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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2022

Public participation GIS can help assess multiple dimensions of environmental justice in urban green and blue space planning

Korpilo, Silviya; Kaaronen, Roope Oskari; Olafsson, Anton Stahl; Raymond, Christopher Mark


In the last two decades, there has been an exponential increase in application of public participation GIS (PPGIS) methods to urban green and blue space (UGBS) planning. However, integrating different elements of environ-mental justice in PPGIS research is still in its infancy, especially in regards to the deep and less visible issues related to recognition and participation of different groups in local green space planning and management. Here we present a new method for assessing perceived recognition and procedural justice with respect to UGBS in the Amager island of Copenhagen, Denmark. We collected survey data together with 2187 place-based values and preferences from 298 local residents. Using Exploratory Factor Analysis, we classified respondents in four clusters representing low to high perceived recognition and procedural justice. We then examined how these clusters relate to socio-demographics and the spatial distribution of mapped values and preferences. Results indicated no significant differences in terms of income and age between clusters. However, there was clear variation in the spatial distribution and type of values and preferences respondents from different clusters assigned, particularly for those who feel unrecognized and do not participate in local environmental decision -making compared to all other groups. In addition, gender had a significant effect on the perceptions of recog-nition and procedure. Female respondents scored lower on procedural justice than male and mapped landscape values and preferences closer to home than males, thus suggesting that gender inequalities can be deeply embedded in everyday public spaces and practices. Planning inclusive and environmentally just UGBS requires not only incorporating such gender perspectives, but a more flexible, intersectional and relational understanding of space that reflects the everyday needs of different and marginalized groups.


Participatory mapping; Environmental justice; Social values; Procedural justice; Recognition justice; Distributional justice; Green spaces; Nature-based solutions

Published in

Applied Geography
2022, volume: 148, article number: 102794

Authors' information

Korpilo, Silviya
University of Helsinki
Kaaronen, Roope Oskari
University of Helsinki
Olafsson, Anton Stahl
University of Copenhagen
Raymond, Christopher
University of Helsinki
Raymond, Christopher
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Landscape Architecture, Planning and Management

Sustainable Development Goals

SDG11 Sustainable cities and communities
SDG10 Reduce inequality within and among countries
SDG16 Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

UKÄ Subject classification

Human Geography

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