Influence of local social factors on green area sustenance: Assessment of the protective capacity of Skärholmen, Stockholm
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 40 credits / 60 HE creditsStudent thesis
This study examines local social factors affecting land use change in Skärholmen, a socioeconomically weak and ethnically diverse area in Stockholm City. The goal is to provide insight in the protective capacity of the region in respect to public green areas. The underlining assumption is that different value perspectives compete against each other in affecting land use change, thus making ecosystem service delivery socially contingent. This is especially critical in the urban context where the densification approach increases the competition over limited urban land and people are increasingly disconnected from ecosystems. The study contributes to the portfolio on place-based conditions driving land use change in urban settings, helping to create better understanding of land use transition dynamics on a city scale. Methods for data collection include interviews with officials and members of the civil society, a survey among the local body of associations and real estate data. Main social factors found to affect land use change include limited agency among the local public and the local officials and shortage of bridging social capital on the community level. Further, environmental issues are subordinate to social issues when it comes to local public engagement. Other mechanisms in place are public processes demonstrated respectively by the largest green area (Sätraskogen) being protected by its reserve status, and economic processes in the form of low investment pressure. The latter contributes to preserving smaller green gaps. Overall the area demonstrates low protective capacity. If preservation of unprotected areas is positioned against development in the future, the area’s low socio-economical status might reinforce the risk of green area loss. Having a nature reserve might then be negative for persistence of smaller green areas, which would demonstrate local developmental pressure displacement. Due to limited civic protective capacity, the local community might not be able to counteract this.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2013. , 29 p.
Land-use change; Urbanization Urban ecosystems; Urban green areas; Environmental justice; Social capital; Agency Resilience
Ecology Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-97914OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-97914DiVA: diva2:681357