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Strategic Management Innovation of Urban Green Spaces for Sustainable Community Development

  • José G. Vargas-HernándezEmail author
  • Karina Pallagst
  • Patricia Hammer
Living reference work entry

Abstract

This chapter aims to analyze the strategic management innovation in sustainable management of urban green spaces for neighborhood and community development. The report is intended to review the available theoretical and empirical literature on urban green spaces in the main related topics of community and neighborhood development, sustainable management, and strategic management innovation. The research methods employed are the analytical from a functionalist approach moving later into the critical analysis finally from a holistic or integrative point of view. It begins with the identification and review of cases, initiatives, and projects to demonstrate detailed examination of good practice, innovation, and creativity. However, the results of this review on strategic management innovation of urban green spaces are not conclusive, particularly because of the different local development circumstances and the nature of communities. Finally, this chapter adopts a prepositive and prescriptive strategic management approach of urban green spaces by presenting some research gaps and suggesting future research.

Keywords

Community development Strategic management innovation Sustainable development Urban green spaces 

Introduction

In the beginning, God created the earth, God made the earth to be a garden-like home for mankind, and He pronounced all the work should be well cultivated and taken care of. Some important topics of urban green spaces to take into account are the sustainable management, maintenance, community commitment, enhancement and involvement, participative culture, and spatial planning with green objectives.

The term green space has its origins in the green space planning and in the urban conservation movements to describe the green environment of urban areas. Urban green space is considered a long-term comprehensive tool for protection and maintenance of environmental sustainability by providing ecosystem services to users. Urban green space is based on the protection and optimization of natural ecological system as the base of the ecological balance of the city, its communities, and neighborhoods. Urban green space is defined as land of unsealed and permeable “soft” surfaces such as soil, grass, shrubs, and trees as the predominant character publicly accessible and managed.

An open space is “a mixture of civic spaces and green spaces” (Chesterton and Pedestrian Market Research Services Ltd 1997) encompassing “a mixture of public (or civic) and green space, where public spaces are mainly ‘hard’ spaces such as squares, street frontages and paved areas” (Kit Campbell Associates 2001; Scottish Executive 2001). Research Report for the Scottish Executive Central Research Unit 2001). Therefore, public open space is an open space having both green spaces and hard civic spaces with public access. Public open space may not have recreational facilities (Ilam 1999). Urban green spaces refer to land uses and land covered with natural or man-made vegetation in the city and planning areas.

Green space is any form of natural urban forests and seminatural environments with plant species (Bowler et al. 2010). Urban green space embraces all types of parks, green spaces, and play areas intended for recreational uses. The nature of urban green spaces is determined by some relevant factors such as quantity in the urban area, activities, experiences, perceived benefits to the users, (Oguz 2000; Herzele and Wiedeman 2003) location, and accessibility or distribution (Grahn and Stigsdotter 2003; Neuvonen et al. 2007).

This chapter aims to review the strategic management innovation of urban green spaces for sustainable community development. In doing so, this chapter begins with a functional analysis of urban green spaces by reviewing the main functions and deriving a typology. An analysis of benefits of urban green spaces is conducted to understand the relationship and association with the quality of lifestyle by providing a linkage between nature and the social and economics of people living in the community. Later, the analysis leads to review the sustainable management of community development and the association with the strategic management innovation as an approach to improve the quality of life of users. Finally, this analysis leads to present some research gaps and suggests some future research in this field.

Functions of Urban Green Spaces

Urban green spaces may have several functions and different forms of access, such as amenity, recreation and enjoyment, farming, horticulture, burial grounds, educational, institutional, domestic gardens, incidental green space, play areas, outdoor sports areas, informal recreation areas, parks, and gardens. Every urban green space can have special functions and uses, from a kite-flying center, herbaceous plants, different types of recreational areas, tennis to forests at urban green spaces which can supply wild food and firewood and infiltrate rainwater into the ground. Street markets and fairs can fit into the urban green spaces (Turner 1998).

Urban green space functions as linkage to the urban area with a natural world for reproduction of species and conservation of plants, soil, and water quality. Urban green spaces have the function to preserve, protect, and stabilize soil against wind and water erosion. Urban green spaces absorb rainfall and reduce runoff and trap and remove pollutants.

Urban green spaces provide better quality of life by fulfilling relevant functions. Some designed landscape of urban green spaces has historic and cultural values due to the historic period and the designer either for the purposes of amenity, as a functional green space, archeological remains, plant collections, etc.

Typology of Green Spaces

Biodiversity in urban spaces varies among the different types of city green space projects, an aspect to consider since it is the first action to take for the design, such as the diversity, biotope, creation, species of plants, running water, etc. Thus, it is important to investigate if the different types of urban green spaces meet the needs and expectations of users; the social, economic, and environmental contributions and benefits; and barriers and encouraging factors to use them, in such a way that a typology of users can be developed. Resourcing urban green space management is more than an increase in funding to become a creative and innovative orientation of available resources, the associated costs, partnerships, and comparing the spending between the different types.

The structure of a typology may vary among categories and types, such as formal and informal open space; outdoor recreational parks; amenity areas and allotments; gardens and green squares; children’s play; public parks; forest park; heritage historical and archaeological parks; nature conservation parks; district, community, and neighborhood parks; green street; cemeteries; greenbelts; and green networks. A site categorization system and typology of urban green spaces at city level, defined as sites that have attraction potential for visitors, accessibility, facilities in good conditions, and staff, can be classified in park, garden, sports site, playing field, playground/open space, woodland, moorland/heathland, allotment, and closed churchyard/open space. This site categorization system assesses the levels of provision and quality standards for urban green space strategies.

There have been identified different types of users and use of urban green spaces, to determine the frequency, locations, nature of activities, and facilities required, among them the children, youngers, older people, disabled, and ethnic minority groups. There are different categories of users of urban green spaces with a range of type of uses of facilities and different types of walks and events taking place across different types of urban green spaces such as cultural, educational, sports, etc. The typology of the nature of urban green areas is dependent on the use. A well-known typology of urban green spaces characterizes four categories and subdivided into 26:
  1. 1.

    Amenity green spaces: recreational, incidental, and private

     
  2. 2.

    Recreational: parks and gardens, informal recreation areas, outdoor sport areas, and play areas

     

A consistent typology is one that categorizes planning designations as physical green space resources on which can be based a quantitative inventory combined with information on recreational functions an environmental value. A typology of urban green spaces classifies categories of types as a framework to facilitate consistent reporting existing data to avoid overlap and double counting. A consistent typology should consider type of space, its extent, size, the nature of the resource, and facilities provided.

Urban green space can be categorized as institutional grounds, school grounds, burial grounds, allotments, farmland, linear green spaces, other linear features, transport corridors, river and canal banks, disturbed ground, grassland, moor and heath, woodland, wetland, and other seminatural green spaces. The Institute of Leisure and Amenity Management (ILAM 1999) defines four types of parks:
  1. 1.

    Principal/city/metropolitan parks of more than 8.0 ha, with a town-/city-wide catchment, a varied physical resource, a wide range of facilities, and recognized as a visitor attraction

     
  2. 2.

    District parks with an extension of less than 8.0 ha serving a catchment area from 1500 to 2000 m, with a mixture of landscape features and a variety of facilities such as sports field/playing fields and play areas

     
  3. 3.

    Neighborhood park has up to 4.0 ha in extent, a catchment area of between 1000 and 1500 m, landscape features, and a variety of facilities

     
  4. 4.

    Local park up to 1.2 ha in extent, a catchment area of between 500 and 1000 m, consisting of a play area, informal green area, and landscape

     

A Typology of Urban Green Spaces: Main Types of Green Spaces

Urban green spaces are categorized according to their typology, location, size, function, etc. for management and development. To identify the elements to develop the typology of urban green spaces according to the urban green space strategy, consider their options:
  1. 1.

    Recreation green space. Parks and gardens. Informal recreation areas. Outdoor sports areas. Play areas.

     
  2. 2.

    Incidental green space. Housing green space. Other incidental space.

     
  3. 3.

    Roof green.

     
  4. 4.

    Wall green.

     
  5. 5.

    Private green space. Domestic gardens.

     
  6. 6.

    Productive green space. Remnant farmland. City farms. Allotments.

     
  7. 7.

    Burial grounds. Cemeteries. Churchyards.

     
  8. 8.

    Institutional grounds. School grounds (including school farms and growing areas). Other institutional grounds.

     
  9. 9.

    Wetland. Open/running water marsh. Fen.

     
  10. 10.

    Woodland. Deciduous woodland. Coniferous woodland. Mixed woodland.

     
  11. 11.

    Other habitats. Moor/Heath. Grassland. Disturbed ground.

     
  12. 12.

    Linear green space. River and canal banks. Transport corridors (road, rail, cycle ways, and walking routes). Other linear features (e.g., cliffs) but lacking other facilities.

     
  13. 13.

    Urban green space network. An urban green space network has some functions that include provision of nature, fresh air to breathe, recreation, water, food, etc. The integration of several green spaces to form an urban green space network connecting sites with urban habitats is a trend in nature conservation value.

     

Some other designations embrace different types of green space to facilitate some strategic approaches for designing, planning, and sustainable management, therefore recognizing a wide range of green spaces within urban environments.

However, this information needs improvement using a typology of users of urban green spaces by person and activity as a framework for any analysis based on consistent recorded estimates. A social typology of users of urban green spaces is based on demographic characteristics such as age, gender, ethnicity, and physical and mental abilities. Users usually change the motives for using urban green spaces at different times and occasions. Also the analysis of these categories can be combined with a social typology to categorize users regarding age, gender, ethnicity, and physical and mental abilities. Elderly age group over 65 years old, disable people, women, ethnic minorities, and young people are among the nonusers and infrequent users.

Benefits of Urban Green Spaces in Community Development

Human beings need green spaces and more who live in urban settlements where, more than the environment and social benefits, the economic returns should become more visible. Urban green spaces bring environmental, health, educational, social, and economic benefits. There exists a large body of theoretical and empirical literature related to the benefits of urban green spaces. A large proportion comes from Asian countries. Urban green spaces have important functions, meanings and benefit the quality of lifestyle by providing a linkage between nature and the social and economics of people living in the community (Alm 2007). Environmental, health, social, and economic benefits are dependent upon the underlying physical characteristics of green spaces. Urban green spaces contribute to rain water storage, pollutant capture, space for social events, environmental and health benefits, relaxation, and restoration.

The lack or low awareness and recognition of the benefits and functions of urban green spaces for the cities may experience temporary uncertainties. Sometimes the authorities cannot understand the real value of urban green spaces beyond the recreational, environmental, social cohesion, regeneration, and economic benefits. Investigation, diagnosis, and recognition of all needs and aspirations of all users enhance awareness of the benefits of urban green spaces. Each urban green space provides different benefits, although a key feature is its capacity for multifunctionality with multiple benefits for a wide range of uses and users. The benefits provided by urban green spaces to urban communities are multiple and categorized as social, environmental, economic, etc.

Some environmental and ecological benefits of urban green space are the biodiversity in urban habitats, reduction of carbon dioxide, enhancement of landscape, improvement of urban climate, sustainable drainage systems, and cultural heritage. The benefits of urban green space are categorized into environmental and health. Urban green spaces provide substantial benefits to the environment in terms of runoff-induced soil erosion control, oxygen generation, carbon absorption and sequestration, water purification, and temperature/energy cost saving. Air pollution mitigation from urban green spaces is associated to direct health benefits.

Urban green spaces have health and environmental benefits beyond the ornamental and aesthetic. Health disparities in income, health, and in all-cause mortality are narrower between people living near green spaces by enabling them to become more physically active (Mitchell and Popham 2008; Hartig 2008). However, there is no clear evidence for physical and nonphysical health benefits, and there is a weak link between physical, mental, well-being, and urban green spaces.

Other environmental benefits of urban green space are conservation, maintenance and enhancement of biodiversity; reduction of pollution, landscape, and cultural heritage; moderation of urban weather and climate and carbon dioxide; and more cost-effective and sustainable urban drainage system. The environmental benefits that urban green spaces provide to users are to meet objectives in urban climate, biodiversity, wildlife, habitat conservation, landscape and cultural heritage, air quality, and noise levels. Green spaces filter water, clean air, and heat pollution and ground temperature in urban communities. These ecological benefits providing natural protection are related to the quality, size, and density of green spaces.

Ecological benefits of urban green spaces range from conserving, protecting, and maintaining biodiversity and wildlife, improving air quality, and reducing energy costs of cooling systems. Some ecological benefits of an urban green space ecosystem are the environmental sustainability, maintenance of biodiversity and natural ecological network, sustainable urban landscape, solar input and radiation, urban heat island, rainfall pattern and relative humidity, wind speed and air temperature, connectivity of urban forests as wildlife corridors with populations of species (Haq 2011; Byrne and Sipe 2010), air pollution control, and noise pollution.

Among other ecological benefits, green spaces preserve biodiversity and nature conservation; environment; gardening; urban climate; air cleaning; moderation of noise; energy plant cultivation; social, economic, and cultural values; citizenship and education; aesthetics and attractiveness; cultural heritage; and allotments. The benefits of urban green spaces include biodiversity and providing ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, temperature regulation, etc. (Bolund and Hunhammar 1999; Nowak and Crane 2002; Crane and Kinzig 2005; Gaston et al. 2005; Smith et al. 2005).

The environmental benefits are categorized in biodiversity, landscape and cultural heritage, physical environment, and sustainable practices. Urban green areas benefit biodiversity in wildlife natural areas and spontaneous urban vegetation that colonizes brownfield sites which have greater biodiversity mixed of native and introduced species. Some environmental benefits related to water and air quality are the protection of soil against erosion and prevention of nutrient runoff, water purification, removal of pollutants, air purification, oxygen generation, energy cost saving and temperature modification, and carbon sequestration.

Some benefits to physical environment of urban green areas are the reduction of air pollution and heavy metals and provision of clean air and oxygen. Vegetation potentially sinks for carbon dioxide, a major contributor of global warming. Trees potentially counteract the rise of greenhouse gases. Urban green spaces create microclimates that have cooling and humidity effects in ameliorating climatic factors such as higher temperatures, restrictions of winds and dispersal of pollutants, and increased runoff of rainfall. Runoff from roofs fed wetlands and water bodies that purify and sustain wildlife while being aesthetically pleasant. Also, sustainable urban drainage, biological filtration of runoff, and water storage systems are elements of urban green spaces such as ponds, water bodies, lakes, etc. Managing water in urban green spaces improves the environmental performance. Woodland offers benefits in carbon displacement.

Urban green spaces benefit landscape and cultural heritage by providing the green fabric to the environment. When urban green spaces and high-quality historic buildings occur, they create landscape and cultural heritage value in urban conservation areas. Urban green spaces bring ecological benefits to meet the need and demand of urban inhabitants such as spending spare time, relaxing from work and study pressures, improving communication, etc. (Wuqiang et al. 2012).

Social benefits.Urban green space has social benefits which provide the existence value in a neutral ground for all users, social inclusion for interaction, community spirit and positive influence behavior, physical and psychological health, child and educational development, engagement in healthy outdoor exercise, and a more relaxing and less stressful environment. Social and psychological benefits of urban green spaces provide resources for recreation and relaxation, easy access, and quantity and quality. Social benefits of urban green spaces are, among others, promotion of social interaction and sense of community and crime reduction (Kuo and Sullivan 2001; Sullivan et al. 2004; Kim and Kaplan 2004).

Social benefits have an existence value of community spirit for different activities including education and health and contribute to social inclusion through different opportunities, such as child development, healthy outdoor exercise as an escape to relaxing environment. Social benefits provide opportunities for users to make contact with nature and passive and active recreation and involvement in social, community, and cultural activities and events. Social and health benefits are linked with nature and trees.

Social benefits of urban green spaces extend beyond gathering or meeting. Urban green spaces strengthen community capacity building and neighborhood quality when offering free unlimited services. Free accessibility to open and available urban green spaces to all encourages inclusiveness. Dog walking is also a social activity if owners and their dogs meet each other. Of course, there should be some neutral areas for mutual tolerance between different users, considering that urban green spaces are for everybody. Urban green spaces are the hub and the spirit of urban communities, for gathering together whole families, for social and cultural events such as picnics, and for keeping teenagers out of the streets. Urban green spaces influence the behavior of users by providing opportunities for outdoor activities in contact with nature, such as taking children and the young for playing and socializing with others, reducing crime rates, etc.

Urban green spaces enhance the quality of the city environment and the life of inhabitants and provide benefits for the users subject to innovative approaches involving and engaging community to creating, managing, and maintaining the services. Urban green spaces play a vital role for the wide range of benefits provided to users in their urban living (Dunnett et al. 2002). Local authorities can adopt a quality of life capital approach as a framework for reporting on the benefits of urban green spaces.

The quality of life capital approach provides a framework for presenting and evaluating multiple benefits offered by urban green spaces (CAG Consultants and Land Use 2001). This approach is designed to analyze the values that people have on urban green spaces and benefits of environmental services in such areas as biodiversity, environmental health, and sense of place, recreational and educational benefits, historical landscape and heritage, and economic value.

Social and psychological benefits of urban green spaces provide resources for recreation and relaxation and emotional and psychological healing.

Health and psychological benefits of urban green spaces are vital motives of users who wish to escape from urban life and people to get restorative effects while needing to get away from all the hustle and bustle, relaxing, and avoiding the stress and sound of the city. Contact with nature, trees, woodlands, and greenery in the living environment brings health benefits in convergence with leisure, thus reducing healthcare costs (DeVries et al. 2000). Health benefits resulting from social and environmental benefits of urban green spaces provide physical, psychological, and mental health to users and the community as a whole. Nature has value in itself, but its effects on humans. Peace of mind also comes from something about trees, birds, and animals.

Urban green spaces provide benefits for human urban populations enhancing the health and well-being, reducing depression, improving physical fitness, reducing urban temperatures, increasing air quality, storing carbon, mitigating climate change, reducing the likelihood of flooding, enhancing patterns of brain behavior with low stress and positive blood pressure, increasing performance at attention-demanding tasks (Ward Thompson et al. 2012; Hartig et al. 1991, 2003; Roe and Aspinall 2011; Tennessen and Cimprich 1995), and encouraging physical activity by exercising, walking, and cycling. Green spaces benefit human health by providing opportunities for recreational and physical activities and reducing the risks of obesity and stress. Estimates of human health and air quality benefits of trees of green spaces integrate pollution and population data costs (Nowak et al. 2014) for monitoring purposes (Tallis et al. 2011).

Green spaces benefit health due to the capacity to promote physical activity. Landscapes in urban green areas promote physical activity and well-being (Abraham et al. 2010). However, green spaces in living environment are not related to meeting health recommendations for physical activities (Richardson and Parker 2011). Although green spaces offer opportunities for exercise, this causal relationship between physical activity and urban green spaces is still uncertain. Being physically active is high for inhabitants living in residential green environments (Ellaway et al. 2005). Physical activity in urban green spaces has strong mental health benefits.

Socioeconomic position of users does not affect frequency of using green space, reducing socioeconomic inequalities (Brown et al. 2014; Coombes et al. 2010. Grahn and Stigsdotter 2003; Mitchell and Popham 2008; Mitchell et al. 2015), facilitating socialization and community relationships and pleasant areas to relax, and maintaining high quality of life for elderly (Sullivan et al. 2004; Sugiyama et al. 2009; Kweon et al. 1998; Sugiyama and Ward Thompson 2007).

Biological quality of green spaces has psychological benefits for users (Fuller et al. 2007) throughout the park allowing the researchers to identify different soundscape zones and design implications. Urban green spaces provide psychological benefits in the environments of peaceful areas, being quiet, calm, relax, and tranquil, allowing users to unwind; get away from it all; reduce stress; be free of pollution; look for comfort and peace after a quarrel, hot discussion, and arguments; alleviate pains; relieve boredom; enjoy birds singing; and escape from traffic noise, smells, and fumes and from electronic devices such as radios and television.

Social and psychological benefits of urban green spaces are the recreation, relaxation, well-being, physical and mental health, emotional warmth, and decrease in respiratory illness.

Aesthetic and amenity benefits of urban green spaces are to make them more attractive and increase the value of property. Aesthetic benefits of urban green spaces provide attractiveness and pleasing view to residents attracting investments.

Some economic benefits of urban green spaces are direct employment, revenue creation, and attraction of tourism, increase of property prices, retainment and creation of business in the community, and contribution to sustain local economy opportunities for commercial operations with bioproducts such as orchards. As economic benefits, urban green spaces and landscaping increase property values and financial returns, save energy consumption, and reduce the costs of energy in cooling buildings by improving air circulation and lowering air temperatures. Economic benefits are associated with green spaces and the effects on air pollution mitigation.

The creation, conservation, maintenance, and management of green space benefit local economies by generating employment opportunities and encouraging further investment and property development. It has been estimated that any investment in urban green spaces is more than double counting all the economic, environmental, and well-being benefits such as tourism attraction, creation of related jobs, social savings, etc. Some other economic benefits contributing to sustained urban economies are creating revenue and employment, attracting tourists, creating business, increasing the value of nearby properties, and meeting agendas in education, health, environment, etc. The economic benefits of urban green spaces create employment, attract inward investments, create tourism attractions, and increase value of nearby property, community enterprise café, and garden center.

Green spaces provide direct and indirect economic benefits to communities. Green spaces provide economic valuable amenities for different stakeholders such as direct environmental, health, and social benefits, contributing to reduce the costs incurred by governments. Governments and stakeholders of urban green spaces can establish the monetary value of the benefits provided (Esteban 2012) such as in the case of green spaces on the well-being (Zhang et al. 2012). Urban green spaces have a weak evidence on the economic benefits. The evidence that green spaces have an impact on business location decisions cannot be substantiated.

There is a strong evidence in the premium on property values nearby the urban green spaces. Government gains an indirect economic benefit from cost savings linked to green spaces. Government meets the challenge to reduce costs to environmental and socioeconomic benefits of green spaces which have a positive effect. Residents may be willing to pay the costs of living in areas close to green spaces, resulting in the increase of property land value. Research has found a strong correlation between property value and proximity to green spaces, depending on how close the property is to the facilities of green spaces.

Regarding educational benefits, urban green spaces provide opportunities of both formal and informal education to users. Studies in nature such as biology should be encouraged as an educational opportunity for users in educational programs, among others, watch groups, and urban nature reserves having open recreational and educational spaces and art and event programs.

Joint programs in strategic alliances with educational institutions of elementary, secondary, and higher education and labor volunteers can offer a variety of educational programs involving the whole community in the development by providing informational recreation, educational resources, voluntary employment learning new skills on conservation tasks, supervised area for children educational programs, adult further educational programs, recycling schemes, wildlife reserves, educational events and meetings, adult education classes in areas such as alternative technology backyard gardening, fruit growing, composting, a work experience, training and day care program for people with special needs, programs on work experience from schools.

Any improvement in an urban green space is the result of designing and managing social vision, focusing on meeting the needs of users, and overcoming the barriers to provide the best benefits in services to the users. Irrigation for green roofs provides a microclimate benefit (Coutts et al. 2013; Zinzi and Agnoli 2012), but relying on rainfall limits the cooling capacity. The potential benefits of green wall infrastructure for air quality are undervalued (Pugh et al. 2012).

Sustainable Management for Community Development

In 1964 was published “People, Parks and Cities” to examine the management practices of urban green spaces, although it was very limited, it began to consider and important factor of community development. Management issues are related to users of urban green spaces, the attendants, staffing, quality, and varied experiences. Urban sustainable development of communities requires urban green spaces considered under an integrative and interdisciplinary framework, in order to improve and optimize the application of economic, social, political, cultural, planning, and management principles to formulate policies and strategies to provide high-quality facilities and services.

Sustainable management and expansion of urban natural green spaces contribute to support the sustainable community development, ecological system integrity, livability and general public health, psychological well-being, physical activities, gentrification, and environmental justice. Urban ecosystems applying differentiated environmental sustainable management based on green spaces may optimize the landscape related to ecological diversity and biological, economic, social, and cultural variables contributing toward a sustainable development. To improve biodiversity in urban areas is necessary to practice differentiated environmental sustainable management in green spaces to varying degrees to host diversified flora and grass protected areas with other man-made and natural amenities.

In urban green space, the sustainable management of urban forest cares for tree populations, vegetation, grass, and droves for the purpose of improving our urban environment. Sustainable maintenance and management requires tools and stewardship to identify priorities for action and design and implement a biodiversity strategy to improve the quantity and quality of wildlife habitats that can live alongside humans. Improvement of wildlife value can be achieved by creation, maintenance, and management techniques of urban nature techniques.

Local authorities, who are managing and delivering services in urban green services, must provide a more holistic approach for more efficient policy implementation and budget protection that other institutional governance structures benefiting the community involvement and responsibility by promoting diversification of urban green spaces in sustainable management and institutional governance structures, forms, contents, users, creativity, and innovation. The locally based steering group evolves to take more responsibility and an active role in the green space management.

A community-led initiative encounters problems when transferring control from local authorities to self-management gaining advantages if financial and management costs associated with community involvement with an increase in sense of ownership are reduced. Management and delegation of responsibilities on community groups can take on real ownership of urban green spaces and enable varying degrees of self-management.

The decline in quality of service delivery in urban green parks is usually linked to declining or reduced budgets. Also, management of urban green space is linked to organizational culture, and structure of spending management calls to increase funding requires budgeting the resources to be applied and considering the policies and strategies of providers in such areas as environmental benefits. External creative redirection of funding and revenue spent can be placed on partnerships, rather than cutting internal budgets, and can result in higher benefits by pooling all the resources into a single investment coordinated by the management structure of local authorities. Using targeted grant funding ensures achievement of strategic plans such as landscape restoration management.

Some responsibilities under this type of arrangement can be arboricultural and horticultural services, clinical waste, etc. Quality of service delivery and user satisfaction can be monitored by feedback mechanisms from user groups. This approach has the advantage to work with community groups to develop and implement a plan. Local authorities developing a community engagement culture create links networking between friends and groups to promote wildlife, to approach the green space management and share experiences, but also to increase awareness and understanding of financial restrictions.

Community involvement has different levels measured by the degree of active participation in decision-making and management devolved away by local authorities. Community involvement is dependent upon the culture, resources, and capacities of local authorities. Diversification of urban green spaces to meet the user’s needs in terms of services provided, contents, forms, etc. is associated with creativity and innovation driven by management and local authorities in partnership with other stakeholders such as local communities, local business, etc.

Management and maintenance quality is under the pressure of budgeting and revenue spending resulting in a decline in facilities and infrastructure of green spaces. To stimulate involving the community in environmental and horticultural activity projects, each individual engaged has a small development budget. To be more successful in operation of the groups, the funding can be used to bring more resources in partnership working within cross-cutting teams and at a distance management with the officers involved. Officers should work closely with nonuser’s groups of urban green spaces to get access and acceptance and develop relationships.

Improvement of management and maintenance of urban green spaces is vital to give quality services to the users. Appropriate staff’s activities are vital for the functioning and operation of any urban green center, staffing needing good supervision, gardeners taking care of flowered areas, park keepers and ranger’s service deterring crime and vandalism, to ask for directions, wardens to clean up the space, give first aid, support, confidence, and help users, introducing and guiding to new locations, providing company and giving.

Responsibilities of management and maintenance of urban green space are based on the users’ needs by facilitation and consultation processes supported by site-based groups. Planning and management of an urban green space is improved by site-based decision-making with the involvement, engagement, active participation, and collaboration of community groups. Active participation of different stakeholders and partners involves active participation in decision-making process, planning, and management of different actions such as organizing events for fund-raising and income generation.

Urban green space audits incorporate quantitative and qualitative data to formulate a typology of a system as the base for holistic green space policies and strategies to be implemented in an action plan of a larger environmental network. Local authorities must maintain a database of sustainable management of urban green spaces, ecological values, environmental sustainability, landscapes, etc. (Jim 2004).

The aim of the audit is to have an assessment of the urban green space according to the standards of quality, quantity, and needs, weighting the user opinion and the professional expertise. Examples of setting local standards of quality, quantity and accessibility, principles, regulations, guidelines describing the condition of green spaces, etc. are important for strategic management. These can be detailed and specific or general. The quantitative standard sets the minimum amount of space per capita.

Assessing urban green spaces considered as assets in a community is to find economic value subordinated to economic development from environmental actions and green infrastructure (Walker 2004). Policy makers, budget holders, foundations, and other organizations implied should be aware of this when calling for investments and management of urban green spaces in the promotion of green communities.

Added economic value of green spaces as the result of community regeneration has an impact on increasing local inward investment and raising land values, resources, and political awareness. However, urban green spaces may be a political priority, and citizens are well informed of the potentials and benefits and get involved and engaged participating in all phases of the strategic management process. These benefits are difficult to quantify. Green spaces support other initiatives to spin off into the whole community generating contacts and cohesiveness.

Also, audits of urban green spaces provide information on deficiencies of a framework for decision-making. This approach to urban green spaces is centered around the needs of local communities and organizations. Audits produce a baseline information to feed planning and a set of recommendations and perceptions of how management practices need to change.

A short questionnaire is used to collect records on the nature of the urban green space resources, uses and users from local authorities, organizational structure, approaches to community involvement, engagement and participation, strategic planning and designing, sustainable management and maintenance practices, finance, partnerships and strategic alliances, innovative practices, and awards and other recognitions.

Local authorities have responsibility for the development and implementation of biodiversity action plans of urban green spaces. These action plans are on policy and strategy community-focused operations and maintenance, all linked to responsibilities of management, transferring from policy making to community engagement. Thus, the emphasis changes from direct delivery to developing supporting groups reflecting the real needs of community group users.

Focusing on community group consultation such as environmental organizations; educational and health institutions; associations of elderly, disable, children, young people, sports clubs, etc.; and the delivery of services from the urban green spaces will be expedite and according to their needs, in such a way that the administrative structure matches the service delivery. Community engagement is the responsibility for all the services by area and site-based that enables a structure with direct input of service delivery to users with the managerial support and community consultation.

To increase the level of community development, engagement and involvement in decision-making process and management of the urban green spaces must participate in terms of the quality of facilities, use, maintenance, etc. considering the costs and benefits associated. Among the benefits are the ownership and empowerment of communities, individuals that want to put something back into the community, access to funding sources and grants such as hanging basket projects in horticultural or gardening activities, and allotment clubs for children partly involved in environmental activities, increasing the use of the green space and increasing the involvement of users.

Other benefits include improving communication and understanding of operation constraints, additional funding, political profile to secure funding, providing safe and secure environment, issues of safety, security and rapid reporting incidents, crime reporting and vandalism reduction, additional expertise, spreading the voluntary work, ability to respond to local users’ needs and aspirations, bringing the community together in a community spirit, long-term sustainability and viability, developing partnerships to complement resources and to achieve the best value, and personal satisfaction and development.

A community development approach based upon a geographical location requires a structure and skills based on community consultation, site-based staff for sustainable management, and delivery of the services received by the site users. Community engagement in designing, planning, sustainable management, and maintenance of urban green spaces involves information and communication exchange, active consultation, and collaboration in decision-making. Engagement of all represented stakeholders; participation in funding; awareness of physical, emotional, psychological, and cultural needs; and involvement in sustainable management and maintenance encourage social inclusion of vulnerable community groups such as children, elderly, disable, young people, etc.

A whole systems application to urban green space conference to produce a shared vision can bring interested representatives of community groups, businesses, clubs, organizations, and agencies. Public support and political will and commitment are necessary to develop a strategic management plan with a shared vision, to implement it, and to achieve real success.

An urban green space strategy is a long-term collective vision and perspective integrated within the planning and management system of the city to provide guidelines for development to meet the needs, aspirations, and priorities of urban dwellers and to provide objectives and the ways to achieve them.

Those interested groups to participate in decision-making may continue to develop detailed planning of actions and develop some proposals inviting members to engage in such responsibilities as financing, landscape design, management, maintenance, community activities, etc. Afterward, interested members of the extended group can discuss the initiatives and proposals.

Community engagement and involvement has the objectives of improving information exchange, communication, consultation and understanding, active collaboration in design, planning, decision-making, maintenance, and development of self-management. Services of urban green spaces support developing community groups. There are some mechanisms to stimulate groups of users to get involved and engaged on decision-making processes.

The ethos of working with user groups of the community in a more self-management orientation means that the delivery service moves to users’ motivated services. Delivery services require to engage the users by meeting their needs and aspirations and send the information back to management for planning and development. The involvement of friends and user groups demonstrates the responsibilities and commitment of communities to raise the standards of quality service provided by urban green spaces in their neighborhoods.

Self-management of the urban green space involving voluntary activities from the community groups, business, and school’s participation is an ultimate goal requiring financial control and delegation of planning and budgeting of resources, facilities, and activities. Self-management of facilities in urban green spaces owned by local authorities where revenue can be invested in the site enhances the sense of ownership and the entrepreneurial spirit, such as in sports events and activities. Maintenance is in charge of volunteers.

An ethical dilemma emerges when voluntary labor from the community groups participate in the operations of running the urban green spaces that have to be provided by the local authorities. Therefore, voluntary management and local community engagement cannot be acceptable if the volunteers already pay taxes for the provision of public services. However, it can be argued that community involvement and engagement with voluntary efforts in management of the green space can complement and enrich the local authority while gaining relevant benefits from their input. Engaging and developing community groups involve individual negotiations and renewing contracts in an equitable approach for setting standards and goals between local authorities of the urban green spaces and the voluntary groups.

Self-management of allotments through social meetings can create a sense of community. Under the regime of the compulsory competitive tendering system, the client functions of management, strategizing, and policing are separated from the contractor functions of maintenance and provision of service delivery to the users. Some urban green spaces have moved from a management by officers, policy, management contract role, and direct delivery service toward larger community development-based teams having the responsibilities by involving existing staff and new skills mix.

Allotments can be self-managed by residents and community involvement and support, and some plots can be set aside for community green space and other plots for productive use, which give incentive to the tenants to create income. Trusts enable urban green spaces to be self-managed in tune with community and local needs and aspirations while creating links with users, neighborhood groups, and friend’s groups associated also with historic landscapes, nature conservation spaces, etc., in response to development and funding initiatives.

To make these changes, it is necessary to take into consideration many factors for the implementation of friend and user group development, involvement, and engagement to evolve from consultation functions to a more active commitment, participation, and collaboration. However, the client and contractor functions can be merged by combining strategic management and policy development for improved performance and better service delivery. Co-management with other community and business organizations and collaborators is active in planning, organizing, and staffing resources to achieve common goals. Some assistant providers help with volunteers, education, health, and programming, such as the catalyst groups involved in advocacy, consultation, etc.

Sustainable management practices in urban green spaces provide a framework for balanced management, provision and use of green environment, put in place environmental policies, resources self-sufficiency use and waste, measures to reduce energy consumption, reduce use of pesticides and peat, recycling by composting waste plant material, high standards on horticulture and arboriculture, encouraging biomass planting, new ways of working with sustainable development policies, center for local community recycling and composting schemes.

Overcoming and tackling barriers to urban green spaces increase the willingness of users to share good practices in designing, sustainable management, and maintenance. Most of these barriers and issues could be overcome if addressed correctly by planning, designing, and sustainable management of these urban green spaces. Responsibility fragmentation of urban green space management is one of the main barriers to achieve efficient community involvement under a holistic approach. Breaking down barriers between the different roles of workers in an urban green space creates a sense of ownership in all the involved encouraging creativity and innovation. Changing roles in urban green space require new skills and a new vision to cut across the traditional professional profiles emphasizing entrepreneurial skills, community consultation and facilitation, design awareness, creativity, and innovation.

Local authorities can combine policy and operations with responsibilities in a unified structure approach. Grassroots' initiatives as result of politics are important to consider during the process of integration under a functional structure with flexible management in charge of strategic planning of the whole urban green space. The new agency in charge of the public green spaces should design and implement strategies and public policies for sustainable management and care to promote standards and stimulate innovative practices in sustainable planning, design, and integrated management of urban green areas.

Strategic Management Innovation

Local authorities of cities should design and implement strategies and public policies to develop strategic management innovation of urban green spaces as an instrument of addressing environmental justice to poor green areas, such as the greening of urban land and underutilized land infrastructure to improve quality of life, make the healthier living, social, economic, ecological, and environmental sustainable and attractive. The strategic public policies should promote restoration of green space services providing leisure, culture, and sports services.

Conventional strategic and policy approaches to urban green spaces are very limited to achieving effective results in community engagement and development instead of taking a more integrative approach through addressing the full range of issues required to meet the needs and aspirations of the community. The development strategic process of urban green spaces must identify the needs, values, aspirations, priorities, spatial problems, opportunities, and potentials to improve the quality of life of the users. Strategic issues are linked with strategic priorities such as enhancement, protection, access, community, and stakeholders’ involvement.

A green system or green network is a spatial concept for strategic issues. All urban green spaces open to the users and regardless of accessibility and functions are included in the strategy that contributes to the sustainable development of the city and well-being of citizens. A strategy to increase density is the establishment of greenbelts and networks of urban green spaces, minimizing distance between them and increasing the cooling (Tallis et al. 2011) of urban settlements, requiring green spaces for new urban developments (Rinner and Hussain 2011), and taking advantage of other green space alternatives (Cameron et al. 2014; Koyama et al. 2013).

The identification of strategic priority issues helps to analyze demands, problems, challenges, opportunities, potentials, etc. focusing on the resulting measures for urban green space development. Priorities of existing and new green spaces are set for types derived from specific aims of the strategy. The identification of the strategic issues related to the quality, accessibility, connectivity, etc. of green space has an impact on the implementation of a strategic action. Defining priorities of strategic issues regarding green spaces derive from the identification of strategic problems and evaluation of green spaces on relation to the vision and strategic objectives. The strategic vision statement sets out the future direction of the urban green space describing the aims to be achieved.

Opportunities in urban green space are related to the public good. Strategic development requires public support and cooperation from communities, involving them in a shared vision on the possibilities. Vision and strategic objectives of urban green space strategy have to be set down in implementing and achieving them together with an action plan with the final priorities, the strategic route, and the means. A strategic aim of urban green spaces can be to provide attractions for balanced lifestyle patterns.

Integrative approach to overcome the challenges faced by urban spaces and contributions to solutions to environmental sustainability, including the number, size, and land allocation to urban green spaces based on population, visitors, and accessible facilities but also considering other factors such as environmental, economic, social, population growth, migration, inefficient management, and lack of proper implementation of environmental policies.

The integrative approach is a transdisciplinary framework to study and analyze variables, complexities, and challenges of urban green spaces such as environmental conservation and sustainability, climate change adaptation, etc. An integrative approach facilitates the dialogue between local authorities, users, communities, business, social and non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders, academics and researchers, policy makers, societal actors, representatives of management and the citizens in general, etc. (Tress et al. 2005). An integrative approach using transdisciplinary approach analyzes urban green spaces and their implications and challenges to achieve environmental sustainability and climate change while obtaining economic efficiency and social well-being.

An urban green space strategy strengthens long-term sustainability of facilities and environment; develops a shared vision of needs, values, and priorities for the provision of quality service delivery; and generates public participation and internal and external cooperation of stakeholders for management and funding opportunities. The design, planning, management, and policy and strategy implementation of urban green spaces are related with the quality of city development with a sustainable environment with contributions to economic, social, cultural, and psychological well-being.

A basic framework for building up the green space strategy has three stages: preliminary activities, analytical or information gathering and evaluation, and strategy formulation. The building up strategy stage can be initiated by political will and governmental mandate by creating a supportive environment and the cooperation of a variety. Presentation for approval of the urban green space strategy requires clear criteria and transparent evaluation process of aspects such as the priorities, quantity and quality, design, distribution, accessibility, security, etc. An efficient implementation of an urban green strategy has the evaluation results and presented for discussion to boost participation and involvement. The urban green space strategy subject to approval can be used as a reference for making decisions of the local authority related to planning, design, development, management, and maintenance.

Systematic information gathering on strategic issues for urban green spaces includes provision and quality service delivery, internal and external administrative variables, deficiencies and gaps, priorities for action, etc. The geographic information system (GIS) enables the integration of strategies into the urban green space strategy. Records on user information collected by local authorities on urban green spaces are inconsistent despite introducing survey and monitoring schemes to determine users’ needs and aspirations, impacts of development strategies, etc. One tool for monitoring is the strategy developing table used for city administrators with the purpose to evaluate the process of building. Urban green space strategy building, development, implementation, and evaluation processes must be monitored to be effective, using different methods such as mapping and observation.

Innovation in a wider network of urban green spaces lies in the best practices in a more holistic approach on strategic management to meet the needs and aspirations of all users. The pool of strategies examines possible solutions to obstacles and problems delivering best practices and new thinking to face the challenges. An integrative and holistic green space plans and strategies consider the different structural components of the whole green space network of any metropolitan area. An integrative and holistic view of urban green spaces should be the starting point of designing by the local government, considering the resources available and the environmental, social, and economic benefits contributing to the quality of life of urban inhabitants.

Less intensive management of green space network with native forest offers the greatest benefits. An innovative approach for designing of urban green spaces is critical for an integral ongoing management to solve problems and to find the right balance on funding to achieve the highest quality for creation, restoration, or renewal. A comprehensive strategic management process requires the cooperation of actors, decision-makers, and stakeholders involved. Involving participants ensures long-lasting partnerships. A strategic management building process must be flexible and supportive on the development of urban green space strategy. Strategic partnerships with cross-cutting responsibilities provide coordination and active cooperation within the local authority’s structure which is in charge of community renewal and regeneration bringing funding and resources from public, private, and voluntary sectors.

Urban green spaces as public goods have to be planned and managed for more sustainable urban development. An urban green space strategic management confronts current and future needs, problems, conflicts, and potentials with a shared collective vision of the future providing objectives, proposals, tasks, and actions. A cooperative environment of an urban green space allows the integration of strategic analysis and management and development in strategic issues related to improvement of quality service delivery, accessibility and social inclusion, community involvement and engaging, and partnerships for funding.

A strategic partnership has at its core environmental and green space demonstrating real benefits of cross-agency and multi-discipline interconnected on community-based initiatives that are centered on economic, social, and community regeneration. Sustainable long-term regeneration strategy needs to meet sources of funding and professional expertise and make available to communities either through partnerships, employment, or a trust system on a basis of equality, communication, and without conflicts of interests.

Flexible initiatives of investment approaches such as partnerships with environmental organizations and trusts to achieve strategic plans by targeting funding and resources at facilities in need are important assumptions to design and implement a strategic management plan. While forming the trust, also a conflict may arise when there are opposing interests between the concentration on methods to build capacity and coordination on both long-term strategic vision and ground action that are vital for local authorities and users of community groups. Most of these partnerships are far-reaching involving cross-cutting work within local authorities, although the results do not have the right impact in site-specific outcomes.

Horticultural planting and floral displays beyond the decorative motives are forms of high-quality environmental enhancement and attracting inward investments into town by creating outdoor recreational facilities, attracting tourists and shoppers, and encouraging spending. Under this scheme of community renewal and regeneration, some important private sponsorship is attracted essentially from business groups. Trees and flowers are a means of economic investment to create an environment contributing to the quality of life and attracting tourism and shopping. One relevant activity is to chase funds from business sponsorship. One way that has been done in this strategy is to organize garden competitions for gardens in private, public, and commercial premises with the community involvement from local schools and allotment holders.

Strategic management and support from a community development ethos and friend’s groups are essential elements to achieve excellence. Some important issues contributing to this excellence are the institutional culture of local authorities and managers at the urban green spaces sharing a philosophy of community engagement and a sense of ownership, empowerment and delegation of responsibilities, high degree of self-management and community involvement, the nature and type of site supported by volunteer labor, the available resources, local capacity building, high standards of quality maintenance and service delivery meeting the users’ needs and aspirations, self-management encouraging outsources, and trust status and commitment.

A trust created between the different stakeholders and partners may have a social entrepreneurial approach on urban green spaces and aims more on action plans learned through experiences at a certain level of risks to focus on improvement of facilities and infrastructure. A strategy adopted may be to take advantage of some regenerating funding sources aimed to develop the site that later will support itself. This enables the trust to spend and invest freely to benefit the urban green space and the local community.

The green space strategic management considers the existing complementary policies, strategies, plans, and official documents to determine the relevance and relationships to urban green space management. Structure is adapted to the strategic management of urban green spaces, based on the city characteristics such as demographic, environmental, economic, financial, historical, spatial, social, cultural, institutional, and organizational data.

Developing urban green spaces with sustainable development objectives requires a strategic planning and management approach to improve the quality service delivery, sustain better use making them more attractive to attract investments, and enhance the well-being of users and tourism. Strategic planning and high-level innovative, creative, and quality designing of urban green space to suit the needs and aspirations of users is the most relevant issue to overcome barriers including the process of landscape management practices. An agenda of a strategic planning process for an urban green space strategy must identify the key strategic issues and challenges in addressing linkages between internal and external interactions. Participative strategic planning involves internal and external stakeholders, users, communities, funding agencies, etc. in a changing environment bringing diversity of problems, views, values, and opportunities.

Planning and designing process must incorporate participation of users and stakeholder providing their needs, values, and attitudes toward uses of urban green spaces. Planning urban green spaces requires the users’ needs integration such as evergreen plants, grass, pleasant landscape, walking and running facilities, sitting, peaceful atmosphere, etc. Urban green space development strategies must include stakeholders’ participation and consider the environmental, economic, and social functions (Oguz 2000).

Strategic planning and management is suitable for the development of urban green spaces taking into consideration the nature characteristics and the public good provision. Urban green space strategic planning and management is embedded in a complex system integrated in environmental, natural, economic, social, and cultural components. Urban green space strategic planning and management reacts to complexities and uncertainties. The strategic development of urban green spaces should consider the larger environmental network as a system in the planning structure. Urban green spaces must meet green policies and strategies of local authorities linked to other public policies in biodiversity and environment, economic development, education, health, etc.

As a community resource, green spaces need creative and innovative designing according to the needs of the community and to meet them and with the involvement of the community groups of users. A strategic approach adopted by the planning and management authorities provides opportunities for development of urban green areas and ensures accessibility and provides quality service delivery and recreational facilities (Laing et al. 2006).

Gathering of information, dialogue, and consultation with the groups of the community of common interest are important input activities for strategic management in directing service delivery to meet the current needs of local users. A formal structure considers the function of a consultation body established by representatives of communities of interest to discuss and exchange information and participate in making decisions and developing policies and strategies. A community development orientation of management of urban green spaces takes into consideration the information from consultation to inform the service delivery.

The development of urban green spaces requires strategic thinking to design the policies and management actions centered around an inventory of resources available to develop policies, strategies, and plan of action according to the satisfaction of user needs. An audit carried out proceeds to the development of a strategic management that needs to be based on knowledge extent and quality of the urban green space. Green space audits require to incorporate quantitative and qualitative data to categorize the impact of typologies and systems driven by policies and strategies. Green space audits involving community groups in its assessment categorize systems and typologies result in green structure strategic plan of an urban green space to consider it as part of a larger green space network.

Green space audits incorporate quantitative and qualitative information and data to characterize typologies and systems of urban green spaces to be driven by the policy and strategy design and implementation. Thus, the benefit of the audit is to provide the information basis in strategic planning. Urban green space audits require quantitative and qualitative information based on space green policies and strategies; economic, social, and environmental local standards; typologies of green spaces and users; and planning of green structures and resources.

An analytical summary of the strategic management document must explain the vision, mission, values, strategic objectives, obstacles, problems, opportunities, potentials, and challenges for urban green spaces. The strategic plan must have a good description and analysis of the urban green space situation, identification of trends and tendencies, the demographic structure, attitudes and values of the community, and identification of demands, needs and aspirations of users, priorities, objectives and goals, and the use and a set of thematic maps explaining different characteristics, considering the size of the document. Exchanging information and transferring knowledge provides an analysis of the benefits.

A green estate program of urban renewal, an area-based approach, has creative and innovative practices such as the holistic environmental initiatives in economic and social regeneration that enables resources to reallocate housing, community, education, etc. The environmental strategy has the same status than the other areas. The regeneration process is cross-cutting integrated to bridge environment with communities and its economic, social, environmental, and recreational potential. Integration of land use and sustainable management provides sustainable long-term green business income generating such as a café, fishing ponds, etc.

Urban green spaces are inextricably bound as a core element in urban renewal and regeneration integrated by a strategic synergy element between the environment, economy, and community regeneration processes. Some benefits derived of strategic urban regeneration are the attraction of inward investments, spin-offs from green space initiatives, multi-agency area, and educational, social, and economic benefits difficult to quantify.

A regenerating program of green spaces is an innovative design approach with emphasis on major investment for children and youth facilities involving principles of good practices in consultation, conflict resolution, design innovation, and collaborative partnership to long-term management and maintenance. Building, developing, and supporting strategic alliances and partnerships involving local government institutions, local communities, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and other private and public agencies may increase the quality of facilities and services provided by urban green spaces ensuring to meet the needs and aspirations of final users. Friends and user groups should be actively managed by building capacities to achieve greater levels of partnerships and strategic alliances between local authorities and communities.

Urban green spaces can also contribute to urban renewal and environmental enhancement identified by levels of integration and characterized by the strategic synergy of the interrelationship between the community, the economy, and the environment in terms of investment attraction by urban landscapes, spin-offs from green spaces initiatives, neighborhood renewal, and strategic regeneration.

An innovation can come from management by local authorities to change toward self-management changing toward community engagement and development or at least in between linking local authorities and community engagement and development. Innovation and creativity in urban green spaces can consider new forms of funding including external for new facilities; restructuration of service delivery; strategic alliances and partnerships with local businesses, voluntary sector, civil society, etc.; creation of consultative bodies and network of sustainable greenspaces; developing a program of events; delivering of biodiversity and wildlife benefits to local users; forming friend groups to be engaged in regenerating the local urban green spaces and promote community action to organize programs and networks for support for the elderly, teenagers, women, etc.; and designing and managing to provide events to experience the countryside landscapes, arboriculture, horticulture, etc. and to penetrate into the urban core.

Individual initiatives based on strategic innovation are required to promote new roles and functions of future urban green areas. The value of urban green spaces toward designing and developing eco-cities provides relevant functions that benefit the quality of life, protecting and maintaining the biodiversity, improving air quality, reducing the energy costs, and increasing property value. However, greening strategies to mitigate heat and air pollution should be applied as a multi-scale approach (Baró et al. 2014). A change in organizational and management culture in the urban green spaces is leading from contract management with direct service delivery toward user groups in a community involvement and engagement approach.

Self-management and trust status are trends to create and manage urban green spaces. A strategy in self-management in urban green spaces should be to move from groups of users to friend groups. Group users provide communication and user consultation in a top-down approach, while friend groups have more formal structure with larger membership with active participation, involvement, and collaboration.

The strategy for green space to avoid fragmented responsibility should be to bring together responsibilities for management and maintenance by creating a social entrepreneurial culture centered on a sense of ownership in all the users and stakeholders involved. A public relations and marketing strategy to increase political and public awareness and commitment for managing urban green spaces should include press releases, site events, etc. Citizens should participate in planning and maintenance of urban public spaces.

Merged structures between clients and contractors of urban green spaces can allow the integration of policy development and operations with management involving maintenance and managerial roles and functions. This integrated approach of policy development, operations, and management of practices results in a progressive engagement strategy between the urban green parks and the community.

A sustainable management practice of urban green spaces is to manage strategic partnerships with communities and user groups, being representatives of the community according to their objectives. To reach out and engage with communities and local businesses, it is required to identify the opportunities for supporting and building partnerships. A representative community group of local community according to the objectives through active participation in management ensures that any developments benefit the community.

Some Research Gaps Detected for Future Research

There are several research gaps that are derived from the lack of study if the benefits derived from small inner-city green spaces, the benefits in driving tourism. There is evidence based on the relationship between green space and health, heat, and air quality, but there is a gap on the greening strategies to maximize the health benefits and to reduce urban heat and air pollution. There is no comparative analysis between cities exploring different approaches. Also it is necessary to explore the benefits of blue spaces such as rivers, lakes, and ponds out of the study of green spaces.

There is a need for more research on strategic management innovation addressed to community green space and its relationship with heat-related stress and illness and into health benefits of green spaces at local level. Future research should be on green space program, and strategic planning and policies impact on physical, psychological, economic, and social benefits from reduction of air pollution and heat.

Some Concluding Remarks

Urban green spaces are an important issue for research. Despite that there is a growing concern for the study and analysis, the field is still in its infancy. Moreover, the research on the implications and associations between strategic management of innovation of urban green spaces for community development is very scarce despite the relevance it has under the pressures of climate change.

The results of this review and analysis of strategic management innovation of urban green spaces and their associations and implications are not conclusive, particularly because of the different local and neighborhood development circumstances and the nature of communities. However, the analysis has been useful to identify innovative models for sustainable designing, creating, planning, implementing, improving, managing, and maintaining urban green spaces with the involvement, participation, and capacity development of users, residents, and business community, among other stakeholders.

Cross-References

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • José G. Vargas-Hernández
    • 1
    Email author
  • Karina Pallagst
    • 2
  • Patricia Hammer
    • 2
  1. 1.University Center for Economic and Managerial Sciences, University of GuadalajaraZapopanMexico
  2. 2.IPS Department International Planning Systems, Faculty of Spatial and Environmental PlanningTechnische Universität KaiserslauternKaiserslauternGermany

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