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Journal Article

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biodiversity conservation; citizen perception; Hong Kong; park design attribute; park management; plant species selection; urban green space;



Understanding citizens’ evaluation of public urban green space (UGS) attributes and plant species features can inform greenspace design to meet public expectations. This study evaluated the public’s responses to UGS attributes and plant species in Hong Kong using a questionnaire survey of 827 adult respondents. Principal component analysis followed by cluster analysis were applied to analyze the data. The respondents were differentiated into three groups (ecological, eclectic, and pragmatic users) based on the evaluations of UGS attributes. Additionally, three clusters (conservation supporters, all-round perfectionists, and safety defenders) were classified based on evaluating plant species features. Plant knowledge and gender were the main factors associated with respondents’ evaluation profiles. Respondents with different expectations of UGS attributes harbored different evaluations of plant species features. The respondent groups agreed unanimously that similar plant species composition was deployed across UGS sites in Hong Kong. Respondents attaching importance to the conservation value of plant species (i.e., “conservation supporters”) were more concerned about plant species selection. The conservation supporters were dissatisfied with the current plant selection strategy. A zonation strategy for large UGS could cater to a broad range of user demands and create a socially-inclusive venue for residents. Alternatively, a collection of small UGS in a given district can cover a range of functions. The findings could inform a modified approach to UGS design and plant selection to satisfy the residents’ disparate expectations and needs.

Source Publication

Ecology and Society

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