Evaluating the Spatial and Environmental Benefits of Green Space: An International and Local Comparison on Rural Areas
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Volume 4, Issue 4-1, August 2015, Pages: 45-51
Received: Apr. 2, 2015; Accepted: Apr. 17, 2015; Published: May 27, 2015
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Luan Cilliers, Unit for Environmental Sciences and Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
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Many issues exist from isolated planning of urbanized areas and environmental areas. Current approaches focussing on the integration of Urban Planning and Urban Ecology seek to address such issues. Urban Ecology practice aims to describe the study of the joined relationships between humans and nature. Urban Ecology thus forms a major part of Urban and Spatial Planning, with regard to the objectives of sustainable planning and development, green infrastructure planning, and resilience. Green spaces support sustainable human settlements by means of the different benefits which nature provides, referred to in this research as ecosystem services. Green spaces, in this sense, are fundamental areas in human settlements, in need of intentional and structured planning approaches to enhance sustainability and said environmental benefits. Rural settlements in South Africa experience various problems and challenges in terms of planning for the environment through green spaces (as well as sustainability), mainly as a result of the fragmentation of these rural areas, the existence of lost spaces, urbanisation, urban sprawl and poverty. This research attempted to address the challenges of integrated planning and green space provision in a local rural context; evaluated the spatial and environmental benefits of green space; and enhanced the importance of planning for such benefits in rural South African areas. A local and international comparative study was conducted in order to evaluate the green space planning of South African rural areas in terms of international approaches. The comparative study also served as guidance for new green space planning approaches and recommendations in South African rural context.
Ecosystem Services, Rural Areas, Green Spaces, Green Infrastructure Planning, Resilience
To cite this article
Luan Cilliers, Evaluating the Spatial and Environmental Benefits of Green Space: An International and Local Comparison on Rural Areas, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. Special Issue: Planning for Sustainable Communities: Green-Spaces in Rural Areas. Vol. 4, No. 4-1, 2015, pp. 45-51. doi: 10.11648/j.aff.s.2015040401.16
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