Urban Green spaces (UGS) can significantly enrich people's quality of life[1]. Accessibility is key to ensuring that people can enjoy the benefits of green spaces in urban areas [2]. Studies have shown the importance of UGS in respect to their benefits and that access to green spaces is vital for urban planning [3][4][5][6]. Benefits of UGS include both improved mental and physical health as well as environmental benefits [3][4][5][6]. Given this importance and urge for considerate urban planning. The United Nations (UN) integrated these findings into their Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) with Goal 11 with the respective target of 11.7. This target focusses on working towards ensuring the accessibility of public spaces including green spaces in urban areas and thus working towards more sustainable cities [7].

Website Navigation

This website is structured in the tab MAP, where an interactive map invites to visually explore the topic and data. Below you can find our research question for the project. In the METHOD tab you can read more about our process, and the tab SOURCES where you find the literature used, acknowledgements and all software used for this project. In the tab TEAM there is a short overview of the group which was working on this topic and where you have opportunity to get in contact with the team for further questions, suggestions or insights.

What are Urban Green Spaces?

The definition of urban green space varies. However, it can be understood as an urban stretch that is covered by vegetation and accessible to the public free of charge[8]. The vegetation can vary from grass to trees, shrubs or other vegetation[9].

What are the SDG?

The UN has set an agenda to ensure sustainable development by 2030 for peace and prosperity for people and the planet, now and in the future. In 2015, this agenda was adopted by all member states of the United Nations. The SDGs include 17 headline targets and 169 sub-targets, addressing economic, social, and environmental aspects. More detailed information can be found on the official UN website covering the 17 SDGs[7].


Access to green space is often considered to be important, but it can significantly enhance the quality of life for urban populations. Urban populations are growing steadily worldwide, reducing the space available for green spaces [3][4][5][6] and leading to increased urbanization [1]. Increased urbanization can lead to problems such as urban heat islands, psychological stress, and health inequalities [10][11][12]. Green spaces provide a natural environment for relaxation and stress relief, which can improve mental well-being. Although the studies are not conclusive, a positive effect of green spaces on the population was found in various study scenarios [1]. For example, anxiety, stress and depression were shown to be reduced in greener environments, which improved mental health [11]. Furthermore, physical health has also been shown to improve as more physical activity took place in environments with green spaces than without [11]. This is due to the recreation and social gathering that green spaces can provide from the fast-paced city life [13]. In addition to improving the physical and mental health of the population, green spaces with vegetation such as trees can provide important ecosystem services such as air and water filtration, carbon sequestration, and habitat for wildlife. [14].

Due to the numerous benefits of green spaces for both urban populations and the environment, the UN recommends ensuring that urban residents have access to green spaces within 300 meters, equivalent to a 5-minute walk. [15]. Accessibility can be understood as the opportunity that an individual has to participate in a particular activity at a given location [10][16]. It considers the mobility of the individual, the spatial location of the opportunity relative to the starting point, and the travel time and/or distance to reach the opportunity [17]. In literature, spatial accessibility of green spaces is described as (a) the spatial impedance between supply (green spaces) and demand (population), (b) the availability of green space within a certain time or distance frame along a road network, or (c) the availability of green space within a certain radial distance [18]. The definition of a ‘walking distance’ can vary depending on factors such as an individual’s physical abilities and life circumstances. However, most studies agree that a 300 m or less is generally considered acceptable for accessing green spaces[11][19][20].

Due to various positive effects of green spaces in urban areas on the population, as well as on the environment, the UN proposes to ensure accessibility to green spaces in urban areas within 300 m, which is equivalent to a 5-minute walk (source). Accessibility is broadly understood as the opportunity that an individual has to partake in.

Implementing green spaces in urban areas can be challenging and requires careful planning and development. With the implementation of the SDG targets by UN members, a step has been taken towards more sustainable urban development [2].

What is our Project's Aim?

Our project aims to measure and compare the accessibility of green spaces in three major cities comparable in population. For this we chose Osaka City, Brisbane City, and Toronto City each with roughly 2.7 million inhabitants by 2020. This comparison shall lay the groundwork for tracking target 11.7 of SDG 11.

Research Question and Hypothesis

Considering our project’s goal, we address the following research question:

How do cities of similar population size compare in terms of accessibility to green space (based on SDG 11 target 11.7)?

Thereby, we hypothesise:

H1: There is uneven access to green space in cities.

H2: Population density affects the accessibility of green spaces.