Term of Award

Summer 2020

Degree Name

Master of Science, Applied Geography

Document Type and Release Option

Thesis (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Department

Department of Geology and Geography

Committee Chair

Meimei Lin

Committee Member 1

Robert Yarbrough

Committee Member 2

Jason Beck

Abstract

Green space supports recreational activities and environmental sustainability which has proven to aid physical and social well-being as well as environmental health. However, spatial inequities are observed in the distribution and accessibility of urban green space. This norm identified as an environmental justice issue has left racial minorities and people of low socioeconomic status at a disadvantage. This study adopted a geospatial approach to assess green space quantity, quality, and accessibility, and generate a green space index. This research assessed the relationship between racial structure, socioeconomic characteristics and green space inequities in all municipalities in Chatham County, Georgia with a special focus on the historical city of Savannah. Findings revealed that the quantity of green space was considerably higher in the city of Savannah compared to the surrounding municipalities. Green space quality was relatively higher in the northwest of the County, including cities of Bloomingdale, Port Wentworth, Tybee Island and Pooler. On average, Chatham County residents were expected to travel 5.9 miles to access their local green spaces which was significantly better than the national average (6.7 miles) for residents in the United States. The Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression model showed that green space inequities in the study area were significantly related to median gross rent and median housing age. However, there were no significant correlations between green space inequities, people of color and low socioeconomic status in Savannah. Future efforts should be directed towards examining spatial inequities in the distribution of green space amenities and its effect on social access to green space.

Research Data and Supplementary Material

Yes

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