Landscape and Ecological Engineering

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 25–35 | Cite as

Landscape structure and network characteristics of the greenway system in Guangzhou City, South China

  • Sangsang Fan
  • Xiuzhi Chen
  • Hai RenEmail author
  • Wenjun Shen
  • Rongbo Xiao
  • Qianmei Zhang
  • Zhifeng Wu
  • Yongxian Su
Original Paper


Greenways help to conserve natural areas and improve the quality of life for residents, especially in cities experiencing rapid urbanization. In this study, we evaluated the landscape structure and network characteristics of Guangzhou’s greenway system and analyzed the potential effects of natural and socioeconomic factors on the construction of urban greenways. The total length and density of the greenway system in Guangzhou was 1319.3 km and 0.18 km/km2, respectively. The greenway density in the urban regions was > 1.5 km/km2, which met the optimal threshold requirement for an urban greenway system. Guangzhou’s greenway system had a total of 609 branches and 366 nodes, more than in Xiamen City (China) and Phoenix (AZ), which indicated a high level of network connectivity. The built-up area (area with residential, commercial, or industrial buildings) and the number of intersections of the transportation network were positively and linearly related (R2 = 0.46 and 0.78, respectively) to the length of Guangzhou’s greenways in each 1-km2 pixel grid. Population density (R2 = 0.47, p < 0.001) and gross domestic product per capita (R2 = 0.75, p < 0.001) were positively correlated with the density of Guangzhou’s greenways in each district. These results suggested that greenways were well distributed in the urban regions of Guangzhou. The slope was < 5° for 82.8% of Guangzhou’s greenway system, which made it suitable for walking and biking; 43.7% of the 265 scenic spots were within 400 m, and 64.9% within 800 m, of the nearest greenway, indicating their high accessibility from greenways. However, nearly 50% (273 km) of the waterfront greenways in Guangzhou were adjacent to poor-quality water bodies. The future priority for optimizing Guangzhou’s greenways should be the balancing of environmental protection with social and economic development.


Urban greenway Ecological corridor Green infrastructure Spatial pattern Socioeconomic factor Environmental protection 



This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 41401055). We thank Prof. Bruce Jaffee for editing the English.

Supplementary material

11355_2018_358_MOESM1_ESM.doc (108 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOC 108 kb)


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Copyright information

© International Consortium of Landscape and Ecological Engineering and Springer Japan KK, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sangsang Fan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xiuzhi Chen
    • 2
  • Hai Ren
    • 2
    Email author
  • Wenjun Shen
    • 2
  • Rongbo Xiao
    • 3
  • Qianmei Zhang
    • 2
  • Zhifeng Wu
    • 4
  • Yongxian Su
    • 5
  1. 1.Research Center for Eco-Environmental SciencesChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Vegetation Restoration and Management of Degraded Ecosystems, South China Botanical GardenChinese Academy of SciencesGuangzhouChina
  3. 3.Guangdong Provincial Academy of Environmental ScienceGuangzhouChina
  4. 4.School of Geographical SciencesGuangzhou UniversityGuangzhouChina
  5. 5.Guangzhou Institute of GeographyGuangzhouChina

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