Public Perception Of Urban Greeneries And Health: A Case Study On Dhaka
This paper discusses how urban greeneries can improve health of city dwellers. Urban greeneries can have a great role to improve people’s health and well–being. Evidently, living around green spaces and trees can promote physical activity, increase social interaction, enhance exposure to fresh air, refreshes mind and makes people healthy and happy.
In Dhaka, there is not enough greeneries to save city dwellers from the highly polluted environment. Thus, provision of more greeneries can make Dhaka a sustainable, healthy and livable (SHL)-city.
In this study, we selected some relevant residential areas with/without greeneries in three categories namely: 1) among the residential areas with well distributed green space, 2) among the areas of less green spaces, and 3) among the areas of no green space. We prepare green space maps using geographic information system (GIS) to visualize past and present scenario of green spaces.
We performed questionnaire survey from 150 households of the three category residential areas with high, low and nearly zero amount of greeneries. In our questionnaire survey, we mainly focus and collect information on ten criteria: 1) green space allocation and their use, 2) presence of multi-type trees, 3) multi-type pocket gardens surrounding and between buildings, 4) multi-type gardening, 5) play spaces and facilities for different age groups of children, 6) walkways and walking behavior of dwellers, 7) green space and air quality, 8) green space and health problems like hypertension, diabetic, asthma, headache, mental stress, 9) future planning of greeneries in residential areas and 10) requirement of nearby well maintained small parks. After collecting data and information from questionnaire survey, we prepare metrics to evaluate those criteria.
We analyzed the above information on public perception from 150 questionnaires. The analysis show that residential areas with well-designed and proper allocated greeneries improve dwellers physical and mental health and lower stress, hypertension, diabetic, asthma disease. From the discussion with residents, it is common to all people that they want more green spaces in their neighbourhood and in Dhaka city. Thus, they purview to enjoy beautiful green view when they come out from their residents as well as from their balcony or windows. From the quantitative and qualitative analysis, the study also shows the residential areas with more greeneries have less number of persons with health problems than the areas without greeneries. Finding of our study shows that living around green spaces, seeing beautiful views of multi-type pocket gardens and spending more time in green areas can improve health of city dwellers. From the observation of study areas and the findings of questionnaire survey on public perception, we provide some recommendations for future planning of the selected areas and rejuvenate Dhaka city. This study would help city planners and concerned authorities of the selected residential areas to consider collected public perception for future planning of greeneries and provision of nearby parks for improving dwellers health towards attaining healthy living environment.
Index Terms - Environment; Greeneries; Sustainable; GIS