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Friday, April 6 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
FR3.30.40 Green Space and Livable Urban Development: A Comparative Case Study of Southeast Asian Cities

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As cities continue to grow in population and influence, user-friendly urban development will be increasingly vital for their billions of residents globally. Green space, whose presence provides broad quality of life, economic, and ecological benefits, is well-understood to be central to urban livability. The implementation, however, of extensive and engaging urban greenery has been inconsistent: while Singapore enjoys the reputation as the “City in a Garden” for its broadly-implemented marriage of greenery with urban space, in Jakarta green area has declined significantly over the course of urbanization. This study analyzed this disparity, identifying mechanisms by which urban greenery systems can be supported through a two-pronged comparative case study analysis approach. Site visits and interviews were performed in Singapore and Jakarta, and case studies within each city were analyzed. Additionally, a quantitative rough sets data analysis derived "rules for development," suggesting characteristics of urban greenery efforts which tend to yield success. A synthesis of the findings is valuable: A government with the political will to implement a unified vision for livable space was shown to be important. Additionally, an engaged and supportive—“biophilic”—citizenry can be indispensable. Together, a positive feedback cycle of successful greenery implementation was demonstrated: governments which work to promote engaged citizens—those who understand the importance and support the further implementation of urban nature—provide greenery efforts their own momentum to continue. Finally, a Summary for Policymakers was created, identifying some mechanisms by which this positive feedback cycle can be promoted. This study demonstrates that many cities, despite significant differences, share important similarities: synthesizing lessons from their experiences globally to inform livable urban development locally will continue to be vital as large-scale urbanization proceeds.

Michael Tormey, Northeastern University

Friday April 6, 2018 3:30pm - 4:00pm EDT
Provincial Ballroom (2nd Floor)