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DOI

https://doi.org/10.7275/27zh-9j23

Publication Date

2019

Abstract

The Pearl River Delta (PRD) greenways are the first regional greenway network in China, which has been seen as the pilot greenway project to the other provinces and cities. The PRD greenways also resulted in continuous debates on their forms and functions. Some researchers argue that the PRD greenways show great value in promoting economic development and urban-rural integration, while some criticize that the PRD greenways have accomplished little ecological benefits that were planned in the early stages. However, most of the debates exist among key actors or researchers, while public perception of greenways is overlooked. Public perception could not only function as evaluation of greenway development, it also provides detailed information about what are the primary greenway forms and functions from a general view. In this article, the public perception is reviewed from three perspectives, which are greenway users, common citizens, and professionals that are working in design or planning institutions. The perception data of greenway users (n=393) is collected through on-site questionnaires in two greenways in Guangzhou. The perception data of common citizens (n=279) and professional planners or architects (n=185) is collected through Internet questionnaires that were distributed in targeted chatting groups on WeChat. The result of investigation shows that, the respondents recognized greenways as bikeways (28.66%), street greenery (22.63%), sidewalks (20.91%) and parkways (14.01%), while few see greenways as green open spaces (3.66%). Although researchers have doubts about greenways` ecological benefits, the users and citizens commonly recognized greenways as important recreational spaces in urban life. Moreover, most professional architects and planners see greenways as strategic spatial elements and prefer to incorporating them in future projects.

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