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Towards urban equity: using GIS for investigating the connectivity and location characteristics of urban public parks in Ankara

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2019
Tarancı, Kadir Anı
In polarized or segregated cities, public amenities can not be accessible to everyone, especially to minorities and poor neighborhood residents. Urban public parks, unlike neighborhood parks, represent a significant public amenity as they provide sports and recreation opportunities for each community member. However, poor neighborhood residents are much deprived of such “low-cost resources” because of the limited mobility or lack of urban facilities. This thesis addresses this issue. In Turkey, unlike some other counties, recreational facilities and urban parks are provided by local governments. Metropolitan and district municipalities carry authority to supply recreational facilities to the public, but that may cause inequality because of the political and economic reasons. This thesis focuses on urban public parks named “prestigious parks” by the Metropolitan Municipality in Ankara. By using the tools of Geographic Information Systems, connectivity analyses were performed for each urban public park in the city. Additionally, arguing that the value of housing reflects the income of people living in a specific urban area, by using secondary data on the value of rented and sale hosing in Ankara, this thesis questions the location of urban public parks in the city regarding the economic characteristics of the residents living nearby these public amenities. Thematic maps were produced to investigate these relationships. Study findings were discussed from an equity perspective. Study results show that there are no urban public parks in the southwestern development corridor of the city. Urban public parks with a high connectivity index tend to be found in the inner-city areas while low connectivity index-urban public parks are in the periphery of the city. The high connectivity index does not mean to have a grid street pattern of the neighborhood, windy street patterns also have a high connectivity index. Generally, low connectivity parks are located around low-income neighborhoods.