Environmental Justice and the Lawn: Urban Parks in Shanghai, China


  • Maria Fadiman Florida Atlantic University


China, Urban Green Spaces, Environmental Justice, Lawn


There is an increasing awareness of the human need for green spaces within cities as more people move to urban areas. This issue is of particular importance in highly polluted areas, such as Shanghai, China. This study addresses the human/nature intersection within metropolitan green spaces in Shanghai and asks the question; are Shanghai parks designed to be people friendly? To answer this question I collected observational data in relation to park structure and use, focusing on lawns. Analyzed with a framework of environmental justice, my observations show that although Western and Asian traditional intertwine in garden design and park layout, cultural differences remain for park use, creating a partial landscape of exclusion. Urban parks in Shanghai provide a welcoming place for its residents in the more traditionally Asian spaces, but not in the Western influenced landscape of lawns.