Improving biodiversity and community well-being in urban parks: a comparison of Seoul Forest Park (Seoul, Korea) and Stanley Park (Vancouver, Canada).




Rim, Rokwha

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This research investigates how community-based stewardship and governance of urban parks benefits both biodiversity conservation and local residents‟ quality of life. The main objective of this research is to examine successful strategies to improve biodiversity and human well-being in urban parks. In this research, two stories of renowned city parks in metropolitan areas are interpreted: Seoul Forest Park in Seoul, Korea and Stanley Park in Vancouver, Canada. These parks are compared on the basis of the history of their creation and restoration, their strategic plans, challenges to managing the parks, the role of community-based stewardship, and the relationship between city governments and community stewardship groups. By comparing two famous metropolitan city parks, this study makes recommendations for each park. To understand the beneficial programs and approaches, I further explore how the parks‟ management plans address improvement in biodiversity, and how park governance and operations encourage it, particularly how stewardship groups have improved biodiversity. Based on the research findings, this study drew several main benefits of community-based stewardship and governance of urban parks. First, supportive legislation, policies, and plans for biodiversity conservation have a decisive effect on the implementation of biodiversity improvement. Next, regular ecosystem monitoring and linking fragmented areas are mandatory to preserve and improve urban biodiversity. Also, urban green space restoration contributes not only to biodiversity conservation, but also to citizens‟ quality of life. In addition, listening to citizens‟ opinions, ensuring the safety of park users, offering cutting-edge services, and providing various cultural and educational programs, contribute to enhanced citizens‟ well-being in urban parks. Lastly, community-based stewardship groups play an essential role for improving biodiversity as well as citizens‟ quality of life in urban parks. Therefore, a successful partnership between the Parks Division in city governments and community-based stewardship groups creates a more powerful synergy that sustains biodiversity and human well-being.



parks, stewardship, conservation, Seoul, Korea, Vancouver, B.C.