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Sustainability and the urban landscape: introduction of a qualitative assessment tool for understanding… Petersen, Susan Christine 1996

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SUSTAINABILITY A N D T H E U R B A N LANDSCAPE: INTRODUCTION OF A QUALITATIVE ASSESSMENT T O O L FOR UNDERSTANDING A N D ENHANCING SUSTAINABILITY IN U R B A N OPEN SPACE by SUSAN CHRISTINE PETERSEN B.A., Rice University, 1989 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF T H E REQUIREMENTS FOR T H E D E G R E E OF MASTER OF SCIENCE in T H E F A C U L T Y OF G R A D U A T E STUDIES (Resource Management and Environmental Studies) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard T H E UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA September 1996 © Susan Christine Petersen, 1996 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis "for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. D e p a r t , o. -Panier* MMMamtr'#to &WW&mL Sruoiss (miT.t.e) The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date DE-6 (2/88) A B S T R A C T This project introduces a way of operationalizing the idea of sustainability by applying its principles to open space in the urban landscape. Landscape is defined as the land surface, composed of a mosaic of ecosystems and land uses, that provides the setting for human activities. The rationale for the project is that people are deeply influenced by and keenly interested in landscape features, so landscape can serve as a medium for learning about sustainability because our ways of using land form part of the broader picture of our relationship with the earth. The landscape of urban areas deserves attention because urban dwellers experience it daily and sometimes exclusively, and because of the global trend toward urbanization of natural landscapes. Sustainability is conceptualized as a system characteristic that arises from three other necessary conditions within the system: provision for ecological viability, provision of adequate human life quality and consideration of equity. A landscape ecological model of sustainability was operationalized by linking its variables to urban open space features via indicators constructed from literature sources and based on visual assessment of observable landscape conditions. Use of this landscape assessment tool (set of indicators) was demonstrated by assessing several test sites in an urban district. The tool's usability was partially examined through trials with potential users. Three broad conclusions are drawn from the project. First, findings from the test sites indicate that amenity functions in the urban landscape are only moderate and ecological functions are unexpectedly high despite management for amenity. This suggests that urban ecosystems could flourish and serve as repositories of ecological function if they were enhanced by planning and management. Secondly, the urban open space assessment tool shows potential for usefully operationalizing sustainability theory, though more testing of its educational value and accuracy is needed. Finally, the sustainability model used in the project shows that sustainability requires the achievement of human well-being through the satisfaction of social needs as well as material sufficiency and ecological integrity. Satisfaction of these different needs can be complementary and can be achieved within systems of human activity such as urban open space use. T A B L E OF CONTENTS Abstract Table of Contents List of Tables List of Figures Acknowledgment Chapter One Chapter Two Introduction: Sustainability and the Urban Landscape 1.1. Sustainability: terms, definitions and implications I. La. development I. Lb. economic growth and economic development I. I.e. sustainable development and sustainability 1.2. Research question, objectives and rationale I.2.a. research question and objectives 1.2. b. rationale 1.3. Landscape: where we live and act 1.3. a. definition 1.3. b. importance 1.4. Urban open space 1.4. a. definition 1.5. The indicators: general introduction 1.5. a. origins I.5.b. finding a template I. 5.c. purposes Theory and Model Development II. 1. Introduction: world view and sustainability II. La. definition of world view II. Lb. significance for sustainability 11.1. e. the sustainability literature 11.2. The expansionist and ecological world views 11.2. a. introduction and defining characteristics II.2.b. other versions and additional characteristics II.2.C. summary of world view characteristics 11.2. d. implications of the two world views for sustainability 11.3. Literature review: world view in the sustainability debate 11.3. a. introduction: purposes and organization of the review n iii vi vii viii 1 1 I 3 4 7 7 8 9 9 10 II 11 12 12 14 15 17 17 17 17 19 19 19 20 22 24 25 25 U l II.3.b. ecology 26 II.3.c. economics 33 II.3.d. human well-being 37 11.3. e. summary: world view profiles 46 11.4. Systems—complex and adaptive, natural and human 47 11.4. a. introduction: systems theory 47 11.4. b. complex adaptive systems theory 48 11.5. Development of a sustainability model 50 11.5. a. introduction 50 II.5.b. refining Forman's model 51 II.5.C. the biophysical model 54 II. 5.d. modeling for sustainability 59 Chapter Three Operationalizing the Model: Indicator Development 60 III. 1. Introduction—methods summary 60 111.2. Urban green areas in an urban district 61 III. 2.a. choice of an urban district 61 III.2.b. defining an urban green area 63 III.2.C site choice 65 111.2. d. site descriptions 69 111.3. Linking the sustainability model to open-space indicators 78 111.3. a. choosing a landscape assessment method 78 III.3.b. streamlining the model 80 111.3. C. establishing a baseline 81 111.4. The sustainability indicators: explanation and rationale 82 111.4. a. terminology and basic design 82 III.4.b. indicator for fresh water: land surface permeability 86 III.4.C. indicator for soil: water erosion 87 III.4.d. indicator for biological diversity: structural vegetation diversity 88 III.4.e. indicator for biological productivity: net primary productivity 96 III.4.f. indicator for food: plant food production 98 III.4.g. indicator for goods: physical site access 100 III.4.h. indicator for energy: site user transportation 102 III.4.i. indicator for safety: safety features 103 III.4.J. rationale for the social variable indicators 105 III.4.k. indicator for socialization: suitability for social groups 105 III.4.1. indicator for cognitive needs: educational suitability 108 III.4.m. indicator for aesthetic needs: aesthetic quality 110 III.4.n. indicator for self-actualization needs: recreation suitability 113 III. 4.0. the nature of qualitative assessment 115 Chapter Four Applying the Operational Model: Test Site Assessment 117 IV. 1. Introduction 117 IV.2. Assessment of the six Ladner test sites: demonstration of the tool 117 IV. 2.a. visual assessment of the sites 117 IV.2.b. procedure for analyzing visual test site assessment results 120 IV.2.C test site ratings 130 IV. 3. User trials: testing for user-related tool quality 137 IV.3.a. the first trial 137 IV.3.b. the second trial 139 IV.3.C the third trial 142 IV. 3.d. summary of conclusions from the trials 145 Chapter Five Conclusions, Implications and Discussion 148 V. l . Introduction 148 V.2. Conclusions and implications 148 V. 2.a. the Ladner test sites: conclusions and implications 148 V.2.b. uses of the assessment tool: conclusions and implications 153 V.2.c. operational sustainability: conclusions and implications 161 V.3. Unresolved difficulties 162 V.3.a. indicator design limitations 162 V.3.b. indicator content limitations 163 V.3.c. numerical rating method limitations 164 V.4. Further research 166 V.4.a. improvement of current tool 166 V.4.b. development and testing of a new tool version 167 V.5. Summary of conclusions 167 References 169 Appendix A Complete site assessment tool in field-ready form 177 Appendix B Quick source reference table for details of twelve sustainability-related indicators used in urban open space 203 V LIST O F T A B L E S Table 2.1 Preliminary list of defining features of the expansionist and ecological world views 23 Table 2.2 Final list of defining features of the expansionist and ecological world views 47 Table 3.1 Categorization of 38 urban green areas in Ladner Village, Delta, B.C. 68 Table 4.1 Summary of overriding factors 124 Table 4.2 Variable ratings and overall ratings for the six Ladner test sites 132 Table 4.3 Effects on test site ratings of weighting the overriding factors and variables 133 Table 4.4 Overall ecosphere and human variable ratings for the six Ladner test sites 134 Table 4.5 Per-system ratings for the six Ladner test sites 134 Table 4.6 Overall human variable ratings and human system ratings for the six Ladner test sites 134 Table 4.7 Ratings for three test "districts" 136 vi LIST O F FIGURES Figure 2.1 Forman's model of foundation variables regulating sustainability 32 Figure 2.2 The essential features of Hancock's human ecosystem model for health 44 Figure 2.3 The essential features of the Order of Health 45 Figure 2.4 Written form of the biophysical model 54 Figure 2.5 Written form of the biophysical model showing foundation and component variables 55 Figure 2.6 Pictorial form of the biophysical model 58 Figure 3.1 Location of Ladner in the Lower Fraser Basin 63 Figure 3.2 Locations of the six urban green areas chosen as test sites in Ladner, B.C. 69 Figure 3.3 "Hydro field" test site: view south from middle of site 71 Figure 3.4 "Ag buffer" test site: view west from middle of site 73 Figure 3.5 "Seniors' Centre" test site: view of south edge showing garden and back of McKee House 74 Figure 3.6 "Massey play park" test site: view east from middle of site 75 Figure 3.7 "Hawthorne Park" test site: view west from east edge of site 76 Figure 3.8 "Rotary Park" test site: view south from one entrance on north edge 77 Figure 3.9 Written form of biophysical model with potential urban open space indicators 78 Figure 3.10 Operational model with indicators for use in urban open space 81 Figure 3.11 Basic design of indicator form for field use 83 Figure 4.1 The three additional combination/rating levels of the site rating procedure 121 Figure 4.2 The factor and variable rating equations 123 Figure 4.3 The site rating equations 126 Figure 4.4 The site ratings classes 126 Figure 4.5 Example of factor, variable and site rating procedures using real assessment results from Ag buffer test site 128 Figure 4.6 The UBC campus green area used as a test site for three trials of the assessment tool 138 Figure 5.1 Proposed site rating classes for non-numerical rating system, based on verbal logic 166 V l l ACKNOWLEDGMENT Special thanks to my committee chair and principal advisor, Professor Patrick Mooney, for all the time he devoted to the nitty-gritty details. Many thanks also to the other committee members, Dr. Maureen Garland, Dr. Les Lavkulich and Dr. Robert Woollard, for academic freedom, open-minded guidance and good-natured participation in my research over the past three years. ' * I am also grateful to my husband, Daniel, for his healthy and constructive skepticism and his sacrifice of computer time. CHAPTER ONE Introduction: Sustainability and the Urban Landscape 1.1. Sustainability: terms, definitions and implications The World Commission on Environment and Development (WCED; Brundtland Commission) originally popularized the term sustainable development in 1987. Since then, it and its famous definition as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs" (WCED 1987, p. 43), have made an obligatory appearance in the introductions of millions of publications, this one now included. The idea of sustainable development has served as the benchmark for discussion of all facets of human life during a global re-examination of how we conduct our affairs and relate to the rest of the natural world. However, the WCED definition of sustainable development has failed to gain general acceptance, and many alternative definitions are now in use. Furthermore, some of those interested in the idea have even moved away from using the term sustainable development. Some suggest replacement terms such as "ecologically sustainable economic development" (Van Den Bergh and Nijkamp 1991a,b), "systems sustainability" (Voinov and Smith 1994) or "sustainable economic progress" (Hainsworth 1992). It is evident from the literature, though, that the most common alternative term for sustainable development is sustainability; this seems usually to stem from discomfort with the "economic bias" (Voinov and Smith 1994) attributed to the word development, which will be discussed further below. The lack of agreed definitions and standard uses has left the word sustainable vulnerable to misuse as a buzzword in unrelated contexts that blur the genuine goals of the associated movement. Because of this confusion it is necessary to examine sustainable development and sustainability in general and clarify their meanings before discussing the specific relationships of this project to sustainability. I.l.a. development According to the dictionary,* to develop something is generally to make it more effective, usable, or profitable. These attributes of development are considered very desirable in our * All dictionary definitions are taken from Random House Webster's College Dictionary, Random House, New York, 1992. 1 neoclassical economic system, so it is not surprising that in common usage the word is almost invariably linked with economic concerns. The WCED reports an extreme situation in which " [t]he word 'development' has. . . been narrowed by some into a very limited focus, along the lines of 'what poor nations should do to become richer'" (1987, p. xi) and is thus dismissed by many as a topic only for specialists. The WCED fails to clearly present its definitions of development and many other terms in Our Common Future, which contributes to the confusion and debate about sustainable development. Because of the Brundtland Commission's explicit statements that economic growth is a desirable way of providing the world's poor with needed material goods, many have argued that the commission believes sustainable development must include economic growth. However, a critical examination of some terminology in the document leads to different conclusions. The closest the WCED gets to a definition of development is the statement that it "is what we all do in attempting to improve our lot within [our] abode [the environment]" (1987, p. xi). It also says "[e]conomic and social development can and should be mutually reinforcing. Money spent on education and health can raise human productivity. Economic development can accelerate social development by providing opportunities for underprivileged groups or by spreading education more rapidly" (WCED 1987, p. 54). The W C E D obviously views development as composed of components—social development and economic development. The WCED remarks that "[urbanization is itself part of the development process. The challenge is to manage the process so as to avoid a severe deterioration in the quality of life" (Ibid., p. 57). If development is improvement in the human condition, then the second use of the word "process" in this passage must refer to the urbanization process rather than the development process, because development by definition cannot degrade life quality. This suggests that the W C E D considers urbanization as another component of development, along with social development and economic development (and probably others). Furthermore, it admits that while the overall effect of development is assumed to be improvement, a single component of development (i.e. urbanization) could possibly result in deterioration. This indicates that the improvement associated with development can be the additive outcome of several development 2 components, some of which have positive and some, negative effects on human well-being. If this interpretation is accurate, it means that components of development function independently of each other. It also seems that if the effect of any component of development can be either positive or negative, it could also be neutral in a particular development process. One conclusion following from this reasoning is that development need not include economic development (or can be unaffected by it) in individual cases. I.l.b. economic growth and economic development A related issue is the also-disputed connection between economic growth and economic development. The question can be phrased: must economic development include economic growth? In a standard economics textbook, Vogt, Cameron and Dolan (1993) define economic development as "[t]he growth of per-capita income, together with improvements in basic material conditions such as health care and education" (p. 754). Per capita income growth usually signals economic growth (literally the growth in size of an economy, at whatever scale is considered). However, the former can technically occur without the latter, for example if it is accompanied by population decrease. Hainsworth (1992), another economist, calls economic growth "a sustained increase in real output per capita maintained on an annual basis" for a defined period of time, and economic development "a deliberate or clearly definable change in attitudes, institutions, policies, or resource availability, which facilitates-economic growth and/or improved resource utilization" (p. 64). He interprets economic growth as the end result of an economic development process, and economic development as the process by which economic growth occurs, or the explanation for economic growth. Thus, the two are often connected, but the "and/or" in Hainsworth's definition of economic development indicates that they can be separate. interim summary To summarize so far, it can be argued that development need not include economic development and that economic development is different from, and need not include, economic growth. Therefore sustainable development, as a special form of development, need not include economic growth or economic development, though it certainly may include one or both. To add to this conclusion, the nature of sustainable development and of the related term sustainability will now be explored in more depth. I.I.e. sustainable development and sustainability definitions The United Nations officially defined sustainable development in 1991 as "[i]mproving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems" (Thayer 1994, p. 100). It defines sustainability as simply "[a] characteristic of a process or state that can be maintained indefinitely" (Ibid., p. 99). The United Nations definitions (which can be assumed to be internationally sanctioned, at least to some degree) suggest that sustainable development and sustainability are distinct from one another. Shearman (1990) puts forth a very similar definition of sustainability as "the capability of being maintained" (p. 2) or "a continuity through time" (p. 3). He argues that the issue is not the definition—which is always the same—but "the implications of sustainability.. . when it is applied as a modifier to a particular context" (Shearman 1990, p. 3). Shearman lists development, along with agriculture, ecosystems and societies, as examples of contexts in which sustainability can have specific implications as a modifier. If the phrasing of the United Nations sustainability definition is combined with Shearman's reasoning, sustainability applied as a modifier to the context of development becomes "a characteristic of development that can be maintained indefinitely," and consequently sustainable development must be simply "development having the characteristic that it can be maintained indefinitely." This logically derived definition of sustainable development contrasts with the United Nations version, "[i]mproving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems." Returning to Shearman's argument and terminology, it seems that the United Nations has in this case incorporated some of the "implications" of sustainability for development into its definition. To rephrase, the United Nations definition of sustainable development, instead of actually defining the term, describes other characteristics of development that are necessary for the characteristic of sustainability to exist in development. This highlights an important point: other characteristics of a process or entity lead to the characteristic of sustainability in that process or entity. Thus it seems that Shearman (1990) may be right; what we are really debating is not the definition of sustainability but its implications in various contexts. Specifically in the discussion of sustainable development, we are trying to determine what other characteristics development processes must have to create favorable conditions for the presence of the target characteristic of development, sustainability. Of all processes and entities that may have the characteristic of sustainability, such as the ones mentioned by Shearman above, development receives the majority of attention. Some people explicitly identify sustainable development as the primary method of getting from the kind of world we have now to a future goal called "sustainability." To Dovers and Handmer (1992), sustainability is a difficult and distant goal, and sustainable development is a variable process of moving toward that goal. A similar sense of this relationship is voiced by Yanarella and Levine (1992). Though they speak of both sustainability and sustainable development as "goals," this is only to emphasize that from the current standpoint of global domination by non-sustainable development, both sustainable development and sustainability are future states. Yanarella and Levine also discuss the question of whether sustainable development actually does lead to sustainability. Their answer is "a provisional no" (Yanarella and Levine 1992, p. 769), because current sustainable development initiatives are piecemeal at the global scale, and can relieve pressures for change on other unsustainable conditions by refocusing public attention and halting political momentum. In this way, non-sustainable development can become more entrenched as a result of sustainable development, and the global balance does not necessarily shift toward sustainability. However, this is a problem with the current nature of sustainable development initiatives, not with their fundamental aims. Yanarella and Levine seem to agree that the process of sustainable development is at least intended to lead in the direction of sustainability. In light of the preceding discussion and definitions of sustainability as "a characteristic of a process or state that can be maintained indefinitely" (the United Nations definition) and sustainable development as "development having the characteristic that it can be maintained indefinitely," an obvious semantic difficulty occurs in Dovers and Handmer's (1992) and Yanarella and Levine's (1992) reference to sustainability. The question is, sustainable what? The word sustainability is widely used by itself. Often it serves as a substitute for sustainable development, which must be considered incorrect if the definitions offered here are accepted. In other cases such as these two examples, sustainability seems to refer to a vague, vast, complete and final state that awaits us at the end of sustainable development paths. A key clue to the nature of this state is given by Yanarella and Levine's (1992) sporadic use of the term "global sustainability." In essence, this desired final state is a sustainable world. Much clarity would be lent by always referring to global or world sustainability when it is intended. However, in the interests of ease and compatibility with other literature, for the remainder of this document the word sustainability used alone will refer to global sustainability, or a sustainable world. It only remains to determine Shearman's "implications" of sustainability in the global context, or in other words, to determine what other characteristics of the world would lead to the characteristic of global sustainability. characteristics Despite the diversity and length of the sustainability debate, broad agreement on some basic characteristics of a sustainable world has emerged. The most obvious place to look for them is in the United Nations definition of sustainable development, "improving the quality of human life while living within the carrying capacity of supporting ecosystems," This so-called definition was shown above to be, instead, a statement of other characteristics of development that enable sustainability. In fact, it refers to two major characteristics associated repeatedly with sustainability in the literature: (1) provision for adequate human life quality, and (2) provision for the ecological viability of nature. The United Nations wisely expressed these ideas in the broadest of terms; most contention in the sustainability debate arises from the consideration of precisely what life quality and ecological viability entail. That issue comes into play in the Chapter Two literature review. A third major characteristic viewed as essential for sustainability is consideration of equity. It is not found in this United Nations definition, but does appear in the original WCED formulation of sustainable development that "meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs." As Dovers and Handmer (1992) point out, this definition clearly includes inter generational and intragenerational equity. A third type of equity promoted by some, interspecific (among-species) equity (Dovers and Handmer 1992), can be found there as well if "needs of the present" and "future generations" are expanded to mean needs and generations of many different organisms. Any equity consideration is part of the obligatory ethical dimension of the value-laden concept of sustainability. The concept's most basic ethical assumption is that sustainability is good and desirable (Shearman 1990, Forman 1990). Since the actual definitions of sustainability and sustainable development are so basic as to be generic, it seems useful instead to adopt for this project a statement of the characteristics enabling sustainability. An appropriate one comes from Voinov and Smith (1994) in the form of a list of "necessary conditions for sustainability" of a system. A sustainable system (1) causes no harm to other systems, either in space or in time, (2) maintains human living standards at a level that does not cause physical discomfort or social discontent, and (3) maintains the conditions of its internal life-support ecological components at current levels or better (Voinov and Smith 1994). These conditions express the three main characteristics noted in the literature as enabling sustainability, already described above. One reason the systems orientation of Voinov and Smith's sustainability conditions is particularly attractive is that it allows them to be adapted to any system, such as development, the entire world, or urban land use. The importance of systems theory for sustainability in general and this project specifically is detailed in Chapter Two. 1.2. Research question, objectives and rationale I.2.a. research question and objectives This project has been guided by the research question how can an urban landscape assessment tool based on indicators present in urban open space help nonexpert individuals reach a better understanding of, and promote, sustainability? The question was approached with two main objectives in mind. The primary objective is to introduce a simple tool that could help urban people understand more fully the implications of sustainability by linking its concepts to their local landscape. This aim was given precedence over the secondary objective, which is to demonstrate the usefulness of the tool by assessing the relative sustainability-related condition of selected green open spaces in an urban landscape. I have sought to provide an answer to the research question and meet the two objectives by first compiling a structural model of the human and natural systems that must play a part in overall sustainability. The model specifies the variables that make up each system. These variables are in turn linked to indicators that comprise a tool for visual assessment of urban open space. Thus, the chosen approach to the problem entails operationalizing, in the urban landscape, a specific theoretical model for sustainability. One result of the dual research objectives is that sustainability is addressed at two different scales. The landscape assessment tool proceeds directly from a theoretical model of a sustainable world that claims comprehensiveness at a broad scale. Thus, using the tool provides an exercise in which the overall, or global, nature of sustainability can be examined. At the same time, use of the tool yields information about urban landscape sustainability at a local scale. The research targets an audience, or user pool, of nonexpert individuals: educated laypeople with some knowledge of ecology but no expertise in the area of landscape sustainability and no experience in landscape assessment. In other words, I deliberately designed vernacular landscape indicators for people who have high interest but no expertise in the subject (similar to myself). I selected this focus to correspond to my lack of training in landscape-related disciplines, which was seen as a barrier to designing anything appropriate for practitioners in those areas (who would otherwise be obvious potential users of this work). I also wished to incorporate a personal interest in sustainability-related public education. In an attempt to make the tool useful to this target audience, I tried to design easily accessible and measurable indicators. The result is a qualitative, comparative landscape evaluation based on visual criteria. I.2.b. rationale The rationale for the design of this project can be stated as a series of assumptions underlying the work: • People are deeply influenced in many ways by their surroundings, including the landscapes of their home environments. One way of understanding this is in terms of our evolutionary origins and prehistoric, instinctive awareness of habitat. • Perhaps because of this influence, people are keenly interested in landscape features such as gardens, architecture and natural landforms. Similar interest centers on the plants and animals with which we share our landscapes. It is possible to take advantage of this interest as a foundation for education and awareness-building. • Urbanization is a well-known global trend. For more and more people, home landscapes are urban ones. Some have no access to rural or wild landscapes, and humans are known to make decisions on the basis of their personal experiences. Therefore, it is generally valuable to pay attention to the conditions of urban landscapes. • Studying landscape features can yield information about how people relate to and use land. This is part of the broader picture of our relationship with the earth we live on. Critical exploration of that relationship forms the essence of the sustainability debate. • Despite a decade of buzzword status for "sustainability," many people still equate it vaguely with protecting the environment, or at best, with greening economics. The idea that sustainability implies concern for a wide range of fundamental human needs interwoven with ecological imperatives remains new and needs to be more widely communicated. • Many people react to the idea of sustainability with uneasiness or hostility because they assume it means they must accept a lower quality of life. Though living sustainably may in some cases require a lower standard of living, this differs from quality of life. The concept of sustainability explicitly includes the aim of good life quality for all people. An often only implicit assumption is that to achieve sustainability, we must try to distinguish true human needs from desires, prioritize the needs, and concentrate on meeting them in the most appropriate ways. The design of this project is intended to address this assumption in the form of the social and psychological needs included in its theoretical model for sustainability. Perhaps efforts such as this can begin to dissipate resistance to the sustainability concept. • It would be ridiculous to claim that the view of sustainability advocated in this project is correct or superior to others. Like all other views, it is biased and value-based. However, it is useful at this point in the sustainability debate to put forth such views for the sake of argument. Healthy discussion of existing, operational sustainability frameworks rather than pure theory might even lead to more agreement or more articulate disagreement within the debate. Either outcome would signal valuable progress. The remainder of this chapter consists of explanations of terms used in the research question, thereby also providing background information about the project. 1.3. Landscape: where we live and act Research question: how can an urban landscape assessment tool based on indicators present in urban open space help nonexpert individuals reach a better understanding of, and promote, sustainability? 1.3.a. definition A clear sense of the meaning of landscape is necessary for understanding this question. Forman (1990) defines landscape as "a coherent repetitive land mosaic extending for kilometers," or again "a mosaic where the local ecosystems or land uses are repeated in similar form throughout" (p. 268). The idea of landscape as a pattern of ecosystems and land uses comes from landscape ecology, the study of "the spatial relationships, fluxes, and changes in species, energy, and materials across large land mosaics" (Forman 1990, p. 269). Forman's definition is scientifically precise and applies in this project. However, since the word landscape is also associated with more frivolous meanings, it is necessary to state what definitions of landscape do not apply here. A good list of these is found in Thayer's (1994) less technical definition: "landscape is the broad physical and experiential arena in which human activity occurs—the land surface as physically modified (whether subtly or substantially) by humans in the course of their personal and collective existence. . . do not constrain landscape to being just ornamental vegetation, only so-called 'natural' materials, or merely the outdoor places intentionally designed for aesthetic purpose. . . landscape is the fundamental, physical context for human life as it is perceived and experienced" (Thayer 1994, p. xvi). In this definition, Thayer specifies "land surface as physically modified. . . by humans," and he further quotes J. B. Jackson's assertion that a landscape is never simply natural, but always artificial or synthetic (Thayer 1994). Forman's definition, by contrast, includes landscape mosaics composed solely of untouched ecosystems. Since Thayer's definition helps construct the view of landscape in this project, it is appropriate to operationally define landscape as requiring human influence. Also, the project targets land areas considered urban—any place not rural or wild, characterized by a concentration of dwellings, shared infrastructure, services and commercial establishments, regardless of size or population—and any such area obviously exhibits human influence. Combining Forman's and Thayer's definitions, landscape is viewed in this project as land surface, composed of a mosaic of ecosystems and land uses, that provides the setting for human activities. 1.3. b. importance The concept of landscape is only one of several possible ways of thinking about the surface of the earth and its special status as the location of human activity. For example, land has long held a unique position in economic theory. Van Kooten (1993), in the context of land and resource economics, says land is defined as any resource that cannot be moved from its current site. At least, it cannot be moved without incurring a prohibitive cost that may be infinite. Thus, land resources include agricultural land, forestland [sic], residential, commercial, and industrial land, recreational land, bodies of water such as lakes and rivers, the waste receptor capacity of land (e.g., garbage dumps, hazardous waste sites), and historical sites and national monuments (e.g., the Great Wall of China). Given such a list, it is also important to note that land 10 resources include all the activities that occur on land, namely, forestry, mining, hunting, hiking, fishing, and so on. As Nigel Richardson notes, "the concept of land involves the entire ecosystem, the natural order which embraces water, air and living things" (Van Kooten 1993, p. 3, original italics). The immovability of land, coupled with the fact that its inherent properties determine its resource uses and are not always amenable to human manipulation, contributed to its special status in institutional and classical economics. Neoclassical economists, however, treat it as just another factor of production, and this is one reason why neoclassical economics has difficulty addressing environmental issues (Van Kooten 1993). Because of the fundamental roles of the land surface as our source of resources, home and arena of interaction with the earth, as well as the foundation of all economic and ecological systems commonly targeted by sustainability efforts, it is appropriate to give specific attention to the implications of sustainability for landscape characteristics and function. This project's particular focus is the urban landscape, in accordance with the importance of urban environments as stated in the assumptions underlying the research, listed above. 1.4. Urban open space How can an urban landscape assessment tool based on indicators present in urban open space help nonexpert individuals reach a better understanding of, and promote, sustainability? 1.4.a. definition Ahern (1991) describes open space in general as "land areas that are intentionally left unbuilt as fields and forests while the land around them is developed into buildings and pavement" (p. 131.) Though relevant at the scale of a regional landscape, this type of definition is less useful for a city, in which most of the land area is likely to be "developed" in Ahern's sense. The search for a definition of the more appropriate term urban open space reveals that its use differs among practitioners in urban landscape-related fields. The only facet of urban open space that seems commonly agreed is that it excludes anything considered to be "indoor" environment, i.e. buildings (though urban open space often derives shape and character from the exterior features of neighboring buildings). Gold (1973) defines open space narrowly for his own purposes as only areas allowing 11 public use for leisure activities, though public use can include "visual or perceptual offsite use for aesthetics or imagibility" (1973, p. 42), so does not require physical access. Francis' (1987) definition of "publicly accessible open places designed and built for human activity and enjoyment" (p. 76) would be even narrower, except that Francis does not limit human activity to traditional leisure, and is able to include streets, sidewalks, bus stops and vacant lots in open space. Burgess, Harrison and Limb (1988), though they do not define open space, use it interchangeably with such terms as "natural areas." This implies that to them, urban open space must be green, meaning land area that is covered with natural substrate and at least partially vegetated. Neither Spirn (1984) nor Hough (1995) offers an explicit definition of urban open space—Hough prefers to speak of landscape rather than space—but both seem to consider the concept in its broadest form, as any land area not covered by buildings. Spirn refers simply to "the open space within which buildings are set" (1984, p. xiii); Hough indicates that the "exterior environment" includes "streets and pedestrian ways, shopping areas, civic squares, parks and gardens and residential areas. . . the landscape of industry, railways, public utilities, vacant lands, urban expressway interchanges, abandoned mining lands and waterfronts" (1995, p. 6). In other words, urban open space can mean private as well as public areas and paved or otherwise altered surfaces as well as vegetated ones. This last, most inclusive sense of urban open space has been adopted for this project. Urban open space is considered here to mean all urban land surface, regardless of surface cover or ownership or access, that is not covered by buildings. Open space may contain some walls, roofing or other shelter, but must provide an outdoor, rather than indoor, human environment. 1.5. The indicators: general introduction Research question: how can an urban landscape assessment tool based on indicators present in urban open space help nonexpert individuals reach a better understanding of, and promote, sustainability? 1.5.a. origins The specific landscape-based items included in the indicators are drawn from literature that 12 spans the past four decades. Some of this research is well-known, but some has as yet been only slightly developed or utilized. In addition to the disciplinary publications that provided details for individual indicators (identified in Chapter Three and listed in Appendix B), there are a few examples of work that has grouped diverse sets of ecological and human-focused factors in the context of urban open space quality. For example, Gold (1973), though concentrating mainly on recreation planning in urban open space, also discusses educational use, retention of natural drainage, urban wildlife habitat, and safety as he makes his case for moving beyond the "traditional approach" to planning. Francis (1987) includes such diverse dimensions as safety, children's play, outdoor education, interpretation of local history, the needs of people at different life stages, adequate seating, aesthetics, and natural systems in his look at urban open space design. Emphasizing urban natural processes as inspiration for the design form of cities, Hough (1995) discusses the hydrological cycle, plants, and wildlife in detail. He argues that conservation of these natural elements is compatible with educational programs and agricultural production, as well as recreation, in urban open space. Spirn's (1984) concerns resemble Hough's, emphasizing the necessary compatibility of natural processes and urban environments. To Spirn, "Nature is a continuum, with wilderness at one pole and the city at the other" (1984, p. 4). She argues that the continuous interest of urban dwellers in nature has, in recent history, too often been translated into urban parks and gardens that, although pleasant, represent only the most superficial kind of "nature." Spirn could be speaking for Hough, Francis and Gold when she declares, "It is time to expand what has been a romantic attachment to the ornaments of nature into a commitment to reshape the city in harmony with the workings of nature" (1984, p. 37). The selected factors mentioned in these examples are some of the details I incorporated independently into my twelve indicators. Obviously, bringing together considerations of ecological processes, economically productive functions and human social dimensions in the urban landscape is in no way unique. What has been done less is to link such considerations explicitly to sustainability. Hough's 1995 book is a rewrite of his 1984 City Form and Natural Process; in the new version, the term "sustainable development" along with the WCED definition appears without fail on the first page of Chapter One. However, it does not seem to occur again 13 in the book. Hough acknowledges that sustainability is the new jargon for what he used to call "the conserver view" and then goes about his business. I believe Spirn and the others, though they wrote prior to the sustainability debate, would agree that their concerns with urban open space are the stuff of sustainability. Their collective claim is that our urban land use system does far too little to maintain ecological function, and could also contribute more than it presently does to human life quality. I.S.b. finding a template It seemed that unnecessary work could be saved if a suitable template for relating sustainability to the urban landscape already existed, but only a few possibilities were found. Thayer has developed a conceptual framework of twelve "living systems" or '"points of attachment' where humans interact with the greater ecosystem to survive" (Thayer 1994, p. 244). He encourages consideration of the living systems by anyone desiring to think through sustainability in terms of landscape planning, a focus resembling my primary research objective. His concern is with the relationship between nature, landscape and technology in everyday American life. As a landscape planner, Thayer configured the living systems to correspond to the most common issues found in development and planning projects (Thayer 1994). Due to these orientations, the living systems emphasize the processes of material resource use: resource appropriation, landscape design, waste production, recycling and reuse. These are worthy of attention in the interest of sustainability, but Thayer's living systems tend to overlook other vital considerations—needs of nonhuman species, as well as human social and psychological needs. Forman's (1990) landscape ecology-based model consisting of variables underlying both ecological integrity and human needs seemed more promising. Forman's conceptual framework shows the full range of sustainability concerns, though lacking detail in the society/ culture/psychology area. Another advantage of Forman's model is its global level, which lent itself to expansion and refinement for this project. Also, landscape ecology's focus on the interaction and change of structure and function in the landscape (Forman 1990) meshes particularly well with this project's use of visually observed landscape features as glimpses of human interactions with the earth's surface. (The reasons for choosing visual indicators are presented in Chapter Twol.) Forman's model became the basis of the theoretical model used in 14 this project, and thus of its variables and the indicators associated with them. I.5.C. purposes Most indicators for sustainability currently sought by communities, nations and international organizations are either intended to provide environmental (ecospheric) information or designed to augment the current use of economic accounting to measure human welfare. Examples of environmental indicator initiatives are the Indicators Task Force created under Canada's Green Plan (Environment Canada, Indicators Task Force 1991) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program (Knapp et al. 1991). Examples of proposed systems of economic and welfare accounting are Henderson's Country Future Indicators (Henderson 1994); Jacksonville, Florida's Quality Indicators for Progress (Ibid.); and Daly and Cobb's Index of Sustainable Economic Welfare (Daly and Cobb 1994). The emphasis in all these examples is on quantification, scientific credibility, understandability, relevance to decision makers and regular reporting. The nature of the indicators used in this project is quite different. They are vernacular (plain language) indicators, intended primarily for use by nonexperts in increasing their personal understanding and awareness of sustainability issues. They can also be used to construct broad overviews of conditions in portions of urban landscape and may even serve to direct further quantitative landscape assessment, but are not in themselves suitable bases for decision making regarding that landscape. They are explicitly qualitative, and ease and enjoyment of data collection are key. A few of them are extensions of the anecdotal evidence surrounding issues of urban landscape quality, but most are derived from scientific research. Further discussion of the nature of this project's indicators will accompany their description in Chapter Two. In urban areas, our actions determine landscape structure. Landscape ecology premises that structure determines function in the landscape. Finally, it is landscape function that provides a measurement of sustainability (Mooney, personal communication). The visual indicators used in this project are, in essence, a way of recording features of landscape structure as surrogates for the related functions that contribute to sustainability. 15 1 j 16 CHAPTER TWO Theory And Model Development II. 1. Introduction: world view and sustainability Il.l.a. definition of world view Rees (1995) defines world view as "fundamental beliefs and assumptions about the nature of humankind-environment relationships" (p.344). He identifies two other terms equivalent to world view, preanalytic vision and paradigm, the second of which is familiar from other discussions of whether a so-called "paradigm shift" is necessary to achieve sustainability. Rees uses world view and paradigm interchangeably. According to Rees, personal world views "define and delimit any significant problem to be analyzed and determine the scope, depth, and direction of our thinking about it." Because we acquire a particular worldview simply by living, growing up, and being educated in a particular sociocultural milieu, we are often unconscious that we even have one and that we operate from it in virtually everything we do. Therefore, most of us are generally unaware of the subtle ways in which the prevailing paradigm shapes our understanding of, and approach to, societal problems or that there may be more viable alternatives. Indeed, when we think that "the world is flat" was once a self-evident paradigmatic truth, it raises the unsettling possibility that much of even our present scientific worldview may consist largely of shared illusions! (Rees 1995, p.344) World view is more fundamental than the issue(s) a person chooses to deal with, and does not bear any simple relationship to those issues; for example, not all economists can be assumed to have the same world view just because they are economists. A person can only believe in one world view at a time, and must internalize it to believe in it. World view determines what seems logical or ridiculous, right or wrong, worthwhile or inconsequential. Those who share similar world views are likely to think of other people with different world views as suffering under Rees's "shared illusions." Each individual's world view is closely related to—if not actually the source of—his or her ethics, or moral principles. Il.l.b. significance for sustainability Rees and others believe that there is more than one world view and that different world 17 views are in competition for dominance within communities and societies as well as globally. World view is central to the sustainability debate, partly because sustainability has obligatory ethical dimensions as discussed in Chapter One. But Rees says The critical point is that any paradigm is only a model and the policies it suggests can only be as good in coping with reality as the original model is in capturing the essence of that reality. This begs the question, Which [sic] of our competing paradigms provides the better guide to policy for sustainability? (Rees 1995, p. 348). Section II.2 describes the major world views found within the sustainability debate. In section II.3, items of sustainability-related literature are reviewed and differentiated by the world views of their authors. As shown in that section, sorting sustainability literature by world view involves making difficult and subtle distinctions. However, it enables linkages to be made between work on different issues (i.e. from different disciplines) that may initially appear separated by specialized terminology and divergent styles of reasoning. In this project, for example, the goal is to construct a cohesive model showing the components of a sustainable world system, that can be operationalized in the urban landscape. The model must include ecological parameters and both the physical and psychological requirements of people. These are usually the separate domains of disciplines like ecology, health science, psychology and sociology, but can be united under common world views. The main purpose of the model developed in this project is to provide a comprehensive view of sustainability that can be communicated to people through landscape assessment in terms of both global and local implications. Assuring that the model consistently reflects the most appropriate world view for sustainability is important because sustainability is a value-laden concept. Supporting sustainability involves commitment at a deep level of belief, not just intellectual agreement. However, understanding and attraction to the idea of sustainability at the intellectual level can happen before belief, so great effort has been made in this document to argue consistently for one particular world view. Subjecting literature intended for use in the model to review based on authors' world views has allowed material that superficially seemed useful, but was then shown to stem from world views deemed undesirable, to be screened out of the model. The world view advocated here is the ecological world view, described in section II.2. 18 11.1. e. the sustainability literature Before proceeding, it is appropriate to explain what is and is not considered sustainability-related literature in this document. Two of the three authors discussed in the following section wrote prior to 1987, before the sustainability debate had acquired either its name or its momentum. However, it will be argued here that world views, not just issues, define—or should define—the different factions currently discussing sustainability. These world views did not suddenly come into being with the publication of Our Common Future; but have existed for decades or even centuries. Stated simply, issues belonging in the sustainability debate are not always associated with the word "sustainable." Conversely, not every post-1987 discussion of something labeled sustainable is really about sustainability. As mentioned before, the word's buzzword status has resulted in its misuse in attempts to publicize or legitimize unrelated issues. The determining factor of authenticity in sustainability issues is whether they involve the genuine concerns of sustainability, not how they are labeled. II.2. The expansionist and ecological world views 11.2. a. introduction and defining characteristics Rees (1995) describes what he calls "the 'expansionist' and 'steady state' worldviews, the two major paradigms competing for attention on the sustainable-development stage today" (p. 344). Expansionist and steady-state (or ecological) are Rees's terms for the world views associated with neoclassical economics and ecology, respectively. Economists traditionally see the economy as an open and independent system existing somehow alongside an infinite environment. In the expansionist world view, the economy is free to expand indefinitely without encountering physical limits. By contrast, "ecologists and ecological economists. . . see the economy not in isolation, but rather as an inextricably integrated, completely contained, and wholly dependent subsystem of the ecosphere" (Rees 1990, in Rees 1995, p. 347). Those adhering to the steady-state or ecological world view consider the ecosphere finite, so that the economy as a subset of the ecosphere is bound to encounter real constraints on growth. The term steady-state reflects the fact that according to this world view, the economy's material throughput must eventually be held 19 constant rather than continuing to grow. In this discussion, the steady-state world view will take the more general name, ecological. Rees calls these two world views the "major" ones, not the only ones, in the sustainability debate. Some other defining features of the expansionist world view, as listed by Rees (1995), are the preeminence of objective, reductionist science; emphasis on individual and short-term interests; a view of nature as subject to human mastery and having only resource value; and support of economic globalization. The ecological world view, in contrast, exhibits a recognition of the subjectivity and uncertainty of science; emphasis on community and longer-term interests; a view of humans as dependent on nature that has its own intrinsic value; and opposition to economic globalization. I I .2 .b . other versions and additional characteristics A number of authors, in explaining their own versions of competing world views, have proposed an array of names for both the concept of world view and the different views themselves. An idea of the variety of world views suggested can be gathered from a couple of examples. Each author's labels and outlook are compared with Rees's (1995); for coherence and simplicity Rees's terms are used throughout this document. Robertson (1985) focuses on the changing "context for health" (p. 12), which he sees as impacting "on the Person, (i.e. the lives of individual people), on Society, (i.e. on relationships between people), and on the Planet (i.e. the way we treat the natural world in which we live, and of which we are a part)" (p. 13). He defines health positively as "a psychosomatic condition of wellbeing" (Robertson 1985, p. 17) that should be holistically promoted, as opposed to seeing health negatively as the absence of disease and ability to treat sickness. Robertson describes three possible paths for future Western development and how each would change the context for health. The Hyper-Expansionist (HE) scenario would result from Western society's dominant trend of dependence on technology, expertise and organization becoming even more dominant. The Sane, Humane and Ecological (SHE) scenario is the opposite of Hyper-Expansionist in that emphasis on self-help, family and community dependence and personal values, which now comprises a minority counter-trend, would rise to dominance. The third scenario, Business As Usual, postulates no significant changes in the current Western 20 way of life. It would result from the continuing of today's tension between the opposing H E and SHE trends, with neither gaining dominance. In passing Robertson mentions that there could also be Disaster, Decline and Authoritarian State scenarios, but does not elaborate on them. Robertson explicitly links the SHE vision to the occurrence of a societal paradigm shift, "a change in our basic perceptions of ourselves, our society and the natural world" (1985, p. 14), and identifies it, of the three main scenarios, as most important for the future. Robertson's three future scenarios result from the interaction of just two trends, H E and SHE. These trends correspond directly to Rees's (1995) two world views, Hyper-Expansion to expansionist and Sane, Humane and Ecological to ecological. Robertson (1985) makes clear that the H E trend's characterization by technology, expertise and organization and the SHE trend's emphasis on self-help, community dependence and personal values apply to every major concern in life, including work, education, food production, housing and the built environment, and health. Catton's (1980) focus is on global carrying capacity and its implications for the future of human life. He defines carrying capacity as "the maximum population of a given species which a particular habitat can support indefinitely (under specified technology and organization, in the case of the human species)" (Catton 1980, p. 272). He believes that the human species has already exceeded the number that could be permanently supported by the earth, as a result of artificially and temporarily boosting the planet's human carrying capacity by technological means. This is an extreme version of the belief shared by many sustainability advocates that we are nearing ecological limits on the scale of human activity. Catton (1980) examines the different ways people adapt their attitudes to deal with (1) the "circumstance" of "overshot" carrying capacity, and (2) the "consequence" that many changes are needed to bring human behavior into line with finite ecological limits. Catton names five adaptations, each resulting from either acceptance, disregard or denial of the circumstance and its consequence. Realism is the adaptation resulting from acceptance of both the circumstance and the consequence described. Cargoism is Catton's name for acceptance of the circumstance paired with disregard for the consequence. Cosmeticism is somewhat the opposite in that the circumstance is disregarded but the consequence partially accepted. Cynicism comes from 21 disregard of both circumstance and consequence, and Ostrichism from outright denial of both. A detailed description of Catton's five adaptations will not be presented here, but it is important to recognize that the '"Ostriches' in this analysis represent the truest adherents of the old cornucopian paradigm. The 'Realists' are the truest adherents of the new ecological paradigm" (Catton 1980, p. 69). The other three adaptations fall on a continuum between the two extremes, as listed. Catton's five adaptations result from the interaction of two paradigms that can again be equated with Rees's (1995) world views. Catton's cornucopian paradigm corresponds to Rees's expansionist world view, and Catton's ecological paradigm to Rees's ecological world view. Catton (1980) sums up his version of the expansionist world view in four points: humans are different from and have control over other species, are capable of unlimited learning, are capable of unlimited change, and will always be able to solve problems in the interest of progress. The corresponding points of his ecological world view are that: humans and other species live interdependently in communities, supposedly informed human actions may always have unintended consequences, physical and biological limits constrain human action, and human inventiveness ultimately cannot transcend nature. Catton (1980) sees five major outlooks arising from the competition of two world views, while Robertson (1985) emphasizes three and Rees (1995) concentrates on just two. Most striking is that they agree the two world views are in conflict, and they closely concur on the characteristics of those views, though Rees's issue of concern is ecological economics, Robertson's are health and social change, and Catton's is human ecology. II.2.c. summary of world view characteristics The features of the two world views identified by Catton (1980), Rees (1995) and Robertson (1985) can be combined to form interdisciplinary profiles of the world views. The expansionist world view is intrinsically based on the separation of humans and their activities from the natural world. Because of that separation, there exist no biophysical limits on the human economy, human learning, change or progress. Objective, reductionist science provides the tools for human control and use of the natural world, which has only resource value. Technology, expertise and organization rooted in the same science are dominant in all aspects of human life, where they support individual, short-term interests. The primary health consideration is treatment 22 of sickness. Economic globalization is supported. An understanding of humans and their economy as completely contained within and dependent on the ecosphere is the governing realization of the competing ecological world view. There are consequently real biophysical limits on human activity and inventiveness. The subjectivity and uncertainty of science are recognized, along with the possible unknown consequences of human action in the natural world. Nature has intrinsic value. All aspects of human living emphasize self-help, family and community dependence, values, and long-term community interests. The main health consideration is promotion of holistic health. Economic globalization is opposed. While Rees's (1995) definition of world view mentioned only "humankind-environment relationships," the profiles of both world views show that human-human relationships are included. One way to understand this is by envisioning that every person's environment contains other people as well as other life forms and things. Table 2.1 lists the features of the expansionist and ecological world views in point form for quick comparison. iiiininiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiN Table 2.1 Preliminary list of defining features of the expansionist and ecological world views. EXPANSIONIST WORLD VIEW ECOLOGICAL WORLD VIEW humans and their activities separate from natural world humans and human activities completely contained in and dependent on ecosphere human use of natural world can be controlled human action in the natural world has unknown consequences no biophysical limits on human economy, adaptation or progress real biophysical limits on human economy and inventiveness natural world has only resource value natural world has intrinsic value objective, reductionist science dominant subjectivity and uncertainty of science recognized technology, expertise and organization dominant in all aspects of living family and community dependence and self-help dominant in all aspects of living short-term individual interests supported long-term community interests supported economic globalization supported economic globalization opposed "negative" idea of health based on treatment of specific sickness . "positive" idea of health based on holistic health promotion iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiim 23 II.2.d. implications of the two world views for sustainability It is evident from their work that all three authors discussed here personally hold the ecological world view. Furthermore, they identify the ecological world view as "new" and "emerging" in comparison to the "old" and "dominant" expansionist world view (Catton 1980, Robertson 1985). The expansionist world view is seen as "dangerously obsolete" (Catton 1980, p. 238), because only the ecological world view reflects important characteristics of the natural world that must be taken into account for sustainability (Rees 1995). In essence, these authors call for conversion from the expansionist to the ecological world view in the interest of sustainability. The three major characteristics of any sustainable system (here our system is the world), as identified in Chapter One, are (1) provision for adequate human life quality, (2) provision for the ecological viability of nature, and (3) consideration of equity. Rees, Catton and Robertson are saying that systems of human activity associated with the ecological world view foster these characteristics more, or better, than systems based on the expansionist world view. It is reasonable to assume that ecological viability is best protected if it is considered integrally connected with human concerns. Also, intergenerational equity is served by long-term instead of short-term interests, and interspecific equity can only be a goal if other species have intrinsic value. So, in respect to the second and third characteristics, the ecological world view does indeed seem superior with respect to sustainability. However, there is still the question of what constitutes good quality of life, and arguments of which world view provides for this better are at present much less clear. This is one of the most neglected areas of the sustainability debate and has the potential to be sensitive and contentious. It receives deliberate attention in this project. Robertson's and Catton's work clearly indicates that hybrid world views, part expansionist and part ecological, can exist. Robertson speaks of the coexistence of the two world views as happening at the scale of a society, but Rees and Catton clearly understand world view as a feature of—or within—individuals and Catton believes that one person can operate from a combination of world views. It is likely that hybrid world views sometimes indicate people who are undergoing transition from one world view to another, but in other people hybrid views are static. Among Western people, Rees, Robertson and Catton indicate that the expansionist world 24 view is status quo, so transition occurs in the direction of the ecological world view. On the other hand, the ecological world view can be equated with the traditional mindset of indigenous people around the world who are now being converted to Western lifestyles (Kaplan 1993), so they are undergoing transitions from the ecological to the expansionist world view. Catton's (1980) five adaptations range from one extreme of the expansionist world view to the other extreme of the ecological world view. If the five positions are seen as points along a continuum, it is easy to envision a range of world views including some that do not match the five neat categories as other points between them along the continuum. During a literature review, lumping every position into one of only two world view categories as Rees (1995) has done would be insufficient to deal with partly expansionist and partly ecological views in the middle of the continuum, such as Catton's Cargoists, Cosmeticists and Cynics and proponents of Robertson's Business As Usual scenario. Though it appears that the alternative of recognizing several categories for the interaction of the two world views would reflect reality more accurately than Rees's (1995) two, this is also not foolproof. Because information about an author's world view is incompletely presented in most publications, there is greater risk of misinterpretation with more and narrower world view categories. A little less specificity than Catton uses is desirable. Robertson's (1985) approach is a middle ground between the other two, as he distinguishes the interaction of the two world views into only three categories: dominance of the expansionist world view, dynamic coexistence of the expansionist and ecological views with no clear dominance, and dominance of the ecological world view. This seems the safest method, and only these simple distinctions will be made in the literature review. II.3. Literature review: world view in the sustainability debate 11.3.a. introduction: purposes and organization of the review The purposes of this literature review are: to support the claim that the expansionist and ecological world views are the two interacting world views to be found among authors of sustainability-related literature; to supplement the profiles of the two world views assembled from the work of Catton (1980), Rees (1995) and Robertson (1985); and to introduce some literature 25 that has contributed to the development of this project's sustainability theory and model. These three goals are accomplished through discussion and analysis of selected examples of literature with attention to evidence of their authors' world views. References are made to Table 2.1, which lists the defining features of the expansionist and ecological views, and an updated version of the table appears at the end of the section. World views of the reviewed authors will be distinguished as dominantly expansionist, dominantly ecological or a mixture of the two. Throughout the review, particular attention is paid to sustainability-related models in order to construct a context for the new model presented later in this chapter. The literature is grouped into three subsections entitled ecology, economics and human well-being. The most well-known discussion in the field of sustainability has taken place between economists and ecologists, and the bulk of the literature reflects it. Rees (1995) is able to draw a clean distinction between the expansionist and ecological world views by generalizing that neoclassical economists sit in the expansionist camp, and positioning ecological economists with ecologists on the ecological side. However, as stated before, the relationship between world view and issue is not simple, and the examples of ecology and economics literature below challenge Rees's generalization. The concept of human well-being encompasses all physical and non-physical aspects of health, social justice and equity. The third subsection contains literature from a variety of disciplines and fields offering diverse viewpoints on well-being. This is arguably the most neglected area of sustainability-related thought. More than the other two categories in this literature review, it encourages linkages between ideas from different fields. II. 3. b. ecology Ecologists' belief in human dependency on the ecosphere has a long history. This review focuses on those who have tried to relate ecological principles to human concerns in ways accessible to audiences beyond the discipline. Leopold first published A Sand County Almanac in 1949; the book contains striking insight into the human dependence on nature and has had far-reaching influence in ecology-related fields. With reference to Table 2.1 on page 23, Leopold appears to display beliefs associated with both world views. For example, Leopold asks, "does the educated citizen know he is only a cog 26 in an ecological mechanism? That if he will work with that mechanism his mental wealth and his material wealth can expand indefinitely? But that if he refuses to work with it, it will ultimately grind him to dust?" (Leopold 1966, p. 195). This passage acknowledges the human dependence on the biosphere that characterizes the ecological world view, but Leopold's reference to indefinitely expanding material wealth indicates the simultaneous presence of the expansionist world view. For Leopold, land use "based solely on economic self-interest is hopelessly lopsided" (Ibid., p. 229). He calls for development of a "land ethic" that extends the existing ethics governing interpersonal and person-society relationships, one that "enlarges the boundaries of the community to include the soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively, the land" in order to "affirm their right to continued existence, and at least in spots, their continued existence in a natural state" (Ibid., p. 219). This amounts to a rejection of the expansionist resource view of nature and an affirmation of the intrinsic value of other organisms. Leopold also advocates scientific ecological knowledge as the basis for land management. Superficially, this seems like an affirmation of scientific expertise in line with the expansionist world view, except for two qualifying comments: that "the biotic mechanism is so complex that its workings may never be fully understood" (Leopold 1966, p. 220), and that ecological perception is not reserved for those with formal education in the field. These indicate that Leopold recognizes the uncertainty of science and the importance of community knowledge, and so also fall in line with the ecological world view. Definitely on the expansionist side, he supports individual property ownership with its accompanying rights and recognizes no community-based alternatives or controls. Leopold's notion of all organisms belonging to one community including human beings is an extension of the belief in full human ecosphere membership, but its spiritual/emotional viewpoint makes it worthwhile as an addition to the ecological world view features in Table 2.1. Leopold's discussion of ethics, along with other references to such topics as ecosystem health and ecosystem degradation, make his work relevant to the current concerns of sustainability. Odum (1969) discusses ecological succession and its relevance to human use of the earth. He characterizes young (early-successional) ecosystems as oriented toward production, growth and quantity, and mature (late-successional) ecosystems as exhibiting protection, stability 27 and quality. Odum (1969) argues that human uses of the earth often involve design and exploitation of young-type ecosystems maximizing production (e.g. agricultural fields, tree plantations), whereas nature's successional tendency is toward mature ecosystems for the security they provide against perturbation. Odum's worry is that we do not seem to consider variety and balance when we are changing the landscape. The characteristics of both young and mature ecosystems are desirable, so we can either compromise and provide moderate quality and yield everywhere, or we can compartmentalize the landscape (Odum 1969). Odum claims that we need to do more compartmentalization, and suggests a four-compartment model with equal productive, protective, compromise ("multiple-use") and urban-industrial ("nonvital") land areas as a goal for landscape zoning. He calls for "ecosystem analysis that considers man as a part of, not apart from, the environment" (Odum 1969, p. 267), and thus his ecological world view is explicit. It is also apparent that Odum recognizes both the dependence of human activity on ecosystem function, and limits to growth of the human enterprise. Odum's succession-based insights into human use of nature make a valuable addition to Table 2.1; the expansionist world view emphasizes production, growth and quantity, while the ecological world view values instead protection, stability and quality. Commoner (1970) lists fundamental properties of ecosystems that emphasize such phenomena as their nonlinear responses to change, the amplification and intensification resulting from feedback, the interdependence of organisms within systems, and the stability provided by circular and branching networks. These properties are seen to define the parameters of any activity, human included, that can occur successfully within an ecosystem (Commoner 1970). Commoner then reviews some technologies that have resulted in ecological harm, concluding that "[o]ur technology is enormously successful in producing material goods, but too often it is disastrously incompatible with the natural environmental systems that support not only human life, but technology itself" (Commoner 1970, p. 34). Commoner confirms the ecological world view by recognizing human support by natural systems, and denies the expansionist world view through criticism of technology and assignment of priority to ecological over economic concerns. Schaeffer (1991) approaches ecology and sustainability through the study of 28 ecotoxicology, a branch of '"Ecosystem Health,' an emerging science paralleling human and veterinary medicine" (p. 926). In general, Ecosystem Health tries to detect stress in ecosystems, study that stress's structural and functional effects, and relieve it to allow normal function (Schaeffer 1991). Rather than applying ecological concepts to human action, Schaeffer applies human methods of medical treatment to ecosystems. Schaeffer's operative world view is difficult to determine from this publication, but there are some hints of the expansionist view. He admits that human activities have toxic ecosystem effects, but that is simply saying that the natural world is a sink for our wastes. Nowhere does he mention the value of the ecosphere in its own right. Also, Schaeffer's elaborate parallels between ecosystem toxicological methods and classical toxicology represent a reductionist attempt to impose human medical expertise on natural systems. Robertson (1985) identifies the existing health care system as based on the treatment of sickness rather than the promotion of holistic health, and assigns it to the H E scenario or expansionist world view, as shown in Table 2.1. Nickerson's (1993) summary phrase is that " [economics is three fifths of ecology" (p. 42). This means that economic activity is comprised of only three basic steps: assembling materials, processing the assembled materials, and distributing the end product (Nickerson 1993). These same three steps are carried out by organisms in ecosystems, but are tempered by two additional circumstances that economics usually ignores: the resource base from which the materials come and the wastes that are produced. In nature, the limitations resources and wastes place on the first three steps are recognized in "the law of the minimum" (Ibid., p. 67), which says that growth will continue only until the limiting or least abundant factor is used up, and "the law of tolerance" (Nickerson 1989, p. 68), which addresses the amount of change in living conditions organisms can tolerate. "These 'laws' govern all life on earth" says Nickerson (Ibid.), and "[a]ll environmental problems are the result of overlooking the resource base and waste" (Ibid., p. 66). Nickerson is observing that the human habit of not recognizing our full membership in and dependence on the ecosphere has led to environmental deterioration; this constitutes an expression of the basic ecological world view premise. Orians (1990) introduces three concepts that he considers key for conserving biological resources, and therefore for achieving sustainability. These are: 1) that every species has limited 29 intrinsic value as a unique evolutionary product; 2) that the economic value of an organism can act as an incentive for unlimited exploitation instead of preservation if the organism is not managed correctly, and 3) that living things can reproduce themselves and thus are renewable resources, but can confound human management efforts (Orians 1990, p. 11). The three principles underlie Orians's (1990) suggestion that "(e)nvironmental assessment and management are best served when people explicitly choose a limited number of 'valued ecosystem components'" (p. 13) to serve as guides for development decisions concerning particular ecosystems. Orians's three key concepts are essentially economic because he refers to species as "resources" having "value." His approach to sustainability requires a new way of assigning resource value in ecosystems that will be developed for human use. Orians states that nature is not completely controllable and assigns some intrinsic value to nonhuman species, signaling some ecological world view beliefs. However, his basic framework consists of expansionist control of nature as a resource pool. Compared to other ecologists in this review (except Schaeffer 1991), Orians has an unusually strong expansionist orientation. His practice of framing his arguments in ecological language makes that orientation difficult to detect at first reading. "Ecological scarcity" is Ophuls and Boyan's (1992) "essential message of ecology" ( p. 40). Their central point is that ecological scarcity, or in other words the realization of the finite nature of the ecosphere, must replace the idea of economic scarcity as the basis of political systems. The answer to our need to cope with ecological scarcity is the "steady state" society, in which we would embrace the larger conception of politics found in the classical world. Ancient politics included all aspects of the "human household": "[r]eligion, poetry, education, and marriage were just as much political matters as war, the regulation of property, and the distribution of administrative office" (Ophuls and Boyan 1992, p. 8). The sociopolitical characteristics of a generic steady-state society, according to Ophuls and Boyan (1992), would be communalism (rather than individualism); authority (rather than liberty); decentralized, values-based and strong government; politics (rather than laissez faire); stewardship; modesty ("of both ends and means"); diversity; holism (rather than scientific reductionism); morality; and post-modernity. This list constitutes a detailed profile of the ecological world view. Ophuls and Boyan's vision of the steady-state society clearly 30 demonstrates the close interconnectedness of all areas of human life and society, a point that has not yet been emphasized in conjunction with the ecological world view. The contrasting feature of the expansionist world view is the division of life into discrete areas with little or no overlap, related to the disciplinary organization of knowledge. This coincides with the expansionist emphasis on expertise already recorded in Table 2.1. Another ecological world view feature brought out by Ophuls and Boyan is the need for strong but decentralized government to establish social controls for the communal good. This relates to the ecological world view's emphasis on long-term community interests noted in Table 2.1. The opposing expansionist support of short-term individual interests would be served by individual autonomy, or in essence by anarchy. Since the governmental angle is new in this discussion, it will be added separately to the world view profiles from Table 2.1. a model To landscape ecologist Forman (1990), "a sustainable environment. . . includes four key characteristics: a time period of several human generations; adaptability and change in ecological and human systems; slowly changing (foundation) variables usually with irregular cycles; and mosaic stability, permitting ongoing rapid fluctuations within component spatial units" (1990, p. 264). Forman (1990) discusses ecological and human variables in landscapes; the variables may change slowly or quickly, be cyclic or not, and if cyclic be regular or irregular. Levels of those variables with slow, irregular cycles determine the sustainability of an environment. Foundation variables "underlying ecological integrity" are major component parts of the ecosphere, and variables "underlying human aspirations" are basic human needs (Forman 1990, p. 265). The foundation variables of Forman's model appear in Figure 2.1. 31 iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiM Figure 2.1 Forman's model of foundation variables regulating sustainability. I. Variables underlying ecological integrity: Soil Biological productivity Biological diversity Fresh water Oceans Atmosphere II. Variables underlying human aspirations: Basic human needs of food, water, health and housing Fuel Cultural cohesion and diversity Adapted from Table 1, p. 265 of R. T. T. Forman (1990), "Ecologically Sustainable Landscapes: The Role of Spatial Configuration," in I. S. Zonneveld and R. T. T. Forman (eds.), Changing Landscapes: An Ecological Perspective, Springer-Verlag, New York. lllllllllllltllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllN Utilizing these variables, Forman sets out to express a functional concept of sustainability that is objective and includes a minimum of values (Forman 1990). He promotes objectivity not because he discounts the personal values associated with sustainability, but because he knows such values are intrinsic and highly variable, and desires to avoid dictating them or assigning inappropriate monetary worth to priceless variables. The foundation variables are designed to be so basic and inclusive ("objective") that people with different values can agree on them. Forman displays several considerations that indicate an ecological world view. He recognizes that the ecosphere constrains human activity. He states that the separation between ecological and human foundation variables is for convenience only, and that in reality they are interdependent and tend to change together. The time frames he emphasizes for sustainability considerations are long, "[a]t least several human generations" (Forman 1990, p. 263). One point made by Forman but not commonly emphasized is that variables of the natural world tend to undergo discontinuous and cyclic change as opposed to steady and continuous change in one direction. Ecological change alternates periods of development with periods of "maintenance or contraction" (Ibid., p. 264), and Forman says that unless human sustainable development efforts mimic this type of cycle, they may be futile. Again, he is emphasizing that 32 human efforts cannot ultimately transcend nature, in line with the ecological world view. Forman's understanding of discontinuous development as normal and desirable contrasts strikingly with the dominant Western view of economics that considers every cessation in economic growth a negative event; a similar expansionist criterion of continuous improvement is imposed on standard of living, human knowledge, and other life aspects in the Western world. This is another difference between the ecological and expansionist world views that deserves mention in Table 2.1. As stated in Chapter One, Forman's model has been used as the template for the sustainability model developed in this project. The process of adapting Forman's model is discussed in section II.5. II. 3. c. economics Mainstream or neoclassical economic theory is identified by Hainsworth (1992) as having grown out of the British/North American development experience of the past two centuries, involving industrialization and urbanization supported by new and vast sources of natural resources. He claims that these historical roots profoundly influenced the nature of modern mainstream economics. Hainsworth (1992) lists several basic values implicit in neoclassical economic analysis: that economic growth is good and higher gross domestic product (GDP) means more human aims can be accomplished, "whether in raising consumption, reducing poverty, promoting culture, or conserving the environment" (p. 60); that resource mobilization, capital formation and technology increase GDP and unused resources have no economic value; that continuously increasing consumption is good and an important human motivator; that present costs and benefits are much more important than future ones; that individual freedom of choice is good and should not be socially constrained; that competition is good, though only some will win; and that individual self-reliance is good and wealth inequalities reflect differences in ability and luck and are best not interfered with. Quick comparison with Table 2.1 shows this list to be a veritable profile of the expansionist world view, and indeed Rees (1995) identified mainstream economists in general as holding the expansionist view. The literature reviewed in this section will be compared with Hainsworth's list as a way of looking for departures from neoclassical economic thought. 33 Schmidheiny (1992), on behalf of the international Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD), issues economic guidelines for business actions and government policies to ensure sustainability. Notable features of the BCSD's viewpoint are: (1) that open market competition is necessary to motivate businesses to internalize environmental costs by pricing; (2) that such limiting of damage to the environment can be encouraged through government interventions in the market; (3) that we cannot drastically change our energy systems because of the negative economic impacts; (4) that free trade must be supported because economic development is impossible without international trade, and sustainability is impossible without economic development since only developed countries can protect their environments; (5) that G A T T should therefore be amended so its environmental "loophole" clauses cannot be used by "protectionists" (Schmidheiny 1992, p. 27); (6) that economic growth is necessary for improved social equity and more environmentally sustainable development; and (7) that "technology cooperation" should replace the old idea of "technology transfer" as the mechanism for propagating development between nations (Ibid., p. 35). Some features of Schmidheiny's (1992) sustainable development framework directly reflect the basic values of mainstream economics as summarized by Hainsworth (1992). Schmidheiny's strategies for sustainability depend firmly on the integrity of the current market economy and its major trappings, namely competition, free trade, fossil fuel use ("resource mobilization"), and international industrial development. On the other hand, Schmidheiny and the BCSD show some progress away from neoclassical thought. They believe that for sustainable development to occur unused resources must be considered as having economic value, which has never been a feature of mainstream economics. This view of resources is similar to that of Veeman (1989), who states that neoclassical economics has drastically underestimated the contribution of natural resources to economic growth, and that the concept of sustainable development finally rectifies the situation. In other ways Veeman exhibits a neoclassical orientation nearly as strong as Schmidheiny's. He firmly believes that economic growth is a necessary condition for economic development. A growth component also appears as one of the three vital subcomponents of Veeman's concept of sustainable development, along with a distributional and an environmental component. Veeman 34 also voices faith in technological change, which causes the natural resource base to "evolve" (Veeman 1989, p. 879) for policy purposes instead of being considered fixed. Van Kooten (1993), in his volume on land economics, specifically identifies his as a mainly neoclassical view. One example of this orientation is that he, like Schmidheiny (1992), supports G A T T because "freer trade promotes sustainable development, and barriers to trade are a hinderance [sic] to the attainment of a sound global environment" (Van Kooten 1993, p. 187). In his suggested guidelines for sustainable development, Van Kooten stresses that consideration of economic costs and benefits must continue to regulate the use and conservation—or depletion, if appropriate—of both renewable and non-renewable resources. In Schmidheiny's (1992) points 3 and 5, he subjugates ecological concerns to the quality of short-term economic performance. He and Van Kooten (1993) support economic globalization. Veeman (1989) speaks of human technology's control over the natural resource base. These are clear signs of the dependence on technology and organization, the limitless economy and the resource view of nature under control that identify the expansionist world view. Even Schmidheiny's departure from neoclassical orthodoxy with the valuation of unused resources remains within expansionism, since that valuation is economic—i.e. monetary—rather than based on nature's intrinsic worth. Hainsworth's (1992) view of sustainable development is that it should be instead what he calls "sustainable economic progress." To him, economic progress means "successful economic growth and/or development which makes possible an improvement in some economic, environmental, social, cultural, political or other dimension according to an explicit set of criteria" (Hainsworth 1992, p. 64). Concluding that economic progress has been achieved requires a subjective and normative judgment (Hainsworth 1992). Hainsworth defines sustainable economic progress as "that style of economic growth or development: (a) that will not permanently damage the natural environment (or compromise its capacity for self-regeneration); and (b) that leaves the vast majority of people in society better off after the event than they were before, judged by their own particular standards" (1992, p. 63). This definition requires economic development or economic growth, but also includes sensitivity to intragenerational equity and the importance of subjective values. The indication is of a hybrid 35 expansionist-ecological world view, but the absence of the key statement of human dependence on and containment in the ecosphere slants it toward the expansionist. Henderson's (1994) concern in discussing economics is clearly the effects of economic parameters on the human condition. She advocates replacing gross national product and gross domestic product (GNP/GDP), the dominant social indicators in systems of national accounts, with other indicators that more accurately reflect progress and quality of life. Even though there is grassroots desire for a change from GNP/GDP, Henderson has encountered stiff resistance from powerful mainstream economists everywhere, including in governments and international organizations like the United Nations. She says indicators of sustainable development must be interdisciplinary, and maybe overall indexes shouldn't be used at all. However, she has developed her own Country Futures Indicators, which are meant to be "'transparent,' multidisciplinary, and accessible to the public" (Henderson 1994, p. 133). The Country Futures Indicators include measures of human biophysical conditions, human rights status, social services, environmental quality and cultural resources as well as a reformulated GNP. Henderson's holistic Country Futures Indicators reflect the ecological world view in content as well as in being designed for use by ordinary people, not just experts, to assess their own well-being. a model Van Den Bergh and Nijkamp (1991a,b) concern themselves with "ecologically sustainable economic development," defined as "the dynamics in economic activities, human attitudes and human population, such that an acceptable standard of living for every human being is fulfilled (the phenomenon) and all aspects of this development can be ensured in the long run by the availability of natural resources, ecosystems and life support systems (the necessary conditions)" (Van Den Bergh & Nijkamp 1991b, p. 13). They state that sustainable development is too general a term because the development concept could concern many phenomena besides human action, so their suggested term is more accurate. However, Van Den Bergh and Nijkamp (1991b) return to using the term sustainable development and name five issues basic to it: 1) intergenerational equity, 2) regional scale, 3) multiple use, 4) long-term uncertainty, and 5) integration of economics and ecology. They have 36 developed a mathematical economic model for regional sustainable development that they claim has greater flexibility to reflect varied types of regional resource bases and resource uses than any global model (Van Den Bergh & Nijkamp 1991a). The model is not shown here because of its complexity and its expression in mathematical equations that are difficult to understand. Aspects of the ecological world view found in Van Den Bergh and Nijkamp's work are rejection of economic globalization, recognition of long time frames and intergenerational concerns, and acknowledgment of uncertainty. They do not mention ecological limits on human action, and seem to see nature as resources and services only, so they can be assumed on these bases to have the typical neoclassical or expansionist roots. On the surface, Van Den Bergh and Nijkamp (1991a) voice clearer leanings toward the ecological world view than toward the expansionist world view. However, they proceed to transform such things as ecological functions and intergenerational considerations into mathematical equations for inclusion in their economic development model. This reductionist scientific modeling approach seems to be essentially an expansionist exercise couched in ecological language, reminiscent of Orians's (1990) work with valued ecosystem components. summary With some exceptions such as Henderson's (1994) approach, neoclassical economics is commonly treated as the driving force of almost every area of life in Western society (see the first point of Hainsworth's 1992 basic neoclassical values, Kaplan 1993) so that universal application of economic theory can be added to the expansionist world view profile in Table 2.1. The corresponding ecological world view characteristic is the universal application of ecological knowledge to human concerns. This latter is advocated, for example, by Leopold (1966) in the context of human interaction with land. II.3.d. human well-being psychological well-being Kaplan (1993) distinguishes between psychological indicators and social indicators that may be used to reflect human conditions. Social indicators are such measurements as education level, health care provision, availability of social services, infant mortality, nutrition level and literacy that are used for social appraisals. Such appraisals are more difficult than economic and 37 environmental assessments because of lack of records, but are still carried out in the context of international development (Kaplan 1993). Psychological indicators reveal the status of "social, psychological, and spiritual needs" (Kaplan 1993, p. 123), "the more fragile and vulnerable aspects of the human condition" (Ibid., p. 125) which are more subtle and more neglected than the social indicators. Both social and psychological aspects of human well-being are considered in the literature in this subsection. The major emphasis is placed on psychological needs, however, because many social needs require material satisfaction and are beginning to be addressed by economists such as Henderson (1994). Clark (1990, 1994) focuses on "biopsychic" human needs, or those that are genetically dictated. She recognizes two major and interrelated biopsychic needs, those for meaningful social bonding and personal autonomy. Clark (1990) presents both evolutionary and present biological evidence that our primary physiological and psychological need is for social support. Evolutionary evidence indicates that the development of the large human brain and increasing helplessness of human infants at birth had important consequences. The original human social bonds probably formed between mothers and their dependent infants, and social communication subsequently spread within extended family groups. Also, helpless children had to be socialized to acquire cultural information necessary for survival. Recent experiments with primates and cases of children deprived of early social contact indicate that without bonds to other people babies do not develop to full and normal personhood, either physically or psychologically. Clark (1994) argues that individual worth and freedom must be pursued within the context of shared culture. The two needs can and should be met simultaneously, and a major fault of Western culture is that its valuation of individualism neglects the need for social bonds. Her identification of these needs is an attempt to solve the puzzle of why people continue to behave in unsustainable ways in the face of ample scientific evidence that our behavior needs changing. Clark hypothesizes that we do not know the specific driving forces behind our behavior, but by identifying our needs and meeting them we can restructure our approaches to economics and politics, and progress toward sustainability. The Western individualism Clark blames for the neglect of social bonds is a feature of the 38 expansionist world view. Clark's emphasis of community membership as the primary human need corresponds to the family and community dependence identified by Robertson (1985) as part of the ecological world view, which she apparently shares. In the field of environmental psychology, Kaplan and Kaplan (1982b) relate characteristics of environments (i.e. human surroundings) to human preference. Preference for Kaplan and Kaplan is not limited to its usual "almost frivolous connotation" (1982b, p. 147), but is considered in an evolutionary context. In other words, the human species is understood to have evolved in certain types of environments, and Kaplan and Kaplan believe that a portion of human environmental preference is genetic, not learned, and evolved in those same original environments. An organism must prefer those environments in which it is likely to thrive; likewise it must dislike environments in which it is likely to be ineffective or handicapped or harmed in any way. Preference in this context is to no small degree an expression of human needs. In other words, preferred environments will in general be ones in which human abilities are more likely to be effective and needs are more likely to be met (S. Kaplan 1973b in Kaplan and Kaplan 1982b, p. 147). People may not be aware of their own needs, and preferences may be distorted or whimsical, but the crucial point is to treat preferences as valid indicators of which environmental types are healthy for humans (Kaplan and Kaplan 1982b). As psychologists, Kaplan and Kaplan are interested in the cognitive processes associated with preference. Reactions to environments that influence preference positively include "involvement" and "making sense" (Ibid., p. 148). These reactions depend on environmental configuration and familiarity with an environment. Some environmental characteristics with negative influences on preference through causation of stress are "crowding, confusion, coercion, and noise" (Ibid., p. 194). Experimentally documenting the negative effects of these is difficult because humans are so adaptable that psychological responses may be subtle. However, Kaplan and Kaplan as well as other authors who contributed to the book still attempt to identify some preferred types of human environments (Kaplan and Kaplan 1982b). This work is characterized by exposition of the direct relationship between human well-being and physical surroundings. Kaplan and Kaplan's work upholds the ecological world view by recognizing the ancient 39 dependence of humans on natural environments, and also by reinforcing the validity of subjective response and personal values in human reactions to environments. health The evolutionary circumstances of the human species are also recognized by Boyden (1992), more broadly than by Kaplan and Kaplan (1982b), as having influenced present psychological and physical traits. Boyden (1990) has constructed a "coherent system of knowledge, or field of study, which reflects the broad sequence of happenings in the history of the biosphere and of civilization, from the beginning of life to the present day" (p. 3) and named it biohistory. From the biohistorical standpoint, Boyden developed a set of "universal health needs of humans" (1992, p. 91, Table 4.1) that includes not only physical, but also social and personal psychological factors. Some examples are: "Clean water"; "An emotional support network"; "An environment which has interest value and in which changes of interest to the individual are taking place (but at a rate that can easily be handled by the human psyche)"; "Variety in daily experience"; "An environment and lifestyle conducive to: a sense of personal involvement, of purpose, of belonging, of responsibility, of challenge, of comradeship and love" (Boyden 1992, p. 91). These health needs are extrapolated by Boyden from the characteristics of the community hunter-gatherer lifestyle of the earliest humans, based on current beliefs of anthropologists. They reinforce the claim of Kaplan and Kaplan (1982b) that innate human characteristics should inform our ideas of what constitutes a healthy human environment. Boyden's universal health needs express the ecological world view in a holistic manner. A government report known as the Lalonde Report was published in Canada in 1974. It states that "there is little doubt that future improvements in the level of health of Canadians lie mainly in improving the environment, moderating self-imposed risks and adding to our knowledge of human biology" (Lalonde 1974, p. 18). The report introduces the Health Field Concept, a conceptual framework that subdivides all health concerns into the four categories of human biology, environment, lifestyle and health care organization to facilitate analysis (Lalonde 1974). The Health Field Concept blends the ecological and expansionist world views by combining a self-help/lifestyle health dimension with the status quo strategy of medical 40 intervention in response to sickness. Though the Lalonde Report was intended for domestic purposes, health practitioners and researchers in other countries responded to its claims with great interest, and began to consider the effects of both lifestyle and environment on health (Davies & Kelly 1993). For example, Carlson (1985) reports an upsurge in interest in environmental health hazards along with an awareness that the negative effects of pollution will continue for some time. He also believes that the public health field has "begun to recognize the essential and powerful role individuals play in their own health" (Carlson 1985, p. 29) but that this recognition has not yet impacted the entrenched and powerful medical care system, which he sees as operating on the erroneous assumption "that people are healthy if they have the means to fix themselves when they are sick or hurt" (Ibid.). Carlson emphasizes self-help and health enhancement within communities and groups, and advocates curtailing the medical care system in order to facilitate these. Carlson echoes Robertson's (1985) view of health, advocating a "positive" ecological instead of a "negative" expansionist view of health as expressed in Table 2.1. "[I]n the middle 1970s. . . a seemingly new field of scientific research on 'social support,'" or "[t]he study of social relationships and health" (House, Landis and Umberson 1988, p. 541) arose. Although links between health, mortality and social relationships had long been observed, their study had not been based on theory, nor had it been capable of determining whether poor health caused or was caused by inadequate social relationships (House, Landis and Umberson 1988). The new social support theory, plus long-term prospective mortality studies and experimental and quasi-experimental research on humans and animals, have yielded sufficient evidence that social relationships are "a cause or risk factor of mortality, and probably morbidity, from a wide range of diseases" (House, Landis and Umberson 1988, p. 543). However, investigation of what determines social relationships is still needed to rule out other variables that may be influencing both health and relationships (House, Landis and Umberson 1988). Social support theory seems reflective of holistic health as recognized in the ecological world view rather than the expansionist view of health as the absence of disease. The health field's interest in environment and lifestyle continues. The British Medical Journal published a series of articles in 1992, and a book, entitled Health and the Environment, 41 intending to inform people about environmental effects on health and their own health-related responsibilities. The book is devoted to physical environmental problems such as population increase, waste generation, air and water pollution—including "invisible" hazards like radioactivity and noise—and their health consequences (Godlee and Walker 1992). Not all of these health effects are purely biophysical. Noise can cause mood changes and reduced intellectual performance by disrupting sleep, and noise sensitivity has been correlated with psychiatric disturbances such as depression and neurosis (Godlee 1992). The Lalonde Report was a precursor of the World Health Organization Healthy Cities project, and thus of the formal movement concerned with human health and sustainability, known worldwide by the term Healthy Cities and in Canada as Healthy Communities (Davies & Kelly 1993). Its earliest roots lie in the 1946 World Health Organization constitutional definition of health as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity" (Hancock 1993, p. 16). The Healthy Cities project began formally in 1986 but was based on an earlier World Health Organization strategy known as Health for All by the Year 2000. The development of this earlier strategy followed a 1978 WHO conference, Alma-Ata, at which the community role in health was first officially recognized. Before that, World Health Organization policy adhered to the "treatment model," with primary emphasis on medical expertise (Davies & Kelly 1993). two models Hancock (1993) identifies a Healthy City as one that "'is continually creating and improving those physical and social environments and expanding those community resources that enable people to mutually support each other in performing all the functions of life and in developing to their maximum potential'"(Hancock & Duhl 1986 in Hancock 1993, p. 20). Hancock (1993) refers to the Healthy Cities concept as "the new public health" (p. 14). He says, There are three aspects of the concept of health that are implicit, and to some extent explicit, in the health promotion and Healthy Cities models. The first is that health is a positive concept, not merely the absence of disease. The second is that the model of health is holistic or ecological, taking into account all the many different factors that determine health. The third is.a particular concern with inequalities in health (Hancock 1993, p. 15). In reference to the second aspect of the health concept, Hancock (1993) provides a "mandala of 42 health" or "model of the human ecosystem" that serves as a good summary of holistic health as seen in the Healthy Cities movement. Hancock's model illustrates many details of the ecological world view. It also calls to mind Boyden's (1992) universal health needs. The main features of Hancock's model for health are shown in Figure 2.2. The model emphasizes the multiple determinants of health, pointing to the importance of public policy that goes beyond health care provision. Local government involvement is an intrinsic part of Healthy Cities initiatives. Hancock's mandala also indicates that interdisciplinary research, not only traditional disciplinary health research, is appropriate in the area of holistic health (Hancock 1993). The idea of interdisciplinarity as being more useful than disciplinarity in research is closely related to the consideration of all areas of life as interconnected, an ecological world view feature demonstrated by Ophuls and Boyan (1992). It also echoes convictions such as Orr's (1991) that the disciplinary divisions of education and knowledge run counter to the interests of sustainability. The implications of the difference between disciplinarity and interdisciplinarity are profound enough to warrant a separate listing in the finalized version of Table 2.1. 43 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN Figure 2.2 The essential features of Hancock's human ecosystem model for health. Adapted from Figure 2.1, p. 18 of Trevor Hancock (1993), "The Healthy City from concept to application: Implications for research," in John K. Davies and Michael P. Kelly, eds., Healthy Cities: Research and Practice, Routledge, New York, iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiimiiiiiiiimiiimiiiiiiiiiiim The University of British Columbia Task Force on Healthy and Sustainable Communities (Task Force) (1994) is an interdisciplinary research group in search of appropriate approaches to sustainability. The Task Force recognized that interwoven issues of sustainability are not amenable to traditional methods that assume "linear progression and understandable causality" (UBC Task Force 1994, p. 112) and turned to complex adaptive systems theory for alternatives. The significance of systems theory for sustainability is discussed in the following section of this chapter. The Task Force has developed a model called the Order of Health that is compatible with the theory of complex adaptive systems and also serves to unite the varying disciplines and interests found within the Task Force. "Health" is an ideal shared by the whole group (Woollard, personal communication), though some individual members approach health from the standpoint of individuals, while others identify most with social health, community health or ecosystem 44 health. Ecosystem health is a metaphor currently under development as an approach to environmental sustainability issues. The Order of Health, shown in Figure 2.3, is a synthetic model that summarizes the world view commonalities of this diverse group of researchers and helps them find common frameworks for discussion. iiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiM Figure 2.3 The essential features of the Order of Health. Adapted from Figure 1, p. 113 of University of British Columbia Task Force on Healthy and Sustainable Communities (1994), "Tools for sustainability: Iteration and implementation," in Cordia Chu and Rod Simpson, eds., Ecological Public Health: From Vision to Practice, Institute of Applied Environmental Research, Griffith University, Nathan, Queensland, Australia. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIU The Order of Health offers a conceptual framework for the Task Force's work with the Appropriated Carrying Capacity/Ecological Footprint (ACC/EF) and Social Caring Capacity (SCC) tools. A C C / E F involves calculating the land actually used by a community to supply all of its material consumption and absorb all of its waste. SCC, based in part on social network and social support theory, is a reflection of the functioning of a community. Some conditions recognized by SCC are participation in decision-making processes, participation in forms of community life, opportunities to met basic needs, diversity, and a sense of safety (UBC Task Force 1994). In general, positive progress toward sustainability is thought by the Task Force to necessitate a reduction in A C C / E F accompanied by an increase in SCC. The significance of increasing SCC while decreasing A C C / E F is that people can come to receive more of what they 45 require from relationships with other members of their communities, and rely less on physical resources and services from surrounding ecosystems (UBC Task Force 1994). A C C / E F and SCC are tools that bridge the interfaces between the Order of Health systems and make the Task Force's conception of health functional (Woollard, personal communication). Some early iterations of the Order of Health included an economic health system, but it was unclear whether it should be placed between community health and ecosystem health, or between personal health and community health. The economy was subsequently removed from the model because the Task Force came to believe that health in all systems depends on the reintegration of economy into community so that the economy becomes, as it originally was, a means to human ends rather than an end in itself (Rees, personal communication). This belief corresponds to one basic tenet of the ecological world view. Also, the Order of Health shows containment of human systems within ecosystems, the A C C / E F tool addresses limits on human resource use and both A C C / E F and SCC deliberately target communities rather than individuals (UBC Task Force 1994). The world view of the Task Force is thus overwhelmingly ecological, since no major features of the expansionist view can be identified in its work. II.3.e. summary: world view profiles Summary lists of the details of the ecological and expansionist world views, including those gleaned from the literature review, are given in Table 2.2. This interdisciplinary profile of the ecological world view has been used to guide the development of the sustainability model for this project. The expansionist world view profile has served as a screening reference for the types of material to be avoided in the model because they constitute what is believed to be a dysfunctional view of reality that fundamentally opposes sustainability. 4 6 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIH Table 2.2 Final list of defining features of the expansionist and ecological world views. EXPANSIONIST WORLD VIEW ECOLOGICAL WORLD VIEW humans and their activities separate from natural world humans and human activities completely contained in and dependent on ecosphere human use of natural world can be controlled human action in the natural world has unknown consequences no biophysical limits on human economy, adaptation or progress real biophysical limits on human economy and inventiveness natural world has only resource value natural world has intrinsic value humans form a community distinct from all other organisms all organisms, including humans, belong to one community objective, reductionist science dominant subjectivity and uncertainty of science recognized disciplinary knowledge, education and research emphasized interdisciplinary knowledge, education and research emphasized technology, expertise and organization dominant in all aspects of living family and community dependence and self-help dominant in all aspects of living universal application of economic theory universal application of ecological theory economic globalization supported economic globalization opposed production, growth, quantity emphasized protection, stability, quality emphasized continuous development/progress is desirable discontinuous development/progress is normal and desirable short-term individual interests supported long-term community interests supported individual autonomy/anarchy valued strong but decentralized government and social controls valued "negative" idea of health based on treatment of specific sickness "positive" idea of health based on holistic health promotion different areas of human life separate and non-overlapping all areas of human life interconnected iiiiiiiiiiiiimmiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiN II.4. Systems—complex and adaptive, natural and human II.4.a. introduction: systems theory The dictionary identifies a system as simply "an assemblage or combination of things or parts forming a complex or unitary whole." Systems theory has a special relevance to the idea of sustainability which is being increasingly recognized by theorists. Voinov and Smith (1994), in 47 agreement with Rees (1995), state that "in most of the [sustainability] literature, the ecological part and the economic part are considered as separate systems operating independently" (p. 2). But while Rees advocates ecological economics as an exception to that situation, Voinov and Smith believe ecological economics is nothing more than an effort to incorporate ecology into economy. Still there is relatively little effort to look at the economic and ecological parts within the framework of one and the same system. In terms of sustainability this becomes especially crucial, because it is not possible to speak about long-term development of one of the subsystems without taking into account the other. It seems to be much more reasonable to think general system sustainability, realizing that the economic and ecological components are to be considered together in their interplay. Within the systems approach it becomes clear that there are numerous feedback links between the social, biological and physical parts and that it is not possible to sustain one part without some trade-offs from the others (Voinov and Smith 1994, p. 2). Voinov and Smith's (1994) three criteria for sustainability of a system were introduced briefly in Chapter One. According to these, a sustainable system (1) causes no harm to other systems, either in space or in time, (2) maintains human living standards at a level that does not cause physical discomfort or social discontent, and (3) maintains the conditions of its internal life-support ecological components at current levels or better. These sustainability criteria summarize the three vital characteristics for sustainability, namely concern for equity, human quality of life, and ecological integrity. Odum (1983) attempted "using energy language to generalize and compare systems of nature and humans" and "unifying concepts of kinetics, dynamics, energetics, environment, and economics," with systems ecology (p. x). Chapters in his book on Ecosystems, Ecosystems with Humans, Economic Systems and the Nation, Cities and Regions, and World Patterns (Odum 1983) indicate that systems ecology may have been thought suitable for addressing problems of sustainability in human-environment interactions. However, systems ecology relies on extremely complex mathematical analysis in its attempt to faithfully model the complexity of real ecosystems. Frustration with the mathematical systems approach led to the present predominance of the rival organism analogy view in ecology (Ricklefs 1990). A similar fate seems to have befallen general systems theory in reference to sustainability. II.4.b. complex adaptive systems theory 48 description A new and developing body of theory is associated with complex adaptive systems. A compilation of the discussion in Kay and Schneider (1994) and Waldrop (1992) suggests that a complex adaptive system exhibits the following characteristics: • it is a network of many "agents" that act in parallel but are interconnected • it has emergent properties, or in other words is more than the sum of its parts (agents) • control is highly dispersed among its agents • it exhibits self-organization • it has many hierarchical levels of organization • its structure is constantly revised and rearranged over time as it "gains experience" (adaptation) • it anticipates the future by making constant predictions • it has many niches to be filled by appropriately adapted agents • it is always changing and never reaches equilibrium in life (thermodynamic equilibrium equals death) • it develops in a nonlinear fashion and is subject to sudden discontinuous changes, as described by chaos theory. Complex adaptive systems theory still lacks explanations of some crucial details, and has not yet gained wide support among the status quo scientific community. However, a growing minority of scientists hail it as a much-needed replacement for the nineteenth century principles that underlie the present scientific method and statistical procedures used throughout the natural and social sciences. They are convinced that this body of theory will finally unite social science and natural science. Though the traits of complex adaptive systems were unmistakably recorded first in natural living systems (at the molecular and ecosystem levels, among others), many argue persuasively that human systems such as economies and societies—even some computerized examples of "artificial life"—exhibit them too (see Reed and Harvey 1992, Waldrop 1992). relationship to models One example of a use of complex adaptive systems theory is found in the approach to sustainability of the Task Force (UBC Task Force 1994), summarized in the literature review. The Task Force members believe that interwoven issues of sustainability are not amenable to 49 traditional methods that assume "linear progression and understandable causality" (UBC Task Force 1994, p. 112). Their systems model, the Order of Health (Figure 2.3), shows that "the individual human body, the community in which it lives and the ecosystem containing the community are each a complex adaptive system embedded in it's [sic] next higher order set" (UBC Task Force 1994, p. 113). Hancock's (1993) human ecosystem model for health (Figure 2.2) is also a systems model showing a hierarchy of interconnected life aspects that affect the health of an individual. Both Hancock's and the Task Force's models exhibit the central defining feature of the ecological world view: all human systems are contained within the biosphere. Rees's (1995) description of the ecological world view makes clear that it is a systems construction. The main difference Rees sees between it and the expansionist world view is that the ecological view places the economy and the ecosphere in a hierarchical relationship rather than an independent and parallel relationship as in the expansionist construction. relevance to this project The details of complex adaptive systems theory are not specifically addressed in this project, but the project operationalizes a structural systems view of the world that is compatible with the theory because it is based on the ecological world view. The rationale behind this brief explanation of theory is that introducing a systems structure to individuals in the context of sustainability may aid comprehension of complex adaptive systems theory as well as the adoption of the ecological world view. Also, the human system of urban land use, of central concern in this project, can be considered a complex adaptive system. 11.5. Development of a sustainability model II.5.a. introduction According to the dictionary, a model in general is "a representation, generally in miniature, to show the construction or appearance of something." The model introduced here is literally a miniature representation of the earth in which the human population has been highlighted. Use of such a model offers some definition and order to the process of visioning a sustainable world, when too often sustainability is seen as a huge, murky, amorphous cloud of issues. However, 50 model users must keep in mind the intrinsic limitations of models, and thus acknowledge the unknown dimensions of the system being modeled and the probability of the model being inaccurate. One way to discover the shortcomings of any tool—including this world model—is to use it and see how it performs. Operationalizing the model in this project will be one such trial. II.5.b. refining Forman's model The model is an expansion of the sustainability model formulated by Forman (1990) and shown in Figure 2.1. Forman's set of ecological foundation variables has been adopted verbatim in the model (Figure 2.4) for two reasons: it seems to be a complete list of the functional elements of the ecosphere; and it is expressed to a useful degree of resolution for addressing sustainability issues. That is, it subdivides the parts of the natural world enough to enable us to understand the major systems functioning there, but does not include confusing detail. However, Forman's list of human foundation variables appears to be both incomplete and expressed at too broad a level to be useful in examining human-based sustainability concerns. For example, "cultural cohesion and diversity" is an immense category that Forman must intend to include all aspects of human society, but it clearly fails to express such factors as individual psychological well-being and family bonding. origin of the model systems Because of the crude resolution of Forman's human variables, it was thought that they should be broken down to a more detailed level to expose more of their components. Separating the material and non-material dimensions of "human aspirations" into two distinct categories lent clarity to the listing of foundation variables, although it must be kept in mind that such separation occurs seldom and incompletely in the real world. The three resulting systems of the model correspond roughly to the environment, the economy and society or culture. However, these common terms seemed limited by their usual connotations; for example, the neoclassical meaning of economy includes only the market, but many non-market factors in our ecosystems provide for material human needs. The alternate terms ecosystem functional needs, human physical needs and human psychological needs were originally adopted, but were judged to unnecessarily set the model apart from much current discussion of sustainability. Finally, a compromise was reached with the system labels 51 ecosphere, complete economy and complete society. To understand the term complete economy, it is helpful to keep in mind that what we usually call the economy is actually the system our species uses to gather or supply, refine, and distribute the resources and services we require to meet our needs and survive. When defined in this way, economic transactions can easily be seen to parallel the resource-obtaining activity of many other species. In fact, one of the founders of ecology, Ernest Haeckel, called ecology '"the body of knowledge concerning the economy of nature'" (Kormondy 1969, in Ophuls & Boyan 1992, p. 19). The complete economy includes all physical resources we receive from the biosphere, including those which fall outside our economic processes. Complete society includes culture and all facets of individual and group psychology. Placing these together recognizes Clark's (1994) claim that the major human needs for meaningful social bonds with a group and for personal autonomy are complementary. Clark says, 'Belonging' is not enough; also required is a cultural pattern that facilitates active participation in the group decisions that affect one's life as a group member, as well as the freedom to act creatively and autonomously within the shared social context.5 As Dorothy Lee has observed, this shared worldview, this map, is what provides the personal freedom and autonomy to an individual to lead a meaningful life; without it, a person is as one lost in the desert, with no sense of direction or purpose.6 Freedom and culture thus are not 'at war'; they are reciprocal needs! (Clark 1994, p. 181, original italics). supplementing the foundation variables Breaking down and supplementing Forman's human variables in the complete economy and complete society systems required the incorporation of work from other authors during several intermediate iterations of the model. The complete economy variable of air is from Boyden's (1992) postulated universal human health needs. The variable referred to by Forman as "housing" was expanded to shelter/protection/goods to form a category of human needs for physical resources that are used outside the body (unlike food, water and air); one major function of these resources is to protect our bodies from the natural environment. Resource uses of this kind are found in Thayer's (1994) twelve "living systems" or '"points of attachment' where humans interact with the greater ecosystem to survive" (p. 224) and in the Appropriated Carrying Capacity/Ecological Footprint 52 tool (UBC Task Force 1994). Forman's "fuel" variable was replaced by the more general term energy. It is not clear whether Forman intended "health" to mean simply physical condition, or overall human well-being. However, as is apparent from the work of Boyden (1992) and the Task Force (UBC Task Force 1994), health involves too many psychological and other dimensions to consider it an economic variable. The term safety, included by the Task Force in its Social Carrying Capacity tool (UBC Task Force 1994), was adopted instead of health as a complete economy variable indicating external environmental factors that affect physical health. Several different ways of organizing and labeling the complete society variables were attempted during development of the model. Societal factors are more difficult to conceptualize than physical needs because of their intangibility; Sandole (1990) identifies human needs as lying somewhere between concepts that can be indirectly observed and concepts that can only be examined through theory. The literature includes many equivalent configurations of the same needs concepts. Finally it was decided to use as foundation variables the items from Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, "a hierarchy in which lower order needs must be satisfied before the individual becomes concerned with higher order needs" (Fisher 1990, p. 91). From lowest to highest order, Maslow's Hierarchy includes physiological, safety, belongingness and love, cognitive, aesthetic, esteem and self-actualization needs. First published in 1943, Maslow's is the best known of many "conceptualizations regarding the essential needs of human beings" (Fisher 1990, p. 90) within humanistic psychology. The needs Maslow cites are similar to those developed by many needs theorists, and Fisher (1990), at least, sees "Needs Theory as capturing the essence of what it means to be human" (p. 109). Maslow's theory is still being actively debated after half a century and is accepted by some contemporary needs theorists (e.g. Fisher 1990, Sandole 1990), but has been freely criticized. As pointed out by Fisher (1990), however, many of the criticisms are leveled at the hierarchical nature of Maslow's configuration. In the model, the notion of hierarchy has been abandoned, rendering Maslow's needs usable as complete society foundation variables. Maslow's "physiological needs" category is equivalent to the entire complete economy system of the biophysical model, and his "safety needs" have both economic and societal components which are listed separately (Figure 2.4). Maslow's other needs appear in their original form in the 53 complete society system of the model. Using Maslow's needs as foundation variables in the model is an attempt to include psychological factors that are genuine and fundamental human needs. As intimated in one of the assumptions underlying this project, it seems that achieving sustainability must involve distinguishing basic needs from desires and what Clark (1990) calls "cultural" or "derived" needs (p. 38). The latter are also genuine needs, but they stem from living conditions within particular societies and are not shared by all people, as Maslow's needs are postulated to be. II.5.c. the biophysical model The resulting model has been named the biophysical model because it demonstrates the contingency of all human systems on the maintenance of life, or in other words their dependence on the biophysical integrity of the ecosphere. It can alternatively be argued that the human mind reaches far beyond the boundaries of this planet, and thus is. not fettered by material limits. This is not disputed here. Rather, it is the application of the model to the landscape in this project that makes the emphasis on material reality desirable. The biophysical model is shown in Figure 2.4. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiim Figure 2.4 Written form of the biophysical model. system: ecosphere foundation variables: atmosphere oceans fresh water soil biological productivity biological diversity system: complete economy foundation variables: air water food shelter/protection/goods safety (physical) energy llitttllllll Illll 1111I 1111I I11 [I II111IIII illll 111Illtll MIIIIII11I1 tllillttl IIMIIIIIilllll l l l i i I111 I11 111 I11111 1I11M11I11I II system: complete society foundation variables: security (perceived) belongingness/love needs cognitive needs aesthetic needs esteem needs self-actualization needs comprehensiveness of the biophysical model Throughout the development of the biophysical model's foundation variables, the goal 5 4 was to make the model comprehensive at that scale. In other words, it should now be safe to claim that no major factor of ecological or human function has been omitted from the foundation variables in Figure 2.4. The question of whether or not this goal has been achieved (especially for the complete society component) will always remain open to debate. For example, an objection could be made that a variable like "spirituality" should appear among the complete society factors. It is easy to hypothesize that it is not explicitly included because of the humanistic origins of Maslow's Hierarchy, but regardless, it is arguably implicit in Maslow's needs. Spirituality serves at least belongingness, love and aesthetic needs, and probably additional ones for different individuals. addition of the component variables Numerous cases of such implicit variables, as well as the discovery of important factors for sustainability that did not happen to be at the scale or resolution level chosen for the foundation variables, led to the realization that other levels of variables could be useful in the biophysical model. Hence the inclusion of the component variables (Figure 2.5). Unlike the foundation variables, these are not intended to give a comprehensive outline of the world. Rather, they are expressions of the specific sustainability concerns of individuals or groups, a way of highlighting local concerns while grounding them in a global, comprehensive framework. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiimiiimiiiimiiiiiiiiiN FIGURE 2.5 Written form of the biophysical model showing foundation and component variables. SYSTEM: Ecosphere FOUNDATION VARIABLE COMPONENT VARIABLE atmosphere air quality carbon fixation (greenhouse) oceans water quality/productivity coastal zones fresh water quantity available water quality surface water groundwater soil soil quality/productivity soil stability biological productivity types of interaction amount of regeneration amount of energy fixed biological diversity size/diversity of gene pool 55 place specificity habitat quality SYSTEM: Complete Economy FOUNDATION VARIABLE COMPONENT VARIABLE air water food shelter/protection/goods energy safety (physical) SYSTEM: Complete Society FOUNDATION VARIABLE safety needs (perceived security) belongingness & love needs cognitive needs aesthetic needs esteem needs self-actualization needs air quality carbon fixation (greenhouse) quantity available equitable distribution water quality water quality, land use effects surface water groundwater food security amount of agricultural land equitable distribution chemical content nutrient value consistency materials consumption ecologically degraded land open space as a commodity wastes use of ecological processes fuel type energy efficiency emissions transportation energy radiation pollution/chemical exposure contact with pathogens physical conditions interpersonal safety COMPONENT VARIABLE environmental interpersonal socialization family supports cultural expression education experiential variety beauty & order relationship with nature spiritual/religious life meaningful work/activity inclusion in decision making community diversity equity education leisure activities iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiN 56 The sources of these particular component variables are Boyden (1992), Mooney (personal communication), Thayer (1994), the UBC Task Force (1994), Forman (1990), and my own exposure to specific concerns discussed in university courses and other literature. Most of this material comes from North American researchers, so the biophysical model necessarily displays Western bias in its component variables. Such bias is certainly present in the foundation variables as well, despite efforts to remove it. Since I am a lifelong member of Western society, it is not possible at this time to incorporate indigenous viewpoints into the model. As long as the bias is acknowledged, the biophysical model can still carry out its intended function of serving as a theoretical framework in a project concerning North American urban landscapes. forms of the biophysical model Because of its relationship to the Forman model, the biophysical model originally took the written form shown in Figure 2.4. Eventually, it became apparent that the model construction lent itself to a pictorial form showing the human realms as complex adaptive systems contained within the ecosphere (Figure 2.6). The nature of this pictorial model resulted partly from familiarity with the Order of Health (Figure 2.3) and Hancock's health model (Figure 2.2). This diagram, like the other two systems models, illustrates the ecological world view by literally showing the human systems wholly contained within the ecosphere. The written version of the biophysical model can be considered a cross section of the pictorial version showing its internal detail, as indicated in Figure 2.6. 57 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIH Figure 2.6 Pictorial form of the biophysical model. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiM The equal status and overlap of the complete economy and complete society systems in Figure 2.6 show several important features of the biophysical model more clearly than the written version. First, since the human whole-economic variables (Figure 2.4) are basically the same as the needs of other organisms (Clark 1990), only in the picture does the model show clearly that people cannot be fully human without the psychological dimension, as some believe (e.g. Clark 1990). Secondly, the configuration shows that humans have direct economic and societal ties to the rest of the biosphere. Third, it does not pretend that the division between economy and society is clear-cut; rather, it shows that most human needs apply simultaneously to body and psyche. The pictorial form of the model offers advantages but also drawbacks to model users. People recognize instinctively the truth in the old saying that "a picture is worth a thousand words." Biologically, humans are visually oriented; in comparison to other animals, we possess sophisticated binocular color vision and less-developed senses of smell and hearing. We commonly speak of "the mind's eye," but never "the mind's ear." If we can see something, we cross section = written model 58 tend to invest faith in its being real, but we have difficulty believing in invisible phenomena like God. Great care must be used in diagrams such as this world model so that no important details of it are left invisible and therefore rendered unreal. Also, the images used in such diagrams can instantly convey an identical picture from one "mind's eye" to another, but cannot control for the differences between the two minds. Model images may be associated for some people with unintended connotations or assumptions. Nevertheless, pictorial models remain powerful tools, especially for communicating abstract concepts such as those connected with sustainability. II.5.d. modeling for sustainability The biophysical model accords with the ecological rather than the expansionist world view. The complete economy and complete society systems are shown to be fully contained in the ecosphere. Though economic and social variables have been segregated for clarity, the division is recognized as artificial and the two systems overlap greatly. The economy is treated as a system of supplying human material needs rather than a driving force of human life, and society includes personal autonomy within it rather than vice-versa. Also, intangible human needs are given as much importance as material ones. Finally, the model has interdisciplinary origins. The model is therefore considered, on the basis of the arguments presented here, to provide a way of thinking about the world that is more useful for sustainability-related issues than the status quo approach. Despite this claim, the biophysical model is by no means the ultimate representation of the ecological world view. A model of the fully-realized ecological view might, for example, show the economy as only a subset of society and all organisms of the ecosphere as one community. Such a model is a future goal for sustainability; meanwhile, the biophysical model functions sufficiently as an interim working model for progress away from the status quo. Chapters Three and Four report how the biophysical model has been operationalized through application to sustainability-related characteristics of open space in an urban landscape. The model's ecological world view features become clearer as its uses are described and discussed. 59 CHAPTER THREE Operationalizing the Model: Indicator Development III. 1. Introduction—methods summary This project was designed to answer the research question how can an urban landscape assessment tool based on indicators present in urban open space help nonexpert individuals reach a better understanding of, and promote, sustainability? Two major objectives of the project were (1) to propose and test a simple tool that could help urban people understand more fully the implications of sustainability by linking its concepts to familiar local landscapes, and (2) to demonstrate use of the tool by assessing the relative sustainability-related quality of selected green open spaces in an urban district. These objectives guided the methods used in addressing the question. The chosen approach entailed operationalizing a sustainability model by designing and applying indicators to areas of urban open space. More specifically, it was necessary to choose an urban district as a test area, choose several sites within that urban district, design usable indicators and test them on the sites, transform the assessment data into summaries of site conditions, and relate those conditions to sustainability. This was an iterative process involving simultaneous work on some of the steps and feedback between steps. The process is recorded here in a linear fashion to show the logical progression of the research methods in an understandable way. Where the iterative nature of some methods is particularly important to the project design, that fact is noted. Chapters Three and Four together report how the theoretical biophysical model was linked to observable conditions in real urban open space through the medium of twelve sustainability indicators. Chapter Three begins by relating the processes of choosing an urban district and open space sites within it for study. Then, descriptions and rationales for the indicators are presented. The district and site choice material is placed before the indicator material in Chapter Three for three reasons: the concept of what type of site is to be assessed helps in understanding the design of the indicators in general; specific details of some indicators are based on empirical observations 60 in the test sites; and finally, relating the sites to real urban open space allows the indicator descriptions to seem less academic and more applied. The assessment of the sites with the indicators and the analysis of assessment results are covered in Chapter Four. III.2. Urban green areas in an urban district III.2.a. choice of an urban district The application of the assessment tool's indicators consisted of empirical testing in urban open space. Some design details of the indicators also depended on empirical observations. Therefore, choice of an urban district as a test area received early priority and involved several considerations. A district subject to some typical pressures currently faced by urban areas in North America would enable the work developed in this project to have some meaning in other places. A district small enough for one person to quickly become familiar with much of the open space was desirable, so that sites somewhat representative of the whole area could be chosen. The local character of the district was also important, as this project is affiliated with the Lower Fraser Basin Eco-Research Project, an interdisciplinary study of the ecosystem, including the human community, of the Lower Fraser Basin in British Columbia. Three Lower Fraser urban districts were considered as possible study areas: the City of Richmond, which was already working closely with researchers in the Sustainable Urban Systems component of the Eco-Research Project; Walnut Grove, a newly urbanized area of Langley Township functioning mainly as a bedroom community to Vancouver, and Ladner Village in the Municipality of Delta, a century-old settlement founded on agriculture and fish processing that has undergone recent growth and development. The large size and unusual ethnic tensions of Richmond, and Walnut Grove's homogeneity and weak public transportation links to Vancouver, made Ladner the most attractive alternative. Some historical research showed Ladner to be interesting in its own right. Native American people have occupied the Fraser River delta along with the rest of the watershed, and used its resources, for at least 10,000 years (Kew and Griggs 1991). At the time of European settlement in the latter 1800s, the Tsawwassen and Musqueam bands of the Coast Salish people made the most use of the delta's natural resources. On the water and along the shores, they fished 61 for salmon, eulachon, sturgeon, and flounder, harpooned seals and porpoises, and dug clams. Horsetails, cattails, edible plants and several types of berries were gathered from the marshes and bogs (Kistritz 1992). Ladner Village, originally Ladner's Landing, is named for William H. and Thomas E. Ladner, brothers who settled there to farm in 1868. Delta was incorporated as a municipality in 1880. Agriculture and fish canning were the two major industries that first brought European pioneers to the Fraser delta (Philips 1988). Today, Ladner Village contains approximately 18,000 people and covers about 612 hectares (1,530 acres). It is home to both old established families and newly-arrived young families who rely on commuting to work in Vancouver. The recent residential development has suburbanized this once-rural village, a trend common in North America. Development has caused some conversion of farmland, but the remaining agricultural land surrounding Ladner's distinctly defined boundaries is protected from further development and agricultural is still a major local industry. Ladner Village's relatively small size, rural setting, low traffic conditions and quick 30 kilometer (19 mile) bus link to Vancouver make it a popular bedroom community, representative of others developing across North America. These same features made it convenient for my research. Figure 3.1 shows Ladner's location in the Lower Fraser Basin. 62 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIM Figure 3.1 Location of Ladner in the Lower Fraser Basin. U.S.A. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiN III.2.b. defining an urban green area After deciding on Ladner as a study area, the next step was to determine what portion of its urban open space to assess. Urban open space offers a complex mosaic of public and private, accessible and inaccessible, single-use and multi-use land areas to choose from. Freely-accessible public'space of various kinds usually has multiple, unobstructed access points and some visual connection with the surroundings, where other people are likely to be present. As a young female researcher, I had a concern for personal safety. It seemed unacceptable to rely on others for access into (or out of) a site, so private open space such as yards was ruled out. Semi-public space such as back lanes and some building grounds is often isolated from view and therefore also undesirable. Another choice was to look specifically at green open areas, dominated by vegetation or other naturally-occurring substrate rather than by human-made material. I believed focusing on comparatively naturalistic areas would allow the closest possible look at urban ecological 63 processes while still enabling examination of human land uses. As will be discussed later, the finished landscape assessment tool is equally suitable for all urban open space, but the original focus on green space did enhance the quality of the ecosphere indicators. Though private space was not considered in this project, the intent was always that the indicators should be useful to private individuals and suitable for any type of open space, including yards. Therefore, I wanted to include yard-sized areas in my pool of public space to get some idea of what might be found in such a small site. Setting a minimum site area similar to the size of a yard allowed the possibility of assessing a site that small. No maximum site area was established, and area was not controlled for because use of public space does not depend on size as much as on quality. The most difficult part of defining green areas for assessment in this project was setting the boundaries of individual sites. Any division of the urban open landscape into pieces is arbitrary, so should at least be done for maximum utility. Many boundary criteria could have been used; those attempted include streets, barriers to public access, edges of private land and edges of public land with no green area. Finally, returning to Forman's (1990) idea of the landscape as a mosaic of land uses, it became clear that setting boundaries at land use changes matched very well with the landscape ecological roots of the project. Also, land use change is visually distinguishable, and easily identifiable by many people. In accordance with all these criteria, an urban green area is operationally defined for this project as: • a portion of urban open space (see section I.4.a for definition) • at least 232 square meters (2500 square feet) in size, or half the size of an average new single-family residential lot in Ladner (there is no maximum size) • having at least 60% of its surface covered by vegetation, soil or water • having physical, public pedestrian access, without extraordinary means such as climbing fences or wading creeks • publicly owned or publicly used, and • bounded by obvious changes in land use. Anything referred to as a site in the remainder of this document is an urban green area that meets the criteria of this definition and has been identified for application of the open space 64 assessment tool. III.2.C. site choice The main purposes of the field component in this project were to test and refine the indicators using real areas of the urban landscape, and to demonstrate what kinds of information the completed assessment tool can convey about urban open space (i.e. address the secondary research objective). However, it was apparent that in the course of these activities specific and potentially interesting information about the test sites would be gathered. Ladner was small enough for me to become familiar with almost all of its urban green areas as operationally defined, and choose test sites from among them. It was felt that if the test sites could be chosen representatively from the urban green areas in Ladner, findings about the sites could be somewhat generalized to the village's (i.e. district's) open space as a whole. Since 38 distinct urban green areas were identified in Ladner, they were divided into categories to make choosing representative sites easier. Category divisions needed to be obvious to untrained eyes. Because "greenness," or vegetation, was a defining characteristic of the sites, vegetation type was chosen as one category criterion. People routinely notice differences in vegetation upkeep, so categories were further subdivided by perceived level of maintenance. Ultimately the 38 urban green areas were grouped into 11 categories. Category criteria descriptions and the number of sites in each category are shown in Table 3.1. The vegetation type categories were adapted from Nilon and Lindenlaub (1992) and tailored to reflect the vegetation actually found in Ladner. There are discrepancies between the vegetation type categories used for choosing sites and the ecosystem types, habitat types and surface material types used in various indicators. The language used has been made as similar as possible, but irreconcilable differences remain. This situation resulted from the use of different literature sources for site categorization and for each indicator. Selection of the sites was completed before the indicators were designed; if this had not been the case I would have used different type categories that reinforced the material of the indicators, perhaps based on the ecosystem types used in the biological productivity indicator. This would not have substantially changed the site choice outcome, but would have decreased the confusion of terminology. The goal of the categorization, to sort out different types of vegetation 65 communities in the green areas, was adequately accomplished by the method used. During the site categorization, the complexity of the landscape mosaic and the artificiality of dividing landscape features into separate categories became obvious. Vegetation types are intricately mixed in the landscape. If every type found on the sites had been recorded, every site would have gone into the mixed categories, types 10 and 11. Instead, the operational definition of urban green area given in section III.2.b was used as the basis for deciding that an additional or secondary vegetation type, in order to be considered along with the dominant vegetation type for categorization, must also cover an area of at least 232 square meters (2500 square feet) in the site. This means that an urban green area with more than one vegetation type can essentially be thought of as a mixture of smaller, vegetatively homogeneous sites. It seems that this rule might cause smaller urban green areas to be inaccurately represented in the categories if they were not large enough to support secondary vegetation types of the required size, but in reality this was not a problem. Almost all of the urban green areas found turned out to be much bigger than the (unnecessarily small) defined minimum size of 232 square meters or 2500 square feet. The smallest sites generally had only one vegetation type. Secondary vegetation types of areas less than 232 square meters/2500 square feet were not altogether ignored, since they would still be considered in the structural vegetation diversity indicator for the biodiversity variable. For sites listed in Table 3.1 as having one to three secondary vegetation types, it is obvious that the area of the primary type (listed first) must be greater than 232 square meters/2500 square feet. In other words, these are larger sites. All sites are categorized according to the dominant vegetation type. To be assigned to one of the mixed categories, a site must have three or more vegetation types. Mixed sites are often a mix of naturalistic and maintained vegetation, so such sites were assigned to either type 10 or type 11 depending on whether the total area of naturalistic or maintained types was larger. The greatest difficulty in categorization came in determining whether vegetation was naturalistic or maintained. The visual difference between the two is not always straightforward; different levels of vegetation maintenance are practiced in public open space, and some maintenance practices are easier to detect than others. Test sites representing both the range and the majority of urban green areas in Ladner were 66 desired. Majority representation was obtained in two ways: (1) by choosing one-third of the test sites from among the naturalistic sites, which comprised 37 percent of the total (14 out of 38), and two-thirds of the test sites from the remaining 63 percent (24 out of 38) maintained sites; and (2) by choosing test sites from the categories with the most sites. Range representation was attempted by choosing test sites containing secondary vegetation types of categories not yet represented. The categorization served as an efficient means to the end of choosing test sites, and is also utilized once more in Chapter Four to discuss the significance of findings based on aggregating the test sites into districts. Other implications besides representativeness were considered in the site choice process. Though all potential sites were by definition public, some felt unsafe for various reasons and so were not chosen. One major consideration was whether a site showed promise of particularly interesting relationships to the operational biophysical model. At the time when the sites were chosen, some of these perceived relationships were pure speculation, but I decided to let myself be guided by several hunches. Some of them turned out to be rewarding and others did not. Originally, five was judged to be a feasible number of test sites for assessment by one person. Six were chosen because of the desired one-third naturalistic/two thirds maintained ratio. Descriptions of the six test sites are found in the following subsection. 67 iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiimiiiiiimiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiM Table 3.1 Categorization of 38 urban green areas in Ladner Village, Delta, B.C. For each type, the number of sites with just that type, the numbers of sites dominated by that type but having other types also, and the total number of sites of that type are listed. The profiles of chosen test sites are indicated with *. NATURALISTIC (appearing natural or unmaintained) MAINTAINED (showing signs of regular maintenance, cultivated, or manicured) WOODLAND/FOREST (at least 25% tree canopy cover; trees must be at least 4.5 m/15ft high) TYPE 1-naturalistic woodland/ forest type 1 only 2 total number of sites 2 TYPE 2--maintained woodland/ forest type 2 only 2 *type2 + type7 1 total number of sites 3 SHRUB (shrub/woody vegetation less than 4.5 m/15 ft high; less than 25% tree canopy cover) TYPE 3--naturalistic shrub type 3 only 1 total number of sites 1 TYPE 4--maintained shrub total number of sites 0 HERBACEOUS (grass/herbs with little or no woody vegetation) TYPE 5-naturalistic herbaceous type 5 only 3 type 5 + type 6 1 "type 5 +type 8 1 total number of sites 5 TYPE 6--maintained herbaceous *type6only 10 *type 6 + type 2 4 type 6 + type 5 1 total number of sites 15 AGRICULTURAL (herbaceous vegetation regularly tilled or cultivated) N/A TYPE 7-aaricultural total number of sites 0 WETLAND (pond, marsh or slough including emergent vegetation) TYPE 8--naturalistic wetland type 8 + type 2 1 total number of sites 1 TYPE 9-maintained wetland total number of sites 0 MIXED (three or more types on one site) TYPE 10--naturalistic mixed (types listed by decreasing area) type 1 + type 2 + type 6 1 type 1 + type 5 + type 6 1 type 3 + type 5 + type 8 1 *type 5 + type 3 + type 8 1 types 1+3 + 5 + 8 1 total number of sites 5 TYPE 11--maintained mixed (types listed by decreasing area) type 6 + type 2 + type 1 1 type 6 + type 2 + type 4 1 *type 6 + type 2 + type 9 1 type 6 + type 5 + type 2 1 type 6 + type 5 + type 8 1 types 6 + 5 + 3 + 4 1 total number of sites 6 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIM 68 III.2.d. site descriptions The locations of the six test sites in Ladner are shown in Figure 3.2. The map shows the size differences between sites, and here it becomes obvious that the minimum site area set in the definition of an urban green area (2500 square feet or 232 square meters) is extremely small for public areas. The smallest test site, Massey play park, has an area of almost 12,000 square feet (1080 square meters) and was one of the smallest of the 38 sites identified. Hawthorne Park, the largest test site, is 50 times the size of Massey. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN Figure 3.2 Locations of six urban green areas chosen as test sites in Ladner, B.C. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN 69 Admission of an investigator's personal realities and influences on the research setting is a cornerstone of credible qualitative research. My reactions to the six test sites certainly affected the qualitative assessments I carried out there. Many of the indicator factors require subjective judgments of site features, and these are necessarily colored by differences in personal viewpoint. Though recognizing my own feelings, I did not let them rule my data collection, but attempted always to make accurate observations regardless of the site. Subjective responses to the sites are not included in the site descriptions below; they are discussed in Chapter Five. the naturalistic-vegetation sites Of the six sites, two needed to be chosen from the naturalistic categories. Of those, the two types with the highest numbers of sites—five each—were type 5, naturalistic herbaceous, and type 10, naturalistic mixed. One site came from each of these categories. Hydro field site The type 5 site chosen was given the name Hydro field. (Sites such as this one, with no formal name, received descriptive names for use in this project.) Hydro field was chosen from the five type 5 possibilities partly because it contains the type 8 drainage ditch and type 8 might otherwise not be represented. Also, one of the other sites was excavated for development soon after completion of the typing, and all the other type 5 sites except Hydro field are seasonally mowed, so it was the only one left undisturbed. The site is a 0.8 hectare (two acre) square parcel forming part of a BC Hydro power line corridor that extends south from a Hydro substation located on the north side of Ladner Trunk Road. It is a tall-grass field with very little shrubby growth, as shown in Figure 3.3, and includes a drainage ditch on one side. The land uses forming its borders are Ladner Trunk Road, a nursery, a play-park lawn, and a residential subdivision. 70 Figure 3.3 "Hydro field" test site: view south from middle of site. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiNiiiiiiiiiMiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiNm Hydro f ie ld is probably not mowed because its surface is too spongy and uneven for mowing machinery. Walking is always difficult, since the clumps of grass seem to be growing on fill that was dumped but not packed or leveled. A sign indicates that the Delta Parks and Recreation Department allows authorized dumping in the site. Metal pipes, chunks of concrete and cables protrude underfoot but are hard to see. In rainy seasons, the whole field becomes saturated and the standing water is also invisible until stepped in. Traffic noise from Ladner Trunk Road is a constant presence in Hydro field. Ag buffer site Ag buffer is the name given to the mixed naturalistic site chosen from type category 10. The name is a shortened version of "agricultural buffer" and a reflection of the fact that the site forms a buffer zone between the southern edge of residential development in East Ladner and the surrounding farms. The mixed sites, including the Ag buffer, presented good opportunities to include 71 unrepresented types in the trial assessments. For this purpose, a look at the profiles of the other sites in type category 10 of Table 3.1 shows that three of the other sites would have been better because they would supply some type 1 area, naturalistic woodland/forest. However, the naturalistic mixed sites are some of the most isolated and deserted of Ladner's urban green areas, largely found along urban edges and shorelines. Some of these felt comparatively unsafe. Also, though all sites have user access by definition, portions of these would have been difficult to reach for necessary site assessment procedures. For these reasons, the Ag buffer site, used regularly by dog walkers and children and within view and hearing of residences, was the most satisfactory in its category. The site also has unique characteristics that recommended it as an interesting test area for the indicators. Its 1.4 or so hectares (3.5 acres) contain a varied hedgerow with fruit trees, berry bushes and climbable trees that shows signs of children's creative play and is home to nesting birds. A well-worn path through grass and weeds extends the whole length of the site and is accessible from most of the adjacent backyards on its south edge by way of gates and some bridges over the deep drainage ditch running half the length of the site. Though private access is good, entrance to the site from some obvious potential public access points is barred by the simple lack of bridges over the ditch. The Ag buffer shows various other signs of use by its human neighbors, including mown areas and dumping of organic waste. A view of half the site is shown in the photograph of Figure 3.4. 72 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIilMK Figure 3.4 "Ag buffer" test site: view west from middle of site. llll llllllllJIIIIIIIIIIII[llllllirilllllllll^!MII!llllllllliilllllllllllllflllllllllllIIllllllllllllllllllllIlllllillillll1llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllIlllllllllllllllllllllllllllIllllllllllllIIII Illlllllllllllllllllltlll! the maintained-vegetation sites The other four test sites were chosen from the maintained type categories with the highest site numbers (see Table 3.1, p. 68). All but three of the 24 urban green areas in these categories are parks or school grounds, and accordingly the four chosen sites are all parks. Seniors' Centre site The site chosen to represent type 2 is the grounds of the Ladner Seniors Recreation Centre. The single greatest reason for the choice is that the site contains an allotment garden with plots for the seniors. To my knowledge this is the only agricultural use of public open space in Ladner. The centre and its grounds are technically public because they are maintained by Delta Parks and Recreation and access of the grounds is not actually denied to non-centre members. Also, membership and use are apparently open to all citizens above a certain age. However, 100-year-old McKee House, now the Retired Citizens Activity Centre, remains locked at all times, and use of the grounds by others than the seniors is discouraged by the presence of fences and latched 73 gates. The Seniors' Centre, as it will be called here, is an approximately 0.3 hectare (0.7 acre) parcel with dense tree cover, a few tall old trees, and a lush garden in season (see Figure 3.5). It is heavily used by senior citizens during the daytime and is located near amenities such as bus service, shopping and restaurants. JlillliillJIlJll illllliilllMIK liJIilllllllllllllllll I tttEEEIIIMMIIIMIMIIIllltliillilKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII 1I1EIIIEIII 111111 lilIEMilllllllllIIillllllllllllllllllllllHIIJIIItlt>X:ill!l Figure 3.5 "Seniors'Centre" test site: view of south edge showing garden and back of McKee House. II 1111 111III1IIIIEEIIJ1 JLII II EEEIIIII1IJ1 [••tltllllMllllllllllllllll II 1 llllllllllllllMlllllllIlt 1EII11I EtlliJIIIIIlllllltlllllt I11IEEEI Massey play park site Type category 6, maintained herbaceous (Table 3.1), has by far the highest number of urban green areas because it represents typical park vegetation. It contains only parks and school yards. One of the smallest and one of the largest parks were chosen as test sites. Massey play park, a shared green space of only about 0.1 hectare (0.3 acre) in the center of a residential block, was informally named this way because the surrounding houses are enclosed by Massey Drive on three sides. The park is trapezoidal in shape and contains only a small swingset, a set of monkey bars, perimeter trees and grass. It is surrounded by gated 74 backyard fences except for a single public entrance through a grassy, tree-edged corridor from 44 Avenue. The only other break in the fence is a narrow gap in one corner that leads into an unfenced private corner house lot. Massey play park is shown in Figure 3.6. liiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiMiiiiM Figure 3.6 "Massey play park" test site: view east from middle of site. Massey play park, although technically public, is obviously intended for neighborhood use. Unlike the seniors centre grounds, it is obscurely located, not identified and not easily seen from the street. What made its context intriguing were its blandness and the fact that in my initial three or four visits there, at different times of day in the summer, I never saw another person. Its safety implications also interested me, because a person could be cornered there by someone blocking the entrance. The other fence gap is behind a fairly large tree trunk, which makes it hard to access and also invisible from the entrance. Surveillance is possible from many second-floor house windows, but high and solid fences block visibility into the space from most of the surrounding yards. Hawthorne Park site 75 In contrast, Hawthorne Park and school grounds, the other type 6 test site, is both large and complex. Its area is 4.9 hectares (12 acres), and it contains a large elementary school, playgrounds, parking lots, municipal playing fields, tennis courts and park buildings. There are usually people either using Hawthorne's facilities or passing through it. It is surrounded on all sides by an older residential district including some large lots with outbuildings and remnant pastures. The site also supports productive but neglected fruit and nut trees throughout, as well as wild berry bushes along one edge. These contrast with the turfed fields in terms of possible multiple uses of the site. This complexity motivated the choice of Hawthorne Park as a test site. No new site types were gained by choosing it, but neither would they have been with another choice from type category 6. Figure 3.7 is a photograph of the site. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiN Figure 3.7 "Hawthorne Park" test site: view west from east edge of site. Rotary Park site The final test site comes from type category 11, maintained mixed. Rotary Park is a formally-landscaped one hectare (2.5 acre) site between Delta Municipal Hall and the Ladner 76 Leisure Center near the southern edge of the village. The main reason for choosing it was its pond, which is of type 9, maintained wetland, a type found nowhere else in Ladner's urban green areas. The pond cannot be considered naturalistic because it is equipped with two motorized fountains that obviously require regular maintenance, but most of its edge vegetation is left to grow naturally. Animals such as frogs, ducks and herons use the pond, though its surrounding landscape is highly manicured (see Figure 3.8). The formal and sedate air of the park's plantings and styling contrast with the combined noise of adjacent Highway 17 and the fountain motors. The fact that Rotary Park lies in a low-density community services district instead of a residential neighborhood like most of the other test sites means that its pool of potential users is quite different, i.e. mostly area employees and people there on business rather than families and children. IIII I Ill I1IIIJIIIMIIIIIIII1IMIII1IIII11 Illllll I l l l l l l l l l l t l l l t l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l l Ill EEiS Etlttl I111II11111I11111I111I1I1I1I111111I Figure 3.8 "Rotary Park" test site: view south from one entrance on north edge. iniiiiii in ii iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiu iiiiiiini iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiini iiiiiiiiiiiuiiiifitiiiiiiiiiiiiii it i iiiiiiiiini IIIIII iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiini The varied characteristics of these six sites made for an interesting and useful diversity of green open space in which to test the indicators. 77 III.3. L ink ing the sustainability model to open-space indicators III.3.a. choosing a landscape assessment method The biophysical model of a sustainable world presented in Chapter Two is the understanding of sustainability whose communication is desired in the project's research question. In order to operationalize the model for application to urban open space, simple and meaningful indicators were sought for the model's component variables. Figure 3.9 shows a list of potential indicators gleaned from a variety of sources including literature, university courses, seminars and discussions with researchers in various disciplines. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIH FIGURE 3.9 Written form of biophysical model with potential urban open space indicators. SYSTEM: Ecosphere FOUNDATION VARIABLE atmosphere oceans fresh water COMPONENT VARIABLE air quality carbon fixation (greenhouse) water quality/productivity coastal zones quantity available water quality surface water groundwater POTENTIAL URBAN OPEN SPACE INDICATOR vegetation pollutant filtering net primary productivity treatment of runoff presence of key marsh species amount H2O used for maintenance land surface permeability treatment of runoff condition of water bodies land surface permeability soil biological productivity biological diversity FOUNDATION VARIABLE air water soil quality/productivity stability types of interaction amount of regeneration amount of energy fixed size/diversity of gene pool place specificity habitat quality S YS TEM: Complete Economy COMPONENT VARIABLE air quality carbon fixation (greenhouse) quantity available equitable distribution topsoil depth soil type erosion food chains succession net primary productivity number of species portion native species structural vegetation diversity POTENTIAL URBAN OPEN SPACE INDICATOR vegetation pollutant filtering contaminant levels net primary productivity amount of water used for maintenance amount of water used for maintenance 78 food shelter/protection/goods energy safety (physical) FOUNDATION VARIABLE safety needs (perceptual) belongingness & love needs cognitive needs aesthetic needs esteem needs self-actualization needs water quality water quality, land use effects surface water groundwater food security amount of agricultural land equitable distribution chemical content nutrient value consistency materials consumption ecologically degraded land open space as a commodity wastes use of ecological processes fuel type energy efficiency emissions transportation energy radiation pollution/chemical exposure contact with pathogens physical conditions interpersonal safety SYSTEM: Complete Society COMPONENT VARIABLE socialization family supports cultural expression education experiential variety beauty & order relationship with nature spiritual/religious life meaningful work/activity inclusion in decision making community diversity equity education leisure activities surface permeability treatment of runoff contaminant levels condition of water bodies surface permeability contaminant levels food production (including wild) cultivated food production who uses food produced chemical use crop analysis crop analysis resource yield portion nonvegetated surface user* access (physical and visual) waste assimilation and disposal climate suitability of design/use alternative energy generation contamination by emissions user transportation radiation levels contamination levels disease hazards safety features physical hazards accident/injury record safety features crime record POTENTIAL URBAN OPEN SPACE INDICATOR user sense of security suitability for social groupings family facilities and events cultural sensitivity of design frequency of cultural events educational suitability seasonal variety variety in design aesthetic quality user sense of nature connection user sense of spiritual connection opportunities for work opportunities for activities community design involvement community management input user diversity users' rights educational suitability recreation suitability 'user = user of the urban open space being evaluated iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin 79 The potential indicators listed in Figure 3.9 require five different types of assessment methods: observation of the landscape, numerical calculations, examination of written records, evaluation of human subjects, and use of specialized equipment, such as for field testing or laboratory analysis. Above all, the indicators chosen for the urban open space assessment tool needed to be accessible, useful and non-intimidating to individuals who were assumed to have no knowledge of landscape assessment and no access to specialized equipment. These considerations led to the decision to use only observable landscape features as visual indicators. Some of the indicators require simple mathematical calculations, but the entire assessment can be performed with only the indicator sheets, a pen, a watch and perhaps a measuring tape or stick and a basic calculator. III.3.b. streamlining the model To make the assessment tool even more manageable, it was helpful to decrease the size of the model being operationalized. By decreasing the number of foundation variables assessed in each system while continuing to represent all three systems equally, the breadth of the model was preserved. Retaining four out of six foundation variables in each system constituted a sort of "insurance plan," as it was felt that even if one indicator per system proved unworkable and had to be eliminated, the breadth of the model would not be seriously compromised. Figure 3.10 shows the variables of the operational model and landscape-based indicators tailored for use in urban open space. Most of the foundation variables in the operational model have the same names as the universal foundation variables of the original biophysical model. However, the component variable "socialization" has replaced "belongingness and love needs" since it seems to provide a more accurate and familiar link to the associated indicator. By locating the operational model's variables and indicators in the complete model of Figure 3.9, one can easily trace their relationships and links through the context-specific component variables. 80 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIH Figure 3.10 Operational model with indicators for use in urban open space. system: ecosphere variable: fresh water soil biological diversity biological productivity system: complete economy variable: food goods energy safety indicator: land surface permeability water erosion structural vegetation diversity net primary productivity indicator: plant food production physical site access site user transportation safety features system: complete society variable: socialization cognitive needs aesthetic needs self-actualization needs indicator: suitability for social groups educational suitability aesthetic quality recreation suitability One concern was that the restriction to visual assessment would bias the tool toward the biophysical portions by making it difficult to assess the psychological societal variables. However, good quality research linking environmental features to the fulfillment of human needs is available, and enabled the construction of intriguing indicators (described below in detail) for those variables. Some of the environment-psychology linkages found in these indicators are familiar anecdotally and intuitively, but have only recently begun to be scientifically tested by researchers. III.3.C. establishing a baseline The presence of some type of baseline for comparison to measured conditions is required for the valid use of any indicator. Forman (1990) says that sustainability in general requires high quality or levels of the foundation variables in his model. Specifically in terms of landscape sustainability, the concept of mosaic stability is also important. In a state of mosaic stability, "the 8 1 system is heterogeneous and may change gradually or remain in steady state, while the component spatial units change at varying rates and intensities. It is like looking down on a city at night where lights blink on and off, but the total amount of light remains nearly constant" (Forman 1990, p. 263). If the foundation variables are considered in the context of mosaic stability, Forman is saying that although the quality or level of individual foundation variables in the landscape may increase or decrease by various amounts, the characteristic of sustainability in the landscape depends on the aggregate of the foundation variables remaining stable in quality or level. Voinov and Smith's (1994) third characteristic enabling sustainability of a system is that the system maintains the conditions of its internal life-support ecological components at current levels or better. The idea of maintaining system components at current levels or better reinforces the logic of maintaining the aggregate of Forman's foundation variables at a stable quality. The main difference is that mosaic stability allows the possibility of a decrease in the quality of some variables within the aggregate as long as overall quality is stable. Voinov and Smith do not address this possibility in their more theoretical discussion, but especially in the urban context, it seems inevitable that some ecosystem components are degraded by landscape development. Consequently, Voinov and Smith's criterion of no loss in current conditions of ecological components will serve as the baseline for the urban open space indicators, but with one clarification: the condition of the four ecological components assessed by indicators is considered in aggregate, so the criterion is for no net loss. This will become clearer with the explanation of the site rating procedure in Chapter Four. III.4. The sustainability indicators: explanation and rationale III.4.a. terminology and basic design Figure 3.11 shows the basic layout and component parts of the indicator forms that are filled out during assessment of an urban open space site using the procedure developed in this project. All explanation in this subsection refers to Figure 3.11. 82 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIU Figure 3.11 Basic design of indicator form for field use. variable: Variable name indicator: "("Indicator name I. FACTOR CATEGORY I-definition or description of category L O O K F O R : POOR MODERATE GOOD FACTOR 1-factor definition or description list of component subfactors (subfactor 1, fsubfactor 2, subfactor 3) subfactor 1, poor condition subfactor 1, moderate condition subfactor 1, good condition subfactor 2, poor condition subfactor 2, moderate condition subfactor 2, good condition answer only if subfactor X is present: subfactor 3, poor condition subfactor 3, moderate condition subfactor 3, good condition FACTOR 2-factor definition or description further description; examples of factor 2 that may be found in site (special instructions) factor 2 characterizes site some factor 2 in site no factor 2 in site II. FACTOR CATEGORY II-definition or description of category L O O K F O R : POOR MODERATE GOOD X X X X X "("FACTOR 3— factor definition or description **reason why this factor is not recorded in the field no factor 3 in site some factor 3 in site factor 3 characterizes site iiininiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin At the top of the indicator page appear the names of the variable and the indicator, which come directly from the operational model (Figure 3.10). The variable and indicator names are 83 found only on the first page if the indicator form is more than one page long. Each indicator is made up factors, or component items, that are actually assessed in the site. The factors may or may not be comprised of subfactors; if a factor is divided into subfactors, it is the subfactors that are assessed in the site. A variable's factors may or may not be grouped into factor categories to show differences in their nature or significance. These hierarchical levels of indicator components, which vary among the indicators, represent the attempt to fit different levels of complexity into a standard form. Names and descriptions or definitions of the factors are found in the leftmost column of the form under the heading " L O O K FOR," along with such information as lists of the subfactors, examples of factors or subfactors, and special instructions for assessing particular factors. Not all of these types of information apply to every factor. Factor categories, if present, are listed as subheadings on the form, with Roman numerals and definitions or descriptions, as shown. The decision that must be made by the assessor for each component item of each indicator can be phrased: Is this factor or subfactor present in a poor condition, a moderate condition or a good condition in this site? For each subfactor, and each factor having no subfactors, the poor, moderate and good conditions are briefly described in the three boxes to the right of the factor description. An assessment result for each factor or subfactor is recorded by (1) reading horizontally for that item, (2) deciding on the basis of visual evidence whether the condition of that item in the site matches the poor, moderate or good criteria, and (3) placing a mark in the corresponding space. Only one of the three choices may be marked for each item. For many of the factors and subfactors, the poor, moderate and good conditions are simply different amounts of the item in the site. Expressing these differences required terms meaning "none," "some but not much" and "a lot," preferably ones that could be used in every situation. The words chosen are no, some and characteristic (or characterize), respectively. Some factors and subfactors are positive indicators, meaning that more of them is better, and for those no is poor and characteristic is good. For other negative indicators, characteristic is the poor condition and none is better. A few factors, marked with X X X X X above the factor name (see factor 3), are not recorded during the visual examination of the site. This is either because they require 84 calculations or because they are duplicates of factors in other indicators whose answers can be transferred from the other form. For example, the factor Legibility appears in both the safety and aesthetic needs indicators, but only needs to be visually assessed once. This type of duplication captures only some of the most obvious examples of the interrelatedness and interdependence of the twelve indicators. It constitutes "double counting," but is acceptable and in fact desirable in this context to show the multiple meanings associated with some landscape features. Some factors or subfactors apply only if another feature is present in the site. In these cases a special instruction in italicized print appears above the poor condition for the factor or subfactor, telling what other feature must be present for it to be applicable, as modeled for subfactor 3 of factor 1 in Figure 3.11. For example, one subfactor in the Water Erosion indicator for soil assesses whether any knolls in the site exhibit sparse vegetation due to soil loss. This subfactor is assessed only if the site contains knolls; if it does not, the subfactor is inapplicable for that site and should be ignored. Among the twelve indicators there occur four cases of factors or entire factor categories having greater significance for an indicator than its other factors. These are known as overriding factors and are designated with * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * above the factor name in the left column. They are listed in Table 4.1, page 124. The overriding factors are designated on the basis of documented research evidence of importance. Each is discussed further in the individual description of its indicator and in the context of the overall site rating procedure associated with the assessment tool. Although the indicator forms contain as much information about the indicators and factors as possible, additional description or explanation of some terms is needed. Terms marked with t are listed in a glossary accompanying the complete assessment tool; the glossary appears in Appendix A. The scope and length of this project did not allow for thorough testing of the indicators with potential users, so the present appearance of the forms is a preliminary design. The limited feedback received during three indicator trials (reported in detail in Chapter Five) attests that the indicators require refinement based on user input, but that process is reserved for a future project. 85 Many trial participants considered the present indicator form adequate. The theoretical origins and rationales of the twelve indicator forms are explained below. The forms themselves appear in Appendix A and their page numbers are given in each subsection. Appendix B is a quick reference table of literature sources for individual indicator factors. During the following explanations, any confusion about details of the forms can be addressed by referring to the template form in Figure 3.11. III.4.b. indicator for fresh water: land surface permeability rationale Gold (1973) reports that urbanization lowers the overall percentage of precipitation absorbed by soil and vegetation from 75% to 25%. Urban precipitation that is not absorbed becomes runoff and typically flows over the land surface into a sewer system. The Greater Vancouver Regional District's combined sewer overflows discharge sewage and stormwater, both untreated, into local waterways during high flow periods. "During storm events, surface runoff collects most of the pollutants resulting from urban and industrial activities. This includes atmospheric deposits, residues from traffic, de-icing compounds, suspended material from dust and construction sites and airborne chemicals from industrial activities" (Schreier, Brown and Hall 1991, p. 88). There is increasing scientific evidence that "[s]ome of the contaminants in urban runoff are persistent and toxic and can affect aquatic organisms" (Ibid., p. 93). Urban runoff is an important non-point source of water pollution. Simply increasing the permeability of urban ground surfaces can reduce the amount of runoff. Also, as explained below in the discussion of the indicator for the soil variable, runoff flow is one of the two major agents of water erosion. It can cause soil loss, sedimentation and siltation of waterways (Troeh, Hobbs and Donahue 1991). design and use The urban open space indicator for fresh water (page 178) consists of calculating the total ratio of runoff to precipitation (the runoff coefficient) for a site. Coefficients for different types of ground surface material are taken from Parker and MacGuire (1954) or extrapolated from Landphair and Klatt (1980) and adapted to common urban conditions. This is one of the few indicators requiring more than visual assessment, since the percentage of site surface area covered 86 by different types of surface material must be determined. Rather than using any special equipment, it is sufficient to measure approximate areas by pacing them off or some other simple method. The area of each surface material category must then be divided by the total site area to obtain a percentage, then multiplied by the runoff coefficient for that material. Finally, the partial coefficients are added to obtain an overall site runoff coefficient, which corresponds to either the poor, moderate or good condition for permeability described on the indicator form. As directed on the form, only the area measurements need to be recorded during the visual site assessment; the runoff coefficient rating can be filled in later after the calculations are completed. III.4.C. indicator for soil: water erosion rationale Land cover refers to soil as well as other features of the Earth's surface and immediate subsurface, including biota, topography, surface water, ground water and human built structures. Land-cover change has become a global issue because of the cumulative scale at which it is occurring. In addition to having sometimes profound local effects, changes in land cover act together to affect weather, climate, biogeochemistry, and species composition and abundance at the global scale. Forty percent of the Earth's land cover has already undergone extensive modification for human use, and only 25 percent is in a somewhat natural condition (Turner, Moss and Skole 1993). Both human crops and the natural vegetation that supports ecosystems depend on the preservation of productive soil (Troeh, Hobbs and Donahue 1991). Consequently, documenting changes in soil quality has far-reaching importance. The main soil degradation processes are erosion, compaction, acidification, salinization, sodification and water-logging (Arshad and Coen 1992). "Soil erosion is perhaps the most destructive of these, and has the most widespread impact on soil quality" (Ibid., p. 25). Erosion can result from the action of anything that moves, such as wind, water, glaciers, animals and vehicles (Troeh, Hobbs and Donahue 1991). There are as yet no widely accepted criteria for evaluating changes in soil quality, so Arshad and Coen (1992) propose qualitative and quantitative indicators to be used for this purpose. They emphasize the importance of visual soil features that can be qualitatively monitored by farmers and others working with the soil; the implication is that these can cost-effectively direct 87 further quantitative (often chemical) testing. design and use The indicator (page 179) is limited to water erosion. Water is perhaps the most widespread and common erosion agent, and erosion can result from either natural or human-induced water action. Also, water erosion is linked to the water indicator measurement of land surface permeability. These aspects make water erosion topical in the urban context. The two main agents of water erosion are falling raindrops and running water, so to protect against water erosion the force of raindrops and runoff must be reduced. Soil can be protected from rain with vegetation or other cover. Decreasing runoff speed and volume depends on mitigating slopes and increasing absorption of rain by the soil (Troeh, Hobbs and Donahue 1991). Dividing the indicator into two factors, Conditions Favoring Erosion and Signs of Erosion, distinguishes between needs for preventive measures and corrective measures. Conditions Favoring Erosion are attributes of the site affecting soil protection from the action of rain and runoff, namely soil cover and slope. The poor conditions of its subfactors correspond to lack of soil cover, steep slopes and the interaction of the two, which allow the possibility of soil loss and subsequent water pollution with sediment and chemicals; the good conditions signal that soil is covered and slopes are absent or mitigated. Signs of Erosion are signals that soil loss and possibly water contamination are already taking place. The qualitative visual indicators of water erosion used are rills, gullies, stones on the soil surface, exposed roots (Arshad and Coen 1992, Lavkulich, personal communication) and displacement of sediment from higher elevations (i.e. knolls) to lower areas where it is deposited (Troeh, Hobbs and Donahue 1991, Lavkulich, personal communication). The factor Signs of Erosion is designated as an overriding factor because it assesses whether or not soil loss is actually occurring in a site. Ongoing soil loss is viewed as of more immediate concern than conditions allowing possible future soil loss. III.4.d. indicator for biological diversity: structural vegetation diversity rationale- -general Formerly a piece of ecology's disciplinary jargon, the term biological diversity or biodiversity has come to be used as a label and surrogate for the whole of nature's variety and 88 complexity. The problem of negative human impacts on biological diversity garnered widespread attention at the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Earth Summit and Global Forum in Rio de Janeiro. Species extinction rates have varied throughout the earth's history, sometimes accelerating dramatically for short periods. One example is the Pleistocene overkill of ten to thirty thousand years ago, when the newly-acquired human ability to hunt with weapons is thought to have led to the extinction of 71 percent of North American large mammal species. Recent human population growth coupled with resource overuse and pollution-related global climate change threatens to bring about another such event (Kimmins 1992). The majority of research pertaining to biological diversity has been done by ecologists in rural and wild contexts. Urban landscapes emphasize human habitat at the expense of wildlife habitat, so have typically not been considered worthy of study. Cities tend to develop in the most productive natural settings, and with human population growth, further encroachment on natural areas seems inevitable, so it is to be hoped this attitude will change. However, for now it is necessary to extrapolate existing rural and wilderness studies to the urban situation. The most common understanding of biological diversity is as an expression of species numbers, but the concept is actually much more complex. As Kimmins (1992) says, "there is a diversity of biological diversities" (p. 151). Species diversity includes alpha diversity, the number and kinds of species that make up a local ecosystem; beta diversity, the variation in the species list between ecosystems in a landscape; landscape diversity, larger-scale species variation due to climatic and geological differences [also called gamma diversity (Noss 1983)]; and temporal diversity, the change in a area's species list over time. In addition to species diversity, there is structural diversity, the layering and structural differences in a plant community; functional diversity, variations in productivity, nutrient cycling, resistance to disturbance and functional roles of organisms in an ecosystem; and genetic diversity, the basis for differential performance of species and individuals in different environments (Kimmins 1992). For this indicator biological diversity was confined to direct consideration of plants only, since plants stay on-site and are convenient for observation. Plant biodiversity has been used as an indicator of total biological diversity in the Lower Fraser Basin by other researchers in the Eco-Research Project (Boyle et al. 1995). 89 An early attempt to develop a direct plant species-diversity indicator based on counting visually-distinguishable plant species was proved unworkable by an informal empirical test. A trained botanist identified and listed 68 plants in an urban site. Five UBC graduate students from Resource Management and Environmental Studies with various backgrounds carried out a species count in the site, based only on visual differences between plants (without identifying the plants). They found from 38% (26) to 87% (59) of the plants. The amount of variation in such a tiny sample of observations showed that sufficient reliability could not be achieved in plant counts done by untrained individuals. The plant count had been perceived as the simplest possible species-diversity indicator, but it was too complex for lay users of the tool. Since vegetated areas can serve as wildlife habitat, structural diversity and animal species diversity are linked. Vegetation structure has often been targeted instead of species number by wildlife managers because habitat variety is easier to control than animal species themselves (Noss 1983). Most of the studies on habitat structure in relation to wildlife diversity have concentrated on birds (Ibid.), though studies have also been done for lizards, rodents and plant-sucking insects (Murdoch, Evans and Peterson 1972). This is because different bird species so obviously require different heights and types of vegetation for nesting and foraging. Emphasis on birds is appropriate for urban areas since birds are common urban animals. An indicator for structural diversity instead of species diversity also seemed to correspond with the theoretical roots of landscape ecology and its focus on interactions and fluxes between elements in the landscape. This indicator essentially examines structural vegetation diversity as a surrogate for avian beta diversity—the variations in bird species between habitats—in urban open space. Enhancement of beta diversity through creation of a varied patchwork of habitat types is a common wildlife management strategy (Noss 1983). Its suitability for urban areas is further explained below in the discussion of the Edge factor of this indicator. One practical advantage of the structural vegetation diversity indicator is that it can be used in any season of the year. Even in temperate winters (barring heavy snow cover), enough woody stems and dry remnants of plants remain to ascertain the structural properties of most vegetation communities. In contrast, plant identification or counting likely could not be done in winter except by experts. 90 Landscape ecology defines landscape elements as either matrix, patch or corridor. The matrix of a landscape is the most extensive element present in it, and is a major determinant of landscape function. A patch is a non-linear element with different vegetation from the matrix. A corridor is another element that differs from the matrix, but it is linear and may function to enable or prevent species movement in the landscape (Ahern 1991). Recently, island biogeographic theory has been used in land use planning. In this applied biogeography, patches "have been portrayed as islands because they are patches of natural habitat in a matrix or 'sea' of culturally modified land" (Noss 1983). Corridors interconnect patches in the landscape and, to extend the metaphor, may be seen as bridges between islands. The concepts of patch, corridor and matrix play roles in the structural vegetation diversity indicator since these three types of landscape elements are distinguished from each other by differences in vegetation structure. The five factors of the indicator, Vegetation Layering, Habitat Types, Patchy Habitat, Edge and Connectivity, are designed to form a portrait of a site's landscape elements. Pertinent questions addressed by the factors are: Is the site vegetation a patch, a corridor, part of the local matrix or a mix of those elements? Is the site a small piece of a larger landscape element? Is it connected to other landscape elements? What are the structural vegetation characteristics of the site landscape elements? Does the site contain any particularly high-quality bird habitat? Does it contain highly diverse bird habitat? Many of the terms and explanations on the indicator form have been simplified for use by lay observers and are syntheses of material from the scientific literature. Feedback from participants in trials of the indicators suggests that the biodiversity indicator is difficult for those with no ecology-related training to understand. The example diagrams included with each indicator factor and the special instruction to draw a site vegetation map (see pages 180-182) are attempts to aid comprehension. Referring to the diagrams during the following discussion may prove helpful. Vegetation Layering factor-rationale, design and use The first two indicator factors consider the vegetation structure of the site landscape elements. Vegetation layering refers to the presence of different heights of plants in the same vertical space. Layering is an expression of vertical vegetation structure (Kimmins 1992). The 91 amount of vegetation layering is commonly referred to as foliage height diversity in the scientific literature (e.g. Karr and Roth 1971, Murdoch, Evans and Peterson 1972). It is widely recognized that most herbaceous, or non-woody, plants are low because they lack the rigidity to support greater height, and among woody plants shrubs are defined as having lower stature than trees. So three basic layers—herbaceous, shrub and tree—correlate to major classes of vegetation that are familiar from vernacular use and also employed in plant sciences. The commonly accepted heights for these layers as listed on the indicator form (see page 180) have been used in scientific studies (e.g. MacArthur, MacArthur and Preer 1962, Roth 1976). Karr and Roth (1971) report a linear relationship between vegetation layering and bird species diversity, and Murdoch, Evans and Peterson (1972) found vegetation layering to be a good correlate of species diversity in herbivorous insects. For the indicator, the presence of more layers of vegetation in a site, as well as increasing structural diversity, is assumed to increase avian diversity by providing habitat. A special note below the factor description for vegetation layering indicates that single trees overhanging lawn are not considered as layering. Such a configuration is commonly found in urban parks, golf courses and yards, but not so commonly in the natural habitats where studies on layering have been carried out. Mown turf has practically no habitat value (Mooney, personal communication). The situation of a single tree over mown grass is illustrated on the indicator form in the example for the poor condition, as shown on page 180. A special instruction for carrying out the factor assessment, "indicate on site map below," also appears in the factor description box for vegetation layering. It refers to the space provided on the last page of the indicator form in which it is recommended that an observer sketch a rough map of the site vegetation characteristics. The map can be used to keep track of observations while each factor is being assessed. It can even serve as the source for answers to some of the factors, as noted on the form. Habitat Type factor-rationale, design and use For the second factor the name habitat type has been given to a distinct area of vegetation with its own plant species composition, vertical structure (i.e. layering), and horizontal structure that set it apart as matrix, patch or corridor (Mooney, personal communication). Just as 92 vegetation layering is an expression of vertical structure, changes in habitat type—i.e. the presence of different patches and corridors in the landscape matrix—are an expression of horizontal structure. Kimmins (1992) identifies horizontal structural variation as simply change in vertical structure across the landscape. In other words, the very presence of different habitat types in a landscape constitutes changes in horizontal structure. As layers are added to a habitat, the variety of patches should increase (Roth 1976). Determining the number of habitat types can help answer the question of whether the site contains a high diversity of bird habitat. As noted on the indicator form under the factor description for habitat type, the factor is intended to record the number of different types found in a site. This may be complicated by the presence of multiple patches of the same type in one site. The special assessment instruction indicates that the number of habitat types can often be determined from the sketched vegetation map where areas with different amounts of layering have already been recorded. The numbers of habitat types required for the poor, moderate and good conditions of the second factor (see page 180) are based on empirical observations from this project. Assessment of test sites showed that in the test district of Ladner, very few habitat types are present in any given urban green area, and many have only one. Since the indicator is intended for use in all urban open space, the poor condition also acknowledges sites with no habitat at all. Patchy Habitat factor—rationale, design and use Recognizing horizontal structural diversity in the landscape is complicated by the fact that landscape elements belong to multiple systems with different scales (Ahern 1991). A landscape can be referred to as patchy because it contains patches and corridors in a matrix, but any patch or corridor or the matrix itself can also be patchy if it has a heterogeneous horizontal structure. Patchy habitat, a habitat type having woody clumps in a herbaceous matrix, expresses horizontal structural variation in vegetation at a smaller scale than variation in habitat type. It appears separately as the third factor because it is highly correlated with the variety in an area's breeding bird species (Roth 1976), and thus is considered a high-quality habitat type. Patchy habitat in the form of abandoned fields and waste spaces occurs often in urban areas. For the patchy habitat factor, the poor condition is associated with a total absence of the type. If patchy habitat is present but with so much matrix or so many woody clumps that its 93 internal structural diversity is low, it is considered to be of low quality and warrants a moderate rating. Patchy habitat with approximately equal amounts of matrix and woody clumps can be assumed to have the maximum amount of horizontal structural variety and represent the best habitat. The desirable proportions of matrix and clumps listed on the indicator form (see page 181) have not been specified before and are an experimental quantification based on professional landscape-related experience (Mooney, personal communication). Edge factor—rationale, design and use Edge is the place between two different plant communities (i.e. between two habitat types) or between different vegetation conditions within a plant community (Noss 1983). The importance of edge and its relevance to the urban setting are explained by Noss: It has long been observed that edges are rich in wildlife, since wildlife "occurs where the types of food and cover which it needs come together" (Leopold 1933). Along an edge, animals from each of the abutting communities or vegetation types may be found, together with animals that make frequent use of more than one vegetation type and those that actually specialize on edge (Johnston 1947). Edge has high cover density (Johnson et al. 1979) and food availability, in accordance with a high primary productivity (Ranney et al. 1981). Game animals are commonly edge-adapted, as are the animals (e.g. birds) of suburban and many urban and agricultural landscapes (Butcher et al. 1981, Whitcomb et al. 1976) (Noss 1983, p. 701). Like patchy habitat, edge can be thought of as particularly high-quality urban habitat. Abundant edge results from the fragmented nature of urban landscapes. Many urban-dwelling species of plants and animals that are suited to edge habitat are nonnative, widespread and opportunistic, or "weedy." Some conservationists oppose considering them of equal value to more sensitive native species (Noss 1983). But Hough (1995) defends their value, believing that today's urban ecosystems may be the predominant ecosystems of the future because they contain these resistant species. Many introduced plants provide important food and cover for wildlife (Mooney, personal communication). For the purposes of this indicator, no distinction is made between the values of native versus exotic or rare versus widespread urban species, for three reasons: (1) I believe that the value of urban weed species is usually underestimated; (2) people value local commonplace nature, maybe even more than spectacular nature (Burgess, Harrison and Limb 1988, Kaplan 1982); and (3) it is not feasible to require indicator users to identify plants and animals, so they 94 may not be able to distinguish between the two types of species. In considering edge, some complexity involving scale is again encountered. Edge is best thought of not as a dividing line between vegetation types but as an interface zone between them, in which each vegetation community influences the other. Noss (1983) reports that forest edge zones extend from 10 to 30 meters (about 33 to 100 feet) into the forest. Also, corridors of different kinds may need to be 60 to 100 meters (65 to 330 feet) wide to provide interior habitat conditions so they can be used as transportation routes by interior species (Noss 1983). In this sense, urban habitat is mostly edge. Out of the six urban test sites used in this project, four have lengths and widths of more than 60 meters, but only one exceeds 100 meters in both dimensions. All four have multiple habitat types, so their interior habitat value is questionable. However, edge is found within plant communities as well as between them, according to Noss's definition. The most obvious example of an edge-containing community is patchy habitat, so clearly there is genuine edge to be found in urban green areas. Edge can occur either within a site or along its boundaries. Diagrams illustrating amounts of edge considered poor, moderate and good for a site (Mooney, personal communication) are shown on page 181. Connectivity factor—rationale, design and use The final factor addresses the question of whether the vegetated site landscape elements are connected to other landscape elements. The factor term connectivity has been chosen to refer generally to the "interconnection among the patches in a landscape" (Noss 1983). Connectivity in the context of applied biogeography usually means corridors that connect patches in the landscape matrix, allowing species movement between them. Corridors are something of a fad in conservation planning; their theoretical ability to counteract the effects of the biggest threat to biological diversity-habitat fragmentation-has led to the design of greenbelts and other corridors at all scales (Noss 1987). But for this indicator, the connectivity factor also takes into account the arbitrary boundaries of the sites being assessed. A site may in fact be a small piece of a larger patch or corridor or even matrix, so continuity of the site vegetation and off-site vegetation, as well as the presence of corridors, is considered for connectivity. problems with use There is much controversy over the validity of applying island biogeographic theory to the 95 management of fragmented terrestrial landscapes, and much of it centers around the notion of corridors. Simberloff and Cox (1987) argue that there is little controlled data demonstrating the conservation role of corridors and that corridors may have economic and diversity-related costs as well as benefits. Others claim that while corridors are not the only answer to conservation problems, they can certainly be a cost-effective addition to nature reserves (Noss 1987), or that we must preserve corridors immediately even though there is no time to find out if they are effective (Saunders and Hobbs 1991 in Simberloff et al. 1992). Perhaps more time and study will reveal the true value of applied biogeographic concepts. Of the twelve indicators used in this project, the one for biological diversity was by far the most difficult to design. The challenge was to find a representative aspect of biological diversity with relevance to urban settings that was visually measurable, understandable to non-ecologists and easy to assess. It became clear that only one tiny aspect of biological diversity could be measured, so the link between indicator and variable is unfortunately rather one-dimensional. This could be a problem if the information collected with this indicator is given too much weight as a measure of site biodiversity. The quality of this indicator is discussed further in Chapter Five. III.4.e. indicator for biological productivity: net primary productivity rationale Biological productivity refers to the ecosystem function of producing organic material from inorganic substances. Photosynthesis is the major process on earth by which chlorophyll-containing autotrophs (self-feeders, mostly plants) produce carbohydrates from carbon dioxide and water, converting light energy into chemical energy stored in the carbohydrates. Heterotrophic (other-feeding) organisms cannot carry out photosynthesis, so they must feed on the carbohydrates of other organisms. Net primary productivity (net primary production, NPP) is the amount of energy or carbohydrate left over after subtracting what autotrophs need for their own maintenance. "NPP provides the basis for maintenance, growth, and reproduction of all heterotrophs (consumers and decomposers); it is the total food resource on Earth" (Vitousek et al., 1986, p. 386). Humans are only one among five to 30 million heterotrophic animal species on earth, yet 96 directly and indirectly appropriate about 40 percent of the total potential terrestrial NPP of the planet. This means that all other species must exist on the leftovers, and it also has implications about possible limits to the earth's human carrying capacity (Vitousek et al. 1986). People appropriate net primary production by eating plants and animals, harvesting wood, setting up human-controlled ecosystems for mainly human use (e.g. most agriculture), killing and burning organisms during land clearing and conversion, decreasing the productivity of ecosystems through pollution and soil damage, and converting the land surface to mainly non-productive dwelling and transportation uses (i.e. urbanization) (Ibid.). Use of the NPP indicator in urban open space is based on the simple premise that increasing and preserving primary production in areas devoted to human habitation can decrease the amount of NPP we appropriate from other places. Though less than five percent of our global NPP appropriation is due to urbanization (Vitousek et al. 1986) and possible improvements are therefore small, they will become more significant if the projected future growth of urban areas materializes. Increasing biological productivity in urban areas has other benefits. Since photosynthesis involves the conversion of carbon dioxide to carbohydrates, urban plants can remove excess carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Plants, especially trees, also filter pollutant particles from the air and cool their environments, reducing urban heat island effects (Lipkis 1992). design and use The indicator form (page 183) resembles the land surface permeability indicator form for fresh water in format. Again, only area measurements need be carried out on the site, and later calculations are needed. The same total site area approximated for permeability should be used again for NPP, but this time the sub-area categories are of ecosystem types rather than surface materials. An ecosystem type, also called biome-type and formation-type, is a broad grouping of ecosystems with similar vegetation type and appearance. The ecosystem types listed on the indicator form include only those commonly found in urban areas of the temperate regions of North America, including the test sites in the Lower Fraser Basin. Other ecosystem types would need to be added if the indicator were used in different areas of the globe. The figures for mean NPP of the ecosystem types are global averages provided by 97 Whittaker (1975). The area of each ecosystem type is converted to a percentage by dividing by the total site area, then multiplied by the mean NPP to obtain a partial site NPP. Finally the partial NPP figures are added and the total compared to the poor, moderate and good conditions explained at the top of the form. On the form (see page 183), the moderate range for site NPP is much smaller than the poor and good ranges. This reflects further tailoring to the study area, where most urban vegetation is grass, herbs, crops, shrub or woodland. These types of vegetation yield very similar rates of NPP. If the site figure is above or below the moderate range, it can be interpreted as a signal that something unusual and especially worthy of notice exists in the site. Perhaps so much of the site is paved that its NPP is negligible, or at the other extreme perhaps a very productive ecosystem remnant has survived urbanization. If this indicator were to be used in other regions with different typical urban vegetation, its rating categories would have to be redesigned. problems with use Use of this indicator presents at least two potential problems. The first is the implication given by the poor rating that water bodies are negative landscape features because their NPP rate is low. Low NPP means that water is clean, and—like clean air for terrestrial organisms—provides a healthy environment for aquatic organisms. The rating of poor must be understood to apply only for NPP. In the indicators for land surface permeability (page 178) and aesthetic quality (page 195), the presence of permanent water bodies raises site ratings. The second potential difficulty is the extrapolation of global ecosystem types based on natural ecosystems to the sometimes highly managed vegetation of urban areas. Trimming and pruning plants and removing dead material greatly reduce the amount of carbohydrates available to heterotrophs, especially decomposers. Also, some exotic urban plants can be virtually useless to native fauna. Despite these difficulties, the benefit of learning to recognize the different productive capacities of different ecosystem types was judged a sufficient reason for using this indicator. III.4.f. indicator for food: plant food production rationale It is being increasingly realized that considerable amounts of food are grown in urban 98 areas worldwide. In terms of economic value, one third of even the United States' agricultural product is produced within the boundaries of metropolitan areas (Smit and Nasr 1992). The idea of urban agriculture, "any and all enterprises, commercial and non-commercial, related to the production, distribution, sale or other consumption of agricultural and horticultural produce or commodities" in an urban area (Funches 1992), is not new. Some forms of urban food production common in our culture are private backyard gardens and commercial market gardens and greenhouses. These, along with less accepted forms such as roof and deck gardens, community gardens on public land, permaculture and edible landscaping, are encouraged by sustainable city advocates as ways to use local organic wastes, reclaim idle urban land and conserve other resources. Examples of resources conserved by urban food production are energy used to transport food from where it is produced to where it is consumed, an estimated average distance of 2000 kilometers (1300 miles) in the United States; energy used in cold storage; and ecosystems that would otherwise be converted to agriculture (Smit and Nasr 1992). Private urban gardening has a wide range of positive social benefits for both individuals and communities. These do not appear in the indicator. Here food is seen only in its complete-economy context, as a material resource necessary for survival and having real economic value. Community gardens in Los Angeles alone produce $900,000 to $1.8 million worth of food or more annually (Funches 1992). Low-income gardeners across the United States save up to $250 a year on food (Mattson et al. 1994); community garden participants in the Philadelphia Urban Gardening Project, for example, produce food valued at a mean of $160 annually (Blair, Giesecke and Sherman 1991). The indicator for food shown on page 184 considers plant food (as opposed to animal products) produced by any agricultural method, but also takes into account food production by wild plants. Culturally, very few products of wild plants are considered suitable for eating, though in reality dozens of common urban weeds and plants have edible parts (e.g. see Szczawinski and Turner 1978, 1980). The indicator respects local cultural norms by considering only wild fruits such as berries, which are commonly found and gathered in the Lower Fraser Basin. Wild food plants are valuable because they are suited to the local climate and do not 99 require inputs. Especially if they are native plants, they are likely to also provide food for wildlife, though only human food is considered here. design and use The three factors of the indicator assess whether a site supports wild food plants and/or agriculture, how much of the site area is devoted to food production, and whether there is any sign that people are using the food produced there. For the first factor, Food Producing Plants, the presence of both wild and cultivated food plants is rated better than the presence of only one or the other to emphasize that the wild plants may be of equal significance and worth preserving or encouraging. In this way, the factor avoids suggesting that expanding agricultural space is necessarily the best way to enhance plant food production on a site. In the second factor, the division of site food producing area percentages into zero to ten percent for poor, 11 to 50 percent for moderate and 51 to 100 percent for good is based on empirical area observations in the test sites. It became obvious that when 50 percent or more of an area is actually devoted to food production, that use is so dominant as to rule out other site features permitting uses detailed in other indicators. A moderate food producing area of 11 to 50 percent can have very significant yield depending on the size of the site, and still allow other site uses. III.4.g. indicator for goods: physical site access rationale The whole economy variable goods in the operationalized biophysical model is a condensation of the variable shelter/protection/goods, which represents human needs for physical resources that are used externally (not food, water or air). Perhaps the most basic function of these resources is to protect our bodies from the natural environment, but obviously material goods are utilized by humans to aid in fulfillment of many other needs, both physical and psychological. In this indicator, urban green areas are considered as "goods"—commodities or material resources—made use of by people to fulfill needs such as those reflected in the complete-society variables. Modern Western societies place high value on land for recreation and aesthetic amenity, and are willing to pay for proximity to such areas. This is reflected in the higher residential property values found adjacent to urban green areas (Gold 1973, Orians 1980). 100 Urban open space is used indirectly, usually visually, as an aesthetic resource by many people. But in order to use it directly, people must have physical access to it. This project's operational definition of urban green areas designates them as having public pedestrian access. The remaining access issues addressed in the indicator are the ability of potential users to get to sites conveniently (factor category I, see page 185), and how well sites can be internally negotiated even by users with reduced physical capacities (factor category II). According to Alexander, Ishikawa and Silverstein (1977), "The only people who make full, daily use of parks are those who live less than three minutes from them" (p. 305). In a study of Chicago's Lincoln Park, People, Places & Design Research (1991) found that 50% of park users come on foot and the majority of all users live in nearby neighborhoods. Gold (1973) reports various studies showing the optimum "service radius" for an area of open space, its distance away from intended users, to be from 400 feet (122 meters) to half a mile (805 meters). Whyte's (1988) empirical studies in New York City show that most plaza users come from within three blocks of the plaza. design and use Apparently, though there is broad agreement that urban open space users prefer to travel very short distances to the sites they visit, there is no single accepted distance. For use in the indicator, the most consistent and easily measurable statistic seemed to be Alexander, Ishikawa and Silverstein's (1977) figure of three minutes. Thus, this indicator is one of only two in the tool that require use of a watch. The measurement for the first factor of category I involves walking for three minutes away from all public site entrances in all available directions and judging whether the number of potential pedestrian site users within that radius is relatively high or low, based on observed land use. In general, land devoted to industrial and open-space uses is assumed to have a lower density of people than land containing urban businesses and residences (Alexander, Ishikawa and Silverstein 1977). A site feature affecting how far potential site users can travel in three minutes is whether or not site entrances are oriented to their directions of approach. Depending on the size of the site, a user could easily spend three minutes circling the site boundary to reach an entrance, the service radius of that site then being severely reduced. Accordingly, the second factor of the access-to-101 site category looks at the spacing and directional orientation of the public site entrances. The optimal situation is of entrances facing many geographical directions and spaced six minutes' or less walk apart so that people between two entrances are within range of one of them. Once users have reached an entrance to a site, the single factor of the access-on-site e category (II, page 186) examines whether there are design barriers within the site itself that might exclude some users with special mobility needs. The users specifically considered in this factor are elderly and disabled people. Those with very young children in strollers could also be affected, but provision for the other user groups should accommodate them as well. The specific design recommendations assessed in the factor come from Cooper Marcus (1990). Her guidelines are specifically aimed at parks, so the subset used here has been made more general for use also in non-park green areas. The factors of category I, Quality of Access to Site, have been designated as overriding factors because the issue of getting users into a site has such fundamental bearing on all site uses, including those assessed by other indicators. III.4.h. indicator for energy: site user transportation rationale The purpose of this indicator is to highlight the implications of urban open space access for energy use in the form of fossil fuel. Motor vehicles are recognized as a major source of carbon dioxide gas, which causes atmospheric change and deteriorated urban air quality (Roseland 1992).. In Chicago it has been found that Lincoln Park users who live nearby are less likely to drive to the park (People, Places & Design Research 1991). Burgess, Harrison and Limb (1988) discovered that, in the London area, 68 percent of visits to urban green areas are made on foot even in winter; people are more likely to use sites accessible on foot and "literally 'on the doorstep'" (p. 469), regardless of socioeconomic status and range of transportation options. Based on these examples, it seems that decreases in air pollution could be affected by locating open space and urban developments to cater to people's preference for quick pedestrian access to open space sites, lessening the need for fueled transportation. design and use The indicator chosen for energy links directly to the site access indicator for the goods 102 variable. The link is so direct that the site user transportation indicator (page 187), rather than requiring any observation in the site, entails only transferal of the overall rating from factor category I of the previous indicator, Quality of Access to Site (see page 185). To obtain a combined rating for the two factors of Quality of Access to Site, a simple mathematical calculation explained in Chapter Four is necessary. The result of that calculation is then expressed as poor, moderate or good and directly transferred to yield the same rating for the energy indicator. III.4.I. indicator for safety: safety features rationale Francis (1987) reports that "[s]afety is an important component of open-space satisfaction for women, children, and the elderly" (p. 89), or in other words, for most people. The safety variable occurs in the complete economy system of the biophysical model, representing physical safety or freedom from harm. The psychological needs component of safety, sense of security, is placed separately in the complete society system. In reality, however, the physical and perceptual dimensions of safety are almost impossible to separate. The present indicator focuses on features of the site landscape that affect user safety, but some of those features impinge on the user sense of safety first, which leads to use patterns that determine the real safety level of the site. Interplay between perception and action is part of human nature, and since the perceived safety variable is absent from the operational model, no effort has been made to remove perception from this indicator. This project treats human psychological needs as having equal importance with physical needs and ecological imperatives. People want to visit open space that is pleasant, legible (understandable) and well cared for (Kaplan 1982). Encouraging positive use of open space is a primary way to build both feelings of security and genuine safety (Belan 1991, Chapin 1991, Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992). Positive users gain a sense of ownership and affection for an area, feel secure and increase their visits, while potential negative users (e.g. drug dealers, gangs) are discouraged by the presence of others. design and use The importance of perceived security shapes the first three of the four factor categories of the safety features indicator (see pages 188-191). Factor category I, Overall Design, contains 103 factors assessing the general impression of a site. Category II, Signage and Information, examines the formal communication of information to site users by various means. Signs of Neglect, category III, records symptoms associated with poor site maintenance that often make people feel they are in a neglected or abandoned area. The categories were created specifically for this indicator, to aid visual site assessment by focusing attention on a few related landscape features at a time. The fourth factor category is called Assault Potential. Researchers in the London-area Greenwich Open Space Project report that "the fears associated with open spaces are almost all crimes against the person" (Burgess, Harrison and Limb 1988, p. 465). This is widely corroborated, for example in a study of Chicago's Lincoln Park where many users reported that security and bright lighting would be required for them to use the park after dark (People, Places & Design Research 1991). Jarvis (personal communication), a specialist in Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design, confirms that violence is the highest safety concern in urban open space. He believes that above all else, assault potential must be minimized. Consequently, the six factors of factor category IV have been designated as overriding factors in the Safety Features indicator. Some of them have perceived security overtones, but they are mainly physical site features directly influencing assault potential by either aiding or hindering potential assailants. For these factors, people in and around the site during an assessment are essentially considered to be landscape features. The last factor in category IV, Suitability for Mixed Use, does not require separate visual assessment in the site. It combines the overall ratings of the Physical Site Access, Suitability for Social Groups, Educational Suitability and Recreation Suitability indicators (see pages 185-186, 192, 193-194 and 196-197). Those overall ratings must be determined through a mathematical procedure described in Chapter Four before being recorded in the factor. It has already been mentioned that encouraging positive use of open space increases safety. Part of that effort is provision of amenities and promotion of a variety of events and activities (Belan 1991, Egan 1991) as activity generators (Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992). The Suitability for Mixed Use factor recognizes the landscape features assessed by the four other indicators as contributing to activity generation. The factor essentially tries to ascertain the relative 104 number of people likely to be in the site. The people are implicitly viewed as landscape features that hinder potential assailants. Other indicators could also have been included in this factor, but it was decided to limit the factor to active uses similar to the examples of activity generators found in the literature. III.4.J. rationale for the social variable indicators The view offered in this project is that it is just as necessary to provide for human social and psychological needs as for material well-being and ecological integrity in order to achieve sustainability. As explained in Chapter Two, the variables of the complete society system in the biophysical model (as well as some of the complete-economy needs) are taken from Maslow's hierarchy of basic human needs. These needs are assumed to comprise "the basic requirements of human beings for survival and development in both physical and social terms" (Fisher 1990, p. 91). Fisher (1990) reports that little research has examined the nature of Maslow's needs, which seems curious since he proposed them in 1943. They are, however, very similar to many subsequently proposed lists of human needs (Fisher 1990), and so have received indirect endorsement sufficient to make them useful in this project as a way of looking at human society. For the last four indicators, issues of open space use recognized by urban planners, designers and researchers have been equated with Maslow's needs. III.4.k. indicator for socialization: suitability for social groups rationale The socialization variable of the operational biophysical model was adapted from the original variable of belongingness and love needs (see Figures 3.1 and 3.2). Belongingness and love needs are "needs that are satisfied by social relationships" (Fisher 1990, p. 91). Socialization, identified in the dictionary as "the process by which an individual learns and assimilates the values and behavior patterns appropriate to his or her culture and social position," renders a person capable of social relationships. The most obvious socialization efforts target developing children, but socialization is a lifetime process, helping people adjust to different ages, stages of life and socioeconomic statuses. In the modern multicultural societies of the Western world, adult immigrants must also be socialized into new cultural environments. 105 Socialization requires interaction between people. This may occur in peer groups or mixed-age groups of various kinds. Socialization is likely to take place in urban areas such as parks, since people value social interaction in open space. Burgess, Harrison and Limb (1988) found that social commitments motivated people to visit urban open spaces just as much as personal interests, and that only 11 percent of respondents to a questionnaire had last visited an open space alone. Parents often take advantage of family leisure time to socialize their children (Carisse 1975), and some urban green areas are designed and used for traditional family leisure activities. The socialization indicator, suitability for social groups, is based on the premise that groups of people desire certain physical settings in which to interact. The indicator factors draw from research on what features of urban open spaces make them likely to be used by people. design and use The first factor concentrates on use by adults, and is based on the empirical studies of Whyte (1988) in New York City urban plazas. Whyte found that the best-used plazas were peopled by 50 to 62 percent groups and couples as opposed to solitary.people, while the least used had only 25 to 30 percent. He notes that plazas are not good places for making new acquaintances, so while the presence of people obviously attracts people, the bulk of social interaction must be within these pre-established groups. The primary activity of these groups and others in the plazas and small parks studied is sitting, so it is assumed that the groups come there to sit together and converse. Whyte rated the use of plazas and small parks by recording the number of people sitting during peak periods. He identified the amount of "sittable space" as the primary factor influencing use and more important than sunshine, aesthetics, the design or shape of the outdoor spaces, or the amount of space. The factor Sitting Space recognizes that places to sit are important amenities for adults visiting many types of urban open spaces. Assessing the amount of sittable space in sites would require measurements and calculations of sitting space per area, whereas the variety of sittable places can be determined with a simple visual check. Therefore the poor, moderate and good conditions depend on finding fewer or more types of seating in a site. The seating elements listed under the factor description (see page 192) are suggested by Whyte (1988) as desirable types of 1 0 6 seating. The specific numbers of elements considered poor, moderate or good have been adjusted in response to empirical observations in the test sites of this project. The types of seating requiring the most careful design, for example wind-sheltered spots, were rarely seen. In order to rate good for sitting space, a site has to contain some of these specialized features. The indicator could not be limited to adult amenities because children are the greatest users of public open space, at as much as ten times the rate of adults (Moore 1985, Cooper Marcus and Sarkissian 1986). Child development theory holds that children develop through interaction with their physical, social and cultural environments (Moore 1985). Moore concentrates on the effects of physical play settings on child behavior and development. Research has shown repeatedly that at least 85 percent of children's outdoor play time is spent elsewhere than designated playgrounds (Ibid.), so Moore reviews studies of alternative play environments as well. He concludes that in general, children's favorite neighborhood play places are 1) paved areas (streets, sidewalks and paths), 2) front yards and porches, public open space (including woods, grassy areas and open fields) and 3) backyards, with designated playgrounds again at the bottom of the list (Moore 1985, p. 175). Despite their relative unpopularity, traditional playgrounds and sports fields contribute more to motor development than other kinds of play settings (Moore 1985), so there is no suggestion of abolishing them. Moore recommends a variety of play settings to provide for children's developmental needs, mentioning several elements that should be included. Cooper Marcus (1990) provides a similar but more formal listing of play elements for urban parks. The elements listed for the Provision for Children's Needs factor, shown on page 192, come from both of these sources. Again the numbers needed for each rating have been adjusted so that a site must support an unusually great variety of play options to be highly rated. The first two factors of the Suitability for Social Groups indicator concentrate on peer groups, but opportunities for socialization within families and other mixed-aged groups is at least as important. A primary requirement of public play areas, especially for young children, is that they allow for adult supervision and adult-child interaction (Moore 1985, Cooper Marcus and Sarkissian 1986, Burgess, Harrison and Limb 1988, Cooper Marcus 1990), often by including seating for the adults. The third indicator factor looks at Combined Provision for Adults and Children in terms of the first two factors, by determining whether there is proximity of seating to 107 play elements in the site. III.4.1. indicator for cognitive needs: educational suitability rationale The cognitive needs item in Maslow's hierarchy of needs is defined as "the desire to know, to understand, and to satisfy one's curiosity" (Fisher 1990, p. 91). Processes commonly considered educational fit clearly, if not exclusively, into this needs category. Roggenbuck, Loomis and Dagostino (1990) identify the "big issues" of learning associated with leisure as "environmental sensitivity and stewardship, pride and commitment to [national] heritage and ideals, and sense of who we are as individuals and as a people" (p. 121). The three corresponding areas of ecology-natural science-stewardship education, history education, and physical education have been adopted as factor categories II-IV in the Educational Suitability indicator for the cognitive needs variable, as shown on pages 193-194. Urban open space, as a traditional setting for leisure pursuits, provides suitable surroundings for learning about these subjects. It contains ecological elements and historic features, and provides facilities for the mastery of individual and group activities that are avenues for self-actualization. It is also located where many people live, and Hough (1995), among others, claims that "[environmental education begins at home" (p. 24). For Francis (1987), "environmental learning" encompasses all aspects of an environment, and open space is one aspect of urban dwellers' surroundings with much untapped learning potential. Learning can take place informally, during almost any leisure activity. But open space can also be utilized in formal schooling. Gold (1973) refers to open spaces as "outdoor classrooms and laboratories" (p. 56) for science education programs in schools. Historical elements can contribute to school courses in local history (Dunn, personal communication). Another traditional use of open space such as school grounds is for physical education, typically focused on structured sports. Whether formal or informal learning is to take place, some basic landscape elements are necessary to make open space suitable for educational use in the three areas mentioned. For ecology-related education, an ecological community in a site provides material for study. To be useful for history education, a site must contain identifiable features having historical meaning. The process of developing a "sense of who we are as individuals and as a people" (Roggenbuck, 108 Loomis and Dagostino 1990, p. 121) could conceivably take place in every leisure activity supported by urban open space. However, the indicator is limited to consideration of only structured sports for two reasons. First, sports are "leisure" activities popular in both informal and formal (school) settings. Secondly, structured sports generally require specialized facilities whose presence or absence is easy to determine visually. design and use One simple factor influencing a site's formal educational suitability is its proximity to schools. It is easier for teachers to obtain permission to take students outside a school if the destination is nearby and the children can walk to it in 15 or 20 minutes. Hiring transportation for further distances is costly and using a lot of class time for transportation is hard to justify curricularly (Dunn, personal communication). Teachers are free to make use of school grounds almost without regulation, as long as other jurisdictions cooperate (e.g. for community sports facilities) (Barnes, personal communication; Dunn, personal communication). The first factor category of the indicator (see page 193) is Proximity to Schools, and its single factor measures the number of schools within 20 minutes' walk of the site. For the good condition, either more than one school within 20 minutes or a school within the site suffices. The remaining factor categories are arranged so that the first factor addresses formal education and the second, informal education on each subject. The quality of a site's ecological community and thus its usefulness for study can be determined by looking at site biological diversity. This assessment is already provided by the Structural Vegetation Diversity indicator for the biological diversity variable (see pages 180-182). The first factor in category II requires the overall rating from the biological diversity variable to be transferred after its calculation. Factor one of category III requires a visual check for recognizable historical features in the site, and whether they have been preserved in good condition or restored. In the fourth category, the first factor for the presence of sports facilities has been assessed in detail in the Recreation Suitability indicator for self-actualization needs (page 196). This time, only the third factor rating for Suitability for Active Structured Recreation, not the overall indicator rating, is transferred. If the prerequisite features and facilities are present in a site, teachers can provide their students with instructions and interpretation that make the features educationally useful. 109 However, this is not the case in public leisure education. The second factors of categories II through IV in the indicator assess site aspects increasing the public usefulness of educational features. For ecology-related and history education, public education can be aided by providing interpretation of site features through use of various media. Some of the listed examples of interpretive media come from Roggenbuck, Loomis and Dagostino (1990). For physical education, all the public needs is free access to sports facilities, meaning an absence of physical barriers and restrictive regulations. problems with use For both history and physical education, a factor rating for informal suitability is recorded only if features for that type of education (assessed by the formal suitability factor) are present. This restriction has not been placed on the second factor for ecology/natural science/stewardship education because urban green areas by definition must contain some sort of ecological community. This is a relic of having empirically tested the indicator in green sites, but to make the indicator appropriate for all urban open space, the missing special instruction should probably be added. III.4.m. indicator for aesthetic needs: aesthetic quality rationale Fisher (1990) describes Maslow's category of aesthetic needs as "the craving for beauty, symmetry and order" (p. 91). Not only do people have strong aesthetic responses to natural environments (Appleton 1975, Orians 1980, Kaplan and Kaplan 1982b, Thayer 1994), but they manipulate such environments and their own proximity to them for the sake of aesthetics. "People everywhere mold vegetation for purely aesthetic purposes. Outdoor relaxation times are spent in some kind of vegetation and, not surprisingly, we structure that vegetation to maximize the pleasure it gives" (Orians 1980, p. 62). For this indicator, a comparatively universal sense of landscape-related aesthetics was desired that avoids cultural bias and supports the idea of aesthetics as essentials. This led to interest in a body of work that associates human aesthetic appreciation of landscape to evolution-based human habitat value and survival needs. In essence, habitat theory (Appleton 1975) holds that humans, like other animals, are attracted to habitats capable of providing such needs as food, 110 water, shelter and safety that are necessary for survival. Orians states that In all organisms habitat selection presumably involves emotional responses. If, as is likely, the strength of these responses is a key proximate factor in decisions, then the ability of a habitat to 'turn on' an organism should be positively correlated with its expected fitness in it. Good habitats should evoke strong positive responses and poorer habitats should evoke weaker or negative responses (Orians 1980, p. 55). Kaplan and Kaplan (1982b) identify this emotional response in people as landscape preference, arguing that preferences should be treated as valid indicators of which environmental types are healthy for humans. Though present-day landscape preference or aesthetic sense is understood to be linked to those environments in which humans evolved (Appleton 1975, Orians 1980, Kaplan and Kaplan 1982b), it is obvious that we have since then invented many ways to manipulate and design our environments for our own survival advantage so we are no longer dependent on the natural landscape. Nevertheless, the human species has not evolved for thousands of years, so we are ruled by the same set of instincts as ancient hunter-gatherers (Boyden 1992). Appleton continues this reasoning: If, then, we allow that human beings are born with a tendency to be immediately and spontaneously aware of their physical environment; if they experience pleasure and satisfaction from such an environment when it seems to be conducive to the realization of their biological needs and a sense of anxiety and dissatisfaction when it does not, how can we analyse [sic] those properties of an environment which are capable of producing this effect? The important phrase is 'seems to be.' What matters is not the actual potential of the environment to furnish the necessities for survival, but its apparent potential as apprehended immediately rather than calculated rationally" (Appleton 1975, pp. 68-69, original italics). As Appleton asks, what then are the features of natural environments (i.e. landscapes) that trigger an ancient human response as if to good habitat, a feeling now interpreted as simply aesthetic pleasure? Two categories of landscape quality are identified in the indicator as important in this respect: specific elements or landscape content, and the configuration or spatial arrangement of those and other elements. These are common or perhaps universal types of perceptual categories people use when experiencing and reacting to different environments (Kaplan and Kaplan 1989). design and use 111 Empirical studies consistently show that trees and water in the landscape are highly valued by people (e.g. Penning-Rowsell 1979, Kaplan and Kaplan 1982a, Kaplan and Kaplan 1989, People, Places and Design Research 1991). Trees and water are identified by Kaplan and Kaplan (1982a) as primary landscape elements, whose very presence often raises preference for a landscape substantially. Trees originally represented safe sleeping places, water can be used directly for many things and aquatic habitats also produce high-protein foods (Orians 1980). The single factor of the content category, Primary Landscape Elements, lists trees and water as subf actors. Prospect-refuge theory postulates that the abilities to see one's surroundings and to be hidden from sight are important iii hunting and avoiding predation, so are highly desired in human habitats (Appleton 1975). Landscape elements providing hiding places are potentially varied and difficult to identify, so they have not been included in the Primary Landscape Elements factor (see page 195). Orians (1980) identifies cliffs and bluffs as lookout points that could have been very important for primitive people. He observes how strongly modern people are attracted to such places and that many "well-fed, unthreatened persons with no intentions of hunting then or in the future" are willing to climb to the top of a cliff or bluff for recreation (p. 61). Although bluffs and cliffs per se are not always found in urban areas, it is assumed that built structures offering elevated views of their surroundings could serve similar functions. The final subfactor of the Primary Landscape Elements factor, elevated lookout points, is not limited to any specific elements. The first factor in the spatial arrangement category of the indicator, Parklike Vegetation, adapts Orians's (1980) observations on savanna vegetation. He describes the savannas where humans evolved as being covered with dense grass and "short, laterally spreading trees sufficiently separated that their canopies do not touch" (p. 62). Orians argues that the vegetation of outdoor spaces designed solely for pleasure, such as parks and yards, should reflect human preferences expressed as aesthetic ideals. He presents photographs of parks from different parts of the world showing the familiar lawn dotted with trees. It is clear from these photos that the trees need not be short and spreading or occur singly. The critical feature is the general parklike configuration of grass and trees, as expressed by the factor description on the indicator form (page 112 195). The original name of this factor was Savannalike Vegetation, but participants in an informal trial of the indicator reported that the word savanna made them imagine knee-high grass, so the relationship to parks was not clear enough. The other spatial arrangement factors, Mystery and Legibility, are identified by Kaplan and Kaplan (1982a) as two of the most important configuration factors determining landscape preference. Mystery is described as an impression that new information about an area could be gathered by exploring it further (Kaplan and Kaplan 1982a). This implies that all the details of a site with mystery would not be visible at first glance. Legibility is a sense that a place would be easy to make sense of and find one's way around in while exploring (Ibid.). Since legibility depends partly on openness, it is definitely present in a site that is all visible at once. Mystery and legibility could be considered opposite poles in that sense (Ibid.), but can be present in many combinations in the landscape. Kaplan and Kaplan (1982a) state that mystery is the easiest configuration factor to see in the landscape. Other preferred configurations, coherence and complexity, are much harder to understand and detect, so have not been used in the indicator. Though spatial properties are important in aesthetic preference, landscape content plays an especially powerful role (Kaplan and Kaplan 1982a). The Primary Landscape Elements factor has thus been designated as an overriding factor. III.4.n. indicator for self-actualization needs: recreation suitability rationale Self-actualization needs, as identified in Maslow's hierarchy, are "the ultimate motivation, involving the need to fulfill one's unique potential" (Fisher 1990, p. 91). Self-actualization is Maslow's highest needs category, implying that he thought all other needs must be fulfilled before people could give attention to it. Gold (1973) identifies self-actualization as a need fulfilled by leisure. Leisure—essentially play for adults—is seen by Gold as an avenue for character development, creativity, individuality, self-expression, challenge and enrichment of the personality. Recreation is closely related to, but not the same as, leisure. Leisure is free time, whereas recreation is one way of spending leisure time. Recreation is often considered to be a constructive use of leisure time as opposed to idleness, but can take many different active and passive forms 113 The defining elements of recreation are that it is done in the spirit of self-expression and results in satisfaction (Gold 1973). While the indicators used in this project have hopefully highlighted many other uses and values of urban open space, recreation suitability remains a valid component of open space quality. The relationship of recreation to urban open space is one of the most familiar of all the linkages in the twelve indicators. Public parks have been designed solely for recreation and amenity since their inception in the late nineteenth century (Hough 1995). Now the urban domain of recreation is expanding: . . .the recreational needs of urban people are changing. The urban poor and ethnic groups without access to the countryside, a preoccupation with physical fitness and diversified recreational interests are changing conventional views of how the city's open spaces are used. Recreation, once confined to parks, is now including the entire city (Hough 1995, p. 14). design and use The four separate factors of the Recreation Suitability indicator for self-actualization needs (seepages 196-197) are adapted from People, Places & Design Research's (1991) categories for activities performed by Lincoln Park users in Chicago. Observers recorded specific park uses, and the categories were developed in order to group the uses with other like activities. Two components, level of energy and degree of structure, were recognized among the activities, and two different conditions of each component combine to form four categories (People, Places & Design Research 1991). From the examples given in People, Places & Design Research's report on Lincoln Park, it is apparent that an activity's energy level—whether the activity is active or passive—has to do with whether or not athletic effort is involved. Obviously, the amount of effort considered athletic varies from person to person, so the word athletic has been given the subjective operational definition of "requiring more strenuous effort than everyday life activities" for this indicator. The other activity component, degree of structure, refers to whether organization or coordination of a group, a specialized location or specialized equipment are needed for the activity. Examples of recreational activities listed on the indicator form come from People, Places & Design Research (1991) and from Chicago Park District and Lincoln Park Steering Committee (1995). 114 Some open-space recreational activities that do not fit clearly into single factors of this indicator may have to be assigned by subjective decisions. However, the four factors are useful for gaining awareness of the different types of recreation supported by a site, and for organizing the visual assessment of that site for recreation suitability. III.4.0. the nature of qualitative assessment Although quality scientific research provides the rationale for the twelve indicators, most of the indicators themselves involve subjective, qualitative assessments in the urban landscape. They were designed this way to be understandable and useful to non-expert individuals. The indicators' main purpose is to promote understanding of their myriad underlying issues and conceptual linkage of those issues to the idea of sustainability. They were designed to facilitate an awareness exercise, not to provide scientifically rigorous data about the sites they are used in. However, the indicators' scientific bases mean that the observations and ratings made during their use, while subjective, are not arbitrary. It is not the case that any answer obtained by a user is equally valid as long as the person has learned something. There are genuine, documented reasons for considering certain conditions of factors either poor, moderate or good. If those reasons are clear enough to users of the indicators, most people should reach similar conclusions about the same site. 115 116 CHAPTER FOUR Applying the Operational Model: Test Site Assessment IV.1. Introduction The second stated objective of this project is to demonstrate the usefulness of the open space assessment tool composed of the twelve indicators. This was done by using the tool to assess the six Ladner urban green areas chosen as test sites. The complete assessments and their results are described in section IV.2. However, the performance of the tool in respect to the landscape is not the only factor determining its usefulness; another important aspect is the tool's usability and value to users as perceived by them. Since this project concentrated mainly on designing a prototype tool, this latter aspect of its usefulness as not been thoroughly addressed. Only a few user trials were conducted, with small groups and informal conditions, but they did yield some preliminary ideas of how the tool is perceived and applied by users. The user trials are summarized and discussed in section IV.3. IV.2. Assessment of the six Ladner test sites: demonstration of the tool For clarification of any assessment step described in subsections IV.2.a or IV.2.b, refer to the example site assessment in Figure 4.5 on pages 128-129. IV.2.a. visual assessment of the sites After all six test sites had been extensively photographed for reference during July, August and September, 1995, they were visually assessed for the twelve indicators between October 31 and December 4 of the same year. time requirements The total field time required per site varied with the area's size and with the complexity of the features examined by the indicators. The time ranged from about an hour and a half for small and simple Massey play park to nearly seven hours for Hawthorne Park. Hydro field required only two hours, and the Ag buffer, Rotary Park and Seniors' Centre sites needed four and a half to five hours apiece. Further time was spent on the mathematical calculations and information 117 transfers necessary to complete some of the indicator forms, and also carrying out the related procedures for assigning indicator and site ratings, explained in Chapter Four. From 15 minutes to an hour and a quarter of desk work was required per site. The excessive amounts of field time resulted from two circumstances: (1) measuring areas on foot for the land surface permeability and net primary productivity indicators is inherently time-consuming and more so the larger and more diverse the site, and also assessing population densities of areas adjacent to the site for the physical site access indicator and distance to the nearest school for the educational suitability indicator involve walking away from and back to the site several times; (2) many of the indicators were still under development during the site assessment process, and when the original versions were found to be unworkable, assessments for those variables had to be repeated. The first circumstance stems from the nature of the indicators and is unavoidable. However, it became clear during the assessments that some sites are simply too big to measure their areas on foot. Hawthorne Park with its 4.9 hectares (12 acres) is one. Aerial photographs would have saved a lot of time, but this was not realized until the time had already been spent. The most recent aerial photos of Ladner are from 1989 and at too small a scale, so they would not have been suitable anyway. The second circumstance is peculiar to this project. Recall that the purpose of the site assessments was not only to demonstrate what kinds of information the completed assessment tool can convey about urban open space, but also to test and refine the indicators under real field conditions. The indicators that underwent substantive changes during the site assessment process and had to be repeated at least once are those for fresh water, soil, biological diversity, biological productivity, food, goods, socialization and aesthetic needs. Some desk time was also wasted on calculations for versions of these indicators that later became obsolete. In the case of the biological diversity indicator, so many changes from the original were required that ratings for the connectivity factor were finalized as late as May, 1996 on the basis of photos and site maps only. Without these complications, it should have been possible to visually assess any of the sites except Hawthorne in about two hours. The desk work is unavoidable in the present version of the assessment tool. Some implications of that fact are discussed in Chapter Five. 118 field guidelines In an attempt to minimize variations in how site assessments were done on different days and sites, some guidelines for field procedures were followed. A relaxed approach was taken to the development and use of the guidelines, meaning that I felt free to adapt them slightly to different situations in the field. The qualitative nature of the indicators and their resulting inherent susceptibility to the circumstances and perceptions of their users is reason enough not to adopt artificially stringent field practices. The field guidelines used during assessment of the test sites are as follows: • Before beginning each site assessment, briefly look through the indicator forms to review the observations required. • Also before recording any observations, walk around the whole site and look at it with the indicators in mind. This step is important even if the site is familiar because it can challenge preconceived notions. • Write down the start time and record any substantial breaks taken during the assessment. • Indicator forms may be filled out in any order or filled out partially and completed later. Only the fresh water and biological productivity indicators are best done early because the area measurements force the assessor to walk the whole site and because they are most time-consuming. • While filling out the indicator forms, read all parts very carefully for definitions, examples and unique instructions. Some of this information is critical for a correct assessment and can be easily missed. • No calculations or information transfers need to be done while actually in the site, but should be completed soon after the site visit while its details remain fresh in mind. • It is perfectly acceptable but not required to write notes and comments about the site on the indicator forms. These can create a valuable site record. • Before rating each factor or subfactor of an indicator, take a fresh look around the site. Do not rely on previous incidental observations unless the site is very large or the previous observation is completely certain. • All visual ratings are to be based solely on current conditions in the site at the time of the assessment, never on observations from previous visits or photographs. • The assessor can interact normally with other people during the assessment but should not ask or incorporate their advice or opinions on the assessment. • Review the indicator forms to ensure all necessary parts are complete before recording the finish time for the assessment. These guidelines are also provided for potential users in Appendix A along with the rest of the open space assessment tool in field-ready form. 119 In the test site assessments I violated the "consider current conditions only" guideline by using photos for the connectivity factor as mentioned above. The guidelines also clearly indicate that a site assessment should be completed in one visit, but all of mine involved several visits. Again, these are circumstances related to the indicator design and refinement process and would not generally apply. IV.2.b. procedure for analyzing visual test site assessment results This subsection contains an explanation of how observations recorded on the indicator forms were converted into overall profiles of the test sites. rationale for analysis and rating procedure As explained in Chapter Three, information of different complexity levels was incorporated into the twelve indicators. In order to organize the information in a standard indicator form, a hierarchy of indicator components was developed: subfactors make up some factors, factors may be grouped in factor categories, and factors or factor categories compose an indicator. Not all levels of organization are found in all indicators. Some factors do not have subfactors and some indicators are not divided into factor categories. Combining the small pieces of information gathered during an assessment to yield one rating for each indicator and an overall profile of the urban open space site is desirable so that sustainability implications for the site can be more clearly seen. The analysis procedure is explained and its results for the six Ladner test sites are presented in this section. Interpretations, applications and implications of this form of site analysis are discussed fully in section IV.3 and Chapter Five. The site analysis process involves adding three levels of rating to the original visual rating of factors and subfactors in the field. Subfactors must be combined to rate factors, factors combined to rate variables and variables combined to rate a site. The levels are shown diagrammatically in Figure 4.1. It is also possible to combine sites to rate an urban district, but no formal procedure for this will be given. Factor categories can be completely ignored during analysis except for the Quality of Access to Site category of the physical site access indicator, the Assault Potential category of the safety features indicator and the Content category of the aesthetic quality indicator. The factors of those categories are designated overriding factors because of the 120 primary importance of those information categories in their respective indicators. Aside from those cases, factor categories have no role in the analysis; they serve in other indicators as conceptual and organizational aids during site assessment only. iiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiN Figure 4.1 The three additional combination/rating levels of the site rating procedure. For each level, the total number of information pieces found in the twelve indicators of the site assessment tool is shown in parentheses. The number of subfactors is relatively small because not all factors have subfactors. subfactors (55) factors (47) ^comb/'ne variables (12) ^comb/ne site (1) iiiiiiiiiiiiiMiiniiiiiiiiiiiimiimiimiimiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiM Since repeated combination procedures must be carried out to obtain a site rating, it was seen as desirable to assign mathematical values to the qualitative ratings. This has been done only to speed and simplify the calculations. Potential problems with even this limited quantification of qualitative data are discussed in Chapter Five. In general, the rating system for analysis of information gathered with this method must: • reflect real site conditions as much as possible, since this is essentially a way of modeling urban open space and the best models are those that most closely approximate reality • be composed of simple, logical rules and methods that do not discourage potential users • use mathematical methods to simplify and standardize the analysis without obscuring the qualitative nature of the data 121 • include ways of differentially weighting overriding factors and variables • provide results that can be directly interpreted in relation to sustainable site use, management and development • consider the entire set of variables for each site and the entire set of factors for each variable so that the complexity of sustainability is emphasized • be reproducible by a variety of different users. factor and variable rating procedures Subfactor and factor ratings of "poor," "moderate" and "good" are assigned on the basis of visual site assessment or after some follow-up calculations. For clarity and convenience of analysis, these three ratings are equated with numerical values that indicate their comparative desirability: poor = 1, moderate = 2 and good = 3. The smallest consecutive integers are used because they are easy to add and multiply. The numbers do not imply that a moderate rating has twice the value and a good rating three times the value of a poor rating, only that moderate is better than poor and good is better still. For rating factors and variables the same method is used. The sum of all subfactor values for a factor is divided by the number of subfactors to yield a factor rating. The sum of the values for all factors of an indicator is divided by the number of factors to give an indicator rating. These procedures are shown in equation form in Figure 4.2. In both cases, the numerical answer is rounded to the nearest whole number, either 1, 2 or 3. It can be changed to its verbal equivalent at any time if desired. Whole numbers are more easily combined at the next higher level. One consequence of rounding to the nearest whole number at each stage is that the numerical range of moderate (1.5 to 2.49) is larger than the ranges of good (1 to 1.49) or poor (2.5 to 3). This reflects real conditions for the factors and subfactors in urban open space. Simply put, in most sites most features are of moderate quality. This is conveniently thought of as a normal distribution of factor and subfactor quality in urban open space. The large numerical range of the moderate rating represents the middle of a bell curve and the smaller numerical ranges of the poor and good ratings represent its two ends. The idea of a normal distribution fits what was observed in the test sites, but there is no statistical evidence that the distribution of factor and subfactor quality is in fact normal. It is not valid to conduct a statistical analysis of the subjective 122 and qualitative visual ratings to determine what type of distribution they show. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiM Figure 4.2 The factor and variable rating equations. factor rating = sum of subfactor values s nearest whole number number of subfactors variable rating = sum of factor values ^ nearest whole number number of factors iiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiimiN In the Figure 4.2 equations, the number of subfactors or factors used is the number that was rated for a particular site. This number is not always the same for the same factor or variable, but may vary from site to site. Some subfactors and factors are only assessed if other prerequisite conditions exist in a site, as justified in the indicator explanations in Chapter Three. If an item is nonapplicable for a certain site, it should be completely ignored during factor and variable rating. Four indicators contain overriding factors or factor categories designated on the basis of supportable evidence from literature or expert sources that they have comparatively more influence on the variables. These are explained in Chapter Three and summarized in Table 4.1. These overriding factors come into play at the variable rating stage. No overriding subfactors have been designated because there is no rationale for weighting at that scale. Subfactors were chosen or created to be amenable to visual assessment and tailored to these indicators, so are essentially a way of organizing and presenting the information required for a factor. 123 iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiim Table 4.1 Summary of overriding factors. variable indicator overriding factor or factor category (number of factors) soil Water Erosion Signs of Erosion (1) goods Physical Site Access Quality of Access to Site (2) safety Safety Features Assault Potential (6) aesthetic needs Aesthetic Quality Content (1) IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN Analysis of the overriding factors' influence on these variable ratings follows verbal rather than mathematical logic and rules. The rating of a variable with one or more overriding factors is determined by first rating the variable using the equation as if all factors had equal weight; overriding factors are included as if they were any other factor. Then, if there are multiple overriding factors, their ratings are averaged using the same equation to obtain a single overriding factor rating for that variable. Finally, the overriding factor rating is compared with the nonweighted variable rating and the following rules observed: 1. If the overriding factor rating is poor, the variable is rated one condition lower than it otherwise would be. 2. If the overriding factor rating is good, the variable is rated one condition higher than it otherwise would be. 3. If the overriding factor rating is moderate and the nonweighted variable rating is poor or good, the variable rating becomes moderate. The overall effect of the rules is that a variable cannot be rated good unless the overriding factor rating is good, and cannot be rated poor unless the overriding factor rating is poor. However, the variable rating is not automatically the same as the overriding factor rating. The regular factors of every variable retain some influence on the variable's rating. On the basis of existing information, it is difficult to say how much more influence an overriding factor has on a variable than other factors do, and there is no evidence that any of the overriding factors 124 completely negates the importance of other factors in rating a variable. site rating procedure The comparative conditions poor, moderate and good provide an appropriate range of assessments at the factor and variable rating levels. For assigning overall ratings to sites on the basis of all twelve variables, however, they were thought not to provide enough resolution to make assessment results meaningful and useful. The use of up to seven site rating classes were considered, because seven would give maximum resolution to the results. But since the ratings are based on qualitative and subjective assessments, using seven ratings classes would express the results with inappropriate—even misleading—rigor. The compromise use of five site ratings classes gives enough resolution to make the results useful and still defensible. At the site rating level the influence of the overriding variables becomes apparent. Unlike overriding factors, overriding variables are not assigned greater influence on the basis of documented evidence. Rather, their value corresponds to the structure of the world model for sustainability that was developed for this project (see Figure 2.6 on page 57). The model depicts all human systems as dependent subsets of the ecosphere. Accordingly, the four ecosphere variables, soil, fresh water, biological diversity and biological productivity, are weighted more heavily than the eight human-system (complete economy and complete society) variables when a site is rated. To rate a site, the overriding ecosphere variable ratings are combined with each other separately from the other eight variable ratings, which are also combined. At this stage the familiar ratings of poor, moderate and good are still used. Two ratings for the site, one for ecosphere variables and one for human variables, are determined with the same type of equation used for subfactor and factor rating. Figure 4.3 shows the two site rating equations. The numerical answers are again rounded to the nearest whole number, either 1, 2, or 3. Those numbers are translated to their verbal equivalents and then used directly in assigning the site to a ratings class. 125 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN Figure 4.3 The site rating equations. Since the ecosphere variable rating is designated as overriding, it is expressed in uppercase letters. ecosphere (overriding) variable rating = sum of ecosphere variable values 4 a nearest whole number = VERBAL RATING human variable rating = sum of human variable values 8 a nearest whole number = verbal rating iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimimiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiN In the five site ratings classes listed in Figure 4.4, the rating for the overriding ecosphere variables appears in uppercase letters and the rating for the human variables appears in lowercase letters. For example, "GOOD/moderate" means a rating of good for the four overriding ecosphere variables combined, and a rating of moderate for the eight human variables together. Use of these cases is maintained throughout the remaining discussion. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN Figure 4.4 The site ratings classes (ECOSPHERE VARIABLE RATING/human variable rating). class I: GOOD/good or GOOD/moderate class II: GOOD/poor or MODE RAT E/good class III: MODERATE/moderate class IV: MODERATE/poor or POOR/good class V: POOR/moderate or POOR/poor iimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiM It is not necessary to use rules to determine the influence of the overriding variables because their greater importance is already "built in" to the five site ratings classes. For example, in classes I and V the rating of the ecosphere variables determines the class, and only if the human variables have the extreme opposing rating is the site pulled into class II or IV. Another built-in feature of the site ratings classes is correspondence with the established baseline for the indicators. 126 As explained in section III.3.C (see pages 81-82), the baseline criterion adopted in this project for sustainability in urban open space is of no net loss in current conditions of the ecosphere variables. The ratings classes are structured to show that a decrease in the combined (net) rating of the overriding ecosphere variables would be the primary cause of a site being assigned to a lower class. Figure 4.5 provides an example of the complete site rating procedure from visual assessment through the designation of a site rating class. The example uses actual assessment results from the Ag buffer test site. 127 iHiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiH Figure 4.5 Example of factor, variable and site rating procedures using real assessment results from Ag buffer test site. Factor and variable rating calculations shown for soil variable only. 1. Record visual subfactor and factor assessments in site. variable: Soil indicator: Water erosion L O O K F O R : POOR MODERATE GOOD CONDITIONS FAVORING WATER EROSION-unprotected soil (lacking vegetation or other cover; do not consider sand imported for landscaping, play, etc.), steep slopes (includes banks, ground level changes) much unprotected soil in site t/some unprotected soil in site X all soil in site protected steep slopes/banks/ ground level changes in site X moderate slopes/ banks/ground level changes in site no or almost no slopes/banks/ground level changes in site answer only if unprotected soil is present: there is unprotected soil on slopes X there is no unprotected soil on slopes SIGNS OF WATER EROSION-trills/fgullies, stones/roots on soil surfaces, tsediment deposits in depressions/on surfaces, fknolls with sparse vegetation many or large gullies in site rills and/or some small gullies in site only rills or no soil disturbance in site _ _ X _ no exposed stones/ roots on soil surfaces due to soil loss exposed stones/roots on many soil surfaces due to soil loss exposed stones/roots on some soil surfaces due to soil loss X many sediment deposits in site some sediment deposits in site X no sediment deposits in site answer only if knolls are present: all/most knolls in site have sparse vegetation due to soil loss some knolls in site have sparse vegetation due to soil loss no knolls in site have sparse vegetation due to soil loss 2. Rate factors a) Rate factor Conditions Favoring Water Erosion 2 + 1 + 1 , „ „ = 1.33 --> 1 = poor b) Rate factor Signs Of Water Erosion 128 3 + 2 + 2 :2.33 --> 2 = moderate 3. Rate soil variable a) normal rating 1 + 2 = 1.5 --> 2 = moderate 2 b) consider overriding factor(s) Signs Of Water Erosion is the only overriding factor. It has already been rated moderate. This rating has no effect on the variable rating of moderate. 4. Rate site a) rate all variables (calculations not shown) VARIABLE RATING Fresh Water GOOD Soil MODERATE Biological Diversity GOOD Biological Productivity MODERATE Food moderate Goods good Energy good Safety moderate Socialization poor Cognitive Needs moderate Aesthetic Needs moderate Self-Actualization Needs moderate b) Rate ecosphere (overriding) variables combined 2+2+3+3 „ „ =2.5->3 = GOOD c) Rate human variables combined 1+2+2+2+2+2+3+3 8 = 2.13-->2 = moderate d) Match site rating to one of the five ratings classes listed in Figure 4.4 rating = GOOD/moderate = class I iiittiiimriii iiuiiii IIIII inirti iiiiiitii iiiiiiiitttiiiMiiiiiiiiiiJjjJiiiiitriii IIIIMIIIIMIIIIDIUJIII ttti ijiiiiitiiiiiiuiiiti iijiiiitiiiiiiiiiujjjiiii iiinrtttittiii 1 _^  >^ rating a site from the indicator forms To rate a site by the procedure described here, the indicator forms must first be completed as fully as possible. After all visual assessments have been made in the site, mathematical calculations are necessary to complete the surface permeability and biological productivity indicators. The next step is to transfer some ratings with multiple significance to other indicators. Factors requiring rating transfers are found in the indicators for energy, safety and cognitive needs. The instructions for these factors request a rating from another factor, a group of factors or an entire variable. Perhaps the easiest way to deal with these three indicators is to first calculate ratings for all the other variables and then come back to them. No specialized site rating form has been designed or provided here because the rating procedure is still under development. The reported procedure was used to demonstrate what kinds of information the site assessments could yield about the six test sites; these findings are discussed in the following section. During the process of carrying out the ratings exercises, however, it became apparent that the project goal of a user-friendly awareness tool was not being well met by these methods. The rating procedure is complicated and time-consuming because of the size and complexity of the indicators. Also, the mathematical rating procedure was used only because no suitable non-numerical alternative could initially be found; the use of numerical ratings equivalents in this method lends an air of quantification to an essentially qualitative assessment and could lead to misinterpretation. Based on these difficulties, it is recommended in Chapter Five that the rating procedure be modified for subsequent use. If someone wished to use the current procedure to assess a site, it should be possible to follow the logic of the rating steps as described in the text and shown in the example, and arrive at one of the site classes listed in Figure 4.4. IV.2.c . test site ratings In this subsection, the ratings generated for the six Ladner test sites using the analysis methods explained in the previous subsection are presented along with some interpretive explanation. Different ways of presenting the ratings are shown in order to demonstrate the assessment tool's range of use. Chapter Five contains discussion of the implications of the ratings for these specific sites, and also of more general implications for use of the tool. 130 appropriate interpretation of the ratings During the discussion in this section and in Chapter Five, it is necessary to keep in mind that the twelve indicators, along with their resulting site ratings, comprise an awareness tool linked to sustainability. Although the tool was designed solely for its value in terms of understanding sustainability principles in the landscape, the assessment results can easily be used as a starting point for site management. The conversion of the detailed information in the indicators to brief overall summaries gives rise to the temptation to look at the site rating results as formulas or scores indicating site quality. That type of interpretation is incorrect. It is always necessary to keep in mind that the ratings are based on subjective qualitative observations. The assessment is to be interpreted flexibly and thoughtfully with the unique characteristics and purposes of a site in mind. It is a broad qualitative tool that, if used for urban open space design, planning or management, can at most serve as direction for further site analysis. The implications of this will be discussed fully in Chapter Five. individual test site ratings Variable ratings and overall ratings for the six test sites in Ladner appear in Table 4.2. After assessing all variables for a particular site, the results can be reviewed for information about how the site functions specifically with respect to any one or any subset of the twelve sustainability variables. Alternatively, the overall rating class designation for the site gives a cohesive idea of the site's comprehensive sustainability-related function. 131 IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN Table 4.2 Variable ratings and overall ratings for the six Ladner test sites. The variables are grouped by model system, first ecosphere, followed by economy and then society. The ratings for the ecosphere variable ratings, which are designated as being overriding, appear in capital letters. SITE: VARIABLE: Aq buffer Hawthorne Pk Hydro field Massey Pk Rotary Pk Srs Centre (ecosphere) fresh water GOOD GOOD GOOD GOOD GOOD GOOD soil MODERATE GOOD GOOD GOOD MODERATE MODERATE biol. diversity GOOD POOR MODERATE POOR MODERATE MODERATE biol. productivity MODERATE POOR MODERATE MODERATE POOR POOR (economic) food moderate moderate moderate poor poor good goods good good good moderate good good energy good good good good moderate good safety moderate moderate good moderate moderate (social) socialization poor moderate poor poor moderate moderate cognitive needs moderate moderate moderate moderate moderate moderate aesthetic needs moderate moderate poor poor moderate moderate self-actual needs moderate good poor moderate moderate moderate overall site GOOD/mod MOD/mod GOOD/mod MOD/mod MOD/mod MOD/mod sijtejatina^clasj^ class 1 class III class 1 class III class III class III iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiM For all variables in all sites, the ratings are quite high; 33% or 24 out of 72 variables received a rating of good, 49% or 35 out of 72, moderate, and only 18% or 13 out of 72, poor. As can be seen from Table 4.2, the largest number of poor ratings and the fewest good ratings (just one) across all the sites are found among the complete society variables, the last set of four variables. The ecosphere variables (the first four) also received a fair number of poor ratings among the sites, but many more goods. The complete economy variables received the best ratings. However, the single best-rated variable is an ecosphere one, fresh water, having received good ratings for all sites. The worst-rated single variables were biological productivity and socialization, both judged poor for half the test sites and good for none. 132 The penultimate row of Table 4.2 shows overall site ratings, composed of group ratings for the four overriding (ecosphere) and eight regular (human) variables. All six of the test sites are rated moderate for the human variables. Four of the sites also have moderate ratings for the ecosphere variables. However, the ecosphere variables for two sites, Ag buffer and Hydro field, received ratings of good. The last row of the table lists the rating classes for the test sites, showing that Ag buffer's and Hydro field's high ecosphere variable ratings put them into class I, while the other sites are all class III. The overall effects of having differentially weighted the overriding factors and variables can be seen in Table 4.3. The second row of the table shows the results of rating the sites with all factors of equal value and all variables of equal value. Every site is moderate, and the only other information available is the non-rounded numerical value for each rating. These nonweighted site ratings are not useful for understanding the underlying variables. Also, any site rating class system associated with ratings such as these either would be at such a coarse scale that all six sites in question would be rated the same, or would have to rely on the slight numerical differences reported, a procedure which would assume inappropriate rigor in the qualitative observations underlying the numbers. Table 4.3 shows that weighting overriding variables and factors changed the relative ratings of the test sites. Hawthorne Park had the highest nonweighted score, but with weighting is rated class III, below the Ag buffer and Hydro field sites. Hydro field had the lowest nonweighted score. IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIM Table 4.3 Effects on test site ratings of weighting the overriding factors and variables. SITE: RATING TYPE: Ag buffer Hawthorne Pk Hydro field Massey Pk Rotary Pk Srs Centre overall GOOD/mod MOD/mod GOOD/mod MOD/mod MOD/mod MOD/mod (class) (1) (III) (I) (III) (III) (III) overall, nonweighted moderate moderate moderate moderate moderate moderate (number value) (2.17) (2.33) (2,.00) (2.08) (.2,08] (2.33) llllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll The variables are grouped in Table 4.2 according to the three systems of the biophysical 133 model, but ratings for different systems and combinations of systems can be made more explicit in several ways. A simple ecosphere to human variable comparison is facilitated by separating and naming the two parts of an overall site rating, as in Table 4.4. If quick comparisons among all three systems are of interest for a site, per-system ratings as in Table 4.5 can also be generated by using the general rating equation for each group of four variables. Also, the two human systems can be separately compared to the overall human-variable rating as in Table 4.6. Which ratings are generated and considered depends on the concerns and interests of individual tool users. The information in these tables has both theoretical and practical uses in terms of sustainability. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiniiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiM Table 4.4 Overall ecosphere and human variable ratings for the six Ladner test sites. SITE: RATING TYPE: Ag buffer Hawthorne Pk Hydro field Massey Pk Rotary Pk Srs Centre overall site GOOD/mod MOD/mod GOOD/mod MOD/mod MOD/mod MOD/mod ecosphere only GOOD MODERATE GOOD MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE human only moderate moderate moderate moderate moderate moderate Table 4.5 Per-system ratings for the six Ladner test sites. SITE: RATING TYPE: Ag buffer Hawthorne Pk Hydro field Massey Pk Rotary Pk Srs Centre ecosphere only GOOD MODERATE GOOD MODERATE MODERATE MODERATE _^corTorrnc^r2ly___ good good _ _ ^ o ^ d _ _ _ moderate moderate good ^sociaj^ojily moderate moderate poor moderate moderate moderate Table 4.6 Overall human variable ratings and human system ratings for the six Ladner test sites. SITE: RATING TYPE: Ag buffer Hawthorne Pk Hydro field Massey Pk Rotary Pk Srs Centre human only moderate moderate moderate moderate moderate moderate human, economic only good good good moderate moderate good human, social only moderate moderate poor moderate moderate moderate NiHiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiin 134 Table 4.5 confirms what was apparent from Table 4.2, that the complete economy systems are rated highest across the sites, followed by ecosphere and complete society. Particular system strengths and weaknesses are also highlighted for individual sites, such as economic for Hawthorne Park and the Seniors' Centre, and social for Hydro field. Table 4.6 shows that ratings variations between the economic and social systems are masked for some sites by their combination into an overall human-variable site rating. The most striking case is that of Hydro field, whose ratings of good for the complete economy system and poor for the whole society system combine to yield a moderate rating identical to the other sites' ratings. use of the site ratings for comparing sites At all times, careful application of the tool is called for because of (1) its broad, qualitative nature, and (2) the deceptive ease of applying its resulting ratings at face value. Use of the site ratings for comparing individual sites to each other is potentially an inappropriate use and best avoided in certain circumstances. This claim is discussed with the aid of an example in Chapter Five. use of the site ratings for district assessment As explained in Chapter Three in the context of the categorization exercise involving all urban green areas in Ladner, the six test sites were carefully chosen to be representative of all the sites, meaning the urban green areas in the entire urban district. After carrying out the site assessments and discovering the uniqueness of each site, however, the validity of such a generalization seemed questionable, and was not attempted at that scale. With a different assessment method or set of methods that provided detailed, quantitative data about each site and a more rigorous procedure for selecting test sites representing the rest of the district, perhaps extrapolation as originally intended would be appropriate. In accordance with the methods and circumstances of this project, three smaller "districts" made from green space aggregates of the test sites are examined. One district is an aggregate of all six test sites. The other two districts divide the sites on the basis of whether they have naturalistic (natural-looking) vegetation or maintained (manicured) vegetation; this division was originally used to categorize Ladner's urban green areas before the test sites were chosen (see Table 3.1, page 68). The maintained district is a parks-only aggregate of the Hawthorne Park, Massey play park, Rotary Park and Seniors Centre 135 sites, and the naturalistic district combines the Ag buffer and Hydro field sites. I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I I M Table 4.7 Ratings for three test "districts." The first district is composed of all six test sites in aggregate, the second is a "maintained vegetation district" including four of the test sites: Hawthorne Park, Massey play park, Rotary Park and the Seniors' Centre, and the third is a "naturalistic vegetation district" comprised of only the Ag buffer and Hydro field sites. VARIABLE: district = six sites combined DISTRICT: maintained district = four parks combined naturalistic district = two sites combined (ecosphere) fresh water GOOD GOOD GOOD soil GOOD GOOD GOOD biological diversity MODERATE MODERATE GOOD biological productivity MODERATE POOR MODERATE (economic) food moderate moderate moderate goods good good good energy good good good safety moderate moderate good (social) socialization moderate moderate poor cognitive needs moderate moderate moderate aesthetic needs moderate moderate moderate self-actualization needs moderate moderate moderate overall district GOOD/moderate MODE RATE/m oderate GOOD/moderate district rating class (use site classes) class 1 class III class 1 ecosphere only GOOD MODERATE GOOD economic only good good good social only moderate moderate moderate human only moderate moderate moderate iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiN Table 4.7 shows variable, overall and system ratings for the three small districts. Individual variable ratings for the districts were generated by using the general rating equation to combine each variable's ratings across the sites included. The variable ratings were then combined to yield system and overall ratings. The district made up of all six sites displays a 136 similar trend to the individual sites, namely high ratings among the ecosphere and complete economy variables, and lower ratings among the complete society variables; however, the ratings differences between the economic and ecosphere variables seen for the individual sites in Table 4.2 have now been hidden by combination into a district. The six-site district and the naturalistic district are rated class I overall, whereas the park district received a class III rating. Differences in variable ratings among the three districts can be seen for biological diversity, biological productivity, safety and socialization. If it were possible to assess Ladner's remaining 31 urban green areas and generate ratings for all of Ladner as a district, it would be interesting to see if the trends found in these small districts continued or changed. Another way of putting the tool to district-wide use is discussed in Chapter Five. IV.3. User trials: testing for user-related tool quality Development of an effective urban open space assessment tool for the uses designated in this project requires testing the usability of the tool's indicators and improving their design quality. Preliminary user tests in the form of three field trials of the tool will be discussed in this section. These three trials involved having UBC students carry out the visual assessments required by the indicators, using a site I had chosen and previously assessed. IV.3.a. the first trial rationale The first and most informal trial took place on October 15, 1995. The main use of this early trial (conducted prior to assessing the six Ladner test sites) was to improve the usability of the indicator forms, which were still being designed. procedure The site chosen for this trial and also used for the two subsequent trials is a green area on the UBC campus at the corner of Wesbrook Mall and Agronomy Road, containing an ambulance station building surrounded by ornamental vegetation, a parking lot, a mown grassy area and a small deciduous woods with undergrowth. The site is shown in Figure 4.6. The first trial involved five volunteer Resource Management and Environmental Studies students. They were 137 given a brief introduction to the indicators, instructed to look through the indicator forms, then brought to the site and shown its boundaries. They were requested not to discuss their ratings with each other during the exercise, but were free to ask me question's. The two indicators requiring ground area measurements (for fresh water and biological productivity) and the goods indicator factor examining the population densities of areas surrounding the site were not included in the trial because they would have been too time-consuming. lUMIIIllMlttfllllllllllllllllllllllllllllltlllllllllttilllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllMIMIIIIIIIIIlllllllJUl MIIMIIII 111L1I IE111 jik Figure 4.6 The UBC campus green area used as a test site for three trials of the assessment tool. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiii results One major result of the trial is that the idea of a plant species count for the biological diversity indicator was abandoned in favor of structural vegetation characteristics, as mentioned in Chapter Three. Other consequences of the trial are that many language and terminology difficulties on the indicator forms were identified and improved, a glossary was proposed by a trial participant and consequently developed, and the need for a set of field guidelines to standardize the use of the indicators became apparent. 138 IV.3.b. the second trial rationale The second trial was conducted on March 21, 1996. Its purposes were to see how accurately students in a landscape-related program were able to use the tool to examine urban open space, and also to survey their opinions about the quality of the tool. This time 19 students participated, most of them in the third year of the UBC Landscape Architecture Program. Since the original target users of the open space assessment tool were nonexpert individuals, the sampling of landscape architects may seem questionable. However, by this time the usefulness of the tool to the original audience looked doubtful and its utility for landscape-related professionals was starting to seem feasible. Also, these students' experience with landscape assessment ranged from a decade of professional use to none, so some of them were essentially nonexperts. I was given the opportunity to conduct the trial as an exercise in the U B C spring 1996 Landscape Architecture 440 course, Landscape Planning and Management. procedure For this trial, a more detailed half-hour introduction to the assessment tool was given, covering the underlying model for sustainability, the organization of the indicator forms, and some specific instructions for interpreting and assessing various indicators. This time the fresh water and biological productivity indicators were retained but modified to require only identification—not area measurement—of different surface materials and ecosystem types. The goods indicator factor that was dropped from the first trial was also re-included but as a simplified estimation of population density made by looking outward from each edge of the site. Again, the original versions of these three items would have made the exercise too long. The students were divided into a group of nine who were free to ask me questions during the trial and a group of 10 who were not allowed to ask questions. This was done to see if the availability of more information would make any difference in performance. Males and females were divided as evenly as possible between the two groups to control for gender bias. Each student was provided with a packet consisting of: guidelines for field use of the tool similar to those listed in section I V.2.a, page 119 and Appendix A, page 177; the glossary of terms used on the indicator forms (see Appendix A, pages 198-201); the twelve indicator forms with the changes 139 already described; and a short questionnaire. After looking through the indicators, all students were shown the boundaries of the site and left to independently assess it using the tool. The amount of time taken by each student was recorded to see if performance differences could be correlated with speed. Times taken ranged from 29 to 81 minutes. The students allowed to ask questions asked from one to three apiece, with an average of two per person. A total of 17 questions were asked during the exercise, including 14 different questions. 12 of the 17 questions involved language clarifications on the indicator forms. Two ways of gathering participant reactions to the assessment tool were employed: the students were encouraged to jot notes and questions on the indicator forms, and a short questionnaire was included at the end of the packets. The notes appearing on indicator forms, along with the questions asked during the assessment, were major sources for improving the language and content of the indicators after the trial. Based on answers to questionnaire items, 84% of the participants thought the present design of the indicators was "effective." 74% said they might use the assessment tool for personal purposes and 79% thought they might employ it professionally (i.e. in landscape architecture). Despite the small number of questions asked by the questions-allowed group, three of the nine members of that group reported on the questionnaire that they could have used more help during the assessment, compared to five out of ten people from the no-questions group. results and analysis Observer accuracy is measured by "comparisons between an observer and an established criterion" (Hartmann 1982, p. 53). Observer accuracy was judged in this trial by comparing the participants' answers to my answers from a recent assessment of the site. My use of the indicators cannot be considered actually correct, since I apply my own understandings and interpretations to the assessment just like any other user. However, there is no other criterion to judge performance with the tool, plus I am most familiar with the source research used for the indicators and with the ideas I was trying to communicate in each factor and subfactor. The accuracy criterion for each observer's performance was thus agreement with my answers for the 82 factors and subfactors comprising the assessment tool. Among the 19 students, the range of accurate observations was 46 to 60 out of the 82 140 items or 56% to 73%, and the average was 51 out of 82 or 62%. Mann-Whitney U tests with tied ranks were used to look for statistically significant differences in accuracy between the questions-allowed and no-questions groups, differences in time taken for the exercise by these two groups, and differences in accuracy compared to time taken for the entire sample group of 19. In all three cases, there were no differences at a significance level of 0.05. The observer accuracy figure of 62% seems undesirably low. Looking at each item (factor and subfactor) in the tool individually, my answers received full agreement from the participants (i.e. 100% observer accuracy) for only seven of the 82 items (9%). However, 72% of the items (59 out of 82) received simple majority agreement and 50% received two-thirds majority agreement. These results are encouraging because for qualitative indicators such as these, a reasonable accuracy goal is that most observers should agree on the assessments most of the time. The somewhat low observer accuracy in the second trial could have stemmed from a number of causes involving the quality of either the indicators or the participants' observations. Possible causes are (1) confusing language and design in the indicators, (2) failure to provide observers with necessary information, (3) invalid indicators, (4) observer carelessness, and (5) genuine and valid variation in opinion among observers. The first two causes bear on the accuracy of the tool, or how faithfully it records the features of urban open space. The third cause addresses the issue of the validity of the tool, how closely it relates to other measures of landscape quality. The fourth and fifth causes focus on interobserver reliability, the amount of correspondence between independent observations of the same open space features, which is related to the consistency of participants' use of the tool. These definitions of the terms accuracy, validity and reliability are based on discussion by Cone (1982). Numerous cases of the first cause of inaccuracy, confusing indicator design and language, were identified during this trial and addressed subsequently by improving the indicator forms. Several instances of the second cause (failure to provide necessary information) were also present, as I omitted some crucial details from my introductory talk. Some omissions were blatantly apparent from the participants' answers; for example, I neglected to explain that identifying surface materials for the fresh water indicator is done as if from an aerial view, so that only the materials visible from the air (thus encountered first by raindrops) are recorded, and consequently 141 all participants recorded the forest litter in the woods though it is covered by tree canopy. The fourth cause, observer carelessness, was not obviously present. On the whole, the students participating in this trial seemed willing and conscientious. As reported, the accuracy of those who finished the exercise quickly did not differ significantly from the others. Only a few individuals left one or two items unanswered. Interobserver reliability in this trial was assessed by examining how many of the 19 observers agreed on an answer for each of the 82 items of the tool, regardless of whether the answers were accurate or not. Average interobserver reliability was 14 out of 19 or 74%, higher than observer accuracy. The most likely sources of carelessness in this trial were a rain shower on the site, wet conditions in the woods, and late-morning hunger. These may have prevented some participants from moving around in the site as much as they should have—several people were observed huddling under umbrellas—and led some others to finish quickly so they could go to lunch. Effects like these are subtle and hard to detect. Lack of indicator validity and genuine personal variation, the third and fifth causes respectively, cannot be detected for this trial. An attempt was made to provide the indicators with general validity by designing them in relation to existing research. However, no information from alternative sources tells about landscape quality in the specific sites assessed in this project, so there are no criteria for the indicators' success in rating the twelve variables in these sites. Personal differences in opinion among observers can be valid and reliable if each person is using the tool consistently in a way that follows defensible logic. It was not possible to gather this information from the second-trial participants. IV.3.C. the third trial rationale The third and final trial on May 22, 1996 was intended to further examine the issue of observer accuracy in use of the indicators. Cone (1982) establishes the importance of accuracy: "It would be helpful if observers who performed consistently were also accurate, but this is not a necessary condition. That is, reliable scores need not be accurate ones, just as valid scores need not be accurate. Accurate scores must be reliable, however, and it is this relationship that establishes accuracy as the primary criterion for judging the adequacy of direct observation systems" (Cone 1982, p. 69, added italics). procedure 142 Again, the U B C campus green area was employed as the test site for assessment. The same version of the tool used in the second trial was used again even though the indicators had undergone numerous improvements based on the comments and performances of the March 21 trial participants. Only one item, the connectivity factor of the biological diversity indicator, had undergone substantive change since March and was replaced for this trial. Using the same version of the tool on the same site allowed comparison of the second and third trials' results. Changing the indicator quality would have confounded attempts to examine training effects on observational quality. The third trial's design addressed three causes of low observer accuracy listed above: confusing indicator language and design, failure to provide necessary information, and observer carelessness. The design incorporated more in-depth training in the use of the tool, opportunities for explanation of all aspects of the indicator forms, and the use of mandatory interobserver agreement as both an accuracy aid and a performance evaluation. Two graduate students, one female in landscape architecture with extensive landscape assessment experience and one male with a chemistry background, a Master of Science degree in Soil Science and no landscape assessment experience, participated in the third trial. They were given a brief orientation to the tool, similar to the one given in the second trial. Next they underwent a training session in Rotary Park, one of the six Ladner sites that I had assessed as examples for my thesis and was therefore familiar with. During training, the two made independent observations for small sections of the tool, then compared their answers with each other's and reached agreement between themselves, or determined that they both needed more explanation. They then compared their answers with mine (the accuracy criterion) and we discussed anything that needed clarification. Finally, they redid items lacking agreement until they understood them, agreed with each other and agreed with me. This procedure was followed for all twelve indicators and took a total of about two hours. Finally, the two participants conducted assessments of the UBC site. Again, they worked independently, then compared their answers, discussed them and reached agreement with each other. However, they did not consult with me. Their checking of each other's tool use was a way of providing monitoring during the assessment. Reid (1982) reports that reliability and 143 accuracy can drop dramatically after training if observers are not monitored. The participants completed their assessment in approximately one hour. results and analysis The accuracy of the observers' assessments in this trial was 51 out of 82, or 62%, identical to the average accuracy of the 19 observers in the second trial. Neither the extra explanation provided during training nor the interobserver agreement procedure improved accuracy. This was somewhat surprising, as it was expected that adding important information previously left out of the tool orientation, providing actual experience during training of where to look in a site for certain items, and making it necessary to justify answers to another person would affect performance in this trial. Several circumstances may have affected the outcome. Some bargaining and compromise went into the agreed answers during the assessment; I overheard exchanges such as, "I'll go moderate on that." "O.K., I'll meet you halfway." Without knowing which answers were settled in this manner, it cannot be determined whether the effects were negative, positive or neutral. The participants' stated logic behind some answers seemed biased by their past experiences or present life circumstances such as having young children. One of the two participants was slightly ill during the assessment and did not examine the campus site as closely as recommended. Also, cold rain showers during the training phase encouraged all of us to proceed quickly, despite our intentions to be thorough. The most interesting and useful insights I gained from the third trial came from my close interaction with the two intelligent and inquisitive participants. Although they were technically required to reach complete agreement on all their answers, there were a few cases even during the training session where they "agreed to disagree." I acquiesced to these because all were circumstances where both participants thoroughly understood the factor or subfactor, understood the opposing points of view and still held a genuinely different, logical and defensible opinion. Disagreement when necessary was also allowed during the campus site assessment, and consequently the participants did not reach consensus on three of the 82 items. Most of the disagreements seemed to stem from a fundamental difference in approach to the assessment by the two observers. This difference can be described as one person having a detail orientation and the other having a site orientation. The detail-oriented person tended to 144 assess each item on an if-it's-there-it's-there basis, while the site-oriented individual was more likely to consider the relationship of an item to the entire site and judge the relative importance of its presence. A simple example of the two approaches is to consider a site containing a single piece of litter. A site-oriented observer would likely conclude that one piece of trash does not constitute garbage on a site-wide basis and would mark "no miscellaneous garbage in site" for the appropriate safety indicator subfactor. A detail-oriented observer, however, would probably decide that one piece of garbage is technically more than zero and would mark "some miscellaneous garbage in site" for that subfactor. Despite these differences, both trial participants appeared to use the tool logically and consistently, and I could not discount either orientation. If observers are reliable, disagreement between them need not affect the validity of a measurement (Cone 1982). The trial participant with site assessment experience showed the site orientation, whereas the inexperienced participant showed a detail or literalist orientation that closely resembles my own approach to using the tool. The fact that I also had no experience with landscape assessment prior to this project leads me to hypothesize that the site orientation is developed during the course of landscape-related training and work. Even so, there may be personality components to the different orientations as well. There could be other orientations in addition to the two discovered in this trial. It is interesting to speculate on the orientations of the 19 second-trial participants and how those might correspond to their varying amounts of landscape experience, but it is not possible to determine their orientations from their completed indicator forms alone. IV.3.d. summary of conclusions from the trials Based on the results of the second and third trials, it would have been informative to do at least one additional trial essentially the same as the third one but using the most updated versions of the indicators. In that case the effect on accuracy of the indicator design and language could be examined, rather than training effects. Time constraints did not allow such a trial to be performed. Thorough testing of the assessment tool's usability would require numerous trials involving larger numbers of participants, more rigorous conditions and many iterations of improved indicators. Again, the scope of this project precluded such testing. One of the most encouraging outcomes of the three trials is that the majority of their 145 participants reported finding the assessment exercise enjoyable or interesting. Most of those with landscape architecture training did not find much of the information in the indicators new, but several appreciated seeing the ecological and human-related aspects together. The few participants with no previous exposure to landscape-related ideas commented that the assessment was eye-opening and showed them previously unsuspected dimensions of open space use and function. These positive reactions indicate that the level of interest the tool inspires in users may be sufficient to make it useful for sustainability awareness-building. Also, the fact that most users completed site assessments in an hour or less suggests that the use of observable conditions as easily available and measurable landscape indicators is an appropriate choice. On the negative side, many participants in the second trial indicated in response to a questionnaire item that they had learned nothing about the sustainability-related dimensions of urban open space from using the tool. It is not clear whether this was mostly because they were already educated to see consideration of sustainability as a given in urban landscape planning, or whether they failed to understand the view of sustainability embodied in the tool. The weak link between the existing tool and its intended awareness-building function is potentially worrisome. More testing is needed to see if awareness and appreciation of sustainability can definitely increase during use of the tool, and to identify the conditions necessary to facilitate their increase. 146 147 i C H A P T E R F I V E Conclusions, Implications And Discussion V . l . Introduction The procedures and results of this project lead to conclusions and implications at three different levels: (1) the specific level of the six test sites in Ladner, based on the results from testing the assessment tool; (2) the more general level of the overall feasibility of the urban open space assessment tool, its appropriate uses and audience; and (3) the essentially global level of sustainability in general, linked to the process of operationalizing the biophysical model. In the following section, each of the levels of conclusions and implications are discussed in turn. Those discussions are followed by identification of unresolved difficulties in the project and some ideas for addressing them, suggestions for further research, and finally a condensed summary of conclusions at the three levels. V.2. Conclusions and implications V.2.a. the Ladner test sites: conclusions and implications assessment results-general The relatively high ecosphere variable ratings and the consequently high rating classes of all the sites result directly from choosing green open space sites—those dominated by vegetation and natural substrates—as test sites. Green sites were chosen specifically to provide the largest possible amount and variety of ecological communities for use in improving the indicators for the ecosphere variables; it was assumed that any urban site would provide a sufficient range of features to demonstrate the human variables. The ecosphere variables are overriding variables in accordance with the biophysical model. Since they depend on the presence of ecological communities and ecological communities dominate the green test sites, it is not surprising that none of the sites has an ecosphere system rating less than moderate or a site rating lower than class III. The Ag buffer and Hydro field sites, rated class I on the strength of their ecosphere 148 variables, are the only two of the six Ladner test sites having vegetation that appears naturalistic. The other four test sites, all parks, have maintained vegetation and are rated class III. This result indicates that the site plant communities subjected to less maintenance support higher quality ecological functions as measured by the fresh water, soil, biological diversity and biological productivity indicators. A comparison of the naturalistic and park sites suggests that urban green areas could be designed and managed differently to increase their ecological function. The site rating results also demonstrate the resilience of the Ladner region's natural systems: the Hydro field and Ag buffer sites, though not as regularly disturbed as the parks, are products of past heavy disturbance and continue to be disrupted by such activities as occasional mowing and dumping. Despite this, their natural communities have recovered significant levels of function. The linkage of the biophysical model to the test sites by way of the indicators developed for this project demonstrates how the ecological world view can be operationally expressed in the interest of sustainability. The higher rating classes of the naturalistic sites compared to the parks are direct results of the priority assigned to ecosystem function by the ecological world view. Also, the ecological world view's recognition of the test sites' social functions as legitimate sustainability-related concerns having equal priority to economic functions allows full and integrated discussion of how the sites' current conditions and uses relate to sustainability. assessment results-site specific What follows are short summaries of implications following from the ratings of each of the six sites (refer to Tables 4.2, 4.4, 4.5 and 4.6 on pages 132 and 134). Throughout the summaries, site information gathered by use of the assessment tool is understood to be qualitative, subjective and not necessarily conclusive. The Ag buffer site, though not developed for use in any way, provides moderately for many human needs addressed by the indicators, even as well as other test sites that are parks. At the same time, it seems to support quite high levels of ecological function, which the parks do not do. The lowest variable rating is for socialization. Although the site provides several elements for unstructured children's play that are included in the indicator, it lacks seating of any kind, and this led to the low socialization rating. Seemingly this could be easily remedied with little detriment to the Ag buffer's ecological variables. 149 Hawthorne Park received the highest social variable ratings of all the sites, as its large area combines school grounds with sports facilities, playgrounds, seating elements and classic park aesthetics; still, its social system rating is only moderate. Its ecosphere variable ratings suggest that while soil is well protected and site surfaces are mainly water permeable, the structural diversity and productivity of the park's vegetation are low. This seems to be due to the predominance of turfed playing fields in place of other vegetation, and the additive effects of many small areas of sand, gravel, pavement and other nonvegetated surfaces that decrease the amount of biologically productive and habitat-providing vegetation. Hydro field, while showing ecosphere ratings as high as Ag buffer's and higher economic variable ratings than any site except the Seniors' Centre, received the poorest assessments for the social variables. This stems from the fact that not only is the field completely undeveloped, but it is also inhospitable. Ag buffer contains a well-used dirt path, but Hydro field does not show more than some beaten-down grass even during blackberry season. This could be mostly due to the uneven and potentially dangerous footing, and the site's proximity to a busy road, Hydro lines and the substation. Massey play park rates moderate for all three model systems. Its completely flat and completely grassed surface allows the good ratings for fresh water and soil. Since it is obviously intended for use as a neighborhood play park, its rather low ratings for the social variables are somewhat surprising. In particular, the poor rating for socialization reflects a complete lack of seating (i.e. adult amenities), and also the presence of very few play elements for children. It seems that the park offers few incentives for neighborhood social contacts. This interpretation is supported by the fact that Massey play park was usually deserted during picture-taking and assessment visits. Rotary Park's formal design targets classic park amenities, namely aesthetics and passive recreation. The park also rates moderate for the ecosphere and economic systems, however. These signs of fair ecological and human economy-related function can be viewed as bonuses because they exist largely in spite of site planning and management; this situation is perhaps most obvious for Rotary Park because of its formal design, but applies to the other park sites as well. The most interesting single variable for Rotary Park may be biological productivity, rated poor 150 largely because of the pond. Clean fresh-water ecosystems have net primary productivities almost as low as tundra and desert. The water body appears in the context of that rating to be a negative feature, but its biological productivity is more than balanced by positive effects recorded in other indicators. The pond counts as a habitat type, adding to the biological diversity rating, and a water body is also a plus for the site's aesthetic quality. The Seniors' Centre site, of all the test sites, received the only good rating for the food variable. This is due to the presence of a large allotment garden and ample evidence that its produce is harvested. The site's grounds are intended solely to provide recreational open space for seniors, yet the social variables rate only moderate. Just as for the other parks, the moderate ecological function of the site is an apparent bonus, existing despite management focus. The poor rating for biological productivity results from the relatively large proportion of buildings and pavement in this small site. For these test sites, various other interpretations of the ratings are also possible. Because many interpretations are meaningless without a specific use or purpose in mind, further speculation has been avoided here. Also, the test site assessments were always intended mainly as aids to indicator development and demonstrations of the assessment tool, as expressed in the two major research objectives. Information gathered about the sites themselves, while interesting, is in this sense incidental. The test sites will be further referred to as examples in the following section's discussion of tool uses. assessment results—district One reason for forming districts by aggregating the test sites was to see if changing from the site scale to the district scale of viewing the landscape would alter the ratings profile of the assessed landscape in significant ways. As can be seen from Table 4.7 on page 136, the effect of the high ecosphere variable ratings for the Ag buffer and Hydro field sites give the all-sites district and the naturalistic-vegetation district class I ratings, while the parks-only district lacking these two sites receives only a class III rating. This means that at the district scale, the high ecological function of only two sites essentially makes up for what the tool and its underlying model see as system failings of the other four sites. Because of the prevailing social attitudes toward urban nature, current management of the 151 four maintained park sites can be assumed to prioiritize amenity functions such as recreation and aesthetics. Nevertheless, Table 4.7 shows that those sites in aggregate rate no higher for the social variables than the two naturalistic test sites, which are less intensively managed for amenity. subjective reactions to the test sites As is necessary in credible qualitative research, I admit and accept that various of the test sites evoked different personal feelings and reactions in me during the assessment process. These were unavoidable, yet every effort was made to observe the sites consistently and accurately. Such efforts are reflected in the fact that the final site ratings do not correspond to my personal impressions of and assumptions about the sites. I found Hydro field unwelcoming because of treacherous terrain, dumped garbage, the proximity of the Hydro substation and traffic noise. Ag buffer, on the other hand, was always comfortable, pleasant and interesting, and probably became my favorite of the six sites. Yet both these sites rated class I. Despite my vastly different impressions of huge, complex Hawthorne Park, tiny and boring Massey play park, artificially formal Rotary Park and the semi-private-feeling Seniors' Centre, these four sites all received class III ratings. Furthermore, the site profile details revealed by the indicators were not intuitively obvious to me on the basis of casual observation, even though I was aware of what features to look for. This helps confirm that the observations making up the tool, while subjective, are not arbitrarily set by the observer. In retrospect, two major sources for me of increased comfort in the sites seemed to be familiarity resulting from repeated visits and interactions with other people there. Even in Hydro field, where I was initially most uncomfortable, I relaxed considerably after finding some level and slightly elevated places to walk. Similarly, I felt more secure in Massey play park after discovering the second entrance behind the tree. I talked with local site users at Hydro, Massey, and the Seniors' Centre. Though no material from those conversations played any role in the site assessments, in all cases I gained interesting information about the sites and also something that can be described as a greater sense of belonging. This latter is a combination of contact with local people that allowed me to feel less like an outsider, and the knowledge of having explained my unusual activities to individuals who may otherwise have been uneasy about them. Personal hunches about what variables would prove most interesting in these sites 152 contributed to the initial site choice even before the assessments began. Many of the hunches proved accurate but some did not. The Ag buffer site's high structural vegetation diversity was apparent even from the site categorization, and it ultimately received the only good rating for biological diversity. Originally the most intriguing features of Hawthorne Park were the variety of foods growing there and the mix of uses it seemed to support. Its rating for the food variable turned out to be only moderate, but ratings for its human variables in general were higher than for any other site except the Seniors' Centre. Hydro field started out seeming notable among naturalistic sites in receiving no mowing or other maintenance attention. It was expected that the lack of disturbance would enhance the quality of its ecological functions, but the ecological variables as measured by the indicators were in no better condition that in the Ag buffer, which is seasonally mowed. Massey play park's very featurelessness was perceived to be in interesting contrast to its intended uses, and in fact it received the lowest human-variable ratings of any site. The initial hypothesis concerning Rotary Park was that its extreme level of maintenance would affect the ecosphere variables detrimentally but the ratings of those variables are similar for several other sites. The Seniors' Centre's most attractive feature was its allotment garden, and accordingly that site received the only rating of good for the food variable. V.2.b. uses of the assessment tool: conclusions and implications The assessment of the six Ladner test sites provides only a limited demonstration of the use of the tool, since it is suitable for any type of urban open space. This section describes and rationalizes further tool uses in various circumstances. It is possible to single out specific indicators for site assessment instead of using the complete tool. Because a major focus of this project is to foster awareness of all the dimensions of sustainability, uses of separate indicators will not be discussed as much as complete tool uses, but the potential value of such uses is acknowledged. Since the test sites and their ratings are already familiar, they are used here in fictional examples. addressing the research question and objectives This project was guided by the research question, "how can an urban landscape assessment tool based on indicators present in urban open space help nonexpert individuals reach a better understanding of, and promote, sustainability?" The two main project objectives were to 153 introduce a simple tool that could help urban people understand more fully the implications of sustainability by linking its concepts to their local landscape, and to demonstrate the usefulness of the tool by assessing the relative sustainability-related condition of selected green open spaces in an urban landscape. A full answer to the research question would have entailed a two-phase approach thoroughly addressing both design of the tool and improvement of its usability and perception by the target audience. The design phase requires literature-based research and applied landscape testing, while the improvement phase depends on testing and consultation with potential users. Only a few preliminary trials with tool users were carried out and are summarized in the previous chapter. This project has concentrated on the tool design phase, but to complete the design of the tool, tests in non-green and non-public urban open space still need to be added. This means that the second project objective of demonstrating the tool has not been fully met. The partial answer to the research question provided by this project is that it is possible to compile the necessary material into twelve indicators related to the variables of the biophysical model for sustainability, and it is also possible to operationalize the model by assessing the conditions of the indicators in urban open space. The part of the question remaining to be answered is whether these procedures are useful to nonexpert individuals for learning about and promoting sustainability. Throughout the project, "useful" in this context has been considered to mean the tool should be amenable to the understanding and use of a moderately well-educated lay person (i.e. with some postsecondary education) having some knowledge of ecology. The usefulness of the tool to nonexpert individuals defined in this way seems doubtful because of its complexity. To understand the indicators, a user must assimilate large amounts of background information contained on the indicator forms and in a separate glossary. Comments from field trial participants indicate that the volume of information on the forms is often confusing, and low observer accuracy in the trials suggests that misinterpretation is common. Also, a complicated multi-step analysis process is required to transform the layers of information contained in the indicators into a single site rating. Therefore, I have essentially failed to meet the primary research objective in the course of this project by failing to design a suitably "simple" tool. 154 new uses for the tool Other uses of the tool that were not originally perceived but are still compatible with the project aims of helping individuals understand and promote sustainability now seem feasible. The difference is that the newly-conceived uses of the tool are by urban landscape-related professionals such as planners, landscape architects and open space managers. Though these were originally discounted as target user groups, their members are now recognized as having advantages such as knowing the specialized terminology and theory that make the tool too complex for lay users, and being familiar with the concept of landscape. A few applications of the tool for professional users are therefore discussed in this section. It is also acknowledged, however, that some lay users have the necessary background to use the tool effectively, so they are included as well. Making the tool more and more accessible to nonexpert individuals continues as a goal of this line of research. Because the tool is qualitative, subjective and designed for awareness building, it generally will not yield all the information about site conditions that should be considered when open space planning, design or management decisions are made. However, the tool embodies a broad view of sustainability that can be of use in reviewing the original goals for a site. Both those who set the site's aims and those charged with achieving them can use the tool to focus their priorities. Those priorities will then have arisen from an interaction between the sustainability model and the site, through the medium of the tool. The tool can direct further site analysis. Broad-based tools for preliminary assessment and directing detailed analysis have recognized value. For example, Marsh (1987) states that conventional site analysis for planning and design in landscape architecture calls for site inventory and analysis early on, before design or planning alternatives have been formulated. A frequent result is a detailed site assessment that is not fully utilized to inform the planning and design alternatives when they are finally developed, but still requires a large portion of the project budget to complete. Marsh (1987) calls for design and planning alternatives to be generated before rather than after site analysis. The alternatives can then be tested for quality as information about the site is collected during analysis. The site assessment tool designed in this project is suitable as an initial test in Marsh's sense that "may entail little more than screening against a list of criteria" 155 (Marsh 1987, p. 124). Use of the tool is inexpensive, quick and requires no specialized equipment. Later and more rigorous site tests can be quantitative, but directed only to areas of need signaled by the initial test. Even if Marsh's recommendations are disregarded and the conventional order of procedure is followed in landscape architecture projects, using broad screening tests to determine which specific landscape analyses are necessary can potentially save time and money in many circumstances. As explained in relation to the test sites in section I V.2.c, variable, system and overall site ratings obtained with the urban open space assessment tool can be used to analyze individual sites or to look at entire districts composed of the sites. Comparing sites to each other on the basis of these ratings is a seemingly reasonable but potentially invalid use. All three types of use are discussed in the following subsections. In the field I came to appreciate the complex variation and interaction of different functions across the landscape, and this appreciation came only with exposure to the landscape via the test sites. Each site supports a unique mix of the twelve variables and its own set of strengths and weaknesses, and furthermore its strengths and weaknesses may be disregarded rather than highlighted by the assessment tool, which is only comprehensive at a certain rather broad scale. The uniqueness of every site must inform and temper any use of the tool, and enters the discussion of uses presented here. analysis of individual sites Ratings of particular sites might be desired by owners of private open space. One reason for relating sustainability to the landscape as originally proposed in this project is that private property ownership is so highly valued and respected in our society. Very few controls are imposed on what people may do on or to their own land. Urban residential landowners routinely make and carry out design alterations in their private open space without consulting landscape professionals, so it is necessary to make sustainability-related information about the landscape available to these owners. For example, a homeowner wishing to design a backyard as an urban outdoor retreat with high amenity value might be concerned to also provide for ecological function. The tool could be useful to help the person identify design features important in socialization, aesthetics, and recreation as well as biological diversity and productivity and preservation of the water cycle. Details of the indicators intended specifically for assessing public 156 space would have to be pinpointed and then disregarded. Participants in the second trial of the tool named its public-oriented nature as a barrier to using it for private purposes, but it should be relatively easy to convert for private open space. The tool could also be useful to designers, managers and planners of public and commercial urban open space. One of its proper uses would be to inform these individuals of the importance of issues other than recreation and amenity that are typically ignored in urban landscape planning. Another valid use would be as an initial site screening to preliminarily identify the area's present strengths and weaknesses and the variables whose high quality is desirable for the site. For example, suppose Delta Parks and Recreation planners decided to upgrade the open space in the Seniors' Centre site to provide more recreational opportunities for senior citizens after reviewing the site ratings listed in Table 4.2 (page 132). Since the site functions as a meeting place for Centre members, one variable of interest might be socialization. Currently rated moderate, at first glance it might seem that further investigation into improving socialization facilities is warranted. However, the socialization indicator (see page 192) includes provision for children's needs, which are not very important for this site. It may be that socialization as measured by this indicator is now adequately provided for in the Seniors' Centre site, and attention should be focused on another variable such as self-actualization needs instead. Caution is required if the site ratings generated by using the tool are interpreted as ends of, rather than means to, management. Manipulating selected variables can result in a site achieving a higher ratings class, but the value of raising the class of a site must be evaluated in relation to the goals for that site. For example, Delta Parks and Recreation staff could raise Hawthorne Park's current class III rating to class II by improving its satisfaction of human needs such as safety, public education and aesthetics. The site could possibly become class I if its habitat diversity and net primary productivity were increased by naturalizing some vegetation. However, class I status might not be appropriate for Hawthorne Park because it also contains school grounds. Patches of naturalized brush and woods could be a safety hazard for small children. The safety of the children may arguably warrant higher priority than bird habitat, making class II status the most proper goal of park management. To summarize, sensitivity to the site itself rather than to its ratings class is necessary in this situation. 157 district analysis Combining site ratings to assess a district made up of several sites can be done for individual variables, systems and overall site ratings, as shown for the test sites in Table 4.7 (page 136) and noted in the previous section. The discovery that the high ecosphere ratings of the Ag buffer and Hydro field sites result in a class I rating for the all-sites district (see Table 4.7) in spite of the class III ratings of the other four test sites compares interestingly to Odum's (1969) proposition of a "compartment model" for landscape use. Odum's argument is that humans need a mixture of natural communities providing both ecological production and quantity yield (e.g. crops), and ecological protection and stability. The mixture can be achieved either by compromising on moderate stability with moderate yield throughout the landscape or by compartmentalizing to provide a variety of landscape areas of either high yield or high stability. Odum favors the latter option because he claims compromise systems are not always successful and a varied landscape is also more pleasant and safer for people. Odum (1969) suggests via the compartment model that we plan for areas of protective or ecologically mature systems, productive or ecologically young and growing systems, compromise or multiple-use systems, and urban-industrial or "nonvital" systems. Despite his dismissal of urban landscape as mostly devoid of ecological function, his compartment model can be applied at a smaller scale to the districts in this project. If each open-space site is understood as needing to fit into only one model compartment, the point is made that using the assessment tool as a simple formula for urban open space quality is a mistake. Making every site a perfect class I by maximizing every possible variable could result in a universal homogeneous urban landscape of the type Odum (1969) might dismiss as "too much of a good thing." As he argues, concrete is a "good thing," but not if half the world is covered with it. . . Likewise, water impoundments have proved to be very useful man-made additions to the landscape, but obviously we don't want the whole country inundated! (Odum 1969, p. 267). By Odum's logic, it is likely better to preserve each site's unique function to some degree and rely on other sites to supply lacking functions at the district scale. This conclusion has relevance for such planning and management of public open space as might take place in an urban 158 district like Ladner. The assessment tool could be used to demonstrate the advantages of considering all public open space, not just parkland, as a single cohesive district system. If sustainability as presented in the tool is a management goal, sites of various kinds can contribute their individual strengths to the district profile, so that no one site or small number of sites heeds to provide high quality for all variables. The district ratings shown in Table 4.7 were generated by combining all the ratings for all the variables of the component sites. A somewhat different district-scale use of the tool could involve consideration of individual site variable ratings without combining them, and attention to only a few important variables for each site. In this approach, each site again contributes its unique features to the district and is not called upon to furnish high quality for all variables. The difference is that the site variable ratings are not averaged across the district, but rather each site stands alone with its small number of high-quality variables. It is up to the district management to survey the district as if it is a jigsaw puzzle and make sure all of the twelve pieces of the puzzle are there in various sites, in the proper proportions. The districts summarized in Table 4.7 represent a hierarchical use of the tool wherein each site has its own complete sustainability profile and the larger district also has a complete profile in terms of the tool. In contrast, this latter method involves attention to a complete set of variables only at the district level, not for each site. site comparisons—some invalid uses of site ratings An example of a situation in which site comparisons might be attempted is the fictional scenario of public demand in Ladner for establishment of an urban nature preserve and an accompanying nature education program. On the basis of their already high ecosphere variable ratings, the Ag buffer and Hydro field sites might be preliminarily considered as potential preserves. Furthermore, Ag buffer's good rating for biological diversity as opposed to Hydro field's moderate could give it an edge in consideration even before additional testing for ecological function was done. Care would have to be employed in this particular situation to avoid two major mistakes: using the tool ratings without sufficient further testing to make the required choice between sites, and not considering other site factors that fall completely outside the tool's limits. An instance of the first mistake would be to neglect comprehensive tests for other aspects of biodiversity than the 159 one assessed by the tool, including surveys for the presence of rare plants and wildlife in the sites. Some site features not considered at all by the tool but bearing on this decision are noise levels, effects on near neighbors of the site and availability of parking nearby. The major point illustrated by this example is that site comparison using the tool ratings for determining which site is "better" for any use is likely to be invalid if the indicators are interpreted as yielding a full profile of the variables they measure. In this example, if structural vegetation diversity specifically rather than biological diversity in general was a desired goal for the new nature preserve, the tool ratings could reasonably be given more weight. Even so, considering the ratings as if they are site features that can be compared risks assigning the ratings inappropriate concreteness and disregarding their subjectivity. A better way of addressing the need for site information in this example would be to compare each site's ratings separately to an independently-developed list of criteria for the nature preserve instead of comparing the sites to each other. tool use for group communication So far, the discussion of tool use has centered around what can be determined about the sites in question and how that information can be used by individuals. From the first, the goal of this project has been to provide a means of facilitating individual understanding of sustainability. It has been pointed out that sustainability is inherently value-based and that to use the assessment tool, a user must accept its underlying model of sustainability and some values related to the ecological world view. The next step after personal acceptance is interpersonal communication of sustainability-related views. Use of the tool can facilitate this. For example, multi-stakeholder processes for planning use of resources, including land, are becoming increasingly popular, and involve diverse groups of interested private stakeholders and/or professionals from different disciplines. For any such group involved in an issue of urban open space use, assessment of the site in question with the tool—either by each individual stakeholder or by neutral parties for presentation to the group-could provide common language and a common set of sustainability issues to begin the discussion. This does not mean that every group member must accept the view of sustainability implied by the tool; even discussion of disagreements can be facilitated by having everyone react 1 6 0 to a common proposed framework. Many other situations can be imagined in which the tool could be used to facilitate communication about urban open-space issues among professionals, policy makers, advocates and politicians. Such uses are not discussed further here because they are recently-realized tool applications. They have not yet been examined in depth or tested. V .2 .C. operational sustainability: conclusions and implications Some general implications about how sustainability can and should be operationalized in the urban landscape have arisen from the process of urban open space assessment carried out in this project. The structure of the biophysical model with its wide range of variables identified as human needs implies that the aesthetic and amenity values of open space are not frivolous. They are instead intrinsically related to human fulfillment and sustainability. The traditionally sought ends of beauty and self-actualizing opportunities in urban open space are thus worthy development goals, and should not be merely a privilege of the rich, but a recognized right of every person. However, the biophysical model further shows that it is not acceptable to furnish beauty and recreational space in the landscape to the exclusion of ecological function and other necessary human uses, as has been done in the past. Accepting the sustainability concepts underlying this project means recognizing that ecological integrity must in general receive first priority, and that a variety of different human uses must be balanced in the urban landscape. However, giving precedence to the ecosphere variables of the biophysical model need not preclude human options. The test site assessments carried out in this project show that ecological functions seem to be of at least moderate quality even in sites where no management efforts are devoted to their preservation. These results provide empirical support for the claims of such urban-oriented sustainability advocates as Hough (1995), Spirn (1984) and Thayer (1994) that the expectations and aspirations of urban life are compatible with a functional urban ecosystem. If the ecological world view (review Table 2.2, p. 46) is held, the ecological communities in urban open space are also seen to have intrinsic value, and in fact all organisms including humans belong to the same community. Also, all aspects of human life and activity are interconnected, so that our ways of conducting our relationships with the urban landscape link to 161 the rest of our interactions with our world and each other. The needs for certain levels of ecological and human function in the outdoor urban landscape could be provided for through policies governing open space development, management and preservation. Having an operational model available as a pattern for such policies makes their development more feasible, and the tool developed in this project can be used to direct compliance monitoring and reduce enforcement costs. Individuals and grassroots interest groups could also make use of this project's framework to voluntarily work toward high-quality landscape function in urban open space under their control. V .3 . Unresolved difficulties Some limitations on the assessment tool and its use remain at the end of the project. V.3.a. indicator design limitations Two problems stem from the current design of the indicator forms. One is the necessity for a separate glossary of term definitions that go along with the indicators. The indicator forms simply do not have space for explanation of all important terminology, yet understanding some of the definitions is necessary for accurate use of the tool. The participants in the third trial commented on the bother of having to look up so many terms, and were observed to avoid using the glossary except when really in need. The second and more serious design problem has to do with how poor, moderate and good conditions are assigned for the indicator factors and subfactors. For over half of the subfactors and factors, the dividing line between poor and moderate or between moderate and good is presence or absence. In other words, either poor or good is "zero" for that item and moderate is "above zero." In contrast to this absolute and quantitative criterion, the other division between conditions for the same factors and subfactors is "some" (i.e. above zero) versus "much," a subjective and qualitative criterion that is much more difficult to distinguish in the field. No way of resolving this inconsistency within the bounds of the present indicator format has yet been found. The two third-trial participants reported that for some items the differences between conditions as described in the indicators seemed artificial. Also, they often wished for more choices, specifically for the option of accurately recording factor conditions that fall between the 162 existing designations for poor and moderate or moderate and good. V.3.b. indicator content limitations Another unsatisfactory element of the tool is the content, as opposed to the format, of the biological diversity indicator. As noted in Chapter Three, development of the structural vegetation indicator was the longest and most frustrating of all the indicator development processes. The result is an assessment of only one small element of biological diversity that, because of the nature of the tool, cannot be expanded to assess other very pertinent aspects. In fact, all of the indicators have similar limitations, namely that they assess only some aspects of the model variables and ignore others. However, each of the twelve human variables in the biophysical model looks at one issue of our species's existence, whereas the biological diversity variable has the task of representing all of the remaining life forms on earth. For this reason, and also because of the current popularity of biodiversity issues, this particular indicator seems to warrant further attention and development. Even more worrisome than the indicator's representativeness is the complexity of its landscape ecological concepts. It took me a full year to refine my own understanding of the indicator factors to the point where I felt confident explaining them to others. The third-trial participant with no landscape experience admitted having great difficulty comprehending the biological diversity indicator, even after explanations and examples were offered. It therefore seems unreasonable to expect untrained individuals to be able to use the indicator accurately or effectively. Given that structural vegetation diversity was the only ecological concept found to be reasonably accessible for a tool of this nature, one possible solution is to move away from ecology proper for this indicator. Instead of teaching non-ecologists to apply scientific ecological principles, it may be possible to apply people's own everyday knowledge of nature to the scientific concept of biological diversity. This idea directs the work of Chipeniuk (1993a, 1993b, 1995), who advocates the training and use of lay citizens' "sense of landscape naturalness" as "vernacular bio-indicators" of biological diversity. Chipeniuk (1993a, 1995) argues that the abstract environmental education undertaken in recent years has been unsuccessful in teaching values for landscape preservation, and has perhaps even been counterproductive. Interestingly, 163 Leopold (1966) said: "Let no man jump to the conclusion that Babbitt must take his Ph.D. in ecology before he can 'see' his country. On the contrary, the Ph.D. may become as callous as an undertaker to the mysteries at which he officiates. Like all real treasures of the mind, perception can be split into infinitely small fractions without losing its quality. The weeds in a city lot convey the same lesson as the redwoods; the farmer may see in his cow-pasture what may not be vouchsafed to the scientist adventuring in the South Seas. Perception, in short, cannot be purchased with either learned degrees or dollars; it grows at home as well as abroad, and he who has a little may use it to as good advantage as he who has much." (Leopold 1966, pp. 266-267). Limited empirical studies indicate that childhood foraging for natural things is correlated with the ability to identify local landscapes with greater biodiversity. Formal instruction in biological diversity principles showed no correlation with this ability (Chipeniuk 1995). More empirical support for Chipeniuk's ideas are needed, but the development of a biological diversity indicator for this tool based on users' sense of landscape naturalness is an intriguing possibility. V.3.c. numerical rating method limitations The final difficulty with the present tool relates to the use of numerical methods to generate ratings from the observations made in a site. The concern is that this practice lends a misleading air of quantification to the intrinsically qualitative site observations. Hopkins (1977) notes that mathematical methods for generating land suitabilities can involve invalid mathematical operations and cannot handle interdependent factors unless the actual amount of interdependence is known. Hopkins's observations raise two concerns with this project's rating method. First, the use of poor = 1, moderate = 2 and good = 3 for rating purposes may be construed as implying that the magnitude of the difference between poor and moderate is the same as that between moderate and good, or that a good condition is therefore three times the quality of a poor condition. These are incorrect assumptions; the numbers are intended only as ordinal, or ranking, numbers expressing the relative quality of site conditions. Secondly, many cases of factor interdependence exist within the tool. Some of them have been identified and made explicit by the transfer of ratings between indicators, but others are only suspected and are not included in the tool. In no case is the amount of interdependence quantifiable, and this casts doubt on the numerical indicator ratings. A disturbing observation on this subject is that even in myself, I detect a difference in 164 attitude when looking over the original indicator forms from the Ladner test sites compared to looking at the clean lists of ratings in Table 4.2. Despite knowledge of what the numbers are intended to mean, it is difficult to avoid putting more trust in the final product of a series of neat numerical calculations than in the raw, messy and definitely subjective source information. The decision to use the mathematical rating method resulted from inability to design a non-numerical system. Only after having successfully developed a functional numerical procedure was I able to conceive a comparable non-numerical rating based on hierarchical rules of combination based on verbal logic rather than numbers. This type of system is favored by Hopkins (1977). Rules of combination are already used in the original rating system to determine the effects of overriding factors (see page 124). While I recommend switching to a non-numerical rating system for the tool, it is recognized that the mathematical system used in this project was a prerequisite stage allowing the necessary details of rating system function to be worked out. Most aspects of the new rating system remain to be developed. It is likely that it will involve a new way of recording site observations, and thus a new format for the indicator forms. The proposed site rating categories for the new system, in place of those listed in Figure 4.4 (page 126), appear i n Fi gure 5.1. 165 iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiimiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiM Figure 5.1 Proposed site rating classes for non-numerical rating system, based on verbal logic. A "low" rating corresponds roughly to "poor" in the old system and a "high" rating to "good." class I no ecosphere variables rated low up to four human variables rated low at least two ecosphere variables rated high class II no ecosphere variables rated low at least two ecosphere variables rated high OR one or two ecosphere variables rated low at least five human variables rated low no human variables rated high no human variables rated low at least four human variables rated high class III one or two ecosphere variables rated low one to four human variables rated low up to four human variables rated high class IV one or two ecosphere variables rated low OR at least five human variables rated low no human variables rated high at least three ecosphere variables rated low no human variables rated low at least four human variables rated high class V at least three ecosphere variables rated low at least one human variable rated low up to four human variables rated high IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN V.4. Further research The outcomes of this project suggest avenues for continued research along this line. V.4.a. improvement of current tool To complete the testing and refinement of the current version of the open space assessment tool, some work is still needed. This research involves (1) application of the tool to all types of urban open space, including • non-green sites • private sites, with possible development of a specialized form of the tool without the specifically public-oriented factors 166 • very large sites, with some possible modifications of the tool, such as use of aerial photographs in estimating area percentages for the land surface permeability and net primary productivity indicators; (2) continuation of user testing, including • incorporation of suggestions from both lay and professional users on how to improve the format and presentation of the tool • further evaluation of observer accuracy and how much or whether it can be improved by training, explanation or tool improvements • investigation of whether users are learning about sustainability while applying the tool. V.4.b. development and testing of a new tool version A new tool format should be developed to address the difficulties outlined in the previous section. It is recommended to have the following features: • an indicator format that allows all terminology and information to be presented on the form itself rather than separately • a redesigned indicator for biological diversity • a way of recording conditions for factors and subfactors in the site that does not restrict users to artificial, unevenly-divided or non-representative choices, which sometimes happens with the present poor-moderate-good system. This might involve using some type of continuous scale running from poorest condition to best condition for each factor • a variable and site rating system involving hierarchical rules of combination and verbal logic rather than mathematical combination. After completion of an initial design, the new tool version will require testing and refinement using methods similar to those employed for the original tool. V .5. Summary of conclusions Three broad conclusions are drawn from this project: (1) The six sites assessed in Ladner show only moderate social amenity functions even though urban open space management practices typically prioritize such things as aesthetics and recreation. The sites display unexpectedly high levels of ecological function despite these kinds of management practices. Together, these results indicate that viable urban ecosystems persist in spite of human activity. It suggests that urban ecosystems could flourish if human management of urban open space changed to correspond to natural processes. Furthermore, urban green areas can serve as a valuable urban repository of ecological function if they are not rendered nonvital by management and development. 167 (2) The urban open space assessment tool shows potential for successfully operationalizing the biophysical model by allowing examination of diverse sustainability-related functions in relation to the urban landscape. The tool is potentially suited to a wide range of users and applications. However, more testing is needed to identify an optimum format for the tool and determine its accuracy and sustainability awareness-building potential. (3) Sustainability demands not only ecological integrity and material/economic sufficiency for all people, but the satisfaction of social and psychological human needs that contribute to holistic human well-being. These three areas of sustainability-related needs are theoretically compatible and, as shown here, can be satisfied in the urban landscape in complementary ways. Ecological imperatives, economic needs and social needs can be assessed and addressed within systems of human activity, including the system of urban open space use. 168 R E F E R E N C E S Ahern, Jack (1991), "Planning for an extensive open space system: linking landscape structure and function," landscape and Urban Planning 21: 131-145. 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World Commission on Environment and Development (1987), Our Common Future, Oxford University Press, Oxford. 175 Yanarella, Ernest J., and Richard S. Levine (1992), "Does sustainable development lead to sustainability?" Futures 24(8): 759-774. APPENDIX A Complete site assessment tool in field-ready form This appendix contains site assessment guidelines, the twelve indicator forms as they were used in the six Ladner test sites for this project, and a glossary supplementing the information found on the indicator forms. The indicator explanations in Chapter Three should be read for a thorough understanding of these indicators. Appendix B contains a quick reference guide for individual indicator factor and subfactor literature sources. Explanation of how the indicator forms were analyzed for the six test sites can be found in Chapter Four. As explained in the body of the thesis, this assessment tool is not a formula for determining the sustainability score of a section of urban open space, and by itself may not be a suitable basis for open space design, development or management decisions. It is a qualitative tool intended for personal awareness-building that can also serve as a broad screening to guide further quantitative assessment. In addition, it can be used to facilitate communication on urban open space issues within interdisciplinary groups. 177 During assessment of an urban open space site, the following guidelines should be observed: • Set the boundaries of the site to be assessed; use any useful boundary definition or this project's criterion of obvious change in land use. • Before beginning a site assessment, look through the indicator forms to determine the observations required. Even if the forms are familiar, a brief review is recommended. • Also before recording any observations, walk the whole site and look at it with the indicators in mind. This step is important even if the site is familiar because it can challenge preconceived notions. • If a record of the time taken for the assessment is desired, write down the start time and record any substantial breaks. • Indicator forms may be filled out in any order or filled out partially and completed later. Only the fresh water and biological productivity indicators are best done early because the area measurements force the assessor to walk the whole site and because they are most time-consuming. • While filling out the indicator forms, read all parts very carefully for definitions, examples and unique instructions. Some of this information is critical for a correct assessment and can be easily missed. • Refer to the glossary found after the indicator forms (pages 198-201) for all terms marked with f-• No calculations or information transfers need to be done while actually in the site, but should be completed soon after the site visit while site details remain fresh in mind. • It is perfectly acceptable but not required to write notes and comments about the site on the indicator forms. These can create a valuable site record. • Before rating each factor or subfactor of an indicator, take a fresh look around the site. Do not rely on previous incidental observations unless the site is very large and the previous observation is completely certain. • All visual ratings are to be based solely on current conditions in the site at the time of the assessment, never on observations from previous visits or photographs. • The assessor can interact normally with other people during the assessment but should not ask or incorporate their advice or opinions on the assessment. • Review the indicator forms to ensure all necessary parts are complete before recording the finish time for the assessment (if desired). 178 variable: Fresh water L O O K F O R : POOR indicator: Land surface tpermeability MODERATE GOOD X X X X X SITE RUNOFF COEFFICIENT— average ratio of frunoff to rainfall for entire site calculated below (0.71 - 0.95: corresponds to roofs, concrete, asphalt, nonvegetated soil) (0.36 - 0.70: corresponds to compact gravel, hard-packed soil with only sparse vegetation) (0 - 0.35: corresponds to loose gravel, sand, tilled agricultural soil, mulch, forest litter, full vegetation and water bodies) C A L C U L A T I O N : only information in boxes must be recorded in the field total site area*. surface (as faerial view) roof/concrete/ asphalt/plastic ground cover packed soil with no vegetation compact gravel packed soil with only sparse veg. grass/ therbaceous veg. loose gravel/ sand/tilled (agricultural) soil mulch/forest litter w/ or w/o light vegetation twoody vegetation permanent water bodies area in site % total site area coefficient x 0.95 x 0.75 x 0.70 x 0.60 x 0.35 x 0.30 x 0.25 x 0.20 x 0.00 partial site coef total site coefficient :all areas measured approximately by pacing off 179 indicator: Water erosion MODERATE GOOD variable: Soil LOOK FOR: CONDITIONS FAVORING WATER EROSION-unprotected soil (lacking vegetation or other cover; do not consider sand imported for landscaping, play, etc.), steep slopes (includes banks, ground level changes) SIGNS OF WATER EROSION-trills/fgullies, stones/roots on soil surfaces, tsediment deposits in depressions/on surfaces, tknolls with sparse vegetation POOR much unprotected soil in site steep slopes/banks/ ground level changes in site many or large gullies in site exposed stones/roots on many soil surfaces due to soil loss many sediment deposits in site answer only if knolls are present: all/most knolls in site have sparse vegetation due to soil loss fsome unprotected soil in site there is no unprotected soil on slopes rills and/or some small gullies in site some knolls in site have sparse vegetation due to soil loss all soil in site protected moderate slopes/ banks/ground level changes in site no or almost no slopes/banks/ground level changes in site exposed stones/roots on some soil surfaces due to soil loss some sediment deposits in site only nils or no soil disturbance in site no exposed stones/ roots on soil surfaces due to soil loss no sediment deposits in site no knolls in site have sparse vegetation due to soil loss 180 answer only if unprotected soil is present: there is unprotected soil on slopes variable: Biological diversity L O O K F O R : POOR indicator: "("Structural vegetation diversity MODERATE GOOD VEGETATION LAYERING— foliage height diversity; vertical structure of vegetation single-layer vegetation can be A N Y O N E and double-layer vegetation can be A N Y T W O of the fo l low ing : a) herbaceous layer (0-2 ft/0-0.7 m), b) fshrub layer (2-15 ft/0.7-4.5 m), c) ftree layer (>15 ft/>4.5 m) N O T E : single trees over mown grass considered single (tree) layer only because lawn adds no habitat value (indicate on site map below) site is "[characterized by single layer of vegetation; very little or no vegetation layering occurs example: 1) herbaceous layer only 2) tree layer only a few patches of double- and/or triple-layer vegetation occur in site example: 1) tree layer and shrub layer 2) tree layer and herbaceous layer site is characterized by double- and/or triple-layer vegetation example: 1) tree layer and shrub layer 2) tree layer and herbaceous layer HABITAT T Y P E S -different kinds of habitat, distinguished by changes in vegetative community composition, vertical structure, and/or horizontal structure N O T E : can differ from number of ^habitat patches in site if more than one patch of the same habitat type is present (count from site map below) 0 or 1 type in site example: 2 types in site example: 3 or more types in site example: V\\\slH=»l=!H=l»5 1) patchy (see next item for definition) 1) patchy 2) conifer forest Wtt=IH=lU=lH=IH 1) grassland 2) garden 3) deciduous shrub 4) conifer forest 181 PATCHY HABITAT— a habitat type characterized by a horizontal vegetation structure of woody clumps in a herbaceous tmatrix patches or "islands" of shrubs and/ or trees among grasses and other fherbs (indicate on site map below) no patchy habitat in site patchy habitat present in site but of low quality (open grassland with clumps of woody vegetation covering <30% of area OR dense woody vegetation covering >60% of area) example: patchy habitat present in site and of high quality (many scattered clumps of woody vegetation covering 30-60% of area) example: E D G E -places where different habitat types meet includes any edge found on site boundaries (add up from site map below) no edge OR few short, small or spotty edges in site example: 1) patchy meets garden several short edges OR some longer edges created by long, narrow habitat patches in site example: 1) forest meets road verge 2) road verge meets shrub 3) shrub meets garden site characterized by edge due to long, narrow habitat patches OR a profusion of smaller habitat patches example: 3 H 1) forest meets road verge 2) road verge meets shrub 3) shrub meets grass; shrub meets garden 4) garden meets grass 182 CONNECTIVITY-whether habitat patches in the site are linked to other habitat patches outside the site, either by being continuous or by tcorridors of any vegetation permitting species movement urban habitat quality depends partly on amounts of vegetation layering, edge, tunmaintained vegetation and connectivity (use layering and edge ratings on previous pages) (survey by looking and walking out from site boundaries) (indicate on site map, below) there is no habitat on site OR no site habitat patches are connected OR only poor quality site habitat patches (having little or no layering, edge or unmaintained vegetation) are connected example: 1) cultivated land contiguous most moderate quality site habitat patches (having some layering, edge and/or unmaintained vegetation) are connected (poor quality patches may also be connected) example: 1) unmaintained grass contiguous most good quality site habitat patches (characterized by layering, edge and unmaintained vegetation) are connected (poor and moderate quality patches may also be connected) example: 1) shrub contiguous 2) forest patches connected by shrub corridor (3) (grass contiguous) sketch site map of spatial vegetation characteristics: 183 variable: Biological productivity indicator: "[Net primary productivity L O O K F O R : POOR MODERATE GOOD X X X X X SITE NET PRIMARY PRODUCTION-the amount of photosynthetic product that is not needed by site plants for their own respiration and is available as organic matter (biomass) for use by other organisms calculated below (biomass production rate 0 - 599 dry g/m^/yr; corresponds to all unvegetated land, lake, pond, stream) (biomass production rate 600-700 dry g/m^/yr; corresponds to grassland, "[herbaceous vegetation, cropland, "[woodland, shrubland) (biomass production rate 701 -2000 dry g/m^/yr; corresponds to temperate forest, marsh) C A L C U L A T I O N : only information in boxes must be recorded in the field total site area*. ecosystem type "[marsh "[temperate forest (with understory/forest litter) woodland/shrubland (with grass) cropland grassland/ herbaceous veg. permanent water bodies nonvegetated (including paved and built) land area in site mean NPP % site area (dry g/m2/yr) X2000 x 1250 x700 partial site NPP x650 x600 x250 x40 + total site NPP (dry g/m2/yr) *all areas measured approximately by pacing off 184 variable: Food indicator: Plant food production L O O K F O R : POOR MODERATE GOOD FOOD PRODUCING PLANTS— plants, either wild/ unmaintained or cultivated/ agricultural, producing food usable by humans "wild" includes fruit trees and berry bushes only none in site either wild OR cultivated food plants in site both wild A N D cultivated food plants in site FOOD PRODUCING A R E A -percentage of site area covered with or tilled for human food-producing plants, both wild and cultivated includes food gardens and fields in dormant seasons food producing area covers 0-10% of site area food producing area covers 11-50% of site area food producing area covers 51-100% of site area EVIDENCE OF F O O D U S E -visual signs that people have harvested food from any plants in the site answer only if food plants are present: no evidence of use evidence of some use evidence of heavy or frequent use 185 variable: Goods indicator: Physical site access I. QUALITY OF ACCESS T O SITE—accessibility to nearby potential users of site LOOK FOR: POOR MODERATE GOOD POPULATION DENSITY OF ADJACENT L A N D -relative numbers of people present within three minutes walk of site who might come to it pedestrian access only (survey by walking briskly 3 minutes from site entrances along as many different routes as are present, up to 10) dominantly open space or industrial/ agricultural use = low expected population density direction 1 part open space/industrial/ agricultural and part commercial/ residential use = medium expected population density direction 1 dominantly commercial/residential use = high expected population density direction 1 direction 2 direction 2 direction 2 direction 3 direction 3 direction 3 direction 4 direction 4 direction 4 direction 5 direction 5 direction 5 direction 6 direction 6 direction 6 direction 7 direction 7 direction 7 direction 8 direction 8 direction 8 direction 9 direction 9 direction 9 direction 10 direction 10 direction 10 POSITIONING OF PUBLIC SITE E N T R A N C E S -permeability of site boundaries to potential users spacing of entrances, orientation of entrances 1 public entrance only OR all public entrances are >6 min walk apart by most direct external route some public entrances are >6 min walk and some <6 min walk apart by most direct external route all public entrances are <6 min walk apart by most direct external route public entrances face 3 or more geographical directions public entrances face only 1 geographical direction public entrances face 2 geographical directions 186 II. QUALITY OF ACCESS ON-SITE—barrier-free provision for all users, including very young, old and disabled DESIGN OF SITE F E A T U R E S -entrances, stairs/ramps, fpaths/fwalkways (includes sidewalks), public ffacilities (e.g. washrooms, water fountains, phones, buildings, seating) entrances do not allow t unobstructed access stairs do not allow unobstructed access no paths/walkways answer only if paths/ walkways are present: paths/walkways generally do not allow unobstructed access answer only if public facilities are present: public facilities do not allow unobstructed access some entrances are wide, level & barrier-free stairs are non-slip, without overhangs, have handrails & frequent landings some paths/walkways some paths/walkways are without slope changes, are smooth, non-slippery & non-glare _____ some public facilities designed for wheelchair/ other special access all entrances are wide, level & barrier-free no stairs needed in site OR ramps provided paths/walkways characterize site paths/walkways are generally without slope changes, are smooth, non-slippery & non-glare all public facilities designed for wheelchair/other special access 187 indicator: Site user transportation MODERATE GOOD variable: Energy LOOK FOR: X X X X X PROBABLE TRANSPORTATION MODES OF SITE USERS— correlated to population density/ land use intensity around site POOR population density near site is low; few potential users will travel to site on foot, without fueled transportation population density near site is medium; a moderate number of users will travel to site on foot, without fueled transportation population density near site is high; many potential users will travel to site on foot, without fueled transportation **transfer QUALITY OF ACCESS TO SITE rating from Goods indicator 188 variable: Safety indicator: Safety features I. O V E R A L L DESIGN—contributes to sense of security, engenders confidence and caring L O O K F O R : POOR MODERATE GOOD QUALITY AND B E A U T Y -whether the area is enjoyable unpleasant, not enjoyable neutral or somewhat enjoyable pleasant/beautiful/ enjoyable X X X X X "[LEGIBILITY— the degree to which users of an area can find their way around in it **transfer L E G I B I L I T Y rating from Aesthetic indicator II. SIGNAGE A N D INFORMATION—contribute to sense of security and genuine safety L O O K F O R : POOR MODERATE GOOD SIGNAGE/OTHER tMEDIA-with maps, information about events, times, safety issues, and/or site features information suited to site, in strategic location (at major entrances, attractions, intersections) no safety/ informational media some safety/ informational media safety/ informational media characterize site answer only if media are present: amount/type of information presented is not suited to site amount/type of information presented is somewhat suited to site amount/type of information presented is suited to site safety/informational media strategically located safety/informational media obscurely located safety/informational media somewhat strategically located 189 III. SIGNS OF NEGLECT—indicate lack of maintenance, affect user sense of ownership, may also present hazards LOOK FOR: POOR MODERATE GOOD GRAFFITI- characterizes site some in site none in site GARBAGE— in the form of litter, i.e. not in receptacles especially hazardous garbage (e.g. jagged, potentially infectious), t"deviant" garbage (needles, alcohol containers, condoms— also check receptacles) miscellaneous garbage characterizes site hazardous garbage characterizes site "deviant" garbage characterizes site some miscellaneous garbage in site some hazardous garbage in site some "deviant" garbage in site no miscellaneous garbage in site no hazardous garbage in site no "deviant" garbage in site DISREPAIR— of built fixtures/ ffacilities characterizes site some in site none in site tUNMAINTAINED VEGET ATI ON— not "manicured" characterizes site some in site none in site IV. ASSAULT POTENTIAL-factors that affect user vulnerability to crime LOOK FOR: POOR MODERATE GOOD SIGHTLINES— views of what is around and ahead blind corners, visually impermeable barriers blind corners characterize site visually impermeable barriers characterize site some blind corners in site some visually impermeable barriers in site no blind corners in site no visually impermeable barriers in site MOVEMENT PREDICTORS-predictable or unchangeable routes (e.g. paths) that consistently channel pedestrian traffic characterize site . some in site none in site 190 fENTRAPMENT SPOTS--small confined areas near traffic routes that are surrounded on three sides by barriers especially dangerous when associated with movement predictors characterize site answer only if entrapment spots are present: some associated with movement predictors some in site none associated with movement predictors none in site LIGHTING— artificial lighting, especially nighttime but also possibly during daytime excessive use (giving false or unwanted impression of nighttime use), sufficiency, proper placement (illuminates only what it is intended to—e.g. no glare for neighbors), maintenance daytime lighting needed but none provided nighttime lighting: lights are used excessively throughout site most or all of site is insufficiently lighted daytime lighting needed, provided but of poor quality nighttime lighting: lights are used excessively in some parts of site some parts of site are insufficiently lighted daytime lighting not needed OR needed, provided and of good quality nighttime lighting: lights are not used excessively in site site lighting is sufficient answer only if nighttime lighting is present: improperly placed lighting characterizes site poorly maintained lighting characterizes site some improperly placed lighting in site some poorly maintained lighting in site site lighting is properly placed site lighting is well maintained 191 nearby areas somewhat populated nearby areas heavily populated overlooking windows (in or around site) characterize site DEGREE OF ISOLATION-availability of help to site users in distress populatedness of nearby areas, overlooking windows, presence of people outdoors in site, public emergency phone/alarm, presence of threatening people in site X X X X X tSUITABILITY FOR MIXED U S E -indicates a variety of site features encouraging use/ surveillance during more of the day **transfer overall ratings from Goods indicator (physical site access), Socialization indicator (suitability for social groups), Cognitive indicator (educational suitability), and Self-Actualization indicator (recreation suitability). nearby areas generally unpopulated no overlooking windows in or around site no or almost no people outdoors in site no public phone/ alarm in or near (within 2-3 minutes of) site presence of threatening people characterizes site poor site access poor suitability for social groups poor educational suitability poor recreation suitability some overlooking windows in or around site some people outdoors in site public phone/ alarm near (within 2-3 minutes of) site moderate suitability for social groups presence of people outdoors characterizes site public phone/ alarm in site no threatening peor. in site moderate educational suitability moderate recreation suitability good site access good suitability for social groups good educational suitability good recreation suitability 192 some threatening people in site   ple   moderate site access variable: fSocialization indicator: Suitability for social groups L O O K F O R : POOR MODERATE GOOD SITTING SPACE— features designed as adult seating or sittable features with other compatible uses grassy knolls; sittable ledges/ steps; benches; movable chairs; sitting spots that are: sunny; shaded; wind-sheltered; suitable for people watching 0 - 2 of the listed seating elements 3 - 5 of the listed seating elements 6 - 8 of the listed seating elements PROVISION FOR CHILDREN'S NEEDS--elements either intended for play or having other intents compatible with play lawn areas, paved play surfaces, wild spaces, climbing trees, train-sheltered spaces, enclosed tplay "nooks," play equipment, t"loose parts" for play, sand for play, water for play, children's seating, public toilets 0 - 4 of the listed play elements 5 - 8 of the listed play elements 9 - 12 of the listed play elements COMBINED PROVISION FOR ADULTS AND C H I L D R E N -seating near play elements no seating near play elements some seating near play elements juxtaposition of seating and play elements characterizes site 193 variable: | Cognitive needs indicator: Educational suitability I. PROXIMITY T O SCHOOLS—ease of site access by students (operationalizes formal educational suitabilities below) L O O K F O R : POOR MODERATE GOOD ACCESSIBILITY OF SITE T O S C H O O L S -walking distance only, from nearest public site entrance walk from site entrance toward schools for 20 minutes no schools within 20 minutes walk of site 1 school within 20 minutes walk of site but not in site itself 2 or more schools within 20 minutes walk of site OR at least 1 school in site itself II. E C O L O G Y / N A T U R A L SCIENCE/ STEWARDSHIP EDUCATION SUITABILITIES-opportunities to learn about the natural world and human influences on it L O O K F O R : POOR MODERATE GOOD X X X X X fFORMAL SUITABILITIES-presence of natural and ecological phenomena for study **transfer overall rating from Biological Diversity indicator "[INFORMAL SUITABILITIES-"[interpretation of ecological features for the public interpretive media (e.g. signs, brochures, guides) no interpretation of ecological site features no information on site vegetation or wildlife management some interpretation of ecological site features some information on site vegetation or wildlife management interpretation of ecological features characterizes site information on site vegetation and wildlife management characterizes site 194 III. HISTORY EDUCATION SUITABILITIES-opportunities to learn about local history LOOK FOR: POOR MODERATE GOOD FORMAL SUITABILITIES— presence of notable historical features, especially restored/preserved no recognizable historical features in site some historical features in site, but not restored/ preserved some restored/ preserved historical features in site INFORMAL SUITABILITIES-depend on interpretation for the public interpretive media answer only if historicalfeatures are present: no interpretation of historical features some interpretation of historical features interpretation of most/all historical features IV. SPORTS/PHYSICAL EDUCATION SUITABILITIES-opportunities to learn sports LOOK FOR: POOR MODERATE GOOD X X X X X FORMAL SUITABILITIES-specialized design/facilities for structured sports in physical education **transfer ACTIVE S T R U C T U R E D rating from Self-Actualization indicator INFORMAL SUITABILITIES-tpublic access to specialized design/facilities for structured sports answer only if facilities for structured sports are present: no public access to sports facilities in site limited public access to sports facilities in site free public access to sports facilities in site 195 variable: f Aesthetic needs indicator: Aesthetic quality I. CONTENT—specific landscape elements affecting aesthetic quality L O O K F O R : POOR MODERATE GOOD PRIMARY LANDSCAPE E L E M E N T S -components whose very presence is likely to improve human perception of a landscape (permanent) water bodies, trees, elevated flookout points no water bodies in site no trees in site no elevated lookout points in site some water bodies in site some trees in site some elevated lookout points in site water bodies characterize site trees characterize site elevated lookout points characterize site II. SPATIAL ARRANGEMENT-landscape configurations affecting aesthetic quality L O O K F O R : POOR MODERATE GOOD t PARKLIKE VEGETATION— short, even grass w/ scattered single and/or clumped trees none in site some in site characterizes site M Y S T E R Y -the impression that users could acquire new information by traveling deeper into an area e.g. bends in paths, screened glimpses of distant scenes none or nearly none in site some in site characterizes site LEGIBILITY— the degree to which users of an area can find their way around in it enough openness to see where going, t'andmarks useful for orientation no or almost no openness in site. no landmarks in/ visible from site moderate openness in site some landmarks in/ visible from site openness characterizes site landmarks (internal or external) characterize site 196 variable: -("Self-actualization needs indicator: | R e c r e a t i o n suitability LOOK FOR: POOR MODERATE GOOD SUITABILITY FOR tACTIVE -("UNSTRUCTURED RECREATION -activities requiring t athletic effort but little "("organization or equipment e.g. biking, jogging, swimming, active playing, skating, walking or playing with dog none in site some in site characterizes site SUITABILITY FOR tPASSIVE UNSTRUCTURED RECREATION -activities requiring little organization or equipment and no athletic effort e.g. walking, sitting, lying down, eating, people watching, spectating, fishing, non-active playing none in site some in site characterizes site SUITABILITY FOR ACTIVE -("STRUCTURED RECREATION -activities requiring athletic effort, organization and equipment e.g. team, group and equipment- or location-dependent sports none in site some in site characterizes site 197 SUITABILITY FOR PASSIVE STRUCTURED RECREATION -activities requiring organization and equipment, but no athletic effort none in site some in site characterizes site e.g. classes, workshops, tournaments, festivals 198 G L O S S A R Y O F T E R M S (operational definitions for terms on indicator sheets marked with t) active recreation aerial view aesthetic needs athletic effort characterize(s) cognitive needs corridor deviant garbage entrance entrapment spot facilities formal suitability gully habitat patch recreation requiring athletic effort view as if from overhead. This is the correct perspective for the land surface permeability indicator. Only the land surfaces that intercept most of the falling raindrops should be counted; for example, if trees are over forest litter and concrete, only the trees would be seen (and rained on) from above, so the litter and concrete are not recorded. needs for beauty, symmetry and order physical movement requiring more strenuous effort than typical everyday activities an item or condition either occurs frequently throughout a site or dominates the impression or experience of the site needs to know, to understand, and to satisfy curiosity a linear landscape element with a different vegetative community from the surrounding matrix. It can enable species movement between habitat patches in the landscape. garbage associated with illegal or publicly unacceptable activities, e.g. illegal drug use, public alcohol consumption, prostitution, use of weapons either a place specifically designed for entering a site, e.g. a gate or paved walkway, or a place commonly and visibly used for entering a site, e.g. a path worn through a hedge. (If neither of these exist, count each large, open section of site boundary as one entrance.) a small, enclosed area potentially useful for cornering or caging a victim with intent to do harm things or areas designed, built or installed for specific uses; do not include natural landscape features that happen to be suitable for some use appropriateness for use in some aspect of formal education, i.e. education taking place in a school an erosion channel with a U or V shape that occurs when runoff water forms streams as it moves down a slope; larger than a rill, and can be very large a non-linear landscape element of a particular habitat type (see definition on indicator sheet) that differs from the surrounding matrix. Patchy habitat (see definition on indicator sheet) is one habitat type. 199 herb an annual flowering plant with a non-woody stem herbaceous vegetation historical feature informal suitability interpretation knoll landing landmark lookout point loose parts marsh matrix media net primary productivity organization parklike vegetation vegetation that is not woody (e.g. herbs and grasses) an open-space feature having a noteworthy association with an event or period of history; can include trees, landforms, etc. as well as human-made elements appropriateness for use in some aspect of informal education, i.e. education taking place voluntarily in leisure time explanation of an open space feature or related information a small, rounded mound or hill a level floor between flights of stairs a distinctive, natural or built landscape feature that can be used as a reference point to find one's way in an area an elevated point or structure that is accessible and provides an especially wide view of the surroundings items that can be (and are allowed to be) transported and manipulated by children during play waterlogged soil with some standing water and tall grasses such as cattails and rushes. Intermediate between dry land and a water body. 1. the most extensive land cover type present in a landscape. In an urban area., the matrix could be nonvegetated (built) land. Matrix can differ according to scale; for example, the matrix on a wooded urban site could be woodland, while the matrix for the site and its immediate surroundings is lawn and the matrix for the whole urban area is built land. 2. specifically for patchy habitat, the grass/herb community in which clumps of woody vegetation are scattered means of communicating explanations or information, e.g. signs, brochures, maps, tour guides the amount of organic matter created or energy bound by photosynthesis, per unit of the earth's surface per unit time, that is left over after a plant's respiration planning, coordination, or arrangements among participants in an activity, regarding such factors as time, place and equipment short, even grass with scattered single trees and/or clumps of trees. Thought to resemble the savanna vegetation of the landscapes in which humans evolved. 200 passive recreation recreation requiring no athletic effort path pedestrian access permeability play nooks public access rain-sheltered spaces recreation rill runoff sediment deposit self-actualization needs shrub socialization some structural vegetation diversity any place that is visibly differentiated from its surroundings as a walking/transportation route availability of the site for use to people who can walk from their homes or workplaces. Based on repeated research findings that the most regular users of urban open space are those who can walk to it within 3 minutes. the ability of the ground surface material to let water soak into the underlying soil. Permeable ground is necessary for the recharge of groundwater. enclosed spaces where children can play safely out of sight or in privacy availability for use to all people outdoor spaces designed with covers (roofs etc.) that keep rain out, permitting comfortable use in wet weather. Can also be a space suitable for play that is "accidentally" rain-sheltered in some way. any refreshing, enjoyable leisure activity; can be active or passive a small erosion channel that occurs when runoff water forms streamlets as it moves down a slope; smaller than a gully water that falls on the ground, is not absorbed by the surface material, and flows down slopes along the surface in a sheet or channel. A major cause of erosion. soil and debris that has been carried from one location by runoff and left on the surface in another spot the need of each person to fulfill his or her own unique potential any woody perennial plant less than 5 meters (15 feet) high. Includes young trees that may later grow taller than 5 meters. the continuing process of each person learning and assimilating the values and behavior patterns of his or her culture and social situation an item or condition occurs in a site but NOT frequently, and does not dominate the impression or experience of the site properties of the structure, composition and arrangement of vegetative communities in the landscape. Determines habitat value for a variety of organisms. 201 structured recreation structured sports suitability temperate forest tree unmaintained (vegetation) unobstructed access unstructured recreation walkway wildlife barriers woodland/shrubland woody vegetation recreation that requires organization or coordination of a group, and/or a specialized location and equipment sports that require organization or coordination of a group, and/or a specialized location and equipment a site's appropriateness for a certain activity, or capacity to support a certain use deciduous and/or conifer trees with understory and/or forest litter. Any area appearing to have structural characteristics typical of North American forests. any woody perennial plant more than 5 meters (15 feet) high vegetation that is not, or does not appear to be, kept in a specific condition by repeated and regular human efforts or inputs; vegetation in a natural or "naturalistic" condition availability for use to as many people as possible, including those with special mobility requirements recreation that requires no or very little organization/ coordination of a group, specialized location or equipment a place that is specifically designed and built as a walking/ transportation route; includes sidewalks natural or human-made landscape features that prevent the movement and dispersal of organisms (plants, insects, animals, birds) through the landscape. For these organisms, roads and fences are often NOT true barriers, while a large parking lot is a possible barrier. temperate ecosystem type characterized by scattered trees or shrubs (of any kind) in a grassy matrix. The tree and/or shrub cover ranges from nearly closed canopy (but NOT true forest) to very open almost-grassland. In terms of habitat, corresponds to shrub or patchy. trees and shrubs 202 APPENDIX B Quick source reference table for details of twelve sustainability-related indicators used in urban open space variable: fresh water indicator: land surface permeability • factor or subfactor: sources: site runoff coefficient Parker and MacGuire 1954* runoff coefficients for different surface materials Landphair and Klatt 1980; Mooney, personal communication; Parker and McGuire 1954** variable: soil indicator: water erosion factor or subfactor: sources: conditions favoring water erosion original t unprotected soil Lavkulich, personal communication; Troeh, Hobbs and Donahue 1991 slopes, banks, grade changes Lavkulich, personal communication; Troeh, Hobbs and Donahue 1991 sloping, unprotected soil Lavkulich, personal communication; Troeh, Hobbs and Donahue 1991 signs of water erosion original gullies, rills Arshad and Coen 1992; Lavkulich, personal communication exposed stones, exposed roots Arshad and Coen 1992; Lavkulich, personal communication sediment deposits Lavkulich, personal communication; Troeh, Hobbs and Donahue 1991 knolls with sparse vegetation Lavkulich, personal communication; Troeh, Hobbs and Donahue 1991 * For complete citations, see reference list. * * Sources for each item are listed in alphabetical order since in many cases their order of importance is not clear, t The factor or subfactor was newly designed for this project and has no direct literature source. 203 variable: biological diversity indicator: structural vegetation diversity factor or subfactor: sources: vegetation layering Karr and Roth 1971; Kimmins 1992; MacArthur, MacArthur and Preer 1962; Mooney, personal communication; Murdoch, Evans and Peterson 1972; Roth 1976 habitat types Kimmins 1992; Mooney, personal communication patchy habitat Roth 1976 edge Noss 1983 connectivity Noss 1983, Noss 1987 variable: biological productivity indicator: net primary productivity factor or subfactor: sources: site net primary production Whittaker 1975 mean net primary productivity of different ecosystem types Whittaker 1975 variable: food indicator: plant food production factor or subfactor: sources: food producing plants original food producing area original evidence of food use original 204 variable: goods indicator: physical site access factor or subfactor: sources: population density of adjacent land Alexander, Ishikawa and Silverstein 1977; Gold 1973; Whyte 1988 positioning of public site entrances original spacing of entrances original orientation of entrances original design of site features Cooper Marcus 1990 barrier-free entrances Cooper Marcus 1990 barrier-free stairs Cooper Marcus 1990 presence of paths and walkways Cooper Marcus 1990 barrier-free paths and walkways Cooper Marcus 1990 barrier-free public facilities Cooper Marcus 1990 variable: energy indicator: site user transportation factor or subfactor: sources: probable transportation modes of site users original variable: safety indicator: safety features factor or subfactor: sources: quality and beauty Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 legibility Egan 1991; Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 signage/other media Belan 1991; Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 presence of safety/informational media Belan 1991; Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 suitability of media to site original 205 location of media graffiti garbage hazardous garbage deviant garbage disrepair unmaintained vegetation sightlines blind corners visually impermeable barriers movement predictors entrapment spots association of entrapment spots with movement predictors lighting daytime lighting nighttime lighting excessive use of lighting sufficiency of lighting placement of lighting Belan 1991; Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 Chapin 1991; Jarvis 1995 Chapin 1991; Jarvis 1995 original Chapin 1991; Jarvis 1995 Chapin 1991; Jarvis 1995; Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 Chapin 1991; Jarvis 1995 Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 206 lighting maintenance Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 degree of isolation Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 populatedness of nearby areas Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 overlooking windows Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 presence of people in site Chapin 1991; Egan 1991; Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 public emergency phone/alarm Belan 1991 presence of threatening people in site Chapin 1991; Egan 1991; Jarvis 1995 suitability for mixed use Belan 1991; Egan 1991; Planning and Development Department Staff and Wekerle 1992 quality of site access original (based on goods indicator) suitability for social groups original (based on socialization indicator) educational suitability original (based on cognitive needs indicator) recreation suitability original (based on self-actualization indicator) variable: socialization indicator: suitability for social groups factor or subfactor: sources: sitting space Whyte 1988 provision for children's needs Cooper Marcus 1990; Moore 1985 combined provision for adults and children Burgess, Harrison and Limb 1988; Cooper Marcus 1990; Cooper Marcus and Sarkissian 1986; Moore 1985 207 variable: cognitive needs indicator: educational suitability factor or subfactor: sources: accessibility of site to schools Barnes, personal communication; Dunn, personal communication ecology-related education suitabilities—formal Dunn, personal communication; Gold 1973; Hough 1995; (also original, based on biological diversity indicator) ecology-related education suitabilities-informal Roggenbuck, Loomis and Dagostino 1990 interpretation of site ecological features original; Roggenbuck, Loomis and Dagostino 1990 information on site vegetation or wildlife management original; Roggenbuck, Loomis and Dagostino 1990 history education suitabilities—formal Dunn, personal communication restoration/preservation of site historical features original history education suitabilities—informal Roggenbuck, Loomis and Dagostino 1990 interpretation of site historical features original; Roggenbuck, Loomis and Dagostino 1990 sports/physical education suitabilities—formal Barnes, personal communication; (also original, based on self-actualization indicator) sports/physical education suitabilities-informal Roggenbuck, Loomis and Dagostino 1990 public access to site sports facilities original 208 variable: aesthetic needs indicator: aesthetic quality factor or subfactor: sources: primary landscape elements Kaplan and Kaplan 1982a water bodies Kaplan and Kaplan 1982a; Orians 1980 trees Kaplan and Kaplan 1982a; Orians 1980 elevated lookout points Appleton 1975 parklike vegetation Orians 1980 mystery Kaplan and Kaplan 1982a legibility Kaplan and Kaplan 1982a variable: self-actualization needs indicator: recreation suitability factor or subfactor: sources: suitability for active unstructured recreation Chicago Park District and Lincoln Park Steering Committee 1995; People, Places & Design Research 1991 suitability for passive unstructured recreation Chicago Park District and Lincoln Park Steering Committee 1995; People, Places & Design Research 1991 suitability for active structured recreation Chicago Park District and Lincoln Park Steering Committee 1995; People, Places & Design Research 1991 suitability for passive structured recreation Chicago Park District and Lincoln Park Steering Committee 1995; People, Places & Design Research 1991 209 


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