Differential community and the perception of urban green spaces and their contents in the megacity of Karachi, Pakistan

Salman QURESHI, Jürgen H. BREUSTE, Chi Yung JIM

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Urban green spaces (UGS) denote the chief representative of biodiversity and provider of ecosystem services (especially social and cultural) in urban landscapes. Socio-economic circumstances of individuals are significantly derived from their psychometric settings-which ultimately affect their preferences in urban landscapes-more so for multicultural and multifaceted social environments. This paper investigates the coupling of distinct socio-economic (life quality) standards and urban natural spaces (and their content) in the megacity of Karachi, Pakistan. The main research question was how the socio-economic conditions of the differentiated and multicultural community influence their preferences of urban green spaces. It was tested at three systematically selected research sites of distinct structural and functional characteristics but the results and discussion are presented in an integrative form. The study sites were selected using Karachi's urban-rural gradient to deduce representative samples from different land use and urbanization zones. Public interviews of 340 respondents were conducted with a structured questionnaire. The findings contradict generalizations made in other international studies. Results show that the presumption of tightly coupled social settings and nature space preferences could not be validated empirically for varying types of cities in the world. This is because people perceive their heterogeneous natural and artificial environment differently in different regional settings. The multicultural environment dissembles the choices of people and vice versa. This is true regardless of the sampling strategy for such studies that had been the focus in the past. Community revitalization is deemed necessary for better design, facilities and functions of UGS to foster social wellbeing of residents as well as sustainable urban development. Copyright © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media New York.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)853-870
JournalUrban Ecosystems
Volume16
Issue number4
Early online date09 Jan 2013
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

Citation

Qureshi, S., Breuste, J. H., & Jim, C. Y. (2013). Differential community and the perception of urban green spaces and their contents in the megacity of Karachi, Pakistan. Urban Ecosystems, 16(4), 853-870. doi: 10.1007/s11252-012-0285-9

Keywords

  • Environmental perception
  • Green infrastructure
  • Megacities
  • Nature perception
  • Quality of life
  • Socio-economic disparity
  • Urban ecology
  • Urban gradient
  • Urban forestry

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