loading page

Smart Cities and Access to Nature: A Framework for Evaluating Green Recreation Space Accessibility
  • Jenny Martinez ,
  • Sachit Mahajan
Jenny Martinez
Author Profile
Sachit Mahajan
Author Profile


As our world becomes increasingly urbanized, smart cities are leading the way in using technology to create more efficient, connected, and sustainable environments. However, amidst all the talk of connectivity and smartness, it’s crucial not to lose sight of one of the most basic human needs: access to nature in cities. This research describes a novel open-source framework for investigating the availability and accessibility of green recreation spaces using open-source data and statistical analytic approaches. The framework includes a comprehensive set of tools for data extraction, processing, analysis, and visualization, thereby enabling reproducible geospatial research. We test our framework on five international cities: Medellin, Milan, Chicago, Singapore, and Mumbai. Through geospatial analysis and statistical modeling of data sourced from OpenStreetMaps, we explore and comprehend the characteristics and distribution of spatial accessibility related to green recreation spaces in five cities. We find significant clustering of green recreation spaces in all these cities, indicating that a majority of such spaces are located in close proximity to each other within small areas. Our findings also shed light on the potential implications of unequal distribution of green recreation spaces for the health and well-being of city residents and highlight the need for policies and initiatives that promote equitable access to green recreation spaces in smart cities.
2023Published in IEEE Access volume 11 on pages 102014-102024. 10.1109/ACCESS.2023.3303571