Browsing by Subject "Recreation"

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  • Jalkanen, Joel; Fabritius, Henna; Vierikko, Kati; Moilanen, Atte; Toivonen, Tuuli (2020)
    Maintaining enough green areas and ensuring fair access to them is a common planning challenge in growing and densifying cities. Evaluations of green area access typically use metrics like population around green areas (within a certain buffer), but these do not fully ensure equitable access. We propose that using systematic and complementarity-driven spatial prioritization, often used in nature conservation planning, could assist in the complex planning challenge. Here, we demonstrate the use of spatial prioritization to identify green areas with highest recreational potential based on their type and their accessibility for the residents of the Helsinki Metropolitan area, the capital district of Finland. We calculated travel times from each city district to each green area. Travel times were calculated separately to local green areas using active travel modes (walking and biking), and to large forests (attracting people from near and far) using public transport. We prioritized the green areas using these multimodal travel times from each district and weighting the prioritization with population data with Zonation, conservation prioritization software. Compared to a typical buffer analysis (population within a 500 m buffer from green areas), our approach identified areas of high recreational potential in different parts of the study area. This approach allows systematic integration of travel-time-based accessibility measures into equitable spatial prioritization of recreational green areas. It can help urban planners to identify sets of green areas that best support the recreational needs of the residents across the city.
  • Paloniemi, Riikka; Niemelä, Jari; Soininen, Niko; Laatikainen, Tiina; Vierikko, Kati; Rekola, Aino; Viinikka, Arto; Yli-Pelkonen, Vesa; Assmuth, Timo; Kopperoinen, Leena; Peltonen, Lasse; Kuokkanen, Tuomas; Kyttä, Marketta (2018)
    Environmental justice sheds light on the distributive and procedural aspects of planning and decision-making. We examined the challenges arising from the perspective of environmental justice on multi-level and participatory environmental governance by exploring the governance of aquatic environments in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. We found three main challenges and potential responses to them. First, even though most of Helsinki’s shoreline is free and/or accessible by road and accordingly used actively by people for recreational purposes, many parts of the shoreline are perceived as inaccessible, reflecting a need to combine factual and perceived accessibility of aquatic environments in detail during the planning processes and to discuss reasons for possible discrepancies between these two. Second, there was a remarkable seasonal variation in the use of aquatic environments, so more attention should be paid to social-demographic factors explaining the distribution of the use of urban nature. Third, it seems to be difficult to capture the variety of perceptions of people and to integrate them into planning and decision-making processes even on a local scale, and this challenge is likely even more pronounced on higher levels of planning and governance. Thus, better integration of regional and local-scale planning procedures should be encouraged. Building on these observations, we conclude that integration of procedural and distributive environmental justice into the practices of the governance of aquatic environments could remarkably decrease unwanted trade-offs and potential conflicts in their use and management.
  • Vierikko, Kati Hannele; Yli-Pelkonen, Vesa Johannes (2019)
    Monetary valuation methods are commonly used to analyze recreation values of water ecosystems. However, most studies on water-related recreation values have not analyzed direct links between ecological elements providing recreation opportunities and user demands. Therefore, we implemented an ecosystem service approach to study human-nature interaction during the actual recreation visit to an urban freshwater site. We developed a conceptual model of local cultural ecosystem services (CES) to study interactions between recreation supply and demand. We were interested in seasonality of water-related recreation supply, and the different demands of summer and off-summer visitors. We chose urban Lake Kuusijärvi in the city of Vantaa, Finland, as our case study area, because it is a popular outdoor recreation area around the year. We identified 14 key elements of the supply of local CES and 22 socio-cultural values for the demand for local CES. We found little seasonal change in recreation supply, but the socio-demographic characteristics and demands of summer and off-summer visitors varied significantly. Demand was higher and more diverse during the summer season, while off-summer visitors were more specific in their demands. Moreover, some visitors feared that some socio-cultural values can be lost if the recreational use of the lake area increases. We discuss our findings in a theoretical context focusing especially on interactions between supply and demand of local CES at Lake Kuusijärvi.