Københavns Universitet
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PhD defence: Hanyan Zhang (IGN)

Ph.d.-forsvar — Hanyan Zhang defends her thesis: Exploration of Pocket Parks in Beijing, China


Date & Time:

Auditorium Kongelunden, Front House, Rolighedsvej 23, 1958 Frederiksberg C


Hosted by:
Section for Landscape Architecture, Planning and Design


Hanyan Zhang defends her thesis at IGN

Exploration of Pocket Parks in Beijing, China

Associate Professor Ole Fryd, IGN, KU (DK)

The assessment committee consists of:
Professor Helena Nordh, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SE)
Associate professor Sreetheran Maruthaveeran, Universiti Putra Malaysia (MY)
Senior researcher Berit Charlotte Kaae KU, IGN (DK) (chair)

With global population growth, rapid urbanization not only influences nature, but also changes people’s social and cultural lives. Moreover, the green space is gradually occupied by other facilities, such as housing and working places. Urban green space in the city center is a luxury. The provision of large-scale urban green spaces is difficult and costly. Therefore, small-scale urban green spaces such as pocket parks have become a trend in urban planning and design.

The aim of this study has been: 1) to understand and clearly define the notion of a ‘pocket park’; 2) to map out the provision of pocket parks in central Beijing, China, and evaluate the quality of these pocket parks in terms of their functions and features; 3) to observe how citizens use pocket parks in order to give guidance to the future design of pocket parks.

The study found that pocket parks originally appeared in the United States and Europe and subsequently spread to China. Since 2014, an increasing number of scholars have concentrated on the investigation of pocket parks. The study themes include not only pocket park planning and design but also the social and physical functions of pocket parks. Pocket parks in central Beijing (Xicheng and Dongcheng districts) were in a good condition overall. All of the pocket parks included in the study had easy access, well-managed facilities, and a clean environment. However, workout facilities could be enhanced. The study also discovered that people under the age of nine and the elderly over the age of 65 are more likely to visit pocket parks than other age groups. Based on the observation of 6,873 park users, the flow rate of people across a sample of 12 pocket parks indicated an ‘M’ shape, with greater flow rates in the morning and afternoon. In terms of activities, more than half of the children were engaged in sedentary activities, though most visitors used the pocket parks for walking.

A digital version of the PhD thesis can be obtained from the PhD secretary at phd@ign.ku.dk