees
are planted and allowed to remain for consumption of the upper/middle class or on
land with ties to the upper/middle class. Urban trees are a billboard for “elite spaces of
wealth and power while a lack of trees exposes spaces of marginalization” (Heynen
2003, p. 983). The parks and trees in poor areas are the decaying remains from times
of greater prosperity (Erickson 2004). Residents with reduced mobility or disabled
users are another factor that is needed when considering access to UGS (Seeland &
Nicole 2006; Van Herzele et al. 2005). Access to parks is a debated issue, Maroko et
al.’s (2009) study shows that racial and ethnic disparities in park access is a complex
problem. In a study on clustering of UGS and economic factors, evidence showed that
patterns differed between cities (Talen 1997).

2.5.2. Size and Shape of UGS


Morancho (2003) found that having many small green spaces is better than a few
large ones. Higher satisfaction is noticeable in neighbourhoods that had tree patches
that were less fragmented, less isolated, and well connected. “Variety in the size and
shape of tree patches also showed a positive relationship with neighbourhood
satisfaction” (Lee et al. 2008, p. 60). As small forests, a short distance from home are
used for shorter walks while large forests far from home are less used but used for
longer walks (Van Herzele et al. 2005).
Tyrvainen’s (1997) study in Finland showed that large forest parks had a positive
effect on nearby property values while small forest parks had a negative effect. Troy
and Grove (2008) suggest in their study in Finland that since most of the properties

19
were within 100 meters of a forest park, there is little need for smaller urban forest
parks. Also these small parks can block out sunlight which can be scarce during
certain times of the year.

2.5.3. Quality of GS
Smoyer-Tomic et al. (2004) found that accessibility was fair across the city until
quality of the parks was taken into account. Wealthy people can marshal enough
support through political ties or money to keep consistent GS maintenance (Heynen
2003).
The maintenance of parks in Wellington is handled in-house by the Wellington City
Council (WCC) and involves rubbish removal, lawn management, tagging removal
and tree pruning. The amount of maintenance depends on the size of the GS and the
number or frequency of people using the GS (Peters 2009).

2.5.4. Private (Backyard) GS


Private GS or domestic gardens are defined as GS surrounding dwellings which
include lawns, vegetable plots etc. and each one is typically small. They are usually
left out of GS estimates because of lack of information and they lie outside the
immediate control and management of local government (Gaston et al. 2005).
However a large number of them can mean they make a substantial contribution to
UGS (Gaston et al. 2005). The increase in housing e.g. subdividing is putting pressure
on these gardens (Gaston et al. 2005). When increased public GS is associated with
reduction in private GS, more value is placed on the private rather than public space
(Peiser & Schwann 1993). In the case of poor urban residents who lack financial
resources to purchase and maintain trees on private GS, they remain “dependent on
public investment in street trees and parks for their collective consumption of urban
ecological amenities” (Heynen et al. 2006; Kirkpatrick et al. 2007).

2.6. Multidimensional Value


UGS have a lot of uses for many different people, for example in Wellington
scientists and academics from Victoria University’s biology department rely on
nearby parks for study. Bands and cultural performances rely on open GS over the
summer for their performances. The period and activities citizens participate in their
surrounding UGS can affect their attitude towards it.

20
Environmental psychology has found that attitudes towards UGS as part of the
environment as a whole, is a multi-dimensional construct (Balram et al. 2005; Blake
2000; Lakhan & Lavalle 2002; Schultz et al. 1996) comprised of value orientations,
demographics, knowledge, and context with analysis showing households are
characterized by two of these dimensions, behaviour towards UGS and usefulness of
UGS to the user (Balram et al. 2005). These attitudes are formed and affected by
socio-economic, cultural and biophysical interactions (Balram et al. 2005; Kaiser et
al. 1999). While McFarlane and Boxall (2000, p. 657) found that “socio-economic
factors, social influences, and knowledge had little influence on values or attitudes”
with stake holder groups in the Foothills Model Forest of Alberta, Canada. Since there
is a large range of attitudes towards UGS (Jacobson et al. 1997), education of citizens
is an important step towards increased awareness and a positive attitude of UGS.
Balram (2005) points out that strategies to encourage UGS participation rather than
awareness is important as people may be aware of the benefits of UGS but less
willing to participate in actions to manage them. Expanding this to engaging people in
habitat management and conservation of UGS could have a effect (Cannon 1999).
There are many conservation groups across Wellington, WCC works with 46 of these
conservation groups giving up to 500 plants per group per year. These groups also
carry out track maintenance, weed eradication etc. on UGS (Peters 2009).
Lack of interest and active participation in a parks maintenance leads to a decline in
condition of UGS (Cranz & Boland 2003), and subsequent decline in usage. Nepal,
for example has adopted community-based conservation (CBC) to tackle this problem
with potential positive effects on attitudes towards UGS (Mehta et al. 2001). People
are more likely to participate in plans and policy and more importantly use the UGS if
their attitude towards UGS is positive (Balram et al. 2005).

2.7. Conclusion
UGS are an important part of the human urban ‘ecosystem’; with benefits to health,
social interactions and biodiversity. However, there are detriments of UGS like crime
and inequality surrounding ethnicity, access and quality. Ignoring the social and
economic effects of UGS can lead to environmental injustice for deprived groups. The
socio-economic variables of income and ethnicity have the greatest influence on the
distribution of GS in international studies. However, variables like attitudes and

21
community gardens can change GS distribution reducing environmental injustice.
This study looks at whether Wellington City will replicate international studies by
having environmental injustice.

22
3. Methodology
3.1. Introduction
This chapter details the choice of GS, socio-economic and influencing variables to
determine if a relationship exists between UGS and social equity in Wellington, New
Zealand. It explores the analysis needed to establish whether a relationship exists
between GS and the variables. The two main variables in the data are GS and the
deprivation index. Income, age and ethnicity variables within the deprivation index
were tested to see if they have any individual relationship with GS. OS was also tested
against the socio-economic data to see if there is a relationship. Distance from
coastline and slope also have a effect on the amenity value of a UGS and will be
looked at as well.

3.2. Study Site


Wellington city which is the chosen site for this study, is situated on the southern tip
of the North Island of New Zealand (see figure 1). Wellington city is the capital of
New Zealand with a population of 179,466 living on about 28,990 hectares (WCC
2009a). Wellington is quite small on the world stage but is the third largest city in
New Zealand (Witten 2006). It sits among steep hills that were raised up by recent
tectonic activity in geological terms. Most of the Central Business District (CBD) sits
on reclaimed land uplifted from the harbour after the 1855 earthquake (McConchie et
al. 2000). This adverse topography has shaped the urban spread of Wellington city
along the valleys and up steep hills. This has left a lot of GS near the city centre
which may otherwise not be present if the city was built on flat ground. The
morphology of Wellington has also been affected by the sea with nearly all
Wellington residents living within three kilometres of the coastline (WCC 2009a).
The climate is mild with a 13 oC annual average temperature and 1,300 mm average
rainfall resulting in slow vegetation growth in colder parts of the year and around the
coast line (NIWA 2009). The city has 102 parks and playgrounds and is surrounded
by a greenbelt which was enacted in 1839 and stretches around the city centre (WCC
2009b).

23
Wellington City Area

Legend
AU of Wellington City
0 2 4 8
AU in Wellington Region Km

Figure 1: Wellington Region, New Zealand.

3.3. Green Spaces in GIS


Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is an important tool for querying and
exploring data for spatial analysis. GIS is widely used in the environmental justice
field to investigate possible relationships between UGS and socio-economic spatial
factors (Smoyer-Tomic et al. 2004; Solecki & Welch 1995). Geographic visualisation,
“which emphasises data exploration (a process) over data presentation (a product)”,
means GIS is a questioning or “sense-making activity, rather than an answer-
delivering model” (Van Herzele et al. 2005, p. 178). With GS and deprivation there

24
are many spatially influencing variables which can affect the results of this study.
This study uses GIS to digitize the GS, fit the raw census data spatially to maps for
carrying out Moran’s I tests.

3.4. Choice of Variables


3.4.1. Deprivation
The deprivation score was chosen because it gives an indication of deprivation per
Area Unit (AU) and Mesh Block (MB). It is given in a scalar form with a mean of a
thousand points. Scores below a thousand points are less deprived and above this
value are more deprived AU/MB. The following table shows the factors used to
determine the index score.

Dimension of Variable description (in order of decreasing weight)


deprivation
Income People aged 18-64 receiving a means tested benefit
Income People living in equivalised* households with income below an
income threshold
Owned home People not living in own home
Support People aged <65 living in a single parent family
Employment People aged 18-64 unemployed
Qualifications People aged 18-64 without any qualifications
Living space People living in equivalised* households below a bedroom
occupancy threshold
Communication People with no access to a telephone
Transport People with no access to a car
*Equivalisation: methods used to control for household composition
(Salmond et al. 2007).

A further three variables within the deprivation index were chosen for study because
they might have a substantial relationship with GS that could be affecting the
deprivation index result.

3.4.2. Income, Ethnicity, Age


International studies have shown a strong relationship between GS and income (see
section 2.3 for further details). Income and education have a strong relationship,
however income can be equated with an education level so little additional
information would be gained by examining education as a variable. Income is also a

25
surrogate for both cultural and economic status (Kinzig et al. 2005). The median
income in each AU and MB will be obtained which is in line with past studies
(Heynen 2003; Solecki & Welch 1995).
International studies have has also shown that ethnicity has a relationship with GS
(see section 2.3 for further details). Minority ethnic groups, which are commonly
small, have less say in policies surrounding parks (Comber et al. 2005; McConnachie
et al. 2008; Omer et al. 2005), which is a reason behind the lack of GS in deprived
areas. Ethnicity in the census data are split into four categories; Pakeha (white people,
mostly of European descent), Maori (indigenous people of New Zealand), Pacific
Islanders (migrants from the Pacific Islands) and Other (migrants from elsewhere).
US studies designated each block area as either predominantly white ( > 50% white)
or predominantly non-white ( <50% white) (Solecki & Welch 1995), which this study
will follow so the results are comparable.
Age has an important link with GS as different age groups have different views
towards GS. Age (see section 2.3) can affect the type of GS valued and which UGS
are more likely to be used. This will affect the distribution of the population as age
groups will cluster around the GS they prefer. There could also be an opposite effect
where age groups will change the GS around them to better suit their prefaces. The
median age data was obtained showing whether the AU/MB has a predominately
young or old population (Sanesi & Chiarello 2006; Seeland et al. 2009).

3.4.3. Slope and Coastline


The slope of the hills around Wellington city is a variable to be considered as the
amount of GS increases with the degree of steepness (Davies et al. 2008) however its
potential uses will also decrease. This is not true of all possible users and depends on
age of the user as to whether a steep sloped GS has a higher amenity value than a flat
one.
The coastline or distance from water was tested to see if it has an effect on the amount
of GS. Coastlines have effects in that they inhibit vegetation growth due to salt from
the spray of the sea. Beaches have an amenity value that could replace the amenity
value of GS in the area. GS is also displaced from human infrastructure, for example
docks and expensive compact high-rise apartments which are compact. This could
lessen the potential relationship between GS and socio-economic values.
3.5. Data Sets

26
3.5.1. Green Spaces
A vector layer of UGS in Wellington was digitised using a Wacom tablet in ArcGIS
using 2006 aerial photography from Wellington City council (WCC) as base aerial
image (Figure 2). Eight of the AU were already digitized by staff and students at the
university while I completed the remaining 16 AU. These 24 AU comprise 37.5% of
the total number of AU within the Wellington city limits. Time constraints are why
only 37.5% of the AU were completed at the time analysis work was started. The
periphery of Wellington City was defined by AU, as including large patches of rural
GS on the outside of urban areas may erroneously inflate the amount of UGS
(McConnachie et al. 2008). However since it is still within a close distance from the
city centre, the statistics may underestimate the amount of GS available to individuals
in AU bordering the rural area.
All trees, parks, back yards, greenbelts were included in the GS, with no size limit on
the area of GS as in other studies (Pedlowski et al. 2003). In this study all vegetation
is taken into account because they perform many of the same functions as trees
(Rowntree 1986), which many studies have focused solely on (Des Rosiers et al.
2002; Heynen 2003; McPherson et al. 1997; Tyrvainen’s 1997). The GS data was
calculated to find the percentage GS per AU and MB for Wellington.
Open Spaces (OS) which are parks maintained by WCC were obtained from WCC,
Parks and Gardens department. This will be used to test whether there is a difference
between the amount of public and private GS. The OS data was also calculated to find
the percentage OS per AU and MB for Wellington.

27
Figure 2: Area Units chosen for study site.

3.5.2. Census Data


2006 Census data was obtained from Statistics New Zealand and was linked to AU
and MB also supplied by Statistics New Zealand was input into ArcGIS 9.3. The
variables studied were deprivation, income, ethnicity and age. These last three
variables are contained within the deprivation index and will be used with the
deprivation index to see if they have strong relationship with GS.

28
3.5.3. Other Data
A raster layer was obtained from the Victoria University Database (VUW) database
which was gathered from various sources, showed the slope around Wellington city.
A vector coastline layer, showing the outline of the coast around Wellington harbour
and Cook Strait was also obtained from the VUW database.

3.5.4. Data Errors


Census data, especially at the MB level, can be missing due to privacy laws as there
are only a few individuals residing within the MB. The data is not released by
Statistics New Zealand which results in MB having no data (or “..C”) for variables,
like income. This could result in a skewed relationship as some MB are left out of the
study entirely.
There were several different creators of the GS data which could lead to inconsistency
in GS coverage. Percentage GS data could be over or under estimated due to this
human error in its creation. Due to limitations on time GS data from the rest of the
AU in Wellington was not created. This results in a conclusion that will not be
representative of the whole Wellington area.
MAUP (Modifiable Arial Unit Problem) is where boundaries can change, in this case
AU and MB, and also scale or level which can cause variations in the results. This is
somewhat remedied by looking at both AU and MB levels to see if there is a
difference in the results.

3.6. Analysis
To see if there was a relationship between GS and the deprivation score, two maps
were made for visual comparison. Graphs were made of GS against the socio-
economic variables to see if there were any obvious relationships between the two
variables.
To statistically determine if there is a relationship between GS and the socio-
economic variables Pearson’s correlation coefficient was used. The results give the
strength of the correlation (r value) and the significance of the correlation (p-value).
The p-value is grouped at under 1%, 5% and 10% significance. Many social
geographers use the 5% (0.05) significant as the magic number the p-value should be
below for it to be counted as significant.

29
However Pearson’s correlation operates under some assumptions; data originated
from a random sample, data are interval or ratio, and there is a linear relationship
between the two datasets. If we wish to carry out a hypothesis test or calculate a
confidence interval, it places further assumptions on the data. For hypothesis testing at
least one of the datasets must be normal. For confidence intervals both datasets must
be normal. A K-S test (Kolmogorov-Smirnov test) was carried out to see if the data
used in this study are normal.
An alternative is to use a non-parametric Spearman’s correlation coefficient. This test
ranks the data and calculates the correlation coefficient on the reworked ranks.
Spearman’s correlation uses a monotonic relationship where the relationship can
increase or decrease over the span of the data rather than Pearson’s strict linear
relationship. The results give the strength of the correlation (r value) and the
significance of the correlation (p-value).
However both Pearson’s and Spearman’s correlation assume the data are independent.
This assumes the placement data at one point will not affect the placement of other
data. For example, GS in one area would not have an effect on the placement of other
GS. However a lot of spatial data displays dependence or spatial autocorrelation.
To test for this spatial autocorrelation, Moran’s I test was used. This test measures
dispersion, clustering or randomness of the data. Moran’s I has values between -1 and
+1. Zero or close to 0, means no correlation exists between neighbouring values or the
values are randomly distributed. Near +1 indicates clustering of the data and values
near -1 indicates dispersion. A p-value was also calculated which expresses the
significance of the spatial autocorrelation values. If the data is clustered, this shows
that the spatial data are dependant.
Where the data was clustered, a software program called SAM (Spatial Analysis in
Macroecology) was used to calculate a correlation co-efficient which accounts for
spatial autocorrelation. Clifford et al.’s (1989) method was used with equal distance
classes as there are not any spatial outliers. This method reduces the degrees of
freedom to account for data dependence. The degrees of freedom are corrected as data
dependence usually overestimates the correlation between variables and,
consequently, confidence intervals are much narrower and p-values higher than they
should be. This may cause an error in judging the statistical significance of the p-
value. The corrected p-value was calculated to take into account the spatial
autocorrelation.

30
We are not entirely sure of SAM’s use of Clifford et al.’s (1989) model. SAM seems
to fit the data to a model which preserves the linear trend but interferes with the
ranking of the data. There are possible issues with the accuracy of the corrected
degrees of freedom. Using SAM we can only show the relationship between the
variables of interest may seem stronger than it actually is. This can be done by taking
the spatial autocorrelation into account by reducing the degrees of freedom.
These correlation tests will be conducted at the AU and MB level between GS and the
socio-economic variables. This accounts for uniform data AU provide which can be
seen at the MB level. The correlation tests will be done again at the AU and MB level
between OS and the socio-economic variables. This tests if there was any difference
between the total amount of GS and the publicly available GS.

3.6.1. Other Variables


The slope of the hills around Wellington city is a variable to be considered as the
amount of GS increases the possible amenity value decreases. Finding slope requires
a calculation on a raster dataset showing height, where each cell had a height value
associated with it. Conversion to polygon and an intersect with GS was needed to find
the slope within each GS and the percentage slope. This will show how much of
Wellington GS is on varying degrees of slope.
The coastline or distance from water was tested to see if it has an effect on the amount
of GS. The coastline was buffered in 100m bands from the sea, then the percentage of
UGS will be obtained for each band. This will determine how much coastline has an
effect on GS as it moves closer to the sea.

3.7. Limitations of Approach


There are limitations to the approaches used in this study which can affect the
relationship between GS and socio-economic variables. The relationship could be
under or over-estimated due to this effect.
Interfering variables in the GS, socio-economic relationship, like slope and coastline
distance are included but not statistically tested in this study. Variables like house
prices, gender, crime and attitudes towards GS, to name a few, are not included due to
data constraints. These variables could have an big influence on the environmental
equity of UGS in Wellington city.

31
The GS data that was obtained is only 37.5% of the AUs in Wellington city which
does not represent the whole area and may skew the results. Rural areas that border
AU can throw out the results as people can use the rural GS instead of UGS in their
AU. This also affects the spatial autocorrelation test which is looking at clustering
without taking account for GS outside the data set. Due to limitations on time GS data
from the rest of the AU in Wellington was not created (see section 3.5). This results in
conclusion that will not be representative of the whole Wellington area.
Privacy laws prevent Statistics New Zealand from releasing data at the MB level
which leaves in holes in the data. This could result in a skewed relationship as some
MB have to be left out of the study entirely.
MAUP (Modifiable Arial Unit Problem) is where boundaries can change, in this case
AU and MB, and also scale or level which can cause variations in the results. This is
somewhat remedied by looking at both AU and MB levels to see if there is a
difference in the results.
The datasets is taken from 2006 so it is a snap shot in time, the data are already out of
date for example a park near the government buildings has been cleared away to make
room for a the new high court.
We are not entirely sure of SAM’s use of Clifford et al.’s (1989) model. There are
possible issues with the accuracy of the corrected degrees of freedom so the
relationship between the variables of interest may seem stronger than it actually is.

3.8. Summary
The relationship between GS and socio-economic variables needs to be statistically
proven. Using Pearson’s correlation coefficient is not appropriate under the
assumption of normality or data independence. Spearman’s correlation coefficient
may suit the distribution of the data however does not account for possible spatial
autocorrelation. Spatial autocorrelation can be tested using Moran’s I for the all
variables. SAM uses a model by Clifford et al. (1989) to account for the spatial
autocorrelation in its equation. However it is an indication, since we do not know how
SAM applies Clifford’s et al.’s (1989) model. This is an important limitation to
remember when looking at the results.

32
4. Results
This chapter sets out the results calculated in this study between GS and socio-
economic variables. Tests for both Pearson’s and Spearman’s correlation coefficient
were undertaken. Spatial autocorrelation was tested and correlation taking into
account spatial autocorrelation was completed. The AU level is shown in the first part
of the results followed by the MB results. Open Spaces (OS) results for AU and MB
respectively are shown after the GS data. The results for the variables of distance to
coastline and slope are looked at but not statistically tested at the end.

4.1. Green Spaces and Socio-economic Variables at AU level


The percentage GS and deprivation score were mapped to see if there was a
relationship on the AU level. Figure 3 and Figure 4 show the distribution of GS in
2006 and deprivation score for Area Units for 2006 in Wellington respectively.
Visually, the figures indicate high percentage GS and low deprivation often occur in
the same AU.

33
34
35
Figure 7: GS percent versus median age forFigure
AU. 8: GS percent versus ethnicity for AU.
The socio-economic variables were graphed against GS to see if there was an
indication of a relationship. Figure 5 does not show any indication of a linear
relationship between deprivation score and GS, however the deprivation score has a
break in it at the 1000 score mean. It appears there are two different data groups either
side of the mean score where two different lines could be fitted. Figure 6 and figure 8
show no indication of a linear relationship between GS, median Income and GS,
Ethnicity respectively. Figure 7 shows indication of a positive linear relationship
between median age and GS with AU that have an older population having a higher
amount of GS.

4.1.1. Correlation
Pearson’s r test was used to see if there is a correlation between the socio-economic
variables and UGS. The problem with Pearson’s is it assumes the data are normal
which does not hold with this data, so Spearman’s correlation was also tested.
Spearman’s correlation assumes that the data are independent and not spatially
autocorrelated.

Probability Probability Deg. of


Pearson's r Spearman's r Number
(p-value) (p-value) Freedom
Deprivation -0.422 .040** -0.504 .011** 24 22
Score
Age 0.358 .086* 0.553 .004*** 24 22
Ethnicity 0.217 .307 0.269 .204 24 22
Income 0.023 .915 0.054 .742 24 22
*, **, *** indicates statistical significance at 10%, 5% and 1% respectively
Table 1: Pearson’s and Spearman’s correlation coefficients for GS at AU level

The result from Pearson’s r in Table 1 shows there is moderate correlation between
deprivation and GS. The rest of the socio-economic variables r values are weak
meaning a weak correlation exists between GS and the chosen socio-economic
variables. Only deprivation score has a significant relationship (p-value below 0.05),
however age is significant at the 10% level with the Pearson’s correlation.
Spearman’s has a higher r value because it assumes the data are monotonic rather than
linear. This results in age joining deprivation with a moderate correlation bracket
while ethnicity and income still have a weak correlation. The p-values falls across all

36
the variables with the p-value for age drops drastically resulting in it falling under the
5% threshold. There were only 24 AU tested which is a low number and could affect
the precision of the result.

To test if the data are spatially autocorrelated and Spearman’s correlation can be used,
a Moran’s I test is run. Table 2 shows GS is weakly clustered while the deprivation
score has a moderate amount of clustering, the rest of the variables fall between this
range. The p-values are all below the 1% significant level so we can be highly
confident that the data are clustered.

Moran’s I Variance p-value


GS 0.388077 0.020366 0.002495***
Deprivation 0.607039 0.022136 0.000012***
Score
Age 0.451252 0.021021 0.000644***
Ethnicity 0.521919 0.021891 0.000133***
Income 0.400081 0.022117 0.002858***
*, **, *** indicates statistical significance at 10%, 5% and 1% respectively
Table 2: Spatial autocorrelation (Moran’s I) for GS at AU level

4.1.2. Correlation Accounting for Spatial Autocorrelation


A spatial correlation is run in SAM using a model developed by Clifford et al. (1989)
which will account for spatial autocorrelation. The degrees of freedom are
recalculated to account for the presence of spatial autocorrelation.

*, **, *** indicates statistical significance at 10%, 5% and 1%


Corrected respectively
Probability of Corrected
Corrected
Pearson's r F Deg. of Pearson's r F Probability
(Pearson's r F)
Freedom (p-value) (p-value)
Deprivation 4.981 3.077 14.209 0.036** 0.101
Score
Age 3.389 2.238 15.189 0.079* 0.155
37
Ethnicity 1.142 0.752 15.139 0.297 0.4
Income 0.012 0.007 14.072 0.913 0.932
Table 3: Pearson’s correlation accounting for autocorrelation in GS at AU level

Table 3 shows the p-value for Pearson's r F is slightly increased from Spearman’s r
across all variables, however except for age which moves from 1% to 5%
significance, the rest remain in the same bracket. The corrected p-value to account for
spatial auto-correlation increases all the p-values to over the 10% significance level.
This shows that the results may not be significant when you account for spatial
autocorrelation. The degrees of freedom are between 14 and 15 for the variables down
from 22 before the calculation.

4.2. Green Spaces and Socio-economic Variables at MB level.


The percentage GS and deprivation score were mapped to see if there was a
relationship at the MB level. Figure 9 and figure 10 shows the distribution of GS in
2006 and deprivation score in 2006 for MB in Wellington respectively. Visually, the
figures indicate that high percentage GS and low deprivation often occur in the same
MB, however it is not as clear as the AU.

38
39
40
The socio-economic variables were graphed against GS to see if there was any
indication of a relationship. Figure 11 indicates a slight negative relationship between
deprivation score and GS with deprived area having less GS. Figure 12 indicates a
slight positive relationship between age and GS while figure 13 and 14 show no
indication of a linear relationship.

4.2.1. Correlation
Pearson’s r test was used to see if there is a correlation between the socio-economic
variables and UGS. The problem with Pearson’s is it assumes the data are normal
which does not hold with this data so Spearman’s correlation was used. Spearman’s
correlation assumes that the data are independent and not spatially autocorrelated.

Probability Probability Deg. of


Pearson's r Spearman's r Number
(p-value) (p-value) Freedom
Deprivation -0.339 <.001*** -0.446 <.001*** 862 860
Score
Age 0.154 <.001*** 0.226 <.001*** 701 699
Ethnicity 0.19 <.001*** 0.245 <.001*** 719 717
Income 0.157 <.001*** 0.159 <.001*** 604 602
*, **, *** indicates statistical significance at 10%, 5% and 1% respectively
Table 4: Pearson’s and Spearman’s correlation coefficients for GS at MB level

Table 4 shows the result from Pearson’s r shows deprivation has a weak to moderate
correlation with GS. The rest of the socio-economic variables r values are very weak
meaning a weak correlation exists between GS and the chosen socio-economic
variables. However all the variables are very significant with the p-value below the
1% threshold. Spearman’s has a higher r value because it assumes the data are
monotonic rather than linear. This results in all the variables taking a small step
upwards so that deprivation has a firm moderate correlation, however the rest of the
variables still remain in a weak correlation with GS. The p-values across the variables
remain very significant at below 1% threshold. The larger number of MB compared to
AU gives a more precise result. The results are also more precise at MB level since
the data is not generalised over a large area like in AU.

To test if the data are spatially autocorrelated and the Spearman’s correlation can be
used, a Moran’s I test is run. Table 5 shows GS is moderately clustered along with

41
deprivation while the rest of the variables are weakly clustered. The p-values are all
below the 1% significant level so we can be highly confident that the data are
clustered.
Moran’s Index Variance p-value
GS 0.580478 0.000042 0.000000***
Deprivation 0.453660 0.000042 0.000000***
Score
Age 0.216895 0.000048 0.000000***
Ethnicity 0.232749 0.000046 0.000000***
Income 0.365943 0.000159 0.000000***
*, **, *** indicates statistical significance at 10%, 5% and 1% respectively
Table 5: Spatial autocorrelation (Moran’s I) for GS at MB level

4.2.2. Correlation Accounting for Spatial Autocorrelation


Spatial correlation was run in SAM using a model developed by Clifford et al. (1989)
which will account for spatial autocorrelation. The degrees of freedom were
recalculated to account for the presence of spatial autocorrelation.
Corrected Corrected Probability of Corrected
Pearson's
(Pearson's Deg. of Pearson's r F Probability
rF
r F) Freedom (p-value) (p-value)
Deprivation 111.444 5.343 41.277 <.001*** 0.026**
Score
Age 16.934 1.911 79.017 <.001*** 0.171
Ethnicity 26.803 2.867 76.811 <.001*** 0.094*
Income 15.334 1.435 56.425 <.001*** 0.236
*, **, *** indicates statistical significance at 10%, 5% and 1% respectively
Table 6: Pearson’s correlation accounting for autocorrelation in GS at MB level

Table 6 shows the p-value for Pearson's r F are all very significant at below the 1%
threshold. The corrected p-value to account for spatial auto-correlation increases the
p-values to over the 10% significance bracket for age and income. Ethnicity is still
just under the 10% significance while deprivation is under the 5% significance
threshold. The degrees of freedom are in the range of 41-80 down from a range of
602-860 before the calculation.

4.3. Open Spaces and Socio-economic Variables at AU level.

42
Open Spaces (OS) will be used to test whether there is a difference between the
amount of public and private GS. Large amounts of private GS make a substantial
contribution to UGS which are mainly owned by the wealthy (see section 2.5). This
has an effect on the deprived population of a city as they rely on public GS since they
have none of there own. Consideration of the amount of public GS is needed in testing
total UGS as most of it may be on private land displacing any claim that there is GS
equity in a city.

The percentage OS and deprivation score were mapped to see if there was an
indication of a relationship on the AU level. Figure 15 and figure 16 show the
distribution of OS in 2006 and deprivation score in 2006 for AU in Wellington
respectively. Unlike GS a indication of a relationship is less obvious between
percentage OS and deprivation at the AU level.

43
44
45
The socio-economic variables were graphed against OS to see if there was any
relationship. All the figures 17-19, indicate no obvious linear relationship between the
deprivation and median age against GS. It is interesting to note that the deprivation
score has break in it at the 1000 score mean again. Two different lines could be fitted
to the groups of data either side of the break. Figure 18 and 20 indicate a negative
relationship between ethnicity and income when graphed against GS.

4.3.1. Correlation
Pearson’s r test was used to see if there is a correlation between the socio-economic
variables and UGS. Table 7 shows the result from Pearson’s correlation where all the
variables have a weak relationship against OS with deprivation the weakest. The only
significant p-value is from income and it just scrapes inside the 10% bracket.
Spearman’s r resulted in all the variables taking a small decrease except for age. This
may because it assumes the data are monotonic which from the results it does not
seem to be the case. The p-values vary greatly so that age and income are under the
10% threshold while deprivation and ethnicity is above.

Probability Probability Deg. of


Pearson's r Spearman's r Number
(p-value) (p-value) Freedom
Deprivation 0.058 .743 -0.03 .921 24 22
Score
Age 0.252 .236 0.36 .083* 24 22
Ethnicity -0.249 .240 -0.219 .304 24 22
Income -0.35 .094* -0.321 .096* 24 22
*, **, *** indicates statistical significance at 10%, 5% and 1% respectively
Table 7: Pearson’s and Spearman’s correlation coefficients for OS at AU level

To test if the data are spatially autocorrelated and the Spearman’s r can be used, a
Moran’s I test is run. Table 8 shows GS is weakly clustered however its p-values is at
the 10% significant level so we cannot be confident that it is significant. All the other
variables are moderately clustered with p-values below the 1% significant level so we
can be highly confident that the data are clustered.

Moran’s Index Variance p-value


OS 0.234181 0.021708 0.059491*
Deprivation 0.607039 0.022136 0.000012***

46
Score
Age 0.451252 0.021021 0.000644***
Ethnicity 0.521919 0.021891 0.000133***
Income 0.400081 0.022117 0.002858***
*, **, *** indicates statistical significance at 10%, 5% and 1% respectively
Table 8: Spatial autocorrelation (Moran’s I) for OS at AU level

4.3.2. Correlation Accounting for Spatial Autocorrelation


A spatial correlation is run in SAM using a model developed by Clifford et al. (1989)
which will account for spatial autocorrelation. The degrees of freedom are
recalculated to account for the presence of spatial autocorrelation.
Corrected Probability of Corrected
Pearson's Corrected Deg.
(Pearson's r Pearson's r F Probability
rF of Freedom
F) (p-value) (p-value)
Deprivation 0.078 5.343 16.809 0.783 0.815
Score
Age 1.553 1.911 16.029 0.226 0.314
Ethnicity 1.527 2.867 16.209 0.23 0.315
Income 3.208 1.435 16.266 0.087* 0.151
*, **, *** indicates statistical significance at 10%, 5% and 1% respectively
Table 9: Pearson’s correlation accounting for autocorrelation in OS at AU level

Table 9 shows the p-value for Pearson's r F are not significant apart from income at
the 10% threshold. The corrected p-value to account for spatial auto-correlation
increases the p-values to over the 10% significance bracket for all the variables. The
degrees of freedom are all around the 16 from 22 degrees of freedom before the
calculation.

4.4. Open Spaces and Socio-economic Variables at MB level.


The percentage OS and deprivation score were mapped to see if there was a
relationship on the MB level. Figure 21 and figure 22 show the distribution of OS in
2006 and deprivation score in 2006 for MB in Wellington respectively. Unlike GS,
the figures do not indicate they contain any relationship between percentage OS and
deprivation at the MB level.

47
48
49
50
The socio-economic variables were graphed against OS to see if there was any
relationship. Figure 25 shows no indication of a relationship between median income
and OS at the MB level. Again it is interesting to note the amount of MB that are on
the $100,000 mark. Both figure 23 and 24 indicate a weak negative relationship
between deprivation and income against OS. Figure 26 indicates a positive
relationship between ethnicity and OS.

4.4.1. Correlation
Pearson’s r test was used to see if there is a correlation between the socio-economic
variables and UGS. The problem with Pearson’s is it assumes the data are normal
which does not hold with this data so Spearman’s correlation is used. Spearman’s
correlation assumes that the data are independent and not spatially autocorrelated.

Probability Probability Deg. of


Pearson's r Spearman's r Number
(p-value) (p-value) Freedom
Deprivation -0.019 .582 -0.045 .049** 862 860
Score
Age 0.114 .002** 0.069 .001*** 701 699
Ethnicity -0.061 .100* -0.047 .063* 719 717
Income -0.013 .756 <.001 .720 604 602
*, **, *** indicates statistical significance at 10%, 5% and 1% respectively
Table 10: Pearson’s and Spearman’s correlation coefficients for OS at MB level

The result in table 10 from Pearson’s r shows all the variables have a very weak
relationship with OS. Age and Ethnicity have 5 and 10 percent significance
respectively, however Ethnicity sits right on the line with a p-value of .100.
Deprivation and income are not significant at all with values way above the 10%
threshold. Spearman’s r resulted in the data going up and down proving this data are
not linear or monotonic. The p-values vary greatly between the correlations as well
with deprivation taking a drop from .582 to .049. These are unusual and contrasting
results which could be attributed to the “..C” problem that removes the MB data
resulting in a groups of high or low OS percent being removed. This could provide a
relationship which would not be there if all the MB were included and explain the
wide range of results.

To test if the data are spatially autocorrelated and the Spearman’s r can be used, a

51
Moran’s I test is run. In table 11 OS is very weakly clustered however its p-value is
very low so we can be confident that it is significant. All the other variables are
moderate to weakly clustered with p-values below the 1% significant level so we can
be highly confident that the data are weakly clustered.
Moran’s Index Variance p-value
OS 0.058681 0.000042 0.000000***
Deprivation 0.453660 0.000042 0.000000***
Score
Age 0.216895 0.000048 0.000000***
Ethnicity 0.232749 0.000046 0.000000***
Income 0.365943 0.000159 0.000000***
*, **, *** indicates statistical significance at 10%, 5% and 1% respectively
Table 11: Spatial autocorrelation (Moran’s I) for OS at MB level

4.4.2. Correlation Accounting for Spatial Autocorrelation


A spatial correlation is run in SAM using a model developed by Clifford et al. (1989)
which will account for spatial autocorrelation. The degrees of freedom are
recalculated to account for the presence of spatial autocorrelation.
Probability of Corrected
Pearson's Corrected Corrected Deg.
Pearson's r F Probability (p-
rF (Pearson's r F) of Freedom
(p-value) value)
Deprivation 0.304 0.138 392.042 0.581 0.71
Score
Age 9.258 6.779 512.55 0.002*** 0.009***
Ethnicity 2.709 1.809 479.503 0.1* 0.179
Income 0.097 0.055 344.304 0.755 0.814
*, **, *** indicates statistical significance at 10%, 5% and 1% respectively
Table 12: Pearson’s correlation accounting for autocorrelation in GS at MB level

In table 12 the p-value for Pearson's r F are not significant for deprivation and income,
while age and ethnicity are under the 1 and 10 percent threshold respectively. The
corrected p-value to account for spatial auto-correlation increases the p-values so only
age is under the threshold at 1%. The degrees of freedom range from 344 to 512 drop
from a range of 602-860 before the calculation.

4.5. Other Influencing Variables

52
Other variables may also affect the relationship between GS and socio-
economic variables. Accounting for these other variables is important
as these may have an effect on the distribution of GS. This section
introduces two such variables but due to time constrains did not
investigate if a statistically valid relationship exists.

4.5.1. Coastline
Coastline could have an effect on the amount of GS because of
biophysical factors like salt spray or human factors like need
for dockyards. The beaches may also act as an amenity that
competes with GS resulting in lesser amounts of GS needed.
Figure 27 gives a sense of how far GS is to the coastline in
kilometre wide blocks.

53
Figure 27: GS distance to the coastline.

Distance from coast Percent GS


(km)
0-1 16.33
1-2 26.13
2-3 23.72
3-4 16.24
4-5 11.26
5-6 6.31
Table 13: Percentage distance of GS from the coastline

54
The amount of UGS peaks 2km in from the coastline then decreases from there on out
to maximum distance of 6km in this study site (see table 13). Most of the GS lies
within the 1-3km band which covers most of the greenbelts. However, only 6 of the
24 AU borders reach the coastline in the study site. Half of them are covered in docks
and land that was man made by infilling (McConchie et al. 2000). The other half is
covered in high-rise apartment blocks backed by steep cliffs. This could explain the
low percentage of GS reported. A larger study site is needed with particular interest in
AU with coastlines on their borders.

4.5.2. Slope
Slope is another important variable as this affects the users of GS. This also can have
a bearing on deprivation since if the GS are uniformly spread but all the deprived
areas have steeper and more unusable GS environmental injustice remains. Figure 28
shows that there are varying degrees of GS spread out across the slopes of the study
site.

55
Figure 28: Slope of GS in Wellington.

Slope Groups (Degrees) Percent GS


Flat - Gentle Sloped (0-9) 17.48
Gentle Sloped – Moderately Sloped 31.36
(10-19)
Moderately Sloped - Steep (20-29) 38.33
Steep – Very Steep (30-39) 12.14
Very Steep – Extreme (40-53) 0.67

Table 14: Grouped percentage slope of Green Spaces

56
Table 14 shows the highest percentage band is moderately - steep sloped (20-29O),
with gentle sloped – moderately sloped (10-19 O) not far behind. The slope covered in
the study site is diverse due to Wellington’s topography. Figure 28 indicates that there
is a good spread of flat and steep slopes around Wellington. However there are
missing flat areas to the south (Island Bay) and around the airport to the east. A study
site of all of Wellington is needed to confirm there is a diverse spread of GS and
whether there is more GS on flat or sloped areas.

4.6. Summary
GS is clustered within Wellington with indications showing wealthy areas have more
GS compared to deprived areas. The results showed that OS is not clustered but
random throughout Wellington. This is important as it bringing to light the difference
in spread between public and private GS. To find these results we discredited normal
correlation methods as they do not take into account spatial autocorrelation. To
account for the spatial autocorrelation a software program called SAM was used. The
corrected p-values were pushed over the 5% threshold in all but a few cases at MB
level. However there is an issue with SAM (see section 3.6), so the results should be
used as an indication rather than conclusive proof of a relationship between GS/OS
and socio-economic values.

57
5. Discussion
Sustainability’s three Es of environment, economy and equity can readily be applied
to the environmental justice of UGS. Equitable distribution of UGS across different
social and economic groups can be beneficial for the long term sustainability of
Wellington city. This chapter looks at the relationship between GS and socio-
economic variables to see if they are consistent with international studies. It then
looks at the other influencing variables and the effects they have on the GS-socio-
economic relationship. How this relationship affects local planning and local
government is discussed at the end of the chapter.

5.1. Green Spaces and Deprivation


The data in this study indicates that there is more GS in less deprived areas compared
to deprived areas. This is consistent with international studies where deprived areas
have less GS (Bennett 2004; Coley et al. 1995; Kong et al. 2007; Solecki & Welch
1995). However the relationship was moderate to weak. This could be because new
wealthy areas have a lack of large trees in their GS since they have not had time to
grow, as was found in Heynen et al.’s (2006) study. Wellington’s topography has
increased GS because of reduced high densification of urban areas outside of the flat
city centre due to the difficultly of development on steep slopes. Due to Wellington’s
relatively low population and many public sector jobs, deprivation is not hugely
spread across the possible deprivation index scores, which could account for the weak
relationship.
OS were not clustered in Wellington, however OS were also not dispersed but
random. In this study, OS can be ruled out as a factor in the GS-deprivation
relationship. However, further study is needed to confirm this is true for all of
Wellington City. The relationship is important as GS are clustered showing that the
clustering is due to private GS.
Since GS and deprivation have a weak relationship at the AU level, tests were done to
see if there was a relationship at the smaller, MB scale. Noting that MAUP is
important since the boundaries and scales change causing variations between the AU
and MB results. Since AU cover a large area with one uniform value which could
result in a high percent of GS, even if all the GS are situated in one corner of the AU
reducing access. A single value for AU also hides areas of low and high GS which are

58
only revealed at the MB level. For example, the maps on AU GS percent (see figure 2
and 8) showed the Karori area had low UGS in the center shopping district which was
not obvious at the AU level. This small scale also highlights access issues if there is a
lack of GS on one side of an AU. MB give a more detailed result but due to privacy
concerns about the release of data for small groups, hits the “..C” problem. This
means each variable of the MB data has different numbers of MB ranging from 604-
862. This could account for the variable results for the OS MB data, if a lot of high or
low GS MB were removed. It is more probable that OS may not be as clustered as GS
but better spread.
The conclusion drawn is that there is an indication of a relationship between GS and
deprivation in Wellington. Since we cannot be certain how SAM applies Clifford et
al.’s (1986) model, we can only report the results as an indication that there is a
relationship (see section 3.6).

5.2. Socio-Economic Variables


Age may have a relationship with GS, however median age was used which could
skew the results if there were a few very old or very young people. Consideration of
age is needed as older or disabled people living in the CBD may only be able to gain
access to near by GS. While students in halls of residence should be able to gain
access to GS that are further away. It is interesting to note that the median age does
not drop below eighteen even though there are many young families with children.
Gender is also not accounted for in this study which can have an effect on what type
of GS is preferred (see section 2.3). Crime is also another variable that was not tested
and can affect those who use the GS (see section 2.3).
Median income was used which could have an effect on the results if there were one
or two very rich people in the area. It was also noted in the MB graphs that there was
no income above $100,000 and many of MB that were on the $100,000 level, which
could mean there is an upper limit in how the data was categorised. Income has an
effect on GS in that wealthy people can afford more land for GS and their income
allows them to buy and maintain gardens. A private GS deprivation occurs for
deprived groups in the community. Efforts to offset this deprivation can happen if
private owners of GS allow people to use their land for sport and recreational
activities. Community gardens also offset the disparity between public and private

59
GS, since there is no need for deprived people to buy the land for a private GS as they
have a semi-private garden to call their own.
This study tested ethnicity against GS to see if the percentage of white people in each
AU or MB had more GS than non-white people. The results indicate that white people
have more GS however the results are not conclusive. This test is in line with
American studies but assumes all non-white people are equally deprived, which is not
true. Tests against percentage Maori or other ethnic groups per AU/MB and
percentage GS in Wellington could be conducted to confirm this. The difference with
Wellington and the international studies is there are no large inner-city pockets of
poverty that people find hard to leave (.e.g. Bennett 2004; Groenewegen et al. 2006;
Smoyer-Tomic et al. 2004). Wellington simply is not big enough and its topography
is too adverse to allow these large deprived areas to form. However there may be
small areas where there are high population and deprivation coupled with low GS.
This could exacerbate the situation especially in the inner city where there are high
rise flats.

5.3. Other Influencing Variables


The distance GS is to the coastline has an effect on the amount of GS. This
distribution could be due to the history of Wellington city. When European colonists
settled in Wellington they did so along the coastline so these areas have been altered
the most which affected the distribution of GS (McConchie et al. 2000). The lack of
GS may not affect wealthy people living near the coast as they have access to cars,
which could skew the results. However, New Zealand has a high rate of car
ownership, one of the highest rates internationally due to poor access to public
transport in most areas (Witten 2006). Though Wellington does have better public
transport than most other cities in New Zealand, there is still a high rate of car
ownership.
Rural areas that border AU can throw out the results as people can use the rural GS
instead of UGS in their AU. This study is looking at percentage of UGS for the
specified study area, if total GS was looked at then rural areas would be included and
GS would rise even higher further from the coast.
This raises the issue of access as people in deprived areas could be within walking
distance to rural GS they can utilise. This also affects the spatial autocorrelation test

60
which is looking at clustering without taking account for GS outside the data set. Due
to limitations on time GS data from the rest of the AU in Wellington was not created
(see section 3.5). This means any conclusions found in this study will not be
representative of the entire Wellington region.
The slope map (see figure 28) showed there was not a lot of flat GS. Most GS is in the
20-30 degree range which is not easy going for the elderly or disabled (see section
2.5). There are many flat areas dispersed throughout the AU. However, how busy they
are and what type of park is also an issue. Flat parks possibly tend to be sport fields
rather than native bush which are predominantly on steep hills. There is also an effect
on the type of vegetation in the GS, for example a GS covered in gorse or dense bush
is unlikely to be used; however there are still ecological and passive values in these
types of GS.
Slope also has an economic effect. In one of Nicholls et al.’s (2005) study sites, there
was a greenway with very rough and steep topography, the property values bordering
this GS showed no increase (Nicholls et al. 2005). This is an interesting result as
many of Wellington’s suburbs are on steep topography. The slope tends to reduce the
amenity value of the GS while GS area actually increases (Davies et al. 2008).

5.4. Planning
Sustainable planning is needed as housing developments clear away most of the
vegetation and even top soil before building to allow easy access for building
equipment (McKinney 2006).This can be seen with nearly no large trees in new
subdivisions compared to older urban areas (McKinney 2006). The impacts of
urbanization on the environment has led to increased interest in sustainable land use
policies and protecting undeveloped land in areas currently experiencing development
pressure (Foley et al. 2005). This is being undone with the changes to the RMA
(Clause 52) where there are serious doubts about the trimming of trees and killing
trees by over taking their root zone (Council 2009). This is contrary to the purpose
and principles of the RMA’s sustainable management outlook (Council 2009). In
Wellington ‘special’ trees worthy of protection have been listed which gets around
this problem, However, what counts as a special tree is still subjective. The size of the
GS is another issue with studies providing conflicting results on what size is best (see
section 2.5).

61
5.5. Environmental Justice
UGS equity is an important issue because of the range of social, economic and health
benefits gained. The social injustice of ignoring this GS equity can decrease cultural
and generational interactions and increase green amnesia. Since GS has an indication
of being unequal while OS indicates that it is close to being equal, the unequal
distribution is due to private GS. Influencing variables also need to be taken into
account as they can influence the distribution of GS.
To fix this unequal distribution local government could look at increasing OS in
deprived areas and reducing OS in wealthy areas. This will result in an unequal
distribution that will improve deprived area and the people who reside there. Local
government could look at private GS and whether too much of it is on private land.
Consultation with the land owners could secure private GS for public use or buying
back private GS in deprived areas is another option. Securing GS in the CBD is
important, it was noted that since the data was collected in 2006, at least one GS was
removed to make way for a new court building.
Local governments do not need to focus solely on GS to improve social justice.
Improved transport options to GS rural or nearby GS with an increase in community
gardens could offset any unequal distribution.

5.6. Summary
There seems to be a clustering of private UGS in Wellington city which can have an
effect on deprived communities. These results indicated there was a relationship
between GS and socio-economic deprivation. Problems with accounting for spatial
autocorrelation in our tests mean we cannot confidently conclude the results. The
local government could buy or negotiate public access to private GS to improve GS
dispersal. However any deprivation can be offset by community gardens and access to
transport so that everyone has equal and fair access to GS.

62
6. Conclusion
Demand for UGS has strengthened with the message that UGS can improve urban life
and prevent people from leaving the city (Van Herzele et al. 2005). The benefits are
far ranging and could have deep seated and long term implications on the deprived
urban population if ignored. The socio-economic variables of income and ethnicity
have the greatest influence on the distribution of GS in international studies. The GS
in Wellington and the socio-economic variables are clustered, however OS is not,
showing the clustering is due to private GS. However there is an issue with SAM (see
section 3.6), so the results should be used as an indication, rather than conclusive
proof of a relationship between GS/OS and socio-economic values. Other influencing
variables like slope and distance to coastline most likely show a relationship with GS,
however this was not statistically tested. It most likely remains a social justice issue
between the distribution of GS in Wellington and socio-economic variables. However
any deprivation can be offset by community gardens and access to transport so that
everyone has equal and fair access to GS. Sustainable planning for UGS is
recommended to the local council in the CBD area so no further GS are lost in the
future.

6.1. Further Study


There were a number of issues surrounding the exploration of the relationship
between GS and socio-economic values in this study. Research extensions are needed
to make more than the tentative conclusions regarding GS and deprivation drawn
here. This section outlines research possibilities and important influencing variables
that should be accounted for in further research in the UGS environmental justice
field.
Investigation into SAM and its use of the Clifford et al.’s (1989) model and how the
data is fitted into the model accounting for spatial autocorrelation. This will give more
conclusive statistical results to any further study taken in the environmental justice
field.
Comparison of the population level for each MB and AU compared to UGS. So if
there was a low population there would be an expected high corresponding GS. This
study looks at a small amount of AU in the Wellington region, further creation of GS

63
data is needed for the entire Wellington region. Slope and GS distance to the coastline
needs to be statistically tested to see if there is a relationship.
Comparison of urban areas that have tree protection laws compared to areas that do
not have tree protection laws, e.g. urban Wellington City compared to Kapiti Coast or
compared to Auckland which has tree protection rules or Christchurch which does
not. This will give an indication of the difference in environmental justice between
cities and is easier to compare than with international studies. Comparing Wellington
GS over time to see if it has increased or decreased, which will give a sense if
environmental justice is improving in Wellington.
To find if there is a relationship between GS and deprivation there is a need to
account for variables like property values, crime, attitudes towards UGS, pollution
levels, participation levels in UGS, tree/UGS maintenance and surveys on
health/stress in AU/MB with varying degrees of GS. Further studies need to consider
these influencing variables before concluding there is a GS-deprivation relationship.

64
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