Interrogating park access and equity in Johannesburg, South Africa
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Environment and Urbanization. 2022;34(1):10-31. doi:10.1177/09562478221083891
Equitable access to green spaces is essential in cities, especially those with complex socio-economic challenges. This study considers how socio-economic characteristics influence traditional park access measures, using a geographically weighted regression (GWR) to analyse park access equity in Johannesburg. The use of a spatially sensitive statistical approach enables a more nuanced analysis of equity than previous studies have permitted in Johannesburg, thus empowering better park access planning. The method considers the number of parks and distance to the nearest park as important access measures. The study shows a complex relationship between different interpretations of park access relative to various socio-economic considerations, such as population density, unemployment rates and education levels, and that inequity in access to park space according to these measures varies across the city. The findings offer an opportunity for an improved understanding of local environmental justice and could potentially inform more equitable park planning and management policies in cities.