UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A comparison of greenspace metrics and measurement methods, walkability, and social and material deprivation in Metro Vancouver White, Katherine Rebecca


There is extensive literature examining the impacts of the built and natural environment on human health. Along with other environmental exposures, neighbourhood walkability, and greenspace exposure have been linked to many health behaviours and health outcomes. There are several different metrics and methods commonly used to quantify neighbourhood exposure to greenspace. This thesis compares the results of four greenspace metrics (total green land cover, tree canopy cover, normalized difference vegetation index, and park count), as well as the relationship between results calculated using two different methods (circular and network buffers) using 6-digit postal code level data. When comparing the results for the circular and network buffer methods applied to estimating greenspace exposure and access, the results range from moderately to highly correlated. These findings may support environmental health researchers to be intentional about the choice of greenspace metric and buffering methods used to address their specific research question. This thesis also examines the relationship between neighbourhood greenspace, walkability, social deprivation, and material deprivation in the Metro Vancouver Regional District. Consistent with previous work neighbourhood walkability was not highly positively correlated with measures of greenspace, indicating that the most walkable neighbourhoods tend to have less greenspace. Additionally, local area material deprivation was associated with less walkable neighbourhoods and less greenspace. These areas may be sites to prioritize future greenspace allocation and implement land use changes to improve walkability.

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Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International