Is it not enough to have nature outside cities?: The role of urban green spaces in a sustainable city
Green spaces have been seen an important part of urban areas for a long period of time. Both social and ecological benefits are well researched in relation to the sustainable city and concluding that the green spaces have important values. However, how the social and ecological benefits correlate, and how these are interacting in the biophysical environment is still under researched. The main aim of this thesis is to address what role urban green spaces have for the sustainability in urban areas. The result of observations and semi-structured interviews in three green spaces in Gothenburg, Sweden are presented and discussed. The researched issue concentrate on people’s interaction, with each other and the natural environment, in their neighbourhood green space. The focus is to understand how the social and ecological benefits interconnect. Furthermore, the green space visitors’ perception of nature and ecosystem services is explored. The result confirms a great potential of green spaces in urban areas for social interaction, environmental learning and knowledge about ecosystem services. The effect of different biophysical attributes in the green spaces is further discussed. Different types of green spaces motivate different type of activities. Therefore, a diversity of green spaces is needed to increase both social and ecological sustainability.