Environmental Inequality and Access to Public Parks : A Qualitative Study from Rome

University essay from Linköpings universitet/Institutionen för beteendevetenskap och lärande

Abstract: Despite the directions of regulatory agencies, that prompt a sufficient provision of green spaces in the urban context, research claims that the access to parks depends on the Socio-Economic-Status (SES) of the inhabitants of the city. Therefore, the uneven access to the green areas, known as Environmental Inequality, has been recognised as an Environmental Injustice. In this study, a qualitative approach was employed to assess the presence of the Environmental Inequality between two neighbourhoods with different SES in the city of Rome; consequently, the interest was to investigate how does the inequality occur given a satisfying quantity of green space. Ten citizens were selected to participate in semi-structured interviews with the aim to understand their attitudes and perspectives towards the local green parks and to verify if the inhabitants perceived any inequality. The results indicate the presence of the Environmental Inequality based on the SES of the inhabitants of the two neighbourhoods, in consequence of qualitative factors such as maintenance and lack of facilities. A perceived Inequality was also found within the participants of both the neighbourhoods supporting the results about the presence of the inequality. The present study contributes to the discussion about the qualitative obstacles that may influence access to the urban parks and that may determine an environmental injustice. Further research should extend the samplings to more than two neighbourhoods in order to confirm that these results apply to the rest of the wide territory of Rome, as these results cannot be generalized with a sample size of ten.

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