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Public Involvement in Green Infrastructure Maintenance on Local Streets - Case Study: Green Streets Program… Nakao, Tadayori 2019-04

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Master of Community and Regional Planning (2019)School of Community and Regional PlanningThe University of British Columbia April, 2019.Public Involvement in Green Infrastructure Maintenance on Local StreetsCase Study: Green Streets Program in the City of VancouverTadayori Nakao1Capstone ReportPrefaceThis report was produced as part of a Capstone Project for course 528A at the Master ofCommunity and Regional Planning (MCRP) program at the University of British Columbia.The author would like to thank the following people for all the support and kindness theyoffered throughout the duration of this project: Dr. Alex Bigazzi, SCARP Faculty Advisor; LizNowatschin, Green Streets Program Coordinator, Mike Zipf, City of Vancouver; Itzel Sánchez,Stella Zhou, and Devon Harlos.Acknowledgement21. Executive Summary2. Background3. Purpose and Scope4. Profile of Green Streets Program4.1 History4.2 Administrative Scope4.3 Benefits from the Green Streets Program4.4 Roles and Responsibilities of Volunteers4.5 The City’s Supports for Volunteers5. Motivations for Residents’ Sponsorship –Analysis of Feedback Survey5.1 How Did Volunteers Hear about the Green Streets Program?5.2 What about the Green Streets Program Works Well?5.2.1 Positive Impacts on Community5.2.2 Positive Impacts on Individuals5.2.3 Positive Factors that Help Residents Participate in Green Streets Program5.2.4 Summary of Volunteers’ Feedbacks6. Analysis of Current Status of the Green Streets Program6.1 Garden Type6.2 Garden Size6.3 Relation of Sponsorship with Land Use6.4 Relation of Sponsorship with Population Density6.5 Regression Analysis6.6 Summary of Analysis7. Discussion8. Recommendations9. ConclusionLimitationReferencesAppendices457899910111314151617181819212223242626272829293031Table of Contents 31. Executive SummaryIn Vancouver, bikeway development plays an important role towards achieving urbansustainability. The Installment of traffic calming infrastructure such as curb extensions, andtraffic circles creates green space on local streets, benefiting the local ecosystem and aidingwith stormwater management.This professional research project conducted a case study of the Green Streets Program(“GSP”), a volunteer program of street garden maintenance provided by the City of Vancouver(“City”). The project sought effective ways to further promote public engagement in greeninfrastructure maintenance through the analysis of both qualitative and quantitative data.GSP volunteers are motivated to sponsor street gardens on local streets for social benefitslike community building, neighbourhood beautification, and the feeling of personal fulfillmentand well-being that comes with gardening and frequent access to green space. The Citypromotes the GSP through physical assistance, supplying materials, and informative supports.The project also found that population density and access to off-street community gardensmight have a positive impact on sponsorship in the GSP. This finding implies that the GSPworks well in highly urbanised areas where residents cannot easily access gardeningopportunities, and that a pro-gardening culture can promote public engagement inmaintaining on-street green infrastructure.Finally, the project recommends that the City should facilitate access to green space inurbanised neighbourhoods, advertise and promote the GSP through various channels, andpromote gardening culture overall.42. BackgroundThe City has been pursuing urban sustainability through The Greenest City 2020 Action Planand The Renewable City Action Plan. The City’s transportation master plan, Transportation2040, promotes bicycling as a form of transportation that contributes to public health andbenefits the environment and local economy. The 2017 mode share for bicycling in Vancouverwas 6.9%. The Plan sets a target of 7% by 2020, and 12% by 2040. To encourage residents toride a bicycle and help meet these targets, the City has developed bikeway networks. Thesenetworks began in the 1990s when greenway planning policies were created for urbanlandscaping in an effort to create a more pedestrian and bicyclist-oriented city. (City ofVancouver Landscape Task Force. 1992, City of Vancouver. 1995).Currently, the total length of the bikeway network is 322 km (at the end of 2017). On-streetbikeways make up 80% (265 km) of the total network and 65% of on-street bikeways are localstreet bikeways (M. Zipf, personal communication, Jan. 12, 2019). On local street bikeways,bicyclists and motorists share lanes, and traffic calming infrastructure, such as curbextensions, diverters, and traffic circles, are installed to enhance bicyclists’ safety and todiscourage a high volume of vehicles from entering the streets.Local street bikeway infrastructure provides opportunities for the integration of greeninfrastructure. Green infrastructure not only helps reduce motor vehicle speed and managetraffic volume, but also provides other public benefits such as stormwater management,beautification, community building, improvement of air quality, reduction of urban heat islandeffect and many other positive impacts (NACTO. 2014).A significant issue of green infrastructure is its maintenance. Jin (2016) reports that greenstormwater infrastructure such as absorbent infiltration swales and rain gardens are facedwith challenges of limited funding and maintenance. In general, the landscaping andmaintenance of this green infrastructure is complaint-based, as opposed to a regularmaintenance schedule being in place.Many groups outside of municipalities play an important role in the operation andmaintenance of green stormwater infrastructure in North America. Jin (2016) reports thatwhile private developers or institutions and neighbourhood property owners tend to be moreengaged in the US than in Canada, citizen stewardship or volunteer groups are more likely tobe involved in Canada than in the US.5Many studies report the benefits and issues associated with the gardening activities ofresidents in urban environments. For example, Kingsley et al. (2009) describes thatcommunity gardens allow participants to enjoy benefits such as the escape from dailystresses, a setting for learning and social connectivity, being a part of a supportive community,access to nature, a sense of achievement, and physical health. Wakefield et al. (2007) pointsout concerns and challenges of continuous gardening in urban environments due toincreasing redevelopment and the reduction of garden space.63. Purpose and ScopeThe purpose of the research project is to develop recommendations for effective ways topromote public engagement in green infrastructure maintenance on local streets. The projectlooks at the GSP provided by the City, a volunteer program which allows residents to take careof vegetation on street infrastructure (street gardens) such as bulges on curb extensions ortraffic circles. The project received information about the program scope, volunteers’feedbacks, streets garden locations and sponsorship status from Liz Nowatschin, GreenStreets Program Coordinator, Street Activities, Engineering Service, City of Vancouver(personal communication, Dec. 3, 2018, Feb. 7, 2019).The project firstly will review volunteer motivations for being a part of the GSP. The projectcollected data on GSP volunteers, including how they joined the program and anecdotalcomments about what factors they think work in the program. The project will codevolunteers’ responses, and through this analysis will investigate what is essential or helpful forthe GSP moving forward.Next, the project will analyze the current status of the GSP. The project also collected dataon the street gardens’ status, including location, size, type, and residents’ sponsorship. Usingother available demographic data and GIS, the project will examine what factors are relatedto the sponsorship, including a regression analysis.Finally, the project will discuss implications from the results of the analysis and giverecommendations for further promotion of the GSP.74. Profile of Green Street Program4.1 History4.2 Administrative Scope4.3 Benefits from the Green Streets Program4.4 Roles and Responsibilities of Volunteers4.5 The City’s Supports for Volunteers8History4. Profile of Green Streets Program4.1The GSP began as a pilot program in the Mount Pleasant neighbourhood in 1994, whena series of traffic circles and corner bulges were built to slow traffic in the area. Aneighbour scattered spent seed husks for his bird feeder on a curb bulge and sunflowersgrew and blossomed there. Neighbours asked City Hall if they could plant the trafficcircles and corners bulges near their homes or maintain the street gardens the Cityplanted. This led to the pilot project for the GSP with 15 volunteer street gardeners.(City of Vancouver. 2009)Over 20 years, the number of volunteer gardens has increased, and around 500volunteer gardeners take care of over 500 street gardens today. (L. Nowatschin,personal communication, Dec. 12, 2018)Administrative Scope4.2The GSP is part of the Street Horticulture Program which includes approximately 2,000planted areas. Around 1,000 areas along local streets are eligible to be cared for by GSPvolunteers. About 50% of the eligible areas are currently sponsored (November 28,2018). The number of sponsored gardens fluctuates as volunteers join and leave theprogram throughout the year.The GSP is managed by Liz Nowatschin, a full-time Program Coordinator withEngineering Services at the City of Vancouver. Currently, the program accounts foraround one third of the Coordinator’s workload. The City has a service provider whomaintains gardens that do not have a sponsor or are not eligible to be sponsored besideplanting and renovation projects. The number of dedicated Street HorticultureOperation crew members is season-dependent. The GSP is primarily promoted toresidents through posting signs in the gardens with either a Sponsored or Available signand by word of mouth. (L. Nowatschin, personal communication, Dec.3, 2018)Benefits from the Green Streets Program4.3Nowatschin introduces many benefits of the GSP for neighbourhoods’ livingenvironments. It beautifies and enhances public space, provides more green space andhabitat for wildlife such as birds and beneficial insects. For residents’ enjoyment, theGSP provides gardening opportunities for residents who do not have their own yard,and allows residents to contribute to making their neighbourhoods more vibrant andbeautiful.94. Profile of Green Streets ProgramThe GSP also has social benefits. It creates opportunities for community engagementand interaction, and provides a way for residents to develop and show neighbourhoodand civic pride.Furthermore, the GSP plays an important role in stormwater management. Regulargardens help reduce runoff because they are more absorbent than if the area werepaved or planted with turf grass. Bio retention gardens help reduce runoff volume andhelp improve quality from streets and sidewalks by capturing, filtering, and absorbingrainwater.Nowatschin also recognizes that the GSP helps maintain road infrastructure. Havingeyes on the street helps monitor the traffic safety of intersections. For example, GSPvolunteers will contact the City if they require help pruning or passersby will see theGSP “Sponsored” sign and contact the City if there are visibility concerns. (L.Nowatschin, personal communication, Dec.3, 2018)Moreover, a study conduced by Kristensson in 2011 reviewed volunteers’ motivationfor joining the GSP through interviews with volunteers. The study revealed the GSP’sphysical and mental health benefits, amongst other benefits identified by the City.Progress: It has already been implemented.Roles and Responsibilities of Volunteers4.4Residents sign up for the GSP online. They can find out if a streets garden is available ornot through the signs posted in the gardens; a garden currently sponsored has a“Sponsored” sign, while a streets garden not sponsored has an “Available” sign.Both individuals and groups can sign-up. In registering for the GSP, applicants agreeto care year-round for the garden including weeding, pruning, and other routinemaintenance. GSP volunteers are supposed to take extreme caution and be visible totraffic while gardening because street gardens are close to vehicle traffic. The GSPprovides safety vests to all gardeners who need one. (City of Vancouver. 2018b, L.Nowatschin, personal communication, Dec. 3, 2018, Feb.7, 2019)Figure 1. Green Streets Program Signs10Source: City of Vancouver.(2018b)4. Profile of Green Streets ProgramThe GSP volunteers agree to follow the Boulevard Gardening Guidelines. The guidelinesinclude standards such as the maximum depth to which volunteers can dig to avoidinterference with underground utilities (15cm), the recommended level of mounting upcompost or soil above the original ground level to encourage plants to root(approximately 20cm; not more than 10cm above tree roots), minimum setbacks alongthe curb edge to allow pedestrians to easily open and close vehicle doors and to crossto the sidewalk (30cm), plant height to keep the sightlines of vehicles, cyclists, orpedestrians (approximately 1m; 60cm closer to intersections, driveways, curbs, sidewalkedges and/or where visibility is a concern). The guidelines also encourage gardeners tochoose drought-tolerant plants that are within the height guideline and do well in theharsh conditions. (City of Vancouver. 2012b, 2015)GSP volunteers are not expected to remove leaves from the street, but they do oftenclean-up the garden. Some of the gardens are bioretention gardens that have a catchbasin located within them. GSP volunteers typically keep these catch basins clear ofdebris. (L. Nowatschin, personal communication, Feb. 7, 2019)Progress: It has already been implemented.The City’s Supports for Volunteers4.5The City provides GSP volunteers with material supports. The City organizes a bulb pick-up, as two of the large destination gardens (Queen Elizabeth and VanDusen BotanicalGarden) donate their spent spring bulbs. The program also supplies compost twice ayear1, has a plant swap event every spring where GSP volunteers bring their own plantsto trade with each other, and holds an annual plant sale where the volunteers can getplants at wholesale prices. (L. Nowatschin, personal communication, Dec. 3, 2018).Material SupportsFor informative support, the City provides the volunteers with a recommended plantlist. There is also a Green Streets newsletter and a Facebook group where gardeners canconnect with each other. The newsletter is issued every 2 or 3 months. It containsfeature plants each season, gardening tasks, feature gardening activities, and upcomingevents.The City invites GSP volunteers to an annual garden party at VanDusen BotanicalGarden where the City has gift bags for the gardeners, lots of draw prizes, food, garden-related entertainment and free admission to the garden for the day. (L. Nowatschin,personal communication, Dec. 3, 2018)Informative Supports1 The City piloted offering mulch instead of compost in fall 2018.114. Profile of Green Streets ProgramFigure 2. Green Streets Program NewsletterThe City also provides physical support for GSP volunteers. The City provides plants andinstalls the initial planting for all new traffic circle and landscaped curb bulge gardenswith input on plant selection and layout from the sponsoring volunteer/s.On a case by case basis, the City will order new plants if an older garden is in need ofa renovation. Sometimes a City horticulture crew will replant an entire garden; othertimes they will deliver the plants for the volunteer/s to add themselves.On occasion, the City will organize a horticulture crew to do some maintenance of asponsored garden if the volunteer/s need/s extra help. Although the City does notrecognize that it is a significant problem, vandalism and theft of plants, litter, or damagefrom vehicular traffic occur on occasion. In the case where the damage is to thevegetation, GSP volunteers usually contact the Program Coordinator directly; theprogram coordinator often meets the volunteers at the garden to assess the damageand then the City makes a plan depending on the extent of damage and to what degreethe volunteer would like to be involved. The City orders plants, and then either thestreet horticulture crew or the volunteer will plant them. (L.Nowatschin, personalcommunication, Dec. 7, 2018)Physical Assistance12Provided by City of Vancouver5. Motivations for Residents’ Sponsorship – Analysis of Feedback Survey5.1 How Did Volunteers Hear about the Green Streets Program?5.2 What about the Green Streets Program Works Well?13In this chapter, the project will analyze the results of the Green Streets 2018 Survey theCity conducted at the beginning of 2018 to gather feedbacks about the GSP fromvolunteers. The project will review what factors can motivate residents to participate inthe GSP.How Did Volunteers Hear about the Green Streets Program?5.1For the question “How did you hear about the Green Streets Program?”, the Cityreceived 257 answers. Some respondents chose multiple options. “Green StreetsGarden Sign” gathered the most (137); the second most answer was “Friends,Neighbour, or Relative”, collecting 59. “Other” includes the case where a sponsor hasbeen engaged in the GSP for a long time, heard from a community group, directlycontacted the City or complained to the City about street maintenance. It seems thatthe GSP sign works well to gain new sponsors, while the beautification ofneighbourhoods through the program can encourage residents to participate in it.5. Motivations for Residents’ Sponsorship – Analysis of Feedback Survey2559613746020406080100120140160City's Website Friend,Neighbour,RelativeThrough Workor SchoolGreen StreetsGarden SignOtherHow did you hear about Green Streets Program?Figure 3. How Volunteers Hear about the Green Streets Program14What about the Green Streets Program Works Well?5. Motivations for Residents’ Sponsorship – Analysis of Feedback Survey5.2The City asked respondents what they thought worked well with the GSP and collected202 answers in total. Responses were analyzed and coded into three categories:• Comments that emphasize positive impacts on community• Comments that emphasize positive impacts on individuals• Comments that positive factors that help residents participate in GSPTable 1. Categorization of Feedbacks from Volunteers Impacts on Community Community Building 41Neighbourhood Beautification 27Traffic Calming 2Impacts on IndividualsVolunteers’ Autonomy / Self-fulfillment 25Sense of Being Part of Community 13Providing Gardening Opportunities for Residents without Gardens 10Factors that Help Residents Participate in the ProgramSupport from City 71Interaction with Other Volunteers 25Green Streets Garden Sign 2155. Motivations for Residents’ Sponsorship – Analysis of Feedback SurveyPositive Impacts on Community5.2.1The GSP has had a largely positive impact on community building. The study found 41comments that the program allows people to meet and have conversations in theirneighbourhood while gardening. The program seems to lead to gardeners feeling moreconnected to their community. The following are examples of comments that are codedas community building:Community Building“Brings a lot of enjoyment to people in the neighbourhood.”“Creates a feeling of belonging to a citywide community and also feeling connected toa neighbourhood.”“I love that Green Streets has given me the opportunity to meet the people of myneighbourhood and allowed me to get my hands dirty doing what I love.”“It is a great community builder. While I have been working on the garden, I havespoken to many of my neighbors as they walked by. … I feel that people are inspired tovolunteer as they can see and experience the rewards of a culture and community ofvolunteers."There are also many comments (27 in total) about how the program works to beautifyneighbourhoods. Because GSP volunteers can arrange the garden how they like, theprogram allows for creativity. In addition, there are several comments that the programcan keep the street clean, preventing litter and vandalism. Comments coded asneighbourhood beautification include:Neighbourhood Beautification“Helps add colour, greenery and visual interest to what would otherwise beunattractive spaces.”“Creativity of gardeners displayed, neighborhoods look beautiful, …”“I see evidence of spaces where there is a garden instead of garbage because of thisProgram.”There are 2 comments about the traffic calming effects of street gardens. For example,one respondent noted that the street gardens may help slow traffic near an elementaryschool. This indicates that that those who maintain green infrastructure on local streetsrecognize the significance of its traffic calming.Traffic Calming165. Motivations for Residents’ Sponsorship – Analysis of Feedback SurveyPositive Impacts on Individuals5.2.2While there are many comments about the positive impacts of the program on theneighbourhood and community, many reported feelings of autonomy and freedom ingardening. GSP volunteers can enjoy taking care of street gardens because they canwork when and how they like. In addition, gardening at their own pace and in theirpreferred manner seems to bring joy to GSP volunteers and even sense of ownership.Samples of this finding include:Volunteers’ Autonomy and Self-fulfillment““Being allowed to create our own gardens.”“It’s voluntary and we can work at our own pace.”“Makes our entrance more appealing.”“Not really familiar with it, I maintain ‘my’ garden because it's in front of my house andwould otherwise fall into disrepair.”The GSP also leads to the volunteers’ sense of achievement through contribution to thecommunity. Thirteen responses are coded as “sense of being part of community”. SomeGSP volunteers comment both on the feeling of individual achievement throughgardening and on feeling part of and contributing to the community. For example, onerespondent stated that “It provides an opportunity for residents to contribute to theircommunity while reaping the benefits of gardening.”Sense of Being Part of CommunityThough there are just 10 comments that the program gives residents who do not own theirgardens an opportunity to enjoy gardening, this impact is important considering that thepopulation will keep growing and there will be less space for gardens in the region in the future.This finding is supported by the fact that the sponsorship rate is higher in areas with higherpopulation density. An example from coding says;Providing Gardening Opportunities for Residents without Gardens“It's a good system to get some of the cities land gardened for free and it give peoplelike me who don't have access to land, a place to garden. Everyone wins.”175. Motivations for Residents’ Sponsorship – Analysis of Feedback SurveyPositive Factors that Help Residents Participate in Green Streets Program5.2.3Supports from the City are essential for the GSP; 71 comments were coded as conveyingappreciation for supports form the City. There are 12 comments which specificallyconvey appreciation for the supports of the Green Streets Program Coordinator (L.Nowatschin); who provides help if GSP volunteers have a problem. TechnicalInformation including regularly issued newsletters are mentioned in 36 comments.Material supports are also helpful for GSP volunteers; free bulbs or plants swap eventsare reported in 16 comments, and free compost service in 26 comments.Supports from the CityThere are 25 comments that show appreciation to interaction with other GSPvolunteers. While GSP has a positive effect of community building, volunteers enjoybuilding connections with other GSP volunteers, especially in an annual garden party atVanDusen Botanical Garden. For example, one respondent said that “the annual partiesare an excellent way to keep in touch with you and other gardeners”. A total of 20comments mentioned this party.Another comment showed appreciation for the Facebook group as a good source forinformation and plant exchanges.Interaction with Other GS VolunteersThe review of GSP volunteers’ feedbacks showed that, many volunteers experiencesocial benefits by participating in the GSP such as community building and interactionswith other gardeners, as well as its aesthetic impacts. GSP volunteers also appreciatethat they can produce their “own” gardens in the public infrastructure, and that theprogram provides residents who do not have their own yard with an opportunity toenjoy gardening. To allow GSP volunteers to maintain their sponsorship, supports fromthe City including both materials and consultation are essential, especially consistentinformation-sharing through the newsletter.Table 2. Types of Supports from the City in Volunteers’ Comments Green Streets Program Coordinator 12Information (e.g. Newsletter) 36Free Bulbs/ Plant Swap 16Free Compost 26Summary of Volunteers’ Feedbacks5.2.4186. Analysis of Current Status of the Green Streets Program6.1 Garden Type6.2 Garden Size6.3 Relation of Sponsorship with Land Use6.4 Relation of Sponsorship with Population Density6.5 Regression Analysis6.6 Summary of Analysis19The project received a snapshot of data on the location, size, type, and sponsorshipstatus of all the street gardens in the GSP from the City. The project will analyze the databy the garden type and the garden size and investigate whether there are anyquantitative similarities of street gardens. The project will also put the location data inGIS and examine if there are any traits in relation to demography and land use.Based one the master list of the street gardens shared by the City, the project willanalyze the current status of the GSP. As of November 28, 2018, there are 1,008 streetgardens (24,857 m2) eligible for GSP, and 545 gardens (14,247 m2) are sponsored by GSPvolunteers. All the eligible gardens are along local streets, and 609 eligible gardens(60%) are along bikeways endorsed by the City. Of the 514 intersections which haveeligible gardens, 312 (61%) are on bikeways. The number of sponsored gardensfluctuates as GSP volunteers join and leave the program throughout the year.6. Analysis of Current Status of the Green Streets ProgramFigure 4. Street Garden Map20Garden Type6.1There are 9 types of gardens: bulge, bio retention bulge, planters, traffic circle, island,traffic diverter, boulevard2, Neighbourhood Greenway3, riparian. The majority ofgardens are the bulge type (56%), followed by traffic circle (28%), boulevard (5%), bioretention bulge (4%), and traffic divider (4%). (Figure 5)Garden types that are placed in traffic calming infrastructure are bulge, bio retentionbulge, planter, traffic circle, island, traffic diverter, which account for 93 % (937 gardens)in number and 68% in area (9,694 m2). They are located at 502 intersections and 12midblocks.In terms of the rate of GSP gardens which are currently sponsored (“sponsorshiprate”), there is not a large difference between garden types. Most garden types showaround between 50% and 60 %, as the total average is 54.1%. (Figure 6)6. Analysis of Current Status of the Green Streets Program566, 56%281, 28%54, 5%44, 4%34, 4% 15, 2% 11, 1% 2, 0% 1, 0%Counts of Street Gardens by Garden TypeBulge Traffic CircleBouleverd Bio Retention BuldgeTraffic Divertor Neighbourhood GreenwayIsland RiparianPlanters52.1%56.6%48.1%54.5%64.7%66.7%54.5%54.1%0.0%10.0%20.0%30.0%40.0%50.0%60.0%70.0%80.0%90.0%100.0%Sponsorship Rate by Garden TypeFigure 6. Sponsorship Rate of Street Gardens by Garden TypeFigure 5. Counts of Street Gardens by Garden Type 2 The area between the street curb and the sidewalk that is typically planted with grass.3 Small-scale, local connections for pedestrians and cyclists initiated and maintained by localcommunities, which are seen as partnerships between the City and communities. (City ofVancouver. 2013)21Garden Size6.2In terms of the garden size, the average size of all the street gardens is 24.7m2; themode is 12 m2, and the median is 16 m2. Sponsored gardens have similar characteristics;the average size is 26.1 m2, and the mode and median are the same as the totalgardens. The size statistics for total street gardens and solely sponsored gardens showsimilar distributions.6. Analysis of Current Status of the Green Streets ProgramTable 3. Summary of Statistics of Street GardensTotal Street Gardens (m2) Sponsored Street Gardens(m2)Mean 24.68 26.14Median 16 16Mode 12 12Standard Deviation 55.15 47.63Variance 3042.00 2268.65Range 1269 463Minimum 1 1Maximum 1270 46444.3%50.6%55.6%62.3%48.9% 51.3%59.0%47.6%52.9% 55.6%66.7%78.6%0%10%20%30%40%50%60%70%80%90%0501001502002500 - 5 m² 6- 10m²11 - 15m²16 - 20m²21 - 25m²26 - 30m²31 - 40m²41 - 50m²51 - 75m²76 -100m²101 -200 m²201+m²Sponsorship RateNumber of GardemsGarden SizeDistribution of Garden SizeTotal Sponsored Sponsorship RateFigure 7. Distribution of Streets Garden Size22As for the garden size by garden type, bulges and traffic circles, which make up over80% of all the street gardens, have lower average sizes than the total average, whileislands, boulevards, neighbourhood greenways, and riparian have larger garden sizes.6. Analysis of Current Status of the Green Streets Program18.7 9.0 23.1 15.6 14.755.382.4181.1232.024.619.9 9.025.7 15.5 14.850.6100.0119.0232.²Average Street Garden Sizetotal sponsoredFigure 8. Average Streets Garden SizeRelation of Sponsorship with Land Use6.3Street gardens are installed along local streets, and the majority of street gardens are inareas with lower population density such as single-family residential districts. Figure 9shows the distribution of street gardens by zoning district. More than half of all thestreet gardens (56%) are located in one-family dwelling districts, followed by multi-family (19%), and two-family dwelling (16%). Comprehensive development andcommercial districts make up just 5% and 6% respectively.516, 51%191, 19%157, 16%59, 6%56, 5%16, 2% 12, 1%1, 0%Counts of Street Gardens by Zoning DistrictOne-Family DwellingMulti-Family DwellingTwo-Family DwellingComprehensive DevelopmentCommercialLight IndustrialIndustrialHistorical AreaFigure 9. Counts of Street Gardens by Zoning District236. Analysis of Current Status of the Green Streets ProgramTable 4. Sponsorship rate of Street Gardens by Zoning DistrictZoning DistrictCounts of Sponsored Street GardensCounts of Total Street Gardens Sponsorship rateCommercial 40 56 71.4%Comprehensive Development 40 59 67.8%Multi-Family Dwelling 128 191 67.0%Two-Family Dwelling 105 157 66.9%One-Family Dwelling 222 516 43.0%Industrial 4 12 33.3%Light Industrial 5 16 31.3%On the other hand, the sponsorship rate is higher than 50% in commercial,comprehensive development, multi-family dwelling and two-family dwelling districts,compared to one-family dwelling districts where the rate is lower than 43%. It seemsthat the higher population density the area has, the higher sponsorship rate it has.Relation of Sponsorship with Population DensityAs the project looked at the sponsorship of street gardens in each neighbourhood,highly developed neighbourhoods in or next to Downtown Vancouver have a highsponsorship rate of over 80%, such as Downtown (100%), Fairview (91.7%), and WestEnd (82.4%). On the contrary, neighbourhoods distant from Downtown Vancouver arelikely to have a low sponsorship rate, and tend to be residential districts (Figure10,Appendix B).Figure 10. Sponsorship Rate of Street Gardens by Neighbourhood100.0 91.7 82.4 73.8 71.3 65.7 58.9 58.7 56.1 50.7 50.5 50.0 50.0 46.2 38.1 27.7 26.7 25.8 25.0 21.4 11.8 6.9  - 10.0 20.0 30.0 40.0 50.0 60.0 70.0 80.0 90.0 100.0Sponsorship Rate (%) 6.4246. Analysis of Current Status of the Green Streets Program35373941434547490 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000Average Age (2016)Neighbourhood Population Density (/km2) (2016)Average Age and Population DensityFrom another demographic aspect, there seems to be a negative correlationbetween population density and the average age in the city. In other words,neighbourhoods with higher population densities have a lower age average, as shown inFigure 11. Young populations might be more likely to prefer to live where there is easierto access city centres, work places and commercial areas.Figure 11. Average Age and Population DensityRegression AnalysisThe project will examine the findings in the previous section that demographic factors(population density) can have a positive effect on residents’ sponsorship of greenstreets. As shown in the scatter plots in Figure 12, there seems to be a positivecorrelation between the sponsorship rate of street gardens and neighbourhoodpopulation density.6.50%20%40%60%80%100%120%0 5,000 10,000 15,000 20,000 25,000Sponsorship RateNeighbourhood Population Density (/km2) (2016)Sponsorship Rate (Population Density)Figure 12. Sponsored Rate of Street Gardens and Population DensityData source: City of Vancouver. (2018a)Data source: City of Vancouver. (2018a)256. Analysis of Current Status of the Green Streets ProgramNext, the project will conduct a regression analysis to examine how muchpopulation density can have a positive impact on the sponsorship of street gardens. Tosee if there is correlation of sponsorship of green gardens with general gardeningculture and residents’ gardening preference factor, the project will add a parameter ofnumber of off-street community gardens in the neighbourhood. As the project look atthe sponsorship rate, it will use Logit Model shown below:Table 5. Summary of Regression AnalysisSummary of AnalysisThe sponsorship of street gardens is also influenced by land use rather than just streetgarden type and size. Sponsorship rates were generally higher in commercial,comprehensive development and multi-family dwelling districts than in two-familydwelling, one-family dwelling, and industrial districts. Population density and thenumber of community gardens have significantly positive impact on sponsorship rates.6.6As a result of the regression analysis, both population density and the number ofcommunity gardens showed positive significance at 95% of level of confidence asdemonstrated in Table 5. This may indicate that both the two factors can have a positiveinfluence on the sponsorship of street gardens.SUMMARY OUTPUTRegression StatisticsMultiple R 0.670809R Square 0.449985 significant at 95% level of confidenceAdjusted R Square 0.392089Standard Error 2.133056Observations 22ANOVAdf SS MS F Significance FRegression 2 70.72652474 35.36326237 7.77226787 0.0034163Residual 19 86.44863975 4.549928408Total 21 157.1751645Coefficients Standard Error t Stat P-value Lower 95% Upper 95%Intercept -2.58339 0.878635525 -2.940228338 0.008400973 -4.4223944 -0.7443838population density 0.000304 0.000110181 2.755560389 0.012582321 7.3E-05 0.0005342# community gardens 0.30877 0.14161666 2.180319451 0.042012786 0.0123625 0.6051766Data source: City of Vancouver. (2018a)ln(𝑠𝑝𝑜𝑛𝑠𝑜𝑟𝑠ℎ𝑖𝑝_𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑒1 − 𝑠𝑝𝑜𝑛𝑠𝑜𝑟𝑠ℎ𝑖𝑝_𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑒) = 𝛽଴ + 𝛽ଵ ȉ (𝑝𝑜𝑝𝑢𝑙𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛_𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑠𝑖𝑡𝑦) + 𝛽ଶ ȉ (𝑛𝑢𝑚_𝑐𝑜𝑚𝑚𝑢𝑛𝑖𝑡𝑦_𝑔𝑎𝑟𝑑𝑒𝑛𝑠)267. discussionThe data analysis in the previous chapter has led to three main findings regarding GSPsponsorship.First, there do not seem to be major differences in street garden size and type betweensponsored and non-sponsored gardens. The GSP is easy for residents to initiate because theCity provides a new GSP volunteer with initial planting and a resident can apply to sponsorany size of street gardens, which allows them to work on gardening at their own pace andwithin their own capacity. Furthermore, street gardens are located on local streets with lowtraffic volumes and speeds, which can help GSP volunteers enjoy gardening on the streetwithout a big concern for safety. For safety reasons, only street gardens located in residentialareas and on calm streets are available for the GSP (Harper. 2012.). However, there are a fewsafety concerns indicated by GSP volunteers. For example, to access a traffic circle, you mustcross the vehicle lane. Nevertheless, there is not a clear difference of the sponsorship ratebetween bulges (52.1%) and traffic circles (56.6%).Secondly, street gardens in locations which are more urbanized are more likely to besponsored. Commercial and comprehensive development districts show a high sponsorshiprate and street gardens in locations with higher population density are also more likely to besponsored. In addition, there are some comments that indicate that the GSP allows residentswithout their own gardens to access gardening. The GSP may encourage residents’ feelings offulfillment and enhance access to green space in urbanized areas with high populationdensities.Finally, GSP sponsorship seems more active in pro-gardening communities.Neighbourhoods with more community gardens are more likely to have a higher sponsorshiprate in the GSP. The difference between a GSP garden and a community garden is whether it ison-street or off-street. Communities with active gardening cultures are also willing to takecare of on-street gardens (green infrastructure).One big challenge in promoting the GSP is the uneven distribution of street gardens interms of land use. Around 70% of the street gardens are supplied in districts with a lowersponsorship rate, such as one-family and two-family dwelling districts. This is because thesedistricts areas take up a larger geographic area in the city than other land uses. Therefore,increasing sponsorship in these districts is key to achieving higher GSP sponsorship rates inthe city as a whole.278. RecommendationsBased on the discussion above, the project gives the following recommendations forpromoting sponsorship in the GSP.Strategic Promotion of Green Infrastructure Sponsorship in High-DensityNeighbourhoodsThe City should engage residents who live in populous and highly developed districts in themaintenance of green space. Strategically promoting the GSP in these high-densityneighbourhoods makes sense because residents are less likely to have their own gardens andfurther greening these areas aligns with the City’s sustainability goals. Residents arepotentially powerful supporters in the maintenance of green space, and consideringresidential areas will continue to densify in the future, it is important that residents are onboard with greening initiatives.Widespread AdvertisingThe City should advertise and promote the GSP positively for residents through communitygroups and educational organizations, in addition to the GSP signs in the street gardens. TheGSP is currently promoted mainly through sponsored signs or available signs posted in streetgardens. The majority of the GSP volunteers heard about the program from the signs or fromfriends, neighbours or relatives. Moreover, because sponsorship is not as active in low densityareas, it may be effective to advertise the GSP not only to passersby but also to variouscommunity groups and educational organizations, which could make people more aware ofthe program. Promoting the GSP through cultural initiatives is another way to promote theGSP; for example, adding an outdoor arts activity combined with street landscaping to the listof projects eligible for the Cultural Grants Program.Cultivation of Gardening CultureThe City should enhance people’s awareness of the importance of green public space andpromote gardening culture. The regression analysis for street garden sponsorship indicatespositive relations between the GSP sponsorship and the number of community gardens,which implies that the GSP is more likely to be active in pro-gardening communities. It may beeffective to promote local gardening culture through multiple types of channels such ashorticulture and environmental education in school. At the same time, many current sponsorsshow their appreciation for supports form the City. The City should therefore keep supportingGSP volunteers, and constantly listening to their needs.289. ConclusionTo achieve a higher degree of urban sustainability in Vancouver, the use of green trafficcalming infrastructure on local streets has increased, as well as the expansion of bikenetworks and care for urban ecosystems. The GSP has involved volunteer residents in themaintenance of green infrastructure (street gardens). GSP volunteers enjoy gardening onstreets because they appreciate its positive impacts on the community and on themselves.The analysis of the current status of street gardens gives a suggestion that the GSP givesresidents without their own yards opportunities to garden and adds green space toneighbourhoods with high population density. In order to further improve the GSP, it isnecessary to engage the public in street garden maintenance through various advertisementchannels and the promotion gardening culture overall.LimitationThis project was conducted based on a limited amount of data and information. The feedbackobtained from GSP volunteers for this study does not necessarily represent the views of allGSP volunteers. Moreover, garden status data used in the analysis is a snapshot of November28th, 2018, and the number of sponsors of street gardens fluctuates throughout the year andthere may be some seasonal tendencies. A chronicle of data for street gardens was notavailable.29References• City of Vancouver. (2009). Green Streets Vancouver• City of Vancouver. (2012a). Greenest City 2020 Action Plan. Retrieved on November 10, 2019, from • City of Vancouver. (2012b). Recommended plant list. Retrieved on January 16, 2019 from• City of Vancouver. (2012c). Transportation 2040 Plan. Retrieved September 20, 2018, from• City of Vancouver. (2013). Neighbourhood greenways: Improving connections in your community. Retrieved on January 16, 2019, from• City of Vancouver. (2015). Boulevard Gardening Guidelines. Retrieved on December 12, 2018, from• City of Vancouver. (2017). Renewable City Action Plan. Retrieved on January 16, 2019, from• City of Vancouver. (2018a). Open Data catalogue. Retrieved January 19, from• City of Vancouver. (2018b). The Green Streets Program: Volunteer gardening on traffic calming spaces. Retrieved on January 20, 2019, from• City of Vancouver Landscape Task Force. (1992). Greenways, public ways. Final Report.• Harper, K. (2012). Reclaiming Loose Space: Implications of Loose Space for Physical Activity. Retrieved on February 17, 2019, from• Jin, J. (2016). Green Stormwater Infrastructure on City Streets. Greenest City Scholar Project. Retrieved on December 26, 2018, from• Kingsley, J., Townsend, M., & Henderson-Wilson, C. (2009). Cultivating health and wellbeing: Members perceptions of the health benefits of a Port Melbourne community garden. Leisure Studies, 28(2), 207-219. doi:10.1080/02614360902769894• Kristensson, I. (2011). Volunteer motivation in Vancouver's Green Streets Program. Retrieved on October 2, 2018, from• National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO). (2014). Urban Bikeway Design Guide (2nd ed.). Retrieved on March 17, 2019, from• Wakefield, S., Yeudall, F., Taron, C., Reynolds, J., & Skinner, A. (2007). Growing urban health: Community gardening in South-East Toronto. Health Promotion International, 22(2), 92-101. doi:10.1093/heapro/dam00130AppendicesAppendix A. Street Gardens and  Zoning Districts(6.3 Relation of Sponsorship with Land Use)Source: City of Vancouver. (2018a)The garden status is a snapshot of November 28, 2018, based on information from L. Nowatschin, City of Vancouver, in December 2018.31AppendicesAppendix B. Sponsorship Rate of Green Streets (6.4 Relation of Sponsorship with Population Density)Source: City of Vancouver. (2018a)The garden status is a snapshot of November 28, 2018, based on information from L. Nowatschin, City of Vancouver, in December 2018.32


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