Quantitative Environmental Equity Analysis of Perceived Accessibility to Urban Parks in Osaka Prefecture, Japan

Abstract

Environmental equity (EE) has become internationally recognized as an important research field, but in Japan limited quantitative research is available. In this paper we report the results of a quantitative study that tested whether objective and perceived accessibility to parks is disproportionately distributed between the affluent and the poor in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. Perceived accessibility is considered to be a more accurate accessibility measure which reflects the socio-cultural background of people. We find inequities in both accessibility measures, and using multiple logistic regression analysis, we clarified that perceived accessibility is shaped by a range of factors (i.e., income level, objective accessibility to parks, and people’s perceptions of traffic accidents, crime, and the level of scenic beauty in the neighboring area). Our results provide some insight into remediation measures for the environmental inequity of perceived accessibility. Simply establishing a new urban park may not sufficiently increase the perceived accessibility of socioeconomically deprived groups. Identifying the underlying mechanisms that could explain how poverty-related factors undermine the perceived park accessibility or improving the quality of neighboring area are also important to ensure the effectiveness of remediation measures.

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Funding

This study was supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) KAKENHI Grant Number JP17K12864 (Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists [B]) and Grant Number JP20H00040 (Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research [A]).

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Correspondence to Shinya Yasumoto.

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Yasumoto, S., Nakaya, T. & Jones, A.P. Quantitative Environmental Equity Analysis of Perceived Accessibility to Urban Parks in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. Appl. Spatial Analysis (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12061-020-09360-5

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Keywords

  • Environmental equity
  • Perceived accessibility
  • Urban parks
  • Geographic information systems
  • Japan