Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/80171
Title: The mechanisms of public urban green space provision : urban fringe cases
Authors: Wang, Anqi
Advisors: Chan, Edwin (BRE)
Yeung, Stanley (BRE)
Keywords: Open spaces
City planning
Land use
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: The Hong Kong Polytechnic University
Abstract: Public Urban Green Space (UGS) is an important component in sustainable development. The benefits of UGS have been widely acknowledged and studied, regarding their ecosystem services of urban environment, health, social wellbeing, property value, etc. To optimize the allocation of public UGS will help to improve urban sustainability in particular peoples' living environment and quality. Although an increasing number of research studies have been engaged in UGS planning, few of them have researched the impact of land use planning and development mechanisms on UGS provision in a city, particularly at the urban fringe where lands are transformed from non-urban to urban uses. This research aims to understand the reasons behind the differences of UGS provision in the urban-fringe development of different cities, by applying the economic theory of Mechanism Design (MD) for empirical comparative study. Any initial study into UGS provision will raise the question: "Why the outcomes of UGS planning are different among cities?" Focusing on this main research question, this study attempts to explain the different allocations of UGS in urban development among cities based on the theory of MD. Related questions include what the mechanisms of UGS provision are in current urban development and planning processes, how the mechanisms work to impact UGS provision, and how we can optimize UGS provision in urban fringe development. Research methods including literature review, agent-based modelling, case studies, interviews, questionnaire, and comparative studies are used to deal with these questions. Four ongoing projects of urban fringe planning and development are selected as study cases, which are the projects of Hung Shui Kiu (HSK) in Hong Kong, Haidian North (HDN) in Beijing, Seestadt in Vienna, and Bushwick in New York City. Four land use planning maps regarding UGS provisions in the projects are the basis of agent analysis and comparative study. The investigation has proceeded in two main phases. Firstly, the thesis provides an extensive literature review on land use planning, UGS, the role of agents in UGS provision, theory of mechanism design, and agent-based modelling. These previous studies help to identify the important components of the mechanisms (institutional, participatory and market) as well as the "Key Agents" (government, public, and market actors) in UGS provision, as well as to establish the research framework. Due to the public goods attributes of the studied UGS, local government is the principal as the provider of UGS while the public are the demanders and users of UGS. In addition to these two Key Agents, in the context of the land market, agents with special-interest in real estate development and agents with special-interest in environmental conservation can also play their roles in UGS provision.
Secondly, agent-based analysis is conducted to interpret and compare the characteristics of different mechanisms corresponding to the four cases based on the roles, preferences and utilities of agents. This part is presented in three chapters that respectively examine the institutional mechanism and government roles, the participatory mechanism and public roles, as well as market mechanism and multiple agents' utilities. The attributes of local governments under the institutional mechanism of land planning are explored with surplus/deficit and revenue-based analysis. The roles of the public, together with environmental groups, under planning participation mechanism are examined by investigating public desire through questionnaire and evaluating the effectiveness of planning participation. With due reference to UGS provision mechanism in the context of the land market, the impact of amenity value of UGS and public willingness to pay for UGS provision are considered, while the barriers to optimizing UGS provision are identified. According to the comparative study of the four cases, results indicate that each mechanism contains its own strengths and weaknesses. The allocation of UGS in the case of Aspern Seestadt in Vienna performs best regarding revenue and social utility, the success of which is attributed to many factors, including the public ownership of the state-owned land, high environmental awareness of public and effective participation, modest housing demand in market, and capable government. However, this case is too ideal to be implemented in other parts of the world. Taking the economic benefits of development into consideration, HSK in Hong Kong is regarded as a sustainable project to achieve integrated economic, environmental and social effects. By comparison, the issues of land availability and lack of public participation are the main constraints to the UGS provision of Bushwick in US and HDN in mainland China, respectively. Based on the results, the theoretical issues of adverse selection, moral hazard, and incentive incompatibility in UGS provision are discussed, followed by recommendations for optimizing UGS provision and improving land use sustainability in future planning. This study represents one of the first attempts to apply the theory of MD in understanding the overall interest equilibrium for stakeholders under a system-wide context, linking empirical UGS provision cases with a theoretical basis. It contributes an integrative framework to better understand the mechanism of UGS provision by analysing the relationships regarding the overall processes of planning, development and marketization, rather than only concentrating on one separated segment. In addition, the study contributes to the knowledge of UGS planning mechanisms in cross-city intercontinental scale, by exploring different roles and interests of agents in different cities. It is concluded that the optimization of UGS provision is a process of balancing divergent interests of Key Agents. Their interests must be related to the context of the city, not only to the status of economic development, income and ownership system, but also to social conditions such as environmental consciousness as well as political factors, such as the goal of government, participation effectiveness, etc. The findings of this study can be useful for policy makers, planners, and designers regarding how to improve the UGS provision and promote the public welfare of land use.
Description: xiii, 201 pages : color illustrations
PolyU Library Call No.: [THS] LG51 .H577P BRE 2018 Wang
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/80171
Rights: All rights reserved.
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