Contradicting Knowledge Map of Greenways: A Comparative Analysis Based on English and Chinese Literature



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Greenway is a flexible concept with diverse forms in different contexts. Recently in China, greenways have achieved rapid growth and become national policy. The widely implemented greenways also led to the first national document on greenway planning and design, Guidance of Greenway Planning and Design, which was issued by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-rural development. However, there have been two distinct perceptions of greenways in existing Chinese literature. On the one hand, some researchers argue that greenways show strategic values in providing social integration and economic growth. On the other hand, many local scholars and officials criticize that there are excessive artificial constructions and the greenways fail to provide necessary ecological benefits. In order to develop a general understanding of the conflicting greenway perceptions in different contexts (i.e. English and Chinese), this article will collect data from WOS and CNKI databases and then illustrate it as two knowledge maps using VOSviewer. The analysis shows that ecological conservation, resident perception, and greenway planning have been the core issues in greenway literature, which now have rich meanings and features. In contrast with greenway research in English, greenway research in China is still at the beginning stage and focuses primary on greenway function. However, unlike international greenway research, green transportation, and urban recreation are now influential greenway functions in Chinese greenway discourse. Although the enhancement of the transportation function and urban location are responses to the increasing need for non-motorized transport and open spaces, the discourse also reflects the problems of excessive urban development and the lack of ecological concerns in urban China.