Document Type : CASE STUDY


1 Department of Geography and Urban Planning, Tabriz University, Tabriz, Iran

2 World Capital Institute, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia


In the best practices, planning of urban green spaces is managed in such a way that it follows the key principles such as meeting per capita standards and providing accessible and balanced distribution of these spaces all across the city. In the context of emerging economy, these principles are unfortunately not followed strictly all times. In this study, it is attempted to investigate Tabriz city of Iran is in terms of ecological planning to quantitatively analyse its green space characteristics. The used methodology includes determining the relevant urban green space development indicators (e.g. accessibility, per capita supply, balanced distribution, and continuous development of urban green spaces) from the literature and using the secondary data collected from variety of sources to analyse the study area. The study seeks to provide a comprehensive view on status of green spaces in Tabriz in the light of ecological principles and indicators and GIS-based spatial analysis. Results indicate that: a) Green space per capita provision in Tabriz is much lower than the national and international standards (some districts offer only 0-1 sq.m. per capita green space); b) Districts of Tabriz do not have a balanced distribution of green spaces and access to green spaces on foot (only 18% of the population can access green spaces within a 5 minute walk); c) Except for the provided street side green spaces, all other passive or active types of green spaces in Tabriz are not continuously linked (no continuity to form a green corridor or linear greenways). This study also comes up with some recommendations for Tabriz and other cities with similar characteristics.

Graphical Abstract

An approach towards effective ecological planning: Quantitative analysis of urban green space characteristics


  • Discloses potential externalities due to insufficient urban green space provision
  • Investigates urban green space in Tabriz city in the light of ecological principles
  • Reveals the inequalities in distribution of urban green spaces throughout Tabriz city
  • Provides recommendations to move towards effective ecological planning.


Main Subjects

Akbarpour-Saraskanroud, M.; Garakhlou, M.; Norouzi, M., (2009). Evaluation and locating of green space in 9th District of Tehran. J. Appl. Res. Geogr. Sci., 11(14): 76-104 (29 pages).

Aminzadeh, B.; Khansefid, M., (2009). A case study of urban ecological networks and a sustainable city: Tehran’s metropolitan area. J. Sci. Urban Ecosyst., 13: 23-36 (14 pages).

Brierley, G.J.; Fryirs, K.; Jain, V., (2006). Landscape connectivity: the geographic basis of geomorphic application. Area, 38: 165-174 (10 pages).

Chiesura, A., (2004). The role of urban parks for the sustainable city. Landscape Urban Planning., 68: 129-138 (10 pages).

Cohen, B., (2006). Urbanization in developing countries: current trends, future projections, and key challenges for sustainability. Technol. Soc., 28: 63-80 (18 pages).

Cranz, G., (1989). The politics of park design: A history of urban parks in America. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press (361 pages).

Dizdaroglu, D.; Yigitcanlar, T.; Dawes, L., (2012). A micro-level indexing model for assessing urban  ecosystem sustainability. Smart Sustainable Built. Environ., 1: 291-315 (25 pages).

Dizdaroglu, D.; Yigitcanlar, T., (2014). A parcel-scale assessment tool to measure sustainability through urban ecosystem components: the MUSIX model. Ecol. Indic., 41: 115-130 (16 pages).

Ebrahimzadeh, I.; Ebadi Jokandan, E., (2008). The spatial analysis of allocation of greenbelt utilization of the third civil zone of zahedan, J. Geogr. Dev., 6(11): 39-58 (20 pages).

Farajzadeh, M.; Hakimi, H., (2009). Network analysis and its applications in urban planning. Sepehr. 70: 52-63 (12 pages).

Gill, S.E.; Handley, J.F.; Ennos, A.R.; Pauleit, S., (2007). Adapting cities for climate change: the role of the green infrastructure. Built Environ, 30: 97-115 (19 pages).

Groenewegen, P.P.; van den Berg, A.E.; de Vries, S.; Verheij, R.A., (2006). Vitamin G: effects of green space on health, well-being, and social safety. BMC Public Health, 6: 149 (9 pages).

Gudes, O.; Kendall, E.; Yigitcanlar, T.; Pathak, V.; Baum, S., (2010). Rethinking health planning: a framework for organising information to underpin collaborative health planning. Health Inf. Mananage. J., 39: 18-29 (12 pages).

Li, H.; Chen, W.; He, W., (2015). Planning of Green Space Ecological Network in Urban Areas: An Example of Nanchang, China. Environ. Res. Public Health, 12: 12889-12904 (16 pages).

Luber, G.; McGeehin, M., (2008). Climate change and extreme heat events. Am. J. Preventive Med., 35: 429-435 (7 pages).

Maas, J.; Verheij, R.A.; Groenewegen, P.P.; de Vries, S.; Spreeuwenberg, P., (2006). Green space, urbanity, and health: How strong is the relation? Epidemiol. Community Health, 60: 587-592 (6 pages).

Mersal, A., (2017). Eco-city: challenge and opportunities in transferring a city in to green city. Procedia Environ. Sci., 37: 22-33 (12 pages).

Mitchell, R.; Popham, F., (2007). Greenspace, urbanity and health: relationships in England. Epidemiol. Community Health, 61: 681-683 (3 pages).

Najihah M.; Nor, A.; Corstanje, N.; Harris, J.; Brewer, T., (2017). Impact of rapid urban expansion on green space structure, Ecol. Indic., 81: 274-284 (11 pages).

Oliveira, S.; Andrade, H.; Vaz, T., (2011). The cooling effect of green spaces as a contribution to the mitigation of urban heat: A case study in Lisbon, Build. Environ., 46(11): 2186-2194 (9 pages).

Piri, K.; Rezayirad, H., (2006). Eco-park. The 1st International Conference of Premier City, Superior Design, Hamedan Municipality Development Organization, Iran (11 pages).

Pretty, G.M.; Andrewes, L.; Collett, C., (1994). Exploring adolescents’ sense of community and its relationship to loneliness, Community Psychol., 22: 346-358 (13 pages).

Prezza, M.; Amici, M.; Roberti, T.; Tedeschi, G., (2001). Sense of community referred to the whole town: its relations with neighbouring, loneliness, life satisfaction, and area of residence. J. Com. Psychol., 29(1): 29-52 (24 pages).

Rahimi, A., (2013). Evaluation of spatial-physical development with an emphasis on infill development, the case study; Tabriz, Ph.D. thesis. Faculty of Geography and Planning Tabriz University, Iran (239 pages).

Salehi, A.; Ramazani, M.; Majidi, H.; Davoodi, S.M.; Basiri, R., (2013). Evaluation of urban parks spatial distribution using network analysis, case study: Tehran, J. Urb. Management, 32, 153-162 (10 pages).

Sharifi, A.; Chiba, Y.; Okamoto, K.; Yokoyama, S.; Murayama, A., (2014). Can master planning control and regulate urban growth in Vientiane Laos? Landscape Urban Plann.. 131: 1-13 (13 pages).

Sarimin, M.; Yigitcanlar, T., (2012). Towards a comprehensive and integrated knowledge-based urban development model: status quo and directions. Int. J. Knowledge-Based Dev., 3(2): 175-192 (18 pages).

Sugiyama, T.; Leslie, E.; Giles-Corti, B.; Owen, N., (2008). Association of neighbourhood greenness with physical and mental health: Do walking, social coherence and local social interaction explain the relationship? Epidemiol. Community Health, 62(5): e9 (16 pages).

Takano, T.; Nakamura, K.; Watanabe, M., (2002). Urban residential environments and senior citizens’ longevity in megacity areas. The importance of walkable green spaces, Epidemiol. Community Health, 56, 913-918 (6 pages).

Teimouri, R.; Roostayi, S.; Zamani, A.A.; Ahadnejad, M., (2010). Assessment of spatial suitability of urban parks using GIS, a case study, neighborhood park of 2nd District of Tabriz city. Geog. Space, 30: 137-168 (32 pages).

Tjallingii, S., (2003). Green and red: enemies or allies? The Utrecht experience with green structure planning. Built Environ. 29: 107-116 (10 pages).

Tian, Y.; Liu, Y.; Jim, C.Y.; Song, H., (2017). Assessing structural connectivity of urban green spaces in metropolitan Hong Kong. Sustainability, 9: 1653 (16 pages).

Todes, A., (2012). Urban growth and strategic spatial planning in Johannesburg, South Africa. Cities, 29: 158-165 (8 pages).

Turrini, T.; Knop, E., (2015). A landscape ecology approach identifies important drivers of urban biodiversity. Global Change Biol., 21: 1652-1667 (16 pages).

Van den Berg, A.E.; Maas, J.; Verheij, R.A.; Groenewegen, P.P., (2010). Green space as a buffer between stressful life events and health. Soc. Sci. Med., 70(8): 1203-1210 (8 pages).

Waldheim, C., (2006). The landscape urbanism reader. New York: Princeton Architectural Press (288 pages).

Werquin, A.C.; Duhem, B.; Lindholm, G.; Oppermann, B.; Pauleit, S.; Tjallingii, S., (2005). Green structure and urban planning: final report of COST Action C. Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities (39 pages).

Wolch, J.; Byrne., J.; Newell, J., (2014). Urban green space, public health, and environmental justice: the challenge of making cities ‘just green enough’. Landscape Urban Planning., 125: 234-244 (11 pages).

Yigitcanlar, T.; Dodson, J.; Gleeson, B.; Sipe, N., (2007). Travel self-containment in master planned estates: analysis of recent Australian trends. Urban Policy Res., 25: 129-149 (21 pages).

Yigitcanlar, T., (2009). Planning for smart urban ecosystems: information technology applications for capacity building in environmental decision making. Theor. Empiric. Res. Urban Manage., 4: 5-21 (17 pages).

Letters to Editor

GJESM Journal welcomes letters to the editor for the post-publication discussions and corrections which allows debate post publication on its site, through the Letters to Editor. Letters pertaining to manuscript published in GJESM should be sent to the editorial office of GJESM within three months of either online publication or before printed publication, except for critiques of original research. Following points are to be considering before sending the letters (comments) to the editor.

[1] Letters that include statements of statistics, facts, research, or theories should include appropriate references, although more than three are discouraged.
[2] Letters that are personal attacks on an author rather than thoughtful criticism of the author’s ideas will not be considered for publication.
[3] Letters can be no more than 300 words in length.
[4] Letter writers should include a statement at the beginning of the letter stating that it is being submitted either for publication or not.
[5] Anonymous letters will not be considered.
[6] Letter writers must include their city and state of residence or work.
[7] Letters will be edited for clarity and length.