Assessing resident’s perception towards ecosystem services of urban green spaces in Delhi, India

Publication from the AllianceAuthor: Anand, Prodyut Bhattacharya
Year of publication: 2024

Recent rapid economic and infrastructure growth in India has led to degraded environmental conditions. Congested and densely populated urban areas have seen increased pollution, water pollution, and habitat and biodiversity loss. Urban green spaces (UGSs) are vital for improving such environmental qualities and coping with environmental challenges within cities. UGSs provide numerous tangible and intangible environmental, recreational/social, and economic benefits, also acknowledged as ecosystem services. This study assessed residents’ perceptions of UGSs ecosystem services in Delhi, India. The main objectives were to (1) understand residents’ visiting patterns of UGSs and corresponding socio-economic correlations (2) assess residents’ knowledge and perceptions of ecosystem services and disservices, and (3) ranking of ecosystem services provided by UGSs based on significance to the residents. This study is based on a survey of 620 randomly selected respondents in UGSs throughout the city. Most respondents knew about ecosystem services in UGSs and believed the ecosystem services outweighed any ecosystem disservices. The results also showed the importance of improving urban microclimate and environmental quality was emphasized. Interestingly, ecosystem services like improve mental health and aesthetic beauty rated high. The improvement of wildlife habitat, fresh water, water flow regulation & runoff mitigation and the collection of fuelwood, fruits, honey and medicine were not seen as important by the respondents. Residents more readily recognized UGSs’ direct benefits over the indirect benefits. Awareness of economic benefit was relatively high. Results from this research could help urban planners and developers to consider residents’ perceptions and expectations when designing UGSs.
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ecosystem services Delhi